News Reporting

New York Times

Trump Questions Biden’s Mental Abilities and Calls Harris Biden’s ‘Boss’

The president made three campaign rally-like appearances at airports in Minnesota and Wisconsin in an attempt to counterprogram the first night of the Democratic National Convention. President Trump questioned former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s mental capabilities and mocked Senator Kamala Harris of California as an extreme liberal in three campaign rally-like appearances on Monday as Democrats began their four-day national political convention nominally in Milwaukee but largely online.

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Polling sites told to lift barriers

This “watchdog” story idea came to me while covering budget hearings in various communities, which were under mandate to purchase handicap-accessible voting machines. I uncovered the fact that an appalling percentage of Wisconsin’s voting sites had significant physical barriers for the elderly or disabled that prevented many citizens from voting, new machines or not. I focused on the City of Milwaukee for this piece, which drew reader mail from as far away as South Dakota, and which led to positive action on the city’s part.

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City bans phosphorus in fertilizer to aid lakes

Oconomowoc joins others in state acting to improve water quality. Concerned about the proliferation of weeds and algae in its chain of lakes, Oconomowoc has banned property owners from using phosphorus to fertilize lawns in what one official said is a regional trend.

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Bank branches proliferate in state

Although gloomy news about the nationwide banking industry has dominated recent headlines, new bank offices have proliferated in Wisconsin in the last few years, both statewide and in metro Milwaukee – and there’s little sign of easing up. As of June 30, just-released statistics by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. show that Wisconsin has 2,389 bank offices, compared with 2,116 in 2000 – a 13% increase. From 2000 through the end of 2007, the state’s population increased only about 4%, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

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New Berlin OKs water deal

The cities of New Berlin and Milwaukee are now in agreement over extending Lake Michigan water to another chunk of New Berlin, as the New Berlin Common Council voted unanimously late Tuesday to approve the deal. Aldermen expressed unhappiness about paying $1.5 million to Milwaukee and at the prospect of raising local utility rates to cover infrastructure costs. But they agreed that it is the most cost-effective solution to the radium problem in the city’s well water.

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AARP Bulletin

Help for Caregivers

Christina Fox describes her life as a caregiver as being torn between two generations. “Calling it the ‘sandwich generation’ is just a nice way of saying you’re caught between your parents and your own children,” said Fox, 43, of Milwaukee, who took in her ailing mother two years ago while parenting two teenagers. Although her mother, Sara Muhammad, 66, does not drive and has difficulty walking, Fox never considered rejecting the caregiver role.
“I did it out of not wanting my mother in a nursing home or around strangers,” she said.

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AARP Bulletin

Preparing for retirement: It’s not only money

When AARP Wisconsin staff member Mariann Muzzi began to organize a program that helps people plan for their emotional, social and financial well being in retirement, it hit her: “I need to be doing this for myself.” While Muzzi, 59, fantasizes about pursuing photography and spending time with her grandchildren, she’s done little to prepare for retirement beyond contributing to a 401(k) plan.

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New York Daily News

Paul Ryan is the is toast of his hometown

In scenic Janesville, where Mitt Romney’s running mate spent most of his life, Paul Ryan’s friends and neighbors described him as a warm and down-to-earth family man who shuns politics at social gatherings. – Even before he was old enough to ride a bike, Paul Ryan seemed destined for a career in politics. Growing up in a well-to-do neighborhood in southern Wisconsin, a young Ryan displayed leadership skills that awed his preschool teacher.

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Christian Science Monitor

Record gold prices spur wedding ring alternatives

Wedding jewelry has acquired a decidedly post-recession luster. With incomes low and precious metal prices stratospheric — gold prices closed at a record $1,509 an ounce on Monday — some couples can no longer afford to go the traditional route. And it’s no longer a given that couples exchange inexpensive rings and then save up for real gold and diamonds.

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Want fireworks? Pass the hat.

When Jim Davis was growing up in blue-collar Austintown, Ohio, in the 1980s, Fourth of July fireworks were the highlight of the year. The best place to view the display was on a dead-end road near his home. He and his friends would tie aluminum cans to parked cars while the owners were watching the display, then delight in the noisy ruckus when the spectators drove away. “It became a local tradition,” says Mr. Davis, who is now a town trustee. “We started saving soda pop cans and beer cans all year long.”

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