Saturday, December 28, 2019

Stanley: Journal Sentinel subscribers support deep reporting that Wisconsin deserves

From JSOnline:

, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

What can the Journal Sentinel offer of greatest value to the people of Wisconsin? 
First, we can bring you in-depth reporting of a depth and breadth no one else can approach. This kind of reporting is essential to self-government. Nothing gets fixed in our democracy unless enough people understand the problem and care enough to demand better. It's how we improve and move forward.

We are guided by this mission of serving our democracy. More than ever before, we rely on our subscribers to do this work.
Here are just a few examples of the work subscribers have supported this year:
Dairyland in Distress: A detailed examination of the crisis facing the state's signature industry. The number of farm closings in Wisconsin continues at more than two a day —  a rate higher than any time since the Great Depression. What can and should be done?
Turned Away: Did you know hospitals can and do turn away ambulances at their own discretion, even when they are the nearest, best place to treat the patient? Our investigation, which grew out of the story of a stroke patient who died after being turned away by Froedtert Hospital, found the little-known practice is prevalent around the nation.
Country doctor: More than three decades ago, a doctor followed his calling to a tiny western Wisconsin town, even though it meant little money. Now, as we told you in a feature story, he's involved in diagnosing and treating some of the rarest diseases on the planet.
Cycles of Violence: Our reporting found fewer than half of all homicides in Milwaukee end in a suspect being convicted, which helps fuel a corrosive cycle of violence. You can still track violence according to maps drawn by the federal government in the 1930s to discourage banks from investing in areas deemed "unworthy of economic investment by virtue of the races, ethnicities, and religions of their residents." We examined the problems through the stories of victims — and potential solutions, here and elsewhere.
Biologic drugs: Our investigation into a class of immune-suppressing drugs that have been on the market for two decades found the drugs were linked to reports of more than 34,000 deaths and more than 1 million adverse events, including nearly 500,000 deemed serious. 
The foundation of all we do is built on beat reporting.
We ask our reporters to become experts about their coverage areas, to build webs of sources so that whenever something important happens, they learn of it immediately, to let you know what's going on. This is true whether they're covering educationbusinessartsentertainmentlocal government, the Green Bay Packers or dining.  
A great example of beat reporting happened with our reporting on how the chairman of the Fire and Police Commission, who is an attorney, accompanied a corporate client to an interview with Milwaukee police in a sexual assault case, creating what critics say is a major conflict of interest.
The chairman had been single-handedly delaying a vote on a full term for Police Chief Alfonso Morales. When that vote was scheduled for late Wednesday evening, we provided up-to-the-minute coverage online and followed up with stories about what the divided vote over Morales — and divisions within the community — say about the road ahead.
Our newsroom has been serving the people of Milwaukee and Wisconsin for generations, a legacy that dates back 182 years. We have always delivered trustworthy, accurate and thorough reports as if Milwaukee and Wisconsin were the center of the world — because, for our readers and us, it is.
None of this would be possible without our subscribers. 
If you're not a subscriber, you can do so at If you are a subscriber, please consider giving a gift subscription at
Thank you so much!

Dave Barry's Year in Review: Well, that was something

Dave Barry

It was an extremely eventful year.
We are using “eventful” in the sense of “bad.”
It was a year so eventful that every time another asteroid whizzed past the Earth, barely avoiding a collision that would have destroyed human civilization, we were not 100% certain it was good news.
We could not keep up with all the eventfulness. The epicenter of the year’s eventfulness was, of course, Washington, an endlessly erupting scandal volcano, belching out dense, swirling smoke-plumes of spin, rumor, innuendo, misdirection and lies emitted by both sides.
Meanwhile, from out beyond the Beltway, the actual American people warily watched the perpetual tantrum that was supposed to be their government. And more and more their reaction, whatever side they considered themselves to be on, was: Nah.
Can we say anything good about 2019? Was there any positive news, a silver lining, a reason to feel hopeful about the future — to believe that we, as Americans, can recognize our common interests, overcome our differences and work together to build a better tomorrow, for ourselves, for our children and for the world?
Anyway, before we shove 2019 down the garbage disposal of history, let’s take one look back and remind ourselves why we want to forget this train wreck of a year, starting with ...
... which begins with the federal government once again in the throes (whatever a “throe” is) of a partial shutdown, which threatens to seriously disrupt the lives of all Americans who receive paychecks from the federal government. At issue is the situation at the Mexican border, which either is or is not a crisis depending on which cable news network you prefer. President Donald Trump wants a high concrete wall, but at the moment there is only enough money for a sternly worded south-facing billboard.
Finally the president and Congress reach a temporary budget agreement that will not address the border situation but will enable them to resume spending insane amounts of money that the nation does not have until such time as they are able to reach a permanent budget agreement enabling them to continue spending insane amounts of money that the nation does not have, this being the primary function of our federal leadership.
Meanwhile in the Robert Mueller investigation, which feels like it began during the French and Indian War, a grand jury indicts longtime Trump confidante Roger Stone on a number of charges, including that he threatened to kidnap another witness’s therapy dog, Bianca (really).
Abroad, Britain is in turmoil over Brexit, which is a very important thing we should all endeavor to learn about.
In sports, the Los Angeles Rams win the National Football Conference championship game after the referees, on a critical play, fail to notice when a Rams defensive back attacks a New Orleans Saints receiver with a chainsaw.
Responding to the ensuing outrage, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says he will “conduct a thorough review of league policy regarding power tools,” adding that “New England is scheduled to win the Super Bowl anyway.”
In other sports news, the Clemson football team defeats Alabama to win the national championship and is rewarded with an invite to the White House for a classy shindig. “I served them massive amounts of Fast Food (I paid), over 1000 hamberders,” tweets the president, who by his own admission has a genius-level IQ.
From somewhere beyond our solar system hostile aliens are monitoring all this and concluding that they need not waste energy exterminating humanity, as we’re doing fine on our own.
Speaking of hostile, in...
...Trump, despite suffering from bone spurs, goes to Vietnam for a second summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. After a one-on-one closed-room meeting, the two leaders agree via hand gestures that next time they should definitely bring interpreters.
In domestic politics, Virginia is rocked by a series of scandals involving elected Democratic state officials, originating with the publication of a 1984 photo from Gov. Ralph Northam’s medical school yearbook page showing a man in blackface. Northam initially says he is “deeply sorry” for appearing in the photo; the next day, however, he calls a press conference to declare that he does not believe he is in the photo, although he does recall one time that he WAS in blackface, that being when he entered a dance contest dressed as Michael Jackson and did the moonwalk. Northam further asserts that he won the contest, and at the request of a reporter appears to be on the verge of demonstrating to the press corps that he can still moonwalk, only to be stopped by his wife. We are not making any of this up.
As pressure builds on Northam to resign, Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax prepares to succeed him, only to become embroiled in a scandal of his own when he is accused of sexual assault. The third person in line is Attorney General Mark Herring, who, several days after calling on Northam to resign for wearing blackface, issues a statement admitting that as a college student HE wore blackface when he went to a party as rapper Kurtis Blow. We are still not making this up.
At this point Virginia’s political leaders realize that if they keep moving down the chain of succession they’re going to wind up with a Labrador retriever as governor, or, worse, a Republican. And just like that the Great Virginia Scandals of 2019 go “poof.”
Abroad, Brexit continues to be a very important thing with many significant developments.
In sports, the New England Patriots, led by 63-year-old Tom Brady, defeat the Los Angeles Rams 13-3 in a Super Bowl featuring one touchdown and 14 punts. During the national anthem, TV cameras clearly capture Patriots coach Bill Belichick pouring liquid from a bottle labeled “SEDATIVES” into the Rams’ Gatorade, but the NFL referee crew fails to notice. Asked about this after the game, Commissioner Roger Goodell says, “To be honest, I was watching Netflix.”
Speaking of being overdue, in...

A 60-year-old man who was beaten and robbed of $1 has died

Updated 11:40 AM ET, Sat December 28, 2019

(CNN)A 60-year-old man who was critically injured when a group of muggers beat him and a friend on Christmas Eve has died. The suspects took off with just $1, police said.
Juan Fresnada suffered bleeding in the brain and had been hospitalized since the attack. He died Friday afternoon, the New York police department said.
Fresnada and a 29-year-old acquaintance were approached by several unidentified males around 1:25 a.m. Tuesday in the Bronx, a police statement said.
A still image from a surveillance video shows two men being attacked and robbed in the Bronx.

Edited surveillance video released by the NYPD captures portions of the violent attack.
    It shows one attacker swinging one victim to the ground. In another frame, one victim -- whose face is blurred -- is being punched. A third frame shows an assailant approaching with what appears to be a garbage can in hand.
      The 29-year-old acquaintance refused medical treatment.
      The suspects have not been identified, and there have been no arrests.

      Minneapolis Star Tribune depicts injury to Aaron Rodgers among its highlights of the decade

      From JSOnline:

      , Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

      Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) is hit by Minnesota Vikings outside linebacker Anthony Barr (55) breaking Rodgers collarbone during the first quarter of their game against the Minnesota Vikings Sunday, October 15, 2017 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo: Mark Hoffman / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

      The Minneapolis Star Tribune is catching some fire from Packers fans after a column summarizing the 2010s in sports on Dec. 22 included a visual of Vikings linebacker Anthony Barr injuring Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
      To be fair, first and foremost, the text of the column by Michael Rand does not mention the play in its stroll through the decade. The Vikings are mentioned a ton, but the word "Packers" never even comes up in the current online version, let alone "Aaron Rodgers."
      It's also not a true list of moments, so to say that the hit is considered "top five" isn't right, either.
      The online story, however, also features an image of Barr taking down Rodgers. The play on Oct. 15, 2017, left Rodgers with a broken clavicle and sidelined him for most of the remaining portion of 2017. The Packers lost five of their next six games, and even though Rodgers returned for a game against Carolina in December, a loss that day knocked the Packers from the playoff picture, and Green Bay elected to sideline Rodgers for the final two games. The Packers finished 7-9. 
      The print graphic also features an image of Minnesota Golden Gophers head coach P.J. Fleck, Minnesota Lynx star Maya Moore (representing the four Lynx WNBA titles), Twins sluggers Nelson Cruz and Miguel Sano and Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs as a nod to the "Minneapolis Miracle" in the playoffs after that 2017 season.
      A Dec. 22 story (which appeared in print side-by-side with the decade-in-review column) discussed the Packers-Vikings 2010s rivalry in greater detail. The graphic is organized in a way (listing years of each depicted figure) that suggests a visual collection of decade highlights, though Rand noted on Twitter that the Barr/Rodgers portion pairs better with the article about the Vikings-Packers rivalry. 
      Rand reiterated Friday that his intent was not to consider the play a "top moment."
      Rand took a separate shot at Rodgers after the Packers topped the Vikings on Monday Night Football. 
      Count noted Packers fan Sam Dekker among those irritated.
      In the 2018 season, the NFL made the play a point of emphasis, more strongly identifying plays in which a pass rusher drives the quarterback to the ground as a penalty. At the time, the play was not flagged.
      In 2018, a framed photo of the Barr play's aftermath was selling for big bucks in Minnesota.
      Correction: A link to the full sports front page was added and the description of the overall page was clarified. A follow-up tweet Friday from the author was also added.
      JR Radcliffe can be reached at (262) 361-9141 or Follow him on Twitter at @JRRadcliffe.