Weekend Roundup: $8.5M Has Been Spent On GOP Lawsuits Since 2018

Over the last three years, more than $8.5 million from Wisconsin taxpayers has been spent on attorneys hired by Republican lawmakers, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Such cases include opposing Gov. Tony Evers’ responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and election laws. 

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau calculated the litigation to taxpayers at the request of Rep. Evan Goyke, D-Milwaukee.

Group Embraces Ride The Drive To Offer Diverse Biking Options

Madison’s Ride the Drive takes place Sunday. This year, the event is divided among four parks in the city: Warner; Wingra; Marlborough; and Kennedy.

Madison Adaptive Cycling is embracing Ride the Drive as a fundraising opportunity to purchase bikes for all kinds of bicyclists, reports the Cap Times.

The organization’s founder, Brian McNurlen, and his family will be showcasing their different bikes, such as a side-by-side tricycle and a four-wheel side-by-side tandem.

“Rosie (McNurlen’s daughter) has profound autism and some physical challenges as well, so it’s really hard to get her to go for a walk and other physical stuff. But she loves bike rides,” he said.

Education: High School Graduates; MMSD Decisions

This year’s high school graduates faced a year unlike any other. The Janesville Gazette highlights the sentiments of seven local students.

“If the pandemic has shown us anything, it is this: Nothing is permanent, and we don’t have unlimited control over everything,” Emma Perry, of Parker High School, said in her graduation speech.

Sign up for daily news!

Stay informed with WPR’s email newsletter.

On Thursday, the Madison Metropolitan School District announced the 2021-22 school year will be fully in person across all grade levels

The state Supreme Court on Friday ruled local health officials do not hold the authority to close schools, meaning the August order from Public Health Madison and Dane County infringed on religious rights. The decision creates a framework moving forward for interpreting local health officers’ power during an emergency.

How, When And Where To Harvest Your Strawberries

‘Tis the season for strawberries. This article from the Green Bay Press Gazette walks you through places to pick strawberries.

Young People Making Up Majority Of COVID-19 Hospitalizations

Hospital officials in northeast Wisconsin say they’re seeing a shift in COVID-19 hospitalizations: Many who come through the door now are younger people who have not been vaccinated against the virus. 

“Around the country we are seeing that younger people are becoming infected with serious illnesses more so than earlier on, and that partly represents that the older are fully vaccinated,” Dr. Jennifer Frank, chief medical officer at ThedaCare, told WLUK-TV FOX 11.

Packers Announce Plans For Upcoming Season

On Thursday, the Green Bay Packers confirmed plans for this year’s season which include: full capacity at Lambeau Field; training camp open for fans to attend; and the return of Family Night.

The team stills asks those who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 to wear face masks and follow other protocol from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Here’s WPR’s latest on Aaron Rodgers.

Suspended Teacher Who Attended Pro-Trump Rally Will Return To Classroom

A Burlington Area School District teacher was suspended in January after telling students he was traveling to participate in the “Stop the Steal” rally in Washington, D.C., which led to a violent siege of the U.S. Capitol and the death of five people. 

This week, district officials decided Jeff Taff, the teacher, did not violate any district laws or policies. He will return to teaching this fall.

Taff will undergo “professional development,” the district said in a statement Thursday.

“The teacher will meet with district administrators to discuss expectations for curriculum and the discussion of controversial topics,” according to the district. “The teacher will be observed consistent with and in addition to the district’s educator effectiveness protocol.”

Teenage Girl Who Shot Video Of George Floyd’s Murder Receives Honorary Pulitzer 

Darnella Frazier, the teenage girl caught with her cell phone the moment officer Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd, won an honorary Pulitzer Prize for her video.

“Even though this was a traumatic life-changing experience for me, I’m proud of myself,” Frazier said on Instagram to mark the one-year anniversary of Floyd’s murder on May 25. “If it weren’t for my video, the world wouldn’t have known the truth.”

“Frazier’s video became exhibit 15, a key piece of evidence played repeatedly during the trial, where she also delivered emotional testimony and lamented that she wished she had done more to help Floyd. Last summer, her video galvanized millions of people of all backgrounds to take to the streets, calling for an end to the unrelenting killing of Black people at the hands of law enforcement and vigilantes,” writes the 19th.