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Tuesday, November 23, 2021
A sunset in Townsend viewed through a glass globe • Reader photo by Judi Fellows
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Report: One of Gableman's Consultants Said There Would Be Civil War If No 2020 Audit

  • One of the consultants for former state Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman's partisan election "audit" has embraced conspiracy theories and last year claimed there could be "another civil war" if election results aren't audited despite there being no evidence of widespread fraud, reported Tuesday.
  • WisPolitics, through an open records request, obtained a $7,520 invoice for a West Virginia-based firm owned by Nate Cain. Last December, Cain said on a podcast if there wasn't an audit of election results, "there will not be a peaceful transition [of power] in this country. We will be looking at a potential of a start of another civil war in this country."
  • Cain's fee is part of the nearly $700,000 of taxpayer money Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) has allowed Gableman to use for his inquiry into the 2020 election results. The inquiry itself is part of Republicans' ongoing effort to undermine the public's faith in the nation's electoral system following former President Donald Trump's loss to Joe Biden.
  • Wisconsin Republicans have embarked on a multi-pronged attack on the state's elections. US Sen. Johnson has advocated for Republican legislators to seize control of federal elections, Vos and the Racine County sheriff have called for five members of the bipartisan Wisconsin Elections Commission to be charged with felonies, and US Reps. Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) and Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) were among Republican members of Congress who voted to block two states' election results from being certified in January.

—Reported by Jonathon Sadowski

A boy offers remembrance Monday night at a vigil for the victims of the Waukesha Christmas Parade massacre. (Photo by Cara Spoto)

Waukesha Comes Together for Vigil After Christmas Parade Tragedy; Death Toll Grows to Six

  • The day after a reckless driver plowed through marchers at Waukesha’s annual Christmas parade, killing six people and seriously injuring dozens more, hundreds of residents packed into a downtown park Monday night to pray and reflect. Vigilgoers held candles and gathered tightly in stocking caps and heavy coats. Some were there to pray for a loved one impacted by the incident, others as a sign of community support. 
  • The death toll had remained at five for Monday and most of Tuesday, but the family of 8-year-old Jackson Sparks confirmed Tuesday afternoon on their online fundraiser that he had passed away.
  • As Pardeep Singh Kaleka, executive director of the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee—whose own father was killed in the 2012 Sikh Temple shooting in Oak Creek—offered an interfaith prayer, attendees bowed their heads in silence. “God in all things, God in all people, we pray for all those who have suffered, and continue to suffer right now,” Kaleka said. 
  • When the vigil ended and the crowds dispersed, loved ones of the five people killed gathered around memorial crosses made for each of the victims. They included the family and friends of Jane Kulich, a 52-year-old mother of three and grandmother of three, who was killed while walking the parade route as representative for Citizens Bank. Her two youngest children are still in high school. “She was there for me when my sister passed away and when my mom passed away. And she was always there for her kids and grandkids. That’s just how Jane was,” said Greg Bentz, a childhood friend of Kulich.
  • Police have arrested 39-year-old Darrell E. Brooks, of Milwaukee, in connection with the incident. Waukesha Police Chief Daniel Thompson said police are recommending Brooks face five charges of intentional first-degree homicide.
Read more about the vigil from Cara Spoto at our website, or view more photos on our Facebook and Instagram pages.
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Ho-Chunk chef Elena Terry, who founded Wild Bearies, an organization that promotes Indigenous cuisine, sprinkles hickory ash in a pot with flint corn kernels in order to turn them into hominy.

(Photo by Christina Lieffring)

Indigenous Chefs Are Proving That Native Food Isn't Just Part of Their Heritage: It's Fine Cuisine 

  • When Francisco Alegria, a trained hibachi chef, grew up on the Menominee tribal lands around Keshena, he never thought of his tribe’s cultural and agricultural practices as fine cuisine; they were more like comfort food. But he and other Indigenous chefs have challenged that thinking in recent years as they work to preserve and share their native cooking traditions. 
  • “I cooked all these expensive meals: lobster, swordfish, Chilean sea bass. But you get me at home in the spring, I would pick ramps [wild onions] and some venison over any of those expensive meals,” Alegria said.
  • Alegria is not alone. Other chefs—such as Sean Sherman, a member of the Ogalala Lakota Sioux tribe who opened an Indigenous restaurant in Minneapolis, and Elena Terry, a Ho-Chunk chef who founded Wild Bearies, an organization that promotes Indigenous foods—are helping Indigenous foods be recognized as a cuisine and as a valuable component of Indigenous cultures worth preserving and sharing. 
  • “For as long as I can remember, this food has been an important part of not only our daily lives, in preserving our culture,” Terry said. “I was raised in a very traditional family, and I always loved being able to go to ceremonies or places and spaces where foods were celebrated.”
Watch Christina Lieffring's interview with Chef Elena Terry at our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages.

COVID Surge Is Reaching a Crisis Point in Some Counties

  • As the number of new COVID-19 cases continues to climb across Wisconsin and resemble last fall’s previous-worst surge, county health officers say their departments are overwhelmed and are struggling to notify people who have been exposed to the illness, a key component to limit further virus spread. 
  • The Wood County Health Department issued a press release Saturday saying the department has moved to a “crisis model” for notifying people they have tested positive for COVID-19 or may have been exposed to the virus and should isolate from others. “The Wood County Health Department no longer has the capacity to follow-up with everyone who is positive with COVID-19 and their close contacts,” Wood County Health Officer Susan Kunferman said in the release, noting the new daily COVID-19 case average for the previous seven days was 66, the highest figure this year.
  • Other county health officers in northwest Wisconsin report a similar trend. As of Nov. 15, St. Croix County had the third-highest new case rate per 100,000 residents of Wisconsin’s 72 counties, county Health Officer Kelli Engen said. In July, 95 COVID-19 cases were recorded in St. Croix County, a figure that grew to 1,465 in October and 1,576 this month through Nov. 17.
  • Statewide, the new case seven-day average has increased steadily in recent weeks and currently is 3,120. With an influx of COVID-19 patients, many hospitals report being near or at capacity, and intensive care unit beds are scarce, especially in northwest and central Wisconsin, according to Wisconsin Hospital Association figures. 

—Reported by Julian Emerson

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Appreciate the Deer Hunt

  • As my family first learned many years ago, the gun deer hunting season is a time-honored tradition, an important time each Thanksgiving season to hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin residents. 
  • Back in 1977, when I was 7, my family relocated from Minneapolis to our new home, 36 acres of woods in Trempealeau County. We were used to the ways of the big city but didn’t even know a deer hunting season existed, much less the fervor with which many approached the hunt.
  • On opening morning that year, my brother Chris and I tossed a football outside our log cabin when first one loud gunshot, then another, followed by a series of blasts, sounded nearby. We dashed for the house, bullets whizzing, snapping tree branches overhead. Moments later a hunter emerged from the nearby woods. He said he didn’t realize anyone lived there. 
  • That experience began our family’s annual trip to visit my grandparents in Iowa each deer hunting season. Despite my less-than-ideal introduction to deer hunting, I have grown to respect the hunt and have accumulated many memories of my own about deer hunts past.

Read Julian Emerson's full column of deer hunting memories at our website.

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