Author

Erik Gunn

Erik Gunn

Deputy Editor Erik Gunn reports and writes on work and the economy, health policy and related subjects, for the Wisconsin Examiner. He spent 24 years as a freelance writer for Milwaukee Magazine, Isthmus, The Progressive, BNA Inc., and other publications, winning awards for investigative reporting, feature writing, beat coverage, business writing, and commentary. An East Coast native, he previously covered labor for The Milwaukee Journal after reporting for newspapers in upstate New York and northern Illinois. He's a graduate of Beloit College (English Comp.) and the Columbia School of Journalism. Off hours he is the Examiner's resident Springsteen and Jackson Browne fanboy and model railroad nerd.

Environmentalists, unions promote federal infrastructure bills to fix water problems

By: - October 20, 2021

Environmental advocates and union representatives teamed up Tuesday to urge passage of both parts of the Biden administration’s infrastructure initiative in order to address a wide range of water quality problems in the state. “Too many Wisconsin families cannot rely on access to clean drinking water,” said Richard Diaz, an organizer for the Blue-Green Alliance, […]

Housing bills advance with mixed support in committee vote

By: - October 20, 2021

Eight bills offered to deal with shortages of affordable housing in Wisconsin advanced from an Assembly committee Tuesday on votes that mostly split along party lines. Two of the measures, however, received unanimous support in the 10-member Assembly Housing and Real Estate Committee: AB-607, creating a new housing rehabilitation loan program in the Wisconsin Housing […]

A young caregiver conducts a quick health exam on her patient | Getty Images creative

Report: COVID-19 infections, deaths rise in nursing homes

By: - October 19, 2021

COVID-19 infections and deaths are on the increase again in nursing homes nationally and in Wisconsin, while about one in three nursing home employees is still not fully vaccinated, according to federal data. Nursing home operators say they’re trying to encourage all their employees to get vaccinated, but they are wary that a pending federal […]

East gallery in the Wisconsin State Capitol at Supreme Court entrance from across the rotunda

Court weighs whether domestic violence can disqualify a job-seeker

By: - October 18, 2021

How, when and why can an employer reject a job applicant who has been convicted of domestic violence? Wisconsin Supreme Court justices heard arguments Friday on that question, in a case testing the state’s fair employment practices law. The law says employers can’t disqualify a job applicant with a criminal record unless there is a […]

COVID molecules coronavirus

Wisconsin COVID-19 deaths are increasing sharply, new reports show

By: - October 14, 2021

For the second day in a row, Wisconsin has recorded deaths from COVID-19 on a scale not seen since the first two months of this year, the state health department reported Wednesday. In the first two weeks of October, there have been 100 reported deaths from the illness caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Half of […]

Menomonie maintains elementary school mask requirement

By: - October 14, 2021

An attempt by the Menomonie School Board to roll back a recent COVID-19 mask requirement for elementary school students this week failed, leaving the requirement in place. Board members voted 5-3 against the proposal for an optional masking policy Monday night. The proposal was made by a board member who has consistently voted against stronger pandemic […]

Clusters of tents can be found in Martin Luther King Jr. Park, though the number varies depending on the day. (Photo | Isiah Holmes)

Bill calls for state-supervised homeless camps, criminalizes other unauthorized camping

By: - October 13, 2021

A Wisconsin lawmaker is proposing legislation that would authorize the state to establish local campsites for homeless people and criminalize camping on other public land. Coupled with that, the legislation would also require the state to allocate $300,000 in federal pandemic relief money to pay for more local “housing navigators” to help homeless people find […]

Matching workers with the right jobs

By: - October 12, 2021

At the age of 37, Nadia Spencer decided to train for a new job. Spencer qualified as a certified nursing assistant in 2009 and worked in a series of health care jobs, in nursing homes, group homes, and more recently providing coaching for people with disabilities to help them in their work. But after being […]

CARDIFF, WALES - SEPTEMBER 14: A child wearing a face mask listens during a geography lesson at Whitchurch High School on September 14, 2021. (Photo by Matthew Horwood/Getty Images)

Menomonie school board member puts optional masking back on the agenda

By: - October 8, 2021

A northern Wisconsin school board is again being asked to drop a recent COVID-19 mask mandate when the board meets Monday, Oct. 11, after canceling a previous meeting to discuss loosening the requirement. The Menomonie school board’s agenda for its regularly scheduled meeting now includes a motion for an optional mask policy in place of […]

Rural Housing

Republicans housing bill drafts would mandate local zoning, development changes

By: - October 8, 2021

Streamlined development policies, new zoning mandates on local municipalities and new housing investment and loan programs are among the provisions in draft legislation that Republican lawmakers have begun circulating. Rep. Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna) and Rep. Rob Summerfield (R-Bloomer) gave a broad overview of the draft bills at a press conference Thursday, and the drafts themselves […]

students at desks in classroom wearing masks for COVID-19 coronavirus prevention teacher also wearing mask bending over to help student

Lawsuit takes aim at schools that have dropped COVID-19 prevention policies

By: - October 8, 2021

The first of what a Minocqua brewer and political fundraiser says could be a pair of lawsuits against school districts for relaxing COVID-19 prevention measures has been filed in Waukesha County. Wisconsin Public Radio reported the class-action lawsuit was filed Wednesday against the Waukesha School District in federal court in Milwaukee. The suit blames the […]

newborn child

Nurse midwives to stay at St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison

By: - October 7, 2021

After an outpouring from patients and others in the women’s health care community, St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison announced Thursday it would continue its midwife program for in-hospital births instead of ending it as originally planned. “We will take the feedback our community has provided as an opportunity to strengthen and evolve the program through […]