Author

Erik Gunn

Erik Gunn

Senior Reporter 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.

Closed sign

Retailers continue to cancel Thanksgiving Day shopping hours

By: - November 25, 2021

Remember Christmas shopping on Thanksgiving? A decade or so ago it seemed like retail’s next big thing. This year — thanks to more than the COVID-19 pandemic — the practice appears to be firmly on the way out. “I don’t expect it to ever go back to where it was three or four years ago,” […]

Dried cranberries

Wisconsin takes cranberry snacks away from the tax man

By: - November 25, 2021

Are you celebrating Thanksgiving by tossing Craisins in your salad?  If so, the state Department of Revenue (DOR) and the Wisconsin State Cranberry Growers Association want you to know that, for the first time ever, they’re tax-free. Until this year, Craisins — or any other brand of sweetened, dried cranberries in addition to those bearing […]

Mask and Thanksgiving Table

Pandemic remains active as the holidays begin

By: - November 24, 2021

On the eve of Thanksgiving 2021, COVID-19 remains rampant in Wisconsin and most of the country. It was supposed to be different, with not just one but three vaccines introduced early this year. But the slow movement of vaccine uptake, despite the expansion of groups eligible for the shot, made room for the much more […]

Park Falls paper mill gets sold in parts

By: - November 23, 2021

Since early summer the community of Park Falls has been hoping for a boost from the state of Wisconsin that would enable the city’s shuttered paper mill to hang on, find new owners and reopen. Last week the door closed on that option as machinery and equipment from the Park Falls Pulp & Paper plant […]

Bell's notebooks

Governor’s office rejects plea for investigation of attorney general

By: - November 23, 2021

The chief lawyer for Gov. Tony Evers has told Michael Bell of Kenosha that the governor lacks the power to act on Bell’s complaint targeting Attorney General Josh Kaul in connection with the 2004 police killing of Bell’s son. Bell urged Evers in late October to investigate Kaul because, Bell said, the attorney general had […]

Newspapers

‘Slash and burn’ hedge fund bids for owner of multiple Wisconsin newspapers

By: - November 22, 2021

A hedge fund that has cut staff and resources drastically while becoming the second largest owner of newspapers in the country is now bidding to buy Lee Enterprises, which owns several daily newspapers in Wisconsin. Alden Global Capital is offering $24 a share for Lee, the investment firm stated in a letter to Lee’s board of […]

Close-up of American Dollar banknotes with stethoscope

State health care navigator gets $2M to connect more people to coverage

By: - November 19, 2021

A nonprofit group that helps Wisconsin residents seeking health insurance coverage is getting a $2 million boost, the state health department announced Friday. The funds will go to Covering Wisconsin. The organization, affiliated with the University of Wisconsin-Madison, provides consumers with information year-round on health insurance and helps people sign up for insurance through the […]

Bartender pouring a beer

October unemployment drops, jobs increase, although numbers are modest

By: - November 19, 2021

Wisconsin’s jobless rate fell and employment rose in October, the state labor department reported Thursday, but a continuing gap between employers’ need for workers and the number of people available to work for them is likely to persist in the years to come. It’s a demographic cliff that labor market experts have been warning about […]

Environmentalists urge keeping climate-oriented job and training program in budget bill

By: - November 19, 2021

A $30 billion proposal to create a new “Civilian Climate Corps” in the U.S. offers a chance to address climate change while also building skills and creating living wage jobs for people in need of them, advocates say. The idea, inspired by the New Deal’s Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) that boosted employment and resulted in […]

Close up of a young man getting vaccinated (stock image)

Wisconsin scores poorly on new scorecard of states and health care for people of color

By: - November 18, 2021

A new report maps deep disparities in health by race and ethnicity nationwide, and Wisconsin fairs poorly compared with other states. The gap in the U.S. between the average health and well-being of white people and people who are Black, Latinx/Hispanic, or American Indian/Alaskan Native (AIAN) is longstanding, according to the report, “Achieving Racial and […]

New book examines lessons in the Foxconn story

By: - November 17, 2021

When then-President Donald Trump held the first White House press conference in 2017 to tout the prospect of a massive television flat-screen factory for the Taiwan manufacturer Foxconn coming to Wisconsin, Madison writer Lawrence Tabak was immediately intrigued. “If nothing else, as a Wisconsin taxpayer, I was concerned that this was going to be a […]

newspaper ad images

Bell buys N.Y. Times ad to put pressure on Evers, Kaul

By: - November 17, 2021

Continuing his push for a new investigation of his son’s death 17 years ago at the hands of Kenosha police officers, Michael M. Bell has purchased a two-page New York Times ad scheduled to run in Wednesday’s edition of the newspaper. The ad includes a reproduction of the letter that Bell, a Kenosha resident, delivered […]