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.

Michael Bell Sr. (center) and his family stand in front of one of the many billboards they bought to draw attention to internal police investigations after his son was fatally shot by Kenosha police in 2004. (Photo via Bell's Plea For a Change Facebook site.)

Father issues new challenge to prosecutor over son’s death in 2004

By: - April 10, 2021

A Kenosha man whose adult son was killed by police 16 years ago wants the state attorney general’s office to investigate a local prosecutor’s refusal to support a new inquiry into the fatal shooting. Michael M. Bell’s new complaint to the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) focuses in part on statements that the Kenosha County […]

The COVID-19 vaccine site inside the gym of North Division High School. (Photo | Isiah Holmes)

Mutant strains help drive continued jump in COVID-19 cases

By: - April 9, 2021

Variant strains of the coronavirus now account for more than half of new cases of COVID-19, and the average number of new infections each day has doubled in the last month, state health officials said Thursday. And while a 4-3 majority of the Wisconsin Supreme Court ended the statewide mask mandate a week ago, the […]

Sorting canned goods on a long table for food bank

State adds up cost of FoodShare aid lost with health emergency’s cancelation

By: - April 7, 2021

The state Supreme Court ruling that ended Wisconsin’s public health emergency March 31 will cost residents who depend on federal food aid more than $50 million a month, the state Department of Health Services (DHS) reported Wednesday. When the emergency was in effect, Wisconsin qualified for an additional $57.5 million each month in increased benefits […]

Close-up of American Dollar banknotes with stethoscope

Biden administration confirms plan to end Wisconsin Medicaid work requirement

By: - April 7, 2021

A work requirement for some BadgerCare recipients — which was already on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic — has been eliminated, the federal government has confirmed. The work requirement was part of a Medicaid waiver for which the administration of former Gov. Scott Walker received approval in 2018. It had not been implemented before the […]

Republicans take dim view of Evers’ workforce budget proposals

By: - April 7, 2021

Republicans who wield the majority in the state Legislature have already proclaimed they will throw out Gov. Tony Evers’ second budget, cutting and pasting the state’s spending plan into something more to their liking. And at a hearing Tuesday on provisions that affect people who work and the people who employ them, GOP lawmakers kept […]

Joint Finance co-chairs Sen. Howard Marklein and Rep. Mark Born in front of microphones at news conference

Republicans again push their stimulus plan that Evers already vetoed

By: and - April 7, 2021

The federal government is shipping $3.2 billion in stimulus money to Wisconsin and Gov. Tony Evers and the Republican-controlled Legislature have dueling visions on how to spend it and who should control the purse strings.  The Republican Legislature began hearings Tuesday on a series of bills, introduced late Friday, that are made up of pieces […]


Union vote is tied at Colectivo, setting stage for NLRB hearing

By: - April 7, 2021

A vote on union representation at the Colectivo chain of coffee houses in Illinois and Wisconsin will require a federal hearing to resolve. Ballots were counted in the election Tuesday on whether Colectivo employees would be represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). The result was 99 votes for and 99 against the […]

face masks in different colors hanging on a clothesline

Not a COVID-19 surge yet — but the risk of one is increasing

By: - April 6, 2021

Some time in mid-January, some people in Wisconsin who were wearing face masks stopped doing so — and every day, a few more people gave them up. In early February, people started traveling more, and longer distances. By a week before St. Patrick’s Day, the state’s steady decline in the number of new COVID-19 cases […]

children under a parachute

Report: Low enrollment in child care subsidy program points to economic challenges

By: - April 6, 2021

After rising early in the COVID-19 pandemic, Wisconsin’s child care subsidy program has fallen dramatically since last summer — signaling a potential stumbling block in maintaining child care access, but also difficulty in returning low-income workers to the workforce, according to a new analysis from the Wisconsin Policy Forum. Enrollment in Wisconsin Shares, which enables […]

Janel Heinrich

With an eye on rising case numbers, health officials urge continued caution

By: - April 2, 2021

With the onset of spring weather and no statewide mask order now in place, public health officials are reiterating the importance of adhering to behaviors that will prevent the spread of the coronavirus. On Friday, Public Health Madison & Dane County (PHMDC) announced that it was relaxing some public health restrictions, including ending an outdoor […]

Identity Theft Image

DWD warns of scams that mimic unemployment insurance program

By: - April 2, 2021

A spike in fraud has bedeviled Wisconsin’s unemployment compensation system — but the problem is not what it sounds like. Over the last decade, the Legislature has made it harder for people to apply for and collect unemployment insurance (UI). Lawmakers have claimed that such changes were needed to prevent applicants from defrauding the system, […]

street art reading Stay Safe defaced by crossing out and words Masks off

Voluntary compliance is all that’s left after high court ruling

By: - April 1, 2021

With the only mandatory statewide measure against the coronavirus pandemic now history, a divided state Supreme Court has left battling the virus up to the voluntary choices of each Wisconsin resident — and to the power of local health departments. Wednesday’s 4-3 ruling by the court’s conservative majority ended the most recent state of emergency […]