No state has a larger achievement gap between its black and white students than Wisconsin does.

Results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress test were released Wednesday. Wisconsin’s results haven’t changed much over the last decade. State officials call the gap a crisis, saying closing it is imperative for the state. The test given to students in the fourth and eighth grades is also called the “nation’s report card.” Overall scores were higher than the rest of the nation, but African-American students fell short of national averages.



Congressman Kind now ready to support impeachment

U.S. Rep. Ron Kind says the president urging a foreign government to investigate political rival Joe Biden would be impeachable conduct.

The Wisconsin Democrat whose district includes Pierce County has resisted the idea of impeachment in the past. Kind tells the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel he fully supports the inquiry in the House of Representatives. In the past, he has approached the controversial issue with caution. Kind says he will vote Thursday for a House resolution laying out how the process will move forward.



Lieutenant governor, Democrats propose decriminalizing small amounts of pot

Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes and four Democrats propose decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana in the state.

Their bill would decriminalize possession of 25 grams or less of cannabis. Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Leader Scott Fitzgerald both oppose easing of marijuana laws, but Vos indicated he might consider medical cannabis legislation. African-Americans in Wisconsin are arrested for marijuana possession at four times the rate of white residents despite similar usage rates.

Barnes says there is more danger, more harm being done by people who are under the influence of alcohol than marijuana. The lieutenant governor added," simple marijuana possession is not a reason for anyone to serve a prison sentence, lose out on a job, nor lose their voting rights.”



Closs kidnapper gets into fight in N.M. prison

Officials with the New Mexico Department of Corrections say the man who kidnapped Jayme Closs got into a fight in prison two months ago.

The specific location of that prison has never been made public. Guards say two inmates approached Jake Patterson and told him to leave the pod because of his case. Patterson responded by punching one of them. He had been disciplined last June at the Dodge Correctional Institution in Waupun for threatening to attack another inmate there.



Retired teacher leaves $4.3M to UW-Stevens Point

Officials at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point say a $4.3 million donation is the largest in the school’s history.

Teacher Dorothea Harju was an alumnus of the school, teaching in central Wisconsin for decades. She died two years ago at the age of 98. The donation from her state will create the Harju Center for Equity in Education on the Stevens Point campus.



Evers declares energy emergency in Wis.

Gov. Tony Evers signed an executive order Wednesday declaring an energy emergency in the state of Wisconsin.

The governor pointed to a late corn harvest and sudden cold snap for a sharp increase in demand for propane. Ever says hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites depend on propane to heat their homes and right now farmers are depending on it to dry their corn. He said in his order, "ensuring that we get propane to these folks is critical for the health, safety, welfare, and economic well-being of Wisconsinites across our state." It temporarily lifts restrictions on truck drivers delivering propane throughout the state.