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Articles by John McCracken

John McCracken is a Green Bay, Wisconsin journalist. Raised in East Tennessee, he has a keen interest in how climate change is impacting water, agriculture and culture. His work has appeared in The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting, Sierra Magazine, Great Lakes Now, Belt Magazine, and more. He can be reached via email at jmccracken@grist.org or on Twitter @jmcjmc451.

Featured Article

The small community of Laketown, Wisconsin, home to just over 1,000 people and 18 lakes, is again at the center of a battle over how communities can regulate large, industrial farming operations in their backyards.The town, which is half an hour from the Minnesota border, is the target of a lawsuit supported by the state’s largest business lobbying group, which claims the town board overstepped its role when it passed a local ordinance to prevent pollution from concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs*.

Filed in Polk County Circuit Court in October, the lawsuit pits local farmers against the municipality, where decisions are made by a single town chair and two supervisors. Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, or WMC, a lobbying group that defines itself as the state’s “largest and most influential business association” is representing the residents suing the town through its litigation center.

Early this year, WMC sent a letter to the town board that they would see legal action if the ordinance was not repealed. The notice of claim, sent in April, argue... Read more

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