Morning Headlines - Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022

U.S. & World and Wisconsin trending headlines, and the meme of the day.

Morning Headlines - Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022

U.S. and World Headlines

Fetterman's Painful Debate

Capitol Hill's reaction to the Pennsylvania Senate debate was brutal for Democratic nominee John Fetterman, from Democrats and Republicans alike.

Multiple sources wondered why Fetterman agreed to debate when he clearly wasn’t ready. Fetterman struggled at times to respond to the moderators' questions, even with the assistance of a closed captioning device.

"Why the hell did Fetterman agree to this?" one Democratic lawmaker and Fetterman backer told Axios. "This will obviously raise more questions than answers about John's health."

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Biden’s Poor Approval Ratings Weigh On Undecided Voters

The midterm election is coming down to the voters who don’t like President Joe Biden — but don’t hate him, either.

The president’s approval rating is holding steady in negative territory ahead of Election Day, according to the latest POLITICO/Morning Consult poll, with 43 percent approving and 55 percent disapproving. A deeper dive into the data shows that Biden approvers plan to vote in near-lockstep for Democrats this fall, while those who “strongly disapprove” of him are almost uniformly lined up with Republicans.

But the slice of 15 percent of voters who say they “somewhat disapprove” of Biden are stuck in the middle — and where they break with two weeks left could decide whether Democrats keep the Senate, as well as what happens to a host of other races up and down the ballot.

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Growing Number Of Republicans Say Trump Won’t Be GOP Nominee

A growing number of prominent Republicans are warning that former President Trump should not run again in 2024 or that he will lose if he does, previewing rifts in the GOP that are likely to come into full view after the midterms.

Former Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) and former Vice President Mike Pence in recent days each indicated they’d rather see someone else on the ballot in the next presidential election.

Some of the most outspoken figures — like Ryan, Bush and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) — are no longer standard-bearers in the party, which has been taken over by Trump. But they still carry large megaphones, and their concerns about another Trump candidacy, combined with polls showing many voters are ready to move on, illustrate how Trump’s viability as a candidate could shape how the 2024 primary field comes into focus.

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$700 Million Jackpot Up For Grabs In Wednesday Night's Powerball Drawing

A whopping $700 million is up for grabs in the next Powerball drawing on Wednesday night, lottery officials said.

The estimated jackpot increased from $680 million after no ticket matched all six numbers drawn on Monday night, the 35th consecutive drawing. Wednesday's jackpot is Powerball's largest prize so far this year, the fifth-largest in the American lottery game's 30-year history and the eighth-largest U.S. lottery jackpot ever, according to a press release from Powerball.

If a player wins Wednesday's grand prize, it will be the sixth Powerball jackpot won this year. Jackpot winners can either take the money as an immediate cash lump sum or in 30 annual payments over 29 years. The cash value of Wednesday's $700 million jackpot is $335.7 million, Powerball said.

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Horrifyingly Expensive Candy Has Americans Scared This Halloween

With inflation continuing under President Joe Biden, even the price of Halloween candy looks to be ghoulish with a week to spare before the holiday, with price increases that would give consumers a cavity before they even take a bite.

Amid a cost of living squeeze that experts say has people turning to junk food, prices of individual candies are soaring, with Mars' Skittles up a whopping 42 percent and Starburst 35 percent, according to Datasembly.

Crunch bars and Butterfingers have made more modest price hikes of seven and six percent, respectively. The average candy bar cost has surged 13 percent, according to the Labor Department.

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Wisconsin Headlines

Deliberations Continue: Verdict Possible Wednesday In Darrell Brooks Trial

A verdict is possible Wednesday in the trial of Darrell Brooks, as jury deliberations began Tuesday.

Those deliberations will continue at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, when jurors will continue looking at all 76 charges Brooks is facing, including six intentional homicide counts. Each homicide count carries a life sentence.

Brooks is accused of killing six people and injuring dozens by driving an SUV through a Christmas parade last year.

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Normally Quiet Secretary Of State Race Erupts With Questions Of Elections, Power And Democracy

Wisconsin’s secretary of state lacks much authority. But this year, the office is being thrust into the spotlight over expanding its power to include managing elections.

On Nov. 8, voters will choose whether to elect incumbent Secretary of State Doug La Follette or challenger state Rep. Amy Loudenbeck, R-Clinton. Both recently appeared on Wisconsin Public Radio’s "The Morning Show" to discuss their campaigns and the prospect of becoming involved in elections administration.

Wisconsin elections are currently overseen by the Wisconsin Elections Commission, which is run by a group of bipartisan appointees. The secretary of state’s office has one full-time employee. Many of the office’s past duties have shifted to other agencies.

La Follette, a Democrat, said Republicans across the country — from Georgia to Arizona to Michigan — want the power to overturn elections they lost. He said Wisconsin should keep its secretary of state out of administering elections.

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Drug Take Back Day Is October 29

The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) today announced that this upcoming Saturday is National Drug Take Back Day. 140 events are planned across Wisconsin on Saturday, October 29, 2022, where Wisconsinites are encouraged to dispose of unwanted and unused medications.

Drug Take Back Day provides a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposal, while also educating the community about the potential abuse and consequences of improper storage and disposal of these medications.

Unused or expired medicine should never be flushed or poured down the drain. Water reclamation facilities are not designed to remove all pharmaceuticals, and trace amounts are showing up in rivers and lakes.

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Wisconsin Math, Reading Scores Drop, But Not As Much As National Average

Fourth- and eighth-grade students’ reading and math scores declined in Wisconsin as in most states since 2019, but overall scores remained higher than the national average across grade levels.

Nationally, the average math score for fourth graders dropped five points compared to 2019, while the score for eighth graders declined by eight points. Reading scores for both fourth and eighth graders dropped three points.

By comparison, the average math score for fourth graders in Wisconsin public schools decreased by 1.41 points compared to 2019 and eighth graders’ math score went down 7.52 points. Meanwhile, the average reading score for Wisconsin fourth graders dropped by 2.33 points and eighth graders’ reading scores went down 5.15 points.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress, or “Nation’s Report Card,” lists the District of Columbia as having the highest racial achievement gaps in math and reading scores for Black and white students in the country. Wisconsin has the highest Black-white racial gap of any state in the country based on average scores for both grades in each subject.

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DNR Announces Funding For Projects To Reduce Diesel Engine Emissions

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is now accepting applications for projects that reduce diesel emissions and improve Wisconsin’s air quality and human health. Approximately $360,000 of funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is available for projects designed to reduce emissions from eligible diesel engines across the state.

The Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) program has helped improve the state’s air quality by reducing emissions that contribute to fine particulate, ozone and carbon monoxide levels. These engines are also a source of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, an important greenhouse gas contributing to climate change.

Efforts like this help make progress toward Gov. Tony Evers’ executive orders #38 and #52 which focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, fostering clean energy innovation, and developing strategies to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change. Developing and adopting strategies that reduce fossil fuel dependence, utilize low-carbon fuels and new efficient technologies is also critical to Governor Evers’ Climate Change Task Force. In addition to improving air quality, upgrading or replacing diesel equipment helps vehicle owners reduce operating costs through increases in fuel efficiency.

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Last Update: Oct 26, 2022 6:44 am CDT

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