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Wisconsin offers three-star offensive lineman from Michigan

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Wisconsin offers three-star offensive lineman from Michigan


The Wisconsin Badgers football team offered N’Kye Wynn, a three-star interior offensive lineman from Muskegon, Michigan, on Tuesday. The 6-foot-5, 277-pound athlete is a junior in high school and still has one more year before making the jump to the collegiate level.

Wynn has now picked up 25 Division 1 offers, including from Michigan State, Rutgers, Indiana, Minnesota and Wisconsin. The Wolverines have yet to offer from within his home state, but Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan and Central Michigan have also joined the Spartans in extending scholarships to the offensive lineman.

Wisconsin is entering its first season with new offensive line coach AJ Blazek, who ultimately offered Wynn, looking to reestablish the program’s identity as an elite producer of talent on the offensive line.

So far in class of 2025, the Badgers have received commitments from three-star offensive tackles Michael Roeske (Wautoma, WI) and Cam Clark (Dexter, MI) on the offensive line.

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Airbnb is blocking some Wisconsin rentals on summer holiday weekends to address partying

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Airbnb is blocking some Wisconsin rentals on summer holiday weekends to address partying


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With summer weekend getaways fast approaching in Wisconsin, short-term rental company Airbnb is blocking some reservations to prevent homes from being used for partying.

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Airbnb said in a press release that it blocked about 67,500 people over the Memorial Day and July 4 weekends last year, with about 500 of those blocked in Wisconsin. The company is blocking some one-night and two-night reservations over both holidays and using technology that they say identifies “higher-risk” rentals.

“This is really about respecting hosts and respecting neighborhoods,” said Christopher Nulty, Airbnb spokesperson and global director of corporate and policy communications, in an interview with the Journal Sentinel. “What we’re really talking about here is unauthorized, large-scale problematic parties.”

An Airbnb spokesperson said in an email the company wouldn’t have data on this year’s blocked reservations until after the holiday season. But Nulty said that the company sees this effort becoming especially important in Wisconsin during the summer months.

“We’re particularly focused on this in Wisconsin during the (summer) because it’s when people from Chicago go up to Door County. The business is strongest here in the summer,” Nulty said.

Nulty said the company is using machine learning to automatically flag some reservations.

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He said its reservation system looks at a number of factors, like when a reservation is booked, how far away it is from where someone lives and whether someone has made similar bookings without challenges.

He said the technology has reduced reports of partying by half in the last year and that .035% of its reservations resulted in a party report to them in 2023.

The company is requiring guests to agree that they understand the ban on partying when making reservations. In turn, if a guest is blocked from booking an entire home, the company will give them the option of booking a hotel room or private room.

The party bans started in 2022, according to a USA TODAY report from that year, as the COVID-19 pandemic led some to use the rentals for partying, with bars and clubs closed.

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Nulty said Airbnb began the effort to reduce partying on reservations as a way to respect the hosts, rather than responding to a widespread issue. He said Airbnb still allows homes to be used for things like weddings, birthday parties and other small-scale events.

The company heard from hosts and law enforcement in the past about the need for this emphasis, he said.

“People don’t want to share their homes if they’re worried about what’s going to happen to them,” Nulty said.

The company’s other anti-partying efforts include its Neighborhood Support Line, which lets neighborhood residents report issues at rentals to the company; a 24-hour safety line; noise sensors for hosts; and a law enforcement support channel.



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Wisconsin Ojibwe leader included in White House discussions on rural issues

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Wisconsin Ojibwe leader included in White House discussions on rural issues


Mole Lake Ojibwe Chairman Robert Van Zile had a message for rural community leaders at the White House earlier this month.

“Why compete with one another when we can work together,” he said. “We can focus on the things we have in common in being able to prosper.”

Van Zile said it was good conversation between leaders in tribal nations, rural towns, rural counties and federal officials as they discussed ways to bring in federal dollars to improve infrastructure.

He said tribal nations can play a role in helping surrounding rural communities in creating broadband access, building water and septic infrastructure, housing and health care.

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Van Zile was among those invited to the White House this month by the Biden-Harris Administration as part of its Rural Communities in Action event.

“We got invited to help push the envelope,” he said.

They met to discuss the issues with senior White House officials, including Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

“Rural communities are being gutted by lack of economic opportunity, lack of broadband access, lack of housing, lack of access to healthcare due to inability to recruit healthcare professionals to address a variety of medical and mental health challenges,” Van Zile said in a statement.

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Van Zile said the Mole Lake Reservation in northern Wisconsin is in a rural region that even lacks cellphone service in many places. And the lack of internet access was apparent during the pandemic when students in many households found it challenging to learn at home.

“They could not continue their studies remotely during the pandemic,” he said. “Our rural kids were not able to participate in education because broadband access does not exist in many rural communities.”

The reservation is home to about 500 tribal members with another 1,000 members living off-reservation.

Van Zile said many people want to build vacation homes and move to the Mole Lake area, which would be a boost to the economy. But they find challenges with lack of infrastructure.

“It’s not just tribal members,” he said. “What I’m talking about is tourism.”

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In conjunction with the event, the White House also just announced $671 million in new investments for infrastructure in rural communities.

Van Zile’s visit also included a discussion with Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, which included thanking her for the $3 million she helped recently secure for the tribe’s community health clinic.

Van Zile also opened a workshop at the event with a prayer, becoming the first Mole Lake chairman to open an official meeting in Washington, D.C.

Frank Vaisvilas is a former Report for America corps member who covers Native American issues in Wisconsin based at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Contact him at fvaisvilas@gannett.com or 815-260-2262. Follow him on Twitter at @vaisvilas_frank.

More: Tribal educators talk e-learning curve, prepare for fall pandemic learning

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More: State task force to look at expanding internet access to rural Indigenous reservations





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Storm damage could impact Memorial Day Weekend camping in Wisconsin

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Storm damage could impact Memorial Day Weekend camping in Wisconsin


BLUE MOUNDS, Wis. (WMTV) – People camping this Memorial Day Weekend at Wisconsin State Parks could notice some debris from Tuesday’s storm on the trails.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, all parks will be open but crews will still be out cleaning up down trees, power lines and other damage caused by winds and tornadoes earlier this week.

DNR and Wisconsin State Parks Recreation Partnerships Chief Missy VanLanduyt said 99% of their camping lots are sold out this weekend, something the staff is happy about, but they want people to be aware of remaining storm debris.

“You’ll generally notice that the properties are open and they’re safe and you can recreate, but there will be a lot of brush and down trees in some areas,” she said. “So, we’re just asking folks to be aware, avoid it and to let our staff have the space to keep cleaning it up over the next couple of weeks.”

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Storm damage could impact Memorial Day Weekend camping in Wisconsin(Marcus Aarsvold)

VanLanduyt said people who come across fallen trees, branches or other debris should walk around it, over it or avoid it. She said safety is what’s most important. Campers should not try to clean up anything.

“Some folks love a chainsaw!” VanLanduyt said. “They want to come out and be really helpful. People love our state parks system and they’re really trying to be helpful, but our staff is trained in first aid, certified chainsaw operators, so they know what they’re doing to clean this up.”

Camper Lisa Cappelli appreciated the DNR’s work.

“They do such a wonderful job of maintaining the trails for people like me,” she said. “So, what I hope what people experience this weekend is a lot of appreciation for people who are doing the good work of keeping the trails safe for us.”

Storm damage could impact Memorial Day Weekend camping in Wisconsin
Storm damage could impact Memorial Day Weekend camping in Wisconsin(Marcus Aarsvold)

VanLanduyt said Blue Mound State Park’s campsites haven’t had power since Tuesday. She said the staff’s office has power, but electricity has not returned for the applicable campsites. If this power does not return by Friday, she said the staff will email people with reservations to notify them, but the sites will still be useable.

Click here to download the WMTV15 News app or our WMTV15 First Alert weather app.

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