Marti Mikkelson

Milwaukee Safe Zone Ambassadors Help Clean Up Neighborhood, Forge Connections

Several dozen people have banded together this summer to help clean up neighborhoods on Milwaukee’s north side. The goal is to eventually reduce crime.
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Battle Bots / http://battlebots.com

Battle Bots, which had a successful 5 season run with Comedy Central 12 years ago, has finally made its return to television on ABC.

The premise of Battle Bots is simple: teams create and build self-designed robots that fight one another with a slew of weapons and self-defense mechanisms. Every week teams are paired off and each week one pair wins and moves on to the next round. The last bot standing is crowned the winner.

Tucked inside the proposed state budget the Joint Finance Committee advanced late Thursday, is a provision to exempt most state and local government officials from Wisconsin's open records law. The public could be denied access to many communications involving those elected leaders, in their official capacity.

The committee advanced the package on a 12-4 vote, with all Republicans voting in favor and all Democrats voting against the proposal. It is not known who drafted or recommended inclusion of the proposed open records change, but opposition seems almost universal.

Michelle Maternowski

The free bus service on July 6 is meant to thank regular riders for their adaptability during the three-day strike, according to County Executive Chris Abele.

Union drivers walked off the job early Wednesday, after they and the Milwaukee County Transit System failed to reach a new contract agreement. The union says its drivers plan to return to the job early Saturday morning, even though they don't yet have a new contract.

President Obama
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The president spoke Thursday afternoon at UW-La Crosse on the same day that Governor Walker reportedly signed papers to mount a run for the GOP presidential nomination. He's expected to formally announce his candidacy on July 13 in Waukesha.

Obama did not mention Walker by name, but drew applause from the crowd when saying that people's "right to organize and bargain was attacked," an apparent reference to the governor's Act 10 that stripped away public union rights and the right-to-work law he signed this year, which outlaws mandatory union dues in the private sector.

Mitch Teich

When Al Exner looks back at his grandkids today, he’s shocked at how different their experience as 18-year-olds is from what he experienced when he was their age.

Rearranging veggie genes is big business, and we're not even talking about biotechnology. Private companies and university researchers spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year breeding better genetic varieties of food crops.

But organic farmers say those programs have a big blind spot when it comes to figuring out which new varieties are truly better. Few companies or researchers test those varieties under organic conditions.

Wisconsin's State Capitol
Flickr.com/pinchof

GOP leaders stood side-by-side on Wednesday to announce they had broken their impasse. It involved whether the state should help fund a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks, whether Wisconsin should change its prevailing wage law, and how much the state should borrow to pay for transportation projects.

Republican leaders have decided to take two of those three items out of the proposed state budget. It could move forward Thursday.  

Larry Downing-Pool/Getty Images

    

President Obama will visit La Crosse on Thursday. He’s expected to talk about the economy, and in particular, about his plan to increase salaries for low income workers. He intends to more more salaries workers eligible for overtime pay.

While the Milwaukee County Transit System and its union bus drivers remain at a budget stalemate, several organizations are offering residents options for travel, including to Summerfest and the July 3 lakefront fireworks.

In addition, at least one church is helping organize carpools, especially for people who need to reach grocery stores and medical appointments.

Lily Wellen

For some, eyeglasses are an unfortunate medical necessity. For others, they are a prized functional accessory.

A few years ago, Milwaukeen Josh Rickun found himself disappointed with the quality and fit of wood glasses available. So, he took it upon himself to create better frames. With no previous proper training in woodworking, Rickun took on the project for his senior thesis at MIAD .

Now as proprietor of Proper Eyewear, Rickun designs and fabricates eyeglasses from locally-sourced wood.

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WUWM WINS NATIONAL EDWARD R. MURROW AWARD

Project Milwaukee: Black Men in Prison Wins Best News Series

In case you missed it...

Marge Pitrof

Thousands of Riders Stranded as Milwaukee County Bus Drivers Strike

Tens of thousands of people found themselves stranded on Wednesday after Milwaukee County bus drivers walked off the job. The union, which represents 750 bus drivers and mechanics, went on strike at 3 a.m. after eleventh-hour negotiations failed on Tuesday.
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