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Bonnie North

Today marks the debut of a new monthly music series: The Monthly Beatdown featuring Milwaukee singer-songwriter John Sieger.

Once a month on Lake Effect, Sieger will bring friends and fellow musicians into WUWM's performance studio to play and chat.

This month we hear "Frozen River", a song by Sieger and Milwaukee guitarist Greg Koch. Greg wrote the melody while he was on tour in Europe and sent it to John, who crafted the lyrics. He's joined in the studio by Greg on electric guitar and Greg's son Dylan on percussion.

starwars.com / Lucasfilm/Disney

It’s been a month since Star Wars: The Force Awakes first arrived on movie screens around the world, and it has been a force, indeed. 

The movie earned more than $500 million at the box office in its first weekend alone, and its earnings are now over a billion dollars, making it the highest-grossing Disney film ever. It has also surpassed the record once held by the James Cameron film Avatar for the highest grossing film of all time.

viktorius_73 / Fotolia

For many people, payday loan centers are the only alternative to borrowing from traditional banks.  But a growing number of people are calling for financial services to be a part of another organization – the US Postal Service.

The Campaign for Postal Banking was launched by a coalition of groups, including the American Postal Workers Union.

Sebastian Joseph / Flickr

Starting February 29, Milwaukee County Transit System passengers will no longer be able to purchase paper tickets. From then on, bus rides can only be bought with cash or M-Cards, reloadable electronic smart cards.

M-Cards have been available for sometime, but now Milwaukee is following the lead of other cities across the country in eliminating paper tickets. According to MCTS spokesman Brendon Conway, M-Cards will make life easier for riders and the transit system alike.   

Marlita A. Bevenue, Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service

One day last May, Latoya S. was walking her 6-year-old pit bull, Gucci, when he began to snarl excitedly at a strange man standing on the front porch of her brick, two-bedroom ranch home. As Latoya approached her home, the man spoke. “You Latoya?” She nodded.

mybaitshop, fotolia

Several Republican lawmakers announced a proposal this week to lift the ban on carrying concealed weapons on school grounds. Now, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says he doubts there's time for the plan to make it to the floor for a vote this session. He says besides, he has not heard anyone clamoring for the bill.

Jay Matthes / facebook.com

Milwaukee singer-songwriter Jay Matthes has been playing professionally for almost five years. For someone who's still pretty new to the scene, he’s earned a lot of respect. For Matthes, earning the credibility and respect is great for his career, but he keeps his expectations on a music career realistic.

Jon Strelecki

Enjoying a Friday night fish fry has long been a tradition in the Milwaukee area. But, over the years the dining experience has changed as the perch population in Lake Michigan has dwindled.

Chefs have found alternatives, using other types of fish, but with the world's appetite for fish outpacing supplies, the world is facing a shortage of seafood.

Photo by Adam Ryan Morris / Milwaukee Magazine

Among the many charter and specialty schools in Milwaukee is one that focuses on educating one particular immigrant ethnic group.  The Hmong American Peace Academy is remarkable for that reason.

However, the K-12 charter school is also remarkable because of its leader and founder Chris Her-Xiong, herself an immigrant from Laos. She was featured in an article in this month’s Milwaukee Magazine.

Essay: A Home That Isn't A Place

Jan 14, 2016
oliverhuitson / Fotolia

Some might look wistfully at a picture of urban decay in their hometown like the images photographer Eric Holubow has captured in Milwaukee.  However Lake Effect essayist Christianna Frtiz has given quite a lot of thought to her personal idea of home:

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