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9:35 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Realistic Battle Simulation Takes Aim at Wisconsin

An iCombat player finds a target.
Credit Photos courtesy of iCombat, Predator Games

Lake Effect's Amy Kiley interviews Andy Rasico, a product manager for Predator Games

In the midst of gun debates around the country, a company called Predator Games plans to create an elaborate laser tag facility in southeast Wisconsin.

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Veterans
3:15 pm
Mon February 18, 2013

Veterans Flocking to Higher Education, But Some Face Obstacles

Army veteran Tom Voss is back at UWM after dropping out of college twice since leaving the military.

A record number of veterans are heading back to school. One incentive has been the Post 9/11 GI Bill. It enhanced education benefits, starting in 2009. They now cover undergraduate tuition and provide veterans with a monthly living allowance and book stipend. To be eligible, a vet must have served on active duty after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and not exhausted prior GI benefits.

No matter what federal or state aid former soldiers have received however, WUWM’s Erin Toner learned that some have found the transition to school difficult and even costly. Local schools are intervening.

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Education
10:59 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Pre-College Programs Tackles Low Literacy to Fill Job Skills Gap

A pre-college program instructor at MATC.
Credit MATC

Lake Effect's Amy Kiley interviews Dean Gloria Pitchford-Nicholas, the head of the School of Pre-college Education at the Milwaukee Area Technical College, and Amanda Ritchey, the director of Mount Mary College's College in the Community.

About 30 million Americans have “below basic” prose literacy skills. That’s according to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy from the National Center for Education Statistics. People in this category might struggle to read the Harry Potter series in English, let alone get advanced job training. Meanwhile, some Wisconsin employers say they can’t fill job openings because applicants lack the necessary abilities.

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Education
8:43 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Group Prepares to Fight Special Needs Vouchers

Newly formed group expects the issue to resurface, and it has, in Gov. Walker's budget.
Credit Photos.com

On Monday, Gov. Walker released a proposed expansion of the Wisconsin Choice or voucher program, and his plan includes the creation of a school voucher program for students with special needs. A group called Stop Special Needs Vouchers Wisconsin announced Monday that it will to fight the proposal. As WUWM’s LaToya Dennis reports, there are strong opinions on both sides, just as there have been with the state’s flagship voucher or choice program.

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Education
2:44 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Report: Choice Schools Perform at Same Level as MPS

Should we be spending more on publicly-funded voucher school students?
Credit LizMarie, via Flickr

A new report says Milwaukee's taxpayer-funded voucher school students are similar in exam outcomes and demographic make-up compared with their public school counterparts.

The Milwaukee-based nonpartisan Public Policy Forum's data compares the state's districts with the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program as a whole.

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Wisconsin Economic Scorecard
2:41 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

New Poll: Wisconsinites Would Spend Budget Surplus on Education, Medicaid

A new poll shows Wisconsinites divided over whether to use the state's budget surplus for income tax cuts.
Credit UWM CUIR graph

Wisconsinites would like to see the state spend money from its projected budget surplus on education and Medicaid, according to the results of a new poll released today.

The Wisconsin Economic Scorecard poll, conducted by UWM’s Center for Urban Initiatives and Research, asked 621 residents across the state how they would prioritize spending.  Forty percent of respondents said education should be the top priority, while thirty-three percent said additional Medicaid funding should be the most important.  An additional sixteen percent said income tax cuts should be at the top of the list, while ten percent thought it was most important to cover shortfalls in the transportation fund.

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Environment
5:42 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Mining 1: Proposed Mine Troubles Tribal Neighbors

A Wintery Bad River

Controversy continues churning in Wisconsin over a potential mining operation in the far north.Advocates say the venture promises much-needed jobs; opponents fear irreparable damage to pristine waterways and wetlands.Last month, Republican lawmakers pushed a strongly debated bill through the Assembly. A Senate Select Committee could unveil its version as early as today.

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Regional
2:23 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

'Rich Blocks, Poor Blocks': Learn the Median Income of Your Neighborhood

Credit Rich Blocks, Poor Blocks

The website Rich Blocks, Poor Blocks pulled together a map of median household incomes for every neighborhood in America.

Here's the breakdown of the Milwaukee area:

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Mines
12:00 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Bad River Band Leader Again Appeals to Milwaukee to Fight Mine

Chairman Mike Wiggins (left) shared his mining misgivings with the Rotary Club of Milwaukee
Credit Susan Bence

For the second time in a matter of weeks, the head of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa traveled hundreds of miles to Milwaukee. Mike Wiggins hopes to sway public opinion against the wisdom of an iron ore mine upstream from his tribe’s reservation near Lake Superior.

Wiggins appealed to the Rotary Club of Milwaukee as a GOP-driven bill barrels through the Legislature. It would streamline the permitting process in order to provide certainty to the interested company.

Wiggins says the bill would wield a devastating blow to the region’s air and water.

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Arts & Culture
1:14 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Book: Edison's Success Based on His Collaborations

Thomas Alva Edison listened to his team.
Credit Courtesy of Thomas Edison NHP Archives and National Parks Service

Lake Effect's Mitch Teich interviews Sarah Miller Caldicott.

Thomas Alva Edison: We all know what he did, right? He was the creator of modern conveniences, improving and innovating light bulb, motion picture and sound recording technologies.

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