News

LaToya Dennis

Friday in Milwaukee, family and friends of Sylville Smith will lay him to rest. He’s the 23-year-old African American a police officer shot and killed on August 13 near the Sherman Park neighborhood.

In the hours following, anger reached a fever pitch as protestors set businesses on fire and attacked police. The city bolstered its force and imposed a 10 P.M. curfew for teens, and since things seem to have simmered.

But it might not last long if conditions don’t improve for struggling residents, according Jay Holmes and Camille Mays.

For more than a hundred years, the Basilica of St. Josaphat has been a landmark on Milwaukee’s South Side.  The building has been central to the spiritual life of the largest Polish Catholic parish in Wisconsin.  But it has also been a tourist destination – drawing tens of thousands of visitors each year.

But as the years have passed, time and weather have deteriorated the Basilica's unique architecture. And this summer, an ambitious restoration project got underway on the building’s exterior.

Now that a federal judge has struck down a Wisconsin law restricting early voting, the City of Milwaukee plans to offer it for four weeks, during some evening and weekend hours and at a number of locations. The dates will be Oct. 10 - Nov. 4, according Neil Albrecht, executive director of the city's Election Commission. 

A relatively-new state law had limited early voting to business hours on weekdays, during the two weeks before an election and to a central location.

Wisconsin LGBT History Project

For decades, LGBT culture was – out of necessity - hidden and unspoken of in daylight. But three-quarters of a century has brought a lot of social change in America.

For a smaller industrial city with German roots, you may not have expected Milwaukee to be a spot for gay and lesbian culture to thrive; but it did.

City of Milwaukee (Department of City Development)

Could jobs be headed to Milwaukee's north side? A local businessman is hopeful, and he’s talking with others.

Tim Sullivan used to lead South Milwaukee giant Bucyrus, a mining manufacturer. Now he's CEO of REV Group, a firm headquartered in Milwaukee, which makes ambulances, buses, street sweepers and a range of other vehicles.

REV Group has bid on a contract with the United States Postal Service to build vans.

Sullivan says the city's north side would be the perfect place to do the work because of the area's huge labor pool.

Brian Smith/U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Northeast Region / American Bird Conservancy/Flickr

“Bird-friendly” coffee might sound like coffee brewed and developed for our feathered friends, but it’s actually a certification for what is more commonly referred to as shade grown coffee. It’s coffee grown using agroforestry, which encourages more biodiversity, including a variety of trees, small mammals and birds.

Wisconsin’s two candidates for U.S. Senate have been crisscrossing the state this summer, talking about issues that matter to voters. In Milwaukee lately, people have been concerned about a fatal police shooting and violence in the Sherman Park neighborhood. Republican Sen. Ron Johnson and Democratic challenger Russ Feingold have weighed in on Milwaukee’s struggles. The two have differing solutions.

While speaking to the Kiwanis Club in Milwaukee, incumbent Sen. Ron Johnson says the violence that broke out near Sherman Park is understandable.

Maayan Silver

If you frequent a coffee shop, you probably recognize some familiar faces: people you notice every day who stop in for their coffee and who chat with other patrons and the staff.  You know, the regulars.

For Lake Effect's coffee series, we wanted to know why these people become regulars at a coffee shop and what this says about the role of coffee shops in our lives.

David Mendoza

Texas singer-songwriter Trevor Borden has always been at home on the road and in wide open spaces. The only catch is that those wide open spaces were once the Masai Mara and the Serengeti Plain, places that exist only in the imaginations of most of us.

Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

For parts of four baseball seasons, John Axford made his way to the pitcher's mound from the bullpen, heavy metal music blasting from the speakers at Miller Park.  Axford was the Brewers' closer, the relief pitcher brought in at the end of games to try to preserve a victory. 

Audrey Nowakowski

When you step into the Alderaan Coffee, you find yourself not on a planet in a galaxy far, far away, but in an intimate gathering place. The shop is industrial in its design with elements of concrete, steel and wood integrated in everything from the tables to the barista countertop.

"I'm a huge Star Wars fan so I thought I'd have a little fun with the name," says owner David Neumann. And in case you were wondering, it is legal to use the name according to his attorney.

Joy Powers

For decades, mah jongg has been the signature game of Jewish grandmothers across the U.S. In the digital age, the game has taken on a new life in the form of mah jongg solitaire.

Susan Bence

Although the Great Lakes governors approved Waukesha’s application, a coalition of Great Lakes mayors hopes to stop it.

This week, those who belong to the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative announced that they would challenge the Compact Council’s decision.

Marti Mikkelson

Elected officials and community activists gathered in Milwaukee on Tuesday to criticize Gov. Walker’s job creation agency. They insist it has not done enough to fuel economic development in the Sherman Park neighborhood. 

Violence broke out there this month, after an officer fatally shot a man who police say was armed and fleeing a traffic stop. But, activists did not limit their criticism to just the state.

LaToya Dennis

Milwaukee leaders on Tuesday released a plan some believe will help curtail crime in the city.

Over the summer, the Common Council’s Public Safety Committee held special meetings with agencies that work to keep the community safe. Those included the Milwaukee Police Department, the state Department of Corrections and the Wisconsin Department of Health and Human Services. They were summoned after the city experienced a rash of certain crimes, including vehicles thefts.

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