A couple of state lawmakers say they have a plan to turn around the most underperforming public schools in Milwaukee. The proposal by Sen. Alberta Darling of River Hills and Rep. Dale Kooyenga of Brookfield would give the Milwaukee County executive authority to appoint new leaders in MPS schools that are deemed as failing.

Neither legislator returned our calls seeking comment Monday.

Their proposal would allow County Executive Chris Abele to appoint a commissioner charged with turning around up to five underperforming MPS schools per year.

University Press of Mississippi

Singer and actress Madeline Kahn is often remembered for her roles in Blazing Saddles, Paper Moon and in the Mel Brooks classic, Young Frankenstein. To this day, the late Kahn is thought of as both a comedic genius and something of a pioneer.

But 15 years after her death, new generations of film, musical theater and comedy enthusiasts are still discovering and learning from her work. 

"It's a measure of her gift...of her legacy that you don't have to have grown up on her to take delight in what she did," says biographer William V. Madison.

The James Beard Awards are a big deal in the culinary world.

Milwaukee has been well-represented in the past - Chefs Sanford d’Amato, Adam Siegel and Justin Aprahamian have all won James Beard's Best Chef: Midwest award.

Chef Justin Carlisle of Ardent was nominated this year. Though he didn't win, food contributor Kyle Cherek explains what a big accomplishment it is to even be nominated.

Rennett Stowe / Flickr

Seventy years after World War II came to a conclusion, some of the realities of war have changed a lot – especially in terms of technology.  But Lake Effect contributor Art Cyr says there are some issues – and some debates that haven’t changed.

Up close and personal - that describes targeting individuals in wartime, even when impersonal drone aircraft and electronics are employed.

After eight years, the president of the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design is stepping down.

Neil Hoffman came to the school in 2007 with a mandate to expand the school’s footprint – both nationally and in its own backyard. As he enters retirement, Hoffman believes he’s done that. 

Courtesy of the Milwaukee Bucks

Within the next couple weeks, there could be a suggested financing plan for a new arena in downtown Milwaukee.

Gov. Walker says he’s optimistic a deal is near. Members of his staff have been meeting frequently with elected leaders and representatives of the Milwaukee Bucks. Talks are expected to continue this week.

The sticking point, according to Walker, is coming up with the right combination of public money for a new basketball arena.

Richard Jones / Studio Paran

Richard Jones says that the art of blowing glass has changed some in the last 2000 years. But while there is new technology, like furnaces that heat to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, creating a mouth-blown glass object still begins by retrieving the molten glass at the end of a metal rod. It’s a process called gathering.

Essay: Mom's Voice

May 9, 2015
Brian Jackson / Fotolia

Sunday, if you’d lost track, is Mother’s Day.  And if you’re not going to be with your mom, don’t forget to give her a call.  But this year, Lake Effect essayist Mel Miskimen thinks back on some calls she got from her mother:

Art Montes

It’s hard to believe that the end of Season 6 is already here. We’ve had an amazing season of Ex Fabula, many sold out Story Slams, a host of awesome Secret Fabula events and the opportunity to collaborate with some fantastic local businesses and organizations in our quest to build a stronger community through storytelling.

S Bence

For most of us, our knowledge of the philosopher and poet Henry David Thoreau begins and ends with his meditation Walden. But that’s not true of local cardiologist Dr. James Mathew.

Growing up in India, Mathew remembers reading quotes in the local Sunday newspaper. “And I remember Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson being most often quoted American writers,” he says.

When Mathew moved to the United States, a friend lent him a copy of Walden. “I took advantage of that offer. That was 30 years ago, and I’m still reading Walden,” he says.