Ann-Elise Henzl

News Reporter / Executive Director of Project Milwaukee

Ann-Elise Henzl has been a reporter at WUWM since 1993. She got her foot in the door three years earlier, as a newsroom student intern. Ann-Elise divides her time between daily general assignment reporting and working on longer, researched stories. Ann-Elise is also Executive Producer of WUWM's Project Milwaukee series.

Ann-Elise has won numerous awards, including the national Edward R. Murrow award from the Radio-Television News Directors Association (for best use of sound in a story). In addition, she has frequently been recognized for her reporting on the welfare system, the environment, and health care.

Ann-Elise earned English and Mass Communication degrees from UW-Milwaukee.

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Milwaukee County may be putting fewer suspects in jail while they’re awaiting trial. That's because for the past year, the court system has been using a new risk assessment tool. It gauges whether a person charged with a crime is likely to flee or commit another crime, if he or she is released.

A number of states are using the strategy. Officials using the approach here shared their experiences at the Marquette University Law School on Wednesday.

The Dontre Hamilton case is back in the news, even though it's been three years since he passed away. Common Council members are considering a settlement with Hamilton's family. Hamilton was the mentally ill man shot by a Milwaukee police officer after a struggle in Red Arrow Park.

Yet Hamilton’s family members have also become outspoken in matters related to police use of force. For instance, Dontre's mother Maria has organized marches seeking answers for families such as hers, who have lost loved ones in police shootings.

Sculpture Milwaukee

If you've been to downtown Milwaukee in the last week, you may have noticed curious shapes popping up along Wisconsin Ave. Workers are installing large sculptures, which will be on display for five months.

Local philanthropist Steve Marcus came up with the idea for the free, outdoor art gallery. He lobbied for it, for years. Marcus says people driving down the street are likely to take notice of the sculptures.

AnnElise Henzl WUWM

For the last couple of months, people arriving to and departing from Milwaukee County's jail have had their eyes scanned. That's in addition to having their fingerprints taken during the booking process.

Commander Aaron Dobson says the scans are an extra step to ensure proper identification. "No two people have the same iris."

Dobson and his staff showed the scanning devices to the media last week. The scanners are about the size of a digital camera. They're hooked up to a computer, which checks the image of a person's iris against others in a national database.

Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

College campuses have long been hotbeds for protests during divisive political times. And they've invited speakers, some controversial, in an effort to offer multiple perspectives. But as rhetoric has heated up in recent months, some schools are struggling to accommodate such visits. Conservative Wisconsin legislators think they have the answer.

Ann-Elise Henzl WUWM

It's been decades since trucks, tractors and other motorized equipment took over much of the work that horses once performed in farmers' fields. But a growing number of people around the country are returning to draft horses for plowing and other operations.

That's often in addition to using gas-powered vehicles, Joe Mischka says. He's publisher and editor of Rural Heritage magazine.

Michelle Maternowski

People who've wanted to open a strip club in downtown Milwaukee for years appear to have gotten their way. On Tuesday, the Common Council approved a license application after repeatedly rejecting the plan in the past.

For five years, a group of owners has tried to get the city's OK to open a strip club on Old World Third Street. The group even sued the city for blocking its plans.

Opponents have argued that a strip club isn't a good fit for the area. They've also criticized some people in the owners group, including one who's been in trouble with the law.

Companies that provide cell phone service are constantly racing to provide the most reliable signal. In Wisconsin, one of the providers has turned to a surprising option to get the job done: draft horses.

The horses are helping U.S. Cellular upgrade equipment on about 200 cell towers in Wisconsin, some of which are served by hard-to-navigate access roads.

As Congress moves forward with efforts to replace the Affordable Care Act, some people in Wisconsin are holding their breath. They're uncertain -- or fearful -- about what to expect next.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, however, appeared confident last week. He said Congress would end former President Obama's Affordable Care Act.

"There is a fundamental and urgent choice at the heart of this debate," Ryan said, as the Wisconsin Republican persuaded colleagues before Thursday's vote.

Michael Sears / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

While national reports indicate the Dept. of Homeland Security may be thinking of hiring Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, the inquest continues this week into the death of Terrill Thomas, who died of dehydration in the county jail. He was one of four people who died there, in about a year's time. UWM Criminal Justice Prof. Stan Stojkovic says it is unlikely Clarke will face criminal charges, but other issues of wrong-doing could settle around him because the state constitution puts responsibility for the jail directly on the shoulders of the sheriff.

Ann-Elise Henzl WUWM

The recent beating of a Milwaukee Muslim woman outraged many people, including members of the Islamic and the interfaith community. The woman says her attacker made a point of ripping off her head scarf, or hijab. The incident follows a series of threats against a Jewish community center. Religious groups have been working for years to prevent such attacks. The shared strategy is to promote understanding and tolerance.

Courtesy of Milwaukee Public Library

This week's Bubbler Talk inquiry takes us to Milwaukee's lakefront. It has just a few buildings, such as snack bars and a place to buy a kite. Yet there's an imposing structure on the north end of Lincoln Memorial Drive, which is a mystery to many.

California native Liam Callanan says the building has intrigued him since he moved here. "It kind of looks Spanish Californian, it's got the Spanish red tile roofs, kind of the beige stone exterior," he explains.

Paul Sablema, flickr

State lawmakers will have their first official chance to weigh in on Gov. Walker's 2017-2019 spending plan on Tuesday, when the Joint Finance committee kicks-off a series of budget briefings.

JR Ross, editor WisPolitics.com, says he expects several areas of contention between the governor and Legislature, even among fellow Republicans. Ross predicts the biggest fights will be over Gov. Walker's plans for transportation, self-insurance for state employees and education funding.

What can I do to help decrease segregation? What is being done to alleviate the problem? What can we do to change how segregated metro Milwaukee is?

During WUWM's series, Project Milwaukee: Segregation Matters, the most common questions we received from YOU regarding segregation dealt with solutions.

Solving this issue will not be easy. However, several ways to help reduce segregation in metro Milwaukee did emerge during our coverage.

ART MONTES

It can be uncomfortable to discuss race relations. Discussions may be particularly minimal, in a region as segregated as metro Milwaukee. The group Ex Fabula relies on storytelling to make inroads. It invites its fellows to share personal tales about prejudice and misunderstandings.

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