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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Alderman Ashanti Hamilton / Facebook

Milwaukee's City Hall has a few fresh faces. Three new Common Council members took the oath of office Tuesday, beginning four-year terms. Members unanimously chose a new president, Ashanti Hamilton, who represents the city's far north side.

Hamilton succeeds Ald. Michael Murphy, who held the leadership post for two years.

Council members say they're embarking on a new beginning. Yet they're facing some old challenges.

Sharyn Morrow, Flickr

Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson is putting forward an idea to help the country reduce its heroin epidemic. His plan would impact senior citizens.

Johnson says the U.S. must tighten its border security to stop the flow of illegal drugs into the country. Yet he knows plenty of people develop heroin addictions because they first become hooked on opioid painkillers.

The senator wants to tweak Medicare rules so they don’t inadvertently encourage physicians to over-prescribe drugs such as OxyContin and Vicodin to seniors.

LaToya Dennis

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court begins considering a divisive issue related to immigration. The case originated in Texas, but the implications are potentially broad-reaching. Interests in Wisconsin are keeping close watch.

Ann-Elise Henzl

The CDC confirmed this week that Zika virus does, indeed, cause severe brain damage in infants

The type of mosquito that can carry the virus is not expected to travel as far north as Wisconsin. Yet, blood centers here are helping regions where Zika exists.

The BloodCenter of Wisconsin has been sending shipments of blood to Puerto Rico.

Milwaukee Rep

If you attended the last mainstage production at the Milwaukee Rep, you may have been surprised at the end. When the play concluded, the Rep hosted tough conversations with audience members about the subject matter.

For decades, audience members have been able to chat with the Rep's cast before or after some performances. But now the team is breaking new ground, according to director of community engagement, Leda Hoffman.

"Milwaukee Rep is embarking on a new mission to really use the plays on our stage to provoke the conversations Milwaukee needs to have," Hoffman says.

Darren Hauck/Getty Images

Young voters participated in record numbers in Wisconsin elections this week. According to a research center at Tufts University, 33 percent of young people here voted. That's one of the highest rates in the country.

The enthusiasm contributed to long lines at some campus polling places. The crowds are on the minds of people preparing for this fall's elections.

Rachel Morello

Tuesday's election was the first big test of Wisconsin's photo ID requirement. Neil Albrecht of the City of Milwaukee Election Commission says the rule caught some people by surprise.

"We certainly had a number of voters -- probably several hundred -- turn out, without the photo ID. Fortunately, most of them were able to retrieve it, you know, just by going home and coming back with the photo ID," Albrecht says.

Ann-Elise Henzl

When you vote on Tuesday, you're likely to see big crowds. Neil Albrecht is executive director of the City of Milwaukee Election Commission. He's projecting that 50-60 percent of all registered voters will head to the polls, which he says "is very strong for an April election."

Albrecht compares the projection to the presidential primary in 2012, when only 38 percent of registered voters cast ballots.

Ann-Elise Henzl

You'd think with all the campaign visits and ads this week, most Wisconsin people would know who they'll vote for in next week's presidential primaries. Yet there are quite a few undecided voters. WUWM found a number of them having lunch on Thursday at El Greco, a family-owed restaurant next to Milwaukee's Timmerman Airport.

Brian Nuetzel of Pewaukee says he follows politics regularly, and "probably paid more attention than I ever did, this year." Even so, Nuetzel says he hasn't made up his mind.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

This week, Wisconsin's biggest newspaper endorsed Ohio Gov. John Kasich in the state GOP primary. Editorial page Editor David Haynes says the staff felt compelled. "We haven't recommended a candidate in almost four years, but in this case, we just thought that the situation in the Republican primary this year, with Donald Trump's entrance, is so unusual that it just demanded that we take a stand," Haynes says.

Ann-Elise Henzl

The five remaining Republican and Democratic presidential hopefuls descended upon Wisconsin in earnest on Tuesday. All visited the Milwaukee area, with just one week left before the state's primary. Bernie Sanders held a rousing rally at State Fair Park.

According to his campaign, 4,000 people cheered on Sanders in person, while another 1,500 listened from an overflow area. Sanders told the crowd their support at the polls is critical.

destina, fotolia

The presidential candidates are starting to pay attention to Wisconsin. For instance, Republicans John Kasich and Ted Cruz will campaign here Wednesday and Democrat Bernie Sanders opened three state field offices last weekend. While Wisconsin's primary is relatively late, a few factors suggest it will be interesting anyway.

Michelle Maternowski

Cultivating talent and collaboration quickly surfaced as central themes of WUWM's Project Milwaukee panel discussion on innovation and the economy. Insiders shared ideas for how Milwaukee can become and remain competitive in innovative fields.

Researchers at companies and universities may be tempted to hold their cards close to the vest. But Brian Thompson says in Milwaukee that "silo thinking" will get you nowhere. Thompson heads UW-Milwaukee's Research Foundation.

Ann-Elise Henzl

There's a buzzword you may hear these days when people talk about ways to grow the economy: innovation, as in the ability to create new products, processes and services.

Innovation is underway in Milwaukee, although it’s not always visible or as robust as in some of the country’s hot spots.

WUWM News reporters and Lake Effect producers are working on the next installment in our Project Milwaukee series. This time, the focus will be innovation.

Some leaders believe "thinking outside of the box" is an important tool for economic growth that helps to create new products, processes and services. While Milwaukee's history is steeped in innovation, today the city ranks low in the generation of new ideas and products.

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