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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Ann-Elise Henzl

At this time of year, many of us exchange gifts or entertain more than usual. The byproduct can be waste, which ends up in landfills.

There are many opportunities to generate waste this season. Items you order online may come entombed in packaging. So can toys. Then, there’s the plethora of materials we use to wrap gifts.

While bows and ribbons are destined for the landfill, people can recycle most wrapping paper and boxes, according to Rick Meyers, Resource Recovery Program manager for the City of Milwaukee. He says people here seem to be getting the message.

Ann-Elise Henzl

WUWM's year-end Life's Voices series continues with a profile of self-taught pianist Len Pawelski. 

He's a lifelong musician and long-time accordion player and teacher. Five days a week, he volunteers at Aurora West Allis Medical Center, playing the piano for visitors and staff.

Google Maps

Juvenile incarceration has been in the news lately. Authorities are investigating allegations of abuse and assault at Lincoln Hills School for Boys, north of Wausau. As 2016 gets underway, there's another reason the incarceration of youth could make headlines.

Right now, the state tries 17-year-old offenders as adults. But a bill would send non-violent ones through the juvenile system.

Michelle Maternowski

After a few seasonal days with highs in the low to mid 30s, our temperatures are expected to climb again.

This month is shaping up to be one of the warmest Decembers on record.

The mild weather has made for some unusual scenes, such as construction underway along the Root River Parkway near Whitnall Park. Workers have been able to get a jump start on the pavilion that will house Sprecher's traveling beer garden next summer.

Ann-Elise Henzl

WUWM's holiday series Life's Voices begins this year with a profile of Steve Paradowski.

He's a professional chef who's on disability after a stroke.

Yet he still cooks a couple of times a week for Kathy's House. It's a place that provides lodging to people who live out of town who travel to Milwaukee area hospitals for outpatient treatment.

Paradowski watches the sale papers for deals. Then he shops for the ingredients for his Kathy's House meals, storing them in his apartment near Mitchell International Airport.

PHOTOS.COM

Cincinnati-based Kroger announced Wednesday that it intends to buy Milwaukee-based Roundy's, Inc. for $800 million.

Downtown Milwaukee was the center of the nation's political universe Tuesday night, as Republican presidential hopefuls met for their fourth debate.

It focused largely on the economy -- a subject that also was on the minds of hundreds of people who marched and rallied outside.

As WUWM's Ann-Elise Henzl reports, the economy wasn't the only topic that concerned protesters.

A federal bankruptcy judge announced a settlement Monday in the Catholic Milwaukee Archdiocese bankruptcy case.

Archdiocese spokesman Jerry Topczewski says the church feels some satisfaction, in that the legal proceedings have ended. But he says there isn't anything to be pleased about, when it comes to what the victims experienced.

Madeleine Baran has covered such cases extensively for Minnesota Public Radio and is part of the network's Peabody Award-winning team for its reports on the clergy abuse scandal.

On Thursday Milwaukee County supervisors approved a resolution calling for an office that will investigate and work to solve problems affecting black residents.

Supervisor Khalif Rainey authored the resolution asking County Executive Chris Abele to create the office.

"This is the absolute worst place to be if you're African American in America," Rainey says.

Rainey says plenty of studies back up that sentiment.

PHOTOS.COM

Milwaukee County was struck by a rash of fatal drug overdoses this past weekend. Six people died in a 24-hour period.

The medical examiner's office hasn't confirmed whether heroin was to blame. But the drug frequently is, and it has killed hundreds of Wisconsinites in the past few years.

We revisit what we learned in our 2013 series, "In the Grip of Heroin," to examine what makes heroin so dangerous. There are at least three factors.

MILWAUKEE POLICE/RIEMANN

Aldermen tried to use the city budget Tuesday to get their arms around this year's spike in violent crime.

Several put forth measures to add police officers. Ald. Bob Donovan submitted one proposal. He made the case for a bigger police force, pointing out that crime surged from 2011 to 2014.

"Milwaukee has seen a 49 percent increase in violent crime, a 19 percent increase in robberies, a 78 percent increase in aggravated assaults," Donovan said.

And 2015 has been a tough year, with a high homicide rate and other crimes.

Michelle Maternowski

A low-income neighborhood on Milwaukee's near north side turns a corner Friday. Residents and planners are celebrating the grand opening of the Innovation and Wellness Commons in Lindsay Heights.

Activists have implemented numerous improvements in the area in recent years. But the Commons is their first commercial venture.

The non-profit health system Ascension announced Thursday that it has signed a letter of intent with the Wheaton Franciscan Sisters. It proposes the transfer of all southeastern Wisconsin operations of Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare to Ascension Wisconsin.

Ascension Wisconsin includes Columbia St. Mary's and Ministry Health Care in Milwaukee.

Wheaton Franciscan's operations in southeastern Wisconsin include the following hospitals:

Graef

The Milwaukee Department of City Development has announced a team led by Graef will provide the blueprint for a public plaza just west of Discovery World.

The plan includes a footbridge winding from the new Couture building to the 1.5-acre plaza. It also includes fountains, greenspace and an outdoor skating rink.

Bryan Wolf, flickr

Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill late last week, which prevents John Doe probes of lawmakers.

The probes are secret investigations conducted by prosecutors who suspect wrongdoing.

The technique was used twice to investigate dealings regarding Walker. The first looked into activities in his office when he was Milwaukee County executive. The probe turned up a variety of violations, including staff campaigning while on county time. About a half dozen of Walker's aides or associates faced criminal charges. Walker was never charged.

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