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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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.

Andy Stenz

Gov. Scott Walker sparked outcry in a news conference February 11, 2011. That's when he announced Act 10. It ended public union rights, except the ability to bargain for limited wage increases. Fire and police unions were spared.

"We have to reform the wage and benefit process here in the state of Wisconsin," Walker said.

Walker argued for Act 10, saying it would help the state control spending and reduce debt.

Racine County

Federal authorities continue investigating allegations of assault and abuse at Wisconsin's juvenile prison, Lincoln Hills. Recently, a former Racine County judge revealed that he wrote to Gov. Scott Walker about problems there four years ago. His complaints went unanswered. Afterward, Racine County pulled its youth from the facility and brought them closer to home. Yet the county had begun scaling back more than a decade ago.

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Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images

Donald Trump is celebrating victories in seven Super Tuesday states. GOP rival Ted Cruz captured three states, while Marco Rubio took one.

As Trump's delegate count rises, Wisconsin Republicans are wondering how to respond. The businessman and political newcomer has frequently come under fire for his brash statements and his not-so-politically-correct stances.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

People from Mexico who live in Milwaukee may need services from the Mexican government from time to time. For instance, help with getting a birth certificate. Soon, they'll be able to obtain such services more easily. That’s because Mexico is opening a full-service consulate here.

Nicole Beilke

Monday marked the first day of early voting in advance of Wisconsin’s Primary on February 16th. A rally was held at city hall hoping to encourage more people to recognize the power of the vote. At the same time, voting advocates across the state are concerned that thousands of people will be turned away from polling sites. Valid photo identification is now required to vote in Wisconsin.

There was a sense of urgency flowing through Milwaukee City Hall on Monday where 20 or so people gathered to encourage residents not only to get out and vote, but to do it early. 

Scott Olson/Getty Images

All eyes will be in Iowa Monday night as the state conducts it presidential caucuses. Just how much will the results matter in Wisconsin?

Marquette Law School Poll Director Charles Franklin says the results will matter indirectly:

"Because this is the start of the process that's going to winnow the field to a few candidates and show us who really has strength versus who simply polls well or brings out a lot of people at their rallies and events," Franklin says.

Leaders of both companies say the combined venture will retain the Johnson Controls name. While they will base their new corporate headquarters in Cork, Ireland for tax purposes, Milwaukee will house the new firm's North American offices. 

Johnson Controls has been based here for more than 100 years. It is the state's largest publicly-traded company.

mybaitshop, fotolia

Several Republican lawmakers announced a proposal this week to lift the ban on carrying concealed weapons on school grounds. Now, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says he doubts there's time for the plan to make it to the floor for a vote this session. He says besides, he has not heard anyone clamoring for the bill.

Ann-Elise Henzl

Leaders of Oak Creek say the Milwaukee suburb is on the verge of a new beginning. The community is developing a main street and city center on land that once housed a massive Delphi plant. 

When the plant closed its doors in 2008, Oak Creek was left with 85 available acres. Leaders eventually came to view it as a massive opportunity, according to Carolyn Esswein. She’s an urban planning professor at UW-Milwaukee, and served as the city's consultant.

RINKA CHUNG ARCHITECTURE INC.

When a major employer closes shop, it can leave a big hole in the community. But a different story is underway in Oak Creek, the sprawling suburb south of General Mitchell International Airport. Leaders there believe the city is turning a major loss into a treasure.

Picture a huge property -- larger than the Summerfest grounds -- that's fallen out of use, right in the heart of town. That's what happened in Oak Creek in 2008, when the former Delphi plant closed.

In its heyday, the enormous factory on the corner of Howell and Drexel employed more than 6,000 people.

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.

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