Marge Pitrof

News Director

Marge has been with WUWM since it changed formats from music to news and information in the late 1980’s. Searching for a place where she could produce in-depth journalism, Marge was hired by WUWM as a reporter. For several years, Marge also hosted Morning Edition.

While a reporter, Marge was a frequent contributor to NPR and won numerous awards for her work.

Since fall of 2000, Marge has been managing the news department but still has the occasional opportunity to produce stories.

Prior to joining WUWM, Marge worked in commercial radio both as an afternoon news anchor and a field reporter. She also worked for short periods at a few TV stations.

» Contact WUWM News

Dept. of Corrections

A national advocacy campaign is calling on states to close all juvenile detention centers, starting with the oldest and "most notorious." High on the list is Lincoln Hills in northern Wisconsin.

Federal authorities are investigating reports that young people there have been abused and neglected.

The allegations don’t surprise Liz Ryan, CEO of Youth First. The group is urging communities to create local options for young offenders.

nebari - Fotolia.com

The projected two winners of each Feb. 16, 2016 Primary, who will advance to the April 5 General Election.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Primary:
Rebecca Bradley (inc.)
Joanne Kloppenburg

Milwaukee County Executive Primary:
Chris Abele (inc.)
Christopher Larson

Milwaukee County Supervisor, District 11:
Patricia Najera
Dan Sebring

Only a few dozen votes separated incumbent Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele and state Senator Chris Larson, in Tuesday's spring Primary. The two far outpaced the other two candidates in the race.

Abele has spent tens of thousands of dollars of his own money in recent months highlighting his tenure as county executive. Those ads have talked about his fiscal responsibility and progress at holding taxes steady while providing a full range of county services.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett finished first in Tuesday's spring Primary, followed by Alderman Bob Donovan. So the two will face off in April's General Election for a four-year term as mayor.

During the campaign so far, Barrett has touted accomplishments of his three terms as mayor, including in terms of development and re-development projects. Donovan has countered by pointing to the city's high homicide rate in 2015 and blasting the mayor's plan to build a streetcar line downtown, saying the priorities are wrong.

Justice Rebecca Bradley and Appeals Court Judge JoAnne Kloppenburg will face off for a 10-year term on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, April 5. They were the top two vote getters in Tuesday's Primary. Bradley collected 45% of the vote to Kloppenburg's 43%. In third place was Joe Donald with 12%.

Lincoln Hills
DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS

Gov. Walker announced Friday that his Corrections Secretary Edward Wall resigned on February 5, as the public learns of possible criminal activity at Lincoln Hills School for Boys four years ago.  

In a press release, Walker thanked Secretary Wall "for his years of dedicated service to the Department of Corrections and the State of Wisconsin" and wished him "all the best as he continues his service in law enforcement."

In January, the company established two set 10-minute breaks per shift, for Muslim employees to say their daily prayers. Beforehand, the 53 workers could say their prayers when their faith requires such as as sunset, which moves with the seasons.

When the company began enforcing the policy, dozens of its Muslim employees of Somali descent walked off the job in protest. Since then, according to the company, 32 of the workers have begun abiding by the policy, 14 resigned and this week, Ariens terminated seven who violated the company edict.

Joy Powers

Agents arrested 23-year-old Samy Mohamed Hamsez on Monday, after he bought machine guns and silencers from undercover FBI employees. Federal authorities say someone tipped them off in September that Hamzeh had planned to travel to Israel to attack Israeli soldiers and citizens living in the West Bank but later opted to plan a domestic attack at the Masonic temple in downtown Milwaukee.

Justin W. Kern

The two votes fell along party lines, with majority Republicans prevailing. Their overhaul of Wisconsin's century-old civil service system would, among other changes, eliminate hiring exams for applicants and protections for more experienced workers, create merit bonuses and centralize hiring decisions within the governor's Dept. of Administration.

Supporters insist Wisconsin must have more flexibility to quickly hire, promote and fire public workers. Opponents claim the change will open the door to cronyism.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A Wisconsin manufacturer insists it's being reasonable with its Muslim employees. Starting this month, Ariens Company in Brillion has begun requiring its Muslim workers to pray during pre-assigned breaks, not when their faith requires prayer. The company says otherwise, the production line is disrupted. Dozens of those workers have left, but the group lobbying on their behalf is urging them to return, while it seeks negotiations.

Republican Rep. Scott Allen of Waukesha used state equipment to produce and post a Christmas video that cites Bible verses and invites non-believers to become Christians, according to Assembly Speaker Robin Vos.

In the video, Allen says, "For those who may watch this and are not Christians, I invite you to consider the hope offered by the Prince of Peace."

Michelle Maternowski

Snow, sleet and gusty winds have been making travel challenging. Plows and shovelers have not been able to keep pace with the wintry mix, while it has also limited visibility. As of 5:00 P.M., the City of Milwaukee will have dispatched 228 plows. When sanitation crews finish collecting trash on Monday, the city mounts blades onto the trucks so they can be put into service plowing streets. Salting operations have also been underway. The city is postponing garbage and recycling collections on Tuesday.

Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm filed a motion with the Wisconsin Supreme Court on Friday asking to intervene in court proceedings involving John Doe 2. It was investigating whether Gov. Walker's 2012 recall campaign illegally coordinated with issue advocacy groups.

WISCONSIN STATE LEGISLATURE

For an update on this story, check out this April 2016 post: Federal Judges Ruling Moves Wisconsin Redistricting Lawsuit Forward

Original story from December 18, 2015:

CHIP SOMODEVILLA GETTY IMAGES

The Republican bill Gov. Walker signed into law on Wednesday that will dismantle the Government Accountability Board, which has overseen state elections and ethics. The GAB will be replaced by two commissions, both comprised of political appointees.

One panel will direct elections and enforce election laws, the other will enforce the state's ethics code. The change will fully take effect on June 30, 2016.

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