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

There are not nearly as many strikes these days versus years ago, but a big one is playing out in Sheboygan. Hundreds of UAW members have been picketing the Kohler Company, while contract talks have stalled. The union reportedly wants Kohler to abandon the two-tier wage system it enacted years ago. Cheryl Maranto says the outcome will be telling, because unions don't wield nearly as much clout as they did years ago.

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The rule requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, but a federal appeals court on Monday declared the law unconstitutional.

Supporters of the law claimed it would ensure the safety of women undergoing abortion in the event complications developed.

Opponents, including Planned Parenthood, challenged the law insisting it could force some clinics to close and thereby restrict women's abortion rights.

Monday's ruling by a three-judge panel upholds the decision a federal judge in Madison issued this spring.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

At the top of the GOP heap in Wisconsin is surgeon Ben Carson (22%), according to the new Marquette Law School Poll

Behind him are business mogul Donald Trump (19%) and Florida Senator Marco Rubio (19%). Two months ago, Trump led Carson 20%-16%, with Rubio next at 14%.

On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (50%) leads, followed by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (41%).

Win McNamee/Getty Images

Governor Walker has instructed his administration not to resettle refugees from Syria. The order comes Tuesday, following a letter he sent to President Obama, asking  him not to relocate Syrian refugees in Wisconsin. Otherwise, Walker says, he will do what he can to make sure they don't stay here.

The City of Milwaukee will show solidarity with Paris, at a Monday evening gathering downtown.

Over at UWM, students will gather in Spaights Plaza around 4:00 or "as the sun sets," to remember people lost in recent terrorist attacks - not only in Paris, but also in Beirut, Egypt, Tunisia and Syria.

Flickr - Althouse

UPDATE: The Assembly has voted to change Wisconsin's campaign finance laws and to scrap the Government Accountability Board.

UWM has made contact with six students and a faculty member who are studying and traveling in France, and all are safe. After offering the account on behalf of the Center for International Education, Chancellor Mark Mone expressed shock and sadness on behalf of the university for all Parisians and French citizens.

"Unfortunately, it is becoming all too common for innocent bystanders to become the victims of terrorist attacks in locations around the world," Mone said.

Mone said he hopes UWM can inspire people to use discourse and debate to resolve conflict.

Early Saturday, the state Senate voted to raise the amount of money individuals can contribute to state candidates, to allow third party groups and campaigns to coordinate activities - as long as those outside groups don't explicitly tell people to vote for or against a candidate, and to scrap the Wisconsin law that has required donors to identify their employer. The vote was 17 to 15, with Green Bay Sen. Rob Cowles being the lone Republican to join Democrats in opposing the changes.

Walker
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Gov. Walker's approval rating has dropped since August, according to the latest Marquette Law School Poll, released Wednesday. Among the voters surveyed, 37% approve of the job Walker is doing as governor, while 59% disapprove.

Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly wonders if he or other elected leaders can persuade General Electric to change its mind about moving a century-old engine manufacturing plant and its 350 jobs to Canada.

The company says it will leave Waukesha because Congress has not re-authorized the U.S. Export-Import Bank. It helped companies sell products overseas. Conservative Republicans in the House let the bank's charter expire in July because they view the loans it makes as corporate welfare. Canada still has such an agency.

The bill would criminalize the sale and use of cells derived from abortions performed from 2015 forward and would affect researchers at both UW-Madison and the Medical College of Wisconsin. Several testified Tuesday before a state Senate committee.

Dr. Robert Golden, dean of UW-Madison's School of Medicine and Public Health, insists the bill would have a chilling effect on medical research there. He says its scientists are using fetal tissue to search for a cure for Ebola and for treatments for Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease.

Republican Rep. Joe Sanfelippo says every other state agency is headed by a political appointee, so he is circulating a proposed constitutional amendment that would charge the governor with appointing the state school superintendent. Currently, voters elect the superintendent every four years, in an officially nonpartisan election.

Current Sup. Tony Evers has had the backing of Democrat-leaning groups, and he gave his stamp of approval to the Common Core standards, academic benchmarks schools districts can follow, but that Republicans have urged Wisconsin to scrap.

Michael McNamara

The Milwaukee Bucks owners promise to transform the former freeway land into a basketball arena and entertainment district that will create more than 3,700 jobs, about 1,000 of them permanent. The owners and Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele announced the deal Wednesday afternoon, on the corner of 4th and Juneau, with representatives of organized labor in attendance.

Planners say that over the next nine years, they will create $400 million in mixed-use development including retail space, apartments and a public plaza, in addition to a basketball arena.

Andrew Burton/Getty Images

(UPDATE: On Thursday, Sept. 24, the state Assembly approved the bill on a 60-35 vote, with all Republicans voting in favor, and all Democrats against.  The item now heads to the state Senate.)

Under a Republican bill, the state of Wisconsin would apply for federal Title X funding and direct it away from Planned Parenthood. Title X covers the cost of reproductive health care for low-income people, including contraception and treatment for sexually-transmitted diseases.

Last week, while on the campaign trail, Gov. Walker was quoted as saying there are only a "handful of reasonable, moderate followers of Islam who don't share the radical beliefs" of Islamic terrorists.

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