Marti Mikkelson

News Reporter

Marti, a Waukesha native, joined the WUWM news team in February of 1999. Previously, she was an anchor and reporter at WTMJ in Milwaukee, WIBA in Madison, and WLIP in Kenosha.

Marti’s work has been recognized by RTNDA, the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, Associated Press, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated, and the Milwaukee Press Club.

Marti earned a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse. Marti currently lives on her favorite side of town – Milwaukee’s east side.

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Many Milwaukee County residents who attended a hearing Wednesday night at the Washington Park Senior Center don't like the thought of having to pay to park along the lakefront or a wheel tax, in order to help plug a $56 million budget shortfall.

Democratic state Sen. Lena Taylor easily turned back a challenge from another lawmaker, state Rep. Mandela Barnes. Taylor has held the north side Milwaukee seat for 12 years and garnered 61 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s primary.

The results came in quickly – at the Big Easy restaurant north of downtown. Then the crowd cheered as state Sen. Lena Taylor took the podium to claim victory.

“The people said honesty matters. The people said someone who is visible and serves the people, that matters,” Taylor says.

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Janesville has been spending the summer fending off a challenge from a political newcomer in Tuesday’s primary election. Ryan has held Wisconsin’s 1st district congressional seat since 1999 and has never had a problem getting re-elected. But this year, outside money is pouring in for Ryan’s opponent Paul Nehlen, a business executive from Delavan. While Nehlen is viewed as a long shot, Ryan isn’t taking anything for granted.

Marti Mikkelson


Gov. Walker, who has already capped tuition in the UW System for four years, now says he will extend the freeze for two more. He says he wants to keep tuition affordable. While students at UW-Milwaukee could benefit financially, some don't think the idea is a solid one, at least over the long-term.

Brianna Little, a senior majoring in health care administration at UWM, says she's afraid of what might happen to younger students, if the tuition freeze continues for two-more years.


Milwaukee City Hall was buzzing on Monday with early voters. They were casting ballots in advance of the August 9 primary.

We asked several people in the Election Commissioner’s office what they think of two recent federal court rulings that loosen parts of Wisconsin’s Voter ID law. They’re not scheduled to take effect until November, but early voters are aware.


Rebecca Bradley will be sworn-in Monday, to a new ten-year term on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Voters elected her in April, after the governor had appointed her a few months earlier.

But there will be an even newer face on the court. Waukesha Attorney Daniel Kelly will succeed Justice David Prosser – who retired Sunday. The change retains the court’s conservative bent, 5-2. Some observers are pleased while others are concerned.

Gov. Walker touted Daniel Kelly’s credentials a few days ago, when appointing him to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Marti Mikkelson


On Thursday, we talked to older adults in Milwaukee about what they think of Hillary Clinton becoming the first female nominee for President. Today, we visit with seniors in Cudahy. Some are setting a high bar for Clinton. John Franecki is tooling around the lunchroom in his scooter. The 91-year-old says he’s seen a lot in his lifetime, and he’s pleased that he’s lived to see the first female presidential nominee.

Marti Mikkelson


Hillary Clinton will make history Thursday night when she becomes the first woman to accept the nomination for president. WUWM stopped by the Washington Park Senior Center in Milwaukee, and asked senior citizens what they think of the historic development.

As DeLois Johnson finishing eating lunch, she says she didn’t think she’d live to see a female presidential nominee.

“No I did not. I didn’t even think I would see President Obama in my lifetime.”

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Now, it’s the Democrats’ turn. The GOP wrapped up its convention in Cleveland last week. Today, Democratic delegates are gathered in Philadelphia for their party’s presidential nomination convention. More than 80 of them are from Wisconsin. We caught up with a few before they left; they expect to come away unified.

Carmen Cabrera is attending her first Democratic National Convention. She predicts things will go smoothly, with delegates uniting around her candidate, Hillary Clinton.

“I think we are going to have the momentum, the enthusiasm, the passion,” Cabrera says.

Courtesy of Joy Global

Komatsu announced Thursday that it is purchasing mining equipment maker Joy Global of Milwaukee in a deal worth about $3.7 billion.

The Japan-based Komatsu makes construction, mining and military equipment.

Joy Global has 1,000 employees in Milwaukee and 12,000 worldwide.  

Marti Mikkelson


The loved ones of Milwaukee police officers spoke up on Tuesday. Family members want the community to recognize the grave dangers officers face every day and the worries that constantly weigh on their minds.

Family members held a news conference at the police union headquarters. One person who shared her story is Tina Colon. She says her husband was shot while on duty in 2009.

Colon remembers the day she received the phone call.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

After months of hype, the party conventions have arrived. Republicans open theirs today in Cleveland. The convention is expected to culminate with Donald Trump accepting the GOP’s nomination for president. We caught up with a few seasoned Republicans from Wisconsin who will take part. They expect to come away satisfied.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos is no stranger to the Republican National Convention – this is his fifth trip. He says each day is action-packed.

Marti Mikkelson

We’ve been talking to Milwaukee voters this week about what a better life looks like to them, and how the 2016 elections could help move the country toward those ends.  It's part of NPR’s series, “A Nation Engaged” and today we talk with businesspeople from the city’s Hmong community.

Charles Vang came to Milwaukee from Laos in 1984 and now owns an insurance agency on the south side. He says while his business is doing pretty well, he sees others in the Hmong community struggling to make ends meet.

Marti Mikkelson

Several hundred people gathered in Red Arrow Park in downtown Milwaukee Monday in a scene has become a familiar one. Yet participants seemed more resolved following the recent police killings of two black men in other states and the killing of five officers in Dallas.

Marti Mikkelson

This week’s Bubbler Talk inquiry comes from Beth Gehred. She wanted to know how Milwaukee's public tavern is doing.

The tavern Gehred is referring to is the Riverwest Public House Cooperative, located on E. Locust Street in the Riverwest neighborhood. 

On the day WUWM's Marti Mikkelson and Gehred met at the packed bar, a couple of young men were playing dice, while several dozen other people were socializing with friends.