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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The State Capitol was filled with mixed feelings Wednesday, in the wake of Gov. Walker’s recall victory. Walker handily defeated Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, while it appears Democrats have flipped the Senate. Unofficial results show John Lehman defeating Incumbent Sen. Van Wanggaard in the Racine County recall race. WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson visited the Capitol to gauge the temperature.

For the first time ever, Wisconsin voters will go to the polls today to decide which candidate will take of the governor in an recall election. Republican Incumbent Scott walker is only the third governor is U. S. history to face recall. Organizers launched the effort last winter after he pushed forward a bill to strip collective bargaining rights from most public workers. WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson reports on how the Democratic contenders have been crisscrossing the state, each wanting their name opposite Walker’s on the June 5 ballot.

Miller Park
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Brewers mark their eleventh home opener today at Miller Park. For more than a decade, consumers in five southeastern Wisconsin counties have been paying a higher sales tax to build the retractable-roof stadium. As WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson reports, there is now talk that the extra tax could end in five years.

If you have visited the Public Market in downtown Milwaukee recently, you may have discovered a lively place. Tables filled with customers eating or drinking and others standing in line to purchase items. The Market was not always crowded; in fact at one point it was on the brink of closing. As WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson reports, the trend is a growing one across the country.

President Obama
Michael Reynolds -Pool/Getty Images

President Obama spoke to a cheering crowd of Master Lock employees Wednesday. The president cited the central city company as an example of what he intends to promote – manufacturing growth in the U. S. As WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson reports, Master Lock decided to bring 100 jobs back here from China.

Hundreds of people celebrated on the streets of downtown Madison Tuesday, as a truck full of petitions aimed at recalling Gov. Scott Walker pulled up to the Governmental Accountability Board office. Volunteers carried dozens of boxes into the building as organizers claimed they’ve collected more than one million signatures to force an election. The recall effort began last year in response to Walker’s push to end most collective bargaining rights for public unions. As WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson reports, election officials now have their work cut out for them.

While WUWM is spending the week exploring Wisconsin’s political climate in our series, Project Milwaukee: State of Upheaval, the state elections chief came to town. Government Accountability Board Executive Director Kevin Kennedy spoke to reporters Wednesday at the Milwaukee Press Club. WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson had an opportunity to question him about this unprecedented year of recalls and new voting rules.

We now continue Project Milwaukee: State of Upheaval. All week, we’re exploring the impact of Wisconsin’s divisive political climate this year, mixed with a tough economy. Tuesday, we reported on some winners of the new Republican majority’s agenda, including business interests and social conservatives.

Today, we focus on entities that lost ground, the biggest – public workers. Gov. Walker’s budget required them to pay more for their health insurance and pensions, in order to ease the state deficit. The GOP went one step further in 2011, by stripping most public unions of all rights except to bargain for limited wage increases. As WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson reports, angered public workers are now part of a massive effort to recall the governor.

We now continue “Project Milwaukee: State of Upheaval.” All week, we’re examining the divisive year Wisconsin has experienced politically, with perhaps economic worries at the core. Last fall, for the first time in over a decade voters put Republicans in control of state government. New Gov. Scott Walker insisted he had the formula to erase the state’s massive deficit and create jobs.

It was a long night for supporters of Republican state Sen. Alberta Darling. The incumbent survived her recall, defeating Democratic Rep. Sandy Pasch 54 to 46 percent. WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson attended Darling’s victory party in Thiensville.

The subject of Indian school mascots will pop up again on Wednesday. The former Legislature approved a law requiring school districts to remove Indian logos, if they offend any residents. To keep the logo, the district must prove to the Department of Public Instruction that the name and caricature are not offensive. On Wednesday, a Waukesha County judge is expected to rule on the constitutionality of the mandate. Two Mukwonago residents are contesting it. They claim it’s vague and that the state violated their rights by not giving notice of a hearing. WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson visited Mukwonago High School, which has been given more time to remove its Indians logo and nickname.

Community leaders say a skilled and educated workforce along with transportation options for it, are keys to ensuring the economic success of southeastern Wisconsin.

There’s been a significant increase in Milwaukee County in the number of young, African-American gay men infected with HIV. The state Division of Public Health puts the increase at 144 percent over eight years. On Monday, there was a daylong conference in town about ways of reducing infection rates among young, black men. WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson reports on efforts already underway to educate a demographic that can be difficult to reach.

Despite the sluggish economy, there’s been a slight uptick in restaurant ownership in Milwaukee. The health department reports 1,461 eateries: that’s 26 more than last year and on par with the number before the recession hit. At least one establishment in the Third Ward, south of downtown, appears to be bouncing back. WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson found that some of the ‘new’ establishments are actually recycled restaurants. Entrepreneurs have moved in, believing they possess the formula for success.

The state Assembly approved Gov. Scott Walker's budget repair bill early Friday morning. It contains a provision that would strip public employees of most collective bargaining rights and has been the subject of massive protests at the capitol in the past ten days. UW-Madison student Lance Janssen says the debate isn't over because the state Senate still has to vote. He plans to return to the capitol in the next few days.

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