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.

» Contact WUWM News

Justin Hofmann, flickr

We will soon learn how many people are interested in serving on the Milwaukee County Board – now that it’s becoming a part-time job. Candidates can begin circulating nomination papers today, Dec. 1.

The state has imposed structural changes on the board. The one that will kick in, following April’s election, is that the job of supervisor will become half-time – in terms of salary and benefits.

Rafael Ben-Ari, Fotolia

Which bathrooms should transgender students use? That question drew scores of people to Wisconsin's State Capitol on Thursday.

They testified on a bill that would forbid transgender students from using the bathroom for the gender with which they identify. The same would hold for locker rooms.

nrcgov, flickr

There’s talk in Wisconsin of resurrecting nuclear power. Right now, there’s only one working plant here, the Point Beach facility along Lake Michigan. 

The state imposed a ban on new nuclear plants in 1983 after a few scares elsewhere.

On Wednesday, dozens of people packed into a hearing at the State Capitol to testify on a bill that would lift Wisconsin’s moratorium. Most who weighed in say they favor the change.

The Wisconsin Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday regarding who ultimately administers public education – the state superintendent or the governor.

The court is considering whether to overturn its own ruling from 20 years ago. It stopped then-Gov. Tommy Thompson from taking control of the Department of Public Instruction. Current state leaders have considered doing the same.

justin w kern

Wisconsin’s state government is pretty lean, compared with other states, but Gov. Walker believes it probably can find more ways to slim down, so he’s created a panel to offer ideas.

Walker’s Commission on Government Reform, Efficiency and Performance recently held its first meeting. Members have a range of places they’d like to look.

Marti Mikkelson

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele and his new commissioner of failing MPS schools say they don’t intend to step on any toes. 

On Thursday, Abele introduced the person he’s selected for the job – Dr. Demond Means, superintendent of the Mequon-Thiensville district.

State law now tasks him with taking control of the lowest performing MPS schools and boosting their student achievement. Means can restructure up to three schools in each of the next two years, and up to five, afterward.

Marti Mikkelson

    

Hundreds of supporters came from all over southeastern Wisconsin to get a glimpse of their favorite presidential candidates in Milwaukee Tuesday night. Fox Business and the Wall Street Journal hosted the fourth Republican debate at the Milwaukee Theatre.

Many people attending the debate were dressed in suits and business attire as they walked through metal detectors and filed into the theater. After two hours, the crowd poured out of the place, brimming with excitement. Lauren Remsik lives in Milwaukee and says after seeing four debates, she’s still undecided.

The national spotlight will shine on Milwaukee this week, as the city hosts the fourth debate among the Republican presidential hopefuls Tuesday night.

The site will be the Milwaukee Theatre downtown. The hosts will be Fox Business and the Wall Street Journal.

While Gov. Walker was testing the waters when the GOP selected Milwaukee, the choice may still indicate that the state could play a pivotal role in the 2016 presidential race.

alumroot

    

The Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office will make room for two new prosecutors from the state Justice Department. The new officers will focus solely on prosecuting gun crimes in Milwaukee.

The legislature’s Joint Finance committee voted unanimously Wednesday to allow the Justice Department to spend more than $350,000 on the new hires.

Jenni Konrad, flickr

Milwaukee County supervisors anticipate a packed house at the Mitchell Park Domes Monday night as they hold their annual public hearing on the budget. Supervisors are considering a $1.3 billion spending plan for 2016.

Board member Pat Jursik says many topics stir passion among county residents and bring them to the full board's public hearing each year. Topics including parks and transit.

Ann-Elise Henzl

A new study has turned up challenges for Milwaukee County as it tries to better serve residents with mental health needs.

A report from the Public Policy Forum shows low income residents, in particular, face several barriers to accessing care. The county has spent the past few years redesigning its behavioral health care system after a study exposed large scale problems providing for the neediest residents at the Mental Health Complex.

TheMilwaukeeStreetcar.jpg

Mayor Tom Barrett announced Monday that the U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded the city a $14.2 million grant to enable construction of the Milwaukee Streetcar's Lakefront Line.  

The Common Council approved the extension in February, along with phase 1 of the streetcar project.

The Lakefront Line will connect Cathedral Square to the lakefront, and will include a stop along the planned Couture development.  Groundbreaking on phase 1 of the project is scheduled for spring of 2016.

Marti Mikkelson

Dozens of homeless people in Milwaukee flocked to Marquette University on Thursday. The campus hosted a fair for people needing basic services - from haircuts to vision screenings.

Demetrius Harper hasn’t had a place to call home in four years. The 45-year-old admits his homelessness has been the result of poor choices.

“Bad decision here, bad decision there, I decided to live with a lot of people and not saving any money. It’s hard to save money when you have a lot of habits, alcohol and drug, smoking, everything pretty much,” Harper says.

Althouse

It could be a long, contentious week in the Wisconsin legislature. Lawmakers are expected to take up bills that could affect them as elected politicians.

Jimmy Emerson, flickr

It could be a lively spring election season in the city of Milwaukee. All 15 Common Council seats are up for another term in April and so is Mayor Tom Barrett's. 

There are rumblings of voter dissatisfaction on a myriad of issues. It appears enough challenges are being mounted to potentially turn over the entire council.

Tory Lowe is walking through a north side neighborhood he hopes to represent next year. He plans to challenge Ald. Milele Coggs in April’s election. Lowe says the district is struggling with many issues, including a soaring homicide rate.

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