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

Michelle Maternowski

Update:  The Milwaukee County Board on Monday approved  a $30 wheel tax as part of its 2017 budget deliberations.  The money collected from the additional vehicle registration fee would go toward closing a revenue gap in the transportation budget and major purchases, such as new buses.  

The Milwaukee Board of Supervisors meets Monday to adopt a county budget for 2017. One controversial item is County Executive Chris Abele’s proposal to charge a $60 vehicle registration fee. Abele says the $60 per auto would go a long way toward plugging a $56 million budget shortfall.

The Milwaukee Common Council meets Friday to adopt a budget for the city for 2017. Among the issues that top the list - public safety and lead abatement. Mayor Tom Barrett’s proposal boosts police spending, but does not include hiring more officers. The plan also contains additional money to address lead issues both in paint and pipes.

Justin Sullivan and Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Democrat Hillary Clinton's lead over Republican Donald Trump declined in Wisconsin from seven to six points during the past two weeks and now stands at 46%-40% among likely voters, according to the final Marquette Law School poll before the Nov. 8 Election. 

The margin of error is +/- 3.3 percentage points.

Marti Mikkelson

Is there anything that could happen before next week’s election that would make you change your vote? New inquiries surfaced over the weekend about Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email system while she was secretary of state. A few weeks ago, Donald Trump was hit by accusations of inappropriate actions toward women. WUWM stopped by two early voting sites in Milwaukee to ask people what might be the final straw.

Charles Fletcher doesn’t think there’s anything that could happen between now and Nov. 8, that would make him change his vote in the presidential race.

If you applied for an absentee ballot – you need to know about a new state law. It requires you to mail back your ballot earlier than in the past, so that it arrives by 8:00 P.M. on election night, otherwise, your vote won’t count.

Under Wisconsin’s old rule, mail-in ballots had to be postmarked prior to Election Day. Then the clerk would count them, as long as they arrived by 4 p.m. on the Friday after the election.

But a new law took effect in September. It requires absentee ballots to arrive in clerk’s offices by the time polls close on Election Night.

Disciplinary proceedings are now underway against the Milwaukee police officer, whose actions sparked unrest in the Sherman Park Neighborhood. He fatally shot Sylville Smith in August.

The District Attorney has not announced whether he’ll file charges in that case. But the DA has now charged Officer Dominique Heaggan-Brown with five counts of sexual misconduct. The new accusations stem from an attack that allegedly happened the same weekend as the shooting.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Thousands of people turned out to see Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump in Green Bay Monday night. Trump vowed to win Wisconsin in November and reiterated familiar promises to build a wall at the Mexican border and renegotiate trade deals. But, Trump also rolled out something new - a package of ethics reforms that he says are designed to end government corruption.

Trump took the stage to chants of “USA” and “lock her up” in reference to his opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton. Trump bashed Clinton for her ethics, after WikiLeaks revealed a slew of hacked emails.

Incumbent Sen. Ron Johnson and Democratic challenger Russ Feingold covered a myriad of issues in a debate Friday night in Green Bay. Polling shows the two candidates are locked in a tight race, with Feingold leading by only two points.

The meeting started off with each hopeful defending their endorsements of their party’s presidential nominees. While Sen. Johnson didn’t mention Donald Trump by name, he indicated his support. He says the two agree on major issues.

Republican Sen. Ron Johnson and Democratic challenger Russ Feingold will go head-to-head Friday night in a debate in Green Bay. The two are locked in a tight contest, with a new poll showing just a two point differential. 

One issue that’s heated up just this week is national health care. The two candidates have differing plans for the future of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

Oct. 14 UPDATE: Local clerks must complete as many addresses as possible on absentee voting forms and do not need to seek the permission of the people involved.

Under a new state law, witnesses to absentee voting must record their street number, name and municipality, but thousands have left off parts of that information.

Some clerks had asked state elections officials for permission to add the missing details, but officials went one step further Friday and mandated clerks to help.

Original story, posted on October 11:

Marti Mikkelson

What does it mean to be an American? That’s the final question we’re posing to Milwaukeeans, as we wrap up our joint project with NPR called A Nation Engaged.

We stopped by the Islamic Resource Center on Milwaukee’s south side to ask members of the Muslim community what it means to them to be Americans.

Janan Najeeb is president of the Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition. She came to Milwaukee from Palestine more than 40 years ago. Najeeb says being an American means equal treatment for everyone. - mzn37

With only a month to go before the presidential election, Wisconsin’s Voter ID law is back before the courts. U.S. District Judge James Peterson has ordered the state to show by Friday that it can quickly meet the needs of people seeking photo identification, so they can vote.

He was reacting to reports that a few DMV workers gave potential voters inaccurate information. If the state doesn’t address Peterson’s concerns, he could put Wisconsin’s Voter ID law on hold.

One of the most watched Senate races this year is a re-match in Wisconsin, between incumbent Republican Senator Ron Johnson — who swept into office six years ago on the Tea Party wave — and longtime Democrat Russ Feingold, who’s trying to win back his old seat.

WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson joins Here & Now‘s Jeremy Hobson to discuss the race, and the issues the candidates are talking about.

Community groups lined up at Milwaukee City Hall on Monday, when they were invited to voice opinions about a plan to boost public safety. City leaders assembled the draft in August and are now taking it out for public comment. Its recommendations include hiring nearly 300 new police officers and building a juvenile detention facility. Many people who testified Monday panned the proposal to put more officers on the streets.

Michelle Maternowski

For the past eight years, people who live in Milwaukee have been paying an additional $20 to register their vehicles. Now, Milwaukee County residents may have to cough up an additional $60. That’s what County Executive Chris Abele will formally introduce in his 2017 budget proposal Monday. He says the so-called wheel tax is necessary in order to plug a hole in the transit budget. An increasing number of local governments across Wisconsin are considering the option.