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 Kern

The state Senate approved a $76 billion spending plan Friday night and sent it to Gov. Scott Walker.  He's promised to make several vetoes to secure the deal.  One would make repeal of the prevailing wage for state construction projects effective immediately. 

The budget is 11 weeks overdue and three GOP senators were threatening to vote against it, but it finally passed after some last minute promises and a phone call from Walker, who is currently overseas on a trade mission. 

The state Assembly on Thursday gave final approval to a $3 billion incentives Foxconn package. It's next stop is the governor's desk.

The Assembly had to take up the bill a second time, because the Senate made changes to it. The vote fell mainly along party lines but this time, one Democrat changed his vote from no to yes.


The Foxconn deal has cleared another hurdle. The state Senate approved a $3 billion incentives package Tuesday for the Taiwanese electronics giant to build a huge LCD screen manufacturing plant in southeastern Wisconsin.

It appears the factory would be located in Racine County, since the city of Kenosha announced it’s taking itself out of consideration. The city said it couldn’t support the project, citing state laws that restrict tax incremental financing districts and levy limits.

Foxconn Twitter

The city of Kenosha says it no longer wants to be considered as a possible site to locate a Foxconn plant.  The Taiwanese electronics giant wants to build a huge LCD screen manufacturing operation in Kenosha or Racine County.

The state Senate is expected to vote today on whether to provide $3 billion in tax incentives to lure the company to Wisconsin. 

Justin W Kern

The Joint Finance committee held a marathon session Tuesday and in the end, advanced some huge policy items. The panel approved a road funding plan that would delay a couple of major freeway projects in Milwaukee County, plus impose new fees on electric and hybrid cars. Lawmakers also rubber stamped a number of changes to the Foxconn deal, and sent the bill back to the Assembly for another vote.


At long last, the Legislature's Joint Finance committee is going to decide how to pay for roads and plug a $1 billion hole in the state's transportation budget. The panel is scheduled to meet today to vote on transportation, one of the few remaining items left to tackle, after a long delay in debate over the biennial spending plan. Typically, lawmakers approve the budget before the end of June.

Marti Mikkelson

For the fifth summer in a row, thousands of people have flocked to Milwaukee County’s beer gardens to sample an array of beer and kick back with family and friends. The county experimented with the idea in 2012 – and now more beer gardens are popping up across the area. They appear to have accomplished their purpose of bringing people back to the parks.

Authorities say a 51-year-old inmate died Tuesday night at the Milwaukee County jail. 

Sheriff David Clarke's spokeswoman Fran McLaughlin says the inmate was brought into the jail on Tuesday morning. By 10:00 p.m., the inmate complained of not feeling well.  

McLaughlin says staff immediately responded, and called for a medical unit from the Milwaukee Fire Department.  The inmate lost consciousness at the jail clinic and both jail and fire department staff were unable to revive him.  An autopsy will be performed to determine the exact cause of death.

Marti Mikkelson

City leaders continue to ramp up efforts to crack down on prostitution on Milwaukee’s south side. Earlier this summer, a community organization announced it would open a shelter for victims of human trafficking, who are forced into prostitution. Then, neighbors chipped in to hire a private security firm to gather intelligence on the south side – and go after the customers, or johns. A couple of aldermen announced Wednesday that the city is also focusing on another tactic.

Marti Mikkelson

State lawmakers have held several meetings about the huge Foxconn plant that the Taiwanese company wants to build in southeastern Wisconsin. But, Tuesday’s hearing was different. It was the first crack the Joint Finance committee had at the deal. And, the public hearing was held in Racine County – one of the counties likely in the running to land the LCD screen manufacturing facility.

Marti Mikkelson

It took nearly two years, but House Speaker Paul Ryan finally held a town hall meeting in his district Monday night.

About 300 people attended the event at the Racine Theater Guild. Several hundred others gathered outside the venue to protest. Ryan answered questions on a wide range of topics.


Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle made emotional pleas in Madison on Thursday, urging colleagues to pass – or reject – the Foxconn bill. After seven hours of debate, the state Assembly approved the bill on a vote of 59-30.

The vote was largely along party lines, but some Democrats found themselves supporting the bill.

Marti Mikkelson

Mayor Tom Barrett said an increase to Milwaukee’s sales tax is necessary to balance a tight city budget. While previewing city budget challenges Tuesday night, he told about 100 people at the Zeidler Municipal Building that the city faces a dire budget situation for 2018, and called the current fiscal model unsustainable. 

Barrett said in the past few years, pension costs that the city pays to retirees have skyrocketed while the state has cut back on shared revenue payments to municipalities.


Foxconn’s plans to build a huge LCD screen manufacturing facility in southeastern Wisconsin are another step closer to reality. On Monday, an Assembly committee voted in favor of a $3 billion tax incentives package to lure the company here.

Gov. Walker and fellow Republicans are pushing for the deal. Democrats on the committee pushed for nearly two dozen amendments in an effort to soften the burden on taxpayers. But, all of them failed.

Marti Mikkelson

Efforts to connect people to jobs on Milwaukee’s north side jumped into high gear a year ago, after the unrest that broke out in the Sherman Park neighborhood.

It followed a police officer’s fatal shooting of a black man, Sylville Smith. Some people joined the protests, to also raise concerns about jobs and economic opportunity. After the dust settled, community leaders called for an end to the persistent unemployment that has plagued the north side.

WUWM examines the job outlook for the area one year later.