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

Marti Mikkelson

WUWM has joined NPR this week in a special reporting project, called A Nation Engaged. It's exploring whether Americans believe their vote counts. WUWM asked homeless people in Milwaukee. Some say they’ve encountered problems, but all plan to keep voting.

Joanna Beamon is one of several dozen people who’ve come to Hephethea Lutheran Church in Milwaukee’s central city for dinner. Beamon says she votes in every election.

Michelle Maternowski

Emotions ran high outside Milwaukee City Hall Monday night as hundreds of people mourned the deaths of nearly 50 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

A gunman shot dozens of patrons early Sunday, apparently to show support for ISIS.

Monday evening’s rally in Milwaukee included a candlelight vigil and calls for solutions to hate and violence.

Many people in the audience sported rainbow flags in their lapels. Others carried signs that read “No Hate” and “I Stand Against Intolerance.” The City of Festivals Men’s Chorus performed.

Gerardo Mora/Getty Images

Authorities say 49 people were killed early Sunday morning when a gunman opened fire at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. At Milwaukee's Pridefest Sunday, the conversations taking place on the Summerfest grounds were sobering and reflective.

Cas Thiele of Oconomowoc calls the Orlando shootings devastating. “It really hurts that there’s so much hate, that that would happen,” Thiele says.

Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn took the hot seat on Monday as homicides and carjackings grip the city. Members of the Common Council’s Public Safety committee wanted to know what the MPD is doing to fight criminal activity. Emotions ran high at times.

The chair of the Public Safety committee, Ald. Bob Donovan, opened the discussion.

“We indeed are not satisfied with the level of safety in Milwaukee and that the status quo is simply unacceptable,” Donovan says.

Police Chief Edward Flynn began his testimony by offering encouraging numbers.

The Milwaukee Streetcar

Like it or not, the Milwaukee Streetcar is becoming a reality. Groundbreaking is essentially underway, as We Energies is moving utility lines along the two mile route through downtown. Service is slated to begin in 2018. But, arguments continue surfacing.

Perhaps the person who feels most passionately about the Milwaukee Streetcar is Mayor Tom Barrett. The project has been on his radar since he first took office in 2004.

Atlanta Streetcar

Modern day streetcar systems are popping up in places such as Dallas, Portland and Kansas City with hopes of sparking economic revival. Milwaukee leaders desire similar results here as they prepare to debut a system in 2018. But, not every project has lived up to its hype.

It took years longer than projected for the streetcar system in Washington D.C. to finally begin operating.

Martin Austermuhle says problems started back in 2007, when the district first began construction. 

Marti Mikkelson

If you’ve been driving downtown lately, you may have noticed streets ripped up around the Milwaukee Public Market. We Energies is moving utility lines to make way for the Milwaukee Streetcar.

The first leg will connect the Third Ward, the Intermodal Station and the east side. Service is slated to begin in 2018.

A few blocks away, inside the Zeidler Municipal Building, City Engineer Jeff Polenske is pouring over designs. He says the city intends to build a modern, state-of-the-art streetcar system.


Several hundred Democrats throughout Wisconsin are expected to gather at the state convention in Green Bay later this week. Members will vote on a number of issues, including whether to eliminate super delegates from the process. Those are delegates at the national convention who are not bound to a particular candidate.

Milwaukee County Historical Society

As Milwaukee inches closer to building a modern day streetcar system, WUWM kicks off a series, called Streetcar: High Risk, High Reward?

First, WUWM's Marti Mikkelson revisits Milwaukee's old system.

Wisconsin state Legislature

A federal trial begins Tuesday in Madison over the way state Republicans redrew Wisconsin’s political boundaries in 2011. 

A dozen Wisconsin residents who vote for Democrats are suing the state. They argue the boundaries are unconstitutional because they heavily favor Republicans.

Emily Forman / Precious Lives

Hundreds of people turned out on Milwaukee’s north side Tuesday evening to honor Za’layia Jenkins on what would have been her tenth birthday. Earlier this month, a bullet struck her while she was watching TV; and on Monday, she died.

The shot was the result of a gun fight outside.

Friends and neighbors gathered on the front lawn of Za’layia Jenkins’ home near 15th and Meinecke. Many people held signs that read “Stop the Violence” and "Pray for Peace.”

Another chapter is unfolding in the battle over the voter laws Republican legislators approved in Wisconsin in recent years. A number of courts have weighed in, ultimately affirming the state’s ability to require voters to show photo identification at the polls.

Now, a federal trial begins Monday, challenging other laws surrounding voting rules, and pushing for the photo ID requirement to be tweaked, for some residents. Plenty of interested parties will be awaiting the trial’s outcome.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Gov. Walker and other state Republicans had plenty to say Wednesday about Donald Trump being their party’s likely nominee for President. Both Ted Cruz and John Kasich have suspended their campaigns, leaving Trump as the only remaining candidate in the GOP race. Yet, division exists among state Republicans, in the direction they seem headed.

After meeting with manufacturing reps in West Allis, Gov. Walker reiterated his stance that he will support the Republican nominee for President.


People have begun applying for the impending vacancy on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Justice David Prosser has announced plans to retire by the end of July. Gov. Walker may have a long list to choose from – along with plenty of advice.

The governor expects a mix of judges and attorneys to apply for the seat that Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser is leaving. Walker told WHBY Radio in Appleton that it will be, at least, a four-year job.

Marti Mikkelson

Only one of the three Milwaukee County Domes will reopen Friday. The county shut down the 50-year-old horticultural, glass-encased oasis earlier this year after a piece of concrete fell from one.

On Friday, a ceremony will mark the reopening of the Show Dome, the one that features seasonal displays. Workers were making preparations this week.