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

Brett Levin flickr

Marijuana is a hot topic again in the Wisconsin Legislature. A couple Republican state Senators said Thursday they’ll introduce a bill to legalize possession of CBD oil, a marijuana extract used to treat seizures. At the same time, some Democrats want to legalize marijuana for medical and recreational purposes. Only one proposal seems likely to move forward.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Congress returned to session on Tuesday. One item Republican lawmakers promise to repeal, and in short order, is President Obama’s signature health care law – the Affordable Care Act.

In Wisconsin, the data shows that more than 173,000 people now get their health insurance through the ACA.  With its future in doubt, WUWM asked several providers what they’re advising people who are looking for insurance.

Justin W Kern

The Wisconsin Legislature gets back into action on Tuesday. All 99 members of the state Assembly will be sworn-in for another two years, while half the state Senate will take the oath of office for new, four-year terms.

Republicans secured even larger majorities in the November elections. The GOP picked up one more seat in the Assembly, increasing their margin 64 to 35, the largest Republican majority in 60 years. They’ve also taken a 20-13 lead in the state Senate, after knocking off Democrat Julie Lassa of Stevens Point.  

Scott Olson/Getty Images

  

America’s presidential race dominated the country’s political news in 2016 – including in Wisconsin. Donald Trump defied the polls and won the state. In addition, the year ushered in a second term for Republican Sen. Ron Johnson.

The election activity started right away and brought plenty of surprises. The presidential candidates campaigned early and often, before Wisconsin’s April primary.

Marti Mikkelson

Every Saturday morning, hundreds of people wait in line for the doors to open at the Riverwest Food Pantry. It’s located in the basement of St. Casimir’s Church in Milwaukee's Riverwest neighborhood.

Once inside, they mingle for a few minutes, then Vincent Noth calls the group into prayer. He is the director of the operation.

KEVIN CHANG, FLICKR

The idea has arisen again of breaking up the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Supporters believe placing its functions in different agencies would make things run more efficiently. Gov. Walker indicated this week that he thinks the proposal has merit. Some environmentalists worry the plan would have disastrous effects.

The idea is to basically divide the Department of Natural Resources into two separate agencies. The latest proposal comes from Republican state Rep. Adam Jarchow of Balsam Lake.

Marti Mikkelson

At the state Capitol on Monday, a couple hundred people packed into a tiny hearing room, while the state's 10 Republican electors took their seats at the front.

They selected Brad Courtney of the state Republican Party to lead the proceedings. He laid out the ground rules: “No signs are allowed in the meeting. Please keep conversation to a minimum. If there are any loud conversations or disruptions, we ask that you please take those outside.” But, all wasn’t quiet, after a clerk distributed ballots, the electors voted, and Courtney read the results.

althouse

Update: Dec. 19, 12:35 P.M.

While demonstrators marched and shouted, Wisconsin's 10 presidential electors cast their ballots for Donald Trump, during the noon hour at the state Capitol on Monday. Police escorted one protester out of the voting room, after she yelled, "This is my America. You sold us out." A contingent of demonstrators chanted, "Shame." Trump carried Wisconsin by nearly 23,000 votes, becoming the first Republican to win the state's presidential vote in decades.

Original story from Dec. 19, 6:00 A.M.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Thousands of people braved the cold and stood in line for hours to get a glimpse of President-elect Donald Trump Tuesday night in West Allis. Trump held a rally at State Fair Park as part of his Thank You tour of battleground states. Trump talked about some recent events in his speech, including the Wisconsin recount.

Trump told the ecstatic crowd that it’s an honor to be back in Wisconsin and thanked supporters for electing him -- the first Republican president in the state since 1984.

Marti Mikkelson

Update, Dec. 12 3:30 P.M.

The Wisconsin Election Commission has certified the state's recount of its presidential election and reports that Republican Donald Trump actually won the state with 131 more votes than the initial tally indicated. The recount also indicated that there were no major flaws that affected the Wisconsin count, although workers did have to toss or change hundreds of votes because of errors detected.

Sara D. Davis/Getty Images

President-Elect Donald Trump is planning a return visit to Wisconsin, as part of his "thank you" tour of several states that were battlegrounds during the presidential campaign.  

Trump has scheduled a stop at State Fair Park in West Allis on Tuesday night. Vice President-Elect Mike Pence is expected to join him. 

Trump won Wisconsin by about 22,000 votes, becoming the first Republican presidential candidate to win the state since 1984.  

Tracy Symonds-Keogh

If you’ve watched the Netflix series Making a Murderer, you’re probably familiar with Steven Avery. But, his nephew Brendan Dassey wasn’t as much of a household name – until this summer. That’s when a federal judge overturned Dassey’s 2007 conviction in the rape and murder of photographer Teresa Halbach.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice is appealing the judge’s ruling and attorneys have until Wednesday to file briefs.

WUWM spoke with legal observers who insist the Dassey case proves America’s criminal justice system needs reform.

Michelle Maternowski

Update, Dec. 2, 4:08 P.M.

A federal court in Madison will not temporarily halt the Wisconsin recount, while opponents challenge it. U.S. District Judge James Peterson will let both the recount and the legal challenge proceed simultaneously. He rejected a motion from Trump supporters to halt the process, stating that there is no harm in allowing the recount to continue. Peterson has scheduled a court hearing on their lawsuit for Dec. 9, just four days before the state's final vote tally is due.   

Update, Dec. 2:

Marti Mikkelson

The sign reads Pompeii Square. Many people have zipped past this tiny strip of green space while exiting 794 on their way to Summerfest or the Milwaukee Art Museum. And, many may have even wondered.. 'What is that?'

Joan Nink did, so she reached out to WUWM's Bubbler Talk to find out the origin of Pompeii Square.

No, this isn't the site of a volcanic eruption. It was actually where the first Italian church in the City of Milwaukee once stood.

JOE RAEDLE/GETTY IMAGES

Gov. Scott Walker is strongly hinting that he’ll run for a third term in 2018. 

Walker swept into office in the tea party wave of 2010, while Republicans took both houses of the Legislature. He dropped jaws when he announced he would gut public unions, then he was able to pass other landmark pieces of legislation, including statewide expansion of voucher schools. But, there are challenges ahead, should he decide to mount another campaign.

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