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.

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Gov. Walker
Eric Thayer/Getty Images

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush officially announced his bid for president Monday. This means Gov. Walker would be one of the last to enter the race. Walker has said he won’t announce until he signs the state budget.


Milwaukee residents may soon notice some provocative billboards around the city. They’re part of a new campaign designed to raise awareness about human trafficking of young children and teenagers.

While law enforcement would not give exact numbers, they say there’s been an increase in cases across Milwaukee and the state. Community leaders gathered on Thursday to discuss the problem.

Marti Mikkelson

Despite the improved economy, local manufacturers still struggle to find skilled workers. Some company leaders have even been visiting high schools to encourage young people to consider a career in the skilled trades.

One new high school grad who did not need coaxing to head into the skilled trades is Gary Large. He grew up on a farm in Port Washington.

Marti Mikkelson

Many employers in the U.S., including in Milwaukee, struggle to find qualified workers. According to a recent Manpower survey, one in three employers are having a tough time even though the economy has improved.

The greatest area of need remains in the skilled trades, including construction.


Members of the Milwaukee Police Department on Thursday updated city leaders on the progress of recovering lost interrogation videos. A handful were destroyed when one of the department’s computers crashed in January.

Members of the police department spoke to the Common Council’s Public Safety committee. IT Director Chuck Burke described what happened the day of the computer crash.

“We had two disk drive failures, which was recoverable. In the process of the system recovering those failed drives, a third one failed, making the system inoperable,” Burke says.

Wisconsin's State Capitol

More marathon sessions are expected in Madison. The Legislature’s Joint Finance committee is moving into its final week of budget deliberations.

Gov. Walker has indicated he wants his budget passed quickly, and several huge items remain.

One big lingering matter is Wisconsin’s transportation budget for the next two years. JR Ross covers state government for the online news magazine He says the Joint Finance Committee must decide how to fund highway projects.


The Legislature's budget committee on Wednesday morning undid Gov. Walker's cut to K-12 schools while approving an expansion of the state's voucher school program.  

The Joint Finance committee worked into the night and restored all of the $127 million cut the governor had proposed for the first year of the two-year budget.

In addition, the panel approved a measure that would allow $100 per student in funding for the second year of the budget.

Marti Mikkelson

Wisconsin might end its Chapter 220 program. It started decades ago to integrate public schools in the Milwaukee area. A federal judge ruled in 1976 that they were unconstitutionally segregated.

Gov. Walker wants to phase out Chapter 220 over a 12 year period; he cites minimal participation. On Tuesday, the legislature’s budget committee will vote. We spoke with people who hold strong opinions about the program.

ThoseGuys119, flickr

On Tuesday, the legislature’s budget committee will vote on funding for K-12 schools. One item Gov. Walker has included is a phase-out of Chapter 220. He says participation is minimal.

Wisconsin created the program to integrate public schools in Milwaukee, after a federal judge declared them segregated in 1976.  The state hailed Chapter 220 as a voluntary way to desegregate Milwaukee’s public schools. It paid for black and white students to attend schools farther away from home, in order to make them more racially balanced.


Hundreds of Republicans from across Wisconsin will gather in La Crosse this weekend for their annual state party convention.

This time, it coincides with news from former Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold. He announced Thursday, that he wants to reclaim the seat he lost to Republican Sen. Ron Johnson in 2010.

The convention will take a two-pronged approach, according to Chris Martin. He’s spokesman for the Republican Party of Wisconsin. One, is to celebrate the accomplishments of 2014.