Lake Effect

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An analysis of felony second offense marijuana possession in Milwaukee County has found a troubling pattern. Of the 95 stops where no other crime was being committed, 86% of the people arrested were African-American.

The number is startling in a county where African-Americans makeup only 25% of the population, and the circumstances of some of the arrests seemed questionable.

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Many businesses and organizations hold courses on administering cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, and how to use an automated external defibrillator, or AED, device. The goal of this training is to have as many people as possible ready to assist in the case of a heart emergency.

And that’s music to the ears of Dr. Ivor Benjamin.

Benjamin is the director of the Cardiovascular Center at the Medical College of Wisconsin. And in July, he will assume the role of president of the American Heart Association.

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Small farms represented 46 percent of production in the United States in 1991.  But by 2015, that share had fallen to under 25 percent, according to the US Department of Agriculture.  Among dairy farms in Wisconsin, the numbers are striking - the state topped out at 167,000 in 1940 and now has just 9,000.

Audrey Nowakowski

Parkinson’s Disease is a degenerative neurological condition that causes patients to lose muscle and body control over time.  It can start out as something as simple as a limp, progress to tremors, and can eventually leave a patient entirely incapacitated.

While doctors and hospitals can offer medications, surgery, and physical therapy - some people diagnosed with the disease look for a supportive group environment with others who see Parkinson’s as just one part of their lives. 

Art Montes

Last week, we heard about unfortunate run-ins with rock stars and Buick Rivieras. This week, we continue our celebration of Season 9 audience favorites in anticipation of the upcoming season finale: ALL STARS “Connection” StorySlam, learning that innocent discussions and distractions can have unintended consequences.

Photo courtesy of Arno Michaelis

This August marks the 6th anniversary of the shooting at  the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.  The hate crime left six people dead and four others wounded, and the killer later committed suicide.  Among those who died was the temple’s leader, Satwant Singh Kaleka.

Susan Bence

If you have plans to visit the giant IKEA store in Oak Creek, be on the lookout for a 3-foot-tall wooden fence. It's not just for show, it is a wall that will help keep nearby salamanders from wandering into the store's parking lot.

The structure is called an amphibian exclusion barrier and divides Falk Park from IKEA.

At the time of the store's construction, Julia Robson was natural areas coordinator with the Milwaukee County Parks. She knows the 222-acre park well.

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Black holes have a bad reputation.  The line is that they’re so dense, not even light can escape, and many of us imagine being pulled inexorably toward an enormous vacuum cleaner or a drain with no hope of escape.

The truth is a little more nuanced than that.  And we know much more about them today because of the Hubble Space Telescope. 

"The Hubble Space Telescope gave us the first concrete evidence of the existence of a super massive black hole in another galaxy," notes astronomy contributor and director of the Manfred Olson Planetarium at UW-Milwaukee, Jean Creighton.

Michelle Maternowski

Since 2013, a company now based on Milwaukee’s north side has become the go-to baker of authentic Bavarian soft pretzels. The Milwaukee Pretzel Company’s pretzels are found in numerous places - from bars and restaurants, to beer gardens and Bucks games. The company is the creation of husband and wife Matt and Katie Wessel, who fed their love of pretzels while living in Germany for a year.

On this very special National Pretzel Day, Pretzel Podcast hosts Mitch and Michelle take a field trip to the delicious smelling business to learn why things are going so well. 

Courtesy of the Milwaukee Journal

While Milwaukee is often cited as the most segregated metropolitan area in the U.S., it’s hardly unusual. In most American cities, people of different races live in different neighborhoods and there’s a general pattern: neighborhoods near the center of a city are home to African-Americans and people of color, while the surrounding suburbs are majority white. But why?

Mitch Teich

The concept is pretty simple - two wheels, pedals, a chain, and a frame.  But within that basic mix of parts, it turns out there’s a lot of room for art.  Quite a lot of room, actually. Even a basic bike can be a work of art - art that can also take you to work, or down a wooded path.

courtesy Jenny Benjamin

Milwaukee writer Jenny Benjamin transported readers between 21st Century Milwaukee and 18th Century Italy in her 2013 novel, This Most Amazing.  But Benjamin's latest books take readers on a much more intimate trip, into her heart and her mind.  Benjamin is an award-winning poet and frequent poetry contributor to Lake Effect, and has two new collections that are now on shelves.

Image Courtesy of University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections

Fourteen years before Lewis and Clark crossed the North American continent to "discover" the Pacific Ocean, Scottish fur trader and explorer Alexander Mackenzie did it in what is now northern Canada.

kwamealexander.com

Kwame Alexander never doubted that there was an audience for his children’s books - sports books written in verse - even though publishers said girls won’t read books about sports and boys wouldn’t read poems.  But eventually, the first of those books, The Crossover, hit the shelves featuring both basketball and poetry.  And it was a smash hit, winning the 2015 Newbery Medal. A soccer book followed, then a book of guiding principles for young lives.

Susan Bence

Just like Milwaukee, thousands of lead service lines deliver water from the main into Wauwatosa households. Wauwatosa's public works director David Simpson estimates nearly 10,000 of its 15,000 customers have lead pipes feeding water into their homes.

Simpson says Wauwatosa recently changed its policy surrounding pipes that break. “If we have a break on the city-owned lateral, we’ll go in and replace the entire city-owned side.” Before that, he says, city crews simply repaired the break.

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