WUWM News

Milwaukee County may be putting fewer suspects in jail while they’re awaiting trial. That's because for the past year, the court system has been using a new risk assessment tool. It gauges whether a person charged with a crime is likely to flee or commit another crime, if he or she is released.

A number of states are using the strategy. Officials using the approach here shared their experiences at the Marquette University Law School on Wednesday.

ADELIE FREYJA ANNABEL, FLICKR

Wisconsin lawmakers are deciding whether to reward UW System schools based on how they perform. And experts say the idea has its share of pros and cons.

Metro Milwaukee continues to rank last in the country when it comes to the unemployment gap between black and white residents. According to the annual report the Urban League issues, unemployment among blacks here is nearly 14 percent, while the rate for whites is under 3 percent. It’s the second year in a row the area has the widest gap in the nation.

The Dontre Hamilton case is back in the news, even though it's been three years since he passed away. Common Council members are considering a settlement with Hamilton's family. Hamilton was the mentally ill man shot by a Milwaukee police officer after a struggle in Red Arrow Park.

Yet Hamilton’s family members have also become outspoken in matters related to police use of force. For instance, Dontre's mother Maria has organized marches seeking answers for families such as hers, who have lost loved ones in police shootings.

While President Trump embarks on a nine day trip overseas, trouble continues to brew at home. On Monday, former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn indicated he would not cooperate with at least one investigation into Trump’s ties with Russia. Flynn’s attorney cited the 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination. We asked a few people in downtown Milwaukee what they think of the unfolding saga.

agcreativelab, fotolia

School finance can be a tangled web.

The combination of federal, state and local funding formulas that play into classroom budgets is enough to make one's head spin. Nonetheless, the budgeting process is an annual task for school districts.

Rachel Morello

Public and private schools may have to further compete against each other for students and families, if the Trump administration rolls out an anticipated new tax credit.

SPENCER PLATT/GETTY IMAGES

Update, May 22: Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, who says the Dept. of Homeland Security plans to appoint him as an assistant secretary, is blasting reporter Andrew Kaczynski who claims Clarke plagiarized sections of his master's thesis on homeland security. The report that CNN carried over the weekend cites close to 50 instances in Clarke's 2013 thesis where it seems he failed to put quotation marks around statements he took almost verbatim from other sources.

Vincent Desjardins, Flickr

The Milwaukee Police Department should reconsider is pursuit policy, according to the majority of Common Council members. On Friday, the Public Safety Committee will discuss the issue – when should officers chase a car, and when should they let it go. Some lawmakers are concerned about a growing level of lawlessness on Milwaukee’s streets.

Sculpture Milwaukee

If you've been to downtown Milwaukee in the last week, you may have noticed curious shapes popping up along Wisconsin Ave. Workers are installing large sculptures, which will be on display for five months.

Local philanthropist Steve Marcus came up with the idea for the free, outdoor art gallery. He lobbied for it, for years. Marcus says people driving down the street are likely to take notice of the sculptures.

Rachel Morello

Spring has finally sprung around Milwaukee! And the warmer temperatures mean plenty of folks are looking for opportunities to get outside -- including teachers and students.

What's the best way to take your lessons outdoors?  That's something the folks in the Cedarburg and West Bend public school districts have been working on all year, with the help of a couple “Scientists in Residence.”

County Grounds Coalition

Debate over a small wooded parcel in Wauwatosa, commonly called Sanctuary Woods, has been brewing for months. The 22-acre parcel lies within a much larger area that city leaders envision as the Life Sciences District.

On Tuesday, Wauwatosa's controversial plan came up at the Milwaukee County Park, Energy and Environment committee meeting. The room spilled over with people and the committee chair quickly arranged an extra room so folks wouldn’t have to sit on the floor.

Photos.com

Some GOP lawmakers in Wisconsin are looking to get tougher on juvenile offenders. Right now, the state can sentence them to no longer than three year behind bars, but a bill circulating in Madison right now would allow juvenile offenders to be locked up until age 25. While some Republican leaders say the move is necessary to curtail crime, some Democrats prefer a different approach.

Plenty of people have been weighing in on President Trump’s handling of foreign matters, as he marks his fourth month in office. The latest controversy centers around reports that he revealed highly classified information to senior Russian officials. We spoke with a couple local people who closely watch the White House.

AnnElise Henzl WUWM

For the last couple of months, people arriving to and departing from Milwaukee County's jail have had their eyes scanned. That's in addition to having their fingerprints taken during the booking process.

Commander Aaron Dobson says the scans are an extra step to ensure proper identification. "No two people have the same iris."

Dobson and his staff showed the scanning devices to the media last week. The scanners are about the size of a digital camera. They're hooked up to a computer, which checks the image of a person's iris against others in a national database.

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