WUWM News

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Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle made emotional pleas in Madison on Thursday, urging colleagues to pass – or reject – the Foxconn bill. After seven hours of debate, the state Assembly approved the bill on a vote of 59-30.

The vote was largely along party lines, but some Democrats found themselves supporting the bill.

Rachel Morello/info.gram

Like law and medicine, education can be a complicated field -- particularly with how many buzzwords people use.

Educators are infamous for having their own lingo – commonly referred to as “edu-speak” -- filled with acronyms and other jargon. And all that terminology adds a layer of confusion for some parents, as they try to advocate for their kids.

Once you immerse yourself in the world of school policy (like anything else) you fall prey to becoming a wonk, and using verbage normal people might not recognize – phrases like “blended learning” or “21st century skills.”

LaToya Dennis

There are a lot of statistics that point to Milwaukee not being a good place for many African Americans. The high crime and poverty rates, and high achievement gap between black and white students, are just a few. Several groups are trying to improve the lives of the city's black residents, including by providing both a safety net and public safety. WUWM reports on the group - The Freedom Fighters, whose name pays homage to those who came before.

Jessica Grow, School of Freshwater Sciences

The dangerous blue-green algae in Milwaukee's Veterans Park lagoon continues to pose a risk to human and animal health. Last weekend, organizers of a dragon boat festival moved the event elsewhere because of toxins created by the algae. And this coming weekend, water skiers had planned to compete in a two-day competition.

The water ski event was canceled Wednesday, due to the water's condition.

Marti Mikkelson

Mayor Tom Barrett said an increase to Milwaukee’s sales tax is necessary to balance a tight city budget. While previewing city budget challenges Tuesday night, he told about 100 people at the Zeidler Municipal Building that the city faces a dire budget situation for 2018, and called the current fiscal model unsustainable. 

Barrett said in the past few years, pension costs that the city pays to retirees have skyrocketed while the state has cut back on shared revenue payments to municipalities.

Alex Wong/Getty Images

Should Wisconsin be the only state making a major investment in the proposed Foxconn factory? Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson asked that question on Tuesday at a Rotary Club appearance in Milwaukee.

The Republican businessman says the huge plant in far southeastern Wisconsin likely would provide jobs for many Illinois residents. As a result, Johnson suggested that perhaps Illinois should share the burden that Gov. Scott Walker wants Wisconsin to take on in order to ensure Foxconn build its plant here.

alumroot

Foxconn’s plans to build a huge LCD screen manufacturing facility in southeastern Wisconsin are another step closer to reality. On Monday, an Assembly committee voted in favor of a $3 billion tax incentives package to lure the company here.

Gov. Walker and fellow Republicans are pushing for the deal. Democrats on the committee pushed for nearly two dozen amendments in an effort to soften the burden on taxpayers. But, all of them failed.

Bonnie Petrie

Violence erupted in the Sherman Park neighborhood a year ago – after a Milwaukee police officer fatally shot an armed suspect. The outburst was partly the result of frustration over stubborn issues that have been plaguing the central city. Among the top concerns – jobs. The incident prompted Gov. Walker to commit $4.5 million to help employ people from central city neighborhoods.

Milwaukee’s unemployment rate has declined from 6.5 percent to five percent in the year since the Sherman Park unrest, according to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

Marti Mikkelson

Efforts to connect people to jobs on Milwaukee’s north side jumped into high gear a year ago, after the unrest that broke out in the Sherman Park neighborhood.

It followed a police officer’s fatal shooting of a black man, Sylville Smith. Some people joined the protests, to also raise concerns about jobs and economic opportunity. After the dust settled, community leaders called for an end to the persistent unemployment that has plagued the north side.

WUWM examines the job outlook for the area one year later.

Susan Bence / Milwaukee Public Radio

After a decade leading Milwaukee's All Peoples Church, Pastor Steve Jerbi left for a post in California. In his parting sermon, he told his congregation: “When I think about the ministry we have done together, it has been a ministry of providence.”

Aisha Turner

Milwaukee has said goodbye to one of its prominent -- and outspoken -- faith leaders. For the last 10 years, Steve Jerbi was senior pastor at All Peoples Church on 2nd and Clarke.

He stood out as a white man leading a predominantly black congregation. He also became known for his passionate pursuit of racial and social justice.

This Sunday -- for the first time in a decade -- the congregation will gather without Jerbi, because he's moving to California to take a position with a church there.

Scott Meyers, Milwaukee PBS

This weekend marks the first anniversary of the unrest that rocked Milwaukee's Sherman Park neighborhood.

People angry about a fatal police shooting -- and also a lack of jobs and opportunity -- protested. Some in the crowd set buildings on fire and shot weapons into the air, as they faced off against police officers in riot gear.

Today, the neighborhood is still struggling to get a handle on the longstanding issues. So is the rest of the city.

Susan Bence

As Gov. Walker pushes for swift approval of the $3 billion Foxconn incentives package, Wednesday Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said his chamber is taking its time to go through it. Meanwhile, DNR secretary Kathy Stepp was in Milwaukee to promote the bill.

At the monthly meeting of the state's Natural Resources Board, Stepp wanted the board to know her agency is ready to work with Taiwanese company and that she’s excited about it.

arinahabich, flickr

Believe it or not, school starts next week for some kids in the Milwaukee area – and MPS students, parents and staff have a few notable changes on the horizon as kids head back to class.

Led by Superintendent Darienne Driver, the struggling district has implemented a number of reforms that leaders hope will spur gains in student achievement.

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