WUWM News

LaToya Dennis

MPD Sergeant Sheronda Grant talks about being a black police officer in Milwaukee, a minority-majority city, and during an era when police face a mix of harsh criticism and volatile situations. Grant is president of the League of Martin, an African American police association. She says the job can be especially stressful these days because what happens with police anywhere affects officers everywhere, yet she encourages young people to consider a career in law enforcement.

This week, Wisconsin state agencies will submit their spending requests for the next two years. Many eyes may focus on the state’s transportation budget. It faces a $1 billion deficit, and at a time when Wisconsin’s roads are rated as among the worst in the nation. There’s no shortage of opinions as to where the state could get more money.

Susan Bence

Residents in Milwaukee may be growing their vegetables in soil tainted with lead, without knowing it. A handful of partners are working built awareness of this problem and reduce the risks.

Growing Healthy Soil for Healthy Communities, which includes such partners as Medical College of Wisconsin and the UW Department of Soil Science, is reaching out to residents on the north and south sides.

Avigail Becerra has become one of the program’s staunchest advocates.

Marge Pitrof

With the start of the new school year, WUWM's Bubbler Talk probes a school-related question. Asker Mike Osowski wants to know the story behind Bay View High School's many stone faces.

More than 160 of them adorn the building, with most along its upper edge, but others around the doorways. 

There may be even more concrete faces, those were just the ones we were able to count. Others may be hidden, due to the addition MPS tacked onto the school in the mid-1970s.

MADISON WATER UTILITY

Mayor Tom Barrett made a surprise water announcement Wednesday saying anyone living in a home built before 1951 should install water filters to protect residents from possible lead poisoning.

He issued the advice while taking part in a public policy conference at Marquette University Law School.

TOOL: Do You Have Lead Pipes in Your Home?

Milwaukee has seen more violence and unrest than usual over the last few weeks. August was the city's deadliest month in a quarter century with 24 homicides. And over one weekend, protesters threw rocks at police, and torched businesses, angry about a fatal police shooting. Yet many people are giving less than rave reviews to a new proposal to boost public safety.

Critics say the plan is out of touch with what the community needs. And City Hall may hear those criticisms again on Thursday.

Michelle Maternowski

Milwaukee County Circuit Judge David Hansher on Wednesday extended his order that Sherman Park remain open during its regular hours. However, another hearing has been set to consider the bigger issue - what's the legal protocol for deciding when an emergency exists and expires. For now, anyway, the orange fencing is gone.

Original Story from Wednesday Morning:

Susan Bence

In this era of urban agriculture, Milwaukee is making a name for itself as a leader. At the same time, a group tuned into the dangers of lead in the soil wants to use the urban farming wave to inform families.

In Milwaukee, an estimated 10 percent of kids under age six have unhealthy levels of lead in their blood - levels that could cause permanent brain and nervous system disabilities.

A major culprit has been the lead-based paint used on houses decades ago. Those paint chips can also make their way into family gardens.

Rachel Morello

Tight school budgets mean teachers might not have enough money to supply their own classrooms. So some spend their own money and hit the discount stores. Increasingly, these days, teachers are also turning to crowdfunding websites to buy things as simple as markers and construction paper.

A charity that former Wisconsin Senator Herb Kohl runs is the latest group to lend teachers a hand.

Rachel Morello

It’s “back to school” time across Milwaukee.

For about 100 students on the near south side, this fall marks a brand-new experience – not only for them, but for their school, Stellar Collegiate.

It’s the brainchild of a local educator, and many parents are putting their faith in her program that, this time last year, they knew nothing about.

Michelle Maternowski

Milwaukee’s Lake Park is one of the most popular local Pokémon Go play areas. Crowds of people are lured to the handful of PokéStops, hoping to catch a rare pocket monster. The phenomenon intrigues some, and annoys others.

Jennifer Janviere

Make way for Milwaukee's Black Cat Alley.

During the first three weeks of September, muralists will turn an east side alley into a permanent outdoor arts destination.  

Ann-Elise Henzl Reporter Milwaukee Public Radio

Wisconsin has had its share this year of visits from Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Thursday night, it was Gary Johnson's turn. The Libertarian presidential hopeful stopped in Milwaukee for a spirited rally.

There were 24 homicides in Milwaukee during August. According to Police Chief Edward Flynn, the monthly total was the highest in a quarter century - in fact, the most in a month’s time since serial killer Jeffery Dahmer’s victims were counted.

Flynn says he does not want to minimize the recent police killing of a young black man or the riots that followed, yet in the few hours beforehand five people were murdered.

Marti Mikkelson

    

What is America’s place in the world? It’s the question NPR and its member stations are asking Americans this week, as voters get close to picking the next U.S. president. Today, we speak with people who patronize a huge local company: Harley-Davidson.

Some motorcycle owners seem comfortable with where the company stands globally, but say it will take effort to remain in a strong position.

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