WUWM News

Susan Bence / Milwaukee Public Radio

It was not until 1962 that the City of Milwaukee mandated that only copper be used for water service lines. So the number of houses possibly containing lead pipes is now estimated to be as high as 82,000, not the original 70,000.

The news was delivered Friday to members of the city's Water Quality Task Force.

For months, the city has been alerting people living in homes built prior to 1951 that they likely contain lead water pipes - so the residents should install filters on their faucets to protect against lead exposure, particularly among young children.

The City of Milwaukee faces the daunting challenge of replacing the lead pipes that deliver drinking water to 70,000 older homes. The task will stretch over years and comes at a mind-numbing cost.

This morning at City Hall, Milwaukee’s Water Quality Task Force will discuss its next steps.

The Common Council formed the group last September, after Mayor Tom Barrett unexpectedly recommended that families living in homes built before 1951 install water filters, to shield young children and pregnant women from possible lead exposure.

Have you noticed that you’re not seeing many ads for the upcoming Wisconsin Supreme Court election? That’s because only one person is running – the incumbent. 

Conservative-leaning Justice Annette Ziegler has no challenger this spring – it means she’s virtually assured of another ten year term on the court.

Walker
WHITNEY CURTIS/GETTY IMAGES

During his budget address Wednesday, Governor Walker said his budget prioritizes student success and accountable government, and rewards work. The governor also tucked nearly $600 million in tax cuts over the next two years into his plan. 

READ: Gov. Walker's 2017-19 Proposed Budget

LaToya Dennis

Across Milwaukee County, heroin is killing people. Last year, more than 140 people succumbed to the drug. For years now, lawmakers have been passing legislation and convening groups - hoping to come up with new ways to tackle the growing problem.

Tuesday, WUWM spoke with a man who described his struggle to break the addiction. Today, we sat down for dinner with a group of 12 men enrolled in treatment at Serenity Inns on Milwaukee’s north side.

Ann Althouse, flickr

There’s disagreement among state Republicans over some items that Gov. Walker will likely propose in his budget Wednesday. Gov. Walker has indicated that he will call for more funding for K-12 schools, particularly in rural areas. 

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos is pleased. He says many public schools have seen declining enrollment and it affects the amount of money the state sends them.

Dave L, flickr

Today the Milwaukee  Common Council unanimously voted to ban a material called coal tar.  The black, shiny liquid is sprayed or painted on surfaces such as driveways, parking lots and playgrounds.The ban also includes other pavement sealant products that contain more than one percent polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, PAHs.

Coal tar sealants have been shown to contain dangerous levels of the cancer-causing compound.

Runoff from pavement treated with coal tar is also impacting rivers and streams.

Milwaukee Public Schools

The Midnight Basketball Leagues will aim to attract young men ages 17 to 25 to offer them a healthy activity and a safe place to gather. During league sessions, the young men will also be able to connect with community resources such as help with recovering a driver's license or finding employment, and they will be able to interact with police, who will offer mentoring opportunities.

Susan Bence / Milwaukee Public Radio

Wauwatosa is re-envisioning the city's southwest corner, in its Life Sciences District Plan. The area includes the sprawling medical complex, including Children’s and Froedtert Hospitals, and what, for years, was known as the Milwaukee County Grounds.

LaToya Dennis

Last year in Milwaukee County, heroin killed at least 143 people. That was a nearly 30 percent increase over the previous year. Most health officials agree, addictions to opioids and heroin are continuing to worsen. WUWM caught up with a recovering heroin addict who’s now helping others struggling with addiction.  

Jason Dobson calls himself one of the lucky ones. He had been addicted to heroin and knocking at death’s door.

Micaela Martin

Milwaukee Democrats have unveiled their wish list for the next state budget as Gov. Walker prepares to deliver his Wednesday. The governor is expected to propose a fix for the transportation deficit and allocate more money for schools. Democrats say they hope to work with Republicans on some issues.

Yet, Dems are not happy with much of what Walker has already revealed about his proposed budget. Number one on Milwaukee Democrats’ list of priorities for the next state budget: jobs.

Kenishirotie, flickr

Studies show that the metropolitan Milwaukee area is the most segregated in the country. While the city of Milwaukee is majority minority, the surrounding suburban areas are largely white, and some groups contend that it’s this way by design. Back in 2011, The Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council filed a complaint against Waukesha County, alleging housing discrimination on the basis of race.

Rachel Morello

When you were in school, did you comprehend math?

It’s a subject that doesn’t come easily for everyone. In fact, in Milwaukee, there’s a big achievement gap in math among students – one of the widest gaps in the country.

But the city does have bright spots – individual schools and classrooms where teachers are approaching math in a new way. And they’re seeing results. 

City of Milwaukee Health Dept. & Milwaukee Water Works

Mayor Tom Barrett, along with city public health and government officials, unveiled a three-pronged approach to reduce resident's exposure to lead Friday - both through paint and pipes.

Lead paint was commonly applied in homes built before 1978. Lead pipes and soldering were commonly used to deliver water to buildings constructed before 1951.

Barrett said the campaign especially targets parents of young children and pregnant women.

Marti Mikkelson

The Milwaukee County Board held a contentious debate Thursday over refugees and undocumented immigrants. When it ended, the board voted 12-6 to affirm its commitment to protecting immigrants who live here. 

The issue arose in response to President Trump’s order to temporarily bar people from seven mostly Muslim countries and his talk of deporting at least some undocumented immigrants.

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