WUWM News

Elvis Kennedy, flickr

Wisconsin's Senate took up key pieces of legislation Tuesday. Two of the most controversial bills are now headed for Gov. Walker's signature. One bill eases sulfide mining regulations, and the other opens up hunting to kids of any age.

The Milwaukee County Board on Monday overwhelmingly passed a budget that does not include a $30 wheel tax that County Executive Chris Abele proposed. Instead, supervisors voted on a budget that they say relies on efficiencies to help make up for a shortfall.

The state agency tasked with overseeing the huge Foxconn incentives package is expected to vote on it this week.  Under the deal, brokered by Gov. Walker's team, the state will give the Taiwanese electronics giant $3 billion -- and ease environmental regulations -- to help Foxconn build a massive LCD screen plant in Racine County. 

Chris Abele

The Milwaukee County Board will vote on a nearly $1.7 billion 2018 budget proposed by County Executive Chris Abele Monday.

The budget includes $19 million in increased revenue due to new or increased fees—one of the most controversial being a proposed $30 hike that would double the wheel tax. Abele says his goal is to avoid major cuts to services. The county is facing a structural deficit and decreased money from the state.

County Executive Chris Abele says that over the past six years he’s worked hard to keep spending in line.

Susan Bence

Update, November 3:

Although Democrats rallied against the bill designed to lift the nearly-20 year restrictions on sulfide mining, the Republican-dominated State Assembly prevailed with a 53-38 vote. Bill sponsor Rep. Rob Hutton of Brookfield folded in amendments that include halting mining if it is legally challenged; another to help ensure mining companies pay taxes.

LaToya Dennis

It’s been a couple years since news broke about allegations of inmate abuse at two state-run juvenile prisons in northern Wisconsin. Still, concerns remain about the safety of the teens -- and staff -- at the boys' prison, Lincoln Hills, and the neighboring facility for girls, Copper Lake. 

Tuesday, Lincoln Hills was put on lockdown, so staff could search for weapons and contraband. Since the start of the investigation, some elected officials have pushed for alternatives to the juvenile prisons. Progress has been slow.

Justin W Kern

State lawmakers are floating an idea for how to crack down on human trafficking and prostitution. They're considering a bill that would enlist the help of truck drivers, whose routes take them throughout the state. An assembly committee is scheduled to vote on the item Wednesday. Some victims' advocates approve of the measure, but say the state should also employ other innovative strategies.

Susan Bence / Milwaukee Public Radio

Oak Creek had been on tap sell Waukesha Lake Michigan water to replace its contaminated well water. But Monday Waukesha announced that instead, it will purchase the supply from Milwaukee.

Before he toasted over glasses of water with Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly on Monday, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett acknowledged the road to their agreement had been a bumpy one.

Courtesy of Vaun Mayes Bey

Murder in Milwaukee -- that’s the name of a new documentary from the BBC. The documentary chronicles the Milwaukee Police Department as they work to curb gun violence, and looks at the relationship between police and African Americans. But the depiction of Milwaukee as a “lawless” city has angered some community activists.

Wisconsin Department of Corrections

Wisconsin's troubled juvenile prison, Lincoln Hills, keeps making headlines.  Investigations into the state-run facility in northern Wisconsin began over two years ago, over claims that the teenage inmates were being mistreated. 

Sharyn Morrow, Flickr

Milwaukee County is in the midst of an opioid crisis. City officials and medical professionals say the lack of available funds in Milwaukee County to address substance abuse can be a roadblock to creating effective treatment and education. 

On Thursday, President Donald Trump deemed the opioid crisis as a public health emergency and said that he plans to put a lot of time, effort and money into eliminating the crisis.

Rachel Morello

School can play many roles in a child’s life: it’s the place kids learn, it can be the place they eat, and play. And it can also be the place they go for help. Along with people like counselors and nurses, some schools are adding therapy dogs to their staffs to address students’ emotional needs.

Susan Bence / Milwaukee Public Radio

The parking lot outside Veterans Terrace in downtown Burlington was packed as the informational session started at 5 pm sharp. This was the third public information meeting for area residents and business owners hosted by Racine County.

I chatted with people who turned out, and heard mostly these sorts of comments:

“I’m excited for the Village of Mount Pleasant and for the whole region. This will be a big shot in the arm for this whole 5-county region here. A lot of people needs jobs,” Paul Maccari said.

“I think it’s huge feather in our cap,” Sharon Smolensy said.

Marti Mikkelson

The Milwaukee Streetcar is set to begin operating next fall. You may have noticed all the construction that’s underway for the two-mile loop through downtown – as well as the tracks that have already been laid down. But, support for the service appears to be in doubt, as a new poll shows.

Susan Bence / Milwaukee Public Radio

I first met Cole Compton four years ago, when he was a high school freshman. He had just started interning with a program called Teens Grow Greens, and was sharing his vision to sell terrariums with plants with fellow students.

“I loved the idea of having this living thing that I can almost make a home for. I can make this little environment of my own,” Compton says.

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