WUWM News

Keyon Jackson-Malone

Precious Lives: The Live Show is set for this Wednesday evening, June 15, at the Pabst Theater. People battered by gun violence in Milwaukee have agreed to express to hundreds of people how life has changed and the hope that still exists.

As the live show nears, Eric Von chatted with Precious Lives' executive producer Brad Lichtenstein, the live show's director Michelle Lopez-Rios and composer Kiran Vee on his WNOV radio show.

Gerardo Mora/Getty Images

Authorities say 49 people were killed early Sunday morning when a gunman opened fire at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. At Milwaukee's Pridefest Sunday, the conversations taking place on the Summerfest grounds were sobering and reflective.

Cas Thiele of Oconomowoc calls the Orlando shootings devastating. “It really hurts that there’s so much hate, that that would happen,” Thiele says.

Susan Bence

Milwaukee Public Museum (MPM) is pooling the collective expertise of nearly 90 scientists and students to see how many species of plants and animals they can identify in 24 hours.

That’s a BioBlitz.

The idea sprouted back in 1996 when scientists inventoried a park in Washington D.C.

MPM’s Senior Vice President and Academic Dean, Ellen Censky, helped organize the first public-based BioBlitz that same year in Pittsburgh. She coordinated eight BioBlitz’s in three states since that time.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

As mourners gather today in Muhammad Ali’s hometown of Louisville for his funeral, an 86-year-old man in Milwaukee will quietly remember his friend’s life. 

Brady X McKinley shared his recollections of his friendship with the boxer known as "the greatest" at the north side business, McKinley Corporation.

McKinley met Muhammad Ali at a gathering of the Nation of Islam not long after Ali won a gold medal at the 1960 summer Olympics, but he had no idea who he was.

SOPHIA

Some Wisconsin inmates plan to stage a short hunger strike starting Friday. Organizers say they want to raise awareness about what they claim is the overuse of solitary confinement.  Bernie Gonzalez says inmates, who may be invisible to most people in Wisconsin, are sometimes held for years in isolation. Gonzalez works for SOPHIA – an interfaith group that addresses what it calls social injustices.

“This is the only thing they can use as their last power to actually have their voice heard,” Gonzalez says.

The topic of crime in Milwaukee has taken center stage this week, as a legislator from Menomonee Falls warned that she would take action. GOP Representative Janel Brandtjen said she would push to cut state funding for Milwaukee, if the city is not able to curtail crime. 

Government Accountability Board

On Thursday, the state Government Accountability Board will convene its last scheduled meeting. The Republican-led Legislature voted to eliminate the agency, which oversees elections and ethics. Lawmakers will replace it with two entities, and appoint the people who oversee them. Stakeholders are pondering the role politics may play as the GAB disbands.

Paul Kjelland

On June 15, Milwaukeeans who never sought the limelight will take the stage at the Pabst Theater to share their stories of how gun violence has upset their lives.

At the first rehearsal for Precious Lives: The Live Show, cast member Leatanya Dunn allowed the pain of burying two family members to surface.

Tickets are available for $10. A discussion will follow the performance.

State Representative Janel Brandtjen says she will fight to cut state funding for Milwaukee, unless city leaders take steps to dramatically cut crime.

The Menomonee Falls Republican says residents in Washington County were forced a few days ago "to unlock their gun cabinets and instruct their loved ones to shoot to kill" when five armed youths wanted for a car-jacking in Milwaukee fled into that neighboring county and law enforcement searched for them overnight.

Photo courtesy of The Racine Journal Times

A state of emergency exists in Racine County for about a dozen homes along the lakefront. The eroding lake bluff is threatening to pull down the houses. 

Emergency officials will meet with residents Tuesday evening to talk about possible solutions.

Roger Tietz is in the business of preventing lake bluff erosion. He works for Edward E. Gillen Marine, a Mequon company that installs shore protection. Tietz says this year a lot of areas without protection are vulnerable.

Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn took the hot seat on Monday as homicides and carjackings grip the city. Members of the Common Council’s Public Safety committee wanted to know what the MPD is doing to fight criminal activity. Emotions ran high at times.

The chair of the Public Safety committee, Ald. Bob Donovan, opened the discussion.

“We indeed are not satisfied with the level of safety in Milwaukee and that the status quo is simply unacceptable,” Donovan says.

Police Chief Edward Flynn began his testimony by offering encouraging numbers.

Paul Kjelland

Over a dozen Milwaukeeans who have suffered from gun violence are preparing to share their heartbreaks and hopes at the Pabst Theater on June 15.

Most of the cast has appeared in our collaborative series Precious Lives over the past 18 months.

Courtesy – City of Milwaukee Public Information Division

A coalition of Milwaukee Common Council members has issued a call to action. It wants residents to join civic leaders and police to make this a safer summer for all.

Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton is leading the charge. At City Hall Thursday he said, "We’re calling for all hands on deck. This is a call for all hands. All facets of the community."

The Milwaukee Streetcar

Like it or not, the Milwaukee Streetcar is becoming a reality. Groundbreaking is essentially underway, as We Energies is moving utility lines along the two mile route through downtown. Service is slated to begin in 2018. But, arguments continue surfacing.

Perhaps the person who feels most passionately about the Milwaukee Streetcar is Mayor Tom Barrett. The project has been on his radar since he first took office in 2004.

Milwaukee is wrestling with the crime of carjacking. It seems there are regularly stories in the news about people forced at gunpoint to give up their vehicles. Sometimes those crimes have deadly outcomes, as perpetrators speed away and crash.

On Thursday, members of the Common Council plan to discuss action they could take to reduce carjacking and high-speed chases. Meanwhile, some people concerned about the crime are urging drivers to take precautions. AAA is among them.

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