WUWM News

Wisconsin will be a stronger state if it works to improve the lives of every citizen – including its tribal members. That was the message the state’s 11 tribes delivered to the Legislature on Tuesday, with their annual address. 

Their concerns echo those of other citizens, yet hold their own challenges.

The number one concern Wisconsin’s 11 tribes brought before the Legislature on Tuesday is the health of the environment.

Dave Reid, flickr

Twice, in recent months, someone vandalized a room Marquette University has turned into an Islamic prayer space and nearby hallways signs. The first incident reportedly occurred following November's presidential election; the second, after President Trump released his revised travel ban against about a half-dozen predominantly Muslim nations.

Milwaukee’s northwest side could soon have new life. For more than a decade, businesses have been abandoning the area near 76th and Brown Deer. Northridge Mall closed in 2003, and other large retail sites have experienced stores opening and later leaving. Alderwoman Chantia Lewis has been working on a plan to revitalize the area for about six months, and she’s almost ready to unveil it.

Downtown Milwaukee Utility Boxes To Get A Makeover

Apr 3, 2017
Micaela Martin

If you've never noticed those gray utility boxes sitting on many downtown Milwaukee blocks, you will later this summer.  The local business improvement district has asked several local artists to submit designs for turning the boxes into three-dimensional works of art.

Beth Weirick, Milwaukee Downtown CEO, says as part of 2017 being "the year of Wisconsin Avenue," property owners suggested it do something creative with the boxes.

Susan Bence

John Dickert has been Racine's mayor since 2009. This summer, he’ll abandon that post to take a job with the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities initiative.

The organization represents mayors from more than 120 American and Canadian cities.

Last January inside Racine City Hall, Dickert addressed a swarm of journalists. They were there to learn about the contentious plan allowing the City of Waukesha to divert drinking water from Lake Michigan.

COURTNEY CARMODY, FLICKR

Milwaukee Public Schools will serve as a sanctuary to protect students whose families may be in the country illegally from deportation or questioning on school grounds. The MPS Board approved the resolution Thursday night. It means staff won’t reveal, even if they know, the immigration status of students.

There’s an election next Tuesday, and one of the contested races is for an open seat in Milwaukee County Circuit Court.

The Branch 47 race is between Fox Point Municipal Judge Scott Wales and Attorney Kristy Yang.

A group of Democratic legislators wants to expand the 2014 Wisconsin law that requires outside investigations of citizen deaths in which police are involved, so that it also applies to deaths that occur in county jails. Those could include several in the Milwaukee County Jail where four people have died during the past year. One was an infant born in a cell to an incarcerated woman, another was a male inmate who died of dehydration. 

Cheryl Nenn

Over the last seven years, the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has pumped $2.2 billion into restoring the Great Lakes - thousands of projects both large and small. President Trump would like to eliminate the fund by 2018.

READ: Trump's Budget Eliminates Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Funding

In recent years, Wisconsin has sent several thousand people back to prison, even though they did not commit new crimes. What they did was violated the rules of their release by committing what otherwise might be considered minor offenses. On Wednesday, a panel of legislators debated a bill that could increase the number of so-called “crimeless revocations.”

Rachel Morello

With just one week left until election day, the candidates for state superintendent presented their cases in Milwaukee on Tuesday. Incumbent Tony Evers and challenger Lowell Holtz spoke in front of a crowd at Marquette Law School.  

The two men talk differently about a variety of issues – including school choice. But they agree on this: the state must do more to boost Milwaukee’s public schools.

THE MILWAUKEE STREETCAR

It appears less likely that the Milwaukee County Transit System will operate the city’s new streetcar. The Common Council on Tuesday overwhelmingly said no to extending the deadline for bids.

Construction of the initial two-mile track through downtown Milwaukee is expected to begin next month. But the Common Council has not yet decided who will operate the streetcar.

One entity that’s interested is the Milwaukee County Transit System. It was hoping to win more time to submit a bid as the deadline is next Tuesday.

Ashley Irvin

The vote of the Republican-controlled Senate Committee on Labor and Regulatory Reform split 3-2 along party lines.  The committee chair opted for a paper ballot vote, rather than convening face-to-face.

Earlier this month a large crowd gathered for a public hearing, which stretched  from morning into the evening. Tuesday's vote advances the bill to the full Senate, which is likely to take it up next week.

Original Post - March 16, 2017:

Paul Sablema, flickr

State lawmakers will have their first official chance to weigh in on Gov. Walker's 2017-2019 spending plan on Tuesday, when the Joint Finance committee kicks-off a series of budget briefings.

JR Ross, editor WisPolitics.com, says he expects several areas of contention between the governor and Legislature, even among fellow Republicans. Ross predicts the biggest fights will be over Gov. Walker's plans for transportation, self-insurance for state employees and education funding.

The Milwaukee District Attorney has charged three young men with the fatal shooting of city inspector Greg Zyskiewicz.  He was killed last Wednesday near North 23rd and Cherry Streets, during an attempted car-jacking -- shot while sitting in his vehicle between property inspections.

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