WUWM News

Maayan Silver

Behind the locked doors of the Milwaukee County House of Correction for two hour-long classes every week, an unlikely message emanates.

It’s now official, Taiwanese manufacturing giant Foxconn and the state of Wisconsin on Friday signed off on a deal that could bring up to 13,000 jobs to the state.

David Banks/Getty Images

Certainly, Wisconsin and Illinois have storied rivalries in the sports arena: the Green Bay Packers vs. the Chicago Bears, the Brewers and the Cubs, the Bucks and the Bulls. But a few of our listeners have been wondering if that competitive spirit runs deeper than the action on the field.

One such listener, Jason Gessner, reached out to Bubbler Talk and asked, “Have Wisconsin and Illinois always had contentious relationship or is that a more modern development?”

The state Assembly passed a bill Thursday that would restrict public access to police body camera footage. Those videos often are used in trial to help determine guilt or innocence.

In some cases, they’ve been released to the public when an officer is accused of wrongdoing – including in the trial for former Milwaukee police officer Dominique Heaggan-Brown. He was acquitted earlier this year in the shooting death of Sylville Smith in the Sherman Park neighborhood.

SunVest Solar, Inc.

Pewaukee-based developer Matt Neumann admits he might appear to be an unlikely advocate for solar energy. His political roots are deep, and conservative.

“When I got into solar, I found myself in the extreme minority of Republicans or conservatives who thought solar was a good idea. As a matter of fact, a lot of people thought I was crazy," Neumann explains. "Now we’re cost-competitive, and Republicans and Democrats agree that they want to do the right thing for the environment.”

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation Board Wednesday approved key provisions of a contract for Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn to build a huge LCD screen manufacturing facility in Racine County.  

The plant is expected to employ up to 13,000 people and Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill in September that provides a $3 billion incentives package for the company to locate here. 

The WEDC Board voted 8-2 to approve terms of the contract that would allow execution of the incentives. 

Megan Dobyns

Update: 

The Milwaukee Common Council voted 10-5 Tuesday to override the mayor's veto of a resolution that would give aldermen the authority to fire the Police Chief.

The move doesn't give the council a green light to remove Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn from office. Rather, they would have to approve his firing, with a two-thirds vote. And, before that could take place, state lawmakers would also need to take action.

Alderman Bob Donovan was in the majority. And, before the vote, he said the city is in need of change.

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.

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