WUWM News

Ann-Elise Henzl

A number of people celebrated Earth Day over the weekend, perhaps renewing their commitment to eco-friendly habits. There's one practice that might not be on everyone's radar: finding new life for old textiles, from clothing to household décor.

Bob Woycke recycles textiles for a living.

"As a kid, I was living on 12th and Becher. I remember the ragman coming through with the horse and cart in the alley. Little did I know, I'd end up in that business," Woycke says.

S Bence

Two days of crucial discussions that could affect Waukesha and its drinking water ended Friday afternoon in Chicago. Representatives of the Great Lakes states and Canadian provinces scaled-back part of the city's plan to divert water from Lake Michigan. The changes are recommendations but could influence the final outcome in June. 

Rachel Morello

We now know more about what the Milwaukee county executive and his designee plan to do with failing MPS schools.

It’s been one year since Governor Walker enacted new rules for thousands of FoodShare recipients. Since last April, all able-bodied adults without dependents are required to put in at least 80 hours of work or training a month in order to receive food benefits. The Walker administration is calling the first year a success, while others say thousands of people are going hungry.

Clay Bolt

The rusty-patched bumble bee used to be abundant, including in Wisconsin. Nature photographer Clay Bolt became interested in the species' dwindling numbers, and set out to create a documentary about his quest to find the bee.

The South Carolinian ended up at UW-Madison's Arboretum.

Montel Allen

A manufacturing group in Milwaukee, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers released an app on Tuesday - aimed at educating workers within the industry and encouraging them to vote this fall.

The game is called ‘I Make America’ and is available to the general public.

AEM spokesman Michael O’Brien says the app is part of group’s five-year-old campaign to educate manufacturing workers about issues that should matter to them, and especially during this election season.

Racine County

Wisconsin’s John Doe probe into allegations of abuse and sexual misconduct at the state prison for boys and girls has ended. The reason – Governor Walker signed a bill into law last year that limits John Does. They must end within six months, unless state prosecutors successfully request an extension; they did not. So only the federal investigation will continue at Lincoln Hills School for Boys and Copper Lake School for girls.

Alderman Ashanti Hamilton / Facebook

Milwaukee's City Hall has a few fresh faces. Three new Common Council members took the oath of office Tuesday, beginning four-year terms. Members unanimously chose a new president, Ashanti Hamilton, who represents the city's far north side.

Hamilton succeeds Ald. Michael Murphy, who held the leadership post for two years.

Council members say they're embarking on a new beginning. Yet they're facing some old challenges.

Sharyn Morrow, Flickr

Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson is putting forward an idea to help the country reduce its heroin epidemic. His plan would impact senior citizens.

Johnson says the U.S. must tighten its border security to stop the flow of illegal drugs into the country. Yet he knows plenty of people develop heroin addictions because they first become hooked on opioid painkillers.

The senator wants to tweak Medicare rules so they don’t inadvertently encourage physicians to over-prescribe drugs such as OxyContin and Vicodin to seniors.

LaToya Dennis

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court begins considering a divisive issue related to immigration. The case originated in Texas, but the implications are potentially broad-reaching. Interests in Wisconsin are keeping close watch.

Marti Mikkelson

Major structural changes take effect Monday for the Milwaukee County Board – right after supervisors take the oath of office. A new state law will cut their salaries in half, eliminate their health care benefits and reduce their terms from four years to two.

State Republicans initiated those changes after hearing complaints about board members micro-managing the county and the high cost of a full-time board. Voters agreed.

WUWM talks with a few supervisors about how they plan to adjust.

Ann-Elise Henzl

The CDC confirmed this week that Zika virus does, indeed, cause severe brain damage in infants

The type of mosquito that can carry the virus is not expected to travel as far north as Wisconsin. Yet, blood centers here are helping regions where Zika exists.

The BloodCenter of Wisconsin has been sending shipments of blood to Puerto Rico.

Michelle Maternowski

The Milwaukee Public Schools system has been shrinking in terms of enrollment. Now, it could lose more buildings, too.

When a school closes, it goes on a list of vacant, or “surplus” properties.

Friday, the Common Council approved five interested entities who can buy those buildings. Not on the list: MPS.

Gage Skidmore

UPDATE: Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke will appeal the case the Wisconsin Supreme Court, and in the meantime, appeals court says he does not have to release un-redacted ICE documents regarding certain inmates held in county detention facilities.

According to a statement Thursday from Clarke's office, he says the legal case has not yet ended. "It will now potentially be considered by the state’s highest court, and not by the illegal alien advocacy group Voces de la Frontera, which has no respect for our nation’s immigration law and sovereignty.”

Michelle Maternowski

Living with a family member addicted to drugs can devastate loved ones. They can struggle to set boundaries and be overwhelmed by anger, resentment and fear. All the while, more and more families are dealing with the problem. The number of people in Milwaukee County alone dying of drug overdoses is in the hundreds and continues to increase.

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