WUWM News

Susan Bence

Rice typically is grown in hot, humid areas. Yet, a Marquette University researcher has successfully cultivated a small crop on the edge of Milwaukee.

The rice harvest happened on a sun-drenched, but cold morning late last October in Ozaukee County. The one-acre paddy is located on a former family farm that is managed by the Mequon Nature Preserve.

Pai Lor was among a cluster of people helping with the harvest. She grew rice with her family during the first 35 years of her life in her native Laos.

Susan Bence

A month ago, winds blew dust off a huge pile of coal, stored outside of the We Energies' Oak Creek Power Plant onto homes and cars of families just north of the operation. The episode seems to have galvanized broader concerns among neighbors about the health impacts of the coal-burning plant.

Over 160 people attending a listening session with We Energies executives filled an Oak Creek Library meeting room to capacity Wednesday evening.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Some Wisconsin Republicans are reeling after this week's victory by Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Rebecca Dallet in the State Supreme Court election. Dallet easily defeated the conservative candidate, who had received the backing of Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

As returns came in Tuesday night, Walker got national attention for tweeting that he was worried about the "blue wave" taking over Wisconsin.

About four weeks ago so many people crowded the SC Johnson iMet Center in Sturtevant, they had to be shuttled in from a nearby movie theater parking lot.

The topic of that hearing was the City of Racine’s request to divert Lake Michigan water so that Foxconn can pump up to 7 million gallons a day to feed its water-intensive manufacturing system.

Wisconsin Office of State Treasurer

Wisconsin voters on Tuesday voted "no" to a question about whether the state constitution should be amended, in order to eliminate the post of state treasurer. The vote was a binding referendum.

Groups that wanted to do away with the position argued that most of the duties of state treasurer had been absorbed by other agencies and offices over the years. The current treasurer, Matt Adamczyk, was one of the people pushing for the post to be disbanded. He said the office has outlived its purpose.

Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Rebecca Dallet handily defeated Sauk County Judge Michael Screnock for a ten-year term on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Dallet garnered 56 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s election. The bitter battle featured support from political heavy hitters, as Dallet drew Democrats and Screnock attracted Republicans.

RACHEL MORELLO

Milwaukee Public Schools will once again be searching for a new school superintendent. Darienne Driver announced Tuesday that she'll be stepping down this summer.

She was the youngest person to head the district, and the only woman to do so on a permanent basis.

After three and a half years at the helm of MPS, Superintendent Driver will leave her position on July 6 to become president and CEO of the United Way of Southeastern Michigan.

Michelle Maternowski, WUWM

Polls are open until 8 pm Tuesday in Wisconsin's Spring Election. Voters will select a new Supreme Court justice to replace Michael Gableman, who decided not to seek a second 10-year term.

The candidates are Sauk County Judge Michael Screnock and Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Rebecca Dallet. The two finished first and second in the February primary, respectively.

Darren Hauck/Getty Images

It’s election day in Wisconsin. Voters are heading to the polls to cast ballots for State Supreme Court Justice and local races. There’s also a statewide referendum that would amend the state constitution to eliminate the office of state treasurer.

According to Milwaukee Election Commission Executive Director Neil Albrecht, up to 35 percent of registered voters in the City of Milwaukee are expected to vote today. 

Susan Bence

An independent survey released earlier this month indicated that most Milwaukee residents are somewhat, or very, satisfied with police.

Yet many people, especially minorities, view the police through a lens of frustration, anger, or even fear. The city could be at a pivotal juncture, however, with last month's retirement of longtime Police Chief Edward Flynn, and the eventual installation of a new leader.

Throughout WUWM's Project Milwaukee series this week, we've heard from police leaders, activists, and experts about what's being done to mend police-community relations in Milwaukee. We also wanted to hear how officers view the issue.

WUWM's Teran Powell sits down with Milwaukee Police Department Captain Heather Wurth, who's been with the police for more than 20 years, and 17-year veteran Sergeant Sheronda Grant.

Marti Mikkelson

For nearly two decades, Milwaukee County’s Community Prosecution Program has been teaming up police with the District Attorney’s office to respond to citizen complaints. While it remains popular with residents, the program appears to be in jeopardy.

The federal government stopped funding the program last year. Only three of the seven Community Prosecution Units remain in operation in Milwaukee County, that is until they spend the last of the money allotted to them in previous years.

50 Miles More

This post has been updated.

A week after the national school walkout, some Wisconsin students went the extra mile, or this case - 50 miles, to protest gun violence. The students wrapped up a four-day, 50-mile march from Madison to Janesville Wednesday, following last weekend's nationwide March For Our Lives rallies.  And the organizers say their work isn't done, even if the march is.

Katie Eder says gun violence isn't a political issue; but rather, students are literally fighting for their lives.

SEWRPC

As Foxconn gets closer to breaking ground in Racine County, the next task is to determine how people who don’t live near the LCD screen plant might get to the campus.

Representatives of the regional planning commission outlined potential options -- and costs -- at a public transportation review board meeting Wednesday in Milwaukee.

Whitney Curtis/Getty Images

Update:  Legislative leaders said Thursday that the extraordinary session scheduled for next Wednesday, to take up the bill that would have nullified the judge's order, has been canceled.    

Gov. Scott Walker on Thursday scheduled special elections to fill the seats vacated by Republican state Sen. Frank Lasee of De Pere and Republican state Rep. Keith Ripp of Lodi.  The governor issued an executive order, setting the elections for June 12.  Primaries for both seats will be held May 15, if needed.

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