Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Today the nation celebrates the life of the late civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The holiday highlights King’s activism during the days of Jim Crow and segregation.

One Milwaukeean who’s been impacted by King’s work is Reggie Jackson, head griot of America’s Black Holocaust Museum. He says that King’s teachings hold as much weight today as they did more than half a century ago.

"I’ve always been a big fan of Dr. King and his dedication to social justice work, racial justice work," Jackson says.

Susan Bence

Updated 1/12/18, 5:20 p.m.:

The City of Milwaukee health department is under fire -- amid a management shake-up. It became public Friday afternoon that the department failed to properly notify thousands of families, whose children tested positive for elevated blood lead levels. It also became public that health commissioner Bevan Baker has left his post.


State lawmakers are considering a bill, they say, would help make schools safer -- for teachers. The bill would alert schools when students have a run-in with the law, but some teachers say the proposal would do more harm than good.

The Teacher Protection Act seeks to open juvenile criminal records to school officials. Currently, all juvenile records are confidential, but the proposal would allow teachers access the files. 

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin is the latest hopeful to join the crowded field of Democrats who want to challenge Gov. Walker this November. This brings the number to 17 Democrats who’ve either formally announced their bids or are considering a run.

As of Friday, January 12, here's who have formally announced their campaigns:

Dr. Miha Krofel

A bill making its way through committee would end the Wisconsin DNR’s monitoring of wolves. The legislation would also prohibit law enforcement officers from taking action if a wolf is poached or harmed by things like traps.

At a heated public hearing Wednesday before the Assembly Committee on Natural Resources and Sporting Heritage, Senator Tom Tiffany (R) of Minocqua said the bill is designed to force Congress to remove wolves from the federal endangered species list.

Susan Bence / Milwaukee Public Radio

A military veteran in Philadelphia started JDog Junk Removal & Hauling seven years ago. Business boomed so he decided to offer franchises to fellow veterans and their families. That’s where Wisconsin native Andrew Weins enters the picture. 

“This business allows me to take care of the environment,” he says.

Weins served in both Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Marti Mikkelson

The chair of the Milwaukee Common Council’s Public Safety committee didn’t mince words Tuesday, when he outlined the qualities he would like to see in the next police chief. Ald. Bob Donovan has been a longtime critic of Chief Edward Flynn, who announced he’ll be retiring next month. 

Donovan gave what he called the “State of Public Safety in the City” address at City Hall on Tuesday. It included what he wants to see in the next police chief, and also a broader plan for reducing crime.

Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn To Retire

Jan 8, 2018
Teran Powell

Edward Flynn, the embattled chief of Milwaukee's Police Department, will retire from his post next month. Flynn’s current term was due to continue through January of 2020.

The Milwaukee Police Department confirmed news of Flynn's retirement Monday afternoon, after initial reports had surfaced:


State corrections officials are busy working on plans for shuttering two troubled juvenile prisons, after Gov. Scott Walker announced the closures late last week.  The announcement came as a surprise to many.  Despite lengthy probes into alleged mistreatment of inmates -- and inmate attacks on staff -- Walker had been defending the corrections department and the facilities.


A federal judge determined on Friday that Daniel Black can pursue a claim that former Milwaukee County sheriff David Clarke made a retaliatory threat against Black on social media, which Black says was meant to deter free speech.

The claim involves an incident in January of 2017. That's when Black boarded an airplane bound for Milwaukee. As he made his way to his seat, he noticed Clarke was a fellow passenger. Black says he shook his head at Clarke, who was wearing Dallas Cowboys apparel.

Lincoln Hills

The state of Wisconsin is changing the way it handles some of its worst juvenile offenders. On Thursday, Gov. Walker unveiled plans to close the Lincoln Hills School for Boys and the Copper Lake School for Girls in Irma, and instead, create five smaller regional facilities scattered across the state.

Many prisoners hail from Milwaukee and the centers have been plagued by reports of abuse of inmates and correctional officers.  Advocates who have been pushing Walker to make such a move, say it's a step in the right direction, but there’s still more work to be done.

Alexey Rotanov, fotolia

Some Republican lawmakers want the federal government to lift the mandate for selling reformulated gas in southeastern Wisconsin under a bill making its way through the state Legislature. Sales of the cleaner-burning fuel were required for six counties in 1996 as part of the federal Clean Air Act.

At the time, the corridor between Milwaukee and Chicago was considered a high ozone area, and state lawmakers felt it was necessary for drivers here to use reformulated gas. Supporters of scrapping “RFG” think the requirement is obsolete, but Democrats disagree.

Amir Levy/Getty Images

Update, January 3:

The American Red Cross of Southeast Wisconsin has decided to rescind it's policy change and will continue to serve people in all of Milwaukee's zip codes at the site of disasters.

Original Story:

The American Red Cross of Southeast Wisconsin is receiving a lot of backlash over a new policy unveiled in Milwaukee that would require people in specific zip codes to come to them for help.

Teran Powell

Bullying continues to be a problem across the country. “It can cause physical damage that we see on the outside, but it can cause emotional distress which leads to things like depression, loneliness, anxiety," Clay Anton, of Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, explains.  However, there are many efforts underway to help curb bullying. Take, for example, eleven-year-old Alex Hart-Upendo from Racine.

He's is combating bullying through his business, Build-A-Bow.

For this edition of Capitol Notes, we look ahead to the big Wisconsin political stories of 2018.  JR Ross, of wispolitics.com, predicts Foxconn will top the headlines in this new year.  The state provided $3 billion in incentives for the Taiwanese company to locate here.  

WUWM's Marti Mikkelson asked him if he thinks it'll be smooth sailing, now that the state and the company have signed a contract.

Ross also predicts that the governor's race, the Wisconsin U.S. Senate race and the future of House Speaker Paul Ryan will make big news in 2018.