WUWM News

The race for governor is more than a year away. But, the field of Democratic hopefuls seems to grow just about every week. More than a half-dozen have entered the race – or are seriously considering making the move.

JR Ross of wispolitics.com says some of the candidates have overlapping constituencies, and likely will have to work to “carve out a lane” for themselves. Ross talks about the race and other matters with WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson, for this week’s “Capitol Notes.”

Every few weeks, WUWM education reporter Rachel Morello opens up her notebook to give us the scoop about what's happening in schools around the greater Milwaukee area. Test your knowledge of headlines big and small with her news quiz!

There's often a trend in the news cycle -- particularly the education news cycle, I think -- where it feels like nothing major is happening and then 'Wham!' A big headline hits you from what feels like way out of left field.

Michelle Maternowski

Is there some question about Milwaukee that you’ve always wanted the answer to? For Kennan Ferguson, the answer is a resounding yes. That’s why he wrote to Bubbler Talk to ask: “Why are there so many duplexes in Milwaukee?”

It’s a question I couldn’t answer so, I set out to find someone who could. After sending about 10 e-mails, I got a speedy response from Arijit Sen.

Joe Brusky

Hundreds of people packed into a hearing room at the State Capitol on Thursday for a debate about the rights of undocumented immigrants. Most of the speakers who attended were there to argue against a bill that would crack down on so-called “sanctuary cities” in Wisconsin. The Republican measure would prohibit local governments from enacting policies that prevent federal agents from enforcing immigration laws.

LaToya Dennis

There are still a lot of unanswered questions when it comes to the huge LCD screen plant that Foxconn wants to build in Mount Pleasant. Area residents attended an open house looking for answers on Wednesday.

Screenshot from Skip Navigation LinksWisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs Video

The Wisconsin’s Veterans Affairs secretary took the hot seat at the State Capital on Tuesday. He updated lawmakers on conditions at the Veterans Home in King, after an audit found widespread nursing shortages and worker dissatisfaction there. 

Some legislators are concerned that patient care at the nursing home could be threatened. The VA Secretary promised his department is working aggressively to tackle the problems.

Teran Powell

While Wisconsin's job creation agency hasn't yet finalized a contract with Foxconn, the company has started posting job openings. And it held a recruiting event at Marquette University this week.

TV screens and smart boards grabbed the attention of students walking through the second floor rotunda of the university’s union. The displays belonged to Foxconn, which visited to introduce the company to campus and to recruit workers.

MU Spokesman Chris Jenkins says the university wants to connect students with Foxconn.

FOXCONN TWITTER

Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn was in the news again last week. The company announced it plans to build its huge LCD screen plant in the Village of Mount Pleasant in Racine County. Also, area residents learned the village and county will have to chip in $750 million to pay for infrastructure and other costs.

The news angered some. But local officials say they'll use tax incremental financing to raise the funds without raising taxes. JR Ross of WisPolitics.com describes how the process will work.

Teran Powell

Grocery stores tend to be scarce in some of Milwaukee’s poorest neighborhoods. 

People may have to travel miles to buy fresh produce, meat and dairy products, because they live in what’s known as a food desert.

The USDA defines a food desert as a low-income area where at least one-third of residents live more than a mile from the nearest big grocery store.

But efforts, such as the new Pete’s Fruit Market and a mobile market by Pick 'n Save, are helping to make fresh food available in areas that need it most.

Susan Bence / Milwaukee Public Radio

Many people have not ventured into the harbor district, just south of downtown in the Walker's Point neighborhood.  The City of Milwaukee wants to change that. 

UWM’S School of Freshwater Sciences’ expanded facility where Greenfield Ave. meets the harbor was a first step.  Next came Freshwater Plaza at 1st and Greenfield with apartments and a grocery store. Now artist Nova Czarnecki’s mural is transforming the face of the old railroad bridge between the two.

Harbor District Inc. commissioned the project.

THE MILWAUKEE STREETCAR

The CEO of Potawatomi Hotel & Casino joined Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett on Friday to announce a partnership between the city and the Forest County Potawatomi Community. The agreement calls for the Potawatomi to give $10 million to the city over the course of 12 years. The mayor's office says the money "will be used to offset operating costs and will include free rides for all for the first 12 months of the streetcar's operation."

The UW Board of Regents approved a policy on Friday, that calls for suspending and expelling students who disrupt campus speeches and presentations.  The Board of Regents approved the policy on a voice vote at UW-Stout.  State School Superintendent Tony Evers cast the lone dissenting vote.  

The policy states that students who twice engage in violent or other disorderly conduct that disrupts others' free speech would be suspended for a semester.  A third offense would mean expulsion.  

Susan Bence / Milwaukee Public Radio

The Taiwanese company announced Wednesday it would build its huge LCD screen plant in the Village of Mount Pleasant, just east of Interstate 94. Critics call the state’s $3 billion incentives package exorbitant, others cite environmental concerns.

Foxconn will use large amounts of water in the LCD screen manufacturing process, and the state incentives package exempts the company from some environmental regulations.

Proponents dismiss the worries.

Sheboygan County Circuit Judge Angela Sutkiewicz said Tuesday that Steven Avery should not get a new trial.

Avery was convicted of first-degree intentional homicide in the death of Teresa Halbach, whose remains were discovered on Avery's property in Manitowoc County. Halbach was a photographer who took photos for a magazine that listed cars and trucks for sale. In October 2005, she was assigned to drive to Avery's home to take photos of a vehicle, where prosecutors say Avery tortured and killed her.

FOXCONN TWITTER

It's official: the Racine County community of Mount Pleasant will be home to Foxconn's huge LCD screen manufacturing plant. 

The company made the announcement Wednesday morning.

Mount Pleasant is a community of about 26,000. It's about 25 miles south of Milwaukee and 60 miles north of Chicago.

Racine County Executive Jonathan Delagrave says the plant will be a "turning point" for the county.

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