WUWM News

Tomah VA Medical Center, Facebook

In Wisconsin, problems have surfaced at the federal VA Medical Center in Tomah and at the state-run nursing home in King. Elected leaders are working to rein in the problems.

The Tomah VA Medical Center was in the news in recent years for dangerous, sometimes fatal, drug prescription practices.

Tracy Symonds-Keogh

If you’ve watched the Netflix series Making a Murderer, you’re probably familiar with Steven Avery. But, his nephew Brendan Dassey wasn’t as much of a household name – until this summer. That’s when a federal judge overturned Dassey’s 2007 conviction in the rape and murder of photographer Teresa Halbach.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice is appealing the judge’s ruling and attorneys have until Wednesday to file briefs.

WUWM spoke with legal observers who insist the Dassey case proves America’s criminal justice system needs reform.

Wisconsin Department of Transportation

If there’s one state issue that riles a lot of Wisconsin leaders these days, it’s transportation. Wisconsin could face a $1 billion shortfall in its next transportation budget. Should lawmakers scale back projects or find more money?

An Assembly committee held the first hearing Tuesday on the Department of Transportation's spending plan. Legislators from both political parties questioned the administration’s priorities.

Wauwatosa Police Officer Joseph Mensah, who fatally shot Jay Anderson Jr. in June, will not face charges. The Milwaukee County District Attorney's office shared the decision with Jay Anderson's family on Monday.

The Anderson family says Jay Anderson was sleeping in his car in Madison Park in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin around 3 a.m. on June 23, 2016, when Officer Joseph Mensah approached the vehicle. The officer claims he shot Anderson, after he kept lowering his hands, indicating he could have been reaching for a gun.

Wisconsin is facing a $1 billion deficit in its transportation fund.

Gov. Walker has proposed delaying road projects because he does not support upping the gas tax or vehicle registration fee. Republican lawmaker Rob Hutton plans to reintroduce legislation that would eliminate the state’s prevailing wage when it comes to road projects.

The state of Wisconsin has had a prevailing wage law since the early 1930s. It requires companies that contract with the state to pay their employees the certain wage, benefits and overtime, based on the area in which they’ll be working.

Susan Bence

Milwaukee faces an uphill battle when it comes to replacing all the lead pipes that carry city water into residents’ homes. Last week, hundreds of families picked up free filters to tide them over.

The math is hard to dismiss – 70,000 properties are serviced by lead pipes, and the initial infusion of filters addresses only a small fraction, about three percent.

Koscuiszko Community Center was one of the distribution points. The facility on South 7th Street buzzed inside and out, as an overflow crowd spilled into the evening chill.

Michelle Maternowski

Update, Dec. 2, 4:08 P.M.

A federal court in Madison will not temporarily halt the Wisconsin recount, while opponents challenge it. U.S. District Judge James Peterson will let both the recount and the legal challenge proceed simultaneously. He rejected a motion from Trump supporters to halt the process, stating that there is no harm in allowing the recount to continue. Peterson has scheduled a court hearing on their lawsuit for Dec. 9, just four days before the state's final vote tally is due.   

Update, Dec. 2:

Susan Bence

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources provided a glimpse of its realignment this week.

The announcement did not come as a surprise, but surely is raising some eyebrows. Over a year ago, the agency set out to streamline the DNR and make it more customer-friendly.

Change has been afoot at the Wisconsin DNR, since Republicans took control of state government in 2011 and this is the latest iteration.

Last year the Legislature cut the agency’s research team by 31 percent.

Rachel Morello

Milwaukee is home to the longest-running school voucher program in the country. And even though it is more than a quarter-century old, the system still generates plenty of division.

Before the election, Marquette Law School planned to host a conversation about lessons the city has learned about vouchers. Now the topic is even more relevant, because the nation may head down the path Milwaukee has followed for more than 25 years.

Michelle Maternowski

Wisconsin begins its historic presidential recount Thursday. Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate who requested the recount, didn't do so until late last week. So election officials have been scrambling to prepare for the big task. Federal guidelines require a final vote count by Dec. 13, less than two weeks from now.

Hundreds of municipalities and counties were still putting final touches on their plans on Wednesday. The Wisconsin Elections Commission held a lengthy teleconference to provide answers.

mementosis, flickr

On Thursday, the City of Milwaukee announced the first-ever Drug Mail Back Program. It will allow you to easily dispose of unused or unwanted prescription drugs stashed in your medicine cabinet. At select CVS pharmacies, you will find envelopes addressed to the police department. In them, you can pour unwanted medicines and drop the envelopes in the mail.

“While in one way, it is just a small initiative, it is certainly a vital one to stemming this growing crisis,”  says Milwaukee Alderman Jim Bohl.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Throughout the presidential campaign, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke  traveled the country campaigning for Donald Trump. Earlier this week, Clarke met with the President-elect to discuss a possible appointment to the Trump administration.

Clarke has long been a figure both heralded and disliked.

There are a lot of things that you could point to that make Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke stand out. Sometimes it’s the cowboy hat, other times the horse he’s known for riding, and then there are messages such as this PSA from 2013.

Rachel Morello

In college, students might joke about living on ramen noodles, or popcorn. But for some, hunger can be a real problem.

According to at least one study, today’s college students suffer higher levels of food insecurity than ever before.

So as a more diverse population of students works toward higher education, some campuses are figuring out how to make sure those young people have meals, including in Milwaukee.

Update, Nov. 29, 10:10 P.M.

Dane County Judge Valerie Bailey-Rihn will not mandate a hand recount of presidential ballots in Wisconsin. Therefore Wisconsin clerks can decide how their counties will recount their ballots, whether by hand or computer. The judge has determined that attorneys representing Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein have not provided evidence that voting machines here were likely tampered with, necessitating a hand recount. Stein had wanted the ballots checked, by hand, not just re-fed into machines.    

Wisconsin Officials Work On Timetable For Presidential Election Recount

Nov 28, 2016
Darren Hauck/Getty Images

The Wisconsin Elections Commission is holding an emergency phone conference on Monday to establish plans for the state to move forward with a recount of the state's vote tally in this month's presidential election. This will be the state's first presidential recount.

Green Party candidate Jill Stein requested the recount last Friday. She also is expected to ask for recounts in Michigan and Pennsylvania. Stein says the recounts will ensure that the results were not hacked.

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