WUWM News

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.

Tracey Dent

Vigils in Milwaukee for young people who've been shot and killed seem to have become commonplace.

Wednesday night, community members staged another. Bullets have struck five teens since just last weekend; two died.

The majority of Wisconsin's Conservation Congress recommends that the state change the way it selects its DNR secretary, repeal its new iron mining law and cease issuing permits for frac sand mining operations.

The WCC is the only state-recognized citizen advisory body to the Natural Resources Board, and as such, can pass-along opinions to state leaders. 

Cory Savage (Savage Solutions LLC)

It’s not often that someone builds a brand new school in Milwaukee. But it’s going to happen soon on the south side. St. Augustine Preparatory Academy will open on 5th Avenue, west of Interstate 94,  in summer of 2017.

When Waukesha businessman Gus Ramirez looked at Milwaukee’s educational landscape, he saw a need for better schools.

“About half of the Milwaukee students in all sectors – public, charter and choice – are going to awful schools. Not just bad, but awful schools,” Ramirez reflects. “We’re one of the worst in the country.”

Marti Mikkelson

Campuses across the UW System are implanting massive cuts. Each university released documents this week outlining its plans. The cuts are in response to the $250 million cut Republicans made to the UW System in the state’s two-year budget.

Students are hearing that they may face larger class sizes, fewer course offerings and a longer time to complete a degree.

Milwaukee Rep

If you attended the last mainstage production at the Milwaukee Rep, you may have been surprised at the end. When the play concluded, the Rep hosted tough conversations with audience members about the subject matter.

For decades, audience members have been able to chat with the Rep's cast before or after some performances. But now the team is breaking new ground, according to director of community engagement, Leda Hoffman.

"Milwaukee Rep is embarking on a new mission to really use the plays on our stage to provoke the conversations Milwaukee needs to have," Hoffman says.

Milwaukee County Transit System

There's talk of creating a new transit option in Milwaukee - buses that could rapidly move people between downtown and the regional medical center in Wauwatosa.

The proposal is known as BRT, or Bus Rapid Transit. Tuesday evening from 5 to 7 pm at O’Donnell Park, the public is invited to view the plan and comment.

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