WUWM News

Former Muslim employees at the Ariens Company in Wisconsin have filed a complaint alleging religious discrimination.

The group acting on behalf of the former workers is the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR. CAIR says the company has refused to make accommodations for prayer breaks.

The problems between Muslim employees and Ariens management started earlier this year, according to Maha Sayed, a civil rights attorney for CAIR.

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The Obama administration has told public schools to let transgender students use the bathroom and locker room matching their gender identify, a directive that Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel calls a "power grab" that the state will not tolerate.

Rachel Morello

When school budgets are tight, arts programming is typically the first thing to go. That's not been the case lately in Milwaukee Public Schools.

Since 2012, the district has put an emphasis on music, dance, theater and visual arts, adding teachers and class time when possible.

And the powers that be are taking notice. MPS will soon receive some more federal funding to help bring art into other parts of the school building.

Ann-Elise Henzl

There's a new plan in Wisconsin to cut the growing cost of prescription drugs. The idea involves having the state analyze drug prices to determine whether they're reasonable.

State Rep. Deb Kolste says there's a simple reason Wisconsin should investigate medicine prices.

"Drug costs are rising at a much faster pace than wages, inflation and even the rest of health care," she says.

Wisconsin state Legislature

A federal trial begins Tuesday in Madison over the way state Republicans redrew Wisconsin’s political boundaries in 2011. 

A dozen Wisconsin residents who vote for Democrats are suing the state. They argue the boundaries are unconstitutional because they heavily favor Republicans.

Milwaukee Recreation

It’s crunch time for working parents in Milwaukee who haven’t yet figured out what to do with their children this summer, and the crunch is more stressful for lower-income families. 

But for parents struggling to juggle quality and cost when it comes to finding a place for their kids while school is out, there are affordable, quality options; financial support and even free summer care programs available in Milwaukee.

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Tens of thousands of graduates are either entering the workforce or searching for their place in it.

And if you're a new grad looking for a job, these may be some of the best words you'll hear this spring:

"There will be an increase that pretty much brings us back to the levels of employment for recent grads that occurred before the recession."

That's Jean Salzer, director of UWM's Career Planning & Resource Center. She’s talking about predictions from the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

LaToya Dennis

News broke this week that the employees at Leon's Frozen Custard were only allowed to speak English to customers, even if they could be best helped in Spanish. Since then, the owner of the iconic custard stand on Milwaukee's south side has reversed his English only policy. 

While a few groups were calling for a federal investigation into labor law violations, not everyone was swayed by allegations of discrimination.

Wisconsin DNR

Wednesday, the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Water Resources Regional Body completed the last step necessary to push the City of Waukesha’s request to draw Lake Michigan water for a final vote.

Waukesha maintains the Great Lakes provide the only sustainable solution to its radium-tainted well water.

The group’s job was to review the application, judge if it adheres to the tenets of the Great Lakes Compact and pass recommendations to the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Council, or Compact Council.

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The Obama administration is changing overtime rules for some salaried workers. Employers across Wisconsin say they're preparing to feel the pain the changes will cause. Many still have questions about how they'll comply with the rules.

Emily Forman / Precious Lives

Hundreds of people turned out on Milwaukee’s north side Tuesday evening to honor Za’layia Jenkins on what would have been her tenth birthday. Earlier this month, a bullet struck her while she was watching TV; and on Monday, she died.

The shot was the result of a gun fight outside.

Friends and neighbors gathered on the front lawn of Za’layia Jenkins’ home near 15th and Meinecke. Many people held signs that read “Stop the Violence” and "Pray for Peace.”

LaToya Dennis

The home improvement store Menards could soon lose business. The immigrant advocacy group Voces De La Frontera is calling or a boycott of the chain. Members hope to spur the company to stop supporting Governor Walker.

People using bullhorns and carrying signs urging shoppers to take their business elsewhere slowed traffic on Miller Parkway in West Milwaukee on Monday in front of Menards. Menards has been in the news lately for violating worker rights, but this call for a boycott is political. Omar Barberana is one of the picketers.

Another chapter is unfolding in the battle over the voter laws Republican legislators approved in Wisconsin in recent years. A number of courts have weighed in, ultimately affirming the state’s ability to require voters to show photo identification at the polls.

Now, a federal trial begins Monday, challenging other laws surrounding voting rules, and pushing for the photo ID requirement to be tweaked, for some residents. Plenty of interested parties will be awaiting the trial’s outcome.

Susan Bence

Thursday signaled two water-related gatherings in Milwaukee. One was strictly business, the other oozed community.

Marquette University hosted the gathering of The Water Council and Midwest Energy Research Consortium or M-WERC.

In September 2015 the two groups began a conversation about the “energy-water nexus”. It’s a conversation with a goal – a “roadmap” of research and business opportunities created by the relationship of water and energy.

Milwaukee Housing Authority

This week’s Bubbler Talk is all about buildings--round ones.

Wendy Necklet asked WUWM: What's the deal with all the round buildings? 

Well, for this story what better place to start than one of the city’s most iconic hotels, the Pfister.

Peter Mortensen is the concierge and the unofficial hotel historian. He’s worked here for about 30 years and believe me when I say he’s a really, really smart guy. “I’ve never run across an obscure fact I didn’t like,” he says.

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