WUWM News

Michelle Maternowski

Updated December 23, 2016:

The Milwaukee School Board approved Thursday earlier start dates for all district high schools, International Baccalaureate and year-round schools for the 2017-18 academic year. 

It's one of several changes the district will pursue, as part of a rigorous reform agenda from Superintendent Darienne Driver.

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This week, we experienced the longest night of the year on the winter solstice. Local religious groups picked the date to hold a conversation about lifting people in Milwaukee out of darkness. Jewish groups helped organize the event, while the host was the Islamic Resource Center in Greenfield. The standing-room-only crowd called for an end to racism, hate crimes and intolerance.

KEVIN CHANG, FLICKR

The idea has arisen again of breaking up the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Supporters believe placing its functions in different agencies would make things run more efficiently. Gov. Walker indicated this week that he thinks the proposal has merit. Some environmentalists worry the plan would have disastrous effects.

The idea is to basically divide the Department of Natural Resources into two separate agencies. The latest proposal comes from Republican state Rep. Adam Jarchow of Balsam Lake.

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Wisconsin is asking federal lawmakers for more control. Gov. Walker on Tuesday addressed a letter to President-elect Donald Trump asking for more flexibility in administering federal programs. 

For instance, Walker wants to drug test people who apply for Food Share benefits and control the number of certain refugees allowed to settle in the state. Walker says the changes would help the citizens of Wisconsin.              

Marti Mikkelson

At the state Capitol on Monday, a couple hundred people packed into a tiny hearing room, while the state's 10 Republican electors took their seats at the front.

They selected Brad Courtney of the state Republican Party to lead the proceedings. He laid out the ground rules: “No signs are allowed in the meeting. Please keep conversation to a minimum. If there are any loud conversations or disruptions, we ask that you please take those outside.” But, all wasn’t quiet, after a clerk distributed ballots, the electors voted, and Courtney read the results.

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Wisconsin is one of several states embroiled in a court battle over redistricting. Each state's case is different, yet commonalities are emerging over how much gerrymandering is allowed.

Gerrymandering means drawing political districts to gain an advantage.

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Update: Dec. 19, 12:35 P.M.

While demonstrators marched and shouted, Wisconsin's 10 presidential electors cast their ballots for Donald Trump, during the noon hour at the state Capitol on Monday. Police escorted one protester out of the voting room, after she yelled, "This is my America. You sold us out." A contingent of demonstrators chanted, "Shame." Trump carried Wisconsin by nearly 23,000 votes, becoming the first Republican to win the state's presidential vote in decades.

Original story from Dec. 19, 6:00 A.M.

Mitch Teich

The Milwaukee area could see up to a foot of snow by the time a winter storm ends on Saturday night. The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning from 2:00 p.m. on Friday to 9:00 p.m. on Saturday.

Mike Westendorf of the Innovative Weather Center at UW-Milwaukee says the snow will come in waves over the next day and a half.

Milwaukee Police

Dominique Heaggan-Brown has been charged with first-degree reckless homicide in the death of Sylville Smith.

The former Milwaukee police officer is accused of pursuing  Smith after a traffic stop in the Sherman Park neighborhood in August. Heaggan-Brown is African American, as was Smith.

If convicted, the former officer could face up to 60 years imprisonment.

Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm's decision to charge Heaggan-Brown was made public in court documents on Thursday.

Susan Bence

Dr. Yanna Lambrinidou’s has thrown herself into the middle of drinking water issues for years. This week, the Virginia Tech researcher shared her insight with a group of concerned citizens in Milwaukee.

Her involvement began in 2001 when Washington D.C. faced a massive water crisis. “This was the most severe lead in water crisis that our country had ever seen, and that’s the moment I decided I will never stop working on this issue until we solve it,” she says.

The Milwaukee County Board wants an outside investigation conducted, every time an inmate dies in a county facility.

The plan appears directed at Sheriff David Clarke, because of four people who’ve died in the County Jail since April. The board approved the plan by a 15 to 1 vote, and not everyone is satisfied.

For weeks now, some elected officials and members of the public have been calling on Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke to resign. One of them is Supervisor Supreme Moore Omukunde.

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You may have seen photos in the news of people fleeing the crumbling city of Aleppo, sometimes with nothing but the clothes on their backs. It’s a devastating sight for Syrian natives living in the Milwaukee area. They watch the humanitarian crisis intensify for people and places they know, as government troops close in on those who have been fighting the regime. And killings have continued, despite a ceasefire that was supposed to allow thousands of civilians to leave the war zone.

The results are in, but last month’s presidential election still leaves many questions unanswered, including what will happen with undocumented immigrants.

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If Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke does not resign, three Democrats from Milwaukee want Governor Walker to remove Clarke from office.

State Sen. Chris Larson and Reps. Christine Sinicki and Jonathan Brostoff call Clarke "a dangerous menace," citing four deaths that have occurred in the county jail in recent months, including of a newborn.

Rachel Morello

President-elect Donald Trump wasn’t the only divisive political figure to visit Wisconsin Tuesday night.

On the UW-Milwaukee campus, an outspoken member of the so-called “alt-right” movement drew heightened security presence, as supporters and protesters alike rallied for free speech.

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