WUWM News

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Milwaukee voters will today settle what appears to be an unusually high number of Democratic legislative primaries. They feature Senate races pitting incumbent Sen. Lena Taylor against state Rep. Mandela Barnes and state Rep. LaTonya Johnson against Milwaukee School Board Director Michael Bonds.

The head Milwaukee's Election Commission, Neil Albrecht, expects 20 percent of registered city voters to cast ballots in Tuesday's primary, very low compared to traditional turnout for the fall presidential election when upwards of 70 percent of eligible voters exercise their right.

Kelly Becker

The price of EpiPens has surged by 450 percent since 2004. They used to cost around $100 for two, but now average more than $600 each. That drastic price hike means many parents are now struggling to find the money to pay for the medicine that could save their child’s life.

Kelly Becker has two children with severe food allergies, and any time her kids eat, there could be a reaction. Becker talks about the time her daughter accidentally ate regular ice cream at her birthday party, rather than the soy that had been set aside for her:

Over the last few days, we've shared the thoughts of people who experienced the 1960s. How do they think that era's turbulence compares to today’s? In our final installment, we meet a retired professor of history, who watched developments unfold.

Glen Jeansonne is a professor emeritus at UW-Milwaukee. He grew up in a small Louisiana town and was a child in the early 1960s. Jeansonne says he recalls witnessing the struggle for civil rights at the town's pool.

House Speaker Paul Ryan of Janesville has been spending the summer fending off a challenge from a political newcomer in Tuesday’s primary election. Ryan has held Wisconsin’s 1st district congressional seat since 1999 and has never had a problem getting re-elected. But this year, outside money is pouring in for Ryan’s opponent Paul Nehlen, a business executive from Delavan. While Nehlen is viewed as a long shot, Ryan isn’t taking anything for granted.

We continue our reports on societal stresses of the 1960s, including political, military and racial upheaval. It made some people uncertain about the nation's future.

Our first story featured the perspective of a white man who was a Milwaukee police officer in the `60s, in the middle of racial unrest. In this report, we ask an African American, Dr. Howard Fuller, director of the Institute for the Transformation of Learning at Marquette University.

Fuller has worn many hats. In the 1960s, he was a frequent protester in North Carolina, where he sometimes tangled with police.

LaToya Dennis

Democratic Vice Presidential hopeful Tim Kaine hit the campaign trail in Milwaukee Friday. He told the crowd of hundreds that they had a choice to make. He echoed president Obama at the Democratic National Convention by saying Secretary Clinton is the most qualified person ever to lead the country. Kaine then went on to blast Donald Trump.

“He gives you the punch line, everybody’s going to be rich, but when you ask him how he just says believe me. We’re going to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it, believe me. We’re going to beat ISIS so fast, believe me,” Kaine says.

DESTINA, FOTOLIA

The presidential campaign trail heats up again in Wisconsin on Friday. Republican Donald Trump, and his vice presidential pick Mike Pence, are holding a rally in Green Bay. Meanwhile, Democrat Hillary Clinton's running mate, Tim Kaine, will visit Milwaukee.

The last time Wisconsin saw multiple visits from presidential campaigns in a short time period was just before our state's primary in April. It was the only contest in the nation that day, and all the major candidates spent time here. In one of his stops, Donald Trump rallied supporters in Janesville.

Tensions between the police and community, a deep political divide, and American soldiers deployed in an intractable war. Those descriptors could apply to today. 

But they also define one of the most turbulent decades in recent U.S. history: the 1960s.

Jodi Parins

Sixteen large dairy operations pepper Kewaunee’s county landscape – so do the fields on which they spread their manure. Today, more than 30% of Kewaunee County residents’ wells are contaminated.

The geology of the county allows manure to seep into the groundwater, and the situation finally resulted in action.

Resident Lynn Utesch served on workgroups, along with representatives from agencies, such as the EPA and state DNR.

The spreading of manure has become a heated issue in Wisconsin. Especially with the emergence of CAFOs - farms with large concentrations of animals. Some residents blame CAFOs for contaminating drinking water.

Today, dozens of people will trek to Ashland, in the far north, where the Natural Resources Board is supposed to decide how the state will proceed.

Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

Prisoners at the Wisconsin facilities in Columbia and Green Bay may be participating in the hunger strike that a few inmates at the Waupun Correctional Institution began on June 5th. They call it their “Dying to Live” campaign and say they are protesting the state’s abuse of solitary confinement.

Chance Zombor served 12 years in Wisconsin prisons. His crimes included armed robbery and battery.

“When things happen behind these prison walls, nobody sees it. It’s like out of sight, out of mind. Largely society sees them as deserving of whatever they  did," says Zombor.

Marti Mikkelson

    

Gov. Walker, who has already capped tuition in the UW System for four years, now says he will extend the freeze for two more. He says he wants to keep tuition affordable. While students at UW-Milwaukee could benefit financially, some don't think the idea is a solid one, at least over the long-term.

Brianna Little, a senior majoring in health care administration at UWM, says she's afraid of what might happen to younger students, if the tuition freeze continues for two-more years.

Bonnie Petrie

Visitors to the emergency room of one Milwaukee hospital are being greeted by a big, friendly dog who’s there not only to lift patients’ spirits, but to keep them safe.

Wheaton Franciscan St. Joseph Hospital has the busiest ER in Wisconsin, and Director of Security Cindy Mangen says it has unique security concerns. 

    

Milwaukee City Hall was buzzing on Monday with early voters. They were casting ballots in advance of the August 9 primary.

We asked several people in the Election Commissioner’s office what they think of two recent federal court rulings that loosen parts of Wisconsin’s Voter ID law. They’re not scheduled to take effect until November, but early voters are aware.

    

Rebecca Bradley will be sworn-in Monday, to a new ten-year term on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Voters elected her in April, after the governor had appointed her a few months earlier.

But there will be an even newer face on the court. Waukesha Attorney Daniel Kelly will succeed Justice David Prosser – who retired Sunday. The change retains the court’s conservative bent, 5-2. Some observers are pleased while others are concerned.

Gov. Walker touted Daniel Kelly’s credentials a few days ago, when appointing him to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

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