WUWM News

Chip Somodevilla and Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

As it nears its conclusion, the race for the White House paused in Wisconsin on Tuesday. Both Republican Donald Trump and Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine visited. They each told voters the state will play an important role in the election. The candidates also both made a point to question the character of the other party's nominee for president.

GOP nominee Donald Trump has made frequent appearances in Wisconsin in the last couple months. This time he chose Eau Claire.

LaToya Dennis

So, here’s a little known fact about voting laws in Wisconsin: You can change your ballot up to three times. Few people know about the law, and even fewer take advantage.

Wisconsin has always been proud of its voting history. In fact, election officials here like to brag that the state has one of the highest rates of voter turnout across the country.

As of Monday, 465,000 people had already cast their ballot. Now, with just one week left before the election, and several days until the end of absentee voting, those people could still change their vote.

Marti Mikkelson

Is there anything that could happen before next week’s election that would make you change your vote? New inquiries surfaced over the weekend about Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email system while she was secretary of state. A few weeks ago, Donald Trump was hit by accusations of inappropriate actions toward women. WUWM stopped by two early voting sites in Milwaukee to ask people what might be the final straw.

Charles Fletcher doesn’t think there’s anything that could happen between now and Nov. 8, that would make him change his vote in the presidential race.

The MPD, on Monday, terminated officer Dominique Heaggan-Brown who was arrested earlier this month on accusations of sexual assault.

According to the department, an internal investigation found that Heaggan-Brown violated the Milwaukee Police Code of Conduct. It states in part that, “Whether on or off duty, department members shall not behave in such a way that a reasonable person would expect that discredit could be brought upon the department, or that it would create the appearance of impropriety or corruptive behavior.”

Michelle Maternowski

A version of one ad Wisconsin people are seeing in the U.S. Senate race first aired more than 50 years ago. known as the "Daisy" ad. It features an atomic explosion.  It's one of the negative ads that supporters of GOP incumbent Ron Johnson and Democratic challenger Russ Feingold have been able to produce and air, because both camps have been the beneficiaries of huge injections of cash and know that negative advertising influences voters.

If there are political issues that get both Democrats and Republicans riled up these days, near the top of the list would be trade deals.

Some people call trade agreements essential, while others insist they put the U.S. at a disadvantage. What the country seems most focused on now, during the races for president and U.S. Senate, is the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership – it would link 12 Pacific-rim nations. But decades ago, NAFTA - the North American Free Trade Agreement was all the rage. WUWM reports on how some Milwaukeeans describe NAFTA’s impact here.

Susan Bence

Are Milwaukee area rail lines becoming safer? One of the potentially hazardous loads some people worry about is crude oil. Trains carry up to 14 loads a week through the heart of the city.

Although Milwaukee has been accident-free, other U.S. and Canadian cities have not. Some citizens fear it’s just a matter of time because Milwaukee’s rail lines and bridges are old.

Andy Cummings of Canadian Pacific says his rail company stands ready to assist communities. CP’s “dangerous goods” officers train local first responders.

Milwaukee Succeeds

It's widely acknowledged that Milwaukee boasts one of the widest achievement gaps in the country among public school students. 

The next logical question for education-focused groups across the city: how do we move the needle?

alexkich / Fotolia

The City of Milwaukee is trying to get its arms around the persistent problem of panhandling. Earlier this year, the city started an effort to educate panhandlers about social services available to them. The new rule that kicks in Friday relies on enforcement. It bans standing on medians to ask for money, something that's grown common in certain areas.

One trouble spot is the neighborhood around 25th and Clybourn. In one block alone, we saw three men holding up cardboard signs asking for money. One man’s sign said: “Homeless. Need a little help.”

Keio Horton

A different type of presidential poll is underway at the Milwaukee Public Market – a cookie poll. C. Adams Bakery is allowing people to purchase cookies that represent their candidate of choice. It was Lisa Crum's idea. She owns C. Adams Bakery in the Milwaukee Public Market. Crum thought the politically-tinted bakery could add levity to this year's race.

“Right now, there’s so much negativity, and it takes a little bit of the negativity away from it,” Crum says.

The Affordable Care Act has moved center stage in some political campaigns – including in the presidential race. The government announced this week that across the country, premiums are expected to rise by around 25 percent for plans on the federal exchanges. The percentage is lower in Wisconsin, around 16 percent.

Rachel Morello

Fall marks a season of uniquely American traditions – football, hay rides, Halloween and Thanksgiving.

Schools often observe of few of the customs.

At the Hmong American Peace Academy, the mission is to immerse kids in both their Hmong and American heritages. This time of year, the school celebrates some American traditions with its annual “Fall Family Festival.”

It’s a Saturday, and about 50 kids are in the cafeteria, circled around a DJ.

“Who knows how to do the Hokey Pokey?” the DJ asks, to squeals and cheers from the crowd around him.  

Ann-Elise Henzl Reporter Milwaukee Public Radio

Hundreds of Milwaukeeans ride the bus every day to jobs in Waukesha County. But the funding that helps pay for the routes will dry up in a couple of years. So leaders are spreading the word about the routes' successes in hopes the service will continue -- and even grow.

Milwaukee leaders often call for businesses to create more jobs in the central city. Yet until that dream comes to fruition, hundreds of residents are finding work miles from home and using Milwaukee County buses to get there.

Susan Bence / Milwaukee Public Radio

Trains rumble through downtown Milwaukee on a daily basis. Each week, up to 14 of them haul crude oil.

While the city has not experienced any accidents with those tankers, there have been disasters elsewhere, both in the U.S. and Canada.

We wondered, is Milwaukee making progress in protecting the area from a potential accident?

Ask Cheryl Nenn of the group Milwaukee Riverkeeper - her answer is an unequivocal no.

If you applied for an absentee ballot – you need to know about a new state law. It requires you to mail back your ballot earlier than in the past, so that it arrives by 8:00 P.M. on election night, otherwise, your vote won’t count.

Under Wisconsin’s old rule, mail-in ballots had to be postmarked prior to Election Day. Then the clerk would count them, as long as they arrived by 4 p.m. on the Friday after the election.

But a new law took effect in September. It requires absentee ballots to arrive in clerk’s offices by the time polls close on Election Night.

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