Ann-Elise Henzl

News Director

Ann-Elise Henzl became news director in September 2017.

Prior to her appointment, she worked in the WUWM Newsroom for more than 20 years. She served in a number of roles, including executive producer of the award-winning Project Milwaukee series, substitute news anchor for Morning Edition, and general assignment reporter.

Ann-Elise has been recognized for her work on numerous occasions, such as when she and a colleague shared the national Edward R. Murrow award from the Radio Television Digital News Association (for best use of sound in a story).

Ann-Elise has English and Mass Communication degrees from UW-Milwaukee, and attended Marquette University for two years.

When she's not at work, she often can be found at one of the area's dog parks, with her pal, Peabody.

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Ann-Elise Henzl

The thought of hurling sharp, potentially dangerous objects doesn't appeal to everyone. But Jason Hilleshiem wanted to try the activity as soon as he learned about it. So he was one of the first customers at Fling Milwaukee, the city's first axe-throwing establishment, which opened in May.

He lined up inside what looks kind of like a batting cage, waiting his turn to hurl a hatchet at a target painted on a wooden wall.

Wisconsin's State Capitol
Ann Althouse, Flickr

The campaigns for two vacant legislative seats in Wisconsin have been watched closely, with observers wondering whether the results would help gauge the strength of the "blue wave" in this midterm election year. The contests drew national attention and big campaign donations. The outcome on Tuesday was mixed, with a Democrat capturing one seat, and a Republican capturing the other.

Democrat Caleb Frostman won the state Senate seat in De Pere, defeating GOP state Rep. Andre Jacque. Meanwhile, Republican Jon Plumer defeated Democrat Ann Groves Lloyd for an Assembly post in Lodi.

ALTHOUSE

Voters in De Pere, WI will select a new state senator Tuesday. Meanwhile, voters in Lodi will choose a new member of the Assembly. Special elections are being held to fill two vacancies.

Observers are wondering whether the elections could be a litmus test for the “blue wave” in Wisconsin, in this midterm election year.

Democrats are campaigning hard to win the seats, while Republicans are fighting just as hard to keep them.

Wispolitics.com Editor JR Ross talked about the special elections and other issues in this week’s Capitol Notes segment.

flysnow, fotolia

The August primary elections are coming up quickly. Yet there's still no Democratic front-runner in the Democrats' bid to prevent Republican Gov. Scott Walker from winning another term in November.

The number of candidates is in the double digits. However, a few of them could be pulling ahead, according to a straw poll that WisPolitics.com conducted at last weekend's state Democratic Party convention.

AdamL212/flickr

People who shop at Boston Store could soon be seeing "Going Out of Business" sales -- and the loss of 2,200 jobs in Wisconsin.

A U.S. bankruptcy court Wednesday approved the sale of Boston Store's parent, Bob-Ton Stores, Inc. to a couple of liquidation companies.

Bon-Ton operates 260 stores in 24 states, including Boston Store and Younkers stores across Wisconsin.  The news is a blow to Milwaukee, including at the flagship Boston Store downtown, and the corporate offices in the same building.  

The Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association

Milwaukee civil rights icon Vel Phillips has passed away. Phillips was the first African American woman on the Common Council, where she pushed -- for years -- to end housing discrimination.

WUWM

Our latest Bubbler Talk report involves the large metal tower at the entrance to Estabrook Park, near the border of Milwaukee and Shorewood. The listener asked: "What is the giant ugly metal tower used for?"

He might be surprised to learn that the tower houses WUWM's antenna, along with that of WITI Channel 6, and a couple other radio stations.

Wisconsin Office of State Treasurer

Wisconsin voters on Tuesday voted "no" to a question about whether the state constitution should be amended, in order to eliminate the post of state treasurer. The vote was a binding referendum.

Groups that wanted to do away with the position argued that most of the duties of state treasurer had been absorbed by other agencies and offices over the years. The current treasurer, Matt Adamczyk, was one of the people pushing for the post to be disbanded. He said the office has outlived its purpose.

RACHEL MORELLO

Milwaukee Public Schools will once again be searching for a new school superintendent. Darienne Driver announced Tuesday that she'll be stepping down this summer.

She was the youngest person to head the district, and the only woman to do so on a permanent basis.

After three and a half years at the helm of MPS, Superintendent Driver will leave her position on July 6 to become president and CEO of the United Way of Southeastern Michigan.

Michelle Maternowski, WUWM

Polls are open until 8 pm Tuesday in Wisconsin's Spring Election. Voters will select a new Supreme Court justice to replace Michael Gableman, who decided not to seek a second 10-year term.

The candidates are Sauk County Judge Michael Screnock and Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Rebecca Dallet. The two finished first and second in the February primary, respectively.

Susan Bence

An independent survey released earlier this month indicated that most Milwaukee residents are somewhat, or very, satisfied with police.

Yet many people, especially minorities, view the police through a lens of frustration, anger, or even fear. The city could be at a pivotal juncture, however, with last month's retirement of longtime Police Chief Edward Flynn, and the eventual installation of a new leader.

WUWM's latest Project Milwaukee series, To Protect and Serve, airs March 26-30.  It will focus on relations between law enforcement and the community it is sworn to protect, at a time of major transition.  We preview the series with two of the people that helped shape it - Ann-Elise Henzl, WUWM News director and Audrey Nowakowski, Lake Effect producer and Project Milwaukee co-executive producer.

Screen capture from Gov. Walker's YouTube channel.

Gov. Scott Walker gave his eighth State of the State Address Wednesday afternoon. Speaking to the full Legislature, the Republican governor told lawmakers that 2017 was a "historic" year for Wisconsin, and that the state is in an amazing period of prosperity and promise.

"And you know what? We're just getting started. Foxconn, for example, will begin construction this year on a $10 billion campus," Walker said.

Susan Bence

Updated 1/12/18, 5:20 p.m.:

The City of Milwaukee health department is under fire -- amid a management shake-up. It became public Friday afternoon that the department failed to properly notify thousands of families, whose children tested positive for elevated blood lead levels. It also became public that health commissioner Bevan Baker has left his post.

SPENCER PLATT/GETTY IMAGES

A federal judge determined on Friday that Daniel Black can pursue a claim that former Milwaukee County sheriff David Clarke made a retaliatory threat against Black on social media, which Black says was meant to deter free speech.

The claim involves an incident in January of 2017. That's when Black boarded an airplane bound for Milwaukee. As he made his way to his seat, he noticed Clarke was a fellow passenger. Black says he shook his head at Clarke, who was wearing Dallas Cowboys apparel.

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