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.

» Contact WUWM News

Susan Bence

We Energies uses a variety of means to produce power. But for decades, coal-burning plants were the company's backbone. WUWM wondered whether the utility would beef up its use of coal, now that President Trump is walking away from the Paris climate agreement.

We Energies Spokesman Brian Manthey says don't expect to see additional coal burning. "It's important for our customers that we don't have all of eggs in one fuel basket."

Manthey says We Energies has been working to diversify its portfolio.

At least one worker died, and around a dozen employees were injured, in an explosion at an ethanol plant in Cambria, WI. Two workers are missing. Recovery teams are digging through the ruins of one of the plant's buildings, searching for the missing employees.

The blast happened late Wednesday at the Didion Milling Plant in the Columbia County village, which is about 20 miles northwest of Beaver Dam.

George Frey/Getty Images

Wisconsin lawmakers are considering letting gun owners take weapons more places, and with fewer regulations. The measure is before a Senate committee, which took testimony on Wednesday.

Dozens of people lined up to testify on the measure, in a hearing that lasted all day. Speakers focused on two particular aspects of the bill: rules regarding guns on school grounds; and training requirements for gun owners.

Update, May 31, 2017:

The Milwaukee Common Council on Wednesday unanimously approved a $2.3 million settlement with family of Dontre Hamilton, the black man a white police officer fatally shot in 2014, in Red Arrow Park downtown. 

Hamilton was mentally ill and had been sleeping in the park when officer Christopher Manney initiated a pat down, to check for weapons. It prompted Hamilton to begin fighting, and Manney ultimately shot Hamilton 14 times, killing him. The MPD later fired Manney for not following protocol when engaging a person with mental illness.

U.S. Venture wants to lease less than an acre of land next to property it already uses at the Port of Milwaukee. The extra piece would give the company a path to create a pipeline to the city pier that handles liquid cargo.

"It's always been our desire to connect to the liquid cargo pier so that we can handle water shipments, and the primary cargo that we've been looking at for a number of years is ethanol," says Richard Sawall, director of business development. He outlined U.S. Venture's plans at a recent Common Council committee meeting.

Milwaukee County may be putting fewer suspects in jail while they’re awaiting trial. That's because for the past year, the court system has been using a new risk assessment tool. It gauges whether a person charged with a crime is likely to flee or commit another crime, if he or she is released.

A number of states are using the strategy. Officials using the approach here shared their experiences at the Marquette University Law School on Wednesday.

Sculpture Milwaukee

If you've been to downtown Milwaukee in the last week, you may have noticed curious shapes popping up along Wisconsin Ave. Workers are installing large sculptures, which will be on display for five months.

Local philanthropist Steve Marcus came up with the idea for the free, outdoor art gallery. He lobbied for it, for years. Marcus says people driving down the street are likely to take notice of the sculptures.

AnnElise Henzl WUWM

For the last couple of months, people arriving to and departing from Milwaukee County's jail have had their eyes scanned. That's in addition to having their fingerprints taken during the booking process.

Commander Aaron Dobson says the scans are an extra step to ensure proper identification. "No two people have the same iris."

Dobson and his staff showed the scanning devices to the media last week. The scanners are about the size of a digital camera. They're hooked up to a computer, which checks the image of a person's iris against others in a national database.

Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

College campuses have long been hotbeds for protests during divisive political times. And they've invited speakers, some controversial, in an effort to offer multiple perspectives. But as rhetoric has heated up in recent months, some schools are struggling to accommodate such visits. Conservative Wisconsin legislators think they have the answer.

Ann-Elise Henzl WUWM

It's been decades since trucks, tractors and other motorized equipment took over much of the work that horses once performed in farmers' fields. But a growing number of people around the country are returning to draft horses for plowing and other operations.

That's often in addition to using gas-powered vehicles, Joe Mischka says. He's publisher and editor of Rural Heritage magazine.

Michelle Maternowski

People who've wanted to open a strip club in downtown Milwaukee for years appear to have gotten their way. On Tuesday, the Common Council approved a license application after repeatedly rejecting the plan in the past.

For five years, a group of owners has tried to get the city's OK to open a strip club on Old World Third Street. The group even sued the city for blocking its plans.

Opponents have argued that a strip club isn't a good fit for the area. They've also criticized some people in the owners group, including one who's been in trouble with the law.

Companies that provide cell phone service are constantly racing to provide the most reliable signal. In Wisconsin, one of the providers has turned to a surprising option to get the job done: draft horses.

The horses are helping U.S. Cellular upgrade equipment on about 200 cell towers in Wisconsin, some of which are served by hard-to-navigate access roads.

As Congress moves forward with efforts to replace the Affordable Care Act, some people in Wisconsin are holding their breath. They're uncertain -- or fearful -- about what to expect next.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, however, appeared confident last week. He said Congress would end former President Obama's Affordable Care Act.

"There is a fundamental and urgent choice at the heart of this debate," Ryan said, as the Wisconsin Republican persuaded colleagues before Thursday's vote.

Michael Sears / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

While national reports indicate the Dept. of Homeland Security may be thinking of hiring Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, the inquest continues this week into the death of Terrill Thomas, who died of dehydration in the county jail. He was one of four people who died there, in about a year's time. UWM Criminal Justice Prof. Stan Stojkovic says it is unlikely Clarke will face criminal charges, but other issues of wrong-doing could settle around him because the state constitution puts responsibility for the jail directly on the shoulders of the sheriff.

Ann-Elise Henzl WUWM

The recent beating of a Milwaukee Muslim woman outraged many people, including members of the Islamic and the interfaith community. The woman says her attacker made a point of ripping off her head scarf, or hijab. The incident follows a series of threats against a Jewish community center. Religious groups have been working for years to prevent such attacks. The shared strategy is to promote understanding and tolerance.

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