Chuck Quirmbach

Innovation Reporter

Chuck Quirmbach joined WUWM in August 2018 as Innovation Reporter, covering developments in science, health and business.

Prior to that, he worked for Wisconsin Public Radio in Milwaukee and Madison, covering the environment, energy, and Milwaukee news of statewide interest.

He is a graduate of the UW-Madison.

Ways to Connect

Angelina Mosher Salazar / WUWM

Updated Friday at 5:39 p.m.:

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and other city officials held a press conference Friday to express concern over the city’s troubling increase in violence.

“As of this morning, there have been 86 homicides in the city. Last year on this date, there were 43. Exactly a 100% increase in homicides in the city Milwaukee in one year,” said Barrett.

The Associated Press reported five people died in shootings in Milwaukee within 20 hours between Tuesday night and Wednesday evening, including a 16-year-old girl.

Chuck Quirmbach

Health officials are issuing the standard safety warnings about using fireworks use this week. It may be though that more people should be listening to those warnings as more residents of Wisconsin and the nation, for various reasons, may be setting off their own fireworks.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced a lot of community fireworks displays to be canceled, or altered so people don't gather in one area. If people still need a fireworks fix, one place they can go to buy their own is the West Frontage Road along Interstate 94 in Caledonia. 

Chuck Quirmbach

Milwaukee may be on the way to requiring people to wear masks in indoor public spaces, including bars and restaurants. But early Wednesday, the city also relaxed more COVID-19 restrictions on some of its businesses.

The mask idea may have partly started with local restaurant chain owner Paul Bartolotta. A couple weeks ago, he told a business webcast about talking by phone with a food supplier in Italy this spring:

Screenshot / City of Wauwatosa

Wauwatosa may be the next southeastern Wisconsin community to require all of its police officers to wear body cameras.

The cameras are an issue in Wauwatosa because of three fatal shootings by police officer Joseph Mensah of Black or Latino men in the last six years. Self-defense was ruled in the first two cases. But the shooting of 17-year-old Alvin Cole outside Mayfair Mall in February is still under review. An apparent lack of police body camera footage is a concern for Cole's family.

Chuck Quirmbach

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin now tops 28,000, with 315 new cases reported Monday. The number of COVID deaths in the state remained at 777.

There’s a renewed effort during the pandemic to get more financial help to health care workers in Wisconsin.

>>WUWM & NPR Coronavirus Coverage


COVID-19 and its related economic slowdown have cast a shadow on the solar energy business. So, a company that installs solar panels on the roofs of Wisconsin homes says it's had to become more innovative. But the solar industry is also hoping for more old-fashioned help — from Congress.

Chuck Quirmbach

Milwaukee Brewers officials say a three-week training period for the baseball team will begin July 1 at Miller Park.

The workouts will be in advance of a 60-game season Major League Baseball announced this week, after the start of baseball’s typical 162-game season was delayed three months due to COVID-19 concerns.

The 60-game season will begin July 23 or 24. But fans in Milwaukee, and in other cities, will not be at the ballparks, at least not now.

Chuck Quirmbach

A citizens panel in Wauwatosa is recommending a ban on police chokeholds and no-knock search warrants. It also wants Wauwatosa police officers to wear body cameras.


Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin says she would say "yes" to Joe Biden if the expected Democratic presidential nominee asked her to be his vice-presidential running mate. Baldwin will seemingly have clout during the campaign, whether she's on the ticket or not.

Former Vice President Biden has promised to choose a female running mate, and some media outlets continue to put Baldwin on the list of potentials.


President Donald Trump will spend most of Thursday afternoon and evening campaigning in northeastern Wisconsin. One of his stops will be at a shipbuilding company that recently won a huge federal contract.

Earlier this week, Republican Vice President Mike Pence campaigned in Pewaukee. He told a rally that Trump has steered a lot of taxpayer dollars to the armed forces.

Michelle Maternowski / WUWM

Democrats will hold an almost entirely virtual presidential nominating convention Aug. 17-20 in Milwaukee using live broadcasts and online streaming, party officials said Wednesday.

Joe Biden plans to accept the presidential nomination in person, but it remains to be seen whether there will be a significant in-person audience there to see it. The Democratic National Committee said in a statement that official business, including the votes to nominate Biden and his yet-to-be-named running mate, will take place virtually, with delegates being asked not to travel to Milwaukee

Chuck Quirmbach

Vice President Mike Pence will make two campaign stops in Waukesha County Tuesday. It appears there could hundreds of people at one of the locations. A disease expert says at many campaign rallies this year, COVID-19 will be a concern.

Pence will begin his visit at the Waukesha STEM Academy, a public charter school. There, he and U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos are expected to take part in a small group discussion on taxpayer-funded school vouchers.

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Chuck Quirmbach

How many people in Wisconsin have survived a COVID-19 diagnosis?

That’s the Bubbler Talk question listener Gene Kelber, of Shorewood, sent our way. He says he and his wife are in a high-risk age group for the disease.

"We're both over 70 and we wondered how this is going to impact our life and relationship with our friends,  our children, and our grandchildren who live in Shorewood,” Kelber says.

Chuck Quirmbach / WUWM

Supporters and relatives of three men shot to death by a Wauwatosa police officer in the last six years gathered in the entrance area to the Wauwatosa police station for nearly an hour Thursday afternoon. They were there as attorneys for the families of Alvin Cole, fatally shot in February, and Jay Anderson, Jr., fatally shot in 2016, filed a complaint against Wauwatosa Police Officer Joseph Mensah. Mensah shot the two African American men as a well as a Latino man, Antonio Gonzales, in 2015.