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.

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Chuck Quirmbach

Some supporters of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and expected Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden are trying to find common ground on the issue of cutting the U.S. military budget.

The two sides held a news conference in downtown Milwaukee on Sunday, near a billboard that says 3% of military spending in this country could end starvation on Earth. 

Laura Valderrama founded Wisconsin for Bernie and is a Sanders delegate at this week's Democratic National Convention.  She says there's a history of bipartisan overspending on the armed forces.

Chuck Quirmbach

Updated at 10:30 a.m. CT

A Black Lives Matter protest in Wauwatosa Friday night featured a tense standoff between dozens of protesters and law enforcement from several communities after one of the protesters was taken into custody, apparently on an unrelated charge.

The incident took place at 70th St. and Aetna Ct., just north of Wisconsin Avenue and near the home of Wauwatosa Mayor Dennis McBride.

Chuck Quirmbach

The state of Wisconsin has published an online database for how it's spending $1.7 billion in federal funds, responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Much of the money comes from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Gov. Tony Evers says the money has provided more than 10 million pieces of personal protective equipment, and more than 1 million testing and lab supplies for local communities and tribal partners. 

Screenshot / Wisconsin Department of Health Services / YouTube

President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, a bus promoting Women for Trump, and possibly other supporters of the president are all scheduled to campaign in Wisconsin next week. However, the presumptive Democratic ticket of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will make their remarks to the Democratic National Convention from elsewhere due to concerns about the coronavirus.

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has a message for the visiting Republicans about limiting the spread of COVID-19:

Chuck Quirmbach

Updated Sunday at 6:43 p.m. CT

A bicycle ride in Milwaukee this Saturday called Riding Over Stigma will attempt to de-stigmatize mental illness, especially in the Black community. One of the sponsors of the ride is the local chapter of Red Bike and Green — riders who bring more diversity to biking.

Chuck Quirmbach / WUWM

Wisconsin's official death toll for COVID-19 now tops 1,000.

The state reported eight more deaths Tuesday, to push the number of deceased  to 1,006.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, 72% of those who have died of COVID-19 were age 70 and older. And, 89% were 60 and older. But on a webcast Tuesday, Milwaukee County Emergency Management official Dr. Ben Weston said much younger people are at risk too.

Courtesy of Healthy Minds Innovations

Local medical experts say they're worried about the mental health of people in the Milwaukee area after dealing with months of COVID-19 and economic challenges related to the pandemic.  

Counselors are recommending various ways to positively cope with additional stress. Some Wisconsin researchers have even developed a free app, designed to help through meditation.

National Archives

Seventy-five years ago this month, the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, effectively ending World War II. Nuclear weapons haven't disappeared — nine nations still have a total of about 14,000 missile warheads — and that worries some in the Wisconsin medical community.

Rendering supplied by Independence First

Thousands of people with disabilities are hoping to vote in Wisconsin on Aug. 11, in November, and in many other elections in the years ahead. But advocates say people in wheelchairs, the visually impaired, and people with other concerns have a more difficult time exercising their right to vote. Technology is helping ease some problems, but not all.

Lauri Jones

Singer Kanye West and four other independent candidates for president have filed to be on the November ballot in Wisconsin. But it's unclear if all will actually go before voters.

West is listed as representing the Birthday Party. The others are Jo Jorgensen - Libertarian Party, Howie Hawkins - Green Party, Brian Carroll - American Solidarity Party, and Kyle Kopitke - The People's Revolution. 

Chuck Quirmbach

Thirty years ago this summer, the landscape slowly started to change for people with disabilities in the U.S. The change in 1990 came through the passage of major legislation known as The Americans With Disabilities Act, or ADA.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says one in four adults in this country has some type of disability. Those include people with vision or hearing impairment, loss of movement, mental health concerns, speech and memory loss. 

Chuck Quirmbach

Monday is day three of Wisconsin's mask mandate. The order that Gov. Tony Evers signed Thursday requiring the wearing of masks in most indoor public places statewide took effect Saturday morning. It's been a hot topic before and since.

We took a walk in downtown Pewaukee Sunday and sampled public opinion.

Waukesha County resident John Parsons says he's willing to accept the mask requirement.

Chuck Quirmbach / WUWM

A Black family whose son was killed while in Milwaukee police custody 39 years ago is taking a bigger role in the Black Lives Matter protests.  The relatives of Ernest Lacy are speaking up.

Ernest died in a police van in 1981, after being taking into custody for a rape that was later determined the 22 year old did not commit.  At a later hearing, then-community activist Howard Fuller called for charges against the officers who had forced Ernest to the ground.

Courtesy of Katarina Braun and Gage Moreno / University of Wisconsin-Madison

Many in the university research community say science will eventually help find a vaccine for the coronavirus. But across Wisconsin, it's an uncertain time for the thousands of scientists — young and older — studying and working at universities. The COVID-19 pandemic has already brought some changes, and it's expected to bring more.

Chuck Quirmbach

It's been 30 years since the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) became law. Some community activists say there are similarities between the battle for disabled rights and the current effort for racial equality.

The ADA helped lead to things like more curb cuts, those little ramps built into concrete curbs at places like intersections. The 1990 law also did much more, of course, including banning discrimination against the disabled in public places.

But Harvey Ross not being nice to the disabled community remembers at the time:

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