Erin Toner

News Reporter

Erin Toner is a reporter for WUWM. Erin was WUWM's All Things Considered local host from 2006 to 2010. She began her public radio career in 1999 at WMUK in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Prior to joining WUWM in 2006, Toner spent five years at WKAR in East Lansing, Michigan.

During her career, Toner has served as a mentor for NPR's Next Generation Radio project, trained and mentored college students and taught a news reporting course at Michigan State University. She holds a degree in journalism from Michigan State University.

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Wisconsin is one step closer to eliminating its 48-hour waiting period to get a handgun.

Senate Republicans approved the bill on Tuesday, not buying Democrats’ warning that the change could lead to more violence. Deadly shootings have skyrocketed in Milwaukee in recent weeks.

Wisconsin’s 48-hour waiting period for handgun purchases has been in place for four decades.

But Republican Sen. Van Wanggaard says the requirement is outdated because the state can now conduct background checks in a matter of hours.

Wisconsin DOT

It will be at least three more years of orange barrels and detour signs in downtown Milwaukee, as the city, county and state work to make the area more accessible and attractive.

Officials will offer details about future phases if the Lakefront Gateway Project at a meeting Tuesday evening at O’Donnell Park.

Milwaukee's development commissioner Rocky Marcoux says the city has a world-class lakefront, but until now, it’s looked more like a loading dock.

Erin Toner

Milwaukee Public Schools says it has a plan to turn around Bradley Tech. 

The south side high school opened more than a century ago as the first public school to teach the trades.  Over the decades, it churned out graduates prepared for jobs with local industry, and in 2002, donors helped build a new state-of-the-art building.

But last year, Bradley Tech ranked last among MPS high schools on measures including academic performance and college readiness. The school also struggles with behavioral problems and absenteeism.

Adelie Freyja Annabel, Flickr

UW-Milwaukee officials on Monday explained details of a new buyout offer for employees. The plan encourages faculty and staff who are close to retirement to leave early.

The campus stands to lose as much as $40 million in state aid over the next two years, if lawmakers approve Gov. Walker’s budget. One way UWM is looking to deal with the shortfall is through a buyout program.

Chancellor Mark Mone says the university will offer the deal to about 300 of its 4,500 employees.

Erin Toner

During emotional hearings about the alleged overprescription of narcotics at the Tomah VA hospital, many who testified noted there are safer ways to treat pain.

One treatment mentioned was acupuncture.

d76/Flickr

There are a couple upcoming changes in the Milwaukee County Transit System. This week, seniors and people with disabilities can get free passes. Next week, some riders will face a new charge.

If you pay cash to ride the county bus, you pay $4.50 for a round trip. Right now, county residents who are 65 or older and people with disabilities pay half the regular fare.

But even that’s unaffordable for many, according to Milwaukee County Board Chairperson Marina Dimitrijevic.

There are still loose ends in the case of a white Milwaukee police officer fatally shooting an unarmed black man.

This week, the city’s Fire and Police Commission upheld former officer Christopher Manney’s dismissal. Members agreed with the chief that Manney violated department policy in his encounter last April with Dontre Hamilton and deserved to lose his job because of the harm caused.

Erin Toner

The U.S. Supreme Court will not consider the constitutionality of Wisconsin's voter ID law, meaning the state is free to impose it, but the AG says not next month.

Absentee ballots have already been mailed and early in-person voting started Monday, so state Attorney General Brad Schimel says it's too late to enforce the law for the April 7 election.

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Monday marks the fifth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act’s passage. Experts and politicians continue assessing the law’s impacts. WUWM’s Erin Toner caught up with UWM Prof. Owen Thompson, who studies the economics of health care. Thompson says some dire predictions, such as insurance premiums would skyrocket, have not come to pass.

Erin Toner

It used to be that if you wanted to see a doctor for your annual checkup or the flu, your options were Monday through Friday, during the day. But things are changing.

Many providers now offer extended hours to make seeing a doctor more convenient, and discourage visits to emergency centers.

Dr. Mushir Hassan is working through a busy morning of appointments, popping in and out of patient rooms, and pulling up charts on the laptop he totes. All pretty routine, except it’s a Saturday, a day doctors normally have off and many healthcare clinics are closed.

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