Jack Hurbanis

Assistant Digital Producer

Jack Hurbanis started as the WUWM Digital Intern in January 2020, transitioning to Assistant Digital Producer in July.

He is currently a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he is studying film production and communication. 

Outside of work, he can be found cooking with friends, going to see a movie at the Oriental theater, or enjoying the many seasons Milwaukee has to offer. 

Courtesy of Ozaukee Youth United

After the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer in May, there's been an emergence of local activist groups in and around Milwaukee.

They’re working toward raising awareness around racism and fighting for racial equity. One of those groups is Ozaukee Youth United. This group was founded by Natalie Peters and Nathan Baker, both soon-to-be seniors at Grafton High School. It was created to be a bullhorn for student activists for all different issues. 

Maayan Silver

Updated at 2 p.m. CT

Wisconsin is a pivotal battleground state in the 2020 race for the White House. In addition to voting for president, Wisconsinites will be electing key state positions — all during the coronavirus pandemic.

B~Free & Quinten Farr, The Beat Index, Abby Jeanne, Space Raft

Although most live shows have been put on hold by the pandemic, Milwaukee bands are continuing to release new songs  — and Matt Wild has listened to most of them. Wild is one of the co-founders of Milwaukee Record, which describes itself as an online source for music, culture, and gentle sarcasm. 

Scott Olson / Getty Images

Restaurants have had the go-ahead from the city of Milwaukee to open dine-in services and operate with safety and capacity limits for over a month, but many are still struggling. Some decide to close temporarily if any coronavirus cases arise amongst workers, but there’s actually no strict protocols to follow.

As restaurants research and adapt best new operation practices largely on their own, culinary historian and contributor Kyle Cherek says this lack of top-down instruction has caused a significant drop in public trust. 

Sarah Silbiger / Getty Images

The coronavirus pandemic has hit the hospitality industry hard. As COVID-19 rates continue to rise, restaurants have had to reevaluate operating plans or close their doors.

From the tipping system to sustainability to health care, this pandemic has exposed the major flaws of the hospitality system. The Milwaukee Independent Restaurant Coalition (MIRC) was recently formed to address these issues and create change so restaurants can better succeed on the other side of this pandemic. 

Tatiana / stock.adobe.com

Every year the Perseid meteor shower is one of the highlights of summer stargazing. It started about a week ago and will peak Aug. 11-13.

These shooting stars are debris left by the passing Swift-Tuttle comet burning in the Earth’s atmosphere. The Perseids are known for bright, frequent meteor sightings.

Courtesy of Neil Dogra

Most teenagers’ worlds revolve around school, friends and family. But one Milwaukee teen has also dedicated himself to fighting the opioid epidemic.

Neil Dogra is a 17-year-old high school junior from Milwaukee and the founder of the Opioid Epidemic Awareness Campaign. He combines his interests in neuroscience, public speaking and peer advocacy to speak at middle and high schools, meet policy advisors on opioid education and reform. He also researches at UW-Milwaukee and the Medical College of Wisconsin on the side.  

Kimberly Boyles / stock.adobe.com

Drug and alcohol abuse and addiction are a nationwide problem. Wisconsin is no exception. 

To help address this issue in Ripon, Wis., the Ripon Police Department is bringing in outside help as a part of the Fond du Lac County Opioid Initiative. In partnership with WisHope, police officers now have 24/7 access to a peer recovery coach with lived addiction experience to help provide support and treatment options to those who need it.

Sara Stathas

As we inch closer to the November general election, community organizations are ramping up their outreach to potential voters. But for the Milwaukee-based group Black Leaders Organizing for Community, also known as BLOC, these efforts are happening all year, every year. 

The organization was created to invigorate and inform Black voters in Milwaukee neighborhoods — and not just when there’s a presidential election.

Fizkes / stock.adobe.com

Americans are more unhappy today than they've been in 50 years, according to a recent study from the NORC at the University of Chicago.

The survey was conducted in late May, before the death of George Floyd sparked international protests. It tries to understand how American’s beliefs, mental health and outlook have shaped their attitudes during the coronavirus pandemic.  

Mark Wilson / Getty Images

It's been almost a year and a half since Milwaukee was picked to host the 2020 Democratic National Convention (DNC). Since then, the coronavirus pandemic has upended plans for an in-person convention, which was expected to bring an estimated 50,000 people to the city.

Singkham / stock.adobe.com

Summer is in full swing and many of us are seeing exponential growth in our gardens. Although much of the planting is over for this year, we’re finally seeing the fruits of our labors — both literally and figuratively.

Melinda Myers is an expert in all things gardening and she joins Lake Effect every month. This month, she focuses on garden maintenance and plant management. 

Darwin Brandis / stock.adobe.com

Hotels in downtown Milwaukee are perhaps the most impacted by the loss of the more robust Democratic National Convention. Although they’ll still have some of that business come August, many of them, like the Iron Horse Hotel, are looking at just half of the reservations they were expecting. 

Courtesy of Parking Lot Theatre

How we seek entertainment has changed drastically since the coronavirus pandemic began. Seeing the performing arts and going to movies isn’t physically safe to do, but many of us still want to engage with the arts in person.

Activists Anne Koller and Manny Lara were concerned about how the lockdown would impact Milwaukee’s creative communities and they wanted to find a safe way to enjoy the arts.

Daderot / Wikimedia

Late last week, the Wisconsin Supreme Court announced its decisions on key cases concerning the power of the state’s executive branch. The rulings effectively limit the power of Wisconsin’s attorney general and overruled several of Gov. Tony Evers' vetoes from the 2019 state budget.

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