Marti Mikkelson

News Reporter

Marti, a Waukesha native, joined the WUWM news team in February of 1999. She is also host of WUWM's weekly political podcast, Capitol Notes.

Previously, she was an anchor and reporter at WTMJ in Milwaukee, WIBA in Madison, and WLIP in Kenosha.

Marti’s work has been recognized by RTNDA, the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, Associated Press, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated, and the Milwaukee Press Club.

Marti earned a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse. Marti currently lives on her favorite side of town – Milwaukee’s east side.

» Contact WUWM News

Maria / stock.adobe.com

Several bills designed to speed up the COVID-19 vaccination process in Wisconsin are making their way through the Republican-controlled state Legislature. 

The Assembly Committee on Health held a public hearing Wednesday on a measure that would immediately prioritize anyone 60 years and older for the vaccine.

Chuck Quirmbach / WUWM

Wisconsin’s Congress members broke along party lines last week when the House voted to impeach President Donad Trump for his role in inciting a riot at the U.S. Capitol that left five people dead. It’s now up to the U.S. Senate to decide whether to hold a trial that could lead to a conviction, even after Trump’s term expires this week and President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in.

In this week’s Capitol Notes, Marti Mikkelson asks JR Ross of wispolitics.com where Wisconsin’s two senators, Republican Ron Johnson and Democrat Tammy Baldwin, stand on this issue.

Courtesy of Kim Wilde Corben

For the kickoff of our new season of Bubbler Talk, I thought I would tackle a question from our listener Erin Christie.

“Can you do an appreciation segment on the prevalence of basement bars in Milwaukee?”

Ah, the basement bar. Raised in the Milwaukee area, I remember them well.

Stefani Reynolds / Getty Images

The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives voted Thursday to impeach Republican President Donald Trump for the second time during his term.

The vote was 232-197, with Wisconsin’s delegation voting along party lines.

The articles of impeachment charge Trump with inciting a riot inside the U.S. Capitol, in which five people died.

Several members of Wisconsin’s delegation spoke during the debate, including Democratic Congresswoman Gwen Moore of Milwaukee.

Samuel Corum / Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she’ll introduce articles of impeachment this week against Republican President Donald Trump, for encouraging his supporters to conduct a “big” and “wild” protest at the US Capitol.

It grew into a riot, which ultimately resulted in five deaths.

ANDY MANIS / GETTY IMAGES

The Republican-controlled Wisconsin Assembly on Thursday passed a doomed COVID-19 response bill that Senate Republicans and Democratic Gov. Tony Evers oppose, and there’s no sign of an agreement on a plan to combat the virus that has killed more than 5,000 people in the state.

Evers and Assembly Democrats have their own proposals that Republicans do not support. The Legislature hasn't passed anything related to the pandemic since April, and recent talks between Evers and Republican leaders failed to result in a deal.

Wiseye

Wisconsin Republicans moved ahead Tuesday with a fast-tracked coronavirus response bill that is opposed by Democrats and appears likely to be vetoed by Gov. Tony Evers.

PROMESAARTSTUDIO / FOTOLIA

In this week’s Capitol Notes conversation, we look ahead to the political stories that will likely top the headlines in 2021. 

Ann Althouse / Flickr

In this week’s Capitol Notes conversation, we’re going to look back at the top political stories of 2020. One of the biggest stories was the impact of the coronavirus, and how elected officials responded.

Here in Wisconsin, Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and health officials declared a state of emergency at the outset, which resulted in a couple of stay-at-home orders, as well as mandates for masks and capacity limits on businesses. Several lawsuits ensued from Republican lawmakers and political groups.

Southworks / stock.adobe.com

Updated Dec. 23 10:05 a.m. CST

Gov. Tony Evers announced Tuesday that his administration has partnered with a medical testing company to provide at-home COVID-19 tests for free if a requestor lacks health insurance coverage as the state set a new record high in deaths tied to the disease.

PROMESAARTSTUDIO / FOTOLIA

Newly elected Republican state Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu says he wants to pass a bill early next year that would allow clerks to begin counting absentee ballots before Election Day.

LeMahieu tried to get a bill to this effect passed earlier this year.  It had bipartisan support but failed because some Republican lawmakers opposed it. 

In this week’s Capitol Notes conversation, WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson asks JR Ross of wispolitics.com, if he thinks such a bill would pass this time.

UW Health

Nearly 200 health care workers in Wisconsin had received the COVID-19 vaccination as of Wednesday, a number that was expected to grow rapidly in the coming days as the state receives more shipments of the vaccine seen as critical to helping turn the tide of the pandemic.

MILWAUKEE POLICE / RIEMANN

The Milwaukee Common Council on Tuesday rejected the federal COPS grant that would have provided the city with 30 additional police officers. 

The vote was 9-6 to pass up the $10 million grant.

Groups, such as the Party for Socialism and Liberation – Milwaukee, North Side Rising and others, protested the funding before the vote, calling it “a step back from the steady movements to defund the police ... and a slap in the face to a community that has decided we do not need more officers.”

JUSTIN SULLIVAN / GETTY IMAGES

The Wisconsin Supreme Court is expected to issue a decision Monday on whether the Nov. 3 election was conducted illegally in Milwaukee and Dane counties, as President Donald Trump has claimed.

President-elect Joe Biden won Wisconsin by about 21,000 votes but Trump is seeking to throw out thousands of ballots in the two counties, which could result in a victory for him here.

The state Supreme Court heard arguments in the case on Saturday and would need to issue a ruling by noon Monday, when Wisconsin electors are scheduled to cast the state’s 10 electoral votes for Biden.

Eric Allix Rogers / flickr

Milwaukee County is going to make another attempt to raise the local sales tax to pay for services. County Executive David Crowley says he and partners plan to ask the Republican-controlled legislature to approve a binding referendum asking local voters to increase the sales tax by 1%.

The county would use the extra revenue for mental health services, as well as COVID-19 and property tax relief.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

It’s shaping up to be another busy week for the Wisconsin courts. The state Supreme Court rejected a couple of lawsuits last week related to President Donald Trump’s claims that the election was conducted illegally in the state.

The court ruled that Trump’s grievances must first go through lower courts. His attorneys then filed similar claims in federal court in Wisconsin.

Ann-Elise Henzl / WUWM

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said he’s pleased that Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine has been approved in the United Kingdom – and is optimistic it will soon be rolled out in the U.S.

In a media update Thursday, Barrett estimated Wisconsin would initially receive about 50,000 doses of the vaccine. He said they’ll be distributed to those most in need.

Lauren Sigfusson / WUWM

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett says he’ll sign an ordinance that increases fines for bars and restaurants that violate mask and social distancing orders. Under the new rules, penalties would increase from a maximum of $500 per violation to a maximum of $5,000 per violation.

Mark Makela/Getty Images

Joe Biden’s victory in battleground Wisconsin was confirmed Monday following a partial recount that only added to his 20,600-vote margin over President Donald Trump, who has promised to file a lawsuit seeking to undo the results.

Becca Schimmel / WUWM

Milwaukee and Dane counties have finished their presidential recounts. It turns out President-elect Joe Biden netted 87 additional votes between the two counties. Unofficial results show Biden maintains a roughly 20,000 vote lead in Wisconsin.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump says he’ll file a lawsuit by Tuesday disputing the validity of about 240,000 ballots. He claims early in-person absentee voting was conducted illegally, among other arguments. Trump wants to overturn the election results by getting those ballots thrown out.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

The presidential recount in Milwaukee and Dane counties is entering its fourth day. Unofficial results from Nov. 3 show President-elect Joe Biden ahead of President Donald Trump in Wisconsin by about 20,000 votes.

Milwaukee County election officials say the recount is moving slowly because Trump’s attorneys have been constantly interrupting and challenging tens of thousands of ballots, alleging fraud and seeking to discount them. They say few votes have actually been counted and the process is falling far behind.

David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Officials from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services Tuesday laid out the procedure for distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine, once it becomes available. Both Pfizer and Moderna say the vaccines they’re developing are at least 90% effective in preliminary trials.

Maayan Silver / WUWM

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers says he’ll introduce a coronavirus relief package for Wisconsin this week, amid soaring numbers of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.  He announced his intention after he delivered a statewide address, urging Wisconsinites to voluntarily shelter-in-place but stopped short of issuing another emergency stay-at-home order. 

Marti Mikkelson / WUWM

Updated Monday at 6:10 p.m. CST

Hundreds of people who don't accept that President Donald Trump lost in Wisconsin showed up for a rally Saturday at Serb Hall on Milwaukee’s south side. The event was held in the parking lot amid a sea of flags and signs that read “Trump 2020” and “Make America Great Again.” Organizers asked participants to help in a possible recount in Wisconsin.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Updated Friday 9:02 p.m. CST

Wisconsin health officials reported more jaw-dropping COVID-19 infection numbers Thursday as people continued to flaunt recommendations to wear masks and avoid gatherings and state government remained gridlocked on how to beat the pandemic.

Scott Olson

Coronavirus cases are exploding across Wisconsin. Local leaders gave an update Tuesday about what’s going on here. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett says a record number of people were tested Monday for the virus.

“If you look [Monday] at Miller Park, we tested 2,805 people. On the northwest side, we tested 586 people. On the south side, we tested 528 people. So, the city of Milwaukee total for one day, with our resources, is close to 4,000,” Barrett says.

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

With Democrat Joe Biden the president-elect, President Donald Trump is still vowing to ask for a recount in Wisconsin. His legal team is looking into whether voter fraud occurred in other states.  Meanwhile, Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has called on an Assembly committee to investigate whether there was voter fraud here — unofficial results show that Biden won Wisconsin by about 20,000 votes. 

In this week’s Capitol Notes conversation, WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson asked JR Ross of wispolitics.com what kind of answers the committee hopes to obtain from witnesses.

Al Bello / Getty Images

Coronavirus numbers have been exploding across Wisconsin. Racine is one area seeing a particularly large number of cases.

Scott Olson / Getty Images

A number of media outlets are declaring Democrat Joe Biden the winner of Wisconsin’s 10 electoral votes. Biden holds a lead of about 20,000 votes over Republican President Donald Trump. Trump’s campaign says it will request a recount in Wisconsin.

In this special edition of Capitol Notes, WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson asked JR Ross of wispolitics.com what a recount would look like if it takes place.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett gave a status report Monday on the number of city residents who voted early. He said more than 162,000 people cast early ballots, which amounts to about 50% of registered voters. Barrett said he’s pleased with those figures, but expressed concern about the number of ballots that were mailed to voters that hadn’t been received in the clerk’s office.

“We know that there are still a lot of people who need to vote. We still have about 20,000 absentee ballots that have not been returned, and it’s too late to put them in the mail," he said.

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