Marti Mikkelson

News Reporter

Marti, a Waukesha native, joined the WUWM news team in February of 1999. 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.

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Wisconsin's State Capitol
Flickr.com/pinchof

More marathon sessions are expected in Madison. The Legislature’s Joint Finance committee is moving into its final week of budget deliberations.

Althouse

The Legislature's budget committee on Wednesday morning undid Gov. Walker's cut to K-12 schools while approving an expansion of the state's voucher school program.  

The Joint Finance committee worked into the night and restored all of the $127 million cut the governor had proposed for the first year of the two-year budget.

In addition, the panel approved a measure that would allow $100 per student in funding for the second year of the budget.

Marti Mikkelson

Wisconsin might end its Chapter 220 program. It started decades ago to integrate public schools in the Milwaukee area. A federal judge ruled in 1976 that they were unconstitutionally segregated.

Gov. Walker wants to phase out Chapter 220 over a 12 year period; he cites minimal participation. On Tuesday, the legislature’s budget committee will vote. We spoke with people who hold strong opinions about the program.

ThoseGuys119, flickr

On Tuesday, the legislature’s budget committee will vote on funding for K-12 schools. One item Gov. Walker has included is a phase-out of Chapter 220. He says participation is minimal.

Wisconsin created the program to integrate public schools in Milwaukee, after a federal judge declared them segregated in 1976.  The state hailed Chapter 220 as a voluntary way to desegregate Milwaukee’s public schools. It paid for black and white students to attend schools farther away from home, in order to make them more racially balanced.

    

Hundreds of Republicans from across Wisconsin will gather in La Crosse this weekend for their annual state party convention.

This time, it coincides with news from former Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold. He announced Thursday, that he wants to reclaim the seat he lost to Republican Sen. Ron Johnson in 2010.

The convention will take a two-pronged approach, according to Chris Martin. He’s spokesman for the Republican Party of Wisconsin. One, is to celebrate the accomplishments of 2014.

Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne says he will not file charges against Officer Matt Kenny, for shooting to death 19-year-old Tony Robinson Jr., this past March 6.

Ozanne prefaced his decision with personal notes and lengthy details about what his investigation found.

Courtesy of the Milwaukee Bucks

Within the next couple weeks, there could be a suggested financing plan for a new arena in downtown Milwaukee.

Gov. Walker says he’s optimistic a deal is near. Members of his staff have been meeting frequently with elected leaders and representatives of the Milwaukee Bucks. Talks are expected to continue this week.

The sticking point, according to Walker, is coming up with the right combination of public money for a new basketball arena.

Richie Diesterheft, flickr

Wisconsin is one step closer to changing the way it funds its state parks. 

Republicans on the Joint Finance committee advanced Gov. Walker’s plan Thursday to pull back state funding for parks and let users and corporations pay.

Wisconsin isn’t the only state searching for new ways to fund its parks, according to Republican Sen. Tom Tiffany.

Justin W Kern

    

Wisconsin received disappointing budget news on Wednesday. The Legislative Fiscal Bureau told the state not to expect additional tax revenue to roll in, over the next two years.

State leaders were hoping revenue would exceed expectations, so they could restore some cuts Gov. Walker made in his budget.

Walker says he had hoped for better news, so he would not have to carry out his plan to cut $127 million from K-12 education.

Marti Mikkelson

A new Memory Café is opening in southeastern Wisconsin. This one is located in downtown Greendale.

The cafes hold events for people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and similar illnesses, and their caregivers.

Tom Hlavacek calls the opening of a Memory Café in Greendale momentous. He’s executive director of the Alzheimer’s Association of Southeastern Wisconsin.

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