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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Marti Mikkelson

Hundreds of people packed into a room at the MPS Administration building Tuesday night, as Milwaukee Public School Board members held their first discussions on next year’s budget. The district faces a $38 million deficit.

Superintendent Darienne Driver has proposed increasing employee health care contributions and raising co-pays for doctor visits as one way to save money. Emotions ran high, as scores of teachers and faculty members opposed the ideas.

Althouse

The U.S. Senate race between Republican state Sen. Leah Vukmir and Delafield businessman Kevin Nicholson heated up late last week.  The two will face each other in a GOP primary in August.  The winner will take on Democrat Tammy Baldwin in November.  

Nicholson released the results of internal polling, that shows he is 18 points ahead of Vukmir.  In this week's Capitol Notes conversation, WUWM's Marti MIkkelson asked JR Ross of wispolitics.com, whether he thinks the Vukmir camp should be worried.

Courtesy of the Milwaukee Police Department

Update:

On Thursday, the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission announced Alfonso Morales will serve as police chief through January 2020.

This is when former Police Chief Edward Flynn's term would have ended. Flynn retired in February and the commission then appointed Morales to serve as interim chief.

Original post, March 27:

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Some Wisconsin Republicans are reeling after this week's victory by Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Rebecca Dallet in the State Supreme Court election. Dallet easily defeated the conservative candidate, who had received the backing of Republican Gov. Scott Walker.

As returns came in Tuesday night, Walker got national attention for tweeting that he was worried about the "blue wave" taking over Wisconsin.

Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Rebecca Dallet handily defeated Sauk County Judge Michael Screnock for a ten-year term on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Dallet garnered 56 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s election. The bitter battle featured support from political heavy hitters, as Dallet drew Democrats and Screnock attracted Republicans.

It was a wild week at the State Capitol, as Gov. Walker scrambled to get a court to overturn a Dane County judge's order that he call special elections to fill two vacant legislative seats. 

A second Dane County judge and a Wisconsin Appeals court refused to delay the order.  Walker was thinking about getting the state Supreme Court but in the end, decided not to, and went ahead and scheduled the elections. 

Marti Mikkelson

For nearly two decades, Milwaukee County’s Community Prosecution Program has been teaming up police with the District Attorney’s office to respond to citizen complaints. While it remains popular with residents, the program appears to be in jeopardy.

The federal government stopped funding the program last year. Only three of the seven Community Prosecution Units remain in operation in Milwaukee County, that is until they spend the last of the money allotted to them in previous years.

Whitney Curtis/Getty Images

Update:  Legislative leaders said Thursday that the extraordinary session scheduled for next Wednesday, to take up the bill that would have nullified the judge's order, has been canceled.    

Gov. Scott Walker on Thursday scheduled special elections to fill the seats vacated by Republican state Sen. Frank Lasee of De Pere and Republican state Rep. Keith Ripp of Lodi.  The governor issued an executive order, setting the elections for June 12.  Primaries for both seats will be held May 15, if needed.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Update: A Dane County judge Tuesday denied Gov. Walker’s request for a one week delay in having to call special elections for two vacant legislative seats. It means Walker has until Thursday to order the elections.

Meanwhile, the state Legislature is scheduled to vote on a bill next week that would change the law regarding special elections in Wisconsin.  

Marti Mikkelson

This week, we’re examining police-community relations, as part of our series Project Milwaukee: To Protect and Serve. The relationship is sometimes tense. But, there are examples of the police and community working together to solve problems.

I stopped at the monthly crime and safety meeting on Milwaukee's near south side last week. More than 100 people who live in the neighborhood filed in to the Mitchell Street Library to take their seats.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Update: Monday, Governor Walker officially signed his School Safety Plan into law, which includes $100 million to upgrade security in schools.

The Senate made minor adjustments to Walker’s original proposal.

Original Post, March 15, 2018:

Governor Scott Walker has plans he says will make Wisconsin schools safer. He called the legislature into special session to take up safety proposals that would increase security in schools.

Althouse

It was a busy day at the State Capitol, as Republican lawmakers scrambled to pass some of Governor Walker’s key election-year initiatives.

Tuesday began with Senate and Assembly leaders at odds over Walker’s school safety plan – along with a proposal to close the Lincoln Hills juvenile prison and a bill that would give families a $100 per-child tax credit.

But in the end, lawmakers were able to iron out their differences.

Justin W Kern

It looks like some of Gov. Walker's big initiatives in this election year, could die in the legislature after all.  That includes school safety measures and a plan to close Lincoln Hills School for Boys.  

The Senate on Tuesday is scheduled to act on Walker's plan to give $100 to families for each child under 18.  But, it's a different plan from what the Assembly passed.  So, the Assembly would have to come back into session to approve the Senate changes -- and so far, Speaker Robin Vos isn't budging.

Marti Mikkelson

Community leaders called for an “all hands on deck” approach Tuesday to an outbreak of HIV and syphilis in Milwaukee. The Milwaukee Health Department says more than 120 people, including some high school students, have been affected. 

Nearly two dozen community leaders packed into a room at Milwaukee City Hall to offer solutions.

Marti Mikkelson

The City of Milwaukee is giving away free gun locks in response to the accidental shooting death of a nine-year-old girl. Police say Miyanna Jelks was fatally shot by her nine-year-old brother in an apparent accident on the city’s north side.

Her parents have been arrested on charges of operating a drug house, child neglect and leaving a gun within reach of a child. City leaders and community activists shared ideas Monday that they hope prevent similar tragedies.

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