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.

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Marti Mikkelson

Community leaders are hoping a $10,000 grant will help Milwaukee get its arms around the ongoing issue of eviction. The money will go toward developing a long-term plan to keep people in their homes. 

Mayor Tom Barrett announced the grant Wednesday from the “Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin” Endowment at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Althouse

The contest between the Republicans hoping to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin is getting ugly.  Sparks flew late last week, as state Sen. Leah Vukmir and political newcomer Kevin Nicholson met for their first debate.  

The two argued, when Nicholson accused Vukmir of not respecting his military experience.  Nicholson is a former Marine who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Vukmir accused Nicholson of dealing a low blow, and demanded an apology.

Prosecutors have charged two erstwhile UW-Oshkosh officials in connection with a financial scandal involving building projects.  Former Chancellor Richard Wells and former Vice Chancellor Tom Sonnleitner were each charged Thursday with five felony counts of misconduct in office. 

The UW Board of Regents sued the two last year, alleging they concealed millions of dollars in improper financial transfers to the university's nonprofit foundation, to help the organization execute five real estate development projects. 

Marti Mikkelson

With just over six months until the mid-term elections, Vice President Mike Pence fired up a crowd of Republican voters in downtown Milwaukee Wednesday. He focused on the GOP tax cuts in particular, in a speech at the Wisconsin Center. The vice president also hosted a fundraiser for Gov. Walker, who faces a potentially tough reelection bid this fall.

Win McNamee/Getty Images

Vice President Mike Pence will be in Milwaukee on Wednesday to help fill Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign coffers.

Pence is scheduled to host a fundraiser for the Republican governor at night. During the day, he will talk about the Republican tax plan at the Wisconsin Center in downtown Milwaukee. The group America First Policies is hosting the event.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett raised many eyebrows last week when he said he's thinking of running for governor -- again.  It would be his fourth bid, and Gov. Walker has beaten him twice. 

Barrett would also be getting into a crowded Democratic field, as at least nine candidates are running active campaigns.

In this week's "Capitol Notes" conversation, WUWM's Marti Mikkelson asked JR Ross of wispolitics.com, about the likelihood of Barrett entering the race for governor this fall.

AdamL212/flickr

People who shop at Boston Store could soon be seeing "Going Out of Business" sales -- and the loss of 2,200 jobs in Wisconsin.

A U.S. bankruptcy court Wednesday approved the sale of Boston Store's parent, Bob-Ton Stores, Inc. to a couple of liquidation companies.

Bon-Ton operates 260 stores in 24 states, including Boston Store and Younkers stores across Wisconsin.  The news is a blow to Milwaukee, including at the flagship Boston Store downtown, and the corporate offices in the same building.  

Marti Mikkelson

One of Gov. Walker’s erstwhile top lieutenants defended the Foxconn deal at a luncheon Tuesday in downtown Milwaukee. Former Department of Administration Secretary Scott Neitzel spoke to a couple hundred people at the Rotary Club. While Neitzel assured the crowd of the Foxconn promise, some were skeptical.

Neitzel retired from the post last month, after helping to secure the agreement with Foxconn. He says he was honored to help the Taiwanese company build a huge LCD screen manufacturing plant in Racine County. Neitzel insists the deal will protect Wisconsin taxpayers.

Saul Loeb/Getty Images

Speculation is swirling over who'll run for Paul Ryan's seat -- now that the longtime Wisconsin congressman has said he is not seeking reelection this fall. 

Two Democrats, Randy Bryce and Cathy Myers, already were actively campaigning before the Republican's announcement last week. 

But, now that it's an open seat, more people from both parties are testing the waters.  In this week's "Capitol Notes" conversation, WUWM's Marti Mikkelson asked JR Ross of wispolitics.com, how he thinks the race will shape up, in coming weeks.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Wisconsin’s Paul Ryan rocked the political world on Wednesday when the House Speaker announced he will not seek reelection in November. Ryan has held the seat that covers parts of southeastern Wisconsin for nearly 20 years and plans to finish out his term. He says he’s retiring with “no regrets.”

It means the race for the 1st congressional district is wide open this fall. Voters, elected officials and potential candidates weighed in on Ryan’s legacy – and what’s next.

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.

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