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Wisconsin is ready to begin distributing coronavirus vaccines by mid-December, when it hopes to receive nearly 50,000 doses, state health officials said.

The state will work with 97 local health departments and tribal jurisdictions, as well as health care providers, pharmacies, community-based organizations and other public agencies to distribute the vaccine, according to Department of Health Services spokeswoman Elizabeth Goodsitt.

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The internment of Americans with Japanese ancestry during World War II is part of this nation’s dark history of racial discrimination. These stories have often been hidden, both by the country that committed the injustices and the people who were forced to endure them.

Courtesy of Milwaukee County Historical Society

Parades are an essential part of the holiday season. Whether it’s the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or a local parade full of friends and neighbors, parades allow communities to celebrate through music, costumes and over the top floats.

For many years in Milwaukee, Schuster's Holiday Parade was the pinnacle of the season. From 1927 through 1961, the parade drew hundreds of thousands of people in Milwaukee’s neighborhoods and featured live reindeer at the head of Santa’s sleigh.

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President Donald Trump's attempt to overturn Wisconsin's election results by tossing ballots only from the state's two most heavily Democratic counties is an “assault on democracy,” attorneys for Democratic Gov. Tony Evers said in filings with the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

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.

Emily Files / WUWM

Updated 3:51 p.m.

The predominately white Burlington Area School District, about 30 miles west of Racine, has been grappling with how to address — and teach children about — racism.

On Monday night, the school board adopted an anti-racism policy. But the people who were advocating for such a policy say it’s not enough.

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Wisconsin Assembly Republicans are backing a $100 million coronavirus relief package, about a fifth of what Democratic Gov. Tony Evers wants to spend on fighting the virus.

The Legislature has not met since April, even as virus numbers have spiked in Wisconsin. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Assembly Republicans announced their COVID-19 package Tuesday.

Among other measures, the package would double the number of local public health staff who address COVID-19, prohibit COVID-19 test co-payments and establish legislative oversight of the vaccine distribution plan.

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Despite the distance this holiday season, books can be a great way to connect with loved ones.  If there are readers on your holiday shopping list — or you’re looking to add some titles to your own reading list — Boswell Book Company’s Daniel Goldin has suggestions for readers of all ages.

Here are some of Goldin's favorite books of 2020:

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Adrian Wydeven

Wisconsin is due to resume management of the gray wolf, including a hunting season, as the animal loses federal protection. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently announced the gray wolf's successful recovery, setting the stage to delist in all lower 48 states.

In Wisconsin, the gray wolf has swung between state management and federal protection for more than a decade.

BOOK COVER DESIGNED BY WENDY VARDAMAN

In U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo’s book “Crazy Brave” she wrote, “When beloved Sun rises, it is an entrance, a door to fresh knowledge.”

This quote served as an inspiration and call to action for Wisconsin Poet Laureate Margaret Rozga. She, along with Madison Poet Laureate Angie Trudell Vasquez, co-edited the new poetry anthology “Through This Door: Wisconsin in Poems.”

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Updated Wednesday 7:53 a.m. CST

President Donald Trump filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Wisconsin seeking to disqualify more than 221,000 ballots in the state's two most Democratic counties, a longshot attempt to overturn Joe Biden's win in the battleground state he lost by nearly 20,700 votes.

Chuck Quirmbach / WUWM

Construction has started on the two pipelines that will carry Lake Michigan drinking water from Milwaukee to Waukesha and treated wastewater back towards the lake. It's expected to take almost three years to finish the diversion project aimed at providing Waukesha with a reliable source of clean water. But along the way, there could be challenges with communication, cost and political cooperation.

Long black pipes and gravel to be used as fill are already on top of the ground outside the wastewater treatment plant in Waukesha.

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Auto fatalities are up in Wisconsin despite there being fewer people on the road due to the coronavirus pandemic, a report released Tuesday by the Wisconsin Policy Forum found.

The report examined state crash data from March 14 through July 31.

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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.

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Although there haven’t been many live shows since the pandemic hit the United States in March, Milwaukee bands have somehow found a way to release new music. That’s been great for Matt Wild, who every month releases a nearly exhaustive list of new music from local musicians.

Wild is one of the co-founders of Milwaukee Record, which describes itself as an online source for music, culture, and gentle sarcasm. He joins Lake Effect each month to share a sample of what he’s been listening to.

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Wisconsin continues to break nearly daily records of COVID-19 cases and deaths. The state has few restrictions to slow the spread of the virus in place. Gov. Tony Evers recently extended a statewide mask mandate but has faced backlash from the Republican-controlled Legislature about his executive orders.

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.

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A Milwaukee collaboration aimed at reducing housing evictions is being launched Monday. The Rental Housing Resource Center is billed as a one-stop shop for renters and landlords who need help in providing or maintaining stable rental housing.

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The recount of votes cast during the presidential election concluded in Milwaukee County Friday evening and in Dane County Sunday morning. The final tally shows, once again, that President-elect Joe Biden handily won the primarily Democratic counties over incumbent President Donald Trump. The Biden-Harris ticket picked up a net total of 87 votes.

The breakdown in Dane County showed Democrat Biden losing 91 votes, bringing his total to 260,094. Republican Trump was down 46 votes in the county, bringing his total to 78,754. The net effect was a loss of 45 votes for Biden.

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The recount of votes cast during the presidential election concluded in Milwaukee County Friday evening, and the final tally shows, once again, that President-elect Joe Biden won the primarily Democratic county over incumbent President Donald Trump.

The count started last Friday. Biden gained 257 votes in Milwaukee County, bringing his total to 317,527. Trump gained 125 votes, bringing his total to 134,482. Dane County’s recount will continue into the weekend.

Image from East Side and Downer Ave. Business Improvement Districts

It's unclear how many people will go shopping during Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and the rest of the post-Thanksgiving weekend — what with COVID-19 still surging in Wisconsin. But merchants are doing what they can to attract shoppers into stores or online.   

The pandemic has meant tough going for several types of businesses, including restaurants, entertainment venues, the hospitality industry and some retail establishments. Bill Smith is state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, which has nearly 10,000 members in Wisconsin.

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At this point in the year most of us have put away our gardening tools and packed up our lawn mowers for the winter. But that doesn’t mean that gardening has ended, it’s just moved locations.

With the impending winter, many gardeners have brought their plants inside where growing conditions can be much more difficult.

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Holidays like Thanksgiving are an opportunity to bring out special recipes and foods unique to the season. Although cheese is celebrated year-round here in Wisconsin, there are some seasonal cheeses that make this time of year special.

Lake Effect cheese and spirit contributor Jeanette Hurt shares some of her favorite cheeses and a drink to include on your Thanksgiving table:

Rush Creek Reserve

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Even though Thanksgiving will be different for many us because of the pandemic, we can still appreciate the history behind the meal — so long as it’s accurate. Culinary historian Kyle Cherek talks about some of the historical misconceptions we have about Thanksgiving, and why it’s important to set the record straight.

“[Thanksgiving] has become part of our national mythology but the early beginnings of it are not what children sing,” he says.

Chuck Quirmbach / WUWM

Amtrak says ridership is substantially off this year, due to COVID-19. But the passenger rail system says many of its trains are operating, with health precautions, during what is normally a busy Thanksgiving period.

Amtrak says nationally, its ridership is down to about 20% of normal. Ridership on the Hiawatha Line, between Milwaukee and Chicago, is down about 50% compared to last year at this time.

Screenshot / Milwaukee Common Council

One of the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic has been getting resources to those who need them most. And, that includes people who’ve been quarantined, laid off, or unable to keep up with their bills.

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Thanksgiving is this week. The holiday celebrates a gathering early American settlers with a group of Native people in Plymouth. It’s also a time to reflect on the country’s difficult history with Native people, including forced removals and land seizures.

Essayist Barbara Miner recounts one such event that took place in Milwaukee in her essay “Milwaukee’s Trail of Tears.”

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A Milwaukee County doctor closely following the COVID-19 pandemic said Tuesday if you feel fine that doesn't necessarily mean you are fine.

Dr. Ben Weston is with the Medical College of Wisconsin, and is director of medical services for the county's Office of Emergency Management. 

Jack Hurbanis / WUWM

Across the state, around 85% of hospital beds are occupied. On Tuesday, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported more than 6,200 new cases of the coronavirus. That number is down significantly from the high of nearly 8,000 cases a week ago.

Dr. John Raymond, president and CEO of the Medical College of Wisconsin, said everyone is looking for signs that Wisconsin’s numbers are on their way down.

Michelle Maternowski/WUWM

A Milwaukee teenager is facing multiple felony counts for his suspected role in the Mayfair Mall shooting last Friday.

The 15-year-old Hispanic male has been charged with eight counts of first degree reckless injury, use of a dangerous weapon — one count for each of the people injured in the shooting. He’s also charged with possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18, a misdemeanor.

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