Chuck Quirmbach

The city of Milwaukee has announced the second round of a federally-funded program to provide grants to small businesses harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mayor Tom Barrett says the city is taking applications for $10 million available under its Restart program, which applies to firms with fewer than 20 full-time employees and less than $2 million in annual revenue. There was a $4 million grant round several months ago.

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A series of virtual public hearings across Wisconsin kicked off Thursday night to begin the process of redrawing the state's political boundaries for the next decade.

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers established the People’s Maps Commission earlier this year. The bipartisan group consists of one representative from each of Wisconsin’s eight congressional districts. Thursday night’s meeting focused on the 8th district, which covers northeastern Wisconsin.

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Gov. Tony Evers is pleading with Wisconsinites to do everything they can to stop the spread of the coronavirus. On Thursday, 2,887 people tested positive, a record number, and 21 additional people died of the illness since the state released its last count on Wednesday.  

Evers and Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm issued an emergency order to allow health care workers from other states to assist here in light of the rising numbers.

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Updated at 2:20 p.m. CT

President Donald Trump canceled a planned appearance in western Wisconsin amid calls from the city's mayor and the state's governor, both Democrats, that he not hold a rally amid a surge in coronavirus cases.

“We have received word that Air Force One is not coming to La Crosse on Saturday, so we are assuming the Trump campaign has changed its plan and is not coming to La Crosse,” Caley Cavadini, spokeswoman for La Crosse Mayor Tim Kabat, said Thursday. Kabat had called for Trump to cancel the rally.

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This past year has been extraordinary in so many ways. The pandemic, the recession, and the impending election have created an endless news cycle that at times seems surreal — like something out of a book.

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The way district maps are drawn in Wisconsin could be impacting the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. Cases of coronavirus are currently surging across the state, breaking records for Wisconsin. The White House Coronavirus Task Force now considers Wisconsin a “red zone.”

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A state of Wisconsin panel that will look at health disparities is getting underway.

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With five weeks left until the presidential election, there is a concerted effort underway to get people registered to vote. Shape Up the Vote is a campaign targeting barbershops in an effort to get more African American males engaged in voting. Gee's Clippers in Milwaukee's Bronzeville neighborhood is the first barbershop in the country to inaugurate the initiative.

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The chairman of the Wisconsin Republican Party warned Milwaukee's chief elections official that it would be illegal for any Milwaukee Bucks or Brewers players or mascots, including the Brewers' famous racing sausages, to participate in early voting events planned at their stadiums in the days leading up to the election.

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Since the pandemic began, Milwaukee restaurants have found interesting ways to stay open and keep business going. Many of them have relied on an increase in takeout orders and some restaurants have been offering outside dining.

Though, as the temperatures drop in Wisconsin, where does that leave restaurants that have depended on outdoor dining to increase capacity?

Tom Daykin has been reporting on these issues for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He's been looking at how restaurants are preparing for their first winter during the pandemic.


Updated at 4:10 p.m. CT

Seven people were shot and wounded Wednesday in an apparent drive-by shooting outside a Milwaukee funeral home, the city's mayor said.

Mayor Tom Barrett said all seven people were hit when a person driving past the funeral home opened fire. Acting Police Chief Michael Brunson said all of the injured are expected to survive and were in stable condition Wednesday at a local hospital.

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Most people will have a traumatic experience at some point in their lives, and some of them will develop post-traumatic stress disorder. So how do you figure out who is at risk for developing PTSD? That's what Chris Larson's new study, called "Acute Predictors Of Long-Term Post-Trauma Outcomes In Youth Victims Of Violence," hopes to help figure out.

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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.

Lauren Sigfusson

Wisconsin is a hotbed of activity for COVID-19 right now. 

On Tuesday, the state recorded more than 2,300 cases and 17 more deaths, bringing the total to 1,300. At the beginning of the pandemic, Milwaukee County was leading the way in the number of cases, but that is not the case anymore. The majority of the spread is now being seen in other parts of the state.

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The Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature on Wednesday asked a federal appeals court to suspend its ruling that would allow absentee ballots to be counted in the presidential battleground state for six days after the election.