WUWM environment

Ryszard/flickr

The City of Milwaukee Health Department announced Thursday it has identified the first probable human case of West Nile virus (WNV) of 2018.

WNV is spread to a person through the bite of an infected mosquito. It is not transmitted person to person.

According to the health department, most human cases occur in August and September. The health department advises residents to continue to protect themselves against mosquito bites.

Susan Bence

Update 3:15 P.M.

Bevan Baker did not appear before the Steering & Rules Committee meeting Thursday, but committee chair Ashanti Hamilton said the former health commissioner will participate in a public hearing. Hamilton didn't announce the hearing date. He said council members needed to be briefed by the city attorney.

Susan Bence

People worldwide recently protested climate change in the “Rise for Climate” march. Last Saturday, thousands took to the streets of San Francisco, the site of this week’s Global Climate Action Summit, and hundreds gathered in downtown Milwaukee. 

Azam Niroomand-Rad was among 350-plus people who walked through downtown Milwaukee.

“We are here so people are aware of their environmental problems so that in November they will be able to vote for the candidates who support environmental issues,” she said.

Susan Bence

Milwaukee has hundreds of thousands of trees, many of them in county parks.

Bay View resident Steve Ohly loves them, which is one reason he moved to Milwaukee. “I tend to be a tree hugger, really. But I do it in the morning when nobody’s around,” he says.

So, it’s no surprise that Steve lives across from a sea of trees in the heart of Bay View: Humboldt Park. That’s where I met him, to help answer his Beats Me question.

art-native-american-water-oil-milwaukee-Valaria-Tatera
Susan Bence

The art exhibit called “Water Works” opens Friday evening at RedLine Milwaukee.

The show's curator, environmental activist and artist Melanie Ariens, chose more than a dozen artists to explore how deeply water affects our lives.

“I tried to find a balance of artists whose work conveyed a spiritual or emotional connection to water and artists who take a more activist approach to addressing water issues,” she said.

Screenshot/City of Milwaukee

Jeanette Kowalik was voted in as the City of Milwaukee's public health commissioner Wednesday. There were no votes of opposition.

In January, news broke that its once–touted childhood lead contamination prevention program was grossly mismanaged. A heartbeat later, health commissioner Bevan Baker resigned.

Based on the candidate’s reception at a special meeting of the Public Safety and Health Committee Tuesday, Kowalik’s prospects appeared bright.

Kowalik told aldermen she feels she was called home to take on the role.

Bigguylittlebikes

The Village of Gays Mills in Crawford County, known for apple orchards and its stunning location on the Kickapoo River, is under water, along with vast stretches up and downstream.

At 7:30 a.m. Thursday, the National Weather Service reported major flooding in Gays Mills, and major flooding remains in the forecast.

Susan Bence

Parts of Wisconsin recently experienced torrential rains. Roads flooded — or in some cases, washed out — in Dane and Iowa counties. Some state trails have closed until further notice. So, where does Milwaukee stand in its ability to cope with massive rain storms?

Harbor District, IInc.

You might know about a small park within Milwaukee's harbor on Jones Island called KaszubeHarbor View Plaza will become the first greenspace since the inception of Harbor District, Inc. Construction is expected to begin this fall.

The public park will be located at the end of Greenfield Avenue. This area just south of the Milwaukee's Third Ward has felt forbidding for years.

Eddee Daniel

What started as conversations five years ago evolved into Milwaukee Water Commons. While science and business opportunities were important in those initial discussions, the group wanted to broaden their reach to get the entire community involved in protecting a common resource — water.

Susan Bence

Students took their turn Wednesday showing their young sheep at the Wisconsin State Fair. Vincent High School student Kiara Little, who wants to be a veterinarian, was waiting to show her freshly-shorn creamy-colored sheep named Teddy Bear.

The sheep are organized by breed, for example Hampshire and Southdown, and then by their weight. While some can weigh up to 150 pounds, Kiara's sheep is little — Teddy Bear weighs just 90 pounds.

Susan Bence

Not so many years ago, no one would dream of kayaking or canoeing the Milwaukee River. Now those activities are common. So, how would you feel about jumping into the Milwaukee River for a swim?

That’s what will be happening during the 2018 Cream City Classic. On Aug. 11, the one-and-a-half-mile swim race will take place just upstream from where the Milwaukee River meets Lake Michigan.

While this race is being dubbed “Milwaukee’s first open river swim,” the Milwaukee River was once a popular swim spot.

UW-Madison Department of Entomology

Public health officials are urging Wisconsin residents to protect themselves and their families from potentially dangerous tick and mosquito bites, as insect-borne illnesses are on the rise nationally. 

Diseases spread by insects, such as West Nile virus and Lyme disease, can have harmful effects on humans and animals. 

Last week a dead crow found in Milwaukee County tested positive for West Nile virus.

NASA SeaWiFS Project / Wikimedia Commons

The International Joint Commission - or IJC - was created by the Boundary Waters Treaty signed by the United States and Canada in 1909. The commission is tasked with preventing conflicts between the two countries' shared waters, including the Great Lakes.

Last week the IJC released a paper that lays out five action steps designed to assist the two countries as they coordinate efforts to keep Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs) and other toxic flame retardants out of the Lakes.

Susan Bence

This evening the EPA is holding a meeting in Milwaukee.  It's one in a series around the Great Lakes designed to help the agency design Action Plan III of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, or GLRI.

The funding program came to life in 2009 during the Obama Administration. With the advent of the Trump Administration there were rumblings that GLRI would end. But the fund continues, having distributed nearly $3 billion.

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