WUWM News

Wisconsin Department of Corrections

Problems at the state’s troubled youth prison, Lincoln Hills, continue to come to light. Complaints regarding inmate treatment have surfaced over the last two years while at the same time, reports have also surfaced about teens attacking guards. A federal probe of the facility continues.

Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson broke with fellow Republican lawmakers last week.  He announced he would not vote for the tax package that many in the GOP are eager to approve.  This isn't the first time Johnson has separated himself from the pack. 

WUWM's Marti Mikkelson asked JR Ross of wiscpolitics.com to share his thoughts on Johnson's actions, as part of this week's "Capitol Notes" conversation.

Susan Bence / Milwaukee Public Radio

Update, November 20: The Public Safety and Health Committee approved the resolution without debate at its Monday morning meeting.

Update: After this story aired, the City of Milwaukee Health Department contacted WUWM to share this information about the department's lead education efforts:

Wisconsin Department of Corrections

Milwaukee community leaders are calling on Gov. Scott Walker to close the Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake juvenile facilities in northern Wisconsin. The state-run prisons have been plagued by accusations of abuse – from both inmates and guards.

Many inmates are from Milwaukee. It’s unclear whether the governor will comply with the request.

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Some Democratic lawmakers are renewing a push to legalize medical marijuana. They say the move could keep people from using -- and perhaps becoming hooked on -- opioid painkillers. The fate of the proposal is uncertain, though, as long as Republicans control the Legislature.

Democratic state lawmakers trying to gain support to legalize medical marijuana held hearings in five cities this fall. Senator Jon Erpenbach and Representative Chris Taylor wanted to give the public a chance to share their thoughts about the proposal.

Marti Mikkelson

The huge Foxconn plant appears to be moving forward, now that Gov. Walker and company officials have signed a contract. There’s still a long way to go until groundbreaking, but some of Foxconn’s neighbors are already thinking about how the factory will impact their businesses.

Gov. Walker and Foxconn officials signed the contract in Racine last week, at a celebration with several hundred people. Walker, who's called the deal "transformational" for the state, touted its enormous potential.

Tracy King, fotolia

Mandatory minimum prison sentencing have been a hot topic as of late amongst Wisconsin lawmakers.

Katie Gardiner

The Army Corps of Engineers is proposing a plan to stop silver and bighead carp moving from the Mississippi River basin into the Great Lakes.

Cheryl Nenn with Milwaukee Riverkeeper calls the proposal a starting point, not a solution, because multiple aquatic invasive species are threatening both the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River basin.

Maayan Silver

Behind the locked doors of the Milwaukee County House of Correction for two hour-long classes every week, an unlikely message emanates.

It’s now official, Taiwanese manufacturing giant Foxconn and the state of Wisconsin on Friday signed off on a deal that could bring up to 13,000 jobs to the state.

David Banks/Getty Images

Certainly, Wisconsin and Illinois have storied rivalries in the sports arena: the Green Bay Packers vs. the Chicago Bears, the Brewers and the Cubs, the Bucks and the Bulls. But a few of our listeners have been wondering if that competitive spirit runs deeper than the action on the field.

One such listener, Jason Gessner, reached out to Bubbler Talk and asked, “Have Wisconsin and Illinois always had contentious relationship or is that a more modern development?”

The state Assembly passed a bill Thursday that would restrict public access to police body camera footage. Those videos often are used in trial to help determine guilt or innocence.

In some cases, they’ve been released to the public when an officer is accused of wrongdoing – including in the trial for former Milwaukee police officer Dominique Heaggan-Brown. He was acquitted earlier this year in the shooting death of Sylville Smith in the Sherman Park neighborhood.

SunVest Solar, Inc.

Pewaukee-based developer Matt Neumann admits he might appear to be an unlikely advocate for solar energy. His political roots are deep, and conservative.

“When I got into solar, I found myself in the extreme minority of Republicans or conservatives who thought solar was a good idea. As a matter of fact, a lot of people thought I was crazy," Neumann explains. "Now we’re cost-competitive, and Republicans and Democrats agree that they want to do the right thing for the environment.”

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation Board Wednesday approved key provisions of a contract for Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn to build a huge LCD screen manufacturing facility in Racine County.  

The plant is expected to employ up to 13,000 people and Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill in September that provides a $3 billion incentives package for the company to locate here. 

The WEDC Board voted 8-2 to approve terms of the contract that would allow execution of the incentives. 

Megan Dobyns

Update: 

The Milwaukee Common Council voted 10-5 Tuesday to override the mayor's veto of a resolution that would give aldermen the authority to fire the Police Chief.

The move doesn't give the council a green light to remove Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn from office. Rather, they would have to approve his firing, with a two-thirds vote. And, before that could take place, state lawmakers would also need to take action.

Alderman Bob Donovan was in the majority. And, before the vote, he said the city is in need of change.

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