WUWM News

For this edition of Capitol Notes, we look ahead to the big Wisconsin political stories of 2018.  JR Ross, of wispolitics.com, predicts Foxconn will top the headlines in this new year.  The state provided $3 billion in incentives for the Taiwanese company to locate here.  

WUWM's Marti Mikkelson asked him if he thinks it'll be smooth sailing, now that the state and the company have signed a contract.

Ross also predicts that the governor's race, the Wisconsin U.S. Senate race and the future of House Speaker Paul Ryan will make big news in 2018. 

s / Milwaukee Public Radio

Milwaukee native Will Radler’s life mission has been to share the beauty of flowers.

Growing up on city’s north side, he poured over his grandmother’s rose catalogs. “I think I became a garden critic when I was in my single digit years,” Radler says.

His mom was an avid flower gardener. Even before he can remember she took Radler to Boerner Botanical Gardens. “My mother has a picture of me in a buggy. Do you remember buggies?” he adds with a laugh, “Yeah, I’m that old.”

For our Capitol Notes conversation today -- we examine the year in politics.  One of the biggest Wisconsin stories of 2017 was Foxconn, and the state's $3 billion incentives package for the Taiwanese company to locate here.  

Gov. Walker championed the deal, saying the huge LCD screen manufacturing plant in Racine County will transform the state's economy.  But, Democrats were skeptical and blasted the plan during the debate.

WUWM's Marti Mikkelson asked JR Ross of wispolitics.com, why the governor pushed so hard to land Foxconn.

David Hedquist

As 2017 comes to an end, WUWM’s environmental reporter Susan Bence reviews some of this year’s major environmental issues, from Waukesha's water deal to the Foxconn bill.

Waukesha started 2017 on a high note. After years of study and applications, the Compact Council approved the city’s request to tap into Lake Michigan to replace its radium-tainted well water.

Althouse

The year is winding down, and so is activity at the State Capitol.  Lawmakers will cease much of their work there in the next couple months, before turning their attention to the fall elections.  

WUWM's Marti Mikkelson wondered whether legislators will pass any significant bills before going their separate ways, such as a measure that would ban fetal tissue research on UW campuses or allowing the carrying of concealed weapons without a permit.

She asked JR Ross of wispolitics.com for his thoughts, as part of our Capitol Notes conversation.

Rachel Kubik

Every year at this time, we bring you stories of people in the Milwaukee area who are working to improve the community. In today’s installment of Life’s Voices, we hear from Muhibb Dyer.

The Milwaukee native is one of the founders of both the I Will Not Die Young Young Campaign, and Flood the Hood with Dreams. Both are designed to inspire inner city youth.

One of the longest-serving ministers in southeastern Wisconsin is retiring at the end of this year. The Rev. Tony Larsen will step down after more than four decades at Olympia Brown Unitarian Universalist Church in Racine.

In addition to his work within the church walls, Larsen has been a regular figure at outdoor vigils that are held for victims of homicide.

Larsen says at first, he didn't think that role would be an appropriate one.

LaToya Dennis

Across the country, tiny homes are being used in a number of ways. Some people enjoy the novelty of living in a small space; for others, the tiny houses are an answer to homelessness. A new, tiny home community in Racine is giving homeless veterans a shot at independence.

Rachel Morello

As adults, we have a lot of opinions about the way kids these days grow up. We were in their shoes once, and now, we’re in charge of bringing up the next generation.

But when it comes to the big things in kids’ lives – like school -- often times, they’re the ones with the best insights.

As 2017 comes to an end, check out what students had to say about the biggest education news of the year.

WUWM's year-end Life's Voices series continues with a profile of Robert Biko Baker. After earning at Ph.D. in history from UCLA, Baker -- a Milwaukee native -- returned home to make a difference. 

After the Sherman Park uprising last year, Baker launched an internet series called "My Black Story" to tell more complete stories about African Americans and Milwaukee. He talked with WUWM's LaToya Dennis about his background, and how he got involved in creating the internet series.

The Milwaukee Fire Department announced Friday that it has terminated five fire cadets, based on complaints from several female cadets. A statement from the MFD says the department opened an internal investigation after the female cadets filed complaints on Monday Dec. 18.

The statement does not go into detail, but says that the probe focused on complaints of "sexual harassment and unprofessional conduct in the workplace."

Marti Mikkelson

Plans are beginning to take shape for Foxconn in Racine County. The Department of Transportation recently held an open house to answer questions about road construction in order to make way for the Taiwanese firm’s huge LCD screen factory. One piece of the puzzle yet to fall into place is how to get many potential workers to the jobs.

Last week, dozens of people packed into a couple of rooms at the Mount Pleasant Village Hall to look over road construction plans. The DOT is making changes along I-94, while also improving access roads around Foxconn's manufacturing campus.

Marti Mikkelson

Dozens of women involved in the sex trade have been able to get much needed services and some peace of mind, after a safe place opened for them on Milwaukee’s near south side nearly a year ago.

Sisters Program South, located in Hope House on S. 2nd and W. Orchard Streets, aims to help women eventually get out of the trade.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Violent crime is up across the country, including in Milwaukee, according to US Attorney General Jeff Sessions. He held a press conference in Milwaukee Tuesday at the federal courthouse to address crime trends, and promised new measures, he said, will reduce crime rates.

Sessions said violent crime had been down for a couple of decades, but has gone up in the last two years, and he said it’s not a light matter.

Susan Bence / Milwaukee Public Radio

A bill floating through the Legislature would eliminate protection of some wetlands in Wisconsin. Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steinecke, who authored the bill, says the measure would free developers from unnecessary regulations, when parcels have no environmental value.

Others are concerned Wisconsin stands to lose natural pockets of marshy earth that soak up storm water as well as provide habitat.

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