Marti Mikkelson

Three Milwaukee County jail employees have been charged in the dehydration death Terrill Thomas, a 38-year-old man who died in custody in April of 2016.

Thomas was arrested on April 16, 2016 and died around a week later.

He suffered from bipolar disorder and had previously flooded a cell. After the flooding incident, jail staffers were ordered to turn off his water supply.

Surveillance video does not show the water being turned back on. Thomas died from dehydration.

Susan Bence

Like many Milwaukeans, Deb Schampers of Bay View has driven past the wind turbine just south of the Hoan Bridge countless times. For years, she’s been wondering about it: Why is it there? Why only one? Who benefits?

Just for fun, during her daily commutes, Deb made up her own answers -- “It was possibly helping us make Milorganite for the world... It’s heating the ovens at DiMarini’s (a pizza place a half mile from the turbine.)”

Teran Powell

Milwaukee’s search for an interim police chief is down to two candidates - Inspector Michael Brunson and Captain Alfonso Morales. 

Assistant Police Chief James Harpole withdrew his candidacy and announced his retirement days before the three were set to attend a public forum.

Last night, the two remaining candidates had the chance to answer questions from the community, and explain how their experiences in law enforcement would influence their role as chief.

Stefan Schnitzer

Marquette University biologist Stefan Schnitzer spends months at a time at his lab on Barro Colorado Island in Panama. Amidst the fauna and flora, the island is home to dozens of woody vine species, or liana.

“And what’s happening now is that the forests are changing enough that they (lianas) seem to be thriving when many trees are not,” Schnitzer says.

Trees are important not simply to a balanced tropical forest ecosystem, they are vital to the planet. “What we want from these forests is that they pull the carbon into the tree trunk for a thousand years,” he says.

In just a couple of weeks Wisconsin voters will be one step closer to electing a new state Supreme Court Justice. There was an opening on the bench after Justice Michael Gableman announced he would not run for a second term.

A three-way primary will be held on Feb 20 between Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Rebecca Dallet, Sauk County Circuit Judge Michael Screnock and Madison Attorney Tim Burns. The top two vote getters will advance to the April general election.

s / Milwaukee Public Radio

The Common Council voted nearly unanimously Tuesday to name Dr. Patricia McManus interim health commissioner.

Just one day earlier, Mayor Tom Barrett withdrew his choice for interim health department head, Paul Nannis.

The writing was on the wall. Recently the Public Safety and Health Committee grilled and rejected Nannis.

Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton decided to act – drawing from a seldom used measure called emergency power – to nominate Dr. Patricia MaManus for the job.

Marti Mikkelson

Gov. Walker and Foxconn officials spoke to a cheering crowd Tuesday as they released more details of Foxconn’s plans to bring hundreds of jobs to downtown Milwaukee. 

Foxconn has agreed to purchase a 132,000 square foot building on E. Wisconsin Avenue from Northwestern Mutual. The Taiwanese electronics giant says it will locate a regional headquarters there.

Foxconn plans to locate a headquarters in downtown Milwaukee that could result in hundreds of jobs.  The operation would supplement the huge LCD screen manufacturing plant that the Taiwanese electronics giant plans to build in Racine County. 

Foxconn says it will formally announce details on Tuesday -- however, Northwestern Mutual Life has confirmed that Foxconn has agreed to purchase a 132,000 square foot building from the company.  WUWM's Marti Mikkelson asked Journal Sentinel Reporter Tom Daykin how this all came about.

Teran Powell

Milwaukee’s search for an interim police chief is on.

With just a few weeks before Chief Edward Flynn retires, the Fire and Police Commission has started interviews. Meanwhile city officials are expressing what they want in a chief.

Throughout Edward Flynn's 10 years in office, his supporters defended his approach to tracking and fighting crime.


Public Benefits are under fire in Wisconsin. Earlier this week, a joint committee of Democrats and Republicans in Madison held a public hearing on 10 bills that could change the way welfare works.

Susan Bence / Milwaukee Public Radio

Update, 5:54 pm Thursday:

According to a press release issued by Ald. Bob Baumann, Mayor Barrett today lifted the policy that required health department staff get permission before communicating directly with elected officials.  The policy was discussed at Wednesday's Steering & Rules Committee where members learned for the first time of the policy's existence.

Original Story:

Susan Bence / Milwaukee Public Radio

As the Milwaukee Common Council continues to sort through what's amiss with the health department, WUWM talks with parents concerned about lead contamination in their children.

Wahkunna Smith was confused when she received a letter from the City of Milwaukee Health Department that read: “Dear Parent or Guardian, One or more of your children had a blood lead test result within the last few years…"

yuthana Choradet, fotolia

Nearly 8,000 people die in Wisconsin from tobacco related illnesses every year compared to the near 500 deaths that occur from car crashes. A report by the American Lung Association reveals Wisconsin hasn’t done enough to adequately prevent or reduce tobacco usage in the state.


The police shooting death of a 26-year-old man in Racine has sparked protests in the city. According to reports from police, Donte Shannon fled on foot during a traffic stop and allegedly exposed a weapon, before he was shot by officers. He died on the way to the hospital.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice is leading an independent investigation of the incident. Racine residents say they're eager for answers.

During a news conference, Mayor Cory Mason and Racine Police Chief Art Howell updated the public on the status of the investigation into the death of Donte Shannon.

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Thursday morning, the Public Safety and Health Committee rejected naming Paul Nannis as Milwaukee's interim Commissioner of Health. The vote was 3 against, 1 abstention and 1 in favor.

Mayor Tom Barrett proposed Nannis for a 120-day interim position as Milwaukee carries out a national search for former health commissioner Bevan Baker's replacement.

The health department is due to provide a status report on its lead program to the Mayor and Common Council next Monday, January 29.

Original story: