WUWM News

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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.

Michelle Matternowski

The conversation surrounding criminal justice reform in Wisconsin has the community crossing party lines to talk about solutions.

The Across the Red & Blue Divide event, which took place in Glendale on Sept. 6, included a panel discussion and small group discussion circles.

Dori/Wikimedia Commons

Madison has overtaken Milwaukee, in terms of the cities' overall property values. That's according to the Wisconsin Policy Forum, a nonpartisan organization that looks at state and local government.

WUWM's LaToya Dennis talks with Research Director Jason Stein about the reasons for the change and what the property value indicator means. Stein says the shift was a long time in the making.

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.

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The ACLU of Wisconsin is putting pressure on the Kenosha Unified School District to protect its students from what some are calling "discriminatory" dress code enforcement. Last year, Kenosha-area teens and parents spoke out against the district’s dress code policy, saying it was discriminatory toward female students.

Alexa Grosz was one of the students who testified at an October school board meeting. She said she was punished for wearing an off-the-shoulder sweater.

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Chuck Quirmbach

In recent years, a number of organizations that promote business growth have set their sights on the high-tech sector and start-up firms that take innovative ideas to market.

Some believe Milwaukee could become a technology center. In fact, local business groups estimate 76,000 jobs in the region now qualify for the tech category.

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.

LaToya Dennis

Milwaukee County is facing a deficit of more than $23 million in the 2019 budget.

There are a few ways for municipalities to balance a budget. Leaders can create new revenue sources, raise taxes or cut spending. But at this point, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele says any cuts are going to hurt.

Abele says he’s started the last seven budgets $20 million-plus in the hole and has tried to impact residents as little as possible.

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Former Wisconsin Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson has a new book out, "Tommy: My Journey of a Lifetime." On Wednesday, he spoke about the book, and other aspects of his tenure, at the Marquette Law School's event On the Issues with host Mike Gousha.

Gousha spoke with the former governor about his major regret from his term in office: the prison boom.

Thompson served as governor from 1987 to 2001. He presided over the largest expansion of the state's prison system and opened its toughest prison: Supermax in Boscobel, Wis.

Hillary Thompson

About an hour northwest of Milwaukee, there's an innovative wrinkle in Wisconsin's ongoing experiment  to create a self-sustaining flock of whooping cranes in the Eastern United States. A family of cranes is living at the Horicon National Wildlife Refuge, after two chicks in the family were born in captivity in Florida, and all the birds were flown there by jet.

Theo Stroomer/Stringer/Getty Images

Wisconsin’s candidates for governor touted their education priorities at back-to-school events this week. They're also continuing to criticize each other.

Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign released its first attack ad against Democrat challenger Tony Evers. It claims that as state superintendent, Evers failed to protect children from a teacher who viewed pornography at work.

The story is one of the main lines of attack Republicans backing Walker are using against Evers.

Back to school events drew the attention of the two major candidates in the race for governor. Republican Gov. Scott Walker visited a suburban charter school, while Democratic candidate Tony Evers, head of the Department of Public Instruction, went to an MPS school.

Walker made an early morning appearance at the first independent charter school in Waukesha County, La Casa De Esperanza.

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.

Teran Powell

Since 2012, the Milwaukee Fellows Initiative has been helping young black men graduate from college, and encouraging them to return to Milwaukee to help strengthen the community afterward. What started as a scholarship program has evolved into a program that helps meet the needs of its fellows throughout their college journey. 

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