WUWM News

RACHEL MORELLO

Milwaukee Public Schools will once again be searching for a new school superintendent. Darienne Driver announced Tuesday that she'll be stepping down this summer.

She was the youngest person to head the district, and the only woman to do so on a permanent basis.

After three and a half years at the helm of MPS, Superintendent Driver will leave her position on July 6 to become president and CEO of the United Way of Southeastern Michigan.

Michelle Maternowski, WUWM

Polls are open until 8 pm Tuesday in Wisconsin's Spring Election. Voters will select a new Supreme Court justice to replace Michael Gableman, who decided not to seek a second 10-year term.

The candidates are Sauk County Judge Michael Screnock and Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Rebecca Dallet. The two finished first and second in the February primary, respectively.

Darren Hauck/Getty Images

It’s election day in Wisconsin. Voters are heading to the polls to cast ballots for State Supreme Court Justice and local races. There’s also a statewide referendum that would amend the state constitution to eliminate the office of state treasurer.

According to Milwaukee Election Commission Executive Director Neil Albrecht, up to 35 percent of registered voters in the City of Milwaukee are expected to vote today. 

Susan Bence

An independent survey released earlier this month indicated that most Milwaukee residents are somewhat, or very, satisfied with police.

Yet many people, especially minorities, view the police through a lens of frustration, anger, or even fear. The city could be at a pivotal juncture, however, with last month's retirement of longtime Police Chief Edward Flynn, and the eventual installation of a new leader.

Throughout WUWM's Project Milwaukee series this week, we've heard from police leaders, activists, and experts about what's being done to mend police-community relations in Milwaukee. We also wanted to hear how officers view the issue.

WUWM's Teran Powell sits down with Milwaukee Police Department Captain Heather Wurth, who's been with the police for more than 20 years, and 17-year veteran Sergeant Sheronda Grant.

Marti Mikkelson

For nearly two decades, Milwaukee County’s Community Prosecution Program has been teaming up police with the District Attorney’s office to respond to citizen complaints. While it remains popular with residents, the program appears to be in jeopardy.

The federal government stopped funding the program last year. Only three of the seven Community Prosecution Units remain in operation in Milwaukee County, that is until they spend the last of the money allotted to them in previous years.

50 Miles More

This post has been updated.

A week after the national school walkout, some Wisconsin students went the extra mile, or this case - 50 miles, to protest gun violence. The students wrapped up a four-day, 50-mile march from Madison to Janesville Wednesday, following last weekend's nationwide March For Our Lives rallies.  And the organizers say their work isn't done, even if the march is.

Katie Eder says gun violence isn't a political issue; but rather, students are literally fighting for their lives.

SEWRPC

As Foxconn gets closer to breaking ground in Racine County, the next task is to determine how people who don’t live near the LCD screen plant might get to the campus.

Representatives of the regional planning commission outlined potential options -- and costs -- at a public transportation review board meeting Wednesday in Milwaukee.

Whitney Curtis/Getty Images

Update:  Legislative leaders said Thursday that the extraordinary session scheduled for next Wednesday, to take up the bill that would have nullified the judge's order, has been canceled.    

Gov. Scott Walker on Thursday scheduled special elections to fill the seats vacated by Republican state Sen. Frank Lasee of De Pere and Republican state Rep. Keith Ripp of Lodi.  The governor issued an executive order, setting the elections for June 12.  Primaries for both seats will be held May 15, if needed.

Maayan Silver

One group on Milwaukee's near north side is taking action to reduce crime, improve safety and meet other needs in their community.

Nasheka and Jerome Bryant are the husband and wife team at the heart of the Freedom Fighters organization. 

The organization is made up of civilians who work independently from police. They patrol, respond to calls and mediate to resolve conflicts, often in hopes that police don't need to be called to the scene.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Update: A Dane County judge Tuesday denied Gov. Walker’s request for a one week delay in having to call special elections for two vacant legislative seats. It means Walker has until Thursday to order the elections.

Meanwhile, the state Legislature is scheduled to vote on a bill next week that would change the law regarding special elections in Wisconsin.  

Teran Powell

Update: Tuesday, the Milwaukee Common Council voted 12-2 to approve the ban on conversion therapy in the city.

The measure now heads to Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett's desk, which he intends to sign.

Original Post, March 9, 2018:

During a hearing at City Hall Thursday, aldermen and community members pushed for Milwaukee to take the first step toward eliminating conversion therapy. The practice – also referred to reparative therapy – includes a range of tactics meant to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Update: Monday, Governor Walker officially signed his School Safety Plan into law, which includes $100 million to upgrade security in schools.

The Senate made minor adjustments to Walker’s original proposal.

Original Post, March 15, 2018:

Governor Scott Walker has plans he says will make Wisconsin schools safer. He called the legislature into special session to take up safety proposals that would increase security in schools.

Teran Powell

Milwaukee area youth and others pushing for tougher gun laws participated in a local March For Our Lives event on Saturday morning. The city was one of many participating in the demonstrations. Hundreds gathered in front of the Milwaukee County Courthouse for the rally, which included speeches from young people. 

Susan Bence / Milwaukee Public Radio

The group Freshwater For Life Action Coalition formed out of concern about Milwaukee’s lead in water problem. FLAC spokesperson Robert Miranda requested records from January 2015 through 2017 of meetings Mayor Barrett held with the Milwaukee Health Department. He wanted to determine how frequently the mayor was updated on the health department’s progress in informing the public.

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