WUWM News

cpcthatsme / stock.adobe.com

There are currently only six states in the U.S. that have laws against hair discrimination: California, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Colorado, and Washington. Montgomery County, Maryland also bans the practice.

Lawmakers in Wisconsin introduced a similar bill in 2019 but it didn’t pass.

Now, Milwaukee’s Common Council is stepping up with its own measure. Alderwoman Milele Coggs is one of the co-sponsors. She says for many people, hair is not “just hair.”

Wisconsin National Guard / flickr

The Wisconsin National Guard says 500 of its members are now in the Washington, D.C. area. They're part of roughly 25,000 Guard troops from around the U.S. scheduled to provide safety at this week's inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

Some members of Congress have raised questions about whether Guard members in D.C. should be screened for their political beliefs, when the nation is so divided just two weeks after pro-Trump extremists attacked the U.S. Capitol.

Wisconsin National Guard spokesman, Maj. Joe Trovato, says the state does no such screening.

Scott Olson / GETTY IMAGES

At the beginning of January, the Kenosha County district attorney announced that he would not criminally charge Officer Rusten Sheskey, who shot Jacob Blake in the back multiple times while responding to a domestic violence complaint. Blake was paralyzed from the waist down.

The DA said Sheskey’s use of force was acceptable under the circumstances, and that Skeskey had a valid self-defense claim that would prevent the DA from prevailing at trial.

Jack Hurbanis / WUWM

The number of people getting tested for COVID-19 in Milwaukee County continues to be lower than health officials would like. They’re urging residents to take advantage of testing capacity.

During a media update Thursday, Darren Rausch, director of the City of Greenfield Health Department, said data trends are showing continued increases in cases county wide in the most recent weeks.

Yet, he said, testing is still lower than expected.

Screenshot

The non-partisan state panel charged with drawing fair, impartial election maps for Wisconsin legislative and Congressional districts this year turned its focus to the 4th Congressional District in Milwaukee County Thursday night. 

The People's Maps Commission heard from local attorneys and leaders of the Hmong and the Oneida Nation communities, who argued past gerrymandering has hurt low-income and non-white citizens.

Chuck Quirmbach / WUWM

Wisconsin's newest member of Congress — Rep. Scott Fitzgerald — joined the rest of the state's Republican House members Wednesday in a failed attempt to prevent the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

It was the latest in a series of controversial votes by Fitzgerald, a former state Senator, who has only served in Congress about ten days after being elected in the suburban 5th Congressional District in November. He replaced retiring Republican Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner.

Stefani Reynolds / Getty Images

The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives voted Thursday to impeach Republican President Donald Trump for the second time during his term.

The vote was 232-197, with Wisconsin’s delegation voting along party lines.

The articles of impeachment charge Trump with inciting a riot inside the U.S. Capitol, in which five people died.

Several members of Wisconsin’s delegation spoke during the debate, including Democratic Congresswoman Gwen Moore of Milwaukee.

Maayan Silver

Tuesday night, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers delivered his state of the state speech virtually — a first in state history. He called on the Legislature to address problems exposed by the coronavirus pandemic, like updating Wisconsin's unemployment system and expanding broadband access.

Evers’ speech was pre-recorded and broadcast online without the typical audience, fanfare and applause. He described the last year as an unrelenting one, with challenges no one would have believed and obstacles that have continued into the new year.

Emily Files

One Milwaukee-area university is clearing the way for some of its students to help with Wisconsin’s massive COVID-19 vaccination effort. Concordia University in Mequon offered a special immunization class for its first and second-year pharmacy students earlier this month.

The students normally wouldn’t learn how to administer vaccines until spring of their second year in the program, but now they can be called upon to give COVID shots as soon as they’re needed.

Screenshot / Wiseye.org

Update 3:26 p.m.

After little floor discussion, the full Wisconsin Senate has approved the bill and Governor Evers has announced he will sign the bill.

READ: Wisconsin Senate Approves COVID-19 Relief Package, Gov. Evers Says He Will Sign It

Chuck Quirmbach / WUWM

On Tuesday morning, the Wisconsin Center in downtown Milwaukee opened as a COVID-19 vaccination site for some city of Milwaukee firefighters, emergency medical service employees and city health department workers. 

These people are in what's known as the phase 1a category of vaccine recipients. City officials emphasize the general public is not yet welcome at the Wisconsin Center site.

The health department's Nick Tomaro is helping run the vaccination effort. He says the center is a controlled environment.

Chuck Quirmbach / WUWM

Updated at 3:45 p.m.  

Highway safety advocates are urging Wisconsin, other states, and the federal government to pass laws that the advocates say would keep thousands more drivers and passengers alive. 

A Milwaukee-area doctor is part of the push.

Samuel Corum / Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she’ll introduce articles of impeachment this week against Republican President Donald Trump, for encouraging his supporters to conduct a “big” and “wild” protest at the US Capitol.

It grew into a riot, which ultimately resulted in five deaths.

Emily Files / WUWM

Some Wisconsin residents are speaking out against the supporters of President Donald Trump who rioted at the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday. The extremists interrupted the certification of the presidential election. Five people died as a result of the chaos.

In Milwaukee Sunday, a group of about 50 people gathered for what they called a “rally against the far right.”

Becca Schimmel / WUWM

The city of Milwaukee plans to use the Wisconsin Center as a COVID-19 vaccination site beginning next week.

The city started vaccinating its health department workers and emergency medical personnel this week, with an initial 120 doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

“Individuals who are getting vaccinated feel a sense of hope and relief,” Milwaukee Interim Health Commission Marlaina Jackson said during a press briefing Friday.

Justin Tallis / Getty Images

Wisconsin is still in phase 1a of COVID-19 vaccine distribution. That means vaccinating health care workers and residents and staff at skilled nursing facilities.

Health officials say the process is complex, and they’re working to ensure that everyone who wants a vaccine will, indeed, get one.

Providers that can administer vaccines to the public are called “registered vaccinators.” Those are entities like health care systems, health departments and pharmacies.

Amanda Edwards / Getty Images

Many people may be tuning to television Friday evening for the final episode in which Alex Trebek hosts the game show "Jeopardy!" Trebek died in November of cancer.

For all the years "Jeopardy!" has been on, and remember it existed before Trebek started as host, the program been a test of memory for both contestants and viewers. 

VINCENT DESJARDINS / FLICKR

After Thursday night’s Fire and Police Commission meeting, the city of Milwaukee still doesn’t have a new police chief. The panel deadlocked in two previous votes on who’ll replace former Chief Alfonso Morales.

Win McNamee / Getty Images

The mob of Trump supporters at the U.S. Capitol Wednesday brought out strong reactions from across the world. Part of that reaction came from current and past members of Wisconsin's Congressional delegation.

Rep. Ron Kind (D - LaCrosse) held an online news conference from his Capitol Hill office.

"I'm here, I'm working, I'm not ceding any ground to anyone. I refuse to surrender the United States Capitol to anyone,” he said.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The city of Milwaukee is beginning to vaccinate frontline workers against the coronavirus. The city received 100 doses of Pfizer’s vaccine Wednesday afternoon. Eight-hundred more doses will come in staggered shipments next week.

Mayor Tom Barrett told reporters that distribution begins Thursday for some health and fire department personnel.

Screenshot

Editor's note: This story contains explicit and offensive language.

A UPS driver’s racist remarks that were caught on video during a delivery in Milwaukee last month has some advocacy groups condemning the comments and calling for UPS to take action.

The delivery, a week before Christmas, was on the city’s south side, a predominantly Latino area.

Chuck Quirmbach

Kenosha Police officer Rustin Sheskey may have avoided local criminal charges yesterday, in a decision announced by Kenosha County District Attorney Mike Gravely.

But there could be more legal trouble for Sheskey and the Kenosha Police Department.

Sean Gallup / Getty Images

Now that the holiday season is over, Wisconsin leaders hope to increase COVID-19 vaccinations.

According to the State Department of Health Services, Wisconsin has administered about a third of the vaccine doses it has received. Of 266,675 doses shipped to the state, 85,609 shots have been given.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Updated 4:39 p.m. CST

A Wisconsin prosecutor announced Tuesday that he will not file criminal charges against a white police officer who shot a Black man in the back in Kenosha last summer, leaving him paralyzed and setting off sometimes violent protests in the city.

Teran Powell

Kenosha County District Attorney Michael Graveley is expected to annouce his decision Tuesday afternoon on whether to charge the officer responsible for shooting Jacob Blake last summer leaving him paralyzed from the waist down. 

On Monday, the Blake family and Kenosha community leaders held a press conference to demand Officer Rusten Sheskey be fired, charged and convicted. A few dozen supporters joined them.

Blake’s father, Jacob Blake Sr., said he wants him charged with attempted murder. 

PROMESAARTSTUDIO / FOTOLIA

In this week’s Capitol Notes conversation, we look ahead to the political stories that will likely top the headlines in 2021. 

WisEye

Updated Tuesday 7:31 a.m. CST

Republicans who control the Wisconsin Legislature introduced a sweeping COVID-19 bill on Monday, the first day of the session, and Assembly Speaker Robin Vos said lawmakers will fast track it and pass it later in the week.

2020 was a year that was especially hard on artists — shows were cancelled, collaboration disrupted. And for many, the year was marked by loss, pain, and isolation. Milwaukee native Matthew Gutierrez is a creative writer and author of "Notes I Took Along The Way," a bilingual book of poems.

Ralph Pabst / Latino WI Films,LLC

For four years, Milwaukee journalist Georgia Pabst and media producer Ralph Pabst worked to document the Latino community’s impact in Wisconsin. Narrated by voices in the Latino community, the documentary film, Latino Wisconsin, looks at five different regions of impact — from farm workers to future entrepreneurs.

What comes through in the film is that while overcoming poverty, education barriers and immigration and civil rights challenges, the Latino community in Wisconsin has and will continue to contribute to the economic livelihood and growth of the state.

Chuck Quirmbach / WUWM

In 2020 the medical field saw more than deaths and illnesses related to COVID-19, there was also a lot of discussion about racial disparities, senior citizens, skepticism and scientific breakthroughs.

One new development was the drive-through COVID-19 testing site, whether run by government health care workers, the National Guard, or the private sector — such as at the new mobile clinic temporarily outside Barack Obama School in Milwaukee.   

Pages