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Author: Lee Matz

Spirit of Thanksgiving: Sheriff Earnell Lucas and MCSO Deputies deliver holiday dinners to local families

“This is only the beginning. In our first year, we learned more about the process and how to get things done in this community. But more importantly, we learned a lot more about ourselves, what our capacity is to deliver a high level of service, and bring some satisfaction and joy to our community. This year is only the beginning. Look at us three years from now, and you might not even recognize us as being a law enforcement agency first, but an agency that is a part of this community, and that works in harmony with our community.”...

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John Ridley: On graphic novels and connecting art with social justice in Milwaukee

“Community service is the rent we pay for living.” – Judge Derek C. Mosley Milwaukee-native and Oscar-winning filmmaker John Ridley kicked-off the eagerly awaited inaugural Social Justice Summit at Nō Studios on November 15. The two-day event “Art Activated” was designed to help Milwaukee residents build personal networks, encourage ongoing conversations, expand the circle of people who want to identify social issues, and match them with others who are skilled at solving those problems. Before the showcase of events began, Ridley sat down with the Milwaukee Independent to talk about the influences of art on his life, particularly comic...

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Students in Latino leadership program spend day with city leaders learning about careers in public service

Two dozen students from the Carmen High School of Science and Technology South and Southeast Campuses took a day away from classes to experience Milwaukee’s Legislative, Judicial, and Executive branches of government on November 4, and spoke with representatives from all three as part of the Latino Leadership Development Program. The Public Service Day was organized by Carmen High School, with help from the nonprofit advocacy and service organization Forward Latino, to nurture the next generation of Latino leaders in Milwaukee and enrich the city’s growing Hispanic community. “I’m very devoted to exposing our students to different opportunities because...

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“On the Block” discussions focus on economic development in underserved communities

Powered by bold conversations and the desire to improve the community, thousands of people came together at dozens of locations across the Greater Milwaukee area on October 10, as part of the “On the Table MKE” initiative. Each privately organized group held discussions covering a wide range of subjects from gun violence, mental health, racial equity, LGBTQ issues, to environmental concerns that related to the shared Milwaukee condition. One of the “On the Table MKE” meetings took place along Fond Du Lac Avenue in the BRIC building. Originally the home of the first African American Bank in Milwaukee, North...

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From hobby to thriving business: Johanna Ortiz brings Puerto Rican treats to Milwaukee’s Southside

Milwaukee’s Southside residents joined Mayor Tom Barrett to celebrate the long-awaited arrival of Puerto Rican treats to the neighborhood, with the official ribbon cutting and opening for Johanna’s Cakes and Desserts on October 13. Johanna Ortiz had always enjoyed baking because her family was enthusiastic about preparing food. Instead of just cooking for the holidays, they would make a feast that included all kinds of desserts. “My mom makes all kinds of desserts and so did my grandma, it was tradition,” said Ortiz. “We used to cook all the time and baking was a big part of my life...

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Talgo seeks to rapidly grow workforce as it expands train refurbishing work at Century City facility

Talgo’s President and CEO Antonio Perez invited Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and city leaders to view their Century City facility on September 12, as the Spanish company begins hiring more local workers to support its expanding business. The manufacturer of intercity and high speed passenger trains was recently awarded a $138.9 million overhaul project to rebuild up to 121 rail cars by the Southern California Regional Rail Authority (SCRRA). The four year contract is a joint venture with Systra, a Paris-based engineering firm, to refurbish 50 Bombardier rail cars operated by Metrolink. An additional 71 cars could extend the...

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