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Author: Lee Matz

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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Pride and Prejudice and Latinos: There could be a modern-day Anne Frank in Milwaukee who is Hispanic

In 2009, a book was published called “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” which was a mashup of the Jane Austin’s classic 1813 novel “Pride and Prejudice” with elements of modern zombie fiction. It was a creative weaving of a Victorian theme with an apocalyptic adventure, and a prophetic example of inserting modern words into historical text. Growing up with family stories about the Holocaust and hearing how Jews hid across Occupied Europe, I was very familiar with the “Diary of Anne Frank.” I thought of her especially in the year we shared the same age of 15 when she...

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Golden Knights mark 60th year with precise landings from 12,500 feet at Milwaukee Air & Water Show

During the 2019 Milwaukee Air and Water Show, not all the objects that soared across the sky in defiance of gravity were made of metal. Some were men who fell to earth from high altitudes, only using flexible wing gliders – also known as parachutes. Observers anywhere in the flight pattern across the city could look up to see supersonic jets streaking across the sky during the Air and Water Show. But for tens of thousands of spectators along the Lake Michigan, their front row seats offered a special vantage to watch precision landings on Bradford Beach. Traveling at...

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Bel Leong-Hong shares insight with Milwaukee’s Asian community for economic inclusion at 2020 DNC

The National Chair of the DNC’s Asian American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) Caucus, Bel Leong-Hong, met with Hmong business owners and Asian American community leaders in Milwaukee on July 19, to discuss ways to make sure they benefited from the economic impact of the convention next year and were not left behind as the city’s forgotten minority group. Diversity is usually simplified in terms of black and white, which often excludes Hispanics from the conversation. In Milwaukee, where Asian Americans comprise 4% of the city’s demographics, they are usually not even thought of as a minority population. The Hmong Wisconsin Chamber...

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