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Author: Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service

Carl Fields: With new state leadership comes the hope of criminal justice reform

By Allison Dikanovic • Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service Alphonso James went to prison at age 17 for a crime he did not commit. After 32 years, he was cleared by a DNA test and returned home to Milwaukee in February 2017. Last week, he stood before about 50 people crowded into a room at the Welford Sanders Historic Lofts & Enterprise Center, 2821 N. Vel R. Phillips Avenue, and discussed his experience. “I knew truth was on my side, but the things that we were enduring in prison were enough to suffocate a human being into nothing,” he said....

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Rozalia Hernandez-Singh: Youth center murals share a family’s passion for public art

By Edgar Mendez • Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service By the age of 3, Rozalia Hernandez-Singh was already trailing alongside her father, well-known muralist Reynaldo Hernandez, as he worked passionately on an outdoor mural on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in the Harambee neighborhood. Though the mural has since been painted over, many of her father’s other works remain, and have become landmarks in the communities in which they are located, she said. Perhaps the best example in Milwaukee of the impact of public art is one of the many projects that Hernandez-Singh and her siblings worked on with their...

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Residents and business owners along Villard Avenue work to reinvigorate neighborhood

By Edgar Mendez • Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service Arthur Schmitz, a 95-year-old author and veteran of World War II, is filled with fond recollections of Villard Avenue in the 1920s and 1930s. “I basically lived at the Ritz theatre and Shorty’s restaurant got their share of my money,” said a smiling Schmitz, who grew up near Villard Avenue in North Milwaukee before the street and surrounding area were consolidated into the City of Milwaukee in 1929. He lived in the neighborhood until the 1940s, when he left for the war, and though some things had changed on Villard Avenue...

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Push continues for law allowing undocumented immigrants to get Wisconsin driver’s license

By Grace Connatser • Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service Voces de la Frontera is renewing its commitment to getting a law passed that would allow undocumented immigrants in Wisconsin to obtain driver’s licenses. Advocates of the bill say the law would make roads safer, keep families together by avoiding threats of deportation and improve police-community relations by taking the fear out of police interactions such as traffic stops. About 50 people attended a recent informational meeting hosted by Voces de la Frontera at Allen-Field Elementary School, 730 W. Lapham Blvd. Attendees discussed their concerns for the future of the bill...

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In rejecting past immigration policies, Earnell Lucas seeks to be sheriff of all people

By Max Nawara • Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service When Earnell Lucas first entered the race for Milwaukee County Sheriff in March 2017 he had his doubts about running. Now, Lucas is excited to take on the role of sheriff on Janurary 7 and walk back decisions about immigration and relations with the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) made by his predecessor, David Clarke. “I’m going to be the sheriff of all people in this community,” he said. Lucas recently invited Milwaukee County residents to the Wisconsin Black Historical Society, 2620 W. Center St., for a community discussion about his plans...

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Group seeks to refurbish fire damaged bells from Trinity Lutheran Church

By Sarah Lipo • Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service When a massive fire broke out at Trinity Lutheran Church, 1046 N. 9th St., on May 15, three bells in the steeple of the church remained. Now, a nonprofit organization called The Bells of Milwaukee seeks to refurbish the bells, so future generations can hear them ring. Trinity Lutheran dates back to the 1870s, according to Michael Horne, a longtime local writer and managing director of The Bells of Milwaukee. Horne said the church would be responsible for fixing the bells, but his organization would help with researching and raising money....

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