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Author: Wisconsin Public Radio

Heritage and Help: Milwaukee’s Pakistani diaspora rally support for flood-stricken homeland

It was a Tuesday in August when Dr. Asad Khan realized he could not reach his family. The worst case scenarios raced through his mind. He talks to his siblings every day, something was wrong. “I deal with life and death, being in the hospital, being a physician, but I was very nervous when something happened,” Khan, a neuro-oncologist who works at Advocate Aurora Health said. “All I was doing was praying and worrying about them.” Khan turned on the news and started frantically searching for answers. When he saw the images of record monsoon rain inundating towns and...

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A “broken” shared revenue system: Mayor Johnson seeks state aid for Milwaukee’s proposed $1.7B budget

Milwaukee’s mayor says the state’s “broken” shared revenue program is hamstringing the city’s finances and forcing cuts to police, fire and library services. Mayor Cavalier Johnson unveiled his first proposed budget, totaling $1.7 billion, to the Milwaukee Common Council on September 20. “As you will see, we are tightly constrained by limited revenue,” Johnson said. “In fact, ‘constrained’ is not the right word. We’re hamstrung, we’re forced to cut long-established services because we do not have the money we need. Simply put, our costs are climbing and our revenue is flat.” The proposed city budget includes a property tax...

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Big Lie’s Big Money: Watchdog group criticizes Northwestern Mutual’s donations to election deniers

In the aftermath of the January 6 insurrection, major businesses across the country spoke out in support of democracy, but those statements don’t always reflect where they donate. That is according to an ongoing scorecard of Fortune 100 businesses released this week by the left-leaning watchdog group Accountable.US. “Two-thirds of Fortune 100 companies are failing to do their part to protect democracy, or unfortunately even making matters worse by supporting those determined to undermine it,” said Lindsey Melki, the group’s director of corporate values and democracy. The project lays out the corporations’ public stances on protecting democracy and compares...

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Post-Pandemic Transit: How deploying more electric buses could help MCTS recover lost revenue

After the pandemic slashed ridership, public transit agencies in the state could recoup lost funds by going electric, but not all agencies can cover the upfront costs. In Milwaukee County, at least 11 new electric buses could start running by next June. The county’s Transit System Director of Maintenance Ronald McCorkel said the initial investment in buses and infrastructure, like chargers, is hefty. Each bus costs over $1 million, but McCorkel said it’s worth the price. “We’re going to end up saving the money on maintenance and everything in the long run, and in the cost of diesel,” he...

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Overcoming the filibuster: Senator Tammy Baldwin pushes for support of LGBT marriage protection

U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin is making a push for the Republican support needed to pass her bill that would codify same-sex marriage before the midterms. But she will do so without Wisconsin’s senior senator, Republican Ron Johnson. In an op-ed published in the Washington Post, Baldwin, a Democrat, and Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said they are “work(ing) across party lines to bring the Senate together and build support for the Respect for Marriage Act,” which is designed to protect same-sex and interracial marriages from the risk that the U.S. Supreme Court could overturn its decisions legalizing...

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A rise in temperatures: Experts say energy grids across Wisconsin are not prepared for coming heat waves

In the coming decades, the climate in the U.S. will heat up to potentially disastrous levels. While Wisconsin’s long winters will turn milder, summer temperatures will hit record highs. That assessment is according to a new study from the nonprofit research group First Street Foundation focusing on extreme heat events nationwide. Jeremy Porter, chief research officer of the Foundation, said climate scientists often warn temperatures will rise a few degrees on average in the coming decades, and to many, that doesn’t sound like much. But he said it spells out catastrophic heat. “Today, about 7 million people are at...

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