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Author: MKE WI Public Radio

DNC Chair Tom Perez returns for convention planning with hope to inspire Midwest and beyond

While the Democratic National Convention will be concentrated in Milwaukee, Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez said the event will be an opportunity to organize across Wisconsin and the Midwest. Perez and his team were in Milwaukee on April 23 and 24, working on preparations for the July 2020 convention the city will host. He called the convention and election the most “important of a lifetime.” “I think what we are going to do here is going to enable us not only to win in Wisconsin but in states across America and take back our democracy,” Perez said. Perez...

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Dan Kaufman’s book remains a source of unheeded lessons on Wisconsin’s political upheaval

The election night map in 2016 brought many surprises, but none more stunning than Wisconsin’s switch from blue to red — marking its first vote for a Republican presidential ticket since 1984. Michigan and Pennsylvania also ended long Democratic streaks that night. But the Badger State was the big shock, because Barack Obama had carried it twice by comfortable margins and Hillary Clinton had led all through the fall in the most respected statewide poll. President Trump himself has since seemed fixated on his Wisconsin win, if fuzzy on the details. Last month, while visiting that state, Trump claimed...

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The Milwaukee Bank Riot: A day of chaos in 1861 when local money became worthless

The 1861 Milwaukee Bank Riot was one of those moments that people thought would never be forgotten. Now, there are few remaining articles and references to this flashpoint in city history. The riot was about much more than that single day of chaos on June 24, 1861. To understand full story requires going back a few decades to the presidency of Andrew Jackson. In 1836, President Jackson’s war on banks culminated in one of his final acts: vetoing the reauthorization of the Second Bank of the United States — the only nationally chartered bank at that time. Along with...

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Latest task force meeting leaves fate uncertain for future of Mitchell Park Domes

The three bee-hive shaped glass structures that are home to tropical, desert and rotating show installations have glistened within Mitchell Park on Milwaukee’s near south side for nearly 50 years. But like other Milwaukee County facilities, the buildings’ maintenance has been chronically deferred. Safety concerns piqued in 2016 when a piece of concrete fell inside the Desert Dome. As a result, all three closed for several weeks. Soon after, a task force formed to try to come up with a long-term solution. Wednesday evening, during another conversation about the future of the domes, consultant Mike Devine shared one vision...

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Suburban malls flounder from online shift while city shopping locations see surge in redevelopment

While buying goods online continues to become the norm, there were still plenty of people venturing inside a suburban Milwaukee mall. At Brookfield Square, shoppers can still pick up a book at Barnes & Noble or buy a sweater at J.C. Penney. But like most shopping centers, Brookfield Square has had some setbacks. The mall lost anchor stores Sears and Boston Store in 2018, along with many other retailers. But the city created a special taxing district to help revive the mall and other businesses are in the works. “Consumers are starting to look for more entertainment and experience...

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Prussian Helmet Myth: Researchers hope Wauwatosa’s urban legend will finally fade

The story about the shape of Washington Highlands, a district on the National Register of Historic Place, comes from the urban legend that the developers either covertly or overtly decided that they wanted to shape it like a Prussian army helmet. The Washington Highlands neighborhood consists of 375 beautiful houses arrayed over 133 acres on the eastern edge of Wauwatosa, between 68th and 60th Streets. The area is commonly known as the “high rent district.” There is a common rumor about the neighborhood that Julia Griffith wants to end. She is the program director for Historic Milwaukee, which is...

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