Author: Wisconsin Public Radio

Once vibrant neighborhoods still suffer decades after highway system decimated the central city

As freeway routes were constructed in the 1960s, lots of Milwaukeeans were impacted. Houses were demolished and businesses had to relocate. Some communities still have not recovered decades later due to the upheaval. Discussions about a national freeway system began as early as the 1920s, but planning did not get underway until the 1950s. “As automobiles were becoming more popular, they realized that the street system wasn’t designed for automobile traffic, and there was a lot of gridlock and other issues happening as more and more people were driving. But it wasn’t until the 1940s that the city really...

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Names of Milwaukee Archbishops who covered up sexual abuse removed from Catholic buildings

The Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee removed the names of two former Milwaukee Archbishops, William Cousins and Rembert Weakland, from buildings as part of the church’s response to sexual abuse by clergy on March 19. The Archbishop Cousins Catholic Center, which was named in honor of William Cousins, will be renamed on Friday. And Rembert Weakland’s name has been removed from the parish center at St. John the Evangelist in downtown Milwaukee. Cousins and Weakland led the Milwaukee Archdiocese between 1958 and 2002 and helped cover up clergy sexual abuse of children. “If these names have caused angst, anxiety, stress,...

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Dolls Like Me: New Berlin Mom creates toys for children with disabilities

There were no dolls with prosthetics or missing fingers or casts on their feet. None on the shelves reflected albinism or came with an attached blind cane. So New Berlin mother of three Amy Jandrisevits began to use her sewing skills to celebrate the diversity the child not well-represented in toy stores. A former pediatric oncology social worker, Jandrisevits has spent the past four years making custom dolls with characteristics that match their owners. Through her business, A Doll Like Me, Jandrisevits said she can continue her childhood hobby of playing with dolls, now in a more “socially appropriate”...

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Muslim-Americans call for action against rising bigotry after New Zealand attack

As New Zealand grapples with the aftermath of the attack on two Muslim congregations in Christchurch on March 15, the mass shootings on the other side of the world have struck fear through Muslim-American communities and renewed calls for action against the rise of bigotry in the United States. Muslim-Americans urged political leaders, local officials and tech companies to confront the alarming spread of hate and racism that in recent years has led to scores of worshippers being slaughtered in religious institutions. The Islamic Society of Milwaukee released a statement regarding the tragedy. “The attack in New Zealand against...

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Confederate monument placed in storage at Wisconsin Veterans Museum

After 113 years, a monument to Confederate soldiers in a Madison cemetery was recently taken down. The stone cenotaph, inscribed with 140 names of prisoners-of-war, stood on an area known as Confederate Rest since 1906 — that is, until last week, when a crew from the Madison Parks Department and a local monument company transferred it from the Forest Hills Cemetery to storage at the Wisconsin Veterans Museum. Madison City Council voted in October to remove the monument and place it in a museum. Logistics and weather delayed the transfer until now, explained Eric Knepp, Madison parks superintendent. “We...

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Mandela Barnes: Ignoring the “Us vs Them” rhetoric with a plan for sustainable equality

Lt. Governor-elect Mandela Barnes says he sees his upcoming job as a chance to fix issues plaguing the entire state of Wisconsin. Barnes said one of the reasons the role of lieutenant governor appealed to him was because of its few constitutional responsibilities. The position is flexible and presents an opportunity to make a difference statewide. “I want to focus on equity and sustainability,” said Barnes, who represented Milwaukee in the State Assembly from 2013 to 2017. “We have a duty here in Wisconsin that has been unfulfilled for a very, very long time. We have some of the...

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