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Author: Wisconsin Public Radio

Departure date for Tom Barrett remains unknown as candidates line up to replace Milwaukee’s Mayor

The timing of when Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett will leave his post for the U.S. Embassy in Luxembourg is still unknown, but the field of people hoping to replace him continues to grow. As of October 20, seven people, including two Milwaukee Common Council members and the county sheriff had filed papers to run for his seat. President Joe Biden announced Barrett’s nomination to serve as ambassador to the small European nation in August. Claire Woodall-Vogg, executive director of the Milwaukee Election Commission, said the date of the election to replace him depends on his confirmation by the U.S....

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Proposed state law aims to criminalize Milwaukee’s homeless who temporarily live on public property

People living temporarily on public property would be subject to criminal charges, including fines and jail time, under a new Republican bill in the state Assembly. It has raised fierce opposition from critics who say it will harm people experiencing homelessness. The bill received a public hearing Tuesday, less than a week after it was introduced as part of a package of legislation that Assembly Republicans say is aimed toward addressing the state’s workforce housing shortage. Those bills include provisions around zoning and approval of new workforce housing projects for certain local governments. On Tuesday, the Assembly Committee on...

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Crime victim programs: Federal funds allocated to Milwaukee for expanding violence prevention efforts

Violent crime across the country rose to historic levels last year. And now, $45 million in federal funds will be used to bolster violence prevention efforts and services for victims in Wisconsin. Governor Tony Evers and Attorney General Josh Kaul announced the plan Wednesday to immediately begin distributing American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) assistance throughout the state. The money will be divided, with $25 million going to violence prevention efforts and $20 million to support victim services. The city of Milwaukee, which is experiencing an unprecedented number of non-fatal shootings, homicides and is plagued with reckless driving, will get...

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Abuse of Power: Wisconsin GOP introduces bill to allow massive felony arrests of peaceful protestors

Remaining at a protest that turns violent or destructive could result in felony charges in Wisconsin under a proposal from Republican state lawmakers. Sponsors say the plan is partly in response to last summer’s violence and destruction in Kenosha following the police shooting of Jacob Blake. It would create a definition of “riot” in state law and impose new penalties. Under the bill, a riot would be defined as an unlawful assembly of three or more people that includes an act or threat of violence by at least one person that poses a risk or would result in personal...

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Afghan evacuees begin leaving Fort McCoy for resettlement but sponsors still needed for families

Four weeks after evacuees from Afghanistan began arriving at Wisconsin’s Fort McCoy, a federal official at the base says they are preparing for a large number of people to start leaving and settling across the country. Skye Justice, the U.S. State Department’s team lead on the interagency task force at Fort McCoy, said the Monroe County base is currently near capacity and officials have so far focused on meeting Afghans’ immediate needs, including medical care for those with serious health needs and legal assistance as they complete immigration paperwork. “The exact amount of time that a family will spend...

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Communities in Need: How Hayat Pharmacy became a health care provider in Milwaukee due to the pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the role of community pharmacies and the ways the public interacts with them, especially in underserved areas. Dr. Hashim Zaibak — who heads Milwaukee’s Hayat Pharmacies with more than 12 locations and a staff that speaks 22 languages and dialects — said pharmacists and technicians are becoming more recognizable as reliable health care providers and not just medication dispensers. “COVID came and it really showed the value of pharmacists,” Zaibak said on WPR’s “The Morning Show.” “Now, we are educators. We are going to the community. We’re telling people why they should get vaccinated.”...

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