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Author: Wisconsin Public Radio

Wisconsin families with unvaccinated kids are still navigating the risks of COVID-19 exposure

The Albert family in Mequon is exactly half-vaccinated. Parents John and Kathlyn, a doctor and an instructor of nursing at Marquette, got their shots early in the year. Their 13-year-old son Landon got his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine right when it was approved for ages 12 to 15 in May. But their three younger kids, Kira, Liam, and Brynn, ages 11, 8, and 6, can’t get the shot yet. It has left the family in a bit of a limbo. With disease levels down and more places opening up, they’ve been able to get back to some...

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Preliminary approval clears next hurdle for proposed statue of Vel Phillips on State Capitol grounds

The Wisconsin Capitol grounds are one step closer to featuring a statue of longtime Wisconsin civil rights advocate Vel Phillips after a subcommittee voted on a preliminary proposal on July 13. Phillips was a political trailblazer throughout her life, achieving many firsts, from being the first Black woman to graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School to becoming the first woman and Black person elected to statewide office when she won a race for Secretary of State in 1978. She died in 2018 at age 94. The proposal for a statue of Phillips received preliminary approval by a...

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Little has changed since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar called for an end to institutional racism in Milwaukee in 1971

The last time the Milwaukee Bucks were in the NBA Finals, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was the star of the team and a prominent civil rights advocate. He was instrumental in the Bucks winning the NBA Finals in 1971, and he’d be named the NBA’s MVP three times in the next four years. And while Abdul-Jabbar was giving everything he had to the team, he was also bringing racial inequalities and lack of access to jobs for people of color to the forefront. Now, nearly 50 years later, the Bucks finally have another chance to bring home the championship title. But...

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Community volunteers go door-to-door to provide COVID-19 vaccinations in Milwaukee neighborhoods

Over the last year and a half, Marcus Austin of Milwaukee watched as friends and extended family members died from COVID-19. Austin said that he did not think the Black community had gotten enough education about the coronavirus, and he wanted to help change that. Austin is one of several residents living in the city’s 53206 zip code volunteering to go door-to-door to get people vaccinated. “It’s very important that we get out here and educate the people in this community about COVID and the dangers of it,” Austin said during a press conference Wednesday held to promote the...

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Reaching the Last Mile: Milwaukee transit program connects city workers to distant suburban jobs

For almost two years, Lester Williams took the bus from Milwaukee’s Northside to suburban New Berlin, where he worked 12-hour days in quality control at Schoeneck Containers Inc. The trip took anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour, even though the factory was only about 16 miles from his home. Williams said it was one of the best jobs he ever had. But when the route was eliminated in 2019, the only bus that got him near his job brought him to Brookfield Square mall, more than 3 miles away. “A lot of times people just walked, and it’s...

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Malicious Code: Some UW Institutions raced to protect systems potentially compromised by Russian Hackers

Email records show University of Wisconsin System cybersecurity staff raced to determine whether any of its 26 campuses or central office had been impacted by the global SolarWinds hacking incident discovered in December 2020. According to documents, some UW institutions were running the compromised software, though it’s unclear whether attackers stole information or disrupted university networks. On December 13, 2020, the U.S. Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency issued an alert stating that computer network monitoring products made by Texas-based company SolarWinds were being “exploited by malicious actors” and that it “posed an unacceptable risk to U.S. government agencies.” On...

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