Lauren Sigfusson

Unprecedented Weather Closures Prompt Milwaukee School Calendar Changes

After an unprecedented number of weather-related closures, Milwaukee Public Schools is adjusting its calendar for the rest of the school year. Feb. 19 was originally a staff-only day for professional development. But to make up for lost time, it is now a regular school day with students expected in class.

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Opportunity lost.

NASA has officially declared an end to the mission of the six-wheeled rover on Mars. Opportunity lost power in a dust storm last June, and all efforts to make contact have failed.

"Our beloved Opportunity remained silent," Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, said Wednesday at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "With a sense of deep appreciation and gratitude," he added, "I declare the Opportunity mission as complete."

Maayan Silver

Three former Milwaukee County Jail employees have pleaded guilty in the dehydration death of Terrill Thomas. Thomas’ death shed a spotlight on the jail’s health services provider, which was charged criminally in his death. Milwaukee County is taking steps to change the health services provider at the jail, who is in charge of both medical and mental health care.

Chuck Quirmbach

The Wisconsin Association of Railroad Passengers, a railroad passengers group with nearly 700 members, is trying to steer the idea of a second daily Amtrak train across Wisconsin into reality. Town hall meetings will be held Wednesday and Thursday evenings on the possibility of a shorter, more reliable, Empire Builder. 

Amtrak's current Empire Builder train runs from Chicago, through Milwaukee, to the Twin Cities, all the way to the West Coast.  

Emily Files / WUWM

Gov. Tony Evers wants to increase state special education funding by $600 million. The dramatic proposal follows a decade of flat state funding, despite rising costs to serve students with disabilities.

Right now, the main state support for special education only covers about a quarter of school districts’ costs. It’s up to local districts to make up the difference.

flickr.com

New Democratic Gov. Tony Evers promised on the campaign trail to provide a middle class tax cut. Republicans who control the legislature have the same goal, but getting there may be an ordeal.

The state Assembly passed a bill Tuesday that would tap a budget surplus to pay for a $340 million annual tax cut for single and joint filers. The measure goes to the state Senate on Wednesday, but if the GOP proposal is approved Evers might reject it, as he has a different approach in mind.

In the 1960s, there were few Black people on television outside of civil rights or Vietnam War images. There were a couple of sitcoms that had Black characters, but by and large, TV was created for and reflective of white audiences.

Ellis Haizlip wanted to change that and was the driving force behind the television show, Soul!, which showcased Black artistry and activism. 

Chris Kessler

Valentine's Day is just a couple days away and for many that means one thing and one thing only: candy. The annual lovefest has become a celebration of all things sweet - whether it's a piece of chocolate cake at the end of a romantic night out or anticipation of half-priced candy the following day. 

Crafty Dame/Flickr

Dentists and community health care groups are debating a plan from Gov. Tony Evers to improve access to dental care in Wisconsin.

Updated 4:14 p.m. ET

President Trump said on Tuesday that he's not "happy" with a potential budget deal being worked out by congressional negotiators but added that he doesn't think there will be another partial government shutdown.

Maayan Silver

Two former Milwaukee County Jail employees are awaiting sentencing for their role in the jail dehydration death of Terrill Thomas in 2016. All three employees who were criminally charged were fired for their role in Thomas’ death—and one has been sentenced already.

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