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There are no confirmed reports of any weekend protests in Wisconsin by supporters of President Donald Trump. But Gov. Tony Evers said Friday afternoon that law enforcement is "well-prepared" to protect the state Capitol building in Madison. 

There have been rumors of potential armed protests at state capitols following the Jan. 6 chaos at the U.S. Capitol, which resulted in numerous arrests of pro-Trump extremists.

Earlier this week, Evers announced the mobilization of some Wisconsin National Guard members in the Madison area. Boards were put on some state Capitol windows.

JUSTIN TALLIS / GETTY IMAGES

Wisconsin is launching a mobile coronavirus vaccination program next week to be operated by the Wisconsin National Guard and health officials, Gov. Tony Evers announced Friday.

Nine mobile labs will be dispatched across the state starting Tuesday, Evers said. They will be staffed by members of the National Guard as well as pharmacy and nursing student volunteers through a partnership with the University of Wisconsin System.

As more vaccine is released to the state, the program will expand access with local partners, Evers said.

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The Wisconsin Elections Commission on Friday voted to allow on the ballot a former lawmaker running for a vacancy in the state Senate, rejecting a challenge that he doesn't live in the district.

Jack Hurbanis / WUWM

The number of people getting tested for COVID-19 in Milwaukee County continues to be lower than health officials would like. They’re urging residents to take advantage of testing capacity.

During a media update Thursday, Darren Rausch, director of the City of Greenfield Health Department, said data trends are showing continued increases in cases county wide in the most recent weeks.

Yet, he said, testing is still lower than expected.

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The non-partisan state panel charged with drawing fair, impartial election maps for Wisconsin legislative and Congressional districts this year turned its focus to the 4th Congressional District in Milwaukee County Thursday night. 

The People's Maps Commission heard from local attorneys and leaders of the Hmong and the Oneida Nation communities, who argued past gerrymandering has hurt low-income and non-white citizens.

Courtesy of Kim Wilde Corben

For the kickoff of our new season of Bubbler Talk, I thought I would tackle a question from our listener Erin Christie.

“Can you do an appreciation segment on the prevalence of basement bars in Milwaukee?”

Ah, the basement bar. Raised in the Milwaukee area, I remember them well.

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Wisconsin's newest member of Congress, Republican U.S. Rep. Scott Fitzgerald, said Thursday he didn't know if President Donald Trump incited the riot last week at the U.S. Capitol and wants a full investigation to find out what motivated the mob.

Courtesy of Samba Baldeh

Newly elected Rep. Samba Baldeh is the first Muslim member of the Wisconsin Legislature. Before becoming a representative, Baldeh, an immigrant from Gambia, served on the Madison Common Council. He now represents Wisconsin’s 48th Assembly District.

As for what Baldeh hopes to accomplish, he says he wants to expand health care programs, like Medicaid, so that struggling communities have proper access to medical care.

Criminal justice reform is also on the top of Baldeh's mind, he says, not only in terms of police reform but also in keeping people out of prison.

Win McNamee / Getty Images

As a violent mob tore through the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, questions about what could be done to those who were seen as inciting the crowd arose. While the constitution prohibits the government from taking action against those exercising their freedom of speech or freedom to peaceably assemble, there are laws against inciting violence.

Paul Nolette is a professor and chair of the department of political science at Marquette University and he says the question of where free speech ends and inciting violence begins is a question courts have dealt with for years.

Chuck Quirmbach / WUWM

Wisconsin's newest member of Congress — Rep. Scott Fitzgerald — joined the rest of the state's Republican House members Wednesday in a failed attempt to prevent the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

It was the latest in a series of controversial votes by Fitzgerald, a former state Senator, who has only served in Congress about ten days after being elected in the suburban 5th Congressional District in November. He replaced retiring Republican Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner.

Stefani Reynolds / Getty Images

The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives voted Thursday to impeach Republican President Donald Trump for the second time during his term.

The vote was 232-197, with Wisconsin’s delegation voting along party lines.

The articles of impeachment charge Trump with inciting a riot inside the U.S. Capitol, in which five people died.

Several members of Wisconsin’s delegation spoke during the debate, including Democratic Congresswoman Gwen Moore of Milwaukee.

Andy Stenz

After the insurrection of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, some conservatives tried to make connections between the Act 10 protests in Wisconsin’s Capitol in 2011 and the insurrection. In the days after the attack on the U.S. Capitol, many continued to try and draw comparisons, including former Gov. Scott Walker.

Courtesy of Francesca Hong

Wisconsin voters made history in November by electing the first Asian American to the state Legislature. Francesca Hong is a chef and restaurant owner, and now a state representative. She was elected to represent the state’s 76th Assembly District, which covers a portion of Madison.

Rep. Hong, a Democrat, talks with WUWM's LaToya Dennis about the work that lies ahead. She begins by explaining her feelings about being elected: “I am both incredibly motivated, grateful and terrified at the same time."

Screenshot / Michael Strahan / YouTube

Updated at 1:13 p.m.

A Black man who was shot in the back by a white police officer in Wisconsin, triggering several nights of violent protests over the summer and leaving him partially paralyzed, said in an interview broadcast Thursday that he was prepared to surrender just before the officer opened fire.

Screenshot / WUWM / Facebook

WUWM has been partnering with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee PBS and the Milwaukee Public Library on an initiative called Listen MKE. Its goal: help north side residents get the information they want and need.

This Listen MKE conversation focuses on COVID-19 and the devastating effect it's had on Milwaukee’s Black community. Many of the survivors face unique physical and mental health challenges.

mmphoto / stock.adobe.com

More solar energy proposals, more energy efficiency projects, and more sustainability — that's what two top Wisconsin officials are predicting for this year.

One of them is Tyler Huebner, appointed by Gov. Tony Evers to the Public Service Commission (PSC) of Wisconsin last year. Huebner told RENEW Wisconsin's annual conference Tuesday that six large solar farms, totaling 1,049 megawatts, have received PSC approval over the last 20 months, including one in the Town of Paris in Kenosha County.

Huebner said more proposals for large solar farms are seeking PSC approval.

Jack Hurbanis / WUWM

Updated at 4:50 p.m.

A new, more contagious form of the COVID-19 virus has been detected in Wisconsin, health officials said Wednesday.

State epidemiologist Ryan Westergaard told reporters during a video conference that state health officials received confirmation Tuesday that the variant had been detected through routine genome sequencing of a positive COVID-19 test for an Eau Claire County resident.

Maayan Silver

Tuesday night, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers delivered his state of the state speech virtually — a first in state history. He called on the Legislature to address problems exposed by the coronavirus pandemic, like updating Wisconsin's unemployment system and expanding broadband access.

Evers’ speech was pre-recorded and broadcast online without the typical audience, fanfare and applause. He described the last year as an unrelenting one, with challenges no one would have believed and obstacles that have continued into the new year.

Emily Files

One Milwaukee-area university is clearing the way for some of its students to help with Wisconsin’s massive COVID-19 vaccination effort. Concordia University in Mequon offered a special immunization class for its first and second-year pharmacy students earlier this month.

The students normally wouldn’t learn how to administer vaccines until spring of their second year in the program, but now they can be called upon to give COVID shots as soon as they’re needed.

Samuel Corum / Getty Images

A Wisconsin man who posted on Facebook that he was among those wanted for illegally entering the U.S. Capitol during last week's riot was arrested in Eau Claire on Tuesday and faces charges in federal court.

Kevin Daniel Loftus, 52, was scheduled to make an initial appearance Tuesday after being arrested for illegally entering either house of Congress, or adjacent areas, and disorderly conduct on the grounds of the Capitol.

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Updated at 4:13 p.m.

The Wisconsin Senate overwhelmingly passed a scaled-down COVID-19 relief package Tuesday, drawing a pledge from Gov. Tony Evers that he would sign the measure if clears the Assembly. But that looked unlikely after a key Republican leader in that chamber declared the package falls far short of what the GOP wants.

Screenshot / Wiseye.org

Update 3:26 p.m.

After little floor discussion, the full Wisconsin Senate has approved the bill and Governor Evers has announced he will sign the bill.

READ: Wisconsin Senate Approves COVID-19 Relief Package, Gov. Evers Says He Will Sign It

A 13-year-old Milwaukee girl fatally shot over the weekend lost her brother to gun violence in 2017.

Nevaeha Ware had dreams of becoming a doctor, telling Journal Sentinel columnist James E. Causey in 2017 that she wanted to take care of the children who needed to go to the doctor but couldn't afford to go.

Chuck Quirmbach / WUWM

On Tuesday morning, the Wisconsin Center in downtown Milwaukee opened as a COVID-19 vaccination site for some city of Milwaukee firefighters, emergency medical service employees and city health department workers. 

These people are in what's known as the phase 1a category of vaccine recipients. City officials emphasize the general public is not yet welcome at the Wisconsin Center site.

The health department's Nick Tomaro is helping run the vaccination effort. He says the center is a controlled environment.

Chuck Quirmbach / WUWM

Updated at 3:45 p.m.  

Highway safety advocates are urging Wisconsin, other states, and the federal government to pass laws that the advocates say would keep thousands more drivers and passengers alive. 

A Milwaukee-area doctor is part of the push.

Scott Olson / Getty Images

The Wisconsin National Guard has pulled troops out of a southeastern Wisconsin city after protests over a decision not to charge a white police officer with shooting a Black man in the back didn't materialize.

Guard spokesman Joe Trovato said Monday that about 500 troops have withdrawn from Kenosha after spending a week there in anticipation of demonstrations.

AJ Dixon / Lazy Susan

The coronavirus pandemic has absolutely decimated local restaurants in Milwaukee. Almost a year into the pandemic and with winter in full swing, carry-out ordering has become one of the only lifelines for restaurants.

RACHEL WIESNER

The coronavirus pandemic has crippled many parts of Milwaukee’s economy. Businesses have had to rely on government funding and are adapting their services to safely to stay open.

But one industry that has been relatively unaffected from the pandemic has been commercial development.

Tom Daykin has been reporting on commercial development for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel since 1995 and he says many of the projects that opened in 2020 were able to survive because they were already so far along.

Samuel Corum / Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she’ll introduce articles of impeachment this week against Republican President Donald Trump, for encouraging his supporters to conduct a “big” and “wild” protest at the US Capitol.

It grew into a riot, which ultimately resulted in five deaths.

Chuck Quirmbach / WUWM

Updated 4:09 p.m.

Police and firefighters in Wisconsin will be eligible to receive the coronavirus vaccine starting Jan. 18, state health officials said Monday, while Gov. Tony Evers estimates that members of the general public won't be vaccinated until June.

Evers renewed his call for faster distribution of the vaccine from the federal government on Monday and state Republicans introduced a new scaled back response bill and scheduled it for a vote Tuesday.

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