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Mark Savage

Some vehicles stand out by not standing out. They are what I call Easy Riders, or maybe more appropriately Easy Drivers.

Such is Volkswagon’s restyled Atlas, the German firm’s mid-size crossover and one of its best-selling models in the U.S. market. VW restyled its nose and tail to give it more character. The grille is more pronounced and the body’s character lines make it look a bit more muscular with bulges high over the wheel wells.

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Pro football's conference championship games will be played Sunday in Green Bay and Kansas City, Missouri, with the COVID-19 pandemic greatly limiting the number of fans in the stadiums.

The Green Bay Packers will take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Packers say only about 9,000 people will be allowed into Lambeau Field, about 12% of capacity. Wisconsin Department of Health Services Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk says even those fans should not get too close.

Chuck Quirmbach

Three GOP members of the Wisconsin House delegation gathered at a pipeline company in Racine County Friday to criticize President Joe Biden for cancelling a major oil pipeline known as Keystone XL.

US Reps. Bryan Steil, of Janesville, Scott Fitzgerald of Waupun and Glen Grothman of Glenbeulah say the executive order Biden issued after taking office Wednesday has caused hundreds of Wisconsin residents working on the pipeline in the Great Plains states to be laid off. 

Chuck Quirmbach

Today, Bubbler Talk looks at the status of mental health care in the Milwaukee area. Our question comes from listener and Milwaukee resident Scott Bollen. He often drives by the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center in Wauwatosa and notices a disparity between one modern facility and one set of older buildings.

Jack Hurbanis / WUWM

Republicans who control the Wisconsin Legislature are considering ending the statewide mask mandate designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus and could do so by passing a resolution as soon as next week.

ADOBE STOCK // Andrey Popov

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 we're talking about hesitancy toward the COVID-19 vaccine. As distribution continues across the country -- including here in Wisconsin -- many are anxious to get the shot, but many are not; especially in communities of color.

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Gov. Tony Evers defended Wisconsin's vaccination efforts in the face of increasing Republican criticism Thursday, while urging patience because the number of people eligible will expand exponentially next week.

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Updated 3:44 p.m.

Ted Thompson, whose 13-year run as Green Bay Packers general manager included their 2010 Super Bowl championship season, has died. He was 68.

The Packers announced Thursday that Thompson died the previous night at his home in Atlanta, Texas. The team said it was contacted by a direct family member.

Thompson announced in May 2019 he had been diagnosed with an autonomic nerve disorder.

NPR

  

In the NPR podcast Throughline, co-hosts Ramtin Arablouei and Rund Abdelfatah take listeners back in time to understand news stories of the present.

While neither of the hosts are historians, they say that's the point of the podcast.

“It’s much more relatable," says Arablouei. "It’s not that we’ve studied these issues for years, it’s that we’ve gone on this journey and we want you to come with us and along the way we hear from people who have studied these issues for many years.”

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On Jan. 6, Americans watched as a mob of pro-Trump rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol building and tore through the halls of Congress.

While this event was unprecedented in many ways, this is not the first time the U.S. Capitol has been the site of violent acts.

John Savagian is a professor of history and program director for the history department at Alverno College. He says the first attack on the U.S. Capitol was by the British in 1812 after the American army had burned down the British Capitol in Canada.

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Wisconsin has begun distributing vaccinations for COVID-19 to health care workers, first responders and those in long-term care facilities. Soon that may include childcare and K-12 school employees, incarcerated people, public transit workers and everyone 65 and older.

But getting vaccinated doesn’t mean that taking measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 will end.

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Updated 1:25 p.m.

As more vaccines arrive in Wisconsin each week, the time when the vaccine will be available to the general public gets closer and closer. But many people are wondering what its actually like to get the vaccinated.

So, Lake Effect asked health care workers who have gotten the vaccine to share their experience and describe the good and the bad that came along with getting their shots.

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A prominent Milwaukee doctor weighed in this week, somewhat reluctantly, on how the battle against COVID-19 will go with President Joe Biden.

Dr. John Raymond is president and CEO of the Medical College of Wisconsin. He was asked during a virtual meeting of the Milwaukee Rotary Club on Jan. 19 about the Biden administration replacing the Trump administration. 

"Well, it's difficult to do without traversing into political areas,” replied Raymond.

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Several bills designed to speed up the COVID-19 vaccination process in Wisconsin are making their way through the Republican-controlled state Legislature. 

The Assembly Committee on Health held a public hearing Wednesday on a measure that would immediately prioritize anyone 60 years and older for the vaccine.

MILWAUKEE POLICE / RIEMANN

Two Republican lawmakers introduced legislation Wednesday designed to reform police use-of-force policies and investigations, including proposals that would ban training on chokeholds, punish municipalities that defund police departments and create a board to investigate officer-involved deaths and injuries.

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School employees, grocery workers, inmates and 911 operators would be included in Phase 1b of the state’s COVID vaccine distribution plan, under a recommendation a task force issued Wednesday.

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The 2020 presidential race highlighted just how diverse Latino voters are and just how important by playing  a key role in helping Democrat Joe Biden become president of the United States.

Latinos turned out in large numbers for President Biden, despite his role as vice president in Barack Obama's administration, and and they want him to deliver on his promises. 

Christine Neumann-Ortiz of Voces de la Frontera said for many Latinos the legacy of the Obama administration was one of betrayal.

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The state has started distributing and receiving at-home test kits for COVID-19.

Wisconsin Department of Health Services spokeswoman Traci DeSalvo says more than 12,000 kits have been ordered and more than 1,600 have been returned as of last week.

“People are ordering a kit and having it on hand for when they’re ready,” she said. “It’s a tool in your medicine cabinet so that if you do become symptomatic or have an exposure to COVID, you have a test ready to go.”

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Don Sutton, a Hall of Fame pitcher who was a stalwart of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ rotation spanning an era from Sandy Koufax to Fernando Valenzuela, died Tuesday. He was 75.

The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, said Sutton died at his home in Rancho Mirage, California, after a long struggle with cancer. The Atlanta Braves, for whom Sutton was a long-time broadcaster, said he died in his sleep.

Maayan Silver

Republican legislative leaders took no action Tuesday on Gov. Tony Evers' call to modernize the state's backlogged unemployment system, convening and adjourning a special session within seconds.

Evers called the GOP-controlled Legislature into special session on Tuesday to pass a $5.3 million plan to modernize the Department of Workforce Development's process for handling unemployment claims.

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  Updated 5:36 p.m.

A Wisconsin pharmacist accused of trying to defrost and spoil dozens of vials of COVID-19 vaccine was charged Tuesday with attempted misdemeanor property damage, and prosecutors warned more serious charges could follow if tests show the doses were ruined.

Maayan Silver

Updated Jan. 21 at 11:06 a.m.

Racial justice issues remain front and center in 2021.

A few days after the start of the new year, the Kenosha County district attorney announced that the officer who shot Jacob Blake in the back won’t face charges.

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The first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines arrived in Wisconsin on Dec. 14, 2020 with the first vaccinations that afternoon.

Wisconsin is currently in phase 1a of the vaccination effort, which includes health care workers, first responders and those in long-term care facilities.

Kate is a speech therapist in an acute care medical setting. She is one of the many Wisconsin health care workers who has gotten the first dose of the vaccine.

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There are currently only six states in the U.S. that have laws against hair discrimination: California, New York, New Jersey, Virginia, Colorado, and Washington. Montgomery County, Maryland also bans the practice.

Lawmakers in Wisconsin introduced a similar bill in 2019 but it didn’t pass.

Now, Milwaukee’s Common Council is stepping up with its own measure. Alderwoman Milele Coggs is one of the co-sponsors. She says for many people, hair is not “just hair.”

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COVID-19 vaccinations resume Tuesday at the Wisconsin Center in downtown Milwaukee. Not for the general public yet  — but for some workers in the city.

Mayor Tom Barrett is especially urging home health care employees to get the vaccine.

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Updated 5:29 p.m.

Everyone over age 65 in Wisconsin will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine starting Monday but it could take a couple of months to inoculate the entire group of 700,000 people, state health officials said.

The department cautioned that the speed of vaccinations depends on how much vaccine the federal government sends. Wisconsin receives about 70,000 doses of first-dose vaccine each week; at that pace, it could take two months to vaccinate the next group.

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Micro weddings or weddings with under 75 guests were growing in popularity even before gathering limits were put in place due to the pandemic. While traditional, big weddings are on hold as COVID-19 continues to devastate Wisconsin, celebrations will happen again one day.

With high costs and extra planning associated with long guest lists, micro weddings can be a way to create a more intimate feeling during your wedding celebration.

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Wisconsin’s plan for the next phase of coronavirus vaccinations covers essential workers, including teachers, child care providers, law enforcement officers and hospital staff who aren’t on the front lines.

In Wisconsin, it doesn’t include grocery store employees, as recommended by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the states’ second phase of COVID-19 vaccinations. Grocery store owners, who thought their employees would be included in the next phase, are upset.

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Every year the Wisconsin Policy Forum releases a top five list of their most important findings from the year.

Rob Henken is the president of the Wisconsin Policy Forum and he discusses each finding.

1. Shift to online shopping helps taxpayers but not state budget.

Screenshot / Warner Bros. Pictures / YouTube

Updated 12:11 p.m

From 1942 to 1945, Hollywood created over 200 movies centered around World War II. Thus creating the genre of World War II films, which continued in its popularity even into the 21st Century.

In a new book, “World War II On Film”, author Dave Luhrssen examines the genre through 12 movies and explains how they painted a picture of the war that often blurred the lines of reality.

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