Chuck Quirmbach

Innovation Reporter

Chuck Quirmbach joined WUWM in August 2018 as Innovation Reporter, covering developments in science, health and business.

Prior to that, he worked for Wisconsin Public Radio in Milwaukee and Madison, covering the environment, energy, and Milwaukee news of statewide interest.

He is a graduate of the UW-Madison.

Chuck Quirmbach

3D printers are becoming so advanced and widespread that the auto industry uses them to make rare car parts. Some construction firms use them to pour concrete.

Also, more schools are teaching teenage students how to use smaller versions of the printers — and teachers in some school districts are learning how to teach even young children how to use them.

Take, for example, the Port Washington-Saukville School District. This week, the district played host to a summer instruction session for teachers to learn about new technology. 

Chuck Quirmbach

The state Legislature's budget committee has recommended shrinking the size of a proposed expansion of higher-speed internet service across Wisconsin. The Republican-controlled Joint Finance Committee also wants to block additional money to help a consumer group challenge residential rate cases brought by state utilities.

Both items were considered Thursday night, as part of  the state budget proposal for the Public Service Commission (PSC). 

Chuck Quirmbach

Updated on June 7

Thursday night, the state Legislature's budget committee approved $35 million for expanding Amtrak Hiawatha train service between Milwaukee and Chicago. But the panel nixed spending an additional $10 million for a second daily Empire Builder passenger train across Wisconsin to the Twin Cities.

Chuck Quirmbach

Technology leaders in the upper Midwest say they have common problems trying to compete financially with tech hubs like Silicon Valley. But the Midwest advocates also say things are getting better in the region.

Milwaukee-area entrepreneurs often talk about local investors being cautious and perhaps conservative.  But Julia Kanouse, of the Illinois Tech Association, says it's actually the Midwest region that doesn't do as well as Silicon Valley in California and Austin, Texas. 

Chuck Quirmbach

Gov. Tony Evers caused a bit of a stir this year when he said Wisconsin should have a goal of generating carbon-free electricity by the year 2050. That would mean no coal-fired power plants in the state, and several other changes. Energy experts say one of those changes would likely involve more use of devices to temporarily store electricity from cleaner sources like solar and wind power.

Penguin Random House

As the manufacturing sector has evolved and job numbers have fallen, the rise of automation has been a key part of the equation. However, technology is impacting more than just assembly-line jobs in the 21st century.

Chuck Quirmbach

It's Wisconsin Bike Week, which means there are events across the state promoting bicycling. In Milwaukee, the city reports progress toward earning a top biking designation. But activists say there is much more to accomplish.

The former Northridge Mall property, as of April, 2019.

A lawyer for the Chinese firm that owns most of the former Northridge Mall says a meeting will be held with city of Milwaukee officials in a couple of weeks. The company says its aim will be to convince the city not to go ahead with plans to have the mall buildings torn down. The property owner has just released a new document in the case.

Chuck Quirmbach

Many pro football fans are mourning the death of one of the sport's icons of the 1960s. Former Green Bay Packers quarterback Bart Starr passed away Sunday at the age of 85.

Starr thrived under the guidance of Packers coach Vince Lombardi, and the team won five NFL titles in the '60s, plus the first two Super Bowls. Perhaps Starr's most famous play was scoring the winning touchdown in the 1967 NFL Championship game against the Dallas Cowboys, a contest known as the Ice Bowl.

Chuck Quirmbach

The Milwaukee Bucks season is over. The Bucks lost to the Toronto Raptors 100-94 Saturday night, in Toronto, in Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals. Toronto won the series 4-2, and will face the defending champion Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, beginning Thursday.

Despite the Bucks' loss, some in the crowd of thousands watching the game on video monitors outside Fiserv Forum in downtown Milwaukee saw positives for the city, and the Bucks' chances in the years ahead.

Chuck Quirmbach

Put the civic celebrations for the Milwaukee Bucks on hold.

The Bucks lost Game 5 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals to the Toronto Raptors Thursday night at the Fiserv Forum, by a score of 105-99.  The Raptors now lead the best of seven series three games to two, meaning Milwaukee must win both Saturday night in Toronto and Monday night in Milwaukee to advance to the NBA Finals.

Chuck Quirmbach

Officials from the Medical College of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Alumni Research Found say changes are underway that could help the public bring medical inventions to the marketplace. The ideas were outlined at a recent startup and technology forum in Milwaukee.

Chuck Quirmbach

A federal program scheduled to spend $60 million dollars in Wisconsin continues to try to get people to share their health and lifestyle information, plus their DNA. The effort known as All of Us has the ambitious goal of enrolling one million people nationally, and 33,000 in the Greater Milwaukee area. 

The promised reward is a $25 enrollment payment and eventually, specialized disease prevention and treatment. 

Chuck Quirmbach

A series of metal sculptures taking shape in Milwaukee's Menomonee Valley honors the men and women who worked at a now-lost transportation giant. The "People of the Road” monument is a tribute to the thousands who labored for a passenger and freight-rail service best known as the Milwaukee Road.

Chuck Quirmbach

Wisconsin scientists are working on new ways to protect drinking and surface water from pollutants. They’re also investigating better methods of cleaning water that's already contaminated. But researchers say success may cost taxpayers more money.

Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Secretary Preston Cole has been promising to place a higher priority on good science when crafting policy. For example, he hopes better research will lead to cleaner drinking water. 

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