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.

Ways to Connect

Chuck Quirmbach

Some entrepreneurs say the Milwaukee area can be a good, but not great, place to start a business.  One challenge is simply getting the word out about new products or services. 

So, some people have turned to appearing on a local television program called "Project Pitch It,"  which begins its third season Saturday night.

On national television, ABC's “Shark Tank”  show has entrepreneurs compete for the financial  backing of tycoons - called "sharks" on the show - and a bidding war can erupt.

Chuck Quirmbach

A talking robot and virtual reality headsets are being tested with the elderly, as a partnership between the UW-Milwaukee and a Milwaukee-area senior home moves ahead. It's an attempt to see if more technology can improve the health and quality of life for seniors. But it's also an effort to get more nursing school graduates to work at places in need of skilled help.

Chuck Quirmbach

High temperatures in Wisconsin this weekend are expected to be about 50 degrees warmer than the highs just a few days ago. While the high Wednesday in Milwaukee only made it to minus 10, highs on Saturday and Sunday are expected near 40 degrees.

This may be cause for community celebration. But there are agencies and forecasters urging you to temper your enthusiasm.

Chuck Quirmbach

Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales says there are about 550 Milwaukeeans wounded or killed by bullets each year — a figure he says is unacceptable. Under a recently-installed shoot review model, he brings together various law enforcement agencies, social service groups and others to take a closer look at every shooting.

Milwaukee police say the number of non-fatal shootings in the city is down so far this year, compared to January 2018. And recently, city officials announced both "non-fatals" and fatal shootings were down for all 2018, compared to 2017.

Maayan Silver

Editor's note: This piece was originally published Jan. 29.

Updated on Jan. 30 6:35 p.m.

Milwaukee Public Schools are closed Thursday due to extremely cold weather. Temperatures are expected to stay below zero through Thursday.

Chuck Quirmbach

Weather forecasters say 7 to 14 inches of snow may fall on southeastern Wisconsin on Sunday and Monday. In anticipation of the major winter storm, classes at UW-Milwaukee, Milwaukee Public Schools, many suburban school districts and some private schools have been canceled for Monday. 

Some local government offices will also be closed. Milwaukee County and Waukesha County have shut down their courthouses for Monday, meaning all court activity will be rescheduled. What county officials deem as "non-essential personnel" are not to report to work. 

Chuck Quirmbach

Madison-based American Family Insurance says it will create a multi-purpose office in downtown Milwaukee in the next two-three years.

The project was announced Tuesday — the same day the Milwaukee Brewers announced that American Family is buying the naming rights to what is now called Miller Park.

The team says after the end of the 2020 baseball season, the Brewers naming rights deal with MillerCoors will end, and the name Miller Park will disappear. American Family hasn't revealed the new name for the stadium, which has been called Miller Park since it opened in 2001.

Chuck Quirmbach

Updated Jan. 18, 2019

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers is promoting renewable energy in the state. But a Republican legislator says any expansion of electricity generation from sources like solar and wind should be market-driven.

Evers spoke Thursday to an annual conference held by the group RENEW Wisconsin. He's the first Wisconsin governor to do so.

Chuck Quirmbach

Researchers are trying to make guns safer, partly through devices that limit who can fire a weapon. The science and financing still have a ways to go before many gun owners have a so called "smart gun." But a southeastern Wisconsin activist group is optimistic enough about gun innovation that it sponsored a Firearm Safety Expo on Wednesday.

The local activist group Common Ground sponsored a Firearm Safety Expo Wednesday at MATC-South Campus in Oak Creek.

Chuck Quirmbach

Updated 3:10 p.m.

The City of Milwaukee says daily ridership on The Hop increased last month, compared to November 2018, the streetcar's initial month of service. But monthly ridership declined slightly in December.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett says the daily December average was 2,453 rides, compared to 2,297 in November.

READ: How The Hop Works

Chuck Quirmbach

Wisconsin investors are starting to use a relatively new federal program called Designated Economic Opportunity Zones that aims to help what the government says are economically-distressed areas. Several cautions remain, but start-up technology firms are among the businesses that could benefit if the program succeeds.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

Gov.-elect Tony Evers has named five more Cabinet appointees, most of whom would face sizable policy challenges in Southeastern Wisconsin. 

Evers has promised to try to expand federal Medicaid funding in Wisconsin, a move that could help cover thousands of more low-income people in the Milwaukee area. He says he also wants to help those with pre-existing medical conditions maintain their insurance coverage.

Chuck Quirmbach

One science and technology area expected to keep rolling toward reality this year is driverless cars (also known as autonomous vehicles). But industry experts say much work is needed before we see many such vehicles in Southeastern Wisconsin. Still, a lot of time and money are being spent on the concept, including elsewhere in the Midwest.

Chuck Quirmbach

Wisconsin Gov.-elect Tony Evers will be sworn into office Jan. 7, and dealing with a slew of the state's problems will soon be on his list. The Democrat says innovation will be part of his approach.

First though, a look back. When asked during the fall 2018 campaign about his innovative accomplishments, current Gov. Scott Walker mentioned the Foxconn LCD panel factory being built in Racine County, and the many millions of dollars Foxconn and other corporations have jointly promised to invest in the state. 

Chuck Quirmbach

Typically, meteorologists can accurately predict what the weather will be like within a week. Beyond that time frame, the weather is too variable for forecasters to be all that confident.

But a recent federal law may bring some help to farmers, other business owners and anybody else who counts on reliable mid-or longer-range predictions —and a large Wisconsin computer may be part of the improvements. 

Weather forecasters make their predictions sound simple. But, of course, it’s not that simple.