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

Microsoft has announced a gift worth $1.5 million to the Connected Systems Institute, which is based at UW-Milwaukee. The institute is a statewide collaboration among academia, industry and state government that helps industry optimize data and improve manufacturing automation.

Microsoft President Brad Smith announced the details of the donation at a news briefing Monday afternoon at UWM. He said the gift includes $1.25 million in cash, $250,000 in cloud computing credits and $80,000 in computer hardware.

Chuck Quirmbach

Four low-income areas of Milwaukee continue to be designated "Promise Zones," where city officials say they're making special efforts to create jobs, improve education and reduce crime. On Saturday, a bicycle tour through one of the zones on Milwaukee's north side offered both a look at the promise of the neighborhoods and some of the challenges.

Courtesy of DNR

State of Wisconsin health officials have recommended limits on 27 pollutants found in groundwater, including one type of pollutant that's increasingly in the headlines — PFAS.

Chuck Quirmbach

If you've noticed your health care costs going up, you're not alone. Even some members of the medical community say they're concerned about rising costs, and hope more data will lead to less expensive options, or at least smaller price hikes. 

The most basic medical moment — when patient and health care provider are discussing solutions — is too often under stress, says Linda Syth. She's of the Wisconsin Medical Society and was at a health care conference in Green Bay Wednesday.

Chuck Quirmbach

Morris Berg — known to longtime baseball fans as Moe Berg — was a catcher who later caught secrets from enemies of the U.S. during World War II.

A documentary about Berg's life in sports, and espionage, titled, The Spy Behind Home Plate is now playing at the Oriental Theatre in Milwaukee.   

kwanchaift / stock.adobe.com

Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin says the federal government should be spending more money on scientific and biomedical research.  

So, recently, she helped introduce a bill called the "American Cures Act". It would annually increase spending by at least 5% at the: National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Defense Health Program, and Veterans Medical and Prosthetics Research Program. 

Alex Wroblewski / Getty Images

President Donald Trump is scheduled to formally announce his reelection bid Tuesday night. Democrats are already after the Republican to answer more questions about his policy on tariffs. Wisconsin U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin is one of the questioners.

President Trump tweeted this month that: 

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.

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