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.

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Chuck Quirmbach

A fund created in Racine, called the Badger State Opportunity Fund, will try to ignite investments in Wisconsin's 120 Opportunity Zones

Wisconsin National Guard / Flickr

Updated on Tuesday at 3:47 p.m. CT

The commander of the Wisconsin National Guard, Donald Dunbar, will step down by the end of the year. His departure is related to a critical report from the U.S. National Guard that was released Monday.

Chuck Quirmbach

Foxconn held a holiday celebration on Friday, Dec. 6, at a downtown Milwaukee hotel. The event also sent a message about next year.

The Taiwan-based, high-tech manufacturer said the event was partly to "welcome new hires." But also in the crowd of several hundred people were former and current state officials, including several from Racine County — where Foxconn is putting up buildings it says will become a manufacturing and research center.

Chuck Quirmbach

The Trump administration is moving ahead with an effort to help more military veterans receive health care services away from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Milwaukee labor and vets groups have been arguing against the change for months, even holding a snowy protest on Veterans Day outside the VA hospital in West Milwaukee. VA Secretary Robert Wilkie weighed in on the dispute Wednesday from Washington.

Chuck Quirmbach

A national advocacy group for recreation trails says the trails' net economic value continues to go up. The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy says Wisconsin trails generate as much as $1.5 billion in spending or health care savings every year.

Wisconsin has a long history of converting former railroad corridors to recreation trails. The 32-mile Elroy-Sparta State Trail may be the nation's oldest. Rails-to-Trails Conservancy President Ryan Chao says the state picture remains very good. 

Chuck Quirmbach

A newly-released study says instead of bringing a lot of money to Wisconsin, Foxconn could depress economic activity in the state by tens of billions of dollars over the next 15 years.

Chuck Quirmbach

Amtrak is projecting a new record for ridership on its Hiawatha trains between Milwaukee and Chicago. Looking ahead, some modest changes to the service are expected in the next few years, but it isn't clear exactly when.

Chuck Quirmbach

Cancer is the second-leading cause of death in the U.S., close behind heart disease. So, when there's talk of a new cancer drug discovery, patients and their relatives often want to know more about the pharmaceutical and when it might be on the market. 

Chuck Quirmbach

Sensory rooms are quieter spaces where people can go if they're overwhelmed by crowd noise, light or other stimulation.

They're found in some schools, and other public venues are starting to add them. The Fiserv Forum in downtown Milwaukee now has two sensory rooms. Advocates for people with special needs would like more buildings in southeast Wisconsin to add the spaces.

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Updated at 1:43 p.m. CT 

Vice President Mike Pence visited a northeastern Wisconsin shipbuilding company on Wednesday. He went to Fincantieri Marinette Marine, a firm that already has two major deals with the U.S. Navy and is competing for a third. 

Chuck Quirmbach

Updated Thursday at 3:47 p.m. CT 

A Public Service Commission spokesperson says the PSC Thursday rejected a proposal to let We Energies' residential customers get a rebate if they install an electric vehicle charger. The rebate would have been for up to $1,000. The vote was 2-1 against the plan, with PSC Chairperson Rebecca Valcq the only commissioner to support the rebates.

Chuck Quirmbach

Startup businesses often need private financial help called venture capital to get going and grow. Milwaukee doesn't draw the investor dollars that Chicago, the Twin Cities and other parts of the country do. But some venture capitalists say the scene is improving here.

Screenshot / U.S. Army Research Laboratory

Three Milwaukee institutions — Marquette University, the Medical College of Wisconsin, and the VA Medical Center — are continuing their work on a "blast-test" dummy. The dummy could help reduce harm to U.S. armed forces caused by explosions under their military vehicles. 

Chuck Quirmbach

Cybersecurity and the need for more information technology (IT) workers who are trained in security are global concerns. And some southeastern Wisconsin universities are responding.

One person who studies cybersecurity problems is Walter Schilling, a professor in the software engineering program at the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE).

He says as more people automate their home, including devices like Internet-connected thermostats and coffee makers, some are using older and potentially vulnerable operating systems (like Windows XP or Windows 7) on their computers.

Chuck Quirmbach

Another snowfall this week has reminded people of the challenge of wintertime driving. Plus, there are still plenty of accidents not related to the weather.