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

See NPR's live presidential election results.

Libertarian Presidential candidate Jo Jorgensen brought her message of free markets and individual liberties to Wauwatosa Friday night.

During her remarks at Hart Park, Jorgensen reached out to conservatives by encouraging citizens nationwide to challenge state-ordered business restrictions aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19. 

Chuck Quirmbach

More poll workers are still needed around Wisconsin on Election Day, and there are indications they'll have to work even harder than during previous elections.

Wisconsin Elections Commission chief official Meagan Wolfe says that as of Thursday afternoon, about 200 poll workers were needed in 70 communities. In southeastern Wisconsin, more workers are needed in Cudahy, Elm Grove, the town of Waterford, three towns or villages in Kenosha County and one in Walworth County. You have to be a qualified voter in a county to work at a polling place within it.

Chuck Quirmbach

Updated Tuesday at 1:57 p.m. CT

The family of the Black man severely wounded by a police officer in Kenosha in August is leading a 30 mile march to Milwaukee, which began just after midnight on Tuesday. The family wants to send a message to prosecutors and voters.

Courtesy of Bryan Steil and Roger Polack

In some ways, Wisconsin's 1st Congressional District, stretching from southern Milwaukee County to Janesville, is a political swing area. Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin won four of the district's six counties on her way to reelection in 2018. 

But Democrats have not held the House seat in about 25 years. This fall's Democratic House candidate, Roger Polack, says 2020 is a different situation and is hoping to unseat one-term Republican incumbent Bryan Steil.

Chuck Quirmbach

President Donald Trump is scheduled to campaign in Janesville Saturday night. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers is asking the president to require all those who attend the rally to wear a mask to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

In fact, Evers said Thursday that he wants all politicians who hold events in Wisconsin to require masks.

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Chuck Quirmbach

A Mequon company which makes a robotic cart that has a British accent has won this year's Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin contest, which is run by the state business group Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. 

Another finalist was a mother and daughter who make adaptive clothing for kids with health problems.

The Mequon firm is MuL Technologies. In a back warehouse, company officials demonstrated the MARC 2470, a four-wheeled black plastic cart that can be quickly programmed to tell it where to move.

Chuck Quirmbach / WUWM

The Trump campaign is making a late bid to win Wisconsin again, with President Donald Trump expected in Janesville Saturday evening, and Vice President Mike Pence having visited Waukesha Tuesday.

Chuck Quirmbach

Updated Tuesday at 10:31 a.m. CT  

Wisconsin told Foxconn Technology Group on Monday that it won't qualify for billions of dollars in state tax credits unless it strikes a new deal for a scaled-back factory complex.

Chuck Quirmbach

More Wauwatosa residents are expressing concern about excessive law enforcement presence as a fourth night of protests related to Wauwatosa Police Officer Joseph Mensah's shooting of Milwaukee teen Alvin Cole took place Saturday night.

Chuck Quirmbach

An attorney for an Illinois teenager accused of killing two people during protests over an officer-involved shooting in Kenosha is claiming the prosecution of the teen is political.

Chuck Quirmbach

Updated at 4:38 p.m. CT

The mother and sisters of a Black teen who was killed by a suburban Milwaukee police officer were arrested by officers who were cracking down on protesters out after a curfew following a decision not to charge the officer.

Alvin Cole's mother, Tracy Cole, and his sisters Taleavia and Tristiana Cole were arrested Thursday night, their attorney Kimberley Motley said Friday. Motley said Tracy Cole was injured during the arrest.

Chuck Quirmbach

Black Lives Matter protesters were disappointed with Wednesday’s decision by Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm to not file criminal charges against Wauwatosa Police Officer Joseph Mensah. Chisholm had reviewed Mensah's fatal shooting of a Black teenager, Alvin Cole, outside Mayfair Mall in February. The protests that followed Wednesday’s announcement were mostly peaceful, with some exceptions.

Chuck Quirmbach / WUWM

Some of the places to get a free COVID-19 test in Milwaukee are about to change. Locations at Custer Stadium on the north side and the UMOS parking lot on the south side will close by Oct. 17, as the Wisconsin National Guard is ending most of its coronavirus deployment in the area. 

Instead, by Oct. 19, the main testing site will a drive-thru station at Miller Park in the Miller Parking Lot — east of the stadium by the Tailgate House.

Mayor Tom Barrett says the location will be able to administer 2,000 tests per day. He says one reason for the change is winter is coming.

chrisdorney -

Former Vice President Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump in national public opinion polls by an average of about 9%. Could some of that gap be because some people who actually back the Republican incumbent aren't responding to pollsters?

A national pollster who does opinion surveys for the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce took on the question Tuesday, during an MMAC online forum. Kenneth Goldstein is professor of politics at the University of San Francisco and used to work at UW-Madison. Goldstein said some conservatives may be reluctant to respond these days.

Chuck Quirmbach

There have been more than 140 homicides in Milwaukee this year, about double the number last year at this time. It's possible that in 2020, the city will set a new record for killings, most of which involve fatal shootings.

Creators of a new online tool at the Medical College of Wisconsin hope to eventually reduce the violence.

Chuck Quirmbach

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin now tops 132,000, as nearly 5,000 new cases were reported over the weekend. Over the two-day period, 24 deaths were announced, bringing the statewide total to 1,377. 

Sunday's increases were smaller than Saturday's, as is typical.

The death toll remains skewed toward older Wisconsin residents, with 88% of the victims age 60 or over. Seventeen percent of those who have died were Black. Eleven percent Latino — both well above their percentages of Wisconsin's population. 

Chuck Quirmbach

The city of Milwaukee has announced the second round of a federally-funded program to provide grants to small businesses harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mayor Tom Barrett says the city is taking applications for $10 million available under its Restart program, which applies to firms with fewer than 20 full-time employees and less than $2 million in annual revenue. There was a $4 million grant round several months ago.

Inez /

A state of Wisconsin panel that will look at health disparities is getting underway.

Courtesy of UW-Madison

The U.S. Army is giving UW-Madison $11.4 million to help develop a new type of airplane engine that could someday power everything from drones to commercial air taxis.

Hybrid-electric engines already exist in some cars. But scientists say despite aircraft engines being much different, hybrids hold promise in the skies as well.

UW-Madison mechanical engineering professor David Rothamer is principal investigator for the project. He says there are multiple fuels that could work in a modified airplane engine.

Chuck Quirmbach

The major league baseball season that’s been greatly affected by COVID-19 continues for the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Brewers lost their final game of the shortened regular season Sunday. But when two teams next to them in the standings also lost, the Brewers won the final seed in the expanded eight-team National League playoffs.

At Miller Park, the Brewers kept their team apparel store open late, and a small but consistent stream of shoppers celebrated by buying gear.

Robin Davis left with a bagful of items.

Chuck Quirmbach

Some relatives and supporters of Jacob Blake, the Black man severely wounded by Kenosha police in a shooting last month, are raising concerns about a new step in the state of Wisconsin's review process. The concerns came up last Thursday night during another visit to Kenosha by civil rights leader the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Updated Friday at 11:37 a.m. CT  

Four people filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday demanding that Facebook prevent militias and hate groups from using the site, after a militia group used the platform to draw armed people to protests in Wisconsin last month that left two people dead.

Chuck Quirmbach

Milwaukee officials say despite a lot of outreach already this year, about 25% of eligible voters in the city have not registered for the November election. The Milwaukee Election Commission, volunteer groups, and the Milwaukee Brewers continued to chip away at that number Tuesday, with a drive-thru voter registration event in the parking lot of Miller Park. 

The event was open to all Wisconsin residents and part of National Voter Registration Day events taking place around the U.S.

Chuck Quirmbach

The Wisconsin Department of Justice report on the Jacob Blake shooting in Kenosha isn't done yet and won't be released until a newly hired consultant reviews it. 

The Wisconsin Department of Justice is expected to discuss its report soon on the Aug. 23 officer-involved shooting that severely wounded a Black man, Jacob Blake, outside a Kenosha home.

Among those waiting for the report are Kenosha business owners, many of whom have kept boards on their windows and entrance doors out of concern over the potential of more civil unrest, beyond what took place during the first nights after Blake was shot.

Some of the businesses also have a longer-term worry: how to appeal to customers who support the police, and those who support Blake.

Chuck Quirmbach

The first community listening session in Kenosha in the aftermath of the Jacob Blake shooting and subsequent unrest has produced a list of potential changes for the city.

Alex Edelman /

Election clerks across the presidential battleground state of Wisconsin rushed to mail absentee ballots Tuesday, less than 24 hours after the state Supreme Court lifted a temporary freeze on sending them while it considered a legal challenge.

“Oh, we're busy,” said Wendy Helgeson, the Town of Greenville clerk who also serves as president of the Wisconsin Municipal Clerks Association.

Chuck Quirmbach

Kenosha's mayor has announced the goals of a community improvement plan following last month's police shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake, and the unrest that followed. Blake was severely wounded when shot seven times by a Kenosha police officer.

Chuck Quirmbach / WUWM

Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to speak in Janesville Monday. His campaign appearance comes a few days after a Trump administration appointee, Department of Energy Deputy Secretary Mark Menezes, traveled to the Janesville-Beloit area. Menezes’ visit highlighted the potential of more federal funding for two companies involving in making radioisotopes used in diagnosing medical problems.