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

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The number of Wisconsin deaths caused by drug overdoses is expected to be well into the hundreds again this year, after totaling more than 900 last year. Health officials say most of those deaths were due to opioid abuse. Some businesses and medical experts say they have innovative ideas for reducing the opioid crisis.

More than 40 percent of the people who die of opioid-related deaths in Wisconsin are from Milwaukee County. The Medical Examiner estimates the number of local deaths will be down this year, but only about 5 percent from 2017.

Victor Moussa/fotolia

Recommendations from a Milwaukee city-county committee that's trying to reduce the opioid crisis were announced Friday during a meeting at Milwaukee City Hall.

The ideas come as the number of local opioid-related deaths is down a little this year but is still a sizable problem.

Chuck Quirmbach

During ice storms or heavy snowfalls, many people often worry about their power going out. But for a nature preserve near Appleton, that's less of a concern because its headquarters is part of what's called a microgrid.

The 700-acre compound generates its own power and stores it for use, greatly reducing the preserve's reliance on electricity provided by the local utility WE Energies.

Chuck Quirmbach

A national study of concussions suffered by football players and military cadets will move into a second phase, with the Medical College of Wisconsin continuing to play a major role. Findings from part one of the massive study appear to have brought some safety improvements to football. But the new round of research could bring more changes.  

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The Transportation Security Administration, or TSA, predicts Milwaukee General Mitchell International Airport will see a sizable increase in travelers over the next few days. The agency also expects the current holiday travel period to be the busiest on record, with more than 25 million passengers passing through security checkpoints nationwide during the second half of November — an increase of 5 percent over 2017.

Chuck Quirmbach

Thousands of people will leave from, or arrive at, Milwaukee General Mitchell International Airport during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Getting through a crowded terminal is tough enough at peak times, but imagine if you were blind or with low vision. 

At Mitchell, there's now free technology to help those individuals move through the airport. And, more Milwaukee County buildings may soon have the same service. 

The service is called Aira.

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Chuck Quirmbach

Banks and post offices are closed Monday for the federal Veterans Day holiday. 

About 100 people gathered Sunday night at Milwaukee City Hall to remember that Veterans Day was previously known as Armistice Day and dedicated to peace. Another message was that world peace remains elusive.

It's been 100 years since the end of World War I, a conflict in which millions died. Paul Moriarty of the Milwaukee chapter of Veterans for Peace says the war was bloody through its last morning.

Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

With Veterans Day on Nov. 11, the Medical College of Wisconsin is highlighting its recent research into concussions suffered by military cadets at the nation's service academies. The college and partner universities also looked into concussions among college football players.

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Chuck Quirmbach

It's StartUp Wisconsin Week, with dozens of events around the state highlighting entrepreneurs in technology and other businesses. A newly released analysis finds the state of the startup is mixed here. 

Chuck Quirmbach

Republican Gov. Scott Walker is expected to spend all day campaigning Monday, as he tries to defeat Democratic challenger Tony Evers in Tuesday's gubernatorial election. Sunday, Walker made stops in Sheboygan, Appleton and Glendale.

In Glendale, about 50 people waited for Walker in the Republican Party's North Shore campaign office. State Sen. Alberta Darling warmed up the crowd with a reminder about boosting turnout on Tuesday. 

"How many of you are going to get at least 10 people — friends, relatives, people you don't even know — out to vote?” Darling asked.

Chuck Quirmbach

Milwaukee's multi-million dollar streetcar — called The Hop — begins operation around 12:45 Friday afternoon. Each streetcar can hold up to 150 passengers and will provide service to about a two-mile loop through the west and east sides of downtown Milwaukee. Rides are free for the first year.   

The new streetcar service, which consists of five different streetcars, is trying to merge old and new technology.

Credit: oatawa/fotolia

A technology journalist is urging high-tech entrepreneurs, including those in social media, to be more responsible with their creations.

New York Times columnist Kara Swisher was the featured speaker Tuesday at an economic forum in Milwaukee. It was organized by the Milwaukee Jewish Federation.

Jimmy Emerson/Flickr

Some Milwaukee Common Council members are worried about how City Hall would respond to an actual security threat. The concerns come as authorities continue to investigate the suspicious packages mailed to top Democratic leaders in a number of cities around the United States this week.

The race between Republican Senate candidate Leah Vukmir and Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin has been contentious, including on the topic of creating a climate for business and innovation. 

Baldwin has made a point of reaching out to Wisconsin's business community during her time in the Senate. She's advocated for defense contractors, farmers, beer makers and others. The senator has also introduced a bill that she says would reform tax credits, for which smaller companies are eligible when they innovate.

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Chuck Quirmbach

Milwaukee Brewers Manager Craig Counsell is praising his team, even though the Brewers fell short of making it to the World Series. Milwaukee lost Game 7 of the National League Championship Series to the Los Angeles Dodgers, 5-1, Saturday night at Miller Park. The Dodgers go on to the World Series against the Boston Red Sox, beginning Tuesday.

Following the Brewers loss, Counsell spoke to news reporters.  He said, "We won our division [National League Central]. We finished one game from the World Series. "

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