Jack Hurbanis

Assistant Digital Producer

Jack Hurbanis started as the WUWM Digital Intern in January 2020, transitioning to Assistant Digital Producer in July.

He is currently a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he is studying film production and communication. 

Outside of work, he can be found cooking with friends, going to see a movie at the Oriental theater, or enjoying the many seasons Milwaukee has to offer. 

Meg Jones / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Meg Jones, long time Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter and Milwaukee writer, died on Sunday, Dec. 14, 2020 at the age of 58.

ED BIERMAN / FLICKR

Marches and protests for the Black Lives Matter movement have sparked conversations about race in America from our personal lives to the workplace.

Here in Milwaukee, the Marcus Performing Arts Center is working to further advance racial equity in the performing arts on and off the stage. President and CEO Kendra Whitlock Ingram is the first female and person of color to lead the organization. She says that work needs to center around a theme of accountability.

MILWAUKEE POLICE / RIEMANN

The Milwaukee Common Council on Tuesday rejected the federal COPS grant that would have provided the city with 30 additional police officers. 

The vote was 9-6 to pass up the $10 million grant.

Groups, such as the Party for Socialism and Liberation – Milwaukee, North Side Rising and others, protested the funding before the vote, calling it “a step back from the steady movements to defund the police ... and a slap in the face to a community that has decided we do not need more officers.”

tadamichi / stock.adobe.com

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a community-wide traumatic event. On top of a health crisis, we’re also facing a mental health crisis as nearly every aspect of our lives is touched by the pandemic. Many of us are ready for the end of 2020, but the new year won’t necessarily bring clarity to help us move forward. And with the holidays coming up, there are additional stressors to face.

Lauren Sigfusson

When museums, galleries and theaters close that means painters, dancers and musicians don’t have a place to perform or a source of income.

Dozens of them talked about the challenges they face in a video conference Tuesday arranged by the Wisconsin Arts Board. The meeting included 15 arts organizations to help brainstorm ways for artists to survive the pandemic. Dozens of artists took turns speaking.

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The holiday season is in full swing and many of us are already trying to figure out what to buy our loved ones. Although extended family gatherings may not be safe this year, there are still ways to stay connected and gaming is one of them.

Every year gaming expert James Lowder gives us his picks for the games to gift.

Tom Parker / Wikimedia Commons

The internment of Americans with Japanese ancestry during World War II is part of this nation’s dark history of racial discrimination. These stories have often been hidden, both by the country that committed the injustices and the people who were forced to endure them.

Sondem / stock.adobe.com

Despite the distance this holiday season, books can be a great way to connect with loved ones.  If there are readers on your holiday shopping list — or you’re looking to add some titles to your own reading list — Boswell Book Company’s Daniel Goldin has suggestions for readers of all ages.

Here are some of Goldin's favorite books of 2020:

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

BOOK COVER DESIGNED BY WENDY VARDAMAN

In U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo’s book “Crazy Brave” she wrote, “When beloved Sun rises, it is an entrance, a door to fresh knowledge.”

This quote served as an inspiration and call to action for Wisconsin Poet Laureate Margaret Rozga. She, along with Madison Poet Laureate Angie Trudell Vasquez, co-edited the new poetry anthology “Through This Door: Wisconsin in Poems.”

Adoptahighway, Hot Science, Bobby Tylenol, Victor DeLorenzo

Although there haven’t been many live shows since the pandemic hit the United States in March, Milwaukee bands have somehow found a way to release new music. That’s been great for Matt Wild, who every month releases a nearly exhaustive list of new music from local musicians.

Wild is one of the co-founders of Milwaukee Record, which describes itself as an online source for music, culture, and gentle sarcasm. He joins Lake Effect each month to share a sample of what he’s been listening to.

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Wisconsin continues to break nearly daily records of COVID-19 cases and deaths. The state has few restrictions to slow the spread of the virus in place. Gov. Tony Evers recently extended a statewide mask mandate but has faced backlash from the Republican-controlled Legislature about his executive orders.

Megan Betteridge / Adobe Stock

At this point in the year most of us have put away our gardening tools and packed up our lawn mowers for the winter. But that doesn’t mean that gardening has ended, it’s just moved locations.

With the impending winter, many gardeners have brought their plants inside where growing conditions can be much more difficult.

Mara Zemgaliete / Adobe Stock

Holidays like Thanksgiving are an opportunity to bring out special recipes and foods unique to the season. Although cheese is celebrated year-round here in Wisconsin, there are some seasonal cheeses that make this time of year special.

Lake Effect cheese and spirit contributor Jeanette Hurt shares some of her favorite cheeses and a drink to include on your Thanksgiving table:

Rush Creek Reserve

Jennie Augusta Brownscombe / Wikimedia Commons

Even though Thanksgiving will be different for many us because of the pandemic, we can still appreciate the history behind the meal — so long as it’s accurate. Culinary historian Kyle Cherek talks about some of the historical misconceptions we have about Thanksgiving, and why it’s important to set the record straight.

“[Thanksgiving] has become part of our national mythology but the early beginnings of it are not what children sing,” he says.

Courtesy of Elizabeth McGowan

Elizabeth McGowan was only 15 years old when her father died of melanoma at the age of 44. When she was just out of college, McGowan was diagnosed with the same cancer that took her father.

At first, she thought it was a death sentence, but at 39, McGowan reached the major milestone of being five years cancer-free after over a decade of treatments.

Scott Olson / GETTY IMAGES

The Wisconsin election recount is continuing in Milwaukee and Dane counties, but officials say uninformed observers are obstructing the process. It’s also slow moving because President Donald Trump’s attorneys have been making unsubstantiated claims of fraud. In part, these issues may stem from a bigger issue facing the recount process — rampant misinformation.

Mark Susina / FLICKR

COVID-19 infections continue to rise around the country and many cities and states are implementing new restrictions. Public health experts see this as a necessary step in slowing the spread of this disease. But it’s undeniable that these restrictions will also have an impact on local governments, which are already struggling to survive.

At the federal level, a stimulus package intended to ease the pain of local economies has stalled in the U.S. Senate with no clear path forward.

Kateryna / stock.adobe.com

Even in a normal year, the holidays can be stressful. This year health officials are recommending people who were planning to gather or travel for Thanksgiving stay home to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

For many of us this has been a year of sacrifice and family time might be exactly what we’re craving right now. As important as it is to show our loved ones that we are thinking of them, it’s equally as crucial to take care of our own mental and physical health.

Wisconsin In Solidarity

Although 2020 has been a year unlike any that has come before it, there has been a lot of time spent drawing parallels to the past. Many have compared the COVID-19 pandemic to the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918.

Others have looked at the year 1968, when a contentious presidential campaign season turned violent and protests over racial inequality and the Vietnam War erupted around the nation. These protests were aided by musicians, whose songs have become an iconic legacy of the era.

Chuck Quirmbach / WUWM

The city of Wauwatosa will pay officer Joseph Mensah the equivalent of 13 months pay plus an additional $15,000, along with what he is owed for vacation and sick time amongst other benefits once his resignation becomes official at the end of the month.

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The United States has now lost 250,000 people to COVID-19. Our case numbers in Wisconsin continue to rise as our healthcare systems remained strained, and a difficult winter is ahead of us.

Scott Olson / Getty Images

Election Day was more than two weeks ago, the vote tally took longer than a normal year because a record number of people voted by mail. Yet once the votes were in, former Vice President Joe Biden was projected the winner, but President Donald Trump has not conceded.

The election results will be made official after two final steps in the election process. Each state needs to certify their results and the popular vote gets turned into the electoral vote. Once that’s complete, Wisconsin’s ten electoral votes can be cast.

Brian Jackson / stock.adobe.com

One of the defining issues in the latter days of President Trump’s presidential campaign was low-income housing. The president claimed that President-elect Joe Biden would force suburban communities to build low-income housing, which Trump claimed would bring crime and lower home values.

Courtesy of Wisconsin DNR

Half of Wisconsin is covered in forests, so managing all that land is no easy task. It’s up to the Wisconsin Division of Forestry, which falls under the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), to keep the land healthy.

The forestry division works with federal, county, tribal and private landowners. It’s a team of about 420 people scattered across the state. And, the person leading this division is Heather Berklund.  

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Politics 101 Youtube

Throughout the history of our nation, outgoing presidential candidates have set aside party differences to accept the result of elections — even contentious ones.

President Donald Trump, so far, has not conceded to President-elect Joe Biden and continues to fight the results of the election. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have failed to say that they’ll accept the will of the voters. The president began making those statements months before people went to the polls.

Brianna Seipel

Living with trauma and injustice is undoubtedly difficult. Those living with these experiences find different ways of overcoming them, and one way is through art and writing. That’s what the Milwaukee exhibit Rise and Thrive: A Lives in Landscape series is all about.

saksit / stock.adobe.com

  

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the latest Republican challenge to invalidate the Affordable Care Act. This has been another chapter in America’s ongoing red-versus-blue battle in trying to shape the way we deliver and pay for health care. 

freshidea / stock.adobe.com

In 2020, Latinos became the largest minority voting bloc in the United States. To put that into perspective, a young Latino turns 18 every 30 seconds. And as votes were tabulated last week, the power of the Latino vote was demonstrated.

It both gave President Donald Trump the numbers to win Florida and President-elect Joe Biden the numbers to flip a historically red state like Arizona.

Niche Book Bar / Facebook

There are many revered Black authors in American literature – Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou and Langston Hughes to name a few. Their work is often centered on the Black American experience, which can often be defined by oppression.

Teran Powell

Even before President-elect Joe Biden won the 2020 election, President Donald Trump began claiming there was fraud. These claims haven't been backed up by any evidence, but that hasn’t stopped other Republicans from siding with these claims and announcing investigations.

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