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. 

Maayan Silver

Updated Thursday at 2:59 p.m. CT 

Wisconsin is a key swing state in the 2020 presidential election and it's seen a notable shift in how people vote because of the coronavirus pandemic.

With so many people planning to vote absentee, WUWM spoke with Claire Woodall-Vogg, the top election official in Milwaukee, about 10 steps to help make sure your Wisconsin absentee ballot is counted:

1. Request your absentee ballot early

Arts @ Large

Nicole Acosta is a Milwaukee native and a first-generation multi-disciplinary Mexican artist. Her work reflects the exploration of her identity, experience and storytelling. Her photography work, The HOOPS Portrait Project, features portraits of Black and brown women in their hoop earrings and sharing their stories of what the jewelry means to them.

Evy Mages / Getty Images

Russia is interfering with the 2020 presidential election. That’s according to an assessment by the CIA, which found that Russian President Vladimir Putin and other senior officials are aware of and are probably leading efforts to help President Donald Trump win his reelection campaign.

Veneratio / stock.adobe.com

This past year has been extraordinary in so many ways. The pandemic, the recession, and the impending election have created an endless news cycle that at times seems surreal — like something out of a book.

Maria Sbytova / stock.adobe.com

Since the pandemic began, Milwaukee restaurants have found interesting ways to stay open and keep business going. Many of them have relied on an increase in takeout orders and some restaurants have been offering outside dining.

Though, as the temperatures drop in Wisconsin, where does that leave restaurants that have depended on outdoor dining to increase capacity?

Tom Daykin has been reporting on these issues for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He's been looking at how restaurants are preparing for their first winter during the pandemic.

Peter Mulvey & SistaStrings, Immortal Girlfriend, You Win !!!, Fuzzysurf

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.

sudok1 / stock.adobe.com

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s office expects to break 2019’s fatal overdose rate by nearly 100 deaths if current trends continue.

According to a Sept. 15 tweet, in the span of one week the office investigated: 43 natural deaths, eight homicides, eight probable overdoses, six accidental deaths, five COVID-19 deaths, and two suicides. 

Courtesy of Jewish Museum Milwaukee

The past year has been difficult for museums. At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, many scrambled to move their work into the digital space. As the pandemic continued, there was the question of how to keep visitors engaged in a nontraditional museum space.

Now, as in-person exhibits begin reopening, there’s a question of how to engage visitors in person and safely.

Marina Zlochin / stock.adobe.com

Masks are a proven and effective tool in fighting the spread of COVID-19, but some people still resist wearing them. Just last week, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers extended the statewide mask mandate until Nov. 21 as coronavirus cases continue to rise in the state.

Screenshot / Historic Milwaukee, Inc / YouTube

Historic Milwaukee’s Doors Open event is usually one of the most popular fall activities in the city. It allows people to explore sites and buildings normally off limits to the public. But with the coronavirus pandemic, the organization had to go virtual.

Pelo Blanco Photo / stock.adobe.com

As the weather shifts to fall, there’s also a shift in the sky. While it’s now technically autumn, the fall sky offers us the best of both summer and winter stargazing.

Lake Effect astronomy contributor Jean Creighton shares how to find the best constellations and planets the fall sky has to offer:

1. Summer Triangle

Fizkes / stock.adobe.com

The people who work at big businesses and corporate jobs in the greater Milwaukee area are overwhelmingly white. Even before protests over racial inequity and social justice began months ago, the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) had set out to increase Black and brown representation at Milwaukee-area corporations.

BottlewoodMKE / commons.wikimedia.org

When we hear the word “Holocaust,” we tend to think of Nazi Germany. But a local organization known as, America’s Black Holocaust Museum, invites us to look at that word and concept in a different light. 

Image courtesy of SapSap

The word "sap-sap" literally translated from Laotian means "delicious delicious." SapSap owner Alex Hanesakda strives not only for good taste, but for community outreach as well.

Hanesakda learned the traditions of Lao cooking from his parents, who used food as a way to connect with neighbors when they settled in Burlington, Wis. after fleeing Laos as war refugees.


This week the U.S. Senate has been negotiating a new stimulus package as the country enters the sixth month of the COVID-19 pandemic. Negotiations have seemingly stalled with Republicans and Democrats at odds on how much money to give to states and municipalities that are struggling to survive during a historic economic downturn.

Ocskay Mark / stock.adobe.com

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrust many of us into isolation — both physically and in some cases socially. While this isolation can feel disheartening, for most of us it will be temporary. But that’s not the case for people with dementia.

Aliza Baran / Milwaukee Magazine

The recent protests and demonstrations for racial justice and police accountability are undoubtedly some of the defining moments of this era. For some, this summer was a breaking point. But for others, like Khalil Coleman, it was the next step of a movement that’s been building for years. 

Coleman is a local community activist and protest organizer, whose work has been crucial to demonstrations in Wisconsin. He was profiled in an article for this month’s Milwaukee Magazine, alongside fellow protest leaders Franky Nitty and Vaun Mayes. 

Alison Becker & Kimmy Gatewood, Tibo Pinsard, Rosella Joseph, Paulina Bugembe

While some larger cinema chains are just starting to open and show films to audiences again, yet another Milwaukee festival moved to a virtual platform this year.

The Milwaukee Short Film Festival usually takes place over two days at the Fox Bay Cinema. But as the coronavirus hit during the festival’s submission period, organizers realized they had to change course.  

Microgen / stock.adobe.com

Ever since COVID-19 was discovered and started spreading, scientists around the world have not only been trying to learn all about it and treatments for it but also how to quickly develop a vaccine for it.

In this worldwide effort, the company AstraZeneca has now started a large-scale human trial of its coronavirus vaccine in the United States, with hopes to enroll up to thirty thousand adults.

Screenshot / WUWM / Facebook

WUWM is partnering with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee PBS and the Milwaukee Public Library on an initiative we call Listen MKE. Its goal: help Milwaukee’s north side residents get the information they want and need. More specifically, we want to better understand what's most important to people who live in these Milwaukee neighborhoods and help fill information gaps.

Rostislav Sedlacek / stock.adobe.com

Child abuse is far too prevalent in Wisconsin and across the country, but it’s not always easy to spot the maltreatment. Ideally, that’s where child-abuse pediatricians come in to help. But what happens when they get it wrong?

Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images

The Milwaukee Bucks shocked some fans on Aug. 26 when they chose to not take the court for their scheduled playoff game in protest of the shooting of Jacob Blake. Blake was left paralyzed after being shot in the back multiple times by Kenosha police Officer Rusten Sheskey.

Nile, Daydream Retrievers, Desi, The Quilz

As we all muddle through the dog days of summer, it can be refreshing to have a good summer playlist. Although most live shows have been put on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic, Milwaukee musicians continue to make music and, as always, Matt Wild has been listening. Wild is the co-founder of Milwaukee Record, which describes itself as an online source for music, culture, and gentle sarcasm. 

Chuck Quirmbach

When George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer, people in Wauwatosa focused their attention on a local police officer responsible for killing 3 people on the job. 

Samer Ghani

As most things in our lives have turned virtual, it turns out tourism can as well. VISIT Milwaukee collaborated with two photographers and videographers to create a series of videos narrated by Milwaukee community members to help people explore the city virtually.

Courtesy of Kelsey Kaufmann

The coronavirus pandemic has changed what we view as normal in a lot of ways. It’s closed bars, restaurants; made us wear cloth coverings on our faces. It’s also put a hush on music and arts venues across Milwaukee. Concerts and big events aren’t conducive to reducing the spread of the coronavirus, and digital programming presents revenue challenges for places like Cactus Club.

Tap10 / stock.adobe.com

In 2008, Matthew Desmond began studying eviction and poverty here in Milwaukee. That research became the book Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, which explores the impact of evictions on Milwaukee’s most vulnerable communities. Now, Milwaukee is once again staring down an eviction crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in soaring unemployment and eviction filings are beginning to mount. 

Noel / stock.adobe.com

The Democratic National Convention was expected to have a $200 million economic impact in Milwaukee. In the days following the announcement that Milwaukee beat out its competitors to host the DNC, there was a lot of energy and excitement, especially among those hoping to get a piece of that $200 million pie.

Becca Schimmel

The Democratic National Convention was supposed to include 15,000 volunteers until the coronavirus pandemic forced the event to be a virtual convention. A few weeks before the DNC was set to begin in Milwaukee many of the volunteers were told they would no longer be needed. 

Listen MKE: Milwaukee's Vision Boards For The Future

Aug 14, 2020
Imani Ray

WUWM is partnering with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee PBS, and the Milwaukee Public Library on an initiative called Listen MKE. The goal is to help Milwaukee’s north side residents get the information they want and need.

More specifically, we want to understand what’s most important to people who live in these Milwaukee neighborhoods and help fill information gaps.