Maayan Silver

News Reporter

Maayan Silver started as a reporter for WUWM News in March 2018. Before that, she spent two years as an assistant producer for WUWM's Lake Effect.

Maayan was previously a criminal defense attorney.

She loves listening to people's stories, learning about different cultures, music of all sorts, and dogs.

Maayan Silver

Near Washington Park on Milwaukee’s west side, Nancy Yarbrough runs the Humble Beginnings organization for women facing domestic violence, drug addiction or sex trafficking.

In homage to Jeffrey, a 17-year-old boy who lost his life to human trafficking, the organization gives away fleece blankets to victims and others who need help. Yarbrough says the blankets were hand-sewn and donated by a 15-year-old girl from Tomah.

Cincinart/stock.adobe.com

Michelle is a sex trafficking survivor. She says it was a milestone when she started sharing her experiences. “For a long time, due to the fear of being discriminated against and preconceived notions of what it is to be trafficked, I was really too afraid to step out and tell people,” says Michelle, who’s originally from Milwaukee.

It’s important to note that Michelle isn’t the woman’s real name, but we’re using it to protect her identity. Also, Lotus Legal Clinic connected us with her and vouches for her story. 

AtjananC./stock.adobe.com

Milwaukee has a reputation as a hub for sex trafficking. So, what is it? Who is it affecting? What are the numbers?

Here's a primer on what the crime looks like here in Milwaukee.

What It Is  

Sex traffickers get an adult to exchange sex for money through force, fraud or coercion. But it’s also considered trafficking to have a child exchange sex for money, under any circumstance.

Traffickers may separate victims from family, control their lives and even move them from one city to another.

Lauren Sigfusson

The National Basketball Association playoffs get underway Saturday, as 16 teams begin vying for the league championship. The Milwaukee Bucks had the best regular-season record, and city enthusiasm for the team includes dyeing a local river green.

On Friday, city officials dyed the Milwaukee River green, one of the Bucks' colors. The impressed fan Taman Herring, who likens it to the color of money. 

"In America, money makes the world go around, the river is now green," he says. "So, with that being said, go green, go Bucks!"

milwaukee-lion-simba-library-museum
Courtesy of Milwaukee Public Museum

In the file of "truth is stranger than fiction," the Milwaukee downtown library was once home to a lion cub. While it seems fantastical, he lived there back when the library shared a building with the Milwaukee Public Museum.

And Heidi Havens heard about the big cat while working as a librarian elsewhere in the city. So, she wrote to Bubbler Talk — our series that answers your questions about Milwaukee’s people, places and culture — asking us to find out what happened to him.

Maayan Silver

With the April 2 election less than a week away, the two Wisconsin Supreme Court candidates squared off in a heated, final debate Tuesday. 

Judges Lisa Neubauer and Brian Hagedorn are vying for the seat of outgoing liberal Justice Shirley Abrahamson. Whoever wins would be on the court for a 10-year term. The candidates — both currently state appeals court judges — highlighted what they said is a neutral judicial philosophy.

Maayan Silver

Community members and leaders turned out Thursday night to support the Muslim community in Milwaukee and worldwide. It was a vigil in response to the terror attack in New Zealand last week when a white supremacist gunned down 50 people at two mosques.

The vigil was held at the Islamic Society of Milwaukee. It opened with 10th graders Obaid Grays and Samawia Akhter reading and translating from the Qur’an.

Astrid Stawiarz / Getty Images

About three years ago, now 14-year-old Marley Dias decided to collect and donate 1,000 children’s books featuring black girls as the lead character. It turned into a viral social media campaign with the hashtag #1000BlackGirlBooks

Maayan Silver

While the race for Wisconsin Supreme Court is officially non-partisan, during this election season appeals court Judge Brian Hagedorn is being backed by conservatives, and fellow appeals court Judge Lisa Neubauer is backed by liberals. 

As the April 2 election approaches, the candidates say that partisanship has no place on the court, and both say they want to improve the public’s confidence in an independent judiciary.

Maayan Silver

It was high spirits at the Fiserv Forum Monday as Wisconsin politicians and Democratic Party officials announced that Milwaukee was chosen to host the 2020 Democratic National Convention (DNC). And the history of this decision was not lost on Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

"This city was founded in 1846. The state in 1848," he says. "And for the first time in the history of the city and the state, Milwaukee and Wisconsin will be hosting a major political national convention."

Screenshot/Wisconsin Public Television

New Democratic Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers delivered his first biennial budget proposal to the Republican-controlled Legislature Thursday night. At issue is a multi-billion-dollar spending plan that affects nearly every person in Wisconsin. Evers has been unveiling many of the policy points over the past few weeks, on issues from education to the environment. Republican leaders are calling it a “liberal wish list.”

Maayan Silver

Questions and concerns arose about Foxconn’s plans in Racine County a couple of weeks ago. Reports surfaced that the company would be shifting its plans from manufacturing LCD screens to research and development. Then Foxconn said it was committed to manufacturing on the site — after a conversation with President Trump.

Maayan Silver

Last weekend, the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music sent an ensemble of high school students to a prestigious jazz competition in New York City. It was a once in a lifetime experience for the quintet of five Milwaukee-area high school seniors — to play at the Charles Mingus Jazz Festival and High School Competition.

Maayan Silver

Three former Milwaukee County Jail employees have pleaded guilty in the dehydration death of Terrill Thomas. Thomas’ death shed a spotlight on the jail’s health services provider, which was charged criminally in his death. Milwaukee County is taking steps to change the health services provider at the jail, who is in charge of both medical and mental health care.

Maayan Silver

Two former Milwaukee County Jail employees are awaiting sentencing for their role in the jail dehydration death of Terrill Thomas in 2016. All three employees who were criminally charged were fired for their role in Thomas’ death—and one has been sentenced already.

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