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

Trade talks between China and the United States fell apart a few weeks ago. Now, the two countries are promising to levy new tariffs on each other’s goods. One commodity caught in the crosshairs: American-grown ginseng root.

Chuck Cooper Foundation

When you think of the NBA in Milwaukee - of course, the Milwaukee Bucks come to mind. We’ve got Giannis, a fiesty team, and a new arena. But what was pro basketball like here before the Bucks?

Lauren Sigfusson

Dancing in the streets — it’s something you don’t often see in Milwaukee, let alone on the corner of Water Street and Wisconsin Avenue. But that’s exactly what Angel Alvarez was doing during last Friday’s lunch hour.

With earphones in, he was bringing out the funk in an eye-catching outfit. For about an hour, he was showcasing his range of moves: mostly improvisation, but he says also interpretations of waltz, tango, foxtrot, rumba and cha-cha.

Screenshot / Wisconsin Public Television

Republicans on the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee stripped Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ proposed Medicaid expansion Thursday. The committee voted against it 11-4, along party lines.

It was one of a number of measures the panel rejected, as members began acting on Evers' biennial spending plan. It only took about a half hour for GOP lawmakers to slice 131 of Evers’ fiscal and policy proposals — cutting $1.4 billion in spending.

Maayan Silver

Rainstorms are a challenge to clean water. They can cause flooding and potentially damaging runoff. But utilities, landscape architects and others are finding solutions — visible everywhere from the county grounds to your neighborhood ice cream shop.

Maayan Silver

For the past week, WUWM has been reporting on sex trafficking — what it is, who's affected, and how activists and

Lacey's Hope Project

Sex trafficking has been reported in all 72 counties across Wisconsin — earning the state a reputation as a hub for the crime. Some elected officials are working to end the problem.

State lawmakers have considered a number of bills in recent years in an effort to toughen laws pertaining to sex trafficking. Federal and state law defines the crime as the use of force, fraud or coercion to compel someone to have sex for money.

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

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