Marti Mikkelson

News Reporter

Marti, a Waukesha native, joined the WUWM news team in February of 1999. She is also host of WUWM's weekly political podcast, Capitol Notes.

Previously, she was an anchor and reporter at WTMJ in Milwaukee, WIBA in Madison, and WLIP in Kenosha.

Marti’s work has been recognized by RTNDA, the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, Associated Press, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated, and the Milwaukee Press Club.

Marti earned a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse. Marti currently lives on her favorite side of town – Milwaukee’s east side.

» Contact WUWM News

Marti Mikkelson / WUWM

Thousands of protesters marched in Milwaukee Sunday as the city saw its tenth consecutive day of demonstrations in the wake of the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. Members of the Milwaukee Bucks also joined the protests. More than 7,000 people gathered at the Fiserv Forum in downtown Milwaukee early Sunday afternoon.

Bucks guard Sterling Brown called for nine seconds of silence — symbolic of the nearly nine minutes in which a Minneapolis police officer knelt on George Floyd’s neck, causing his death. 

Marti Mikkelson

Hundreds of people turned out Wednesday for a protest at the Islamic Society on Milwaukee’s south side. Demonstrators spoke out against police brutality and the death of George Floyd, a black man who died May 25 at the hands of a white Minneapolis police officer. 

>>Read WUWM & NPR Full Protest Coverage

Marti Mikkelson

Hundreds of people grabbed brooms and rakes Monday to help clean up Martin Luther King Drive, which is in the heart of a minority-owned business district north of downtown Milwaukee. The district saw significant damage this past weekend when peaceful protests turned violent over three consecutive nights.

Katie Wheeler/flickr

Department of Workforce Development Secretary Caleb Frostman testified before a state Senate committee last week about why many Wisconsinites still haven’t received unemployment benefits. Of about 2.5 million claims filed, nearly 750,000 are unpaid.

Courtesy of Samer Ghani

Protests are happening around the country following the May 25 death of George Floyd, a black man who died when a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck. Here you'll find updates on protests happening in the Milwaukee area.

Check out all of WUWM's protest coverage here:

Stephen Maturen / Getty Images

Demonstrations are scheduled for Friday in Milwaukee to protest deaths caused by police officers. One rally demands justice for Joel Acevedo, another one protests the death of George Floyd

Acevedo is the man who died after a fight at the home of a Milwaukee police officer. The officer has been charged in connection with the death.

Maayan Silver

A group of Wisconsin residents filed a federal lawsuit late last week challenging some local stay-at-home orders that were put in place after the state Supreme Court threw out Gov. Tony Evers’ statewide policy. The lawsuit asks a federal judge to declare the local orders unconstitutional.

In this week’s Capitol Notes conversation, WUWM's Marti Mikkelson asked JR Ross of what he thinks will happen with this and another challenge that's before the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Chuck Quirmbach

Gov. Tony Evers continues to dole out the $2 billion the federal government gave Wisconsin to cope with the coronavirus pandemic. On Thursday, Evers announced he would allocate $100 million to long-term care facilities, home and community-based services, and emergency medical services.

Evers says he recognizes the burden the response to COVID-19 has placed on such health care workers.

Andy Manis / Getty Images

The conservative Wisconsin Supreme Court overturned Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ safer-at-home order last week, effective immediately. Schools are still closed, but most nonessential businesses can resume operations — unless local governments have their own stay-at-home restrictions. At this time, there's no statewide plan for protecting public safety or reopening the economy.

City of Oakland

With social distancing recommended to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Milwaukee is one step closer to closing certain streets to through traffic, repurposing them for walking, biking or running. The Public Works committee voted Wednesday to advance a resolution to the full Common Council. It would create an Active Streets program similar to those in other cities.

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

The Wisconsin Supreme Court is expected to decide soon whether to overturn Gov. Tony Evers’ safer-at-home order, which closed nonessential businesses and put other restrictions in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The order is set to expire on May 26. Republicans who control the Legislature are challenging the order, largely citing its impact on the economy.

Chuck Quirmbach

Emotions ran high Tuesday, as the Wisconsin Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that pits Republicans who control the state Legislature against Democratic Gov. Tony Evers and his safer-at-home order.

Evers issued the order in late March to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. It mandates people to stay at home unless they’re performing essential work or errands, or exercising outdoors. The order also required nonessential businesses to close and banned public gatherings.

Chuck Quirmbach

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has agreed to hear a lawsuit brought by Republicans in the state Legislature, challenging Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ safer-at-home order. Republicans cried foul when Evers extended the order to May 26, amid concerns over the spread of the coronavirus.

They’re demanding that he lift the order and take steps to reopen the state’s economy. Interested parties filed briefs last week and the court, which holds a 5-2 conservative majority, will hear arguments on Tuesday. 

Screenshot of Milwaukee County Daily Update on Covid-19 Zoom meeting.

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele signed one last ordinance into law Wednesday before leaving office at the end of the week. The measure reaffirms the county’s commitment to racial equity and eliminating health disparities.

This comes a year after the county declared racism a public health crisis.

Audrey Nowakowski

Updated Wednesday at 9:08 a.m.:

Thirty-four Wisconsin state parks, forests and recreational areas closed for three weeks will be able to reopen on Friday as temperatures increase across the state and cases of coronavirus level off, Gov. Tony Evers announced Tuesday.

Maayan Silver / WUWM

Police estimate that 1,500 people rallied at the State Capitol on Friday, demanding that Gov. Tony Evers lift his safer-at-home order, so non-essential businesses can reopen. Evers recently extended the order about a month to May 26 because of the continued spread of the coronavirus.

Many people at the event carried signs — some of them read "End The Tyranny" and "All Jobs Are Essential." Most of the protesters stood next to each other, not wearing masks or practicing social distancing.

Lauren Sigfusson

The Milwaukee Police Department will soon be enforcing a new city ordinance – $500 fines to people who don’t comply with Gov. Tony Evers’ safer-at-home order. Police Chief Alfonso Morales says officers will begin issuing citations next week, but instances will be rare, with fines typically being imposed as an addition to a more serious offense.


Gov. Tony Evers has extended his safer-at-home order to May 26 due to fears over the coronavirus. He also announced that schools will be closed through the academic year. Republicans who control the Legislature are opposed to the extension, saying they want the economy to reopen, and have threatened to file a lawsuit with the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

In this week’s Capitol Notes conversation, JR Ross of tells WUWM's Marti Mikkelson that there's growing frustration with the governor’s order among the GOP.

Angelov /

For Bubbler Talk, Diane from West Allis asked us how she should handle food deliveries to her door during the COVID-19 pandemic. Can the coronavirus be on those items, and if so, what’s the best way to wipe them down? Diane resides in independent living and says the pandemic has sparked fear in her.

“The virus thing yes, has scared me to death because of my underlying chronic lung condition, which is under the umbrella of COPD,” she says.

Courtesy of Jill Karofsky

After a bitter battle, incumbent Justice Daniel Kelly has lost his bid for a 10-year term on the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Dane County Circuit Judge Jill Karofsky defeated Kelly Monday in an unusual election that took place during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the office is nonpartisan, Karofsky is backed by Democrats and Kelly is backed by Republicans. Karofsky’s victory narrows the court’s conservative majority from 5-2 to 4-3.

The results of Wisconsin’s presidential primary, state Supreme Court race, and spring local elections will be released Monday, under unprecedented circumstances related to the coronavirus.

It won’t be your typical election night, with victory gatherings and supporters watching returns come in over the course of a few hours.

In this week’s Capitol Notes conversation, WUWM's Marti Mikkelson spoke with JR Ross of, about what this unusual “election night” might look like.

Corey Coyle / Wikimedia Commons

Concerns over the coronavirus have prompted the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to close the Department of Motor Vehicle service centers. The state says only certain in-person transactions will be conducted — and by appointment.

The new restrictions took effect Wednesday.

Marti Mikkelson

Despite multiple lawsuits and attempts by Gov. Tony Evers to move Wisconsin’s election, voting went on as scheduled Tuesday during the coronavirus pandemic. Thousands of people stood in line – some of them for hours – at five polling places throughout Milwaukee, waiting for their chance to vote.

City leaders say as a result of court rulings about 750 absentee ballots won’t count because they don’t have a witness signature. Despite these issues, Milwaukee’s top election official says things ran smoothly.

Al Bello / Getty Images

The state health department continues tracking the coronavirus and COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin. After receiving shipments from the national stockpile, officials say they've been busy distributing personal protective gear to health care workers. The update was part of a news briefing Monday.

>>The Latest WUWM & NPR Coronavirus Coverage
>>WUWM Coronavirus Blog: April 6-12


Wisconsin appears to be moving ahead with Election Day on Tuesday, April 7, despite multiple lawsuits to move the date because of the coronavirus – and an 11th-hour plea from Democratic Gov. Tony Evers. He called the Republican-controlled Legislature into a special session to push the date to late May and conduct an all-mail election. The GOP went into special session Saturday as required, and then immediately adjourned without taking up Evers’ proposal.

Courtesy of Daniel Kelly

Wisconsin’s presidential primary and spring elections will be held next Tuesday, April 7. Two hopefuls are vying for a 10-year term on the state Supreme Court. Conservative incumbent Daniel Kelly faces a challenge from Dane County Circuit Judge Jill Karofsky, who is supported by Democrats. Although the position is officially non-partisan, the court currently has a 5-2 conservative majority. Democrats are hoping to narrow that lead to 4-3 if Karofsky wins.

We've interviewed both candidates.

Courtesy of Jill Karofsky

Wisconsin’s presidential primary and spring elections will be held next Tuesday, April 7. Two hopefuls are vying for a 10-year term on the state Supreme Court. Conservative incumbent Daniel Kelly faces a challenge from Dane County Circuit Judge Jill Karofsky, who is supported by Democrats. Although the position is officially non-partisan, the court currently has a 5-2 conservative majority. Democrats are hoping that with a Karofsky victory, the lead would be narrowed to 4-3. 

We've interviewed both candidates.

Marti Mikkelson / WUWM

Wisconsin faces a severe shortage of poll workers for next week’s in-person spring election because of the coronavirus pandemic. That’s according to the Wisconsin Election Commission. It released a survey of municipal clerks across the state Tuesday. Some clerks said they are so short-staffed that they won’t be able to conduct an in-person election at all.

Gov. Tony Evers and the Republican-controlled Legislature are still working on an agreement that would provide state assistance to those affected by COVID-19. Evers asked lawmakers Saturday to approve more than $800 million, according to The sweeping bill would halt enforcement of Voter ID, ban evictions, and prevent layoffs of school employees during a public health emergency.

Teran Powell

People who have incarcerated loved ones say they’re concerned about COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, spreading through Wisconsin’s prisons. They say it’s nearly impossible for inmates to practice social distancing, when they are in such close quarters.

Advocacy groups are calling on Gov. Tony Evers to take immediate steps to alleviate overcrowded prisons. The requests come as two staffers in the prison system have tested positive for the coronavirus.