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.

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Wisconsin is seeing a pretty severe flu season. State health officials say more than 600 people have been hospitalized since October, and 15 have died, including a child. Flu seasons typically span from October to May.

Tom Haupt keeps track of influenza cases for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. He says hospitalizations increased dramatically over the holidays, and the numbers so far are higher than the state has seen in the previous five seasons. Haupt says one thing is different this year: younger people are being hit harder.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Republican and Democratic leaders met at the State Capitol last week to place names on the state presidential primary ballot. Democrats approved 14 names for the April 7 election. They include Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar. But GOP officials submitted and approved only one name — that of President Donald Trump, even though other Republicans have thrown their hats into the ring.  

WUWM's Marti Mikkelson asked JR Ross of wispolitics.com about the decision in this week's Capitol Notes conversation.

Courtesy of TJ Meyers-Jansky

Every summer on Father’s Day weekend, a huge festival used to take place in West Allis. It was called “West Allis Western Days.” It started in 1964 and saw its heyday in the '80s and '90s. Its signature event was an elaborate parade that included up to 500 horses and dozens of marching bands.

And then one day, it just ended.

Phil Reimer grew up going. He still wonders what happened to the festival, so he reached out to Bubbler Talk to find out.

Courtesy of Jill Karofsky and Daniel Kelly

Updated April 2 at 12:59 p.m. CT

On April 7, Wisconsin voters will decide which candidate will earn a 10-year term on the state Supreme Court. Incumbent Justice Daniel Kelly faces a challenge from Dane County Circuit Judge Jill Karofsky.

Although the office is non-partisan, the court currently has a 5-2 conservative majority. Kelly is supported by conservatives. Liberals have endorsed Karofsky.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

For this week's Capitol Notes, we look ahead to the political stories that'll likely make headlines in Wisconsin in 2020. Probably the biggest is Wisconsin's role in the presidential race. President Trump narrowly won the state in 2016, which means the spotlight is on Wisconsin this year, along with a few other swing states. 

WUWM's Marti Mikkelson asked JR Ross of wispolitics.com what he thinks the presidential race will look like in Wisconsin.

Courtesy of Daniel Kelly

Updated on Monday, Jan. 6, 2020 at 12:35 p.m.

When Wisconsin residents cast votes in the spring primary next month, they'll find three candidates on the ballot for state Supreme Court. Incumbent Justice Daniel Kelly faces a challenge from Marquette University Law School professor Ed Fallone and Dane County Circuit Judge Jill Karofsky. The top two vote-getters will advance to the April election.  Liberals are supporting Fallone and Karofsky, while conservatives are backing Kelly.  

We interviewed all three candidates.

MAAYAN SILVER

A conservative law firm is asking a judge to find the Wisconsin Elections Commission in contempt for not purging more than 200,000 voters from the rolls.

A judge last month ordered the purge because the voters may have moved.

The conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty says the Elections Commission is violating state law and must immediately drop the voters from the rolls or face fines.

Courtesy of Jill Karofsky

Updated on Monday, Jan. 6, 2020 at 12:36 p.m.  

Not only will Wisconsin be a battleground in the presidential race this year, it may also see a contentious campaign for State Supreme Court. Marquette Law Professor Ed Fallone and Dane County Circuit Judge Jill Karofsky are looking to replace incumbent Justice Daniel Kelly. The primary is next month, with the general election in April.  

Liberals have endorsed Fallone and Karofsky. Kelly, who was appointed in 2016 by then-Republican Gov. Scott Walker is supported by conservatives.

Courtesy of Ed Fallone

Updated on Monday, Jan. 6, 2020 at 12:38 p.m.  

This spring, Wisconsin voters will decide which candidate will earn a 10-year term on the state Supreme Court. Incumbent Justice Daniel Kelly faces a challenge from Marquette Law professor Ed Fallone and Dane County Circuit Judge Jill Karofsky. 

The primary will be held Feb. 18, followed by the general election on April 7. That's the same day as Wisconsin's presidential primary.

For this week's Capitol Notes, we examine the top political stories of the year.  It began with the inauguration of Democratic Gov. Tony Evers.  He defeated Republican Scott Walker the previous fall. 

Evers' relationship with the GOP-controlled legislature was contentious from the start.  Republicans passed laws before Evers took office, limiting Evers' powers, as well as those of new Democratic Attorney General Josh Kaul.  The move sparked protests at the State Capitol and a number of lawsuits.  

State Capitol/Adobe stock

Foxconn is back in the news, with questions about whether it will qualify for up to $3 billion in state tax credits in coming years.  The Taiwanese electronics giant signed a contract with the state when the company was planning to build large LCD screens at a huge plant in Racine County, creating up to 13,000 jobs.  But Foxconn has since reduced the size of its plant and has said it'll manufacture smaller LCD screens.  It's not clear how many jobs will be created.

Screenshot / City of Milwaukee

The Milwaukee Common Council Tuesday filled a spot on the city’s powerful Fire and Police Commission. Aldermen confirmed retired Milwaukee police officer Raymond Robakowski to serve on the city’s public safety oversight board. The council gave approval to Mayor Tom Barrett’s nominee despite objections from community groups.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The Wisconsin National Guard's top commander recently agreed to resign after a scathing federal report found he violated laws in investigating sexual assault complaints. Gov. Tony Evers asked Major General Donald Dunbar to step down. In this week's Capitol Notes conversation, WUWM's Marti Mikkelson asked JR Ross of wispolitics.com if there could be more political fallout from the incident.

Althouse

Concerns about school safety rocked Wisconsin last week. In both Waukesha and Oshkosh, authorities shot and wounded a student who brought a weapon to school. Threats were made in a number of other school districts. The events prompted Democratic Gov. Tony Evers to call for more mental health services and more police officers in the schools. Republican leaders welcomed Evers' proposals — after rejecting his call last month for a special session to take up gun control measures.  

Marti Mikkelson

We haven’t heard much from former Republican Gov. Scott Walker since he narrowly lost to Democrat Tony Evers more than a year ago. But on Tuesday, Walker answered questions on a variety of topics in downtown Milwaukee.

Walker spoke to a small crowd of about 40 people at the Milwaukee Press Club luncheon. He updated the gathering on what he’s been doing these days, which includes leading a national effort for a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

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