Susan Bence

Environmental Reporter

Susan Bence entered broadcasting in an untraditional way. After years of avid public radio listening, Susan returned to school and earned a bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. She interned for WUWM News and worked with the Lake Effect team, before being hired full-time as a WUWM News reporter / producer.

Susan is now WUWM's environmental reporter, the station's first. Her work has been recognized by the Milwaukee Press Club, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, and the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association.

Susan worked with Prevent Blindness Wisconsin for 20 years, studied foreign languages at UWM, and loves to travel.

Susan Bence

Updated on July 9, 2019  

It looks like Wisconsin's largest landfill is putting off retirement. The owners of Orchard Ridge are asking the Department of Natural Resources to allow them to dig up some 1.3 million cubic yards of contaminated waste and move it elsewhere on the 725-acre property.

Susan Bence

It’s the time of year when many people are spending time outdoors. But some worry about encountering mosquitoes or ticks that might be carrying a disease.

So, just how real is the threat? And what can you do to protect yourself from ticks and mosquitoes?

Susan Bence

Picture this. You're in a field in central Wisconsin. You're one of hundreds of people squeezing as close as possible to a 16-by-12 foot elevated track as 12 handcrafted shoebox-sized wooden vehicles prepare to compete.

That's exactly what people were doing recently — including yours truly — at the 6th annual Green Mini Demo Derby. The derby is a highlight of the Energy Fair in Custer, Wis.

Mary L. Nohl Fund

Makeal Flammini is a 2018 Mary L. Nohl Fund Fellowships For Individual Artists' recipient. Flammini has two young children, and she describes herself as a mom who hasn't slept in four years.

Flammini's work, along with that of all of the Nohl fellows, is currently on view at the Haggerty Museum of Art. Her show,  titled ‘How About I Eat You’, was inspired by a dream Flammini's daughter shared with her.  

International Joint Commission

The International Joint Commission, or IJC, may not be an organization you’ve heard much about, but it’s got an important job. It keeps track of how well the United States and Canada are doing in protecting the Great Lakes.

The IJC was created over a century ago to avoid conflict over all waters shared by the United States and Canada.

Susan Bence

Kewaunee County residents will gather at the county fairgrounds Thursday evening to learn from a scientist why so many of their wells have been contaminated.

Mark Borchardt is a USDA microbiologist who's been studying the problem for years. In 2017, more than 60% of randomly selected Kewaunee County wells contained fecal microbes. They can come from humans – through septic systems – or animals.

Susan Bence

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers officially assumed his role as chair of the Conference of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers Friday as he welcomed the group to Milwaukee.

“Today, we are gathering to protect this natural asset that is the source of our continuing prosperity,” Evers said.

The group formed over 30 years ago to cultivate environmentally-responsible economic growth.

Kate Redmond

You may not be a fan of insects, but they're both important and in decline. Just ask interpretive naturalist Kate Redmond.

"If you like birds, that’s what birds eat. And if you like a lot of other small animals, that’s what they eat. And if you like to eat strawberries, it’s insects that pollinate them. It’s a domino,” Redmond says.

Cream City Hostel

Carolyn Weber has been dreaming of opening a hostel in Milwaukee for six years. Now, Cream City Hostel is coming to life in Riverwest. 

Hostels are historically places where young people can sleep cheap and simple. Over the years, they’ve evolved to attract young and old, individuals or families.

The hostel is on the corner of Center and Holton Streets in Riverwest. It's in what was a grand neighborhood bank that Weber says was built in 1920.

Susan Bence

We're not talking about Dorothy's ruby slippers or the Wicked Witch of The West. This is a story that started 10 years ago, when a small group of volunteers devoted to conservation in Ozaukee County designed a day of exploration called the Treasures of Oz.

Chuck Quirmbach

A judge recently ruled in favor of Racine's request to divert millions of gallons of water from Lake Michigan for Foxconn Technology Group.

On Tuesday, the environmental groups that challenged the diversion issued a statement.

Racine had long argued that it was equipped to deliver the water and believed the diversion would be allowed by the Great Lakes Compact. 

Susan Bence

City leaders want to create a buzz around sustainability initiatives that have blossomed in Milwaukee’s Lindsay Heights neighborhood. There’s even a map encouraging people to tour its sustainable projects, including rooftop solar and stormwater management installations.

Susan Bence

When a child tests high for lead, Milwaukee’s health department mobilizes. A nurse begins conferring with the family while an inspector looks for sources of lead in the home.

Thursday during the Public Safety and Health Committee meeting, Alderman Jose Perez said he wants to make sure that those families living in rental properties can’t be evicted by their landlords.

Perez says he and his colleagues have been hearing from concerned Milwaukee residents.

Susan Bence

Updated on June 11 at 2:12 p.m. CT

Milwaukee County is home to more than 15,000 acres of parkland. Keeping those spaces green and healthy is daunting, especially as funding diminishes and park crews are cut. While many people cherish public green spaces, some worry about the pesticides that Milwaukee County Parks uses to manage the land.

Emily Files

In what's being called the first verdict of its kind, a federal jury Friday awarded $2 million each to three young Milwaukee men who suffered severe lead contamination.

The plaintiffs range in age from 18 to 28, but the poisoning occurred when they were toddlers. They ingested lead paint and today the men have trouble with reading comprehension, their lawyer says.