Lake Effect

littlewolf1989 /


From virtual workouts to outdoor activities, many of us found different ways to stay active when gyms were initially closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Now that some gyms are open again, should you go?

"Regardless of what the activity is, the gym in of itself, no matter the gym, is going to be a high-risk area to go to," says Dr. Joyce Sanchez, an infectious disease specialist at Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Sarah Silbiger / Getty Images

The coronavirus pandemic has hit the hospitality industry hard. As COVID-19 rates continue to rise, restaurants have had to reevaluate operating plans or close their doors.

From the tipping system to sustainability to health care, this pandemic has exposed the major flaws of the hospitality system. The Milwaukee Independent Restaurant Coalition (MIRC) was recently formed to address these issues and create change so restaurants can better succeed on the other side of this pandemic. 

Nathan Howard / Getty Images

Federal agents are headed to Milwaukee, according to an announcement from the Trump administration.

Penguin Random House

Summertime looks and feels a bit different for many of us during this pandemic. There aren’t festivals, no big trips — but there is definitely time for reading.

As we all spend more time at home, having a good book to help pass the time can be a necessity. If you don’t know what to pick up next, Daniel Goldin of Boswell Book Company has plenty of recommendations that all have a Wisconsin connection.

Tatiana /

Every year the Perseid meteor shower is one of the highlights of summer stargazing. It started about a week ago and will peak Aug. 11-13.

These shooting stars are debris left by the passing Swift-Tuttle comet burning in the Earth’s atmosphere. The Perseids are known for bright, frequent meteor sightings.

Maayan Silver

One of the most iconic parts of the recent protests here in Milwaukee is the many murals that have sprung up around the city. These pieces on streets and walls provide tangible expressions of the energy behind these demonstrations.

Vedale Hill has been a part of this movement, both as an activist and an artist. Although his Black Lives Matter mural covering the intersection of North Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and West Locust Street washed away, the piece was not just a visual reminder of the movement. It was a community effort in the heart of the city’s Harambe neighborhood.

Courtesy of Neil Dogra

Most teenagers’ worlds revolve around school, friends and family. But one Milwaukee teen has also dedicated himself to fighting the opioid epidemic.

Neil Dogra is a 17-year-old high school junior from Milwaukee and the founder of the Opioid Epidemic Awareness Campaign. He combines his interests in neuroscience, public speaking and peer advocacy to speak at middle and high schools, meet policy advisors on opioid education and reform. He also researches at UW-Milwaukee and the Medical College of Wisconsin on the side.  

Kimberly Boyles /

Drug and alcohol abuse and addiction are a nationwide problem. Wisconsin is no exception. 

To help address this issue in Ripon, Wis., the Ripon Police Department is bringing in outside help as a part of the Fond du Lac County Opioid Initiative. In partnership with WisHope, police officers now have 24/7 access to a peer recovery coach with lived addiction experience to help provide support and treatment options to those who need it.

Sara Stathas

As we inch closer to the November general election, community organizations are ramping up their outreach to potential voters. But for the Milwaukee-based group Black Leaders Organizing for Community, also known as BLOC, these efforts are happening all year, every year. 

The organization was created to invigorate and inform Black voters in Milwaukee neighborhoods — and not just when there’s a presidential election.

Aldeca Productions /

The Democratic National Convention is just around the corner. Although the event has been scaled back, the Milwaukee Police Department is still preparing for a large-scale event. While there will be fewer people attending the physical convention, it’s unclear how many protesters will be coming to the area to take advantage of the national spotlight.

Fizkes /

Americans are more unhappy today than they've been in 50 years, according to a recent study from the NORC at the University of Chicago.

The survey was conducted in late May, before the death of George Floyd sparked international protests. It tries to understand how American’s beliefs, mental health and outlook have shaped their attitudes during the coronavirus pandemic.  

James /

The affordable housing crisis has been continuing to grow in the U.S. over the last decade. But the COVID-19 pandemic and record-high unemployment have exacerbated an already struggling system.

Mark Wilson / Getty Images

It's been almost a year and a half since Milwaukee was picked to host the 2020 Democratic National Convention (DNC). Since then, the coronavirus pandemic has upended plans for an in-person convention, which was expected to bring an estimated 50,000 people to the city.

Singkham /

Summer is in full swing and many of us are seeing exponential growth in our gardens. Although much of the planting is over for this year, we’re finally seeing the fruits of our labors — both literally and figuratively.

Melinda Myers is an expert in all things gardening and she joins Lake Effect every month. This month, she focuses on garden maintenance and plant management. 

Darwin Brandis /

Hotels in downtown Milwaukee are perhaps the most impacted by the loss of the more robust Democratic National Convention. Although they’ll still have some of that business come August, many of them, like the Iron Horse Hotel, are looking at just half of the reservations they were expecting.