Lake Effect

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Family members and loved ones of people incarcerated in Wisconsin are growing more concerned about the spread of COVID-19.

At least three state prisons have reported outbreaks among inmates, and at least two people have died at the Dodge County Correctional Facility. The number of deaths from COVID-19 inside prisons could be higher, but the Department of Corrections doesn’t release that information due to privacy concerns.

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The problems facing incarcerated people often don’t end when they are released. People who serve time in prison can face discrimination when looking for housing or a job, and the stigma of going to prison can make it difficult to reestablish ties in their community.

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While grocery stores have adjusted to higher demands and farmers markets wrap up their season, 2020 has made a lot of people think more about how they get their food.

In March, searches for community supported agriculture, or CSAs, jumped during the initial stages of the coronavirus pandemic when grocery stores shelves were picked clean. But where grocery stores may have left a gap, local farms and CSA groups have swept in to take advantage of an opportunity to reach new audiences.

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Steven Olikara says growing up in Brookfield, Wis., he learned about listening and collaborating. He says talking things through rather than tearing people down whose opinions you might not share just made sense.

But as a UW-Madison student, Olikara, who graduated with degrees in environmental studies and political science, saw the polar opposite when he spent time talking with legislators at the state capitol.

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The election is in full swing in Wisconsin. Thousands of voters have already cast their ballots by mail in the Badger State and early voting begins Tuesday. But there remains some uncertainty among voters as the pandemic alongside new laws and regulations have created confusion. 

>>Key Deadlines For Voter Registration, Voting Absentee And In Person

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The brandy old fashioned, bloody mary with a beer chaser, Tom & Jerrys — Wisconsin has laid claim to many cocktails, or perhaps just made them better. In a state that continuously ranks in the top margins for alcohol consumption, Wisconsin’s drinking traditions aren’t just cherished, they’ve rarely changed.

U.S. National Archives and Records Administration / Wikimedia

Religion has been top of mind for many politicos, as the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett have just ended. Judge Barrett is a religious conservative who identifies as Catholic, and she is part of the People of Praise community which emphasizes so-called traditional “values,” and “gender roles.”

Aliza Baran / Milwaukee Magazine

As the leaves fall and the air grows crisper, people all over Milwaukee are getting in the Halloween spirit. This year, the way we celebrate All Hallows’ Eve is going to look different. One way to celebrate safely during the coronavirus pandemic is to seek out one of the many outdoor areas in Milwaukee that claim to be haunted.

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The coronavirus pandemic has transformed the way we live, but it’s not the first time this has happened in our culture. Throughout our history, pandemics have had an enormous impact on society and how we’re able to live. Many have drawn parallels to the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic. 

Church History Library / The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Teacher, lawyer, editor, prophet, pirate, state legislator, historian, and "King of Earth and Heaven." These titles all belonged to one man: James Strang. 

In 1843, the young lawyer and avowed atheist Strang fled rural New York and reappeared in what is now Burlington, Wis. While in the Midwest he converted to a new religious movement called Mormonism. Following the murder of church founder Joesph Smith, Strang claimed that the prophet named him the successor.

Screenshot / WUWM / Facebook

WUWM is partnering with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee PBS and the Milwaukee Public Library on an initiative we call Listen MKE. Its goal: help Milwaukee’s north side residents get the information they want and need. More specifically, we want to better understand what's most important to people who live in these Milwaukee neighborhoods and help fill information gaps.

LaToya Dennis

On Thursday, people took to the streets again to protest Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisolm’s decision Wednesday not to criminally charge Wauwatosa Police Officer Joseph Mensah. 

Mensah fatally shot 17-year-old Alvin Cole after being dispatched to Mayfair Mall for a disturbance earlier this year. Cole had a gun and Mensah has said he believed Cole shot at officers. Cole was Black, as is Mensah. 

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It’s been a summer full of protests calling for racial justice and advocates fighting for diversity and a seat at the table. The Milwaukee Art Museum is welcoming a new position aimed at making art relevant to more members of the community and engaging with Milwaukeeans.   

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Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Milwaukeeans continue to hold events — in person and virtually — to celebrate the many things this city has to offer. This October, as COVID-19 cases are at record highs, many events are entirely virtual, outside, or strictly regulating access through sign-ups and reservations.

Illustration by John Rocco / Penguin Random House

Award-winning author and illustrator John Rocco is perhaps best known for his cover art on the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and other children's books. But about 20 years ago, Rocco worked at a company called Digital Domain doing special effects for a little film called Apollo 13, which he says sparked a deeper interest in the many complexities of how we get people into space.

Susan Bence

In the spring of 2016, residents of Flint, Mich., were experiencing one of the country’s most devastating water crises. Flint-native Mari Copeny decided to do something about it. She wrote a letter to then-President Barack Obama which led to the president traveling to Flint and sitting down to talk with Mari. 

What might be most remarkable is that Mari was just 8 at the time. Now 13, she’s launched into a life of activism.

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The COVID-19 pandemic plunged the world’s economy into the biggest recession since the Great Depression. Many Americans continue to struggle as the flare-ups threaten the little progress we’ve been able to make since lockdowns began in April.

Maayan Silver

Updated Thursday at 2:59 p.m. CT 

Wisconsin is a key swing state in the 2020 presidential election and it's seen a notable shift in how people vote because of the coronavirus pandemic.

With so many people planning to vote absentee, WUWM spoke with Claire Woodall-Vogg, the top election official in Milwaukee, about 10 steps to help make sure your Wisconsin absentee ballot is counted:

1. Request your absentee ballot early

Arts @ Large

Nicole Acosta is a Milwaukee native and a first-generation multi-disciplinary Mexican artist. Her work reflects the exploration of her identity, experience and storytelling. Her photography work, The HOOPS Portrait Project, features portraits of Black and brown women in their hoop earrings and sharing their stories of what the jewelry means to them.

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Cases of COVID-19 have skyrocketed in Wisconsin.

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The gravity of the COVID-19 pandemic has many of us looking for respite, some kind of emotional or physical escape. Something to take our minds off of the rising death tolls and inability to gather with our friends and loved ones.

For Lake Effect essayist Barbara Miner, it comes in the form of one of her mother’s recipes. She talks about it in her essay “COVID-19 & Oatmeal-Raisin Bread.”

Lauren Sigfusson

A conservative law firm is asking a judge to strike down Gov. Tony Evers' extension of the statewide mask mandate.

Kristine Hinrichs

At a time when the country is politically divided, Milwaukeeans are coming together to celebrate and memorialize one of the city’s iconic structures. The Daniel Hoan bridge is dedicated to the longest-serving socialist administration in U.S. history. Later this month, the long-awaited “Light The Hoan” project will become a reality.

Photo by Mary Cybulski/NETFLIX / © 2020 Netflix, Inc.

Screenwriter and filmmaker Charlie Kaufman isn’t afraid to ask the big, confusing questions about life. His previous work, including Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, takes somewhat of a surreal approach to answering questions about our collective humanity.

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Russia is interfering with the 2020 presidential election. That’s according to an assessment by the CIA, which found that Russian President Vladimir Putin and other senior officials are aware of and are probably leading efforts to help President Donald Trump win his reelection campaign.

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This past year has been extraordinary in so many ways. The pandemic, the recession, and the impending election have created an endless news cycle that at times seems surreal — like something out of a book.

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The way district maps are drawn in Wisconsin could be impacting the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. Cases of coronavirus are currently surging across the state, breaking records for Wisconsin. The White House Coronavirus Task Force now considers Wisconsin a “red zone.”

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Since the pandemic began, Milwaukee restaurants have found interesting ways to stay open and keep business going. Many of them have relied on an increase in takeout orders and some restaurants have been offering outside dining.

Though, as the temperatures drop in Wisconsin, where does that leave restaurants that have depended on outdoor dining to increase capacity?

Tom Daykin has been reporting on these issues for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. He's been looking at how restaurants are preparing for their first winter during the pandemic.

New Study Aims To Understand Trauma In Milwaukee Youth

Sep 30, 2020
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Most people will have a traumatic experience at some point in their lives, and some of them will develop post-traumatic stress disorder. So how do you figure out who is at risk for developing PTSD? That's what Chris Larson's new study, called "Acute Predictors Of Long-Term Post-Trauma Outcomes In Youth Victims Of Violence," hopes to help figure out.

Peter Mulvey & SistaStrings, Immortal Girlfriend, You Win !!!, Fuzzysurf

Although there haven’t been many live shows since the pandemic hit the United States in March, Milwaukee bands have somehow found a way to release new music. That’s been great for Matt Wild, who every month releases a nearly exhaustive list of new music from local musicians.

Wild is one of the co-founders of Milwaukee Record, which describes itself as an online source for music, culture, and gentle sarcasm. He joins Lake Effect each month to share a sample of what he’s been listening to.

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