Barbara Miner

This weekend will mark one year since a homeless man was found beaten to death on the steps of a Milwaukee church. Johnny Smith, 53, was found dead in his sleeping bag outside Redeemer Lutheran Church on March 29. 

The congregation was deeply impacted by the tragedy and this weekend had planned to honor Smith with a special service. But, like many other churches, Redeemer Lutheran has be forced to close to the public. However, the service will still go on virtually. 

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The U.S. Department of Justice and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection are asking consumers to alert them to potential frauds surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. According to the DOJ, the following activities have been detected:

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There are a lot of buildings currently under construction in the heart of Milwaukee. New hotels, apartments and office buildings — the city is experiencing a huge transformation. But with the COVID-19 pandemic and a looming recession, there are lots of questions hanging over these projects. 

>>The Latest WUWM & NPR Coronavirus Coverage

Maayan Silver

The COVID-19 pandemic is having unprecedented effects on American life, including in Wisconsin, which has a safer-at-home order. So naturally, the upcoming Marquette Law School Poll will focus on the coronavirus in addition to the more traditional questions about politicians and their approval ratings. While the poll's release date hasn't been announced yet, director and pollster Charles Franklin says it will be sometime before the spring election.

Here Come The Frauds: From Bogus Vaccine Kits To 'Silver Solution,' Coronavirus Cons Begin

Mar 27, 2020
KCAL Los Angeles

Vaccine kits. “Silver Solution” treatment. Even coronavirus-fighting toothpaste.

The swindles have begun. As Americans struggle to cope with the spread of COVID-19, they will also need to brace themselves for “disaster fraud” — those cons that rely on post-catastrophe chaos to separate people from their money. 

Chuck Quirmbach

During the COVID-19 pandemic, more hospitals and doctors are promoting telemedicine, or telehealth. That typically means connecting with a physician or other medical personnel by phone or through an online video connection.  

Medical facilities are trying to discourage people without COVID-19 symptoms or other risk factors from swamping medical facilities already busy with COVID patients. Or, from putting health care workers at greater risk by possibly simply spreading the virus.

Lauren Sigfusson

It’s hard to be “safer at home” if you don’t have a home.

Homeless shelters and other social service groups around the world have struggled to keep their communities housed, clothed, and fed during the coronavirus pandemic. Not only does the virus threaten the health of homeless people themselves, transience can also spread the virus to the broader public.

Michelle Maternowski / WUWM

For this week's Bubbler Talk, we answer a question from a mom of two teen kids. She wanted to know if she could send her kids to their friends’ houses, including for sleepovers. Her take was no, but friends and family members thought it could be fine.

So did her kids, although to them she may have sounded like a character from the Peanuts comic strip.

The mom asked us to investigate. Turns out, she was right.

'Everyone Has To Have It': Broadband Gap Leaves Rural Wisconsin Behind During Coronavirus Crisis

Mar 27, 2020
Courtesy of Traci Newcomer

The Newcomer household near Monroe is fairly typical for rural Wisconsin. It is surrounded by cornfields. The nearest neighbor is a quarter-mile down the road. And the internet is terrible.

Now the coronavirus shutdown has put serious stress on the family. The teenagers struggle with the drip of internet service to do their homework while school is closed.

>>The Latest WUWM & NPR Coronavirus Coverage

Maayan Silver

The longest-serving legislator in the United States is finally going to call it quits. Wisconsin state Sen. Fred Risser announced Thursday that he won't seek reelection this fall. 

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As the nation hunkers down at home, we’re simultaneously staring down an impending recession brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s still unclear how the recession will unfold, but economists fear we could be looking at an unemployment rate higher than during the Great Depression of the 1930s.

It was just over a decade ago that the Great Recession led to skyrocketing unemployment, home foreclosures, and stagnated wages. But it seems that Wisconsin has learned some things in the time since the Great Recession.

Bruce McCain

Elena Bisabarros grew up in the Northern part of Spain in Basque Country. The region is home to a distinct people, culture and language that struggled for years to be recognized in its own right.

“Basque is one of the oldest languages in the world … the culture, the music, the philosophy … is totally different than Spanish,” she explains.

Olive oil is an essential ingredient in Basque cooking. It’s the magic elixir that transforms the potatoes and onions in Bisabarros’s family recipe — tortilla de patatas.

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Spring has arrived and we’re starting to enjoy more pleasant weather. And as we practice social distancing, people are still encouraged to go outside for exercise, walking pets, and to maintain their sanity.

While the meteorological spring starts earlier in the month with the first signs of warmer weather, the astronomical spring starts when the day is longer than the night, Jean Creighton explains. With the March equinox comes a chance of scenery in the sky — making it a perfect opportunity to go outside by yourself or people you live with and simply look up.

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If there was ever a time to be stuck at home, at least it’s during what some call “the golden age of television.” From cable to streaming sites, there's an abundance of content to explore and make the time spent at home pass a little easier.

Whether you’re at home alone or have a family to entertain, our film contributor Ryan Jay has recommendations of great shows and movies to stream for all ages:

>>The Latest WUWM & NPR Coronavirus Coverage

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As we have witnessed the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak in our communities, many are wondering how to help neighbors as services they rely on may be canceled or curtailed.

Sherrie Tussler is the executive director of the Hunger Task Force, a food bank that provides 35,000-45,000 people with food. She says the Hunger Task Force and pantries play a vital role right now as tens of thousands of workers have lost their jobs because of the coronavirus-related layoffs.