Stuart Franklin / Getty Images

Restaurants put $225 billion into the economy every year. While some are still in business, almost 450,000 independent restaurants must change operations to meet new safety measures or face the risk of closing completely due to the coronavirus pandemic. This will also impact the 11 million food service jobs — most of which were part of the initial flood of unemployment applications. 

>>Latest WUWM & NPR Coronavirus Coverage

Chuck Quirmbach

“A live experiment.” 

That's what a local business leader says we're in after this week's state Supreme Court ruling throwing out Wisconsin's safer-at-home restrictions for the COVID-19 pandemic, and subsequent decisions by Milwaukee and Milwaukee County to maintain many limits. In contrast, Waukesha County says it's only issuing health recommendations for its businesses, not orders.

Ann-Elise Henzl

There have been reports about humans infecting felines with the coronavirus, such as big cats at the Bronx Zoo. That led researchers at UW-Madison to start looking into cat-to-cat transmission.  

Peter Halfmann is one of the lead researchers. He says the study included three pairs of cats. 

"We took one cat from the pair and infected it by internasal inoculation, some virus in the eye and then in the mouth. And then we house that cat by itself for 24 hours," he explains.

Scott Olson / Getty Images

Wisconsin now has a patchwork of local restrictions on businesses and gatherings after Gov. Tony Evers’ safer-at-home order was thrown out by the state Supreme Court late Wednesday.

In a 4-3 decision, the justices sided with Republican lawmakers and said Evers’ Health Secretary-designee Andrea Palm did not have the authority to extend the safer-at-home rules until May 26. The court lifted the restrictions meant to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Essay: We Have Managed, So Far

May 14, 2020
Mark Trowbridge / Getty Images

The coronavirus pandemic is in some ways an echo of our history. People have compared it to other health crises, like the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic. Others have compared concerns about an economic downturn to what happened during the Great Depression. 

For essayist Aleta Chossek, these parallels were born out in letters from her grandfather, a business owner who lived through the Depression:

“We have been having bad times here in America, but we have managed, so far."

“There are 12-13 million good laborers unemployed.”

Stephanie Keith / Getty Images

When vape pens first came out they were marketed as a healthier alternative to smoking. But as more research has been released about the longterm affects of vaping, it’s complicated that narrative. 

Wisconsin Governor Warns Of 'Massive Confusion' After Ruling

May 14, 2020
Olivia Richardson / WUWM

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers warned Thursday of “massive confusion” after the the state Supreme Court tossed out the Democrat's stay-at-home order and Republicans said they may leave it up to local governments to enact their own unique rules for combating the coronavirus pandemic.

BlackPaint Studios

If you've driven through the intersection of First Street and Pittsburgh Avenue in Milwaukee's Walker's Point neighborhood during the last few weeks, you might have seen a bold statement painted on the windows of BlackPaint Studios: Wisconsin's Pandemic Primary = Crime Against Humanity. 


The Trump administration is investing millions of dollars into a new initiative aimed at reducing violent crime in seven American cities. Milwaukee is participating in the new program, which is called Operation Relentless Pursuit.

U.S. Attorney Matt Krueger says the program aims to increase the number of federal law enforcement officers.

LoloStock / stock.adobe.com

History is happening every day, and it’s not just recorded by people in power. The coronavirus pandemic is a huge moment in our collective history happening to all of us and it’s important that people in the future can learn about our experiences. There's no better way to do that than through first-hand accounts.

Chuck Quirmbach

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) has released the names of state nursing homes with an active COVID-19 public health investigation. That means at least one resident or staff member has recently tested positive for the coronavirus. One case prompts an "outbreak" designation and a review of the whole facility.

A disability rights group says it wishes the Evers administration would release more data.

Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office


Prosecutors charged a Milwaukee police officer Wednesday with first-degree reckless homicide, accusing him of fatally choking a man during a fight at the off-duty officer’s home.

Michael Mattioli, 32, was charged Wednesday, more than two weeks after 25-year-old Joel Acevedo died of asphyxiation.

City of Oakland

With social distancing recommended to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Milwaukee is one step closer to closing certain streets to through traffic, repurposing them for walking, biking or running. The Public Works committee voted Wednesday to advance a resolution to the full Common Council. It would create an Active Streets program similar to those in other cities.

Chuck Quirmbach

Updated at 9:18 p.m. CT

The Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down Gov. Tony Evers' coronavirus safer-at-home order Wednesday, ruling that his administration overstepped its authority when it extended it for another month without consulting legislators.

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Emergency room visits have been cut in half during the coronavirus pandemic. But there’s still a reason for some people to get medical help other than the virus.