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The recount of votes cast during the presidential election concluded in Milwaukee County Friday evening, and the final tally shows, once again, that President-elect Joe Biden won the primarily Democratic county over incumbent President Donald Trump.

The count started last Friday. Biden gained 257 votes in Milwaukee County, bringing his total to 317,527. Trump gained 125 votes, bringing his total to 134,482. Dane County’s recount will continue into the weekend.

Image from East Side and Downer Ave. Business Improvement Districts

It's unclear how many people will go shopping during Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and the rest of the post-Thanksgiving weekend — what with COVID-19 still surging in Wisconsin. But merchants are doing what they can to attract shoppers into stores or online.   

The pandemic has meant tough going for several types of businesses, including restaurants, entertainment venues, the hospitality industry and some retail establishments. Bill Smith is state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, which has nearly 10,000 members in Wisconsin.

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At this point in the year most of us have put away our gardening tools and packed up our lawn mowers for the winter. But that doesn’t mean that gardening has ended, it’s just moved locations.

With the impending winter, many gardeners have brought their plants inside where growing conditions can be much more difficult.

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Holidays like Thanksgiving are an opportunity to bring out special recipes and foods unique to the season. Although cheese is celebrated year-round here in Wisconsin, there are some seasonal cheeses that make this time of year special.

Lake Effect cheese and spirit contributor Jeanette Hurt shares some of her favorite cheeses and a drink to include on your Thanksgiving table:

Rush Creek Reserve

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Even though Thanksgiving will be different for many us because of the pandemic, we can still appreciate the history behind the meal — so long as it’s accurate. Culinary historian Kyle Cherek talks about some of the historical misconceptions we have about Thanksgiving, and why it’s important to set the record straight.

“[Thanksgiving] has become part of our national mythology but the early beginnings of it are not what children sing,” he says.

Chuck Quirmbach / WUWM

Amtrak says ridership is substantially off this year, due to COVID-19. But the passenger rail system says many of its trains are operating, with health precautions, during what is normally a busy Thanksgiving period.

Amtrak says nationally, its ridership is down to about 20% of normal. Ridership on the Hiawatha Line, between Milwaukee and Chicago, is down about 50% compared to last year at this time.

Screenshot / Milwaukee Common Council

One of the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic has been getting resources to those who need them most. And, that includes people who’ve been quarantined, laid off, or unable to keep up with their bills.

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Thanksgiving is this week. The holiday celebrates a gathering early American settlers with a group of Native people in Plymouth. It’s also a time to reflect on the country’s difficult history with Native people, including forced removals and land seizures.

Essayist Barbara Miner recounts one such event that took place in Milwaukee in her essay “Milwaukee’s Trail of Tears.”

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A Milwaukee County doctor closely following the COVID-19 pandemic said Tuesday if you feel fine that doesn't necessarily mean you are fine.

Dr. Ben Weston is with the Medical College of Wisconsin, and is director of medical services for the county's Office of Emergency Management. 

Jack Hurbanis / WUWM

Across the state, around 85% of hospital beds are occupied. On Tuesday, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported more than 6,200 new cases of the coronavirus. That number is down significantly from the high of nearly 8,000 cases a week ago.

Dr. John Raymond, president and CEO of the Medical College of Wisconsin, said everyone is looking for signs that Wisconsin’s numbers are on their way down.

Michelle Maternowski/WUWM

A Milwaukee teenager is facing multiple felony counts for his suspected role in the Mayfair Mall shooting last Friday.

The 15-year-old Hispanic male has been charged with eight counts of first degree reckless injury, use of a dangerous weapon — one count for each of the people injured in the shooting. He’s also charged with possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18, a misdemeanor.

Maayan Silver / WUWM

Wisconsin set another record for COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday as Gov. Tony Evers begged people not to celebrate Thanksgiving with anyone outside their households as the diseases rages across the state.

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This month four astronauts arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) thanks to the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that launched from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

It was a milestone for both NASA and SpaceX as the Crew Dragon’s first fully operational mission, and marks its second crewed flight. The U.S. government and private agencies have been working together for about a decade to get more people into space.

Courtesy of Elizabeth McGowan

Elizabeth McGowan was only 15 years old when her father died of melanoma at the age of 44. When she was just out of college, McGowan was diagnosed with the same cancer that took her father.

At first, she thought it was a death sentence, but at 39, McGowan reached the major milestone of being five years cancer-free after over a decade of treatments.

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Across the world, men and boys are being asked to help stop human trafficking by signing a pledge offered by the HEMAD program.

HEMAD is short for Human Trafficking Educators Working With Men and Boys To Stand Against the Demand. The program is run locally by the Convergence Resource Center in Milwaukee, a city that ranks sixth in the nation for human trafficking.

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The Wisconsin election recount is continuing in Milwaukee and Dane counties, but officials say uninformed observers are obstructing the process. It’s also slow moving because President Donald Trump’s attorneys have been making unsubstantiated claims of fraud. In part, these issues may stem from a bigger issue facing the recount process — rampant misinformation.

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Updated 11:55 a.m. CST

Nearly 400 absentee ballots cast in Milwaukee that were not opened on Election Day were discovered as part of a recount Tuesday, a mistake the city's top elections official attributed to human error.

Democrat Joe Biden won Wisconsin by 20,600 votes and President Donald Trump paid for a recount in just Milwaukee and Dane counties — the counties with the most votes for Biden.

The 386 uncounted ballots were found on the fourth day of the recount.

Screen capture from Put Em' Down music video

New efforts to reduce gun violence are underway in the Milwaukee area. One new plan involves having city of Milwaukee firefighters responding to an emergency call hand out free gun safety locks to any city resident who wants one.

The gunlocks, which use a small cable and padlock through the firing mechanism, or barrel, to prevent a gun from firing, will also be available at Milwaukee fire stations.

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Wisconsin’s Democratic attorney general filed a lawsuit on Monday challenging parts of a Republican-authored law limiting his powers that was passed during a lame-duck legislative session two years ago.

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One of Wisconsin's great outdoor traditions is in full swing — the annual gun deer hunt runs Nov. 21 to Nov. 29. For tens of thousands of enthusiasts, it’s an annual ritual of sharing cabins, meals, and plenty of camaraderie.

Courtesy of Glen Tullman

Glen Tullman has an undergraduate degree in economics and psychology, spent a year in Oxford, England studying social anthropology, lived for a year with the Amish, and is a highly successful software entrepreneur. He's founded, grown or invested in more than 20 businesses.

"Studying how cultures change is now about studying how we use different digital tools and electronic tools, and hopefully use them for good means as opposed to bad means," Tullman explains.

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COVID-19 infections continue to rise around the country and many cities and states are implementing new restrictions. Public health experts see this as a necessary step in slowing the spread of this disease. But it’s undeniable that these restrictions will also have an impact on local governments, which are already struggling to survive.

At the federal level, a stimulus package intended to ease the pain of local economies has stalled in the U.S. Senate with no clear path forward.

Chuck Quirmbach / WUWM

Even before the pandemic, malls were struggling. Although malls have been an iconic part of American life for decades, their popularity has waned in recent years and many are home to vacant store fronts.

As the pandemic makes it dangerous to gather in large groups, malls are experiencing yet another setback and some are struggling to hang on.

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Wisconsin's partial presidential recount entered its fourth day Monday, with very few changes in vote totals as President Donald Trump's attorneys appeared to be focused on a legal challenge seeking to toss tens of thousands of ballots, including the one cast by an attorney for the campaign.

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The presidential recount in Milwaukee and Dane counties is entering its fourth day. Unofficial results from Nov. 3 show President-elect Joe Biden ahead of President Donald Trump in Wisconsin by about 20,000 votes.

Milwaukee County election officials say the recount is moving slowly because Trump’s attorneys have been constantly interrupting and challenging tens of thousands of ballots, alleging fraud and seeking to discount them. They say few votes have actually been counted and the process is falling far behind.

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U.S. Rep. Bryan Steil tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday, according to a statement from the Republican lawmaker, who represents Wisconsin’s 1st congressional district.

The congressman said he began experiencing mild symptoms over the weekend and contacted his health care provider while at home in Janesville, Wisconsin.

Steil said he spent all of last week working in Washington, D.C.

“Following CDC guidelines, I am immediately quarantining and will continue serving the people of Southeast Wisconsin from my home in Janesville,” he said.

Becca Schimmel / WUWM

Election officials in Wisconsin’s largest county accused observers for President Donald Trump on Saturday of seeking to obstruct a recount of the presidential results, in some instances by objecting to every ballot tabulators pulled to count.

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The operator of Wisconsin’s only remaining nuclear power plant wants to keep the 50-year-old plant running through 2050.

NextEra Energy has submitted an application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission seeking to add 20 years to the licenses for the Point Beach Nuclear plant in Two Rivers, according to a document filed with state regulators.

A spokesman for NextEra Energy said the plant will continue to provide benefits for consumers as Wisconsin pursues Gov. Tony Evers’ goal of carbon-free electricity by 2050, the State Journal reported.

Michelle Maternowski / WUWM

Updated Monday 6:18 p.m. CST

The Wauwatosa Police Department is releasing additional details about the investigation into the shooting at Mayfair Mall on Friday. Eight people were injured, and a 15-year-old Hispanic teen was taken into custody Saturday night.

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Sophia Coppola has earned her place among Hollywood’s best directors with over two decades of filmmaking. Her unique style was most recently applied to writing and directing the comedy, On The Rocks.

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