Maayan Silver

Near Washington Park on Milwaukee’s west side, Nancy Yarbrough runs the Humble Beginnings organization for women facing domestic violence, drug addiction or sex trafficking.

In homage to Jeffrey, a 17-year-old boy who lost his life to human trafficking, the organization gives away fleece blankets to victims and others who need help. Yarbrough says the blankets were hand-sewn and donated by a 15-year-old girl from Tomah.

Emily R Files / WUWM

Jaclyn and Devin Gatton didn’t know their oldest son, Aiden, had dyslexia, until last year. He was 11 years old -- past the window of time experts consider critical for learning written language. 

“He’s really quiet so he just kind of fell in the cracks,” Jaclyn says. “He didn’t make a big scene [in school,] he’d just stay quiet.”

Wisconsin State Legislature

Wisconsin’s gerrymandering case is back in the public eye. It’s scheduled for trial before a federal court in Madison in July. A panel of three judges will decide whether Republicans, who control the Legislature, illegally drew the state’s political boundaries in 2011 to benefit their party.

Every 10 years, the party in control gets to redraw the state’s political boundaries to reflect the latest U.S. Census figures. In 2011, it was newly re-elected Republican Gov. Scott Walker and a GOP majority in the legislature.


Michelle is a sex trafficking survivor. She says it was a milestone when she started sharing her experiences. “For a long time, due to the fear of being discriminated against and preconceived notions of what it is to be trafficked, I was really too afraid to step out and tell people,” says Michelle, who’s originally from Milwaukee.

It’s important to note that Michelle isn’t the woman’s real name, but we’re using it to protect her identity. Also, Lotus Legal Clinic connected us with her and vouches for her story. 

Chuck Quirmbach

People who live near the Foxconn project in Racine County peppered local officials with questions at a meeting Monday night in Mount Pleasant. Part of the focus was Monday's announcement that Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou will reduce his role at the company.

Another topic was a proposed road widening to serve Foxconn. 


Milwaukee has a reputation as a hub for sex trafficking. So, what is it? Who is it affecting? What are the numbers?

Over the next few days, we’ll hear from survivors, activists, law enforcement and lawmakers looking to eradicate the problem. First up is a primer on what the crime looks like here in Milwaukee.

What It Is  

Sex traffickers get an adult to exchange sex for money through force, fraud or coercion. But it’s also considered trafficking to have a child exchange sex for money, under any circumstance.

Screenshot/Shorewood School District

A gym teacher from Shorewood Intermediate School in Wisconsin has been placed on indefinite leave following an alleged racist incident with students earlier this month.

The instructor was teaching students about “games from around the world.”

District officials are looking into claims that say on April 1, the gym teacher separated seventh grade students in one class by race and assigned the black children to research games played by enslaved children.

District Superintendent Bryan Davis says the teacher was instructing students about games around the world.


Editor's note: This piece was originally published on March 5, 2019. 

When you’re in your local corner store or gas station, it may not cross your mind that companies are using tactics to push certain products to specific customers. In Milwaukee County, there's evidence that tobacco products are targeted toward low-income communities and neighborhoods of color.

Chuck Quirmbach

Many scientists who invent products and form a company need financial help to get their creation to market. So, the UWM Foundation and Medical College of Wisconsin hold an annual event called "First Look Forum," which aims to connect researchers and venture capitalists.

Chuck Quirmbach

The city of Milwaukee has issued orders to knock down most of what's left of the former Northridge Mall.  Mayor Tom Barrett says the site owned by a Chinese-based company has become a public safety hazard.

But, any removal of the buildings will take time, and replacement plans aren't clear.

Charles Edward Miller/Wikimedia Commons

Updated at 5 p.m. CT

A former Milwaukee School Board president was indicted in federal court Thursday in an alleged charter school bribery scheme.

Michael Bonds is accused of accepting $6,000 in bribes from a Philadelphia-based charter school operator.

Teran Powell

Wisconsinites from different backgrounds and professions are lining up to voice their concerns about the state’s budget. The Joint Finance Committee is holding four hearings throughout the state, giving the public a chance to give recommendations, support, or criticisms of the proposal.

Angelina Mosher Salazar

A lot of things have shifted since the last Marquette Law School Poll back in January.

Updated on April 10 at 12:41 p.m. CT

Wisconsin Appeals Judge Lisa Neubauer, who was backed by Democrats, conceded Wednesday in the race for Wisconsin Supreme Court. Neubauer issued a statement, saying she called her opponent, conservative Appeals Judge Brian Hagedorn, and "wished him the best." 

Chuck Quirmbach

The University of Wisconsin System could soon see an additional $150 million if a proposal from Gov. Tony Evers is approved by state lawmakers. The money is expected to be one of the topics discussed Wednesday in Oak Creek, where the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee is holding an all-day hearing on the proposed state budget.

UW officials say the increase could indirectly help with a key university mission: research.