Kate Redmond

You may not be a fan of insects, but they're both important and in decline. Just ask interpretive naturalist Kate Redmond.

"If you like birds, that’s what birds eat. And if you like a lot of other small animals, that’s what they eat. And if you like to eat strawberries, it’s insects that pollinate them. It’s a domino,” Redmond says.

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The GOP-controlled Joint Finance Committee voted Thursday to approve a roughly $321 million middle-class tax cut. It was the third attempt to find an income tax cut that both the GOP and Democratic Gov. Tony Evers can agree on. But Democrats on the committee were skeptical.

Cream City Hostel

Carolyn Weber has been dreaming of opening a hostel in Milwaukee for six years. Now, Cream City Hostel is coming to life in Riverwest. 

Hostels are historically places where young people can sleep cheap and simple. Over the years, they’ve evolved to attract young and old, individuals or families.

The hostel is on the corner of Center and Holton Streets in Riverwest. It's in what was a grand neighborhood bank that Weber says was built in 1920.

Chuck Quirmbach

3D printers are becoming so advanced and widespread that the auto industry uses them to make rare car parts. Some construction firms use them to pour concrete.

Also, more schools are teaching teenage students how to use smaller versions of the printers — and teachers in some school districts are learning how to teach even young children how to use them.

Take, for example, the Port Washington-Saukville School District. This week, the district played host to a summer instruction session for teachers to learn about new technology. 

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The budget debate continues at the state capitol. Late Tuesday, the Joint Committee on Finance worked through most of the remaining items on its agenda. So far, the GOP-controlled committee has rejected most of Democratic Gov. Tony Evers initiatives.

Marti Mikkelson

It isn’t being held until next spring, but Wisconsin is gearing up for another hard-fought state Supreme Court race.

Conservative Justice Daniel Kelly recently announced that he’ll run for a full 10-year term in April of 2020. He was appointed by Republican Gov. Scott Walker in 2016 to fill the remainder of Justice David Prosser’s term when he retired. A couple of candidates backed by Democrats have already thrown their hats into the ring too – Marquette Law Professor Ed Fallone and Dane County Circuit Judge Jill Karofsky.

Maayan Silver

There’s been a new opportunity at two MPS schools this year for students with special needs: the chance to learn drumming. The goal of a new "adaptive drumming" class is to make percussion accessible to all students.

The two schools offering the drumming classes are Frederick J. Gaenslen K-8 School in Milwaukee's Riverwest neighborhood, and Neeskara Elementary School in Washington Heights.

Library of Congress

It’s been 100 years since women in the U.S. gained the right to vote with the passage of the 19th Amendment. And Wisconsin led the way: it was the first state to ratify the amendment.

On Monday, elected officials, prominent Wisconsinites and members of the public gathered at the State Capitol building to celebrate. While many took the opportunity to praise the state and the historical significance of what happened on June 10, 1919, others pointed out that the suffrage movement and women winning the right to vote did not apply to all women.

Susan Bence

City leaders want to create a buzz around sustainability initiatives that have blossomed in Milwaukee’s Lindsay Heights neighborhood. There’s even a map encouraging people to tour its sustainable projects, including rooftop solar and stormwater management installations.

Emily Files

University of Wisconsin System President Ray Cross is calling Republican lawmakers’ UW funding proposal "micromanaging" and a "missed opportunity."

Cross was in Milwaukee for a Board of Regents meeting this week. It was the first regents gathering since the Joint Committee on Finance surprised UW leaders with its spending plan. The budget-writing committee voted along party lines to advance a $58 million increase for UW schools over the next two years.  

Chuck Quirmbach

The state Legislature's budget committee has recommended shrinking the size of a proposed expansion of higher-speed internet service across Wisconsin. The Republican-controlled Joint Finance Committee also wants to block additional money to help a consumer group challenge residential rate cases brought by state utilities.

Both items were considered Thursday night, as part of  the state budget proposal for the Public Service Commission (PSC). 

Teran Powell

PrideFest Milwaukee has officially begun! Milwaukeeans have celebrated LGBTQ pride for more than 40 years, and the festival events are once again taking over the Summerfest grounds.

One group attendees can expect to see there focuses on connecting with LGBTQ men of color. 

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Wisconsin lawmakers have approved a plan to fund road repairs. The Republican-controlled Joint Finance committee Thursday night scrapped Gov. Tony Evers proposal for an 8-cent per gallon gas tax – and instead passed a measure to raise title and vehicle registration fees. The vote was 11-5, along party lines.

Chuck Quirmbach

Updated on June 7

Thursday night, the state Legislature's budget committee approved $35 million for expanding Amtrak Hiawatha train service between Milwaukee and Chicago. But the panel nixed spending an additional $10 million for a second daily Empire Builder passenger train across Wisconsin to the Twin Cities.

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Two people are in custody in Waukesha County after an officer involved shooting on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, three Waukesha County Sheriff's Department deputies have been placed on administrative duty. The department is not yet releasing names of those involved. But the shooting occurred after a standoff, when a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) employee pursued stolen vehicle.