Beats Me: What Questions Do You Have For WUWM's Beat Reporters?

Innovation. Race and ethnicity. Environment. Education. These are the huge topics WUWM's beat reporters tackle every day. These issues are so big, it can be hard to decide what to dig into and where to begin.

So, we want to hear from you — our community.

Beats Me answers your questions about how education, the environment, race and innovation impacts life in southeastern Wisconsin.

Put your thinking cap on and submit your questions.

Innovation

It seems like every day there are breakthroughs in science, medicine and technology. But what do those advancements mean for you? WUWM’s Innovation Reporter Chuck Quirmbach will answer your questions, and make the difficult easier to grasp.

Submit your questions to Chuck below.

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» Explore Chuck's Innovation Reporting

Race & Ethnicity

Race and ethnicity impacts so much. In a place as diverse as metro-Milwaukee, news fails to capture thousands of stories, including the unexpected or positive ones.

You can help WUWM’s Race & Ethnicity Reporter Teran Powell discover and tell those stories by sharing your question below.

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» Read Teran's Race & Ethnicity Reporting

Education

Education news is often mired in discussions about big issues — policies, budgets, political fights. WUWM’s Education Reporter Emily Files also wants to tell student’s stories and hear from parents, teachers and others helping kids succeed.

What are you curious about when it comes to education in the Milwaukee area? What do you think is missing from the education conversation in this region?

Help Emily by submitting your question below.

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» Read Emily's Education Reporting

The Environment

Many of us are environmentally aware — many recycle, some conserve water, you might ride a bike to work. But we do face profound environmental challenges.

Help WUWM’s Environmental Reporter Susan Bence dig deeper into the issues you are most concerned about.

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» Explore Susan's Environmental Stories

Teran Powell

With street names like Winnebago and villages such as Mukwonago, there's no denying the historical presence of Native Americans in Wisconsin.

That spurred one of our listeners to reach out to Beats Me:

"What groups of Indigenous people lived in southeastern Wisconsin?"

We're going to answer that question. But we're also going to explore the importance of not just talking in the past tense when it comes to Native Americans.

Chuck Quirmbach

A UW-Milwaukee center that works on disability issues is developing an online way to inform people about access to public buildings like restaurants. It's hoped the computer system will be ready by the time the Democratic National Convention comes to town next summer. But once finished, the access ratings could be used by anyone.

Alesandra Tejeda

Hundreds of communities across the United States have designated themselves a "sanctuary" for immigrant families. Some have created policies vowing they won’t share information about a resident’s immigration status with the federal office of Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE).

But what does a "sanctuary city" really mean? And who has a say in the matter?

Sara McKinnon, a UW-Madison associate professor, says a sanctuary city isn't an official government term.

Emily Files

Several states have taken steps to make college more affordable by creating free-tuition "promise" programs. Each one is different, but in general, they allow students to attend community college, or sometimes public universities, for free.

Alesandra Tejeda

Plastic is difficult to escape. Many products are wrapped, sealed and mailed in some sort of plastic material.

And it can be difficult to know what to do with plastic bags, especially since curbside programs in Milwaukee and throughout Wisconsin don't accept plastic bags. However, they can be put in collection bins at some grocery stores and other businesses.

Chuck Quirmbach

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has signed a bill that could speed the introduction of faster wireless service known as 5G to the state. The industry promises that 5G would mean things like better cell phone connections and faster movie downloads.

But there are concerns that 5G, which stands for fifth generation, could bring health problems like cancer to local communities. 

For WUWM's Beats Me series, we received a question about when the Milwaukee area will get 5G. 

Susan Bence

Updated on July 9, 2019  

It looks like Wisconsin's largest landfill is putting off retirement. The owners of Orchard Ridge are asking the Department of Natural Resources to allow them to dig up some 1.3 million cubic yards of contaminated waste and move it elsewhere on the 725-acre property.

Romaset / stock.adobe.com

The late Dr. Allen L. Herron set the pace for black physicians in Milwaukee, especially black men. He’s believed to be the first African American male doctor to practice here.

Emily Files / WUWM

Chances are good your local school district has gone directly to voters asking for more money to stay afloat. Tight state funding and restrictions on local taxing power have pushed more than 70% of Wisconsin school districts to seek operating referendums.

These referendums aren’t about borrowing money for new buildings. They’re requests for more property taxes to sustain basic costs.

Susan Bence

Updated on June 11 at 2:12 p.m. CT

Milwaukee County is home to more than 15,000 acres of parkland. Keeping those spaces green and healthy is daunting, especially as funding diminishes and park crews are cut. While many people cherish public green spaces, some worry about the pesticides that Milwaukee County Parks uses to manage the land.

Chuck Quirmbach

A federal program scheduled to spend $60 million in Wisconsin continues to try to get people to share their health and lifestyle information, plus their DNA. The effort known as All of Us has the ambitious goal of enrolling 1 million people nationally, and 33,000 in the greater Milwaukee area. 

The promised reward is a $25 enrollment payment and eventually, specialized disease prevention and treatment. 

RON REIRING / Flickr

We're looking at the impact of using "loaded" words, such as labels that describe certain areas of Milwaukee, in our latest Beats Me. For example, "inner city" is a term that may ignite many thoughts.

Emily R Files

In many places across the United States, families looking for Montessori education turn to private schools. But Milwaukee is different. There are eight free, public Montessori schools in the district.

One of them is James Whitcomb Riley School on the south side. It’s Milwaukee’s newest public Montessori school, and the only dual language one.

Susan Bence

It's bird migration season in Wisconsin, and scientists are noticing unsettling changes.

Ornithologist Bill Mueller is among them. As the director of the Western Great Lake Bird and Bat Observatory north of Port Washington, he has been observing a drop in numbers over recent years. 

Chuck Quirmbach

The state of Wisconsin has spent a lot of money redoing the Zoo Interchange — and it wants to spend more. But has traffic congestion been reduced for commuters? And why does more work need to be done?

More work on the Zoo Interchange in Milwaukee County would take place if Gov. Tony Evers' state budget proposal goes through. The governor wants action on the far north end of the interchange, from roughly Swan Boulevard to Burleigh Street. 

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