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

Beats Me

From WUWM 89.7 FM - Milwaukee's NPR

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

Most Recent Episodes

Balancing School Budgets Via Referendum Has Become Routine. What Happens When Voters Say No?

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. In recent elections, most referendums were approved . But what happens to the unlucky districts where voters say

Balancing School Budgets Via Referendum Has Become Routine. What Happens When Voters Say No?

People Love Their Milwaukee County Parks, But Some Worry About Pesticides Being In Them

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. Turns out the Milwaukee County Parks, Energy and Environment Committee is listening. On Tuesday, June 11, the committee unanimously called for the parks

People Love Their Milwaukee County Parks, But Some Worry About Pesticides Being In Them

In Return For Some DNA, Program Promises Medicine Eventually 'Tailored To You'

A federal program scheduled to spend $60 million dollars 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 one 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. WUWM's Beats Me series recently received a couple questions related to the program.

In Return For Some DNA, Program Promises Medicine Eventually 'Tailored To You'

Using Coded Language Can 'Create A Sense Of Us And Them'

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. One dictionary definition says the inner city is "the usually older, poorer, and more densely populated central section of a city." A post on a travel site from 2017 advises people visiting Milwaukee to "stay away from certain areas in the inner city ... including the northern part of the city."

How Did Milwaukee End Up With So Many Public Montessori Schools?

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. On a recent morning, kindergarteners in Jessica Martín's classroom worked independently or in pairs on exercises like sounding out letters and stacking

Scientists Are Observing Changes In Birds Migrating In Wisconsin

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. Mueller coordinates counts of bird species that nest and migrate through Wisconsin. While he celebrates every song bird and water fowl he sees, Mueller is hearing and seeing fewer. "Mid-May signals peak migration.

Zoo Interchange: Has Traffic Congestion Been Reduced?

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. Evers recently told news reporters that with the Zoo

The Construction Of Milwaukee's Freeways: An Asset For Some, Detrimental For Others

As freeway routes were constructed in the 1960s, lots of Milwaukeeans were impacted — houses were demolished, businesses had to relocate. In part due to the upheaval, some communities still haven't recovered decades later. One of our community members heard stories about a freeway spur running through Milwaukee's central city in the 1960s and wanted to know more. So, she submitted the question to Beats Me — our series that allows you to ask questions about race, education, innovation and the

The Construction Of Milwaukee's Freeways: An Asset For Some, Detrimental For Others

The History And Impact Of Wisconsin's Only School Integration Program

Sincere Tatum, 18, is one of a handful of black students at Brookfield Central High School. The school is 70 percent white, 4 percent black. "It took a while for me to adjust," Tatum said. "Most of the time I'm the only African-American kid in my class." But Tatum tends to look for the upside in challenging situations. "Like OK, there's a cultural difference, but now I have the opportunity to educate my classmates if needed," he says. Tatum lives in Milwaukee. He goes to school in Brookfield

The History And Impact Of Wisconsin's Only School Integration Program

Are Giant Dairy Farms Dangerous For Wisconsin's Waters?

Farming has been a cornerstone of Wisconsin's heritage and economy, but its landscape is changing. Small family farms have given way to large ones called CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations). The trend has heightened concerns among some that raising large numbers of farm animals is harmful to the environment. Twenty years ago, the CAFO count was close to 90. Today, there are more than 300. While some raise hogs and others poultry, the majority are dairy operations. Water is central to

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