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AMKE: The List 8-18-11

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1. AMKE News Rundown

All nine Senator recall elections are done. The Republicans  still control the Capitol’s Agenda as they hold a 17-16 majority, but with only holding one extra seat, it doesn’t guarantee that Governor Walker and other GOP leaders will get everything they want. Nearly half a million people voted in the nine races, 51% voted for Democrats and 49% voted for Republicans. This made less than a 7,000 vote difference between the combined vote total for both parties. More information is available here.

Plans are moving forward to redevelop Milwaukee’s East Library. Three different Wisconsin firms submitted their proposals to update the site with a new library branch on the ground floor and apartments on the upper floor. Right now it’s a one-story library located at 1910 East North Avenue. In the coming days, the plans will be open for the public to view at the library. There’s an online survey where suggestions are welcome...which the board will review. Details at www.jsonline.com.

Pints...Celtic music...and jolly good cheer! It’s Milwaukee’s Irish Festival and it kicks off its 31st Anniversary tonight at 5 p.m. and runs through this Sunday. The festival is all about celebrating the great aspects of Irish culture and inspiring future generations to appreciate their heritage. There’s going to be loads to do there and one of the greatest things I’ve read is that there is a children’s red hair contest and freckle contest. How could a group of freckle-faced kids not make you smile? For more information visit www.irishfest.com.

Four of the five largest tobacco firms are suing the FDA over graphic cigarette warning labels. They’re arguing that the new regulations that require a graphic warning label on each cigarette package is violating their First Amendment Rights. The companies argue that having to cover half their packages with disturbing images and words, to persuade the public not to purchase their product, cannot withstand constitutional scrutiny. Want to learn more? Just click here.

A-C-T. A test that not a lot of people enjoy taking, but Wisconsin students are seeing positive results with the test. A new poll shows that 71% of students from both private and public schools took the ACT, which is the highest total ever in state history. The actual scores are up as well, with tenth of a point higher. Want more details? Visit www.jsonline.com.

Summerfest Officials said they’re planning to replace the M & I Classic Rock Stage with a larger, covered stage on the south end of the grounds. The new stage will hold roughly 10,000 people, and it will start a two-year renovation project. Officials plan to add a lakeside sit-down dining area, new restrooms within the amphitheater and more. Get all the info at www.summerfest.com.

Larry “The Legend” Johnson passed away yesterday from pneumonia. He was 78-years-old. He was known as the biggest name in local radio...he worked for WZUU and WISN-am here in Milwaukee. His show incorporated both music and talk, and he’d always tell his callers to “Speak your onions.” A legend, an icon and a bigger than life radio personality are just a few of his names. He even helped raise $75,000 in three weeks to keep the Olympic ice rink open at the State Fair Park. If you want to learn all that you can about this legend, then visit www.jsonline.com.