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88Nine Radio Milwaukee

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a.MKE THE List: J.B. Van Hollen to Appeal Judge Flanagan's Voter ID Decision & Ronald McDonald House Expansion: Today’s Top Stories

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Wisconsin’s Police Chiefs are pushing to expand background checks on gun buyers. Earlier this week, the Wisconsin Chiefs of Police Association and the National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence plan met with the Wisconsin U.S. Senate candidates to talk about federal legislation that would require buyers in private gun sales to undergo a background check. Police officials say “Currently, only people who buy guns from a federally licensed dealer must pass a background check, and by expanding the requirement to all sales would prevent people who can’t legally possess guns from obtaining them.”

Consultants are finding that the cracks in Milwaukee’s City Hall’s façade are growing and will likely continue to grow. This means the city could spend up to $15.5 million to fix the problem. That would be on top of the $1.5 million that the city has already spent to investigate and deal with the issue since a piece of terra cotta fell off the building back in February. Regardless on the course of action, consultants say until the repairs are implemented, the city should perform follow-up inspections every year to identify additional distress that develops in terra cotta and should remove units that are hazardous.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation is giving a $300,000 grant to Victoryspark, which is a group that will make investments in young, veteran-owned businesses. Victoryspark is the first ‘seed accelerator’ to use mentors and focus on veterans’ start-ups. Nick Wichert is co-founder of Victoryspark and Vetransfer, he said, “Innovative startups have the greatest potential to create large numbers of jobs and economic growth so we created Victoryspark to focus on these startups.

A second judge has recently declared Wisconsin’s voter ID law unconstitutional, which means the ID requirement will not be in place for elections this fall. Dane County Circuit Judge David Flanagan said “the state’s requirement that all voters show photo id at the polls creates a substantial impairment of the right to vote guaranteed by the state constitution.” But just yesterday State Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said he plans to appeal Flanagan’s decision saying the voter ID law ensures election integrity. Backers of the voter ID law say it will help prevent voter fraud, but Flangan responded by saying it’s “unlikely to protect the electoral process. He said the voter id law appears to be the most restrictive one in the country.”

The Ronald McDonald House is set to buy over three acres of land from Milwaukee County for its expansion plan. The proposal was recently approved by the County Board’s Committee on Economic and Community Development. The house that sits on Watertown Plank Road in Wauwatosa provides temporary living space for the families of severely ill or injured children being treated at the nearby Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and other local hospitals. The Ronald McDonald House plans to use the land to expand by adding 37 rooms and a parking structure.

The Milwaukee Public Museum is offering another way for local residents to keep cool this week. The museum is issuing a half price “Beat the Heat” admissions deal, but in order to get this deal, you have to say the magic words. So when purchasing tickets at the museum, patrons need to say “Beat the Heat” at the ticket window in order to receive half-price tickets. The offer is valid for walk-up tickets only. The public museum is open daily from 9 to 5 p.m. and the deal is valid through tomorrow.