Yesterday the United Way of Greater Milwaukee hosted a National Day of Action. Over 75 leadership level donors and their families, along with members of the Milwaukee Bucks, worked on a one-day community service project at YMCA’s transitional housing facility. The facility provides safe housing and supportive services to women and their children experiencing homelessness in Milwaukee County. Volunteers gardened, redecorated family units, painted, provided job coaching, played games and much more. The event was organized by United Way’s Emerging Leaders.
Last week, New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg put out a call to action to U.S. cities and Mayor Tom Barrett says Milwaukee will take up Bloomberg’s challenge. Bloomberg has created a competition that will allow cities to come up with innovative solutions to problems facing American cities. The winning city gets $5 million to implement its big idea and runners-up get $1 million each. Mayor Barrett said, “We see this as a great opportunity to brainstorm locally and to put out some significant initiatives.” Cities must file their applications by September 14th. Mayor Barrett said no decisions have been made about what kind of idea Milwaukee might submit to the competition.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation announced that the I-94 Miller Parkway repaving project should come to an end today. The project started back in February on eastbound I-94 from 72nd Street to 30th Street. Crews replaced 200,000 pounds of rebar, cut 32,000 feet of concrete and put down 18,000 tons of asphalt. With cars, trucks and tens of thousands of commuters passing through the busiest corridor in the state, over 300 workers had to work hard, yet carefully. Transportation officials said that they realized a lot of drivers were inconvenienced over the months, but it’s now over.
Guitars and memorabilia owned by the late Les Paul were recently sold at an auction for nearly $5 million, and 16 of those items were acquired by the Waukesha County Museum. The museum announced that 20 contributors pooled funds to successfully bid on the items, which will become part of ‘The Les Paul Experience’ – which is a long-planned exhibit, that is set to open next June. One of the items that will be featured is a rare 1927, Gibson L5 acoustic guitar. The museum’s president said “Several items are priceless and are critical to telling the Les Paul story in his hometown.”
Racine Election Officials are underway with recounting the ballots of the 21st Senate District Recall Race. The Government Accountability Board officially ordered a recount in the state Senate recall race on Monday. The recount comes at the request of Republican State Senator, Van Wanggaard. Last week’s canvass found him trailing Democratic Challenger John Lehman by 834 votes. The election is important because the state senate currently has 16 Democrats and 16 Republicans. The winner will give his party majority control. Now the county will have until July 2nd to complete the recount.
The Milwaukee Housing Authority’s Education Initiative is helping kids succeed in school. The initiative has 363 children from 127 families. These families are residents of the city’s Highland Homes neighborhood and other scattered sites managed by the housing authority. They’re taking part in the initiative because of a mandate written into their lease agreement. So this means that if you live there and have children, your children will receive help to stay on track in school. The education initiative is focused on the success of its children and in the most recent school year, 85% of its students who were eligible to graduate, did.