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a.MKE The List: New Hampshire Republican Primary & Proposal of Possible Beer Gardens in Milw. County Parks: Today’s Top Stories

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Milwaukee-area home sales rose 4.2 % last year, but in some cases, prices are continuing to drop significantly, reaching lows that haven’t been seen since 2001. So for numbers, there were 12,888 homes sold by Realtors in 2011. That’s about 500 more than in 2010.

An official from the U.S. Department of Justice made a stop in Milwaukee this week to highlight the need for protecting the environment. Assistant Attorney General, Ignacia Moreno, met with officials from the E.P.A. and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. The goal of the visit was to engage investigative and legal reps in important discussions about the work being done to protect our lands, waterways, air and communities.

A bipartisan group of 20 state lawmakers is asking Governor Walker’s administration to rename a pedestrian bridge near miller park the “Bob Uecker Way” for one day in honor of his birthday. Now the Legislature has already passed a resolution marking January 26th as “Bob Uecker Day” in Wisconsin. But there’s no word yet on whether the bridge that connects the east parking lot to the entrance near center field will be renamed.

For the second time in three years, the Supreme Court is listening to arguments about an FCC regulation adopted during the Bush Administration that allows the agency to give broadcasters harsh fines for using vulgar language. The long debated case is back before the court after a federal appeals court in New York said the lines drawn by the FCC can’t be justified in today’s multichannel world, and that the rule amounts to discrimination based on the content of the speech.

According to a recent report from Governor Walker’s Commission, roughly $456 million can be saved annually when it comes cutting waste and fraud within every level of government. The commission report focused on everything from state computer systems to employee overtime and public aid programs for the poor. A spokesperson for Walker said that it would take time to calculate how much of the savings have already been achieved and how much is still in the works.

Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn said that Milwaukee Police Officers will continue to monitor and board county buses to improve safety, with it still being part of their regular job. Flynn addressed the issue during a public safety committee meeting yesterday. With the recent incidents on county buses, Flynn wants to make sure that officers make it a habit to ride the bus every couple of hours, in efforts to reduce crime.