Marisa's Recent Stories
State Sen. Steve Nass, R-Whitewater, who is vice-chair of the senate's universities committee, criticized the appointment of incoming UW-Madison Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin, who commented on her new position and critical race theory.
Friday May 20, 2022
U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin on the Women's Heath Protection Act, which would codify abortion access in federal law, not meeting a 60-vote threshold to proceed in the Senate.
Friday May 13, 2022
Outgoing UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank shares her final remarks for the university as she leaves the position.
Friday May 13, 2022
Gov. Tony Evers, and U.S. senators Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin respond to the leaked U.S. Supreme Court draft opinion on abortion that may result in overturning its previous Roe v. Wade decision.
Saturday May 7, 2022
A Madison couple seeking to purchase their first home face the difficulties of a competitive and expensive housing market.
Friday April 15, 2022
Wisconsin U.S. Representatives Bryan Steil, R-Janesville, and Gwen Moore, D-Milwaukee, met with the chair of the U.S. House Select Committee in Milwaukee to discuss housing inequities.
Friday April 15, 2022
The Wisconsin Supreme Court heard arguments on a lawsuit against the Wisconsin Elections Commission over the use of absentee ballots and legal status of ballot drop boxes.
Friday April 15, 2022
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have approved a second Moderna COVID-19 booster for individuals over 50, but current federal pandemic funding is winding down, which would mean testing and vaccines could no longer be provided for free.
Friday April 1, 2022
One day after Ukraine was invaded, an artisan candle business based in Sturgeon Bay moved to sell a blue-and-yellow solidarity candle to raise money for an emergency aid charity — tens of thousands of orders later, this fundraiser has turned into a community effort.
Thursday March 17, 2022
A Madison resident born in Kyiv who connects with a close family friend remaining in Ukraine while his family flees the Russian invasion.
Friday March 4, 2022
The Republican majority in the state Legislature passed a package of bills to change certain voting rules in Wisconsin. The bills address absentee ballot applications, indefinitely confined voter status and private grant funding for municipalities.
Friday February 25, 2022
Wisconsin's U.S. Senators Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin respond to the invasion by Russia of Ukraine.
Friday February 25, 2022
After receiving monthly payments over the latter half of 2021, a mother of two reflects on what additional federal aid meant for her family's bottom line as political debate continues over its future.
Wednesday February 23, 2022
The Republican-controlled Wisconsin Assembly passed a joint resolution that is the first of two required to put a constitutional amendment before voters that would require courts to consider the severity of a defendant's criminal record when determining bail.
Friday February 18, 2022
The Wisconsin Elections Commission met to revoke its directive on absentee ballot drop boxes in concurrence with a recent state Supreme Court order.
Friday February 18, 2022
Milwaukee voters are going to choose a new mayor for the first time in nearly two decades. Following the Feb. 15, 2022 primary, one candidate moved forward after assembling a nascent multiracial coalition, while another rallied the city's conservative voters. John D. Johnson, a research fellow at Marquette Law School, and Wisconsin Public Radio reporter Christine Hatfield discuss the election.
Wednesday February 16, 2022
Advocates from the disability community in Wisconsin voiced concerns about how bills put forth by Republican lawmakers to establish new rules for election administration in the state would limit voter access.
Friday February 11, 2022
Questions about how police use force have been renewed after an officer shot a Black man in Madison during a "multi-jurisdictional arrest effort" in February 2022, with the Dane County Sheriff's Office offering few details about the "officer-involved shooting" where "shots were fired." Wisconsin State Journal reporter Emily Hamer discusses what she has learned about the incident.
Wednesday February 9, 2022
Here & Now series producer Marisa Wojcik explains the building political battle over the 2020 election in Wisconsin, including efforts by Republicans to promote audits, subpoenas and investigations, as well as growing concern among Democrats about efforts to overturn the outcome of the vote.
Friday February 4, 2022
COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Wisconsin are plummeting as fast as they grew when the omicron variant struck the state, while deaths due to the virus continue to linger. How likely is it this reprieve will continue? "Here & Now" reporter Will Cushman discusses the state's shifting pandemic numbers, testing, an emerging omicron subvariant and the status of a vaccine for children under 5.
Wednesday February 2, 2022
Whether they fled to the U.S. after the fall of Kabul or in previous years, Afghans hoping to build new lives in an unfamiliar place rely on the help of lawyers and resettlement agencies even as they strive to overcome the trauma of departing their original homes.
Monday January 31, 2022
The experiences of every person who has fled from Afghanistan to the United States is different, but all must acclimate to new surroundings while navigating a complicated immigration system.
Monday January 31, 2022
ThedaCare, a hospital group in northeast Wisconsin, filed a lawsuit to keep seven at-will employees who work on a trauma team from leaving for jobs with Ascension, another health care system in the region. Madeline Heim, an Appleton Post-Crescent reporter who covered the story, explains how these events played out in court.
Wednesday January 26, 2022
Wisconsin drinking habits mixed with the COVID-19 pandemic pushed alcohol-related deaths up by 25% in 2020. Wisconsin Policy Forum researcher Ari Brown and Mayo Clinic Health System addiction counselor Brien Gleeson discuss the causes of this problem and consider policies that could begin to address it.
Wednesday January 19, 2022
As the omicron variant causes unprecedented COVID-19 infections, the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County distributed N95 and KN95 masks to community members at the Allied Family Center in Fitchburg.
Friday January 14, 2022
As debates over how racial issues are discussed in schools continues, some Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin have proposed legislation that would prohibit certain types of instruction and professional training for teachers. University of Wisconsin Law School professors Steph Tai and Anuj Desai discuss the context and implications of the proposals.
Wednesday January 12, 2022
A new book says Wisconsin's democracy is dysfunctional and in decline. Matt Rothschild, executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, is the author of "12 Ways to Save Democracy in Wisconsin." He discusses the evolution of the state's political landscape and what he proposes as solutions.
Wednesday January 5, 2022
After two shootings pushed Kenosha into the national spotlight for more than a year, will the people who live there find a chance to heal? James Hall, interim president of the Urban League of Racine and Kenosha, shares his perspective on healing and what he sees for the community moving forward.
Wednesday December 15, 2021
Over the course of 2021, the fight to contain COVID-19 has lurched from expanding vaccine availability to the emergence of variants that raise new concerns about the risks of the pandemic. PBS Wisconsin reporter Will Cushman discusses the latest developments in Wisconsin's covid condition and recaps what the state experienced through the year.
Wednesday December 8, 2021
The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled that it will take a "least change" approach advocated by Republicans in a lawsuit over how to redistrict the state's congressional and legislative maps.
Friday December 3, 2021
Since COVID-19 was first identified in white-tailed deer, the discovery has raised as more questions than answers and has wildlife and disease scientists on alert. Tony Goldberg, a professor of epidemiology with the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, explains ongoing research into deer becoming a reservoir for the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Wednesday December 1, 2021
City authorities announced that criminal charges are being filed in response to the vehicular attack on a Christmas parade on Nov. 21 that has left at least 6 people dead and dozens injured, as community members impacted by the senseless act try to overcome their feelings of fear and shock.
Tuesday November 23, 2021
While an estimated 20,000 people are without suitable housing nightly, the state Legislature has not moved to address homelessness issues. Joe Volk, executive director of the Wisconsin Coalition Against Homelessness, explains why solutions continue to stall.
Wednesday November 17, 2021
After detecting elevated levels of per- and polyflouroalkyl substances, called PFAS, in its drinking water supplies, city of Eau Claire utility staff moved to test more samples, shut off wells where contamination was identified and cut off the flow of these "forever chemicals."
Friday November 12, 2021
Just exactly how much do voters lean toward Democratic or Republican candidates in all 132 districts in the Wisconsin Legislature? The Cap Times Wisconsin Partisan Voter Index shows how strong of a hold each political party has on Assembly and state Senate districts, and how different redistricting plans may impact these trends. Cap Times politics reporter Jack Kelly explains.
Wednesday November 10, 2021
The Racine County Sheriff has alleged systemic voter fraud in a Mount Pleasant long-term care facility, citing a handful of familial statements about the competency of their elder relatives. These assertions are creating concerns about voter disenfranchisement in the disability community. Barbara Beckert of Disability Rights Wisconsin discusses apprehensions about these far-reaching claims.
Wednesday November 3, 2021
The 2011 Wisconsin redistricting process was so consequential that it shaped nearly every aspect of state politics over the ensuing decade. In the new podcast WPR Reports: Mapped Out, Bridgit Bowden and Shawn Johnson delve into the significance of this recent history and explain the new redistricting fight in 2021.
Wednesday October 27, 2021
Struggling to juggle remote work needs and family entertainment demands with a DSL connection, an English teacher in Black River Falls found daily life transformed after subscribing to satellite internet service.
Tuesday October 26, 2021
When the 2020 Census counted incarcerated people, they were counted at the address of the prison. Without the right to vote, the power of their political representation is in effect given to those living in surrounding communities. Jerome Dillard and Peggy West-Schroder of Ex-Incarcerated People Organizing explain prison gerrymandering and how it contributes to racial disparities in elections.
Wednesday October 20, 2021
Most large cities across the country have seen a rise in homicides and other violent crimes during the pandemic, and this trend is particularly acute in Milwaukee as its murder rate reaches a historic level in 2021. Jamaal Smith and Kweku TeAngelo Cargile Jr. from the city's Office of Violence Prevention discuss their work to interrupt and impede violent behaviors.
Wednesday October 13, 2021
Deaths caused by COVID-19 in Wisconsin surpassed 8,000 a year-and-a-half after the pandemic reached the state. As vaccination levels remain plateued, new medical developments to combat the virus and its deadly disease progress. Infectious disease specialist Dr. Nasia Safdar with the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and UW Health explains.
Wednesday October 6, 2021
A U.S. Census report on income and poverty in 2020 is informing how temporary pandemic policies and programs are included in the $3.5 trillion federal infrastructure bill promoted by Democrats. Tamarine Cornelius, a research analyst at Kids Forward, explains the numbers and how they're being considered in future political agendas.
Wednesday September 29, 2021
Reporter Marisa Wojcik investigates an intensive care unit at Marshfield Clinic as COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Wisconsin, exploring severe stains on ICU space in hospitals and the perspectives of the frontline health workers who continue to fight the pandemic.
Friday September 24, 2021
A recent survey of municipal clerks and voters examines their impressions from the 2020 election, including personal experiences during the process, opinions on how well it was run, and if policy changes should be considered. Barry Burden, a UW-Madison political science professor and director of the Elections Research Center, joins to explain.
Wednesday September 22, 2021
The home buyer's market is fiercely competitive and accelerating the divide between who can afford housing and who cannot. Joaquín Altoro, CEO of the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority, explains how the pandemic has illuminated and exacerbated the problem, and points toward potential solutions.
Wednesday September 15, 2021
A proposal in Bayfield County to bottle and sell water from the Lake Superior watershed taking advantage of a loophole tests the mettle of the Great Lakes Compact, which regulates certain water diversions among eight states. Professor Dave Strifling, director of the Water Law and Policy Initiative at the Marquette Law School, explains legal and environmental ramifications of the proposal.
Wednesday September 8, 2021
Emergency responses to mental health crisis calls are primarily answered by police. As one-quarter of people killed in police shootings have a mental illness, cities are looking to change their approach by deploying unarmed first responders instead of law enforcement officers. Ché Stedman, assistant chief of medical affairs at the Madison Fire Department, explains how its new program works.
Wednesday September 1, 2021
Here & Now extra: Thousands of Afghans seeking to make a new home in the United States are being temporarily housed at Fort McCoy, which played a similar role four decades earlier.
Tuesday August 31, 2021
Vaccinations are also rising, albeit slowly, as the Pfizer shot receives full FDA approval and political fights over masking and vaccines drag on.
Friday August 27, 2021
As Afghan refugees begin to arrive at Fort McCoy, many are remembering the 1980 relocation of thousands of Cubans who arrived at the very same Western Wisconsin military installation. Omar Granados, an associate professor of Latin American and Latino studies at UW-La Crosse discusses his work studying this point in Wisconsin’s history.
Wednesday August 25, 2021
As Afghans who worked with the U.S. flee their home under Taliban rule, the military is preparing to temporarily house some at Fort McCoy. Dawn Berney, executive director of resettlement nonprofit Jewish Social Services of Madison, explains how local agencies are preparing for a potential influx of refugees.
Wednesday August 18, 2021
Reporter Marisa Wojcik explores how the court process of evictions and federal rental assistance fits into Wisconsin's broader housing crisis, even as the CDC has reinstated a pandemic moratorium with the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19.
Thursday August 12, 2021
The Delta variant of the coronavirus is rapidly taking hold in Wisconsin, increasing the number of new cases and hospitalizations. Dr. Nasia Safdar, a UW-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health professor of infectious disease, delivers the latest information on the Delta variant and COVID-19.
Wednesday August 4, 2021
Here & Now extra: A nationwide halt on evicting tenants during the pandemic simultaneously slowed down and uncovered deeper fissures in a housing crisis faced by lower-income renters.
Tuesday August 3, 2021
An Outagamie County judge is using his authority to offer defendants alternatives to jail time, but the terms shift and are indefinite, reports Wisconsin Watch in its new investigative series "Justice Deferred." Reporter Phoebe Petrovic discusses their reporting about the judge.
Wednesday July 28, 2021
Wisconsin’s shorelines are undergoing higher levels of flooding and erosion due to climate change and costing coastal communities millions of dollars. Sheboygan Mayor Ryan Sorenson, who is part of a coalition of Great Lakes mayors, explains the local and statewide implications.
Wednesday July 21, 2021
An increase for Wisconsin's K-12 schools in the state's budget coupled with one-time federal pandemic aid still falls short according to public school advocates. Julie Underwood, former dean of the UW-Madison School of Education and board president for the Wisconsin Alliance for Excellent Schools, explains.
Wednesday July 14, 2021
In a press conference in Whitefish Bay, the governor outlined his decision to approve the budgetary plan passed by the state Legislature, emphasizing education spending and tax cuts, the latter of which Republican lawmakers said was their doing.
Thursday July 8, 2021
Scientists and public health officials are using genomic sequencing to plan for future pandemics and to detect variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, such as the more contagious Delta variant. UW-Madison virology professors and researchers Tom Friedrich and Dave O’Connor explain.
Wednesday July 7, 2021
Businesses in busy summer communities like Minocqua, Bayfield and Door County are racing to serve more customers while also struggling with maintaining enough employees as travel swells in the wake of the pandemic.
Friday July 2, 2021
An unexpected rise in spring colds has health officials taking notice as more people choose to forego masks and social distancing. Tom Haupt, a respiratory disease epidemiologist from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, explains why this is happening and how to prevent further spread.
Wednesday June 30, 2021
The anniversary of June 19th, 1865, known as Juneteenth, commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. More than 150 years later, what does prosperity for Black people look like? And what remains to be seen? Ruben Hopkins, founder of the Wisconsin Black Chamber of Commerce, elaborates on these questions.
Wednesday June 16, 2021
After a year of protests demanding reforms to policing, where does Wisconsin’s largest city stand with its own moves toward bettering law enforcement practices? A new report from the Wisconsin Policy Forum details strides being made in a national context. Wisconsin Policy Forum president and an author of the report Rob Henken joins to discuss progress and pitfalls of police reform.
Wednesday June 9, 2021
Mask requirements, capacity limits and other COVID-19 constraints are officially lifted as positive cases are reaching their lowest levels in a year. Here & Now reporter Will Cushman discusses the status of COVID-19 in Wisconsin and reaching a new normal.
Wednesday June 2, 2021
Wildlife and water issues were the focus of an unusual meeting of a state policy setting group in which the Republican-appointed chairperson is refusing to step down as a six-year term ends, blocking the participation of a new Democratic appointee.
Thursday May 27, 2021
A criminal or court record can follow a person around and put up barriers to employment, housing and other opportunities, even if the person is eligible to have those records cleared. A new collaboration called Legal Interventions for Transforming Wisconsin aims to use technology to help people clear their records with a simple process. LIFT Wisconsin executive director Marsha Mansfield explains.
Wednesday May 26, 2021
Residents in a north central Wisconsin community have become divided on passing a resolution proclaiming Marathon County “A Community For All.” Marathon County Board Supervisor and Wausau attorney William Harris explains why consensus cannot be found in this yearlong debate.
Wednesday May 19, 2021
The term "vaccine passport" has been passed around since people started getting inoculated against COVID-19, however its definition changes depending on who you ask. Josh Michaud, associate director for global health policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, and Laura Albert, a researcher and professor of industrial and systems engineering, offer their expert perspectives on vaccine passports.
Wednesday May 5, 2021
Attorney General Josh Kaul discusses investigating reports of clergy abuse in Wisconsin. The Department of Justice worked together drafting the plan with district attorneys, survivor groups, and crime victim service workers. They are also encouraging anyone with any knowledge of abuse to report it.
Friday April 30, 2021
Here & Now Extra: Advocates for greater accountability standards for law enforcement officers point to the Speaker's Task Force recommendations on training and policies as only the beginning of efforts toward change.
Thursday April 29, 2021
The toll from the COVID-19 health crisis is not limited to physical health. Urgency to address deteriorating mental health has been growing as the pandemic drags on and it is acutely impacting young people. Dr. Megan Moreno, a pediatric professor from the UW School of Medicine and Public Health discusses how the pandemic has impacted youth social and emotional well-being.
Wednesday April 28, 2021
Continuing coverage of local responses to the guilty verdict delivered to Derek Chauvin as well where Wisconsin stands in terms of police reforms, we’re joined by Rep. Shelia Stubbs, a Madison Democrat and co-chair of the Speaker’s Task Force on Racial Disparities.
Thursday April 22, 2021
The jury in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin found him guilty on all counts in the murder of George Floyd. Angela Lang, executive director of Black Leaders Organizing for Communities talks about reactions and what comes next.
Thursday April 22, 2021
On the same day a former police officer was convicted of murdering George Floyd, the Speaker's Task Force on Racial Disparities deliberated over how Wisconsin law enforcement officers should be allowed to apply force.
Tuesday April 20, 2021
In the hope of avoiding clashes that echo 2020 unrest, the city's new police chief prepares for potential demonstrations as the trial over the killing of George Floyd concludes.
Monday April 19, 2021
Here & Now Extra: During national Black Maternal Health Week, Wisconsin researchers and advocates shed light on the crisis of Black maternal and infant mortality and return to solutions that have historically been a part of the birthing process in the Black community.
Thursday April 15, 2021
The National Institutes of Health has recognized this week to be Black Maternal Health Week. In Wisconsin infant deaths are three times higher for Black babies than for white, according to most recent health data, and state health professionals are working hard to combat negative outcomes for Black mothers and newborns. Joining us to talk about her work in this field is Dr. Jasmine Zapata.
Wednesday April 14, 2021
After having an appointment for a second shot canceled, a Madison resident had to go on the hunt to complete her vaccination — the Wisconsin Department of Health Services notes this type of lapse is happening but shouldn't be, and encourages people to sign up via the state's registry.
Thursday April 8, 2021
Nearly $69 million in monthly emergency food assistance from the federal government is in jeopardy following last week's Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling that the governor cannot extend a public health emergency past the 60-day limit. Matt King of the Hunger Task Force explains what losing these benefits could mean for Wisconsinites and how to restore them.
Wednesday April 7, 2021
The race for Wisconsin's next superintendent of public schools is coming to the final push for candidates Jill Underly and Deborah Kerr. Key issues include reopening schools, achievement gaps, and the contentious nature of this race.
Friday April 2, 2021
A federal moratorium on evictions was extended to June shortly before it was about to expire. In the meantime, the state is working with local agencies to distribute $322 million to help Wisconsinites catch up on rent. Brad Paul of the Wisconsin Community Action Program Association discusses how the program works.
Thursday April 1, 2021
A mass shooting in Atlanta Georgia last week has sent waves of fear into the Asian-American community – drawing criticism of ignored discrimination perpetuated by policies and culture. Will Hsu joins us to talk about how to understand the prejudices that have existed against Asian-Americans in Wisconsin.
Thursday March 25, 2021
Wisconsin has climbed to the top as one of the country’s leading vaccinators, but many residents are still struggling to find a vaccine despite being eligible. Investigative reporter Bram Sable-Smith from Wisconsin Public Radio and Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism discusses new groups that are crowd-sourcing information on where to track down a vaccine.
Friday March 19, 2021