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Milwaukee, WI

Capuchin Community Services expands services to help the unhoused during RNC

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Capuchin Community Services expands services to help the unhoused during RNC


MILWAUKEE — The unhoused population will be pushed out of the security zone in downtown Milwaukee for the Republican National Convention.

That’s why Capuchin Community Services, an organization that aids many vulnerable groups in Milwaukee, is preparing to expand its efforts during the convention.


What You Need To Know

  • Capuchin Community Services is also preparing to expand its efforts during the convention to help the homeless during the RNC
  • With access restricted in the security zone, St. Ben’s in downtown Milwaukee will reopen its shelter program that week
  • The goal of Capuchin Community Services is to eventually offer a year round shelter
  • Milwaukee County’s homeless outreach team and Milwaukee Continuum of Care partners will be standing by 24/7 and staffing a reception center several blocks from the security zone from July 13-20, which will be a space that can be accessed by anyone experiencing unsheltered homelessness in the immediate area of the RNC security zone


Father Mike Bertram is the director of the Capuchin Community Services.

He and his team regularly prepare the Community Meal at St. Ben’s Parish five days a week in downtown Milwaukee for those in need.

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“It’s certainly free for anyone,” said Bertram. “We serve probably 175 to 200 people every night.”

Bertram said their biggest concern will be making sure they can continue to offer this meal during the convention.

“It will be a challenge for us too, just to get into work, but we really want to talk with the law enforcement agencies to make sure we have some clearance, that we abide by the regulations and the stipulations that you have to have. We recognize that,” said Bertram. “We honor that but still can have that access to continue the services that we are offering.”

With access restricted in the security zone, Bertram said now, more than ever, it is important that they reopen their shelter program that week.

(Spectrum News 1/Phillip Boudreaux)

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“Sunday night through Friday night, we are going to offer shelter here for the sake that it is at least cool and comfortable but more for the sake that our guests are safe because you can understand that if somebody breaks that perimeter zone without proper authorization, now we are in some trouble,” said Bertram.

Bertram said he hopes to offer these services after the convention is over. He said their goal is to offer a year-round shelter.

“For many people, St. Ben’s is their home, especially homeless people living on the street and so they look at our services as vital not just occasional but every day,” said Bertram. “We have any number of guests that we recognize by name.”

For Bertram, that means St. Ben’s will always be a place of refuge for the community. He said that’s the first step to help those who are struggling find a better life.

Milwaukee County has also announced expanded efforts to help the unhoused during the RNC. 

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A spokesperson issued the following statement:

“Milwaukee County’s homeless outreach team and Milwaukee Continuum of Care partners will be standing by 24/7 and staffing a reception center several blocks from the security zone from July 13-July 20, which will be a space that can be accessed by anyone experiencing unsheltered homelessness in the immediate area of the RNC security zone. The homeless outreach team, in collaboration with the Milwaukee continuum of care partners, will be working closely that week with the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Services (BHS) crisis mobile team in the area to help triage homelessness and mental health needs. This is to ensure the people that County workers are supporting on the street have immediate access to resources and a place to stay overnight.”



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Milwaukee, WI

Organizers say recall effort against Milwaukee school board members has over 37k signatures

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Organizers say recall effort against Milwaukee school board members has over 37k signatures


Organizers for a recall effort against four Milwaukee Public Schools board members say they’ve collected over 37,000 signatures so far. That’s more than half of the total they need by mid-August to initiate a recall against four board members.

The effort, from the MPS School Board Recall Collaborative, comes after a tumultuous few weeks for the district. In late May, the state Department of Public Instruction sent a letter to the district warning that it could lose millions of dollars in state funding after it failed to send in financial reports.

In the weeks since, district superintendent Keith Posley resigned from his post, Gov. Tony Evers called for operational and instructional audits of the district and Legislative Republicans have pushed for an audit of the district’s finances. This month, the state said the district was projected to lose $81 million in state funds as a result of the reporting failures. 

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Now organizers with the recall effort are looking to unseat school board president Marva Herndon, vice president Jilly Gokalgandhi, school board member at large Missy Zombor and board member Erika Siemsen.

To trigger a recall election, the group will need to collect 5,137 signatures for Herndon, 6,809 signatures for Siemsen, 7,759 signatures for Gokalgandhi and 44,177 signatures for Zombor, according to Paulina Gutiérrez, executive director of the Milwaukee Election Commission.

“This MPS recall is not us recalling Milwaukee Public Schools,” said Tamika Johnson, a petitioner in the recall effort, during a Wednesday afternoon press conference. “This recall is recalling incompetent board members who allowed corruption to happen on the back of our Black and brown and white children.” 

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Angela Harris, chair of the Black Educators Caucus and a second grade teacher at the Milwaukee Academy of Chinese Language, is also in support of the effort.

“I can understand, certainly, after all of the things that have occurred with Milwaukee Public Schools and the current iteration of the board, why community members would feel that it would be necessary to engage in a recall,” Harris said.

“We elect these folks to be our voices, but it seems to me that particularly with these four board members, folks in their district don’t feel like their voices are being heard, respected, or valued,” she added. 

But not everyone supports the recall effort. The Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association said in a statement that they believe the push is being led by people with “close ties to private voucher and charter schools.”

“Milwaukee should see this recall effort for what it is — local affiliates of the deep-pocketed, nationwide anti-public education voucher industry seeking to capitalize on the recent troubles with the MPS financial office,” MTEA President Ingrid Walker-Henry said in a statement. 

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Nicole Johnson, another petitioner in the recall effort, said the group doesn’t have any candidates lined up yet in the case of a recall election. 

But Johnson did say Wednesday the recall effort has received money from “anonymous donors” to help pay for canvassers who are collecting signatures. Organizers said those canvassers will be paid for their work after the signatures have been verified by the city. 

Organizers also said they do not know who the “anonymous donors” are. 

After speaking at a Milwaukee Press Club event Wednesday, Gokalgandhi said she’s aware of the recall effort but is staying focused on the district’s needs. 

“The public has … their democratic right. My job is to continue to serve our kids, work on getting the ship back into the right direction and be prepared in September for our kids to come to our schools,” Gokalgandhi said.

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Asked if she plans to run again in a recall election, she responded, “I think we got to see what happens.”

The group has until Aug. 12 to collect signatures and submit them to the Election Commission.  Johnson said organizers are “confident” they’ll collect enough signatures needed by that time.

The Commission has 31 days after the group submits the signatures to verify them.

Last week, the school board also announced it had selected Eduardo Galvan to serve as the new acting superintendent following Posley’s resignation. The board will meet Thursday to confirm or deny that appointment. 

“We are confident in the leadership Mr. Galvan brings to MPS and to this role,” Herndon said in a statement. “Additionally, this step moves the district closer to having an interim superintendent in place before the beginning of the school year, which is critical to our goal of serving the students and families of MPS in the best way possible.”

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Milwaukee, WI

Milwaukee Brewers OF Christian Yelich Dealing With Problematic Back Injury

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Milwaukee Brewers OF Christian Yelich Dealing With Problematic Back Injury


Milwaukee Brewers All-Star Christian Yelich left Tuesday night’s contest against the Chicago Cubs due to back tightness, the team announced.

Yelich, who was serving as Milwaukee’s designated hitter, made three plate appearances before getting subbed out. He drew two walks before grounding out in the sixth, and Rhys Hoskins pinch-hit for him the next time he was due up in the eighth.

When manager Pat Murphy was asked for his thoughts on Yelich’s injury, he didn’t sound particularly optimistic.

“My thoughts are ‘Oh sh*t’ – can I say that?” Murphy said. “Those are my thoughts.”

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As noted by The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Curt Hogg, Yelich had been dealing with back flareups over the past few days.

Yelich already suffered a lower back strain in April, costing him nearly a month of action. After missing those 23 consecutive games, though, Yelich had only missed four of the Brewers’ next 66 contests.

The 32-year-old outfielder has been enjoying a resurgent 2024 campaign, making his first All-Star appearance since 2019. He currently leads the National League with a .315 batting average and .415 on-base percentage, five years removed from his back-to-back batting titles in 2018 and 2019.

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Yelich’s .504 slugging percentage and .909 OPS are also the highest they’ve been since 2019, when he finished runner-up in the NL MVP race. He won NL MVP in 2018, leading the league in both categories.

Through 73 games this season, Yelich has racked up 11 home runs, 42 RBI, 21 stolen bases and a 2.4 WAR. He recently became one of five active MLB players to hit 200 career home runs and steal 200 career bases.

It remains to be seen if Yelich will need to hit the injured list again, or if he will be able to rejoin the Brewers’ lineup for Wednesday’s finale against the Cubs. First pitch at Wrigley Field is scheduled for 2:20 p.m. ET.

Continue to follow our FanNation on SI coverage on social media by liking us on Facebook and by following us on Twitter @FastballFN.

You can also follow Sam Connon on Twitter @SamConnon.

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Milwaukee, WI

Milwaukee missing 10-year-old boy; last seen near 38th and Lancaster

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Milwaukee missing 10-year-old boy; last seen near 38th and Lancaster


Milwaukee police are asking for the public’s help to locate a critically missing 10-year-old boy named Michael Miller. 

The boy was last seen near 38th and Lancaster on Milwaukee’s north side around 6 p.m. on Tuesday, July 23. 

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Miller is described as a male, Black, 4′ tall, weighing 75 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a gray t-shirt, gray jogging pants, and white Nike Airforce tennis shoes with orange and blue accents.

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Anyone having contact with, or information on the boy is urged to call the Milwaukee Police Department, District 7 at 414-935-7272.

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