By Raina J. Johnson, Special to the Milwaukee Times
The last of a dying breed
WMCS-AM (1290) announced last week that due to a business decision, they were changing formats and call letters to WZTI Martini Radio – geared toward “mature” adults, primarily those over 50 years of age. WMCS talk radio had a 20 year-reputation in Milwaukee of being the voice and center of information for the black community. This huge shock is a lost voice of outreach and opinion for the African American community, which now leaves WNOV-AM 860 as the last of a dying breed in talk radio for our community. WNOV morning show host, Sherwin Hughes, 38, uses the Twitter handle @sherwinagain and has been on air for the station for the past 8 months. He understands that the departure of WMCS from the community is an opportunity that yields “a tremendous responsibility that I take with great honor,” Hughes said. “I will do my best to be fair and objective on issues.” Hughes is a political consultant; he works on political campaigns and educational policy. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in sociology. “I want to provide listeners with a more global perspective, and bridge multi-generational differences,” he added. Moving forward, Hughes said he plans to be at more events in the community and participate in more activities. “I will do as much listening as talking,” said Hughes.
Inquest into police custody death of Derek Williams
An inquest jury in Milwaukee County recommended that charges be filed against three Milwaukee police officers in the July 2011 police custody death of 22-year-old robbery suspect Derek Williams. Williams died gasping for air in the back of a squad car; the jury concluded that the officers, Richard Ticcioni, Jeffrey Cline and Jason Bleichwehl, failed to render aid, a misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty of nine months in jail. This is a big step in the process, as inquest verdicts are only advisory. The decision to file the charges is up to special prosecutor John Franke.
Sequester showdown in Washington
Stepping down from the fiscal cliff we all heard about in 2012 and the beginning of 2013, Congress has now put the country in another drama-filled tailspin called a “sequestration or sequester.” Sequestration is mandated, automatic budget cuts – we’re talking about a cool $85 billion split between domestic and defense areas. President Obama and some Republicans in Congress are unable to agree on alternatives to reduce the debt. What does the sequester mean to you? Well, the average American may not feel the pinch for weeks or months to come. But according to Whitehouse.gov, the impact on Wisconsin could be huge. According a White House fact sheet, Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for approximately 900 children in Wisconsin, reducing access to critical early education. Wisconsin will lose about $661,000 in funding for job search assistance, referral, and placement, meaning around 23,120 fewer people will get the help and skills they need to find employment. Locally, more than 6,200 federal employees in Milwaukee County could be affected.
The silent race – District 2 Milwaukee county board supervisor
Less than 30 days away is a general election for what some are calling the “silent race” in Milwaukee’s District 2 for County Board Supervisor. This election in District 2 for a nonpartisan seat is special election because the seat was vacated by Nikiya Harris – who began her term in the Wisconsin State Senate in January. The top two candidates that will be squaring off in the April 2, 2013 general election are Ravae S.M. Sinclair and Khalif J. Rainey. Others that ran in the race were Penny Sikora, a county bus driver; and Walt Love, a former radio personality and construction worker. Ravage S.M. Sinclair is a graduate of Marquette University Law School and served in the Wisconsin State Public Defender’s Office- Milwaukee Trial Division. Khalid J. Rainey is an aide to Rep. Gwen Moore – a Democrat from Milwaukee.