88Nine Radio Milwaukee

Today's stream is sponsored by Maxie's

a.MKE The List: DNR Announces Spring Burns on Public Lands & Brush of Kindness Program To Begin Soon: Today’s Top Stories

Click to enlarge

Yesterday kicked off Half Price Books’ “Half Pint Library Book Drive”. So if anyone stops by half price books and donates a new or gently used children’s book, it will then go to a local non-profit. The program started back in 1999 and since then, it has collected 2.5 million children’s books for local half pint libraries. There are three Milwaukee-area locations where you can drop off books at: one off of Brown Deer Road, 74thstreet and Bluemound Road. The drive goes through March 31st.

Over the next two days, the Supreme Court is focusing on President Obama’s Health Care overhaul. With several hearings planned, the court will try to determine the fate of the law, which is aimed at extending health insurance to more than 30 million Americans. A final decision is expected by late June, which will be in the middle of a Presidential Election campaign. Tomorrow, the justices will hear arguments on whether the entire health care law can survive if the mandate is truck down. They’ll also consider whether the federal government can force states to adopt new Medicaid requirements.

The DOT plans on having workers demolish and rebuild a freeway ramp that is falling apart on Milwaukee’s South Side. A few weeks ago, authorities had to shut down the Becher Street on-ramp to Northbound 43 and 94 after inspections showed serious deterioration of two bridge pillars. DOT officials then decided a new ramp was the best option. The emergency repair job is expected to cost less than one million dollars and the goal is to have the rebuilt ramp finished by the end of April.

The DNR is prepping for another round of spring burns on public lands. The agency says it will conduct burns on public lands throughout Wisconsin through May. These burns are designed to improve wildlife habitat, control invasive plants and reduce the likelihood of wildfires. DNR officials say qualified workers will assess burn areas to determine wind direction and speed, grass moisture and the proximity of homes, roads and other areas that might be sensitive to smoke. The burns will be scheduled when conditions are most favorable to minimize smoke in those areas.

Habitat for Humanity’s “A Brush of Kindness” program is gearing up to make its way into the Clarke Square Neighborhood for the fourth year in a row. The program is all about fixing up homes needing repairs, such as paint, new windows, security doors or roofing. Enrollment is now open on a first-come, first-served basis. To be eligible, residents must be low-income homeowners that do not intend on moving or selling their home within the next three years. Applications can be dropped off at the Journey House.

This past weekend, Milwaukee County Boy Scouts collected over 125,000 pounds of food to help stock local food pantries, meal programs and shelters. According to Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin, food pantry demands are up 26%, so scouts went door to door on Saturday to help. The nonprofit food distributor also said that people can still donate food at participating Pick N’ Saves stores throughout the city through April 1st. The food will then be given out in Milwaukee County.