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a.MKE The List: Milwaukee's Downtown Trolley Service Rolls Out & Parking Meters Will Soon Send Texts: Today’s Top Stories

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Today marks the start of downtown Milwaukee’s trolley service. The service is operated by Transit Express and it’s rolling out with its “Hop n’ Shop, Wine n’ Dine” route. So now through September 8th, the trolley will run Wednesdays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. One complete loop is 40 minutes, then there’s two trolleys that will service the Hop n’ Shop, Wine n’ Dine route, which will be 20 minutes. The Milwaukee Trolley Loop is presented by VISIT Milwaukee and the goal is to connect visitors to attractions and summer activities throughout the city. 

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is hosting a public meeting on the conversion of US 41 from Milwaukee to Green Bay to an interstate highway. The department is encouraging people who travel, live or do business along this corridor to attend. Today’s discussion is one of six public meetings scheduled so representatives can talk about the project on an individual basis. DOT officials say “Converting US 41 to an interstate will encourage economic growth, increase safety and create an identity for the corridor from Milwaukee to Green Bay.” Today’s meeting will be held at the Germantown Public Library from 5 to 6:30.

WaterWalk is a movie that was filmed across Wisconsin and its premiering tonight at the Oriental Theatre on Milwaukee’s East Side. The film is centered around a father and son’s bond, and their attempt to become the first single canoe team to retrace the 1,000 mile Marquette Joliet discovery route of the Mississippi. Several Wisconsin cast members appear in the film. Some film locations include Lake Michigan and along the Fox, Wisconsin and Mississippi rivers. Milwaukee locations include Marquette’s campus, the harbor area, Water Buffalo restaurant, Landmark Lanes and Mequon. The movie is considered PG and it will premiere tonight at 7.

A new study out by Manpower Group shows that 49% of U.S. employers are having trouble filling key posts, such as welders, electricians and other skilled trade worker positions. The problems are often called quote “skill mismatch or skills gap”. These terms result in the most common reasons employers run into trouble…lack of available applicants, applicants looking for more pay and lack of experience.

Starting this summer, hundreds of electronic parking meters in Milwaukee, Madison and Lake Geneva will be sending texts to let you know when your meter is about to expire. These meters will essentially be exchanging texts. It’s the latest upgrade to the technology that lets parking meters take credit cards. With the upgraded systems, the meters will ask credit card customers to enter their cell phone numbers if they want a text when their time is running out. And since motorists have already entered their credit card numbers at the meter, they can respond to the texts with only the number of extra minutes they want.  Officials say whether you want to extend your time or not, it’s a good reminder to help avoid parking tickets.

The Department of Natural Resources is hosting its annual “State Parks Open House Day” this Sunday. The agency will waive admission stickers and trail passes. Visitors who stop at one of 49 parks participating in the “Read to Lead at Wisconsin State Parks” program can check out a book related to that particular park. The program challenges children between the ages of 5 to 9 to read nature books from a DNR compiled list. The goal is to get the public to learn about nature, the environment and Wisconsin’s parks.


Your Bill Murrary interlude...