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88Nine Radio Milwaukee

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a.MKE The List: U.S. Supreme Court's Big Health Care Decision & Downtown Milwaukee's New Info Center : Today’s Top Stories

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Yesterday the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the individual insurance requirement at the heart of President Obama’s health care overhaul, which means requiring people to have health insurance violates the constitution. GOP Candidate Mitt Romney is vowing to repeal the law if elected. But for now, the Supreme Court’s decision could benefit people with low to middle class incomes who do not get health benefits through an employer, as well as people with pre-existing health conditions. This expansion of health care coverage to tens of millions of people is scheduled to begin in 18 months.

Today the Hunger Task Force is inviting the public to a tour of its sort room and warehouse plus a presentation of the “K’s for a Cause” t-shirt to Brewers Pitcher Yovani Gallardo. This is the fifth year the task force has been the beneficiary for K’s for a Cause. Throughout the season, Foley and Lardner partners, associates and staff donate a set amount to the program for every strikeout recorded by Yovani at Miller Park. Strikeouts are then highlight on the “K board” in right field. Today’s tour is from noon to 1.

With Summerfest here, the Milwaukee County Transit System is encouraging fest goers to take the bus. Transit officials say there’s several ways to get to the big gig, including Freeway Flyer buses as well as downtown shuttles. The downtown shuttle operates from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. every day throughout the fest, with the bus service running every 7 to 10 minutes. Buses operate in both directions along Wisconsin Avenue. There’s also Freeway Flyer service, which operates from 10 park-ride lots to Summerfest’s Main Gate.

The Northwestern Mutual Foundation has awarded $640,000 to 20 southeastern Wisconsin nonprofits that provide services to people in need. The foundation said the money is going to programs that address the greatest, most critical community needs. Some local-area grant recipients include Guest House of Milwaukee, Fondy Food Center, Milwaukee Rescue Mission and more. The foundation’s president, John Kordsmeier, said, “This is an opportunity for us to help families who are in need and searching for stability.”

Even though it’s hot out, health department officials are warning residents that are going to the beach to cool off, to make sure it’s safe to go in the water. Just recently South Shore Beach in Bay View made the list of the nation’s top 15 repeat offenders for persistent water contamination. So far this summer, South Shore Beach has either been closed or had an advisory 23 of the 30 days that water has been tested for E-coli bacteria. Swimming in contaminated water can cause stomach and intestinal illness and it can take one to three days after swimming for symptoms to appear.

Downtown Milwaukee is finding new, creative ways to revitalize Wisconsin Avenue and one such way is by transforming the former Grand Theatre’s Ticket Box into a Downtown Information Booth for visitors and newcomers. The new information center is now open and can be found on 214 West Wisconsin Avenue. The kiosk features the latest maps and information on arts and entertainment options throughout the city and is staffed by Milwaukee Downtown 62 hours a week. Executive Director of Downtown Milwaukee, Beth Nicols, said “We look forward to enhancing our guests’ experiences and are excited to play a role in the latest resurgence of West Wisconsin Avenue.”