R.I.P. Dustin Diamond, ‘Saved By The Bell’ star and one of TV’s all-time lovable nerds

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Dustin Diamond, the actor known for his role as Screech in the hit sitcom Saved by the Bell, died Monday, from cancer. According to a statement from his manager Roger Paul, “he was diagnosed with this brutal, relentless form of malignant cancer only three weeks ago. In that time, it managed to spread rapidly throughout his system; the only mercy it exhibited was its sharp and swift execution.” He was 44 years old.

As Samuel “Screech” Powers, Diamond played the goofy, nerdy sidekick on Saved by the Bell. He was a foil to the troublemaking charm of Zack Morris (played by Mark-Paul Gosselaar), and an annoyance to the rich and snobby Lisa Turtle (played by Lark Voorhies). Though Diamond had been attached to the show since its precursor, Good Morning, Miss Bliss, through to its spinoff Saved the Be Bell: The New Class, he did not appear in the current iteration of the show that’s streaming on Peacock.

After Saved by the Bell, Diamond distanced himself from the character. In 2006 he directed himself in and released a sex tape called “Screeched,” which he later told the Oprah Winfrey Network was faked using a stunt person.

“People, to this day, look down on me,” he said. “And I didn’t really do it.”

Getty Images

Diamond also made appearances on various reality TV shows throughout the 2000s, such as Celebrity Fit Club, Hulk Hogan’s Celebrity Championship Wrestling and Celebrity Big Brother. On those shows and in his 2009 book Behind the Bell, Diamond came off as acerbic and possibly off-putting. But his manager Roger Paul said in the statement, “[Diamond] — much like the rest of those who act out and behave poorly — had undergone a great deal of turmoil and heartache. His actions, though rebukeable, stemmed from loss and the lack of knowledge on how to process that pain properly.”

“In actuality,” the statement continued, “Dustin was a humorous and high-spirited individual whose greatest passion was to make others laugh. He was able to sense and feel other peoples’ emotions to such a length that he was able to feel them too—a strength and a flaw, all in one.”

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.
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A new bookstore specializing in graphic novels is open in Bay View

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“We don’t make a distinction between graphic novels and literature,” says Cris Siqueira, talking in front of Lion’s Tooth on Kinnickinnic Avenue in Bay View. “We consider graphic novels to be high art. And we need a place in Milwaukee that treats it like that.”

Siqueira, who owned a graphic novel bookstore in São Palo, Brazil in the ’90s, has opened Lion’s Tooth with Shelly McClone-Carriere, a founder of the Riverwest Co-Op. “The last three years I have been the cafe coordinator, teaching seventh and eighth graders how to run a business,” she tells me.

“Now she’s going to teach me,” Siqueira butts in, and we all laugh.

With the business acumen and the artistic curation, Lion’s Tooth has their bases covered. Together they will be bringing a choice selection of graphic novels and small press books to Milwaukee. Selling graphic novels, they also hit on a passion of mine. I have crossed the country looking for stores that specialize in graphic novels. In Minneapolis there used to be Big Brain, but they shut down nearly a decade ago. In Grand Rapids, there is Vault of Midnight, but they are more of a comic book store with a large graphic novel selection.

“Superheroes will have to hide in the corners of the store,” Siqueira tells me. “There are plenty of great places in Milwaukee where they live, but we want to go the other way.”

The only bookstore in the Midwest that I know that is comparable is Quimby’s in Chicago. The legendary shop where you might see Daniel Clowes or Chris Ware, both artists that Lion’s Tooth carries.

As a patron and fan of this medium, I am so glad that Milwaukee will now have a store like this. I called about a book that I saw on their website called “Bicycle Day.” “That was my favorite book of 2019,” Siqueira couldn’t help but say. I smiled because it means that she has opinions and cares. Siqueira and McClone-Carriere will be trusted guides on this little known medium and they are already proving to be up to the task.

You can browse their selection here, and order online for in-store pickup, or call in an order at (414) 455-3498.

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This website lets you plop Bernie Sanders anywhere in Milwaukee

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Yesterday’s inauguration was filled with memorable moments, from Amanda Gorman’s rousing poem to the historic swearing-in of the country’s first female vice president. But there was one image, in particular, that social media couldn’t get enough of: a photo of a seated, mittened Bernie Sanders that became one of the fastest-memed pictures in the history of the internet, which is really, really saying something.

Superimposing Sanders into every picture imaginable is a hobby that’s united bored internet users across all ends of the political spectrum, and thanks to a new website that lets users drop Bernie into any location on Google maps, Milwaukee has gotten into the action, too. Just type in any address or location name, and the site does the rest.

We’ve given Bernie a tour of some famous Milwaukee spots below (some work better than others, as that poor woman in the Bronze Fonz picture can attest). Let us know if we missed any good ones.

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Watch poet Amanda Gorman read her stunning inauguration poem ‘The Hill We Climb’

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Amanda Gorman, a 22-year-old poet from Los Angeles, is following in the footsteps of Robert Frost and Maya Angelou as she takes the stage for President Biden’s inauguration.

But she’s also taking her cues from orators like Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr. — people who knew a thing or two about calling for hope and unity in times of despair and division.

Gorman told NPR she dug into the works of those speakers (and Winston Churchill, too) to study up on ways “rhetoric has been used for good.” Over the past few weeks she composed a poem that acknowledges the previous president’s incitement of violence, but turns toward hope.

Getty Images Poet Amanda Gorman arrives at the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 20 | Win McNamee/Getty Images

“The Hill We Climb” reads, in part:

We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it,

Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy.

And this effort very nearly succeeded.

But while democracy can be periodically delayed,

It can never be permanently defeated.

In this truth, in this faith, we trust.

For while we have our eyes on the future,

history has its eyes on us.

Gorman, like Biden, had a speech impediment as a child. (Biden had a stutter; Gorman had difficulty pronouncing certain sounds.) She told NPR’s Steve Inskeep that her speech impediment was one reason she was drawn to poetry at a young age.

“Having an arena in which I could express my thoughts freely was just so liberating that I fell head over heels, you know, when I was barely a toddler,” she said.

For Gorman, a former National Youth Poet Laureate, her struggle to speak provided a connection not only to the incoming president, but to previous inaugural poets, too.

“Maya Angelou was mute growing up as a child and she grew up to deliver the inaugural poem for President Bill Clinton,” she says. “So I think there is a real history of orators who have had to struggle with a type of imposed voicelessness, you know, having that stage in the inauguration.”

There have only been a handful of inaugural poets; Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and John F. Kennedy were the only presidents in the past who chose to have poems read at their inaugurations. You can read all the previous poems here.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.
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America’s Test Kitchen offers its spin on a Solly’s Wisconsin butter burger

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America’s Test Kitchen has presented its own spin on Wisconsin’s signature culinary achievement. Inspired by a visit to Milwaukee and what the writers called “one of the best things we tasted,” the publication has shared a new recipe recreating one of the state’s most notorious butter burgers: the especially buttery ones from Solly’s Grille.

As you’d expect, it’s not an especially complicated recipe — no fancy seasoning, just salt, pepper, stewed onions and lots of butter (the publication recommends using the brand Kate’s Homemade). The key secret to the burger: using a searing hot skillet to get a crispy char on the exterior of the thin burger patties. And, of course, using more butter than you ever thought possible.

Photo courtesy America’s Test Kitchen | https://www.instagram.com/p/CJ_spTbBsXV/

“A slab of salted butter on the bun and a topping of some (even more) buttery stewed onions placed on our crispy burger—what could be better than that?” the writers marvel.

You can find the recipe on America’s Test Kitchen’s website. It’s unclear whether the recipe will be featured on an upcoming episode of America’s Test Kitchen’s PBS show, but the show just started airing its 21st season earlier this month.

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Franklin’s Milky Way Drive-In is screening horror classics all month

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If nothing else, 2020 has been a banner year for drive-in theaters. They’ve popped up all over the country, including in Franklin, where the city’s Ballpark Commons created the first Milwaukee-area drive-in in nearly 20 years, Milky Way Drive-In.

This month the Drive-In is debuting some special programming for Halloween. Thursday through Sundays will be “Fright Nights” at the drive-in, featuring a mix of modern and classic horror movies for both kids and adults. The lineup is impressive, with selection ranging from “Ghostbusters” and “Beetlejuice” to “Happy Death Day,” “The Ring,” “It” and “The Babadook.”

“The Strangers”

Admission is $35 per car per screening (with the exceptions of Thursdays, which are double features). Tickets can be purchased at the theater’s website, and food and drinks will be sold through the ballpark’s concessions stands and from food trucks via app. There will be several ways to listen to the movies, either through outdoor speakers, the radio or an app.

The complete schedule is below.

Thursday, Oct. 1 (double feature)

  • 6:30 p.m. – “Sinister”
  • 9:15 p.m. – “The Strangers”

Friday, Oct. 2

  • 9:30 p.m. – “Freddy vs. Jason”

Saturday, Oct. 3

  • 9:15 p.m. – “Sleepy Hollow”

Sunday, Oct. 4

  • 5 p.m. – “Corpse Bride”

Thursday, Oct. 8 (double feature)

  • 6:30 p.m. – “Happy Death Day”
  • 9:15 p.m. – “Room 237”

Friday, Oct. 9 

  • 6:30 p.m. – “The Goonies”
  • 9:15: p.m. – “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (the remake)

Saturday, Oct. 10

  • 5 p.m. – “The Addams Family” (the 2019 animated movie)
  • 7:45 p.m. – “The Ring”
  • 10:30 p.m. – “It”

Sunday, Oct. 11

  • 5 p.m. – “Goosebumps”

Thursday, Oct. 15 (double feature)

  • 6:30 p.m. – “Scream”
  • 9:15 p.m. – “It: Chapter Two”

Friday, Oct. 16

  • 6:30 p.m. – “Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween”
  • 9:15 p.m. – “Friday the 13th” (remake)

Saturday, Oct. 17

  • 7:45 p.m. – “Insidious”
  • 10:30 p.m. – “The Invisible Man”

Sunday, Oct. 18

  • 5 pm. – “Monster House”

Thursday, Oct. 22 (double feature)

  • 6:30 p.m. – “Ghostbusters”
  • 9:15 p.m. – “The Purge: Election Year”

Friday, Oct. 23

  • 6:30 p.m. – “Beetlejuice”
  • 9:15 p.m. – “The Blair Witch Project”

Saturday, Oct. 24

  • 5 p.m. – “The Spiderwick Chronicles”
  • 7:45 p.m. – “Lights Out”
  • 10:30 p.m. – “Halloween” (2018)

Sunday, Oct. 25

  • 5 p.m. – “Hotel Transylvania”

Thursday, Oct. 29 (double feature)

  • 6:30 p.m. – “The Babadook”
  • 9:15 p.m. – “The Conjuring”

Friday, Oct. 30

  • 6:30 p.m. – “Ghostbusters”

Saturday, Oct. 31

  • 5 p.m. – “Casper”
  • 7:45 p.m. – “The Cabin in the Woods”
  • 10:30 p.m. – “Jigsaw”

Sunday, Nov. 1

  • 5 p.m. – “The Addams Family”
88Nine Radio Milwaukee

We share our County Stadium memories

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For the third year in a row the Milwaukee Brewers have made the playoffs, although this time there hasn’t been nearly as much ceremony as there was in 2018 and 2019. Tonight at 9:08 CST, the underdog Brewers play the first game of their best-of-three match against the league-dominating Los Angeles Dodgers — a series even the most optimistic Brewers fans don’t think leaves the team much of a chance of advancing. But still, the postseason is the postseason, and we’re grateful for at least the possibility the Brewers could pull off a historic upset this week.

This week has also given us another reason to be in a baseball state of mind, too: It marks the 20th anniversary of the Brewers’ final game at its beloved old ballpark, County Stadium.

We asked Radio Milwaukee staffers to share some of their favorite County Stadium memories, and from broken noses to luxury (and not so luxury) seats, they came up with some great ones.

County Stadium, back in the days when ballparks didn’t have roofs

Maddy Riordan

Baseball games have always been one of my favorite sporting events to attend. On Aug. 7, 1996, I went to the Milwaukee Brewers vs. Baltimore Orioles game at County Stadium with my parents and three sisters. My oldest sister won tickets to the game through school, so we made an unusual weekday trip to the stadium to watch the game.

I can’t remember exactly when in the game this happened, but Eddie Murray stepped up to bat and hit a foul ball into the left field stands. And it landed, smack dab in the middle of my face, breaking my nose. I was rushed to the medical room where a doctor evaluated my injury and Bernie Brewer came to visit, giving me a baseball.

My mom got the ball that broke my nose from the gentlemen sitting in front of us (although from the way she tells the story, they weren’t so quick to give up a game ball). I got a wheelchair ride back to our car and we left before the game was over. Even though I have a mangled nose, baseball is still one of my favorite sporting events to attend and I have a great story about County Stadium!

Justin Barney

My first game at County Stadium was Robin Yount’s 3,000th hit. I didn’t know who Robin Yount was. I didn’t know what a hit was. I didn’t really know what anything was. I was 2 years old. What I did know was that my dad was excited. And that made me excited. It’s still the thing that makes me excited about baseball. I’m a casual fan. I barely follow, but you bet, this weekend, I was out cleaning the garage with my dad and we had Uecker on the radio. As he called balls and strikes my dad told me about how he hated the Cardinals, how he cheered for the Red Socks in 1968 when we lost cause their players had the best sounding names: Rico Petrocelli, Carl Yastrzemski. And how his dad never drank a Coca-Cola again after the Braves left for Atlanta. I had a couple memories at County Stadium. Some good ones too. But my favorite memories are the ones I hear second hand from my dad.

Peter Adams

I have MANY memories from the old days at County Stadium. The first is music related and the second is Packers related! 

The year was 1993. The date was June 2. Paul McCartney made a stop in Milwaukee at good ol’ County Stadium. I was there and it was amazing.  Paul played on a stage set up in center field and I was literally in the last row behind home plate… aka (insert Justin Barney voice) THE FURTHEST YOU COULD POSSIBLY BE FROM THE STAGE! It didn’t bother me though. It was still one of my fondest live music memories of my life! 

The year must have been 1984 or 1985. The Packers were playing the Minnesota Vikings. I was in the bleachers with my dad, cousins and uncle. Naturally, there were quite a few Vikings fans at the game. Amongst them was a kid whom I recall to be maybe 10 years old. The kid was sporting a fancy Viking ship-type head piece. A bunch of sloppy, drunk, rowdy Packers’ fans took the hat off the kid’s head and proceeded to toss it up, row-by-row, until the last person in the top row tossed the head piece overboard! Over the bleachers! How’s that for hospitality?! I don’t recall if the kid was crying or if his dad turned to fisticuffs.

Nate Imig

I’m an ’80s baby and started going to the ballpark in the mid to late ’90s, so it always seemed “old” to me. The team was never very good when I was growing up, but there was a sense of ownership I felt, even as a chubby little 8-year-old. This was my team, my Brewers, playing in crusty old stadium. It wasn’t posh, but it was ours. I went to a lot of games as a kid, with my dad especially, and because I played Little League, I loved to keep score in a specialized notebook I brought along with me to the game. I also remember the seating policy being a little more lax back then; if the crowd was sparse, which it often was in the latter days of County Stadium, the kindly ushers tended to turn a blind eye to a kid and his dad looking for a better seat in the 7th inning. We ended up getting closer to the action than we deserved on more than one occasion. Maybe my little notebook gave us that “lower deck” cred.

But even though most my memories of County Stadium are a little janky, there was one game I remember where it felt like we got the hook up. My dad would sometimes try to trade our tickets at the exchange window once we got inside, trying to find a better seat. One day, on a particularly cold day early in the season, my dad sprung for “skybox” tickets. At least that’s what he called it. The skybox was a section of the stadium that wasn’t quite a suite, but it was enclosed in glass. Looking back, I’m pretty sure it was the visiting team press box, for when the stadium hosted football games. And best of all, it had heat, which came in quite handy at those early season games, where there were often snow flurries in the air. Talk about luxury, especially in a stadium that didn’t have a roof.

I have a distinct memory of sitting in the heated room, crunching on my the Chex Mix I brought from home (the cost of the “skybox” tickets alone meant no food at the game), feeling like “ah, this is the life.” Having only ever sat in the upper deck — or sneaking downstairs later in the game — I had never known was it was like to sit in the “good seats.” It felt like such a gem, hidden within a run down stadium. We never sat up there again, but I’ll be forever grateful for my dad that day. It was worth it to spring for the good seats once, but not get too used to it. That’s my dad for you.

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The Brewers got good

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If Major League Baseball’s regular season ended last night, the Milwaukee Brewers would be in the playoffs.

That’s an incredible turnaround for a team that, for much of this uncanny, abbreviated baseball season, has shown about as much life as the cardboard cutouts in the stands. For weeks nothing could go right for Milwaukee’s baseball club. Lorenzo Cain sat the season out. Christian Yelich might as well have. Batters like Keston Hiura slumped badly, and at times the offense disappeared for entire games. Earlier this month the Brewers even suffered the humiliation of a no-hitter against the Cubs.

But there’s plenty of recent precedent for the Brewers surging in September, and recently there have been signs that manager Craig Counsell might be able to pull off his late-season magic once again.

Some of the team’s hope has come in the unlikely form of late acquisition Dan Vogelbach, a first baseman of rare heft who was slumping even worse than the average Brewer when the Mariners dropped him this season. Since joining the crew, though, he’s been an absolute slugger, hitting nearly 400 with three homers, including two that counted for all five runs in the team’s victory Sunday against Kansas City. If this were a normal season, he’d be an enormous fan favorite, his grinning face would be plastered all over T-shirts.

But the real success story of has been the pitching, which has been exceptional. Brandon Woodruff has been an ace. Corbin Burnes is emerging as a Cy Young candidate. Reliever Devin Williams is beginning to make a case for the NL Rookie of the Year Award. And Josh Hader is still Josh Hader, one of the game’s most feared closers. If the team does advance to the postseason, it will be because of them.

https://twitter.com/MLB/status/1308599376420503552

Yesterday’s win against the Cincinnati Reds brought the Brewers to a 500 record (27-27) for the first time in ages and temporarily puts them in position for the National League’s No. 8 seed in the playoffs. Can they hold on? It won’t be easy: To do so, they’ll likely have to win tonight’s rubber match against the Reds and then hold their own in a season-ending five-game series against the Cardinals, which will be spread out over four days.

But their fate is in their own hands, and for the first time this season, the team has actually been fun to follow. 2020 might not be such a lost year for the crew after all.

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Want to win a Little Free Library for your yard? We can help!

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The Riverwest 24 is finding new ways to uplift community during the pandemic

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On the last Friday in July, I am usually getting my bike and gear, costume included, ready for what some Milwaukeeans have come to call “The People’s Holiday” – the Riverwest 24. It is one of my most favorite holidays of the year, but sadly this year, I, like the 2,000 other annual participants, won’t be riding.

This 24-hour volunteer-led bike race started in 2007 and goes through Milwaukee’s Riverwest and Harambee neighborhoods. It is a celebration of community, with points scored for every lap completed, but also offering additional points for each bonus checkpoint completed. Bonus checkpoints are opportunities for the riders to engage with their community directly through activities like sifting compost with Kompost Kids, purchasing food items for the Riverwest Food Pantry, cheering on the kids at the Kids 24 (a quick 24-minute bike race), or painting a map on one of the local schools’ concrete.

Participants also have the opportunity to eat dinner together before the race and breakfast together early Saturday morning at All People’s Church. The Riverwest 24 offers a plethora of ways for riders, volunteers, and viewers to build community and to recognize how wonderful that community is.

This year, the Riverwest 24 leadership team made the difficult decision, like many other annual events, to not host an in-person race. However, they are still finding ways to support and uplift Milwaukee and continue to build community. Individuals can still register as a participant and receive a custom t-shirt, designed by local artist, Alex Scott. All of the funds raised by the race this year will be distributed to local organizations – Ayuda Mutua MKE, Leaders Igniting Transformation (LIT), Milwaukee Freedom Fund, Black Leaders Organizing for Communities (BLOC), Mothers for Justice United, Wisconsin Voices, and Diverse & Resilient.

2020 Riverwest24 T-Shirt Design by Alex Scott

While pre-registration is closed, you are still able to purchase a shirt and support these local organizations today from 2-7 p.m. at Garden Park, located on the corner of Bremen Street and Locust Street. Masks are required and hand sanitizer and washing stations will be provided. To learn more about this year’s Riverwest 24, visit their Facebook page.

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