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Bradley Tech opened a new high-tech Fab Lab today thanks to a $25,000 state grant.
Bradley Tech opened a new high-tech Fab Lab today thanks to a $25,000 state grant.

Bradley Tech gets MPS' second high-tech fabrication lab today

Less than a week after Washington High School for Information Technology opened its new "Fab Lab," thanks to a grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), another MPS high school is launching one.

This morning – dubbed Wisconsin Fab Lab Day – WEDC Secretary Mark R. Hogan, MPS Superintendant Dr. Darienne Driver and other state officials swung open the doors to a new Fab Lab fabrication studio at Bradley Tech High School, 700 S. 4th St. Like the Washington lab, this one was funded with a $25,000 WEDC grant.

Washington's lab has two vinyl cutters, a trio of three-dimensional printers, a 3-D scanner, a computer numerical control mill, a laser engraver and the computers to make them function. The Tech lab equipment is reportedly not the same.

WEDC is making $500,000 in grants to 21 school districts across Wisconsin to fund high-tech Fab Lab workshops in schools to help introduce students to the latest industry equipment that can be found in manufacturing businesses around the state.

The 1936 St. Rita's Church will be razed and replaced with a senior living development and a new church.
The 1936 St. Rita's Church will be razed and replaced with a senior living development and a new church.

St. Rita's Church will be razed and replaced with a new Little Pink Church

St. Rita’s Church, 1601 N. Cass St., will be razed and replaced with a new church and a six-story independent living complex for seniors, the church will announce today at a press conference with Mayor Tom Barrett and Ald. Nik Kovac.

The current church, built in 1936, will be replaced with a new building based on the design of the old Blessed Virgin of Pompeii Church – colloquially known by Milwaukee’s Italian-American community as the "Little Pink Church" – that once stood on Jackson Street in the Third Ward.

The new building will preserve art (including frescoes) and spiritual objects not only from the current St. Rita Church building, but also from the Blessed Virgin of Pompeii, which was built in 1904 and demolished for the I-794 freeway in 1967.

St. Rita's was founded in 1925 as a missionary outpost of the Blessed Virgin of Pompeii.

A press release for the news conference says the church will, "serve as Italian community’s spiritual center." Congregation members will work with a liturgical architect to design the interior of the church.

And, yes, it appears from renderings that the new church will have a pink exterior.

The residential senior living building will provide assisted living, memory care and concierge services to its residents. In addition to 29 independent living apartments, 48 assisted living units and 26 memory care units, the building – on the northwest corner of Cass and Pleasant Streets, two blocks south of Brady – will include 2,800 square feet of street-level retail space, too.

The development includes 44 enclosed parking spaces and indoor and outdoor bike parking facilities.

The parish is selling the site to Tarantino & Co., which will tear down the church, convent and vacant school to build the $20 million development, for $1. Tarantino will build the new church and sell it back to the congregation for $1.

Also taking part in today’s press conference are St. Rita’s pastor Father Tim Kitzke, Italian Community Cente…

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Spring is here and wine helps make the seasonal transition go more smoothly.
Spring is here and wine helps make the seasonal transition go more smoothly.

4 Italian red wines to welcome spring

Summer is beer season in Milwaukee, it’s true, but in spring, when the temps can fluctuate wildly, a nice glass of red wine can still warm the soul. Here are four Italian reds I’ve tasted recently that are worth scouting at fine wine purveyors in Milwaukee...

Castello di Albola Chianti Classico DOCG 2013

Retailing at about $18-20, this ruby red Chianti – 95 percent sangiovese and 5 percent canaiolo, hand-harvested, fermented on skins and aged in oak for 12 years – is playing above its price point, with an elegance you might expect from a costlier quaff. It’s got hints of violet and a smooth and satisfying mouth feel. As you start to fire up the grill for the season, pair this with a nice steak on the barbecue.

Codice Citra Caroso Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC Riserva 2010

One hundred percent Montepulciano undergoes a long maceration with the skins and spends some time in steel before aging in oak barrels and barriques. The result – which retails around $22 – is a deep red wine with garnet hues and a powerful nose with a hint of spice. Rich tannins, a blend of raspberry, cherry, spice and licorice, and a long, satisfying finish make this one a great pairing with rich meats or even with a nice tray of salumi before dinner.

Villa Gemma Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo DOC 2014

Even though it's a rose – and therefore only red-ish – this is 100 percent Montepulciano, like the Caroso, and it has a powerful bouquet. But while you might consider aging the Caroso, this one, with its rich fruitiness and floral qualities, demands your attention now. Drink it young and with darn near anything. Perfect with a cheese tray or a pizza, it’d work nicely with dessert, too. Retails around $15-20.

Kellerei Cantina S. Maddalena DOC Classico Huck am Bach 2015

Wine and Spirits rated this budget-friendly ($10-12) red wine from Italy’s German-speaking Alto Adige region a 90. It’s an easy, approachable, fruity wine with notes of cherries and almonds and medium body. A light…

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A recent iFair is just one of the many ways MPS is exposing students to careers in technology.
A recent iFair is just one of the many ways MPS is exposing students to careers in technology. (Photo: Milwaukee Public Schools)

New $25K tech lab teaches MPS students to turn ideas into reality

This morning, MPS will unveil its new "Fab Lab," a digital fabrication facility, at Washington High School of Information Technology, 2525 N. Sherman Blvd.

The lab was funded with a $25,000 grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), and will include two vinyl cutters, a trio of three-dimensional printers, a 3-D scanner, a computer numerical control mill, a laser engraver and the computers to make them hum.

The goal of the workshop is to familiarize students to the kind of high-tech gear that facilitates innovation and creative thinking. In the lab, students can turn their ideas into three-dimensional models.

In February, Washington's principal at the time visited some Fab Labs at three rural schools in the Northwoods to get a first-hand view of what the school could expect from its new workshop.

"Incorporating Fab Labs into educational programs of study has been shown to increase student engagement by providing hands-on opportunities to solve real world problems," notes an MPS press release.

"In Fab Labs, students learn because they want to, they develop technical skill that builds pride in mastery, improves teamwork, teaches critical thinking, persistence and other 21st century employability skills. MPS plans to create more Fab Labs within the district."

Last month, Washington hosted an iFair to introduce students and their families to careers in information technology and engineering.

In the same spirit, the district has also launched an apprenticeship program that works to give high school students real-life, hands-on work experience that allows them to "test drive" potential careers and that they can, hopefully, then parlay into jobs upon graduation.

WUWM’s Rachel Morello did a story on that program this morning. Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service also wrote about it late last year.

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