Flooding Relief, Little League Exchange, Trump TV

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“Trump TV’ recently debuted online, with President Trump’s daughter-in-law producing short news broadcasts from Trump Tower. These are hosted by former-CNN commentator Kayleigh McEnany. We discuss concerns that it constitutes a form of propaganda and how it compares to the messaging of past presidents. Recent flooding in southern Wisconsin caused millions of dollars in damage. We look at efforts to get FEMA damage relief funds to assist with the recovery. We also hear about a Milwaukee Little League coach who’s involving his team in a cultural exchange with Puerto Rican ballplayers.

Featured in this Show

  • Western Wisconsin Communities Still Awaiting FEMA Funding

    Communities in the western part of the state are still waiting on federal reimbursement following flooding that caused significant damage last year. We speak with WPR Reporter Hope Kirwan about what officials in these communities are doing.

  • Little League Exchange Program Connects Milwaukee And Puerto Rico

    We learn about a little league baseball program that brings kids from Puerto Rico to Milwaukee to learn, play, and experience Wisconsin.

  • Connecting Cultures Through Little League

    The line connecting Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Isabela, Puerto Rico is Félix Mantilla.

    The baseball star, born and raised in Isabela, made his Major League Baseball debut in Milwaukee as part of the Milwaukee Braves and later won the World Series with the team back in 1957.

    Now, a Little League team on Milwaukee’s near south side, started in his name, is bringing the cities together in an exchange program of sorts.

    Fourteen 10 and 11-year-old Little Leaguers from Puerto Rico traveled to Milwaukee last week for a five-day experience with 10 and 11-year-olds from the Milwaukee team, named Félix Mantilla Little League.

    The exchange went beyond baseball, said Mantilla’s son, Tony Mantilla, a creator of and advisor to the program.

    “The program is really an education-based program,” Tony said, “With a little baseball thrown in for a little extra fun.”

    The children were enthralled as they toured the city by boat, watching Milwaukee’s road bridges fold as they sailed toward Lake Michigan. They later headed to an ice arena, where the Puerto Rican children got the chance to ice skate for the first time.

    The program was a chance for many of the children to experience things they would not have otherwise, Tony said.

    “Isabela is a small country town, and not a town with a whole lot of income,” he said. “…So the kids there for the most part don’t get many opportunities to get out of their town, much less leave the island. It afforded them an opportunity to experience a lot of firsts, and that’s what made the trip so special.”

    The program provided firsts for the Milwaukee ballplayers as well. Last summer, Félix Mantilla Little League team visited Puerto Rico as part of the exchange.

    “With our kids in Milwaukee, it’s pretty much the same story, that many of them don’t have opportunities to get out and travel,” Tony said. “That’s what we really wanted to do: expose them to a series of firsts, to get them thinking about the greater world out there, their role in it.”

    The program was funded through donors and organized through the Milwaukee nonprofit Journey House.

    As part of the program, the children researched each city. They wrote a paper on their research and delivered three-minute presentations, keeping a journal throughout the five days.

    So many young boys in Little League want to grow up to play baseball or other sports professionally, Tony said. He hopes this exchange program acknowledges that, but also keeps education king.

    “Work hard, and your dream may come true,” Tony said. “But if it doesn’t come true, what is plan B? And plan B, most often, requires a certain amount of education. And it’s why we’re pushing this dual track program, education and baseball. And it’s why we emphasize the education so much.”

  • The Role Of Trump TV

    In August, President Trump’s official campaign Facebook page unveiled “Trump TV” which is hosted by former-CNN commentator Kayleigh McEnany and produced by the President’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump. The service–which has been touted as positive and “real” news about President Trump has raised some eyebrows over whether it skirts the line between information and propaganda. We speak with Margot Susca of American University about Trump TV and its role in the U.S. political arena.

Episode Credits

  • Rob Ferrett Host
  • Veronica Rueckert Host
  • J. Carlisle Larsen Producer
  • Karl Christenson Producer
  • Hope Kirwan Guest
  • Tony Mantilla Guest
  • Margot Susca Guest

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