Legislature’s End-Of-Year Plans, Milwaukee’s Midnight League Is More Than A Game, Keep An Eye On Your Spending At Year’s End

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This Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018, photo shows applications on an iPhone clockwise from top left, Target, Amazon, Sephora, JCPenny, Walmart, in New York. Retailers such as Target and Amazon are embracing mobile applications to help consumers save money and time with features like digital wallets and augmented reality. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)

During the holiday season, we talk about how to end the year on good financial footing. We also hear about a Milwaukee basketball league that offers career and life advice to its young players. And we’ll take a look at what Republican state lawmakers have in store for a lame-duck session in the final weeks of Governor Scott Walker’s term.

Featured in this Show

  • Midnight Basketball League Connects Young Men To Services, Organizations

    For young men in Milwaukee, it’s not always clear where to go to get help through services or programs.

    That information is often siloed, said Mark Briggs, recreation supervisor for Milwaukee Public Schools. But in collaboration with the school district and the Milwaukee Police Department, the Midnight Basketball League is hoping to connect the men with a smorgasbord of services through basketball.

    Started in March 2017, the league is geared toward men ages 17 to 25 and attracts more than 200 participants. Men play at two sites — the Lynde & Harry Bradley School of Technology and Trade comprises the South Side League, and the Barack Obama School of Career and Technical Education is where the North Side League plays.

    “We thought that basketball of course will bring them to the table, but the services part will keep them there and keep them engaged in what’s going on in Milwaukee,” Briggs said.

    The goal, he said, is to get the men more connected to community agencies that might be able to help them in areas related to social services, employment, legal help and job training opportunities, among others.

    Photo courtesy of Milwaukee Public Schools

    On certain days of the week the courts open at about 7:30 p.m., and games begin each hour between 8 and 11 p.m. The men are expected to show up ahead of the game for an information session that equips them with knowledge about services and programs, and gives the men an opportunity to ask questions. The sessions serve as attendance for the games.

    “We channel it that way because we didn’t want to have a situation where guys were just coming for the basketball piece and then leaving the gym and not getting the enrichment piece,” Briggs said.

    Photo courtesy of Milwaukee Public Schools

    But Briggs said the men involved know what’s expected of them, and they don’t balk at the requirements to attend the sessions, which sometimes feature community agencies or employers who talk about job opportunities.

    Briggs said he played in a similar league in the 1990s, when it was called In the Paint. It became clear to him then that Milwaukee was in need of more outlets for young men.

    In the Midnight Basketball League, Briggs said the retention rate is high, with men returning from previous seasons.

    “We’re really forming that bond with the young men and letting them know, ‘Hey, we’re here to help,’” he said.

    There are three seasons each year. The spring season runs from March to early May. After a few weeks’ rest, the next season runs from June to August and the final season is from September to November.

    With numerous partners such as Safe & Sound, the City of Milwaukee Health Department, Milwaukee Common Council, members of the Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission, Milwaukee Bucks and the Milwaukee Fatherhood Initiative helping to develop the league and come up with ideas for how to advance it, Briggs said it helps advance the kind of resources that are available to the men.

    “It’s a very powerful thing going on in the city,” he said.

  • The Latest On Kimberly-Clark Incentive Package, Lame-Duck Session

    Republican state lawmakers met Tuesday to discuss their priorities headed into a lame-duck session of the Legislature. We get the details from WPR’s state capitol reporter.

  • Milwaukee's Midnight League Brings More To The Court Than Basketball

    Milwaukee’s Midnight League basketball team is about more than just playing the sport, it’s about providing a safe place to talk about life’s obstacles and about finding a way out. We hear from one of the program’s coordinators for more.

  • How To Improve Your Financial Footing Heading Into 2019

    While the holiday shopping season can be enjoyable, it can also wreak havoc on your finances if you’re not careful. We discuss ways to keep holiday spending in check without sacrificing joy. In addition to practicing good money management this time of year, we look at personal financial moves to consider making – and avoiding – in these final weeks of 2018.

Episode Credits

  • Rob Ferrett Host
  • Natalie Guyette Producer
  • Rachael Vasquez Producer
  • Bill Martens Producer
  • Laurel White Guest
  • Mark Briggs Guest
  • Holly Johnson Guest