Protests In Waukesha Over Immigration Enforcement, 100 Mile Garage Sale In Wisconsin This Weekend, Flip Phones May Be Making A Comeback

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Wisconsin and Minnesota connect for this weekend’s 100 mile garage sale, taking place in the Lake Pepin area of Wisconsin. We find out more about the days of sales, what one might find, and more.We also talk about the prospect of flip phones making a grand return and protests in Waukesha Tuesday over a program that allows the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department to cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

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  • Protesters In Waukesha Push Back On Sheriff's Program To Cooperate With Immigration And Customs Enforcement

    Thousands of people marched Tuesday in Waukesha to protest a program that allows the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department to cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in enforcing federal immigration laws. We talk to a reporter about the program and why it’s seeing pushback.

  • 22 Towns Host '100 Mile Garage Sale' Along Wisconsin-Minnesota Border

    Picture your neighborhood garage sale. Now multiply that by 1,000.

    That’s the 100 Mile Garage Sale, which stretches across 22 towns in Minnesota and Wisconsin along Lake Pepin.

    While the jury’s still out on whether it’s actually the largest garage sale in the world — a yard sale in Alabama claims to be the longest — the event typically features thousands of sales, says Larry Nielsen, president of Mississippi Valley Partners, which sponsors the 100-mile sale.

    This year’s event runs this weekend, May 3 through May 6.

    Already on Wednesday, people were gearing up for the sale.

    “Of course the professional garage-salers, as we call them, they get here early and try to get the best deals,” Nielsen said. “There will be a lot of people that make the whole round, and see everything they can see.”

    He says the sale has been around for nearly 20 years. It was initially conceived as a way to kick off the tourism season in the area, known for its scenic bluffs that line the lake along the Mississippi River.

    The sale started small, but has grown into a massive event since then, stretching from Hastings, Minnesota, to Fountain City, Wisconsin.

    Out-of-towners check into area hotels for the weekend. Some homes stockpile items all year in preparation for the garage sale, displaying it in tents throughout their yard.

    Every year’s a little different. And like any garage sale, you never really know what you’ll find.

    The event website features listings of more than 100 sales, advertising fishing gear, tools, clothing, car tires, antiques and appliances, among other things.

    But you don’t have to use the listing to find a sale, you’ll likely bump into one without even trying.

    “There’s some blocks where there’ll be three or four blocks long in some towns, and everybody on both sides of the street will be selling stuff,” Nielsen said.

    Despite how big the event has gotten, Nielsen said it still feels like your average neighborhood garage sale, and that’s the fun part.

    “When you come over here you’re going to find a bunch of friendly people, a bunch of people having garage sales that wanna help you out, that wanna point you in the right direction,” he said.

  • 100 Mile Garage Sale Starts Thursday

    The annual 100 Mile Garage Sale event takes place along the Mississippi River this Thursday, May 3rd through Sunday, May 6th in both Wisconsin and Minnesota. The sales take place in the Pepin Lake area in Wisconsin. We learn more about the sale and how to tackle the massive event if you’re looking to attend.

  • Flip Phones, Candy Bar Phones Seeing Resurgence As Smartphone Alternative

    Warren Buffett still uses a flip phone. Kim Kardashian was spotted with a pink flip phone earlier this month.

    It’s been more than 10 years since smartphones became ubiquitous. But the flip phone is coming back, says David Pierce, a personal technology columnist with the Wall Street Journal.

    “I think both culturally, and in terms of what businesses have seen here for a long time, flip phones were just forgotten,” Pierce said. “They were just assumed to be the thing before the real thing, which was smartphones. What’s been so interesting is seeing that very slowly start to turn again.”

    Don’t dig your old phone out of the attic just yet.

    Instead, cell phone companies are reviving their classic flip and candy bar phones (think: your old nearly indestructible Nokia brick) for the modern age.

    Nokia released a new version of its classic 3310 candy bar phone in October. Back in 2000, when the original phone was released, users could send texts, and make and receive calls, as well as waste hours playing games like Snake.

    The new phone is a little more advanced. It still texts and calls, with the added features of 3G service and internet. But unlike Nokia smartphones, its apps are limited (but it still has Snake).

    New iterations of classic phones like this one are finding ways to fill the middle ground, Pierce said.

    “There are all these different forces coming together in such a way that all of a sudden a phone that is more capable than a 15-year-old device that people are still using, if that’s what you want,” he said. “But less capable and less expensive than a smartphone, are finally coming together.”

    That kind of limited capacity can be attractive for a number of different groups, Pierce said.

    People who can’t afford a $1,000 iPhone may still want a phone with internet capacity and a long battery life. Others might be searching for a way to become less attached from their phone, and find a flip or candy bar phone as a good solution.

    “(Smartphones) are engineered and developed to be addictive,” he said. “And for there to be notifications that keep us constantly coming in, it’s like having a slot machine going off in your pocket all the time.”

    A flip phone does all the necessities, without the flashing lights.

    Pierce wrote about the trend in a recent column for the Wall Street Journal. For the piece, he asked people: if you could pick just four things that your phone could do, what would they be?

    Predictably, people still wanted their phones to make calls and send text messages. Many also wanted a GPS tool, email capability and a web browser.

    Beyond those four or five, everyone wants something different. But when you stick with the basics, you find apps that everyone agrees on.

    Pierce said phone companies are working to figure out what those phone basics should be in the smartphone age.

    Whether flip phones will have staying power is yet to be determined. Pierce can’t see them threatening smartphones in the long term.

    “We have a long history of things getting faster and more efficient, and not a lot of history of pulling those things back,” he said. “So I’m really really interested to see if we can find ways of managing those things better, but I’m not totally sold on the idea.”

  • The Resurgence Of Feature Phones

    To break free from addiction, a growing number of people are ditching their smartphones in favor of more basic feature phones, or flip phones or candy bars. We discuss how phone manufacturers are responding to the increasing complaints and what people can do make putting down their phone easier.

Episode Credits

  • Rob Ferrett Host
  • Rachael Vasquez Producer
  • Natalie Guyette Producer
  • Bill Martens Producer
  • Bill Glauber Guest
  • Larry Nielsen Guest
  • David Pierce Guest

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