Steven Potter

I cover everything. Yes, that too.

Steven Potter

I'm a reporter.
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Law & Disorder

When sex offenders get released from jail or prison, they’re required to stay in contact with the state Department of Corrections so that law enforcement can keep tabs on them. For the rest of their lives, they must update authorities about their employment and place of residence. Convicted child rapist Frederick Perez-Santos had a problem doing that.

Can you still afford to rent in Madison?

Madison families and young professionals aren’t mincing words. They say the city’s rental market is “a nightmare,” “verging on highly unaffordable” and turning into “an absolute [expletive] housing crisis.”. When Jeanette Dainty found out her family of four had to move because the landlord was selling their two-flat house, she expected the hunt for new rental housing to be “a little frustrating.”.
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It happened during her second date with an Illinois man she met on a dating website. “He seemed like a nice guy and was a single parent like me,” says the 46-year-old real-estate agent in a recent interview. On that evening in March 2016, the two had dinner and drinks at a downtown restaurant. “Things were going well and I liked him,” she says.
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Getting Away With Arson: The True-Crime Story Behind the Pizza Man Fire

It was arguably the most high-profile arson case in recent Milwaukee history, an explosion and fire that engulfed a bar, three restaurants – including East Side institution Pizza Man – and 10 upstairs apartments. Thankfully, no employees or residents were injured, but the building and its businesses were completely destroyed.
Milwaukee Magazine Link to Story

Seeing with the Brain

UW–Madison researcher and Wicab Inc. founder Paul Bach-y-Rita showcases his tongue display unit, a sensory substitution device that helps profoundly blind patients with orientation, mobility, and object recognition through electro-tactile stimulation. Photo by Phillipe Psaila/Science Photo Library.
Wisconsin People & Ideas Link to Story

Wisconsin Life: Beatboxer

Zachary Zimmermann loves to beatbox. He learned how as a kid and now in college, he's using his talents as a vocal percussionist in a campus a capella group. “When I was in fourth grade," says Zimmerman, "my camp counselor, who could beatbox, and he showed it to us. He said, ‘This will be cool when you’re older -- you need to learn how to do this.’.
Wisconsin Public Radio Link to Story

Terrorist or Victim of Entrapment? Milwaukee Case Raises Troubling Issues

When federal agents arrested a young Muslim man in an undercover sting in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, last year, they played it up big as "terrorism." His defense, however, says any threat was not just overblown, but completely manufactured.
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To the rescue

Collin Vander Galien had been working at Didion Milling in Cambria for about three months, loading 55-pound bags of processed corn into train cars. It was hardly his dream job but it paid well and he needed the money to pay off his truck and student loans from an unfinished degree from Madison College.
Isthmus Link to Story

Skin in the Game

Raised an only child in a wholesome family and educated at Catholic school, Jon Ferraro has grown up to be a lavishly successful businessman in his hometown, earning a fortune — and lots of headlines — in the unholy world of strip clubs. He owns three. He wants to own more. Standing in the way is a city tired of his act and a lingering legal matter with the code name "Russian Laundry."
Milwaukee Magazine Link to Story

Madison settles Tony Robinson lawsuit for record $3.35 million

Attorney Anand Swaminathan stands with Tony Robinson's mother, Andrea Irwin, as he explains details about the lawsuit settlement to reporters outside the Capitol. Madison has settled a lawsuit brought by the family of Tony Robinson for $3.35 million, the largest settlement in state history for an officer-involved shooting, according to the family’s attorneys.
Isthmus Newspaper Link to Story

The hip-hop architect

Class is out for the summer, but Michael Ford is still in teaching — and recruiting — mode. The Madison College professor of architecture is meeting a recent East High graduate at the DreamBank downtown to chat about careers. The student had been leaning toward engineering, but Ford is pushing him to consider a different kind of design.
Isthmus Newspaper Link to Story

Policing while black

Not all of Brian Whitmore’s friends wanted him to become a cop. It wasn’t that they feared for his safety. It was because they saw him as a traitor. “All you’re gonna do is lock up more brothers,” friends told Whitmore, who is black. “You’re just going to oppress more of us because that’s the system you’re going to work for.”.
Isthmus Newspaper Link to Story


Steven Potter