Isiah Holmes

Isiah Holmes

Isiah Holmes is a journalist and videographer, and a lifelong resident of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His writing has been featured in Urban Milwaukee, Isthmus, Milwaukee Stories, Milwaukee Neighborhood News Services, Pontiac Tribune, the Progressive Magazine, Al Jazeera, and other outlets.

People gather for a March 31 event in New Orleans for Transgender Day of Visibility. | Photo courtesy Louisiana Illuminator

Federal judge rules in favor of Mukwonago trans student

By: - July 10, 2023

A federal judge has granted an emergency temporary restraining order in a case involving an 11-year-old transgender student in the Mukwonago Area School District. The student, who has identified as a girl since the age of three, has participated in girls’ school activities and used the girls’ bathroom since the third grade without issue. That […]

Lincoln Hills Photo

Progress and problems persist at Lincoln Hills

By: - July 7, 2023

The latest report by a court-appointed monitor on the Lincoln Hills and Copper Lake juvenile correctional facilities was released Wednesday. Several improvements were highlighted in the report, including decreasing staff vacancies, a return to in-person learning for the facility’s youth and physical upgrades to the area. At the time the court-appointed monitor visited Lincoln Hills, […]

Large Bucky banners adorn Bascom Hall on Bascom Hill on UW-Madison campus

Republicans push bill to auto-admit top 5% of students to UW

By: - June 29, 2023

Republican lawmakers are pushing a bill to make the University of Wisconsin automatically accept the top 5% of Wisconsin high school graduating seniors. The bill, they say, will solve problems their constituents have experienced getting their kids into the UW. Rep. Jerry O’Connor (R-Fond du Lac) framed the bill as a way of keeping Wisconsin’s […]

System to ‘annihilate’ PFAS chemicals deployed in Michigan

By: - June 27, 2023

“Forever chemical” has become a widespread nickname for man-made chemicals like per and poly-fluroalkyl substances (PFAS). The same qualities that made them perfect for non-stick food wrappers and firefighting foam also made them unnaturally persistent in the environment. The developers of a new technology say they’ve come up with a way to take the “forever” […]

Tribe has mixed reaction to federal judge’s Line 5 shutdown order

By: and - June 20, 2023

Leaders of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa on Monday welcomed a federal judge’s order to Enbridge Energy Co. to shut down its line 5 in Northern Wisconsin, but criticized the order’s three-year timeline. “The Band appreciates the Court putting an end to Enbridge’s flagrant trespass and disregard for our rights,” said Mike […]

Protesters gather at the Milwaukee County Courthouse to call for transparency in the death of Breon Green. (Photo | Isiah Holmes)

Milwaukee activists, officials react to shared revenue deal

By: - June 12, 2023

Gov. Tony Evers and Republican legislative leaders announced last week they’d reached an agreement on administering the state’s shared revenue program. News about the details of that plan sent waves of unease through Milwaukee. The deal will help the city of Milwaukee and the county stave off a fiscal crisis, deep budget cuts and mass […]

bags of heroin or other drugs containing fentanyl with skull and crossbones representing fatalities reads "Danger contains Fentanyl. Highly toxic, May be fatal)

New report offers deep dive into fentanyl overdose trends

By: - June 8, 2023

A new report by Forward Analytics, a research division of the Wisconsin Counties Association, is taking a deeper look at the fentanyl-fueled overdose crisis. Deaths linked to synthetic opioids, namely fentanyl, rose by over 1,000% from 2015 through 2021. The surge claimed the lives of over 4,300 people across the Badger State. Fentanyl was originally […]

Nasal Narcan, used to reverse an overdose, stock the inside of Milwaukee County's first harm reduction vending machine. (Photo | Isiah Holmes)

Reckless homicide for overdose bill moves closer to passage

By: - June 8, 2023

A Republican-crafted bill to increase reckless homicide penalties for people involved in drug overdose deaths passed the Assembly Wednesday on a voice vote. The bill increases existing penalties for providing drugs which result in a death from 40 years to 60 years. While framed as a way to punish drug suppliers, the bill drew familiar […]

Community Medical Services in West Allis, Wisconsin (Photo by Isiah Holmes)

Milwaukee zoning board approves new North Side addiction treatment clinic

By: - June 5, 2023

A medication-assisted treatment center for people struggling with Substance Use Disorder (SUD) has gotten the green light to open a new facility on Milwaukee’s North Side. After a contested hearing held by the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals Thursday night the clinic, Community Medical Services (CMS), received approval to operate for five years in a […]

Wauwatosa Police Chief James MacGillis (Photo | Isiah Holmes)

Wauwatosa Police Chief MacGillis takes department in a new direction

By: - June 1, 2023

“The first two years have been really great, have been rewarding,” James MacGillis, chief of the Wauwatosa Police Department (WPD), told Wisconsin Examiner, reflecting on what many saw as a new chapter for the city. When he was hired in July 2021, MacGillis sought to move WPD in a different direction,  cultivating positivity and building […]

Asian woman sitting desperately with a hand-held drug needle in a dim room.

Perspectives on addiction and recovery in a city plagued with overdose deaths

By: - May 30, 2023

Amy Molinski, a peer support counselor at the treatment center Community Medical Services (CMS), began her journey to recovery from cocaine and heroin addiction 13 years ago. “I went to school to be an addiction counselor,” Molinski says, “and then had an opportunity to do peer support, which is just way more up my alley.” […]

The Milwaukee Police Administration Building downtown. (Photo | Isiah Holmes)

Activists blast Milwaukee FPC for suspending video policy during RNC

By: - May 23, 2023

Activist groups in Milwaukee are decrying a decision by the city’s Fire and Police Commission (FPC) to suspend a newly adopted video release policy during the Republican National Convention (RNC) next year. The policy, which was passed in April, requires that video of critical incidents such as officer-involved shootings and in-custody deaths to be released […]