Border Report: Series shows what it’s like to live, work, travel along the US southern border

It is a dream to be able to tell the stories of Milwaukee and southeast Wisconsin. Since joining the Fox 6 news team in April of 2011, I have traveled across state and the country as an anchor/reporter for Wisconsin’s largest newsroom.

I am proud to call Milwaukee’s east side my home. My journey here brought me out of the woods of Connecticut, and through some of our country’s largest farm fields in Illinois before finding a home in the brew city!

I grew up in northwest Connecticut, and graduated from Quinnipiac University (GO BOBCATS!). A desire to be a professional storyteller helped me land my first job at ABC affiliate WICS in Springfield, Illinois. I was promoted and sent to sister station WICD in Champaign, Illinois where I met my wife. At the the time she was a reporter for the competition. I’m happy to say Ashley Sears and I found a way to be on the same team when we both moved to Milwaukee to work at FOX6! We enjoy working together a lot better than against each other.

Here in Milwaukee, I have anchored and reported on every newscast from morning to night. Currently I can be found anchoring weekend evening newscasts and reporting for FOX6 news at nine and ten throughout the week. In my time here I’ve covered some of Wisconsin’s biggest stories from the Sikh Temple and Azana Salon shootings to the unrest in Sherman Park in 2016. I’ve walked with Brett Favre during his return to Lambeau Field and helped push cars stuck in the snow during several Wisconsin winters.
I’ve been sent across the country where I’ve seen the destruction of an F-5 tornado in Oklahoma and the heartbreak left behind following the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando. In Dallas, I saw the resilience of officers who had to head back to work after five of their coworkers were killed, and have stood feet away from Air Force One for two different presidents.

My work has received recognition from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Midwest Broadcast Journalists Association, Wisconsin Broadcasters Association, and the Milwaukee Press Club.

In Milwaukee, you can often find Ashley and me jogging along the lakefront or attending one of the million festivals in our great home city. In 2016, I started a goofy boat blog to share pictures of Milwaukee’s vibrant shipping industry (http://www.bigboatsmke.com) I am on a lifetime journey to sample as much Mexican food as I can find. I am always looking for story ideas or recommendations for my next adventure. Feel free to reach out Ben.Handelman@fox6now.com. Let’s connect on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Recent Articles
  • Bucks playoffs Game 1

    ‘Going to destroy them:’ Fans optimistic as Milwaukee Bucks’ playoff run begins

    MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Bucks won Game 1 against the Detroit Pistons Sunday night, April 14 at Fiserv Forum in the first round of the NBA playoffs. The noise level was intense inside Fiserv Forum for the playoff matchup, and it was clear there was home court advantage. Fans were pumped — brushing off a little April snow as they made their way inside — hoping by the end of the night they’d be able to celebrate the Game 1 […]

  • ‘Fans are already excited:’ Milwaukee gets prepped and pumped for Bucks’ playoff run

    MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee is in the middle of a Bucks-themed transformation. From the ground to the sky, Bucks madness has arrived. “For us, it’s all about painting the city green,” said chief marketing officer for the Milwaukee Bucks, Dustin Godsey. The team is taking over as fans will start to see support and celebrations all over ahead of the first round of the NBA Playoffs. If you’re not going to the game, you can celebrate in the Deer District, where there […]

  • Dashcam video: White-knuckle ride through Plymouth leads to dramatic arrest

    PLYMOUTH — Whiteout conditions made for a wild pursuit through Sheboygan County. Police and sheriff’s officials chased two men over dangerous, icy roads and through a number of close calls. According to a criminal complaint, it all started near the Plymouth Walmart back on February 20. Police tried to stop two suspects for reckless driving and bad plates. Instead, they took off — fast. Officers say at one point, the driver — identified as Kwade Shembeda-Sawaya — drove at a […]

  • Port Washington, Nicolet schools move forward after controversial poster incident

    BROWN DEER — It was the a basketball game that led to apologies, a suspension and national media attention. Weeks after students from Port Washington High School used a controversial photo to taunt a Nicolet High School player, the teams met again for a game on Thursday, March 7. Brown Deer High School played host as a neutral site for the playoff basketball matchup. “It’s been such an amazing season,” said Monique Graham, fan. “I told them last time it takes […]

  • Brookfield police: 2 Illinois athletes, child cited after brawl at indoor soccer game

    BROOKFIELD — Police cited two Illinois soccer players and the child of a coach after a brawl that took place at an indoor soccer game in Brookfield Sunday, March 3. Police responded to Midwest Orthopedic Sports Complex on W. Lisbon Road near Brookfield Road for a fight in progress between two soccer teams who were participating in a championship match. The teams were identified as FC Wisconsin and San Jose FC from Illinois. Following an investigation, a 17-year-old Illinois resident was […]

  • ‘This guy is an animal:’ Ramone Jones charged, but at large in fatal stabbing days after release from jail 

    MILWAUKEE — Ramone Jones was charged Wednesday, Feb. 20 in connection with the stabbing death of Jamie Wilson, 36,  near 70th and Fiebrantz on Feb. 5. Prosecutors said Jones shot another man in the back at that same location — and this happened shortly after he was released from jail. Jones remained at large as of Wednesday — with an arrest warrant issued. “This guy is an animal. He’s not a human being,” said James Wilson, Jamie’s father. Jones, 42, […]

  • Prosecutors: Woman hired as bookkeeper at St. Vincent de Paul embezzled $500K+

    SHEBOYGAN COUNTY — A Fond du Lac woman is accused of embezzling more than $500,000 from St. Vincent de Paul, where she served as bookkeeper beginning in January of 2009. Donna LaRue, 60, faces one count of theft-business setting over $100,000 — accused of stealing donations meant for the less fortunate. “I know it goes towards the needy and I trust they are doing the right thing with it,” said Dawn, shopper at St. Vincent de Paul on Highway 42. […]

  • ‘Brave of her:’ 5th-grader hits man with bag of candy in attempted abduction in West Allis

    WEST ALLIS — West Allis police are investigating an attempted child abduction after investigators say a little girl was grabbed on her way to school Thursday morning, Feb. 14. A Valentine’s Day gift may have saved her life. “It’s unsettling, especially living around here,” said Angelina Camacho, lives nearby. Parents in the area were hit with fear learning the news. “It’s scary. We have kids who walk all the time,” said Chini Lorenzana, lives nearby. “You send your kids to […]

  • RIGHTS MANAGED -- DO NOT REUSE

    Wisconsin Senate refuses to honor Colin Kaepernick in Black History Month resolution

    MADISON — Republicans who control the Wisconsin Senate refused to mention NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick in a resolution honoring Black History Month passed Wednesday, rejecting calls from Democrats who said ignoring the Milwaukee native put them on the wrong side of history. Just as the Wisconsin Assembly did a day earlier, the Senate approved the resolution with no mention of Kaepernick. All Republicans voted in support, with all Democrats against. No Senate Republicans spoke during four hours of debate. Senate Democrats, led […]

  • Giving back: 4-year-old Menomonee Falls girl spreads happiness with ‘blue line’ donuts

    MILWAUKEE — A young Menomonee Falls girl is spreading a sea of happiness at police departments — in an effort to thank them for everything they do. Royal Zunker, age 4, wanted to give back to officers after seeing so much sadness in the news after the fatal shooting of Milwaukee Police Officer Matthew Rittner on Feb. 6. Royal had lots of questions for her parents about this incident — and they explained the situation the best way they could. […]

  • $1M cash bond for Jordan Fricke, charged in fatal shooting of MPD Officer Matthew Rittner

    MILWAUKEE — Criminal charges were filed on Sunday, Feb. 10 against Jordan Fricke, 26, the man accused of fatally shooting Milwaukee Police Officer Matthew Rittner. Fricke made his initial appearance in court Sunday, Feb. 10. Probable cause was found for further proceedings, and cash bond was set at $1 million. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Feb. 14. Fricke faces the following charges: First degree intentional homicide, use of a dangerous weapon First degree recklessly endangering safety, use of a dangerous […]

  • Being picked up for drunk driving in Wisconsin does not mean a night in jail

    MILWAUKEE — Wisconsin remains the only state in the country where getting busted for your first OWI is not a crime. A Kenosha woman found out the hard way Wisconsin is also a place where drunk drivers are getting behind the wheel just hours after being released by police. There are many things in life we take for granted. Jennifer Kilburn of Kenosha knows walking will never be one of them again. The runner and orthopedic nurse found herself on […]

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