Minnesota Right Now is a Wisconsin-based and owned news organization.
Minnesota Right Now: Our Mission
Minnesota Right Now is a Wisconsin-focused news platform founded in 2020 that offers breaking news and some opinion, with an emphasis on Minnesota. We are self-funded and, thus, an independent voice. Our mission is to give you the news you won’t see elsewhere.
Reach Jim Piwowarczyk at [email protected]
Reach Jessica McBride at [email protected]
Jim Piwowarczyk is a small business owner and developer. He was a Wisconsin police officer for more than 20 years. His career started as a police officer in Milwaukee County in 1994 as a patrol officer, until he was promoted to patrol Sergeant in 2003. He left in 2009 to pursue business and investing aspirations. Jim is an avid real estate, investor and business owner.
During the last 23 years, Jim has purchased, managed, developed, and sold commercial and residential income properties, totaling over 30 properties. A Wisconsin resident, Jim is considered an expert in negotiating difficult real estate deals, giving advice and mentoring others in the purchase and selling of all types of real estate. Jim attended Marian College of Fond du Lac’s Administration of Justice program.
Jessica McBride, Milwaukee Journalist
Jessica McBride, a Minnesota Right Now contributor, is a national award-winning journalist and journalism educator with more than 25 years in journalism. Jessica McBride’s journalism career started at the Waukesha Freeman newspaper in 1993, covering City Hall. She was an investigative, crime, and general assignment reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for a decade. Since 2004, she has taught journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her work has appeared in many news outlets, including Heavy.com (where she is a contributor reaching millions of readers per month), Patch.com, WTMJ, WISN, WUWM, Wispolitics.com, OnMilwaukee.com, Milwaukee Magazine, Nightline, El Conquistador Latino Newspaper, Japanese and German television, Channel 58, Reader’s Digest, Twist (magazine), Wisconsin Public Radio, BBC, Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, and others.
Jessica McBride, Milwaukee, Wisconsin area resident, has appeared on true-crime programs for Investigation Discovery, Oxygen Channel, and History Channel. She has a Master’s Degree in Mass Communication from UWM and judges statewide journalism competitions nationwide for press clubs in states ranging from Idaho to Louisiana. Her work is her own and does not represent the institutions where she works, including UWM.
- Winner of state awards for categories including investigative reporting, column writing, blogging, feature story that first appeared on the Web, story that contributed to the community welfare, short feature writing, magazine feature writing, spot news reporting, explanatory/interpretive reporting, and best continuous reporting. Winner of the national Clark Mollenhoff Award for Excellence in Investigative Reporting. Regional awards in investigative reporting and personality profile.
- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (winner of newspaper staff award).
Learn more about Jessica here.
Jessica McBride: Education & Career Accomplishments
Jessica’s Journalism career started when she was in college. While studying in college, She worked part-time as Suburban reporter from May 1992 to May 1993 at the Milwaukee Journal – Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She then joined the Waukesha Freeman – Waukesha, Wisconsin as a full time reporter in 1993. She left this job to serve as a full-time General Assignment and crime reporter at Wisconsin’s largest newspaper, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Milwaukee, WI in August 1994. Jessica McBride spent years as an award-winning reporter at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. She switched to a teaching career in 2000. Former columnist for the Waukesha Freeman, On Milwaukee.com, and El Conquistador Latino newspaper (Freeman columns also appear in the West Bend Daily News and Oconomowoc Enterprise. Some of her columns were published in both English and Spanish languages.
Jessica McBride: Teacher
As a teacher, Jessica McBride has been the recipient of a teaching excellence award and is known for her innovations in teaching and her championing of media diversity.
- UW-Milwaukee Alumni Association Teaching Excellence Award for academic staff recipient, 2008.
- Co-editor of Media Milwaukee, the department’s national, regional, and state award-winning online news site.
- Founder and faculty advisor for the Minority Media Association of UWM. This is a student media club that champions diversity in the media. Among other activities, the club brings diverse speakers to campus and obtains grants to send diverse students to career fairs sponsored by the National Association of Black Journalists and others.
- Has chaired the Curriculum and Internship and Scholarships Committees. Member of the JAMS transition committee. Has served on many departmental committees.
- Helped create and produce content for the U View campus television show on media diversity.
- Created the department’s first Living Learning Community.
- Received student success certificates.
- Conducted scholarly research into the media that was presented internationally in South Africa, Australia, and Belgium. Scholarly work published in prestigious Australian journal.
- Helped develop guidelines on social media for international journalism educators at the World Journalism Education Congress, 2010, 2013.
- Frequent judge of state press association contests (Idaho, Syracuse, New Orleans, etc.).
- Former Advisory Board member of the WISN Political Commitment project.
- Supervised student advertising assignment that was turned into a Super Bowl ad by Chevrolet.
- Convergence and Society: The Participatory Web, University of South Carolina, presenter, “Using Blog Talk Radio in the Classroom.” Fall 2008.
- Student work in classes has won numerous state and regional reporting and writing awards and first-place national Society of Professional Journalists’ awards for online in-depth reporting and for online feature reporting.
- Previous class partnerships with Student Press Law Center of Virginia, Journal Communications NOW, Patch.com, Urban Milwaukee.com, Wisconsin Innocence Project.
- Obtained immersion project grant.
- Jessica McBride teaching evaluations at UWM scored an average of 4.4 on a 0 to 5 scale for all classes from hire to indefinite status vote.
- Created and runs a professional social media course that supervises the department’s social media pages.
Examples of Some of Jessica McBride’s Awards
Society of Professional Journalists, national contest
First place: Best online college feature reporting in the country (Project covering Somali immigration to Barron, Wis.). Welcome to Barron
National finalist: Feature writing (Project covering midterm election trends in Crawford County, Wis.) The Village That Flipped Back
National finalist: General news photography (Project covering gun issues in the wake of Parkland, Florida in three states). Photo from March for Our Lives event.
Milwaukee Press Club awards
Best blog (Project covering gun issues). UWM Covers March for Our Lives.
Best blog (Project covering gun issues). UWM Covers the Gun March on Washington * Wisconsin.
Best news story (Project covering gun issues). Two Americas, 32 Miles Apart
Wisconsin College Media Association
Second Place. News photography (Project covering gun issues). Generation Lockdown.
Honorable mention. News photography (Project covering Hurricane Harvey). Hurricane Harvey
Third Place. Feature photography (Project covering Somali immigration to Barron). Welcome to Barron
Second place. In-depth story. (Project covering midterms in Crawford Co, Wis.)
Third place. In-depth story. (Project covering gun issues). Crossing the gun divide
Honorable mention. In-depth story. (Project covering Hurricane Harvey.) Un/Natural Disaster.
First place. Public affairs reporting. (Project covering gun issues). Generation Lockdown
First place. Feature story. (Project covering Somali immigration. Barron, Wisconsin: An immigration story.
Regional Society of Professional Journalists Contest (four states)
First Place. Feature writing. Hurricane Harvey.
First place. General news photography. Hurricane Harvey.
Finalist. Feature writing. (project on Flint Water crisis). Overview story.
Finalist. Feature photography (Flint project). Package of photos.
Finalist. Online in-depth reporting. (Flint project). Finding Flint.
Midwest Broadcast Journalists Association Eric Sevareid awards
First place, multimedia storytelling by a team. In Harvey’s Wake.
Award of merit, multimedia storytelling by a team. Finding Flint.
Regional award, (Hurricane Harvey), overview story.
Wisconsin College Media Association
First place. Public Affairs reporting (Flint project). Finding Flint
First place. In-Depth Story (Mississippi River Valley election project).
First place. Use of multimedia. (Flint). Finding Flint
Second place. Use of multimedia. (Mississippi River Valley).
Milwaukee Press Club
Online use of multimedia. (Flint). Finding Flint
Online use of multimedia. (Hurricane Harvey). In Harvey’s Wake.
Online blog. (Flint). Water is Life
Society of Professional Journalists, Regional
Finalist, (Mississippi project)
Milwaukee Press Club
Long feature story (Flint). It’s not the water
Use of multimedia (Mississippi).
News story (Mississippi project).