News – April 15, 2020

(Madison) The Wisconsin Assembly passed a COVID-19 relief bill. With roughly half its members present in the Capitol, and the other half participating via video conference, there was a lack of the partisan rancor that’s usual in the Assembly. Representative Mark Born says over the past month he has had countless conversations with constituents listening to what they would like state government to do to help during these trying times. The Beaver Dam Republican adds that the legislation, which he supports, achieves many of the requests he has heard throughout the 39th Assembly District. The package passed on a near-unanimous vote and clears the way for the state to spend more than two billion dollars from the federal stimulus bill approved by Congress last month. It allows the state to get more money for Medicaid and unemployment benefits, and authorizes the legislature’s finance committee to use 75 million dollars for emergency purposes as needed. Other provisions ease licensing requirements for health care workers allowing them to use temporary credentials without having to renew during the coronavirus outbreak.

(Dodge County) The Wisconsin Department of Health is reporting that the state has experienced 16 more deaths from Monday to Tuesday, bringing the total to 170. There was an increase of 127 positive cases in their daily update yesterday afternoon with 3555 now confirmed. Of those cases, 1049 people required hospitalization, which is around 30-percent. To date nearly 38-thousand Wisconsinites have been tested and were found not to have coronavirus. Dodge County has 19 positive cases while the number of negative results has increased from 525 on Monday to 538 on Tuesday. Dodge County reported its first death on Monday, a man in his sixties who was hospitalized out of state while traveling. There are 25 positive cases in Columbia County with one death on record. Washington County has had 73 people test positive with three deaths. Fond du Lac County has 59 positive tests and two deaths. Jefferson County is at 24 positive cases. Green Lake County has one positive case.

(Fond du Lac) One of the terms thrown around in planning for response to the current pandemic is “surge capacity.” Fond du Lac County Public Health Officer Kim Mueller says it’s related to planning for a surge of patients coming into a health care facility due to an outbreak. It’s about planning a coordinated response and although she says it may seem like a scary term it is not. She says it is exactly what they are preparing for just in case. Mueller says it is probably something hospitals have been working on since the second day COVID-19 became a threat.

(Madison) Governor Tony Evers is not ready, to disclose when he’ll end his statewide. “Safer at Home” is set to expire in 10 days/on April 24th. On Monday, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz extended in a similar order there until May 1st.

(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Police Department is bringing back their birthday parades. After too many requests, the department had to stop sending out members of the force to visit children on their birthdays. Monday, Beaver Dam police say they are bringing back the special visits with a few requirements. The child must be turning between the ages of six and 16, must live within the city of Beaver Dam and have a birthday during the “Safer at Home” order which is in effect until April 24th. The department says if the order is extended they will take requests after it is announced.

(Dodge County) The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office is taking part in a national effort to recognize its dispatchers. The National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week is observed during the second full week in April as a way to acknowledge the work of communications officers. Sheriff Dale Schmidt credits the work of dispatchers during the COVID-19 pandemic. He says they have been checking their temperatures and thoroughly disinfect workstations and other common areas multiple times a day. The sheriff’s office has also developed plans to guarantee adequate staffing levels at all times should dispatchers become ill. Tune in today at 12:35pm as Sheriff Dale Schmidt will be our guest on WBEV’s Community Comment.

(Wisconsin) Wisconsin Tourism Secretary-designee Sara Meaney says they’ve launched a social media movement with the hashtag #HowWiHelp (How-we Help) asking businesses to post examples of how they are helping out their neighbors during the COVID-19 health crisis. Examples include the Sassy Cow Creamery Kindness Cooler in Columbus filled with milk and other dairy products free to people struggling because of the pandemic. There’s also a restaurant in Oshkosh where employees doing deliveries wear costumes to brighten the days of those they are delivering the food to.

(Wisconsin) Any out-of-home sale is considered non-essential, meaning your garage sale will have to wait until the Governor’s safer at home order is lifted. Judy Burrows with the Marathon County health department says that’s due to several factors such as maintaining appropriate social distancing, and the fact that people often visit multiple sales in a day. Health officials in Stevens Point issued a similar statement on Monday.

(Mayville) The mayor of Mayville announced yesterday (Tuesday) that he has accepted a position on the Dodge County Board. Rob Boelk received five write-in votes for the District 14 seat that was vacated by Eugene Wurtz last year. Boelk tells that after careful thought and consideration he believes Mayville needs to be represented on the county board. He says that he also brings specific skills to the position. District 14 consists of wards one and seven in the city of Mayville.

(Lowell) There will be a recount in the village of Lowell where three candidates were vying for two open trustee seats. Jarad Landsee was the top vote getter with 54 votes while George Anetsberger and Rita Luedke tied at 37 votes a piece. The village clerk drew a name and Anetsberger was selected. Luedke then asked for a recount. Village officials expect to conduct that recount by the end of the week.

(Wisconsin) Wisconsin voters handed Joe Biden a win in the state’s Democratic presidential primary. Biden thanked them in a video post. Bernie Sanders, who’d dropped out prior to last weeks’s vote, has now endorsed Biden.

(Wisconsin) The Trump reelection campaign has filed suit against a Wisconsin television station for running a commercial the campaign says is false. The commercial paid-for by a Democratic super-PAC is a combination of audio clips of the president downplaying the threat of the coronavirus.  The campaign says those comments are spliced together in a misleading way and the lawsuit was filed Monday.  The targeted station, W-J-F-W in Rhinelander, has declined to comment.  Priorities U-S-A Chairman Guy Cecil says the ad includes the president’s own words and he is trying to bully the television station so it will quit running an ad that is critical of Trump.

(Madison) Madison school officials will once again be trying to find a new school superintendent. The school board is having to start over because their previous selection decided not to take the job during the middle of the COVID-19 crisis. President Gloria Reyes says the board will be looking through a new group of applicants for the position, and that they’ll be taking names and applications for about a month.