News – April 28, 2020

(Madison) Governor Tony Evers yesterday (Monday) issued another executive order, this time expanding allowed operations for nonessential businesses, providing more opportunities for businesses to get back to work in what he calls a “safe and responsible way.” The order, signed by Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm, allows nonessential businesses to do curbside drop-off of goods and animals. Evers says his latest emergency order “turns the dial another notch,” allowing some non-essential businesses to do more. Businesses like outdoor recreational rentals, small engine repair shops and dog groomers may reopen. But, as Evers’ chief legal counsel Ryan Nilsestuen explains, your hair is not getting cut just yet. The latest order goes into effect at 8am on Wednesday.

(Oshkosh) The owner of an Oshkosh business deemed non-essential through the Governor’s old Safer at Home order was arrested Monday for keeping her business open. Police say the owner of the Dog Depot at 1225 South Main Street told a sergeant last Friday she disagrees with the Winnebago County Health Department and the Governor’s order and would not close her business. Monday her business was still open, she refused to comply with the Governor’s order and was taken into custody. Since March 17th the department has dealt with 122 violations of the order, but everyone else complied after being warned.

(Dodge County) State health officials today (Monday) announced 170 more positive cases of COVID-19, brining the total to 6081 cases. There were nine more deaths reported today bringing the total to 281, while hospitalization is on a downward trend to 23-percent. Dodge County is reporting 30 people infected with one death on record. Green Lake County now has a second positive case.

(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Chamber of Commerce is part of a push to set up a “virtual tip jar” for servers and bartenders impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. It’s a database where people can look up the digital payment information for their favorite servers. Executive Director Tracy Propst says the so-called tip jar is an online document containing the names of servers who have had their income cut since the start of the pandemic. Propst says people can find the information for their PayPal or Venmo account, then send them a few bucks – just like they would have after buying a drink or having a meal served. Propst encourages anyone who can to donate, adding that she understands not everyone is in the financial position to do so but for this who are she says (quote) “you are being called” and she hopes “you answer that call.” At last check, there were over 20 names on the document. You can find a link to the document with this news story on Wisconsin gas prices on average are now the cheapest in the nation. That’s according to Sunday’s average price per gallon in Wisconsin was a dollar nineteen, but some stations were as much as ten cents below that. The national average was just over a dollar 77.

(Dodge County) The coronavirus pandemic is having an effect on year-to-date vehicle sales throughout the region. According to the Waterloo-based industry tracking firm Reg Trak, there have been a total of 832 car and light truck sales in Dodge County in the first three months of 2020, 84 less than last year or a decrease of 9.17-percent. Car sales were down nearly 37-percent while truck sales dipped five-percent.

(Madison) The coronavirus quarantine has pushed the University of Wisconsin’s online learning platform to the front of the class. The U-W system says nearly five-thousand faculty had published more than 17-thousand courses online as of April 8th. University system officials say they launched their online learning platform in the summer of 2017, but stay-at-home orders due to the COVID-19 outbreak has accelerated the shift to on-line teaching and learning.

(Wisconsin) Senator Tammy Baldwin wants the Federal Government to make advertising buys with local broadcasters and newspapers. Last week, Baldwin signed-on to a letter to President Trump’s budget chief asking for a payout for TV and radio stations, and newspapers hurt by coronavirus restrictions on business activity. Baldwin says local news outlets are sometimes the only news outlets in remote parts of Wisconsin. No one is putting a dollar-amount on the request.

(Fond du Lac) The Fond du Lac Area Foundation has activated its Disaster Relief Fund. Foundation Executive Director Joe Braun says making a donation to the fund is one way people can help with the COVID-19 local relief efforts. The Foundation is working with local representatives, businesses, and nonprofit partners to identify organizations who are helping those impacted and allocate grants from the fund to provide assistance to those in need. Donations can be made online or by mailing a check to Fond du Lac Area Foundation.

(Campbellsport) Clover Hill Dairy in Campbellsport is now producing renewable natural gas (RNG). The Clover Hill RNG processing facility was made possible through partnership between Nacelle and U.S. Grain, a leader in the development and distribution of renewable natural gas. Farm owner Joe Bonlender says Nacelle has been a strategic partner for them and now they have an additional income stream with plans for the future as well as environmental benefits such as less noise pollution, cleaner air and less order.