News – April 8, 2020

(Dodge County) There was the spring presidential primary and general election yesterday and during this part of the newscast we usually have those results, but not today. The U-S Supreme Court blocked an effort by the governor to extend the deadline for turning those ballots in until this coming Monday, April 13th because of concerns with coronavirus. The deadline was instead yesterday. However, as long as absentee envelopes are postmarked with yesterday’s date, the ballots have until this Monday to arrive in the hands of local municipal clerks. Dodge County Clerk Karen Gibson says municipalities can start adding up results as soon as today but they cannot finalize anything until 4pm Monday. However, that also means that cannot start counting write-in candidates until Monday.

(Madison) Despite more than 24-hundred members of the Wisconsin National Guard active to work at polling stations throughout the state yesterday, there was still an overall shortage of poll workers. According to the state’s elections Commission there was an estimated shortfall of around 7,000. Guard members who were assigned to polling locations dressed in civilian clothing. Eighteen guard members worked in Dodge County, Milwaukee had the most with 264 with Dane County second with 249.

(Madison) The Wisconsin Department of Health is reporting that the state has experienced 15 more deaths from Monday to Tuesday, bringing the total to 92. There was an increase of 138 positive cases from Monday with 2578 now confirmed. Of those cases, 745 people required hospitalization, which is 29-percent. To date 28,512 Wisconsinites have been tested and were found not to have coronavirus. Dodge County has 15 positive cases while the number of negative results has increased from 382 on Monday to 401 on Tuesday. There are 23 positive cases in Columbia County, up one from Monday when the county’s first death was reported. Washington County had two more people test positive bringing their total to 59 with three deaths. Fond du Lac County is up one with 44 positive tests and two deaths. Jefferson County up one to 15 positive cases. There are no cases reported in Green Lake County but 74 people there have been tested and found to not have the virus.

(Wisconsin) Testing capacity for COVID-19 is expanding in Wisconsin. Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm said Monday that a dozen labs in the state can handle about 3,500 samples a day, up from a few labs doing about 600 daily samples three weeks ago. That additional capacity will wider testing during local outbreaks, as well as testing some people with mild symptoms in certain parts of the state to get a better sense of how many have COVID-19.

(Wisconsin) Congressional leaders and the White House are converging on the need for another assistance package to try to contain the coronavirus pandemic’s economic devastation. Wisconsin’s Sixth District Congressman Glen Grothman is not comfortable with that. He says that the problem in his opinion is “not a lack of money largely in people’s bank accounts but that they’re being cautious in how they spend it.”

(Beaver Dam) Officials with a Beaver Dam-based non-profit say the coronavirus outbreak has impacted some of the services they offer. Church Health Services Executive Director Thea O’Conner says they are no longer doing any walk-in medical clinics but notes that emergency dental services are still available. With schools on hiatus, there are no mental health in the schools but O’Conner says there are therapists available through phone, video conference or in-person sessions. She says proper social distancing guidelines will be followed if someone is not comfortable talking over the phone or by video conferencing means.

(Beaver Dam) The Beaver Dam Fire Department says the DNR’s statewide burning ban does not affect Dodge County. Due to COVID-19, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has suspended all burning permits until further notice. The department says the county is not under the DNR protection area where the state issues burning permits. They say that their service area does not have a current restriction on open burning. However, the department does ask the public to consider postpone burning until the “Safer at Home” order is lifted. The public should contact their local government, who oversees open burning in the county, or fire department to discuss current burning restrictions.

(Madison) Another sign that Wisconsin school kids may not return to class this spring. The school board in Madison is floating the idea of lowering the bar for graduation. High school seniors might be allowed to graduate with 15 credits, instead of the usual 22. Madison students haven’t been in class since March 13th. Madison schools just launched a virtual learning program this week. Graduation ceremonies for Madison’s high schools are set for June.

(Wisconsin) Foxconn may be the next company to switch production to make ventilators. The CEO of health care company Medtronic tells CNBC that it’s working with Foxconn to make ventilators in Wisconsin. Omar Ishrak didn’t say when production could start, or how many ventilators Foxconn would make. If the report is true, Foxconn would join companies like Ford and Tesla in switching their production line to help during the coronavirus outbreak.

(Lomira) There was no change in bail for a Lomira woman charged in connection with the death of her three-year-old child. A motion hearing was held Tuesday for Jamie Hildebrandt to modify her bail after cash bond was set at $100,000 during her initial appearance last month. Judge Steven Bauer ruled that the cash bail is reasonable and denied the motion. Hildebrandt allegedly admitted to stepping on her son after laying him on the bathroom floor to reach for more diapers and forgetting he was there. The autopsy report concluded that there were multiple blunt force injuries to the child’s head, chest and back. Hildebrandt also allegedly admitted to using make-up to cover the child’s injuries. When asked why she didn’t call 911 after the incident, Hildebrandt reportedly said that she believed the child was okay. If convicted, the 32-year-old faces no more than 25-years in prison. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for May 7th.