News – August 15, 2020

(Madison) Department of Health Services Secretary designee Andrea Palm says there should not be fans in the stands at Lambeau field this year. “We are not encouraging mass gatherings . . . a stadium event, generally speaking is a mass gathering. It’s hard to physically distance in a scenario like that.” Palm says there are only so many tools we have to stop the spread of coronavirus. “Wearing a mask, physical distancing, the hygiene as it relates to hand washing, and those things that we have talked about from the very start, are really the only things we have to stop transmission.” The Packers have already closed Lambeau for the first two home games of the season because of the coronavirus pandemic but are open to welcoming fans back in November. -WRN

(Dodge County) Wisconsin health officials reported 1021 positive coronavirus cases in Friday’s daily update, which is 9.8-percent of the 9400 tests announced. There are 9003 active cases in the state, an increase of 72 from Thursday. State health officials recorded seven more deaths, for a total of 1,025, that includes a 23rd death in Washington County. Dodge County has five deaths on record and 894 cases, an increase of 19 from Thursday. Public health officials in Dodge County are actively monitoring 183 people.

(Wisconsin) Wisconsinites who’ve died from the coronavirus are overwhelmingly older. So far, just over one-thousand Wisconsinites have died from complications of COVID-19. More than 900 of them were older than 60. No one under the age of 18 has died from the coronavirus in Wisconsin. -WRN

(Barron County) Several employees at a northwest Wisconsin produce plant are COVID-19 positive. The Barron County Health Department says 44-percent of the workforce at Seneca Foods in Cumberland are infected with the coronavirus. The first case was reported in mid-July; ten days later, the health department reported several cases at Seneca Foods.  -WRN

(Washington DC) U-S Senator Ron Johnson says he hopes talks about a new coronavirus stimulus bill remain broken down.  The Wisconsin Republican tells Breitbart News he doesn’t support any new spending that would add to the federal debt.  Instead, Johnson says he wants to spend only the money already authorized by the relief package passed earlier this year called the CARES Act.  If nothing is approved by Congress, a series of executive orders from President Trump would go into effect.  Democratic U-S Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin says the president’s orders amount to “chaos.”     -WRN

(Madison) A warning that in the majority of states – including Wisconsin – voters could be disenfranchised by delayed mail-in ballots. The U.S. Postal Service recently sent detailed letters to 46 states and D.C. warning that it cannot guarantee all ballots cast by mail for the November election will arrive in time to be counted. The Postal Service’s warnings come amid a sweeping organizational and policy overhaul and tough financial conditions. President Trump, who has questioned the validity of voting by mail,  on Friday said he will approve billions of dollars in funding for the USPS as part of a coronavirus relief package if Democrats make concessions on certain White House priorities. -WRN

(Milwaukee) Milwaukee city officials are now asking about reimbursement for the millions of dollars they spent getting ready for the Democratic National Convention.  Mayor Tom Barrett has sent a letter to the federal government seeking funding help to cover the losses.  The feds were going to reimburse Milwaukee when the convention was over.  It isn’t clear if that is still going to happen.  City officials say many of their agreements included a cancelation clause of 30 days, but the convention was changed to a virtual format only 11 days before it was to start.  Area businesses are also losers – because the 50 thousand visitors aren’t coming and won’t be spending an estimated 200 million dollars. -WRN

(Madison) The University of Wisconsin-Madison has received less than one-percent of the funds that Foxconn Technology Group pledged two years ago during the electronics giant’s expansion plans in Wisconsin. Taiwan-based company in August 2018 committed $100 million to the university to help fund an engineering building and for company-related research. It gave the school $700,000 in the first year of a five-year agreement. Records indicate that the school has received no additional money in the past year. UW officials say they continues to maintain open lines of communication with company representatives. Foxconn officials have not commented. -WTMJ

(Columbia County) The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office will be stepping up enforcement of alcohol and drug impaired driving later this month. The department is partnering with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign. The heightened enforcement period will run from August 21st through September 7th. According to NHTSA, over 10-thousand people were killed in drunk-driving crashes in 2018 – which equates to one death every 50 minutes.

(Horicon) A Brandon woman was the grand prize winner of Horicon Banks Take Flight art contest. Launched in February, the art contest was open to artists of all ages who were asked to capture “wings” – an ode to the bank’s logo and deep ties to the Horicon Marsh. After multiple rounds of judging by the Bank’s Art Committee and voting by the community at-large, Geraldine Buteyn won the top prize of $2,000 for her entry. The winning piece features several geese taking flight towards the sun.