News – June 11, 2020

(Columbus) Columbus’s long-range planning process is beginning to take shape. Officials with MSA Processionals this week discussed their findings after evaluating the city’s major public facilities and their services. Two priorities highlighted included building a new fire station for additional space and moving the city’s public works from their current location, which is in a floodplain. MSA also recommended a new Community/Senior Center that could be attached to city hall and construction of a new public library. The tentative timeline for all projects would begin in 2023 and conclude in 2040. City officials hope to adopt the investment plan, which is available on the city website, this summer.

(Madison) Republicans are criticizing Governor Tony Evers for recording a telephone meeting with legislative leaders last month. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald called the action (quote) “Nixonesque” and says it is the most brazen example of unethical, unprofessional conduct he has ever seen in his 26 years in the legislature. The May 14th conservation between Evers and the legislature was to discuss next steps for a statewide COVID-19 response after the Supreme Court ruled to strike down the safer at home order.

(Madison) African-American state legislators want a special session later this month, to address criminal justice and law enforcement policies. Noting that “there have been numerous instances of police misconduct” here in Wisconsin well before the death of George Floyd while in the custody of Minneapolis police, members of Wisconsin’s Legislative Black Caucus are urging Governor Tony Evers to call the state Assembly and Senate into a special session on June 19, or Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. Evers has already been pushing for the passage of Assembly Bill 1012, for tighter regulations on law enforcement use of force policies.

(Dodge County) Wisconsin health officials are reporting an increase of 285 cases of COVID-19 in yesterday’s (Wednesday’s) daily update. There are 21,593 people now having tested positive. Two-point-eight-percent (2.8%) of the nearly 10,000 tests administered came back positive Wednesday, compared to 1.9-percent Tuesday and 2.7-percent Monday. State health officials are reporting 10 more deaths bringing that number to 671. Jefferson County reported its fourth death yesterday and has 138 cases. Dodge County has four deaths on record and 410, an increase of four from Tuesday.

(Beaver Dam) The 2020 Dodge County Fair has been cancelled. The Fair Board says it is with deep concern for the health and safety of the community that they have come to this decision. Throughout the process organizers have been communicating with county leaders, health officials, UW-Extension staff, volunteers, vendors and the Wisconsin Association of Fairs. The fair is scheduled to return in its entirety August 18th through the 22nd next year. Organizers say they look forward to be able to again celebrate all that is special and unique to Dodge County.

(Winnebago County) The Winnebago County Fair Board of Directors this week announced the cancellation of this year’s fair, which was scheduled for August 5th through the 9th. Board officials say they spent many hours over the last two months researching and debating the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the community. Their decision was arrived at following health and safety discussions with partners involved in and impacted by the fair. They say the ultimate goal of a County Fair is to bring the community together in celebration and education. The Winnebago County Fair is a 165 year tradition.

(Marathon County) The Marathon County Board’s executive committee will discuss a controversial COVID-19 related ordinance this (Thursday) afternoon. The sweeping proposal would allow the county health department to require safety measures such as face masks in the event of a resurgence of the virus. Additionally they would be able to close down or alter a business’s hours if they are tied to an outbreak, or write ordinances for entire towns or villages should a community wide outbreak occur. Business groups such as the Greater Wausau Chamber of Commerce say they simply cannot support the ordinance as written.