News – March 24, 2020

(Madison) Governor Tony Evers has announced tighter restrictions for the public, requiring people to stay in their homes as part of an effort to fight COVID-19. The ‘Safer At Home” order comes three days after he indicated that such a measure would not be needed, though he did caution that he would do what is scientifically necessary.  Evers says the order was made after consulting with local leaders, and with businesses around the state. Under the order, the public would still be able to go to grocery stores, doctor’s offices and pharmacies and go outside to exercise or walk a dog. But the public will be mandated to remain inside for nearly everything else and the governor specifically said that means “no sleepovers, no play dates and no dinner parties with friends and neighbors.” Businesses will have to close unless they provide essential services. Evers says he will formally issue the order tomorrow (Tuesday) and it is expected to take effect in the days thereafter. State Senator Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald is criticizing the governor’s reversal noting that the decision was made without the legislature and saying that it creates (quote) “confusion.” The State of Wisconsin, meanwhile, says that 416 people have now contracted coronavirus. The Department of Health Services confirmed five deaths in Wisconsin. The third death in Milwaukee came this weekend. KILL AFTER 11AM

(Columbia County) The number of positive cases in Columbia County has not changed from last Friday but the number of negative cases has nearly doubled. There are five positive cases of COVID-19 in Columbia County as of 2pm Monday. The number of negative cases has increased from 64 to122. Columbia County has been identified as having community spread.

(Madison) State Representative David Bowen has tested positive for COVID-19. The 33-year-old Milwaukee Democrat is the first member of the legislature to publicly announce a positive test. Bowen said he was notified by the Shorewood Health Department he had come in contact with a local elected official who had tested positive and immediately went into quarantine. After showing symptoms, he was tested. Bowen, who’s recovering at home, said it is imperative that people take the pandemic seriously – and stay home.

(Madison) State health officials know how many people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Wisconsin. But Dr. Ryan Westergaard with the Department of Health Services says they don’t know how many of those people actually required hospitalization. Westergaard says DHS is actively trying to develop better systems to know who is hospitalized and when. It’s another reason why “flattening the curve” of COVID-19 spread is so critical.

(Madison) “Sheltering at home” doesn’t mean you need to rush out and make a big withdrawal from your bank or credit union. Rose Oswald Poels, CEO and President of the Wisconsin Bankers Association, says people are understandably concerned about access to their money. All Wisconsin banks and credit unions remain open for business, and individual accounts are insured up to 250-thousand dollars. Banks are considered an essential service under Governor Tony Evers’ order closing non-essential businesses.

(Juneau) With more communities encouraging citizens to vote early because of the coronavirus pandemic, request for absentee ballots have increased. Dodge County Clerk Karen Gibson asks residents to be patient, she says there are hundreds and hundreds of voters requesting absentee ballots from their local municipality. Gibson is also reminding residents that the absentee ballot envelope must be signed by the voter, viewed by a witness who must also give their address for the vote to be counted. She says absentee voting can be done in person at your local municipal office or an individual can request an absentee through the mail, email or by the The deadline to request an absentee ballot by mail is the Thursday before the election (April 2nd).

(Beaver Dam) The United Way of Dodge County has launched a COVID-19 relief fund. The Board of Directors say this will provide flexible resources to their not-for-profit partnered agencies in Dodge County working with community members who are disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus. It will also aid those impacted by the economic consequences of this outbreak. Contributions to the fund are designed to fill the gaps arising from the pandemic and to address all aspects of the outbreak as efficiently as possible. Executive Director of the United Way of Dodge County Susan Jentz says their goal is to support the needs of the economically vulnerable populations in the county. She adds that any contribution, small or large, is immediately appreciated and unites our community for the greater good. Information on donating can be found on

(Milwaukee) From Summerfest to “September Fest,” due to COVID-19. Milwaukee’s signature 11-day music festival was scheduled to open June 24 with Justin Bieber headlining. Not anymore. Organizers said Monday evening that Summerfest will be rescheduled for September 3-5, 10-12 and 17-19. All tickets that have already been purchased will be honored.

(Madison) The state’s insurance commissioner is making it easier for restaurants and delivery drivers to get coverage for their vehicles. Insurance Commissioner Mark Afable is ordering insurance companies to cover delivery drivers under either personal or commercial delivery policies. That’s a change on how that usually operates, especially for drivers with companies like Doordash or Eatstreet which are specifically not covered under many insurance policies. Afable says he hopes it helps restaurants and their employees stay afloat while so many people are relying on them for food.

(Beaver Dam) Beaver Dam residents are being advised that Advanced Disposal will no longer collect any trash or recycling that is not containerized. All trash and recycling must be placed into carts, loose items or bags placed outside the cart will not be collected. Until further notice, there will be no longer any bulk pickup by Advanced Disposal. This includes the first Wednesday and third Saturday monthly bulk drop-off at the truck on Myrtle Road. The curbside bulk pickup that was scheduled for May is also suspended

(Theresa) A two-day jury trial was scheduled yesterday (Monday) for a Theresa man accused of having inappropriate contact with a minor. Anthony Barron is facing a felony charge of Repeated Sexual Assault of the Same Child. According to the criminal complaint, Barron turned himself over to the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office in December. He allegedly told police that he assaulted the teenage victim in Dodge and Washington counties. Barron reportedly said (quote) “I’m going to be under arrest. I did something horrible” but also that he “[doesn’t] remember much of it.” When authorities spoke with the victim, she allegedly said that the assaults took place once or twice a week for a period of approximately three months. If convicted, the 34-year-old Barron faces up to 56 years in prison. The trial is scheduled to begin on August 19th.

(Madison) Names of four people killed in a crash in Madison Friday night have been released. The Dane County Medical Examiner’s Office says they were all men in their 20s. Deakarr Williams of Sun Prairie, and Johnathon Moore, Richard James and Marquise Jackson of Madison. Police say they were thrown from their vehicle and died instantly in a crash on the city’s north side. Investigators are still working to figure out exactly how it happened.