News – May 21, 2020

(Dodge County) A local resource says they are available to assist small businesses impacted by COVID-19 apply for a new state grant. On Monday, Governor Tony Evers unveiled the $75-million-dollar grant program which was funded largely through the federal CARES Act. Officials with ThriveED, a joint economic development venture between Dodge and Jefferson Counties, say they are available to work hand-in-hand with businesses throughout the application process. Up to 30-thousand businesses will be able to apply for the 25-hundred dollar “We’re All In” grants in early June.

(Madison) Governor Tony Evers yesterday (Wednesday) announced the launch of a $25 million Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program for those who have experienced income loss as a result of the pandemic. Administered by the Department of Administration and funded through the federal CARES Act, the program will provide financial assistance for rent and security deposits, paid directly to the landlord on behalf of the tenant. Eligible applicants must be a state resident with a household income at or below 80-percent of the county median income in the month of or prior to the application date. Once approved, eligible individuals may receive assistance of up to $3,000. 

(Madison) Wisconsin farmers will be eligible for a direct payment program from the state, for coronavirus relief. Governor Tony Evers confirmed Wednesday afternoon he will take 50-million dollars from the 1.9 billion given to the state in the CARES Act to use for the direct payments, plus another 15 million dollars to assist food security efforts. Eligible farmers will be asked to apply for the aid through the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, which is working in collaboration with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection. Farm support payments could begin arriving as early as June. The 50-million is exactly what eight Wisconsin farm organizations requested from Evers in an April 21st letter.

(Wisconsin) Congressman Glenn Grothman has some issues with the $3-trillion-dollar COVID-19 HEROES Act passed by the house last week. The federal lawmaker from Glenbeulah does not like supporting illegal immigrants by including them in a second round of $1,200 stimulus checks or extending unemployment benefits by another six months. Grothman says he’s surprised more Democrats did not vote against it. Another Republican who finds fault with the bill is President Trump who says he will not support it.

(Dodge County) Wisconsin health officials are reporting an increase of 528 cases of COVID-19 in yesterday’s (Wednesday’s) daily update. There is a total of 13,413 people now having tested positive. Eight-percent of tests were positive in the latest update compared to five-percent on Tuesday and three-percent on Monday; Saturday also saw eight-percent of tests come back positive. State public health officials reported 14 deaths on Wednesday bringing the total to 481. Dodge County has three new coronavirus cases, bringing the total to 112 with one death on record.

(Wisconsin) More than half of the people who’ve tested positive for the coronavirus in Wisconsin have fully recovered. The Department of Health Services’ numbers from late Tuesday show more than seven-thousand people have been cleared after testing positive. Another five-thousand are still within the 30-day diagnosis window.

(Beaver Dam) The good news: Beaver Dam city officials say the 2020 budget impact from COVID-19 has been minimal. The bad news: next year could be much worse. Finance Director Zak Bloom says this year, the city has experienced around $10-thousand dollars in coronavirus expenses primarily related to the election. Bloom says concerns for next year involves state aid payments. 

(Beaver Dam) Several Dodge County nonprofits were recently awarded grants through the Alliant Energy Foundation. A total of 38 Wisconsin nonprofits, including 11 organizations in Dodge County, are splitting a total $76,590. The money will fund projects in four key areas: helping families, education, environment and public safety. Several of the Dodge County nonprofits receiving money include Beaver Dam’s Green Valley Enterprise, New Beginnings Homeless Shelter and the Dodge County Food Pantry.

(Wisconsin) Wisconsin Congressman Ron Kind and other Wisconsin Democrats want the US Department of Agriculture to act as a matchmaker between dairy producers with excess milk with food banks that can distribute it to families. Kind, along with Representatives Mark Pocan and Gwen Moore, want to allocate four million dollars to expand USDA’s existing milk donation program. As for how to store and distribute that surplus, Kind suggests the Wisconsin National Guard be given the job – and says the Guard is willing to do so.

(Wisconsin) Thousands of Wisconsin residents have yet to receive their first unemployment check. Officials with the Department of Workforce Development confirm more than 675 thousand claims are still unpaid.  The Safer at Home order resulted in more than two million claims since mid-March.  The state agency has been overwhelmed.  The numbers don’t include people who haven’t been able to get through to make a claim.  D-W-D is still promising unemployment recipients will get their back pay, but it isn’t known how long that might take.

(Milwaukee) People are traveling a lot less, if Milwaukee’s airport is any indication. Officials at Mitchell Airport say the number of people flying dropped 96-percent in April. About 23-thousand people flew in and out of Milwaukee last month. In April of last year, the number was closer to a half-million people.

(Wisconsin) The Wisconsin Department of Tourism is launching two new online games to entertain people staying home during the pandemic. The Ultimate Wisconsin Fishing Game lets players choose one of Wisconsin’s lakes to fish in, and learn about the species. The other is a matching game. Match It! Wisconsin challenges players to beat the clock and flip over cards to find matching pairs. Both games can be found at travel-Wisconsin-dot-com.