News – November 18, 2020

(Madison) President Donald Trump will request a recount in just two Wisconsin counties. The Trump campaign will request a recount only in Milwaukee and Dane, the state’s two most populous counties where a combined total of nearly 800,000 votes were cast. The Wisconsin Elections Commission has received a wire transfer from the Trump campaign for three million dollars and said the campaign has told staff a recount petition will be filed today. The deadline for that is 5pm.

(Beaver Dam) Local health care professionals are urging the public to support health care workers by wearing a mask. Marshfield Medical Center Beaver Dam Chief Administrative Officer Angelia Foster told us yesterday on WBEV’s Community Comment that it is increasingly disheartening for health care workers to risk their lives every day – covered in uncomfortable PPE for an entire shift or a double shift – only to pick up milk after work alongside people refusing to take simple measures to prevent the spread of the virus like wearing a mask.  The hospital in Beaver Dam has been at around 90-percent capacity for the past several weeks while on any given day, 20-to-25-percent of staff is unable to work because they are either COVID-positive or quarantining.  Foster says this week alone she received three resignations within 24 hours and notes that staff feels safer at work surrounded by coronavirus patients than they do out in public.

(Dodge County) It was another record day of COVID-19 cases and deaths as a surge of infections continues to move through Wisconsin. State health officials are reporting 7,090 positive coronavirus cases in Tuesday’s daily update. There are 72,344 active cases in the state, an increase of 2,139 from Monday. State health officials recorded 92 deaths, bringing that total to 2,741. Dodge County has 54 deaths and 1,342 active cases.

(Dodge County) Nearly half of the coronavirus tests administered in Dodge County last week were positive. That is according to the latest weekly update from the Dodge County Health Department which says from November 9th through the 15th, a total of 924 out of the 2,030 people tested were confirmed to have COVID-19; a rate of 45-percent. Contact tracing remains an issue, with county health officials recommending online resources for people who have been in contact with or who have received positive tests that give instructions on isolation timelines and avoiding household exposure.

(Beaver Dam) A Madison man charged with running from Dodge County deputies, less than an hour after being released from prison in July, entered a plea of not guilty by reason of mental defect at sentencing yesterday. The court found Equon Hopkins guilty of felony Fleeing but, per a doctor’s evaluation, agreed the 40-year-old was not guilty by reason of mental defect. That means Hopkins is guilty of committing the crime but cannot appreciate the wrongfulness of his actions and is unable to conform his behavior to the law. The court ordered the Department of Health Services to recommend what disciplinary action should be taken which includes commitment to a mental health facility or supervised living arrangements.

(Juneau) A missing Huber inmate was found shortly after Dodge County authorities issued a press release seeking the public’s help in locating him. The sheriff’s office announced yesterday at 7:20am that they were searching for Austin Odebrecht, who failed to return to the jail following a preapproved medical appointment. Less than twenty minutes later, law enforcement said they had located the 21-year-old and had him back into custody. Odebrecht is serving an eight month jail sentence for a felony theft conviction.

(Wisconsin) After months of doing nothing about the pandemic, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos says he is ready to work with the governor. Tony Evers has proposed a potential ban on evictions, requiring health plans to cover COVID-related testing and treatment, and to continue waiving the waiting period for unemployment insurance. None of this may matter, as Senate President Chris Kapenga told the Journal Sentinel that he’s “not real keen,” on Evers’ proposals, which would cost about $541-million-dollars.