News – October 7, 2020

(Wisconsin) In an effort to reduce Wisconsin’s coronavirus outbreak, Governor Tony Evers’ administration has issued a new order limiting the size of public indoor gatherings. Evers says with the exceptions of schools, child care centers and health care and long term care facilities, indoor public gatherings are limited to no more than 25 percent of total occupancy limits for the room or the building. The order is effective at 8am tomorrow (Thursday) and will remain in effect until November 6. It applies to any gatherings at locations open to the public such as stores, restaurants, and other businesses, as well as spaces with ticketed events.

(Beaver Dam) City officials in Beaver Dam are considering a change in their debt cap policy. The council set limits for annual borrowing at $1.7-millon dollars, unless three-fourths of the council votes to exceed that number. Next year’s borrowing proposed is at $5.9-million dollars. A cap of $3.5-million dollars was suggested in committee this week. The city finance director suggested that the policy also incorporate metrics that are used in setting the city’s bond rating, like debt capacity. The change cannot be updated in time to impact next year’s borrowing. A draft resolution will be considered after the current budget is adopted next month.

(Beaver Dam) A private school in Beaver Dam is going virtual for the next two weeks because of COVID-19. Saint Katharine Drexel Parish School sent a letter to parents Tuesday that says the quarantine is being implemented out of an “abundance of caution” after a “number of individuals” tested positive. The grades identified were first, second, third and seventh but the letter notes that all students in 4K through eighth grade have been deemed a “close contact.” The individuals infected were not in attendance this week, making this past Friday the most recent time of contact. Virtual classes begin Wednesday with a return to in-person instruction on Monday, October 19 “pending changing circumstances.”

(Dodge County) Wisconsin health officials are reporting 2,020 positive coronavirus cases in Tuesday’s daily update. There are 24,852 active cases in the state, an increase of 263 from Monday. State health officials recorded 18 deaths Tuesday, for a total of 1,381. Dodge County has 19 deaths on record and 2,226 cases, an increase of 19 from Monday.

(Waupun) Two people have been charged with attempting to drop off illegal contraband at John C. Burke Correctional. Laketa Taylor of Mequon and Louis Moore of Milwaukee are both facing a felony count of Delivering Illegal Articles to an Inmate. The 37-year-old Taylor and the 45-year-old Moore allegedly dropped off several bags of chewing tobacco, seven cellphones, THC, cocaine and Krazy glue in a ditch outside the facility. If convicted, both face no more than three-and-a-half years in prison. Initial appearances are scheduled for October 19th.

(Wisconsin) The legal case over the deadline for absentee ballots in the November election is headed back to federal court. In a 4-3 decision Tuesday, the conservative majority of the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled Republican legislators have authority to challenge a ruling that pushed the deadline back six days. Republicans have asked a federal court to overturn Judge William Conley’s ruling that extended the deadline. Conley also pushed back the final day to register to vote online or by mail, along with other changes. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals had previously ruled lawmakers lacked standing to appeal the ruling. The case will now go back to the 7th Circuit for more deliberations.

(Wisconsin) A judge in St. Croix County heard arguments on Monday in a challenge against Governor Evers statewide mask order. Attorneys for the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty say that their clients’ personal liberties are being obstructed, and that Governor Evers’ orders have a legal time limit that can be revoked by the legislature. Some Republican legislators have said they’d like to come back to session to strike down the order, but Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau have decided against any legislative action at this time.

(Wisconsin) Wisconsinites struggling in the COVID-19 economy are getting some help. $47-million dollars from the federal CARES Act will help people in Wisconsin pay for child care, food, rent, and other expenses.  Governor Evers made the announcement Monday. The Out-of-School Support Grant Program, the Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program, and the Food Security Initiative will each get ten-million dollars. The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program will get 15-million. The rest will go to the Keep Wisconsin Warm or Cool Fund, which helps people during energy-related emergencies.