News – September 23, 2020

(Wisconsin) Republican legislative leaders are critical of Governor Tony Evers extension of a statewide mask mandate. But in statements released yesterday (Tuesday), neither Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau or Assembly Speaker Robin Vos signaled any intention of calling legislators back to Madison to rescind Evers’ order. Both referred to Evers’ action as illegal, but said legal, rather than legislative remedies should be pursued. Fitzgerald said it’s (quote) “almost assuredly headed for litigation.” Vos said (quote) “there is already a court challenge and undoubtedly, there will be more.” Some Republicans are calling for the leaders to call them back, to vote on overturning the extension, which is to remain in effect for 60 days. Evers yesterday declared a new public health emergency in the state due to recent surge in COVID-19 cases among young people. Eighteen to 24-year-olds have a case rate five times higher than any other age group. -WRN

(Dodge County) Wisconsin health officials are reporting 1,672 positive coronavirus cases in Tuesday’s daily update, which is 13.3-percent of the 12,500 tests announced. There are 14,770 active cases in the state, an increase of 356 from Monday. State health officials recorded seven deaths Tuesday, for a total of 1,251. Dodge County reported a 10th death on Tuesday along with 1,653 cases, an increase of 27 from Monday. County health officials are actively monitoring 290 people.

(Dodge County) The percentage of positive tests in Dodge County remains above 16-percent for the second straight week, according to the latest update from the Dodge County Health Department. From September 14th through the 20th, county health officials say 16.2-percent of all tests administered were positive; the previous week it was 16.9-percent. Last week, Dodge County reverted back to phase one of its three phase Safe Restart Plan. The cases metric is in the red while hospitals and contact tracing is in the yellow. The only metrics in the green are PPE and testing.

(Madison) University of Wisconsin Chancellor Rebecca Blank says she wants to work with Dane County officials to help lower the COVID-19 infection rate among students. Blank says the time for quote “arguing” with those officials is over.  The statement her office issued Monday came a day after Dane County Executive Joe Parisi renewed his call for the school to move all of its instruction online.  Blank says the best way to contain the virus is to work together, not to issue press releases calling for students to leave.  She’s calling for community leaders to come together for a “conversation” about what they can do.– WRN

(Princeton) Authorities have identified the person killed in a weekend fire in Green Lake County. Princeton Fire Chief Ernie Pulvermacher says 92-year-old Joyce Des Jardins succumbed to fire related events and was pronounced dead at the scene. The blaze was reported just after 7am Saturday at West Main Street and was started from candle related material. Pulvermacher says the fire is being listed as accidental.

(Watertown) A Watertown teen was charged yesterday (Tuesday) with possessing illegal images of children. Mitchell Roeglin (RAYG-lin) allegedly admitted to receiving and transmitting images of child porn over the social networking site Tumblr. If convicted, Roeglin faces over 25 years in prison. An initial appearance is scheduled for October 12th.

(Juneau) If you requested an absentee ballot by mail, election officials say you should be seeing that ballot in your mailbox. Dodge County Clerk Karen Gibson says municipal clerks sent out all ballots last week from people who have had requests on file. Ballots will continue to be sent out to voters who request them by mail until the Thursday before the election. In person, absentee voting starts on October 20 but Gibson notes that absentee ballots requested by mail can be dropped off at your municipal clerk’s office right now. // She also clarifies that requests for ballots require photo identification and placing a ballot in the envelope requires a witness’s address and signature. Once that has been done, anyone can return the ballot provided the ballot is delivered to the appropriate voting jurisdiction.