Community

Thu
28
May
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Wisconsin State Fair Canceled

WEST ALLIS–For several months the Wisconsin State Fair Park Board of Directors and staff have been working tirelessly analyzing all facets of the annual event, in hopes of being able to provide the Wisconsin State Fair experience that Fairgoers have come to know and love over the past 169 years.

On May 26, the board voted unanimously to authorize Chairman Yingling to make the determination on whether events currently scheduled at State Fair Park, including the 2020 Wisconsin State Fair, are to be canceled, after extensive input from each board member and Kathleen O’Leary, Executive Director/CEO. On May 28, Yingling announced that for the safety of fairgoers, staff, vendors, entertainers, exhibitors, sponsors, suppliers and the broader community, the 2020 Wisconsin State Fair has been canceled.

Thu
28
May
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Local Law Enforcement Work Together to Arrest Serial Burglar

DANE COUNTY–Dane County Sheriff’s deputies, working in conjunction with officers from 

UW–Madison Police, Sun Prairie Police, City of Madison Police, Fitchburg Police, Capitol Police, Janesville Police, Albany Police and the Rock County Sheriff’s Office, have arrested Raymond M. Sanchez, III, 37, of Footville, on multiple charges of Burglary. This was an extensive investigation that ultimately crossed state lines and resulted in the recovery of thousands of dollars in stolen property.  

Wed
27
May
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Cross Plains to Allow ATVs on Village Streets

CROSS PLAINS–By a 4-3 vote at their May 26 meeting, the Cross Plains Village Board opened streets to all-terrain vehicles and closed off a chance for a referendum on the long-contentious topic.

The narrow votes with Board Members Sarah Francois, Bill Brosius and Kevin Thusius, voting against an ordinance permitting ATVs and UTVs; and for an advisory referendum, shows how divided the village has become.

Discussion on social media turned to “bullying,” said Amalia Hicks, an ATV opponent, and even a board member was accused of intimidating speech during a previous board meeting. However, the accuser declined to pursue the matter.

Sat
23
May
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Sheriff’s Office Prepares for 2020 Boating Season

MADISON–Memorial Day weekend is typically the official kick-off to the boating season in Wisconsin. The Dane County Sheriff’s Office wants to remind boaters to make safety their top priority and to check their equipment before heading out on the water.

The Sheriff’s Office Marine and Trail Enforcement will have several boats on Dane County lakes this weekend. If the weather cooperates, getting out on the lakes will be an opportunity for people to enjoy the outdoors. Please consider the following tips when preparing for this boating season.

• Ensure there is a life jacket for everyone on board

• Check batteries, gas levels and lighting

• Check the fire extinguisher

• Display proper registration information

• Have a sober driver

COVID-19 Safety Precautions                 

• Maintain social distancing

• Only share a boat with members of your own household

• Don’t raft or tie boats together

Fri
22
May
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Public Health Issues Order Moving Dane County to Reopening Phase 1

MADISON–Earlier this week, Public Health Madison & Dane County released Forward Dane, a phased reopening plan for Dane County during the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, based on active monitoring of the data-based metrics outlined in the plan, an order has been issued that moves Dane County into Phase 1 of the reopening plan, effective May 26, 2020 at 8:00am.

“We released Forward Dane so everyone in the community could see the requirements that needed to be met for us to continue opening businesses, while still balancing the health and safety of our residents,” said Janel Heinrich, Director of Public Health Madison & Dane County.

“We are receiving hundreds of test results each day and have analyzed additional data from the community testing site at the Alliant Energy Center. We feel confident that our county can take the next step in the reopening process at this time,” continued Heinrich.

Phase 1 includes:

Thu
21
May
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Area Farmers Markets Make Adjustments in Response to COVID-19

SOUTH CENTRAL WISCONSIN–Farmers markets are beginning to crop up are around the region, but with a few changes and restrictions in place to accommodate for safety in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Greenway Station Farmers Market Manager Cheryl Heck said the market has worked out ways to social distance, sanitize and keep people safe. She said plans are to tentatively open the market the first Thursday in June. 

The market, which Heck said has been in operation for about 20 years, has looked at placing vendors back to back with guests going around the outside perimeter of the market, or possible using a longer span of the parking lot, which is located on Greenway Boulevard on the south end of Greenway Station. Vendors will have masks and gloves and hand sanitizing stations. The market goers will also move in a one-way direction through the market.

In addition, Heck said items will be prepackaged or packaged for the customers. 

Thu
14
May
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Supreme Court Strikes Down Safer at Home Order

WISCONSIN–In a 4-3 decision on Wednesday, the Wisconsin Supreme Court overturned Gov. Tony Evers’ Safer at Home order, calling is “unlawful” and “unenforceable.” Conservative Judge Brian Hagedorn dissented, joining liberal justices Ann Walsh Bradley and Rebecca Dallet in voting to maintain the order.

In their findings, justices said Evers overstepped his authority when he extended the original 60 day order to May 26. 

The lawsuit was filed against state Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm as well as other health officials because they made the decision to extend the order on April 12.

The court ruling came just two days after restrictions on many businesses were lifted, allowing stores to have five people or less at any given time.

Mon
11
May
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COVID-19 Community Testing Starts at Alliant Energy Center

DANE COUNTY–Beginning today, May 11, the Wisconsin National Guard opened a Dane County community testing site for COVID-19.

Free, drive-thru and walk-up testing is available to all residents. No appointment is necessary. Depending on utilization, the testing site will be open until further notice.

The testing will be conducted in the New Holland Pavilion at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison.  It is open Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. If you drive up, you will remain in your car the entire time. Using the Exact Sciences test, Wisconsin National Guard staff will collect specimens.

The community testing site is available to all residents.

The test is not an antibody test and does not indicate if someone has had COVID-19 in the past. Results are expected within 3-5 days.

Fri
08
May
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Planning Proceeds for 2020 Good Neighbor Festival

MIDDLETON–These are uncertain times, and the entire Middleton community is faced with new challenges. While many activities have been cancelled through the spring and early summer, the Good Neighbor Festival Board of Trustees continues to plan for the 57th Annual Good Neighbor Festival on August 28-30, and they remain cautiously optimistic that the event can take place. 

Although organizers are seeking to preserve this cherished community tradition, there will be changes to adjust to the COVID-19 situation as necessary. One significant change that was already in the works is that the festival will adopt an “open campus“ concept in 2020, allowing alcoholic beverages to be consumed on most of the festival grounds instead of being limited to two separate beer tents. William “Sonny” Simon VFW Post 8216 and Middleton Youth Hockey will operate individual beer stands as in the past, with the VFW focusing on domestic beer and Hockey featuring craft beer options.

Fri
08
May
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Sunflower Days May Bloom Again

TOWN OF MIDDLETON–The Town of Middleton Tourism Commission Monday cancelled Sunflower Days this summer and cast doubt on whether the event would ever be scheduled again.

Not only does a $15,045 deficit remain from last year’s flower festival but the current COVID-19 pandemic has caused the cancellation of other long-standing summer events including Madison’s Shake the Lake and Oshkosh’s Air Adventure.

As recently as early March, the town board was considering holding a scaled-back Sunflower Days at Pope Farm Conservancy as only $8,811 in room tax revenue, which partly funds the event, was expected to be available.

First quarter room tax revenue this year totaled $4,023 but the “Safer At Home” statewide order is expected to depress travel and the resulting revenue.

The tourism commission is comprised of town board members and they expressed little enthusiasm for hosting an event this summer.

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