WKEB Local News Archives for 2020-03

Registration Open for Brewers Summer Slugger Program

Registration Open for Brewers Summer Slugger Program

 

As we stay safe at home to help fight the spread of COVID-19, we can still come together online for our community and our youth.

The Brewers and MLB have teamed up with EVERFI to create Summer Slugger -- a FREE online educational platform that uses baseball to help kids (ages 8-11) maintain their math and literacy skills away from the classroom.

The super fun challenges and activities cover a variety of crucial educational areas throughout the program -- perfect for young baseball fans to learn from home:

 

Math:

Unit of Measurement

Place Value

Arithmetic

Geometry

Comparing Values

 

Literacy:

Spelling

Phonetic Awareness

Vocabulary

Comprehension

Grammar

 

To register your child for Summer Slugger and learn more about the program, simply visit SummerSlugger.com/Brewers, select "I Have A Code", and use code BREWERS.
 

 

Gov. Evers Directs DHS to Issue Safer at Home Order

Gov. Evers Directs DHS to Issue Safer at Home Order

 

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today directed Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm to issue a Safer at Home order that prohibits all nonessential travel, with some exceptions as clarified and defined in the order. 

 

The order is effective at 8 am on Weds., March 25, 2020 and will remain in effect until 8 am Fri., April 24, 2020, or until a superseding order is issued. 

 

“I know the COVID-19 outbreak has been difficult and has disrupted the lives of people across our state. Issuing a Safer at Homeorder isn’t something I thought we’d have to do and it’s not something I take lightly, but here’s the bottom line: folks need to start taking this seriously,” said Gov. Evers. “Each and every one of us has to do our part to help slow the spread of COVID-19 so we can flatten the curve to ensure our doctors, nurses, and healthcare workers have the opportunity to do their important work.  Let’sall do our part and work together.”

 

Individuals do not need special permission to leave their homes, but they must comply with this order as to when it is permissible to leave home. Similarly, if a business is an Essential Business or Operation as defined in this order, it does not need documentation or certification to continue its work that is done in compliance with this order.

 

Under this order, Wisconsin residents are able to: 

Perform tasks essential to maintain health and safety, such as obtaining medicine or seeing a doctor;

Get necessary services or supplies for themselves or their family or household members, such as getting food and supplies, pet food and supplies necessary for staying at home;

Care for a family member in another household; and

Care for older adults, minors, dependents, people with disabilities or other vulnerable persons.

 

Businesses allowed to operate under the Safer at Home order include, but are not limited to: 

Health care operations, including home health workers;

Critical infrastructure;

Businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise vulnerable individuals;

Fresh and non-perishable food retailers, including convenience stores, grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and food banks;

Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food and goods directly to residences;

Pharmacies, health care supply stores and health care facilities;

Child care facilities, with some limitations; 

Gas stations and auto repair facilities;

Banks;

Laundry businesses, dry cleaners and services necessary for maintaining the safety, sanitation and essential operation of a residence, including garbage collection;

Hardware stores, plumbers, and electricians;

Educational institutions, for the purposes of facilitating distance learning;

Roles required for any business to maintain minimum basic operations, which includes security, and payroll; and  

Law and safety, and essential government functions will continue under the recommended action.

 

The order contains detailed information regarding the exemptions provided to certain businesses. If a business is unsure about whether or not they are exempted from this order, please contact the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation . 

 

The public should follow simple steps to prevent illness and avoid exposure to this virus including:

Avoid social gatherings with people of all ages (including playdates and sleepovers, parties, large family dinners, visitors in your home, non-essential workers in your house);

Frequent and thorough hand washing with soap and water;

Covering coughs and sneezes;

Avoiding touching your face; and

Staying home. 

 

This is a rapidly evolving situation and we encourage you and the public to frequently monitor the DHS website for updates, and to follow @DHSWI on Facebook and Twitter, or dhs.wi on Instagram. Additional information can be found on the CDC website.

Gov. Evers, DHS Announce Updated Mass Gatherings Order

Gov. Evers, DHS Announce Updated Mass Gatherings Order  Friday, March 20, 2020

 

MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers today directed Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm to issue updates to the previous order prohibiting mass gatherings of 10 or more people.

 

The updated order maintains the ban on gatherings of 10 or more people and indefinite school closures, but includes some important changes and clarifications:

 

Treats bars and restaurants the same. Bars will be able to have carryout sales of alcohol and food, if allowed by local ordinances and state law. This will help ensure thousands of establishments can stay in business during this unprecedented health emergency.

 

Media and news organizations can remain open to provide the public with vital information.

 

Laundromats may remain open.

 

Banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions may remain open if they practice social distancing.

 

All parts of the food delivery system – from farms to stores – may remain open.

 

Clarifies that cafeterias in healthcare facilities may remain open to serve our healthcare workers.

 

Allied health professions, such as acupuncturists, are unaffected by the mass gathering ban.

 

All parts of our transportation system can continue to serve our economy.

 

Any facility used for in-person absentee voting or as a polling location may remain open for voting, except for sites at long-term care and assisted care facilities.

 

Hair salons, day spas, nail salons, barber shops, tattoo parlors, body art establishments, and tanning facilities must close effective 5 pm on Fri., March 20, 2020.

 

All gatherings that bring together or are likely to bring together 10 or less people in a single room or confined space, whether inside or outside, at the same time must preserve social distancing and follow all other public health recommendations issued by DHS or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Voluntary cancellation, closure, or limitations on the size of gatherings beyond the requirements of this order are permitted and encouraged. 

 

People should follow simple steps to prevent illness and avoid exposure to this virus including:

 

Avoid social gatherings with people of all ages (including playdates and sleepovers, parties, large family dinners, visitors in your home, non-essential workers in your house);

 

Frequent and thorough hand washing with soap and water;

 

Covering coughs and sneezes;

 

Avoiding touching your face; and

 

Staying home when able.

 

This is a rapidly evolving situation and we encourage you and the public to frequently monitor the DHS website for updates, and to follow @DHSWI on Facebook and Twitter, or dhs.wi on Instagram. Additional information can be found on the CDC website.

Gov. Evers orders all bars and restaurants to close

Gov. Evers orders all bars and restaurants to close

 

MADISON, Wis. (WEAU)-- Governor Evers has ordered all bars and restaurants to close in the state starting at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Food establishments can stay open for take-out or delivery service only. No seating or eating can take place at the restaurants.

Governor Evers also directed Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm to issue an agency order prohibiting mass gatherings of 10 people or more to slow the spread of COVID-19. The order makes exceptions for transportation, educational institutions, child care, hotels, military, law enforcement, food pantries, hospitals, and long-term care facilities.

Evers also extended the closure of all public and private K-12 schools indefinitely and called on the Legislature to waive a one-week waiting period to receive unemployment compensation insurance. Evers said he would be talking with legislative leaders on Wednesday about an aid package. The number of confirmed cases in Wisconsin has increased from 47 to 72.


FULL RELEASE FROM GOV. EVERS OFFICE:
Gov. Tony Evers today directed Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm to issue an agency order prohibiting mass gatherings of 10 people or more to slow the spread of COVID-19. The order makes exceptions for transportation, educational institutions, child care, hotels, military, law enforcement, food pantries, hospitals, long-term care facilities, restaurants and bars can only offer take-out or delivery, grocery stores and convenience stores, utility facilities, job centers, and courts. See full order and list of exemptions here. Additionally, schools will be closed for the duration of the public health emergency.

 

“Our top priority at this time is to keep Wisconsinites safe and healthy by reducing the spread of COVID-19, especially for those who are considered high-risk. With limited tests available nationwide and continued community spread, we have to take every precaution to protect ourselves, our families, and our neighbors,” said Gov. Evers. “I know what this means for our small business owners and the struggles they and their workers will face in the coming weeks, but we are committed to working with our federal partners, state officials, and stakeholders to ensure we are doing everything we can to assist during these uncertain times.”

 

Community Spread
We are seeing community spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin. This means that there are people who have tested positive who have no exposures to a known case nor did they travel to a location where there is known community spread. Today, we have cases in Milwaukee, Dane and Kenosha counties indicating that there is community spread happening in Wisconsin. Social distancing will help keep you, your family, and our community from increased risk of exposure.

DHS and Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene to move to tiered

 

COVID-19 testing to manage capacity
Despite The Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene (WSLH) significantly increasing their capacity for COVID-19 testing, the number of testing specimens being received far exceeds their daily capacity. In order to conserve supplies for testing, WSLH and DHS are now prioritizing two tiers of cases for testing:

Tier One (Individuals who):
• are critically ill and receiving ICU level care with unexplained viral pneumonia or respiratory failure

• are hospitalized (non-ICU) with fever or signs and symptoms of lower respiratory tract illness (cough, shortness of breath) and either known exposure to a laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patient or travel to an area with sustained community transmission

Tier Two (Individuals who):
• are hospitalized (non-ICU) with unexplained fever and signs/symptoms of lower respiratory tract illness
• are health care workers with unexplained fever and signs/symptoms of a lower-respiratory illness, regardless of hospitalization

Test requests that do not meet these criteria will be sent to other labs in the state and country for testing, resulting in longer wait times.
Information for healthcare providers on the testing tiers is available at dhs.wisconsin.gov/covid-19/index.htm. Patients without symptoms and patients with mild upper respiratory symptoms who are not health care workers should not be tested in order to ensure that there is capacity to test ill people.

 

People should follow simple steps to prevent illness and avoid exposure to this virus including:

• Avoid social gatherings with people of all ages (including playdates and sleepovers, parties, large family dinners, visitors in your home, non-essential workers in your house);
• Frequent and thorough hand washing with soap and water;
• Covering coughs and sneezes;
• Avoiding touching your face;
• Staying home when sick.
This is a rapidly evolving situation and we encourage you and the public to frequently monitor the DHS website for updates, and to follow @DHSWI on Facebook and Twitter, or dhs.wi on Instagram. Additional information can be found on the CDC website.

High Speed Internet Options Explored 

High Speed Internet Options Explored    2/24/20 

 

  The Taylor County broadband consortium update was given by Mike Bub to the full Taylor County Board.  The group of individuals have been studying the interest and methods of supplying high speed internet to Taylor County.  A survey was made available to residents of the county which hoped to determine the level of satisfaction with current internet levels.  Mr. Bub said the group was amazed that 650 people responded to the survey.  The respondents were overwhelmingly in favor of having the county provide a means of improving internet speed and capacity in Taylor County. 
  A possible solution could be what’s called a middle mile network.  With such a concept, the county would go into the underserved areas of the county and have fiber optic hung from existing utility poles.  That would eliminate the need for new poles.  In areas where there are no utility poles, the fiber could be underground. 
  The hopes would be that the county contractor would install the dark fiber.  Then the network would be opened up for bids to existing providers who would sign an agreement to lease the dark fiber from the county.  That is how the county would recoup their investment.  The contractor and ultimate internet provider would offer fiber optic connections to interested homeowners and businesses.  That would be followed by the energizing of the optic.  In isolated areas of the county where running fiber optic isn’t feasible, wireless transmitters with a range of about 3 miles could be installed. 
  Preliminary cost estimates to provide a middle mile network dark fiber installation to the bulk of the county would cost about $7 to $8 million.  The estimated cost of a bull-blown energized network covering the county is about $118 million. 
  Mr. Bub indicated fiber is being installed around the perimeter of Medford.  In the meantime the group continues to search for methods and options to offer reliable high speed internet to Taylor County. 

Dam Repairs With More Bang For The Buck 

Dam Repairs With More Bang For The Buck    2/24/20 

 

  Taylor County is involved in upgrading and repairing 3 dams.  While the Camp 8 and Miller Dam projects don’t have many options, the Chelsea Lake project does offer a choice of 2 methods of repair and upgrades.  Those 2 choices bring with them 2 different costs.  The top-shelf option brings a cost of about $199,000 for replacement of the spillway structure and extension of downstream slope while a new option has a cost estimate of about $60,000 less, or $131,000. 
  County board members haggled about the benefits of spending the extra money all while wondering what the extra expenditures would provide. Supervisor Scott Mildbrand indicated that the less expensive option would have an estimated life of 45 years.  The higher price option would provide an estimated service life of 80 years.  Supervisor Gene Knoll questioned the 80 year service life by saying perhaps the dam itself would be fine for 80 years, but the large earthen berm which comes at the dam on both sides has no guarantee of 80 years.  While the county now owns the dam, the large span of the earthen dike is primarily all on private land.  One board member quietly chided, and it’s leaking, but that’s not our concern. 
  To show his support for the less expensive option, Supervisor Scott Mildbrand questioned the logic of putting an overpriced concrete dam structure downstream from an earthen structure.        Mr. Mildbrand said he supported the idea of the cheaper option.  Supervisor Lester Lewis commented that for too many years Chelsea Lake operated with water levels which were too high which took a toll on the berm and dam.  The upgraded dam will provide for a consistent manageable water level.  The vote on adapting the higher priced dam repair passed, barely.  The final vote count to go along with the $199,000 repair option instead of the $131,000 option passed with 9 yes votes and 8 no votes. 
  The forestry department will apply for the DNR dam grant cost share program. 

Scuba Divers To Repair Miller Dam

Scuba Divers To Repair Miller Dam    2/24/20 

 

  The Taylor County Board continued the paperwork process needed to get the required maintenance on Miller Dam.  Miller Dam which creates Taylor County’s largest body of water, the Chequamegon Flowage was constructed in 1964.  The cast iron sluice gate and associated components have exceeded their 50 year service life expectancy.  Supervisor Chuck Zenner who is chair of the Forestry and Rec. Committee told the board that they have been planning for the dam repairs and by the end of this year the county will have enough money to pay the local share of the 3 dam repair projects at Camp 8, Chelsea Lake and Miller Dam. 
  The main working portion of the concrete Miller Dam structure is a “sluice gate”.  To illustrate the extent of wear on the sluice gate, Mr. Zenner indicated that officials have been cautioned against opening the sluice gate on Miller Dam to prepare for the spring runoff due to fears that possibly once the gate is opened, it may not shut again which could ultimately drain large portions of the flowage.  In the meantime, alternative methods can be used to prepare for the spring runoff. 
  Preliminary cost estimates of replacing the 6 foot by 6 foot sluice gate with an all new stainless steel unit is pegged at approximately $152,000.  While maintenance projects don’t typically create interest, this particular project begs a look-see.  In order to avoid a water draw down, the plan is to have the project completed underwater by scuba divers.  While scuba diving is normally a recreational activity, these scuba divers would be performing heavy work-while under water. 
  The DNR offers a 50% cost share grant program to help pay for dam repair projects which meet their criteria.  After much planning and discussion, the county board voted to authorize the  Forestry Department to proceed with the application process for the cost sharing grant.   Supervisor Gene Knoll asked how long the repairs and upgrades should last and was told that the new stainless steel hardware should perform for 60 years plus.  Following a successful application process it is hoped that the Miller Dam repairs will occur in 2021. 

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