Morning update: Wednesday, Sept. 15
A glimpse inside Fort McCoy
Good morning, Madison.
Happy Wednesday! We've got a lot of news to get through today so lets dive right in, shall we?
🇦🇫 Updates from Afghan refugees at Fort McCoy.
- The Fort McCoy military base has not yet been made open to the press but Wisconsin State Journal reporters spoke with two anonymous women currently awaiting resettlement. They spoke of hours-long lines for food, lack of access to clothing and entertainment, and frustration with the long and opaque resettlement process.
- Fort McCoy spokesperson Thomas Gresback said they initially struggled with supply chain issues when it came to providing enough food to feed the 12,500 Afghans now at the base but have improved the situation "significantly" in the past week.
- “I just want to leave this place so I can start my own life," an 18-year-old Afghan woman told the State Journal. I highly recommend reading this story in full.
🤝 Elizabeth Warren endorsed Mandela Barnes for U.S. Senate.
- In a statement released yesterday, Warren said the lieutenant governor is "the best candidate to defeat Ron Johnson and flip this seat in November."
- Barnes is considered a frontrunner in the crowded democratic field of candidates. The primary will be held Aug. 9, 2022.
- Johnson has still yet to announce his campaign intentions.
🚴♀️ Soon, checking out a BCycle will be as easy as checking out a book at the library.
- Starting Monday, anyone with a Madison Public Library card will be able to check out a community pass that gives them access to the city’s BCycle bike share system for free.
- Each of the city's nine public libraries will have two community passes available. Card holders can check out passes for up to a week at a time. They can also check out helmets as needed, Channel 3000 reports.
😷 State workers without COVID-19 vaccinations must undergo weekly testing.
- Gov. Tony Evers made the announcement Tuesday, it requires all executive branch employees, interns, and contractors not vaccinated against COVID-19 to be tested for the virus starting Oct. 18. Individuals who have not submitted their vaccination status or aren't fully vaccinated will also be subject to testing, WPR reports.
- Related: UW Health: Unvaccinated people in Wisconsin 32 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 (via WKOW)
📚 What's in a name?
- A public hearing will be held Sept. 29 for the renaming of James Madison Memorial High School.
- From the Cap Times: "Committee members agreed Tuesday to go to the public hearing with four possible names for recommendation to the School Board: Memorial High School, Vel Phillips Memorial High School, Darlene M. Hancock Memorial High School and Bruce Dahmen Memorial High School. The link to the virtual hearing will be shared on MMSD's website closer to the date of the meeting."
🐦 Go ahead and feed the birds.
- Some context: The Madison Audubon Society advised residents to take down their bird feeders earlier this summer after a mystery illness swept through the city's bird population.
- Now, as confirmed cases of the mystery illness have declined in Wisconsin and other states, the Madison Audubon Society says it's ok to put bird feeders up again.
🦇 Bat! With! Rabies!
- A rabies-infected bat was recently discovered in Middleton, leading public health officials to "issue an advisory to residents about the dangers of rabies transmission from animals to humans," the State Journal reports.
- So far, 11 bats have have tested positive for rabies in Dane County this year, up from seven in 2020.
🎟️ Wisconsin has reached a settlement with StubHub over shady ticket refund practices.
- Some context: After COVID-19 made its way to the U.S. canceling events and changing life as we know it in March 2020, StubHub changed its ticket refund policy — without the consent of people who had already purchased event tickets. Rather than giving refunds for canceled events, StubHub issued ticket holders a credit worth 120% of their purchases to be used for future events and denied requests for refunds.
- In response to the policy change, 10 states including Wisconsin joined an investigation into the company. The settlement was reached yesterday and will allow customers who purchased tickets before the March 2020 policy change, and had their events canceled to receive full refunds, or elect to retain their account credits.
- If you think you qualify for a refund but have not been contacted by StubHub, contact StubHub at 866-788-2482 or DATCP’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-422-7128.
🥡 Your lunchtime read: My career in restaurants taught me what local government really needs.
- For Bon Appétit State Rep. Francesca Hong "shares how her understanding of service has evolved as she went from chef and restaurant owner to Wisconsin state assembly representative."
🦠 Covid-19 Resources
Wisconsin Vaccination Rate: 52.5%
Dane County Vaccination Rate: 70.1%
Here's where to find a COVID-19 vaccine near you.
Need a COVID-19 test? PHMDC has you covered.
Are you eligible for a third dose of Pfizer or Moderna? Find out here.