Good morning, Madison.

Happy Labor Day! Please be extra nice to those who don't have the day off, the world can be a cruel place.

Now, on to the news.

— Hayley


😷 COVID-19 cases are surging across the state and hospitals are stressed.

  • According to PBS Wisconsin, the wave of COVID-19 currently rolling through is the state's fifth in the pandemic. This surge, which has been building since the end of July, is the second largest in terms of cases and hospitalizations but the number of deaths has not grown at the same rate — showing the effectiveness of vaccines.
  • Health care professionals are bracing for for COVID-19 patient numbers to continue rising as students head back to school. Some areas of the state are facing staffing shortages, as doctors and nurses deal with fatigue and frustration more than a year and a half into the pandemic.
  • The moral of the story: Mask up whenever possible and encourage those in your circles to get vaccinated.

🏈 The Badgers lost their season opener. Sad.

  • After 651 days away, fans and players made their way back to Camp Randall Stadium Saturday in a Big 10 matchup against Penn State. More than 75,000 fans came out to support the team but the Nittany Lions ultimately beat the Badgers 16-10.
  • The Badgers will host Eastern Michigan this Saturday.

👚 If you're looking for a way to help Afghan refugees in Wisconsin, they need clothes.

  • From NBC15:  "In partnership with Ft. McCoy, the non profit Team Rubicon is now accepting donations of new or freshly laundered, gently used men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing. Clothes being donated are asked to be seasonably appropriate. Donations may be dropped off at the Sparta Armory, located at 602 E Division St, Sparta WI, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. seven days a week."

🐺 What's going on with Wisconsin's wolves?

  • Wisconsin is only one of five states that allow wolf hunts. It should go without saying that the practice is a controversial one.
  • The state is currently embroiled in several legal matters surrounding the issue and the Cap Times' Jessie Opoien has a helpful explainer to get you caught up on the hot topic. Here are the highlights:
  • Former Gov. Scott Walker signed a law allowing the first managed wolf hunt in the state’s history in 2012. The law not only allows a hunt, but mandates it whenever the species is not on the list of endangered and threatened species.
  • The DNR has the authority to set limits for the number of hunting licenses it issues and the number of wolves that may be harvested. The season ends when the harvest limits are met.
  • Many oppose the wolf hunt. A coalition of animal advocacy groups filed a lawsuit in Dane County Circuit Court Aug. 31 challenging the constitutionality of the 2012 law mandating a wolf hunting season.

🏘️ Turning hotels into housing is a step toward supporting some of the city's most vulnerable populations.

  • In a novel approach, the city is looking to purchase and remodel a hotel to convert it to housing for people experiencing homelessness, the Cap Times reports.
  • The city plans to use $2.5 million from the federal American Rescue Plan Act funds it received and is expecting an additional $5 million from the federal Housing and Urban Development department. If and when that money comes through, the city will go through the process of putting out a request for proposals and interested developers can submit their plans.

🏀 Your lunchtime read: “Why not here? Why not now?” New UW women’s basketball coach Marisa Moseley looks to turn around struggling women’s basketball program.


🦠 COVID-19 Resources

Wisconsin Vaccination Rate: 51.7%

Dane County Vaccination Rate: 69.5%