Morning Update: Friday, August 27

Morning Update: Friday, August 27

Good morning, Madison! And happy Friday.

It's been a long time since I've written a Friday newsletter and honestly, there's a lot of news today. Let's jump right in.

— Hayley

P.S. How are you liking the new look? Don't forget that we respond to all of your emails, so whether you love it or hate it, let us know by sending a note to

🖥️ Back to online school.

  • The Madison Metropolitan School District announced the addition of a virtual learning option for kids in grades 4K-5.
  • The move comes as COVID-19 numbers continue to climb across the state (and country) and children under age 12 are still not eligible for vaccination.
  • Parents interested in the virtual option must fill out this interest form by noon on Monday, Aug. 30.
  • Related: Wisconsin schools test, trace spread of COVID-19 as cases surge (via WPR)

🛑 Ready, set, go slow(er).

  • As part of its ongoing fight to end traffic-related injuries and deaths, the city announced yesterday that it will officially lower the speed limit on five major streets this fall.
  • The change will go into effect starting in September and October and will impact the following streets:
  • South Park Street
  • Cottage Grove Road
  • Whitney Way
  • Mineral Point Road
  • North Thompson Drive
  • For a more detailed breakdown of the changes, check out the Wisconsin State Journal's roundup.

💸 UW-Madison is using COVID-19 relief funds to help erase student debt.

  • Some context: The university received $53.4 million through the American Rescue Plan Act, a federal relief program laid out directly in response to COVID-19. In total, UW plans to distribute $28.6 million in emergency aid to students.
  • UW has allocated $1.9 million to wipe away student debt and has sent another $7.7 million in grants to more than 6,500 students with the most financial need, the State Journal reports. Much of the rest of the money will be used to cover COVID-19 related expenses, such as testing.
  • All students regardless of citizenship or residency status are eligible to apply for aid.

🚨 The city changing how it responds to mental health emergencies.

  • The idea of a city emergency response team has been in the works for a while now. Starting Sept. 1, that idea will become a reality, WORT reports.
  • The Community Alternative Response Emergency Services (CARES) is a coalition between the county, city, Madison’s fire and police departments and Journey Mental Health. The team is trained in de-escalation techniques, suicide prevention and trauma-informed care. It will operate in the central district from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

📚 Your lunchtime read: Four Madison School District grads move into assistant principal roles

  • From the Cap Times: "For a district that has long worked toward having its staff more closely reflect its student body, a group of four new assistant principals could be a major step forward this year. Each of the four is an MMSD graduate and also a person of color."

🛍️ Hilldale is planning an expansion.

  • The outdoor mall is planning to further develop its south side, adding more space for retailers, restaurants, and even an ice rink. The development will also expand the mall's farmers’ market and provide a dedicated space for live entertainment, Madison Magazine explains.

🧪 Chemistry, delayed.

  • The opening of UW-Madison's new Chemistry Building has been put on hold after the elevator shafts in the new tower did not pass required tests.
  • University officials said the building will not be ready to open by the time classes start Sept. 8. All classes and staff offices that are typically housed in the building will be put at alternate sites.
  • Construction of the building began in 2018 and is part of a $133 million upgrade.

😻 In partnership with NBC15, the Dane County Humane Society wants to clear its shelters and find furrever homes for its many cats, dogs, and critters. Adoption prices will be reduced today and tomorrow, check out the instagram post for full information.

🗓️ Events, events, events



  • World Naked Bike Ride to protest fossil fuels. Gathering starts at 9:00 a.m. for snacks, socializing, body painting. The ride is at 11:00 a.m. Route details will be shared at least one day in advance.
  • Lakeside summer market organized by UpNorth Boutique. Local artists, makers and businesses, lake views, food and drink.10 a.m.- 2 p.m.
  • Burgers & Brew Drive through event at Capital Brewery and Bier Garten to raise funds to support REAP Food Group. 4-7:30 p.m. $25 per person.
  • Curd Fest at Breese Stevens Field. All kinds of cheese curds! 4-8 p.m. No admission fee.
  • Ratboys with Gentle Brontosaurus at Memorial Union Terrace. 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. Free.
  • Music video dance party with Nick Nice at Robinia Courtyard. 21+. Starts at 10 p.m. Free.
  • Gallery day: B*TCHES! A celebration of rescue dogs and their owners. Shown at Dulcy Dog Photography studio. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.