Put your presents in the mail before it's too late

Morning update: Tuesday, Dec. 13

Put your presents in the mail before it's too late
Photo by Rinck Content Studio / Unsplash

Goooood morning, Madison!

Somehow, we're almost halfway through December. (Cue nervous laughter.)

This week is important because it's expected to be the busiest week of the year for the post office.

If you're planning on sending holiday cards and gifts for Hanukkah (Dec. 18–Dec. 26), Christmas (Dec. 25), Kwanzaa (Dec. 26–Jan. 1), or any other holiday traditions, USPS recommends getting your mail out by the end of the week (but of course, earlier is better!).

But if anyone out there wants to send us a holiday card, well, our inbox is always open.

— Hayley

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🩻 There's an important deadline for those with federal health care coverage this week.

🍜 A new Asian restaurant is moving into the former home of Paul's Pel'meni.

  • The co-owner of Global Market & Food Hall near East Towne Mall is opening a new fast-food Asian restaurant just off State Street called Eat Xpress.
  • The new spot will serve traditional, home-cooked Chinese food with a focus on take-out dining. Customers will have the option to choose between two or three main dishes along with rice or noodles (think: Panda Express). The restaurant will also serve Vietnamese pho and dim sum.
  • According to the State Journal, Eat Xpress should be open by mid-January.
Sick Day accessories
Photo by Kelly Sikkema / Unsplash

🤧 Health officials are once again asking people with mild illness symptoms to stay home.

  • Hospitals across the nation are experiencing long wait times and Madison is no exception. Access Community Health Centers, Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin, SSM Health, UnityPoint Health—Meriter, and UW Health issued a statement Monday urging people with mild sicknesses (and who are in otherwise good health) to stay home or consult with providers online rather than crowding emergency rooms and ERs.
  • This is a big issue because emergency rooms give care to those with the most severe symptoms first. High numbers of patients can lead to slower care for people suffering from serious ailments, like burns or broken bones.
  • What you can do: Health officials say the best treatments for mild to moderate respiratory illness are rest and drinking plenty of water.  
  • Related: Strong flu season causing medication supply problems for local pharmacies (NBC15)

🥶 Rental issues in winter months.

  • As the temperatures fall, it's important to keep your home winter ready. If you're a renter, did you know that landlords are legally required to keep the indoor temperature of your home at a minimum of 67 degrees?
  • Read more.
TikTok running on iPhone
Photo by Solen Feyissa / Unsplash

📵 This Wisconsin legislator wants to ban TikTok nationwide.

  • U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher has plans to introduce a bipartisan bill that would ban the popular TikTok app nationwide. (Sorry, Zoomers.)
  • Why? The app is owned by the Chinese company Bytedance, which has increasingly been a cause for concern from U.S. intelligence officials. Last week, Gallagher and other Wisconsin Republicans called on Gov. Tony Evers to ban the use of TikTok on all government devices.
  • "There’s a lot of Republican support. We’re slowly bringing on Democratic colleagues," Gallagher said on WISN. "The more people learn about the company that controls TikTok, the more concerns they have."
  • Related: TikTok may pose cybersecurity concerns, experts say. But so do hundreds of other apps. (WPR)

🏈 Your lunchtime read: 'I look up to you': Pioneer female quarterback in Wisconsin inspires after touchdown pass.

  • Via WPR: "More girls are playing high school football than they used to, but it is more common for them to play on special teams. It is harder to find girls playing quarterback like [Pewaukee High School senior quarterback Ava] Matz, whose touchdown pass Oct. 7 against Pius XI Catholic High School gained local and national attention.

    Matz had only once played against another girl in the eighth grade. Against Pius XI, however, someone else that night understood what she had been through."
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🎙️ Today on the pod

Photo by Element5 Digital / Unsplash

Should Madison Schools Drop Honors Classes?

The Madison School District wants to cut high schools honors courses over concerns they‘ve become segregated. The district fails students of color at an alarming rate. Honors classes are disproportionately white. They’re rolling out a plan to drop standalone honors courses, in favor of  “Earned Honors”, where all students take the same classes, but can opt for additional work and gain an honors credit on their transcript.

Some students and staff say that the current Earned Honors program isn’t rigorous enough. Some parents fear their kids will miss out if honors classes go away. Will parents of high-achievers yank their kids from the district and send them to nearby suburban schools instead, destabilizing Madison schools? That’s the fear. But is the status quo working?

The Madison School Board is set to vote on the plan on December 19th. City Cast Madison speaks to School Board President Ali Muldrow about her concerns and how the Board might vote on this big policy shift.


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Digging out of the weekend’s snow
Morning update: Monday, Dec. 12