Morning Update: Friday, Jan. 21

Morning Update: Friday, Jan. 21

Good morning, Madison!

We have a couple of news blurbs about the UW in the newsletter today. Turns out, the major research university located here in town is a pretty big deal!

That's why I'm excited for my interview with both UW-Madison student newspaper editors on Monday. In addition to being students, these editors both lead impressive teams that regularly produce top tier work about the campus and our local community.

It should be fun! Email me at if you have a question that I should ask.

— Sam

📜 Another anti-trans bill is being proposed by Republican lawmakers.

  • This bill would specifically target minors. If passed, it would block health care professionals from providing any gender transition procedure to minors in Wisconsin. That includes “inpatient and outpatient hospital service, puberty-blocking drug, cross-sex hormone, genital gender reassignment surgery or non-genital gender reassignment surgery.”
  • There are several steps between now and this bill (potentially) becoming law, but this is a movement that is gaining steam across the country. After Arkansas banned gender-affirming care for minors last year, legislators in 15 states have proposed similar bans.

🏗️ American Family Insurance is donating $2.5 million to the Center for Black Excellence and Culture.

  • That’s the largest gift pledged to the project so far, the Cap Times reports.
  • Plans for the center show spaces dedicated to performing arts, business development, health and wellness, and more. The project site is on the 700 block of West Badger Road in South Madison.

The Center for Black Excellence and Culture project timeline.

📣 A new UW-Madison chancellor search website just went live.

  • The university's search committee launched a new website that includes a description of the position, a timeline for the search, and details about the committee.
  • Current chancellor Rebecca Blank will leave her position to become president of Northwestern University this summer.

🎓 In other university news, the UW system could decide between two finalists for system president today.

  • Don't get this confused with the UW-Madison chancellor search. This position leads the entire system of UW campuses.
  • About a week ago, two finalists were named for the position: Milwaukee attorney Jay Rothman and UW-Eau Claire Chancellor Jim Schmidt.
  • The regents will meet in a closed session today and could decide to offer the position to one of the finalists.

⚖️ Chandler Halderson has been found guilty on two counts of first-degree murder for killing his parents.

  • While this trial has gained a lot of attention in recent months, I will caution you that the details of this crime are particularly grisly and could be upsetting to read about.
  • Halderson was also found guilty of lying to investigators and a few other charges related to the murders. Channel 3000 has the full story.

🏈 The Packers are doing a giveaway ahead of Saturday's game against the 49ers.

😷 The county has acquired nearly 100,000 KN95 masks that it intends to distribute locally.

  • The masks will go to local groups like Centro Hispano and the Hmong Institute.

✍️ Angela Trudell Vasquez has been reappointed as the Madison Poet Laureate.

  • Trudell Vasquez was first appointed to the volunteer position in 2020.
  • More from the city's announcement: "Ms. Trudell Vasquez’s work with the community included providing free poetry readings, crafts talks and poetry lectures, judging poetry competitions always including youth voices, providing workshops to youth and educators, and speaking to college students and faculty."

🦠 Covid-19 update

Source: PHMDC

Wisconsin Vaccination Rate: 58.9%

Dane County Vaccination Rate: 76.8%


📅 The weekend

Friday, Jan. 21

Saturday, Jan. 22

Sunday, Jan. 23

🤝 Do you want to connect? Add me on Linkedin!

I don't post many updates on LinkedIn, but I like seeing everybody's updates. If I see you post good news, I will absolutely be your hype man in the comments.