Morning Update: Monday, Dec. 6
Omicron in Wisconsin
Merry Monday, Madison!
Remember that medallion hunt I told you about last week? Well, it only took two days for one Madisonian to crack the city's clues and find the prize.
Peter Kirschmann found the 2021 Medallion Thursday, Dec. 2 during a lunchtime walk.
"My friend Carrie tipped me off that some of the numbers in today's clue corresponded to bus stops along James Madison Park," Kirschmann said. "So I went and looked where there might be workers, from yesterday's clue. First wandering around the boat house, then the BCycle station, and finally found it hiding in the lifeguard stand."
If you're hungry for more, you can check out the city's full list of clues and their explanations here.
🦠 Wisconsin has reported its first Omicron variant COVID-19 case.
- The Wisconsin Department of Health Services identified the case in a Milwaukee County resident who had recently traveled to South Africa, where the Omicron variant has become prevalent.
- Government and health officials continue to urge vaccination and mask wearing as preventative measures against the virus. Find out where to get tested and vaccinated in our COVID-19 resource section below.
- Related: Madison-area hospitals nearing capacity as COVID-19 cases surge (WKOW)
⛺ The remaining residents of Reindahl Park's homeless encampment are facing eviction.
- Some context: The city posted eviction notices in the park late last month stating all campers must be cleared out of the park by the end of day Dec. 6. The city says it has offered several alternative options to camping in the park, including constructing its own encampment on Dairy Drive with tiny homes and offering rooms at the Madison Plaza Hotel.
- Community groups and activists have been vocally opposed to the eviction, saying many residents can't utilize the city's options because they are too far from the support systems jobs they need. Some residents have gotten jobs in the area and can't manage the commute if forced to leave Reindahl Park.
“A lot of these people are married still out here and still have jobs and they’re trying to maintain that, and they just need that common decency. I would like to hope that the city would listen, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.” — Garrett Arthur Olson, Reindahl Park resident
🏐 Bowls, playoffs, and new coaches. Here's what's up in Wisconsin sports.
- The Bucks ended their winning streak in a matchup against Toronto last Thursday (98-97), but bounced right back to beat the Heat 124-102 Saturday.
- Forward Madison has a new head coach. The team hired Sacramento Republic assistant coach Matt Glaeser, 36 as its new head coach and technical director. “I look forward to creating a distinct culture and a team-first mentality while implementing a unique identity and style of play that will allow us to be successful and push for trophies,” Glaeser said in a press release.
- The Badger football team will face off against Arizona State at the Vegas Bowl at the new Allegiant Stadium, home of the NFL's Raiders. Mark your calendars, the game is set for Dec. 30.
- The Badger volleyball team beat Florida Gulf Coast 3-0 to advance to the third round of the NCAA Tournament. The Sweet 16 match will be Thursday at 4 p.m.
- Badger men's basketball team has extended their winning streak to five games, beating Marquette 89-76. Next up, the Badgers will host the Indiana Hoosiers Wednesday.
- The Badger women's basketball team had a tough loss to Northwestern in their Big 10 opener. The Wisconsin team fell 61-49.
- Badger women's hockey lost, then tied Minnesota over the weekend. The top-ranked Wisconsin team tied the fifth-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers, 2-2 Saturday.
🏫 Anti-trans social media comments inspired a trans artist to enter the Madison School Board race.
- Mary Jo Walters was previously running for one of three open school board seats unopposed until comments she posted online about being openly transphobic began circulating on Twitter and Facebook, inspiring Shepherd Janeway, a transgender artist and activist, to join the race as well, the State Journal reports.
- To get on the ballot, candidates must gather 100 signatures from supporters and turn in nomination papers by Jan. 4.
💸 The Center for Black Excellence and Culture has raised $5 million toward its $36 million goal.
- The multi-million-dollar project will result in a three-story, 65,000-square-foot cultural center on six acres in South Madison, slated to open in 2023.
- According to Madison365, the center will feature "two theaters, fitness center, art studio space and gallery, recording studio, coworking space, spaces for youth and seniors, the offices of the Nehemiah Center for Urban Leadership Development and more."
- Dig deeper: What will it take to get Wisconsin’s Black entrepreneurs the funds they need? (Cap Times)
✈️ For the first time in aviation history, a plant-fueled aircraft carried a plane full of passengers, thanks to a Madison-based startup.
- Virent was founded in 2002 and makes plant-based fuel for cars and airplanes. Last Wednesday, the Madison company fueled a United flight carrying more than 100 passengers from Chicago O’Hare International Airport to Washington, D.C.-based Reagan National Airport. This marked the first time in aviation history such a feat has been accomplished, the State Journal writes.
🔗 Your lunchtime read: Murder-for-hire on the dark web.
- From Isthmus: "The murder-for-hire sites that the journalists are monitoring are actually a scam. The motive to kill is real. The payment is real. But the hit man never arrives. My small part in this global investigation was to help figure out why someone wanted Travis Harper dead."
🦠 Covid-19 Resources
Wisconsin Vaccination Rate: 56.2%
Dane County Vaccination Rate: 72.7%
Here's where to find a COVID-19 vaccine near you.
Need a COVID-19 test? PHMDC has you covered.
Do you still need your flu shot? Start here.
📅 Events: Monday, Dec. 6
- Queer-Jewish-Muslim: Constructing Hyphenated Religious Identities through Tactics of Intersubjectivity with Katrina Daly Thompson, Professor of African Cultural Studies at UW-Madison. 2 p.m. Virtual. Free.
- Curator Conversations: The 80th Anniversary of the Attack at Pearl Harbor with Wisconsin Veterans Museum. 12 p.m. Virtual. Free.
- Politicization and Polarization in 30 Years of Climate Change News with Sedona Chinn, UW Assistant Professor of Life Sciences Communication. Virtual. 3:30 p.m. Free.
- Pundamonium, a pun slam, at High Noon Saloon. Doors at 6 p.m., show at 7 p.m. $7.
- Hour Of Code with BadgerBots. Free coding workshop for kids ages 7-12. 6:30 p.m.
- Korine with Johnny Dynamite and the Bloodsuckers at Crucible. Doors at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m. $12 in advance, $15 at door.