Morning Update: Monday, Feb. 7
Good morning, Madison!
Welcome to Monday.
Here's a little trivia nugget to start off your week: Today is the birthday of one of Wisconsin's most famous authors, Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Wilder is most known for her "Little House" children's book series, which was based on her childhood experiences and set in Pepin, Wisconsin. She began writing her first book in 1931 at the age of 64, proving that it's never too late to find and follow your passions.
🚨 A family is in search of answers after police shot a Madison man multiple times in the back.
- Madison police are remaining tight lipped after the family of 38-year-old Quadren Wilson says law enforcement officers shot him five times Thursday, Feb. 3.
- MPD confirmed that its officers, along with agents from the Wisconsin Department of Justice’s Division of Criminal Investigation, were attempting an arrest on the city's East side prior to the shooting. No MPD officers fired their weapons during the arrest but the four-sentence incident report describes the event as an "officer-involved critical incident."
- Officially, MPD has yet to confirm Wilson as the injured suspect, but his family and lawyer have corroborated the information to several local news outlets. Records show Wilson was taken to jail for a probation violation less than a day after undergoing surgery for his wounds, the State Journal reports.
- Friends, family, and community members rallied for Wilson on Willy Street over the weekend near the site where 19-year-old Tony Robinson was shot and killed by an MPD officer in 2015. Wilson is Robinson's cousin.
📦 Amazon is looking to deepen roots in Dane County.
- The mega-retailer reportedly purchased 130 acres of land in Cottage Grove just before the new year to build a 650,000 square foot distribution facility.
- While the site has potential to bring up to 1,500 jobs to the community, many residents aren't pleased about the addition, citing a lack of transparency from Amazon and the potential adverse environmental effects a massive warehouse will bring.
- The project will be considered at a village Plan Commission meeting Feb. 16.
"I think there’s been a lot of wool pulled over the eyes of the Village of Cottage Grove residents." — Jeff Okazaki, Cottage Grove resident
✏️ MMSD is launching a free ACT prep program for high school juniors.
- According to the Cap Times, the school board approved paying $38,500 to Cambridge Learning to facilitate the course, which will include 16 hours of virtual lessons and five practice tests ahead of the March 8 test date. Two hundred students have already signed up for the course.
- The district is also planning to offer another ACT prep course open to 9th to 12th graders this summer. Registration for the current program has closed but sign-ups for the summer program will open later this month.
📚 Free reads for Black Bookish Wonders.
- This month, local bookseller A Room of One's Own is partnering with the UW-Madison BIPOC Coalition to send free books to any Black bookworm in the U.S. Yes, it's totally free and there are no strings attached (we love to see it!).
- If you're Black and would like a book (or several), you can fill out a request form here.
- If you're white or non-Black and would like to help fund this project, head here.
💨 Air pollution is up on the isthmus.
- From 2019 to 2020, air pollution reportedly rose by 2.6% in Madison. As IB Madison writes, Covid-19 shutdowns in 2020 had a positive but short-lived effect on air quality for the city.
❌ Vetoed and vetoed.
- As expected, Gov. Tony Evers used his veto pen on four pieces of Republican-backed legislation last week.
- Among the vetoed was a proposed law to ban public schools from teaching about the harms of racism — you've likely read about this law in accompaniment with the term "critical race theory."
- Evers also vetoed a bill allowing employers let workers under 16 work longer hours on school nights, weekends, and in the summer.
🇦🇫 Your lunchtime read: Warm welcomes, legal hurdles for Wisconsin's new Afghan refugees.
- From WisContext: "The experiences of every person who has fled from Afghanistan to the United States is different, but all must acclimate to new surroundings while navigating a complicated immigration system."
🦠 Covid-19 Update
Source: Public Health Madison & Dane County
Wisconsin Vaccination Rate: 59.5%
Dane County Vaccination Rate: 77.3%
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.
- Request an at-home testing kit from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.
- NEW: Where to pick up free masks from the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program
- Where to Buy N95s, KN95s, and Surgical-Style Masks in 2022 (Wirecutter)
- What to Do if You are Sick or Possibly Exposed (PHMDC)
📅 Events: Monday, Feb. 7
- Open Mic Comedy Night at The Bur Oak. 7 p.m. Free.
- The Madison Moth StorySlam: Love Hurts at High Noon Saloon. Show at 7:30 p.m. $15. 💖
- Winter Carnival, Monday through Saturday. All sorts of events! There's a fishing derby, a free showing of Frozen, an ice climbing exhibition, and more. And of course, Lady Liberty will be there, too. More details on that below.