🌨️ Today's weather: Cloudy and rainy. High: 71° Low: 54°
Good morning, Madison.
The news has been heavy lately. Here's your general reminder that it's ok to take a break and unplug from the discourse.
On the lighter side of things, the Madison Fire Department helped save a (seemingly pretty grumpy) cat from a tree earlier this week.
Reportedly, the "curious kitty ventured up the tree over the weekend and never came down." Thankfully, firefighters were able to bring out their big ladders, snag the cat from the tree, and return the furry explorer to its home unharmed.
We love a happy ending.
💔 Local leaders react to the deadly shooting at a Texas elementary school.
- Some context: A mass shooting in an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas Tuesday left 19 children and two teachers dead. To date, there have been 212 mass shootings so far this year.
- MMSD: In a statement, Superintendent Carlton Jenkins said "We must do better" when it comes to elected officials and the community working together to keep kids in Madison safe. MMSD is encouraging students and parents to seek help if needed and has put together resources for talking to kids about managing their mental health following a tragic event.
- Dane County: The Dane County Sheriff’s Office announced it will increase its presence at all area schools in response to the shooting. The sheriff’s office is also offering a free Emergency Preparedness Training course for community members.
- MPD: In a wide-ranging interview with Channel 3000, Madison Police Chief Shon Barnes advocated for school resource officers, pushing back against the notion that "they may not be effective in stopping a shooting."
- City: In response to the shooting and in recognition of National Gun Violence Awareness Day, the city will host a “Wear Orange Day” walk and rally next Friday, June 3.
- Related: Some Wisconsin lawmakers call for action on gun reform following deadly Uvalde school shooting (WPR)
🏫 East High School's former principal will serve as the next principal of Capital High.
- Sean Leavy currently works as a director at Madison Metropolitan School District. Prior to that, he served as principal of East High School but left the position in October following protests at the school by students who felt his response to alleged sexual assaults was inadequate.
- NBC15 reports Leavy will start his new role as principal of Madison’s Capital High School in the 2022-23 school year.
🗳️ Shakeups on the state's Elections Commission.
- Former GOP state Rep. Dean Knudson announced his resignation from the state's Elections Commission Wednesday, just before commissioners were scheduled to vote on a new chair.
- Under the law that created the Elections Commission, the agency's chair must alternate between Republicans and Democrats every two years. The current chair is Democrat Ann Jacobs, meaning the next chair had to be either Knudson or Republican appointee Bob Spindell.
- Spindell was one of 10 Wisconsin Republicans who posed as false electors for former President Donald Trump.
- WisPolitics reports the commission voted 5-1 to delay the leadership vote until its June 10 meeting.
🎨 Madison Arts Commission awarded $450,000 in grants to support “Artists at Work.”
- The city announced the recipients of its "Artists at Work" grants Wednesday. The program is meant to. "encourage non-profit organizations to generate, reinstate, and create arts industry jobs."
- Grants range from $10,000 to $25,000 and were awarded to more than 20 local organizations.
🗒️ City events and meetings of note.
- Town of Madison attachment meeting: The city will hold an in-person public information meeting involving the Town of Madison attachment at the Penn Park shelter on June 9 at 6 p.m. The meeting is meant to help Town of Madison residents "understand all of the changes they will see when they become part of the City of Madison later this year." The meeting will have interpreters in Spanish, free food, and child care.
- Olbrich Royal Thai Pavilion rehabilitation meeting: The Royal Thai Pavilion at Olbrich Gardens is in need of some fixing. The City and Olbrich Botanical Gardens will host a virtual public information meeting June 1 at 6 p.m. to share more about the efforts to rehabilitate the pavilion. Prior registration is required.
- Electronics recycling event: Universal Recycling Technologies is hosting a free one-day-only electronics recycling event. So gather up all of those old TVs, monitors, printers, and cell phones taking up space in your junk drawer and bring them to Warner Park June 4 from 8 a.m. - 1 p.m.
- Big book sale: Several library Friends' groups are pooling their inventory together for a huge sale of used and donated books. The sale will be held June 4, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., rain or shine, at the Madison Public Library Service & Support Center (1301 W. Badger Road).
🔬 A new investigation has revealed a 'toxic work environment’ in the Dane County Medical Examiner’s Office.
- Wisconsin Watch published a new investigation Wednesday chronicling allegations from staff at the Dane County Medical Examiner’s Office that two top bosses created a hostile work environment through "bullying, screaming and insults."
- Twelve current and former employees told the investigative outlet they regularly endured toxicity from longtime operations director Barry Irmen and chief medical examiner Dr. Agnieszka Rogalska.
- The alleged toxicity spoiled the medical examiner's office's working relationship with other counties and contributed to some former employees' suicidal thoughts.
- From the Green Bay Press-Gazette: "In creating the program, academic researchers conducted listening sessions with everyone from high school students to elders in each of the tribal communities in Wisconsin to learn what should be focused on.
'This program is grounded in renewal of Indigenous ways of knowing, doing and being,' said Dr. Lisa Poupart, director of the program. 'It’s about that connection to all living things … and living in balance.'"
Thursday, May 26
- Benefit: Nehemiah Center for Urban Leadership Development at The Biergarten at Olbrich Park. 4-10 p.m.
- Outdoor concert: Nester, Made of Blocks & The Flavor That Kills at Grand Crossing Park in Monona. 5:30 p.m. Free.
- Makaya McCraven, Blood Moon at High Noon Saloon. Music at 7 p.m.. $15. Read more in Tone Madison's interview with McCraven. 🟠
- Linden Cohousing Farmers Market. Located at the Linden Cohousing parking lot (2082 Winnebago St.), this farmers' market features goods from local producers of color. 3-6 p.m. Free.
Wondering what that 🟠 means? That symbol next to an event listing means the Tone Madison team recommends checking it out.