Morning Update: Tuesday, March 1

Today's weather: ⛅ Partly cloudy and mild. High: 44° Low: 28°

Good morning, Madison!

It feels like it's been ages since I've been in your inbox and I've missed you all.

On this fine Tuesday, let us briefly travel back to 1976 when the goddess commonly known as Joni Mitchell graced Madison's Lake Mendota with her presence.

The story goes that the "Blue" singer was in Madison for a show and going through a breakup with her longtime boyfriend that would result in the cancelation of the rest of her tour.

While gazing at Lake Mendota from the Edgewater hotel, she decided to purchase skates and head out on the ice. Photographer Joel Bernstein was there to capture the moment that would ultimately become the artwork for her 1976 album “Hejira."

As written in Wisconsin Life, "Mitchell was surprised to find that her cape acted as a sort of sail. She spread her arms and let the wind carry her, looking like a crow in flight. The photographs captured a mystical moment: an artist on an unearthly journey, destination unknown and arrival uncertain."

Mitchell made headlines recently when pulled her music from Spotify, in solidarity with Neil Young, who removed his music from the streaming service in protest of Spotify's decision to host Joe Rogan's podcast, which has repeatedly spread misinformation on a myriad of topics to millions of listeners.

Since you won't find her music on Spotify, take this as an excuse to visit one of Madison's local record shops today.

— Hayley

😷 Today marks the end of Dane County's mask mandate but many local businesses are opting to stay masked.

🏫 A bomb threat forced the evacuation of two Madison schools.

  • Memorial High and Jefferson Middle schools were evacuated Monday after a man called Dane County dispatch to say he "placed multiple bombs near the school."
  • Madison police swept the schools with bomb-sniffing dogs and reported nothing suspicious at either school. The Cap Times reports an "all clear" was given shortly before 1:30 p.m.

🇺🇦 From Madison to Ukraine.

⚖️ The final Gableman report is tentatively scheduled for release today.

  • The special counsel hired by Wisconsin Assembly Republicans is scheduled to deliver his final report into the 2020 election today.
  • Some context: Michael Gableman is a former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice who was tasked with investigating the state's handling of the 2020 election. The Assembly set aside (up to) $676,000 to pay for the investigation. Joe Biden won Wisconsin by just under 21,000 votes.
  • What's next? As WPR reports, when the probe was first launched in 2021, Republicans in the Assembly said its findings would "help them draft legislation related to the election." But considering the assembly is unlikely to return to the capitol before 2023, don't hold your breath for changes just yet.

🚓 Madison's police chief has been cleared of any wrongdoings after allegations of harassment.

  • What happened? According to the city, a complaint was filed regarding an exit interview discussion between MPD chief Shon Barnes and former officer Mikaela Gardner after she decided to leave the force to be closer to family in Illinois. As the State Journal reports, "Barnes asked if [Gardner] would continue working for Madison police if she found a partner in the city," and quipped that he would help set her up with someone.
  • At the crux of the investigation was whether or not Barnes was asking the former officer about her sexual orientation and thereby violating workplace harassment policies. Three investigators were unanimous in their decision that Barnes did not violate any city policies during the exit interview.

🏈 The Packers are going to London.

  • For the first time in franchise history, the Packers will play a regular season game in London this year.
  • The Packers have played abroad before, but never during the regular season. The NFL has hosted games in London since 2007.

🏠 Your lunchtime read: ‘I don’t know what will happen’: After months at Ft. McCoy Afghan family resettled in separate states.

  • From Wisconsin Watch: "Throughout much of 2021, Lamha Nabizada had no sense that her life would dramatically change. Holding a master’s degree in business administration from Afghanistan’s largest private university, she was living and working in Kabul as a business manager for an insurance company. By mid-August, she and her family had left Afghanistan with little more than their lives."

🦠 Covid-19 Update

Wisconsin Vaccination Rate: 60.4%

Dane County Vaccination Rate: 78.1%


📅 Events: Tuesday, March 1

See more in our weekly events roundup.

Wondering what that 🟠 means? That symbol next to an event listing means that Tone Madison’s team of writers and editors recommends checking it out.