Happy Wednesday, Madison!
A quick housekeeping note: ICYMI in our previous email, we're getting a new website soon (yay!). That means today is our last day using Bulletin.
It's been a crazy ride being part of a pilot group of writers to use the platform and we're extremely grateful for all the opportunities this experience has given us.
What does this mean for you, dear reader? In all honesty, not much. We’ll migrate you over to the new email newsletter software and the newsletter might look a little different in the days and weeks to come. Current subscribers will continue to get Madison Minutes every weekday morning. You do not need to do anything.
We’ll share more exciting details in the coming weeks, but if you have any questions, please send them our way. By now you should know how to find us.
🗳️ The state's Supreme Court will hear arguments in the ballot drop box lawsuit.
- The Wisconsin Supreme Court will hear arguments today in a case that could decide key rules for absentee voting ahead of the August primary and November general election.
- The lawsuit challenges the state's use of ballot drop boxes. It was filed by the conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty on behalf of two Milwaukee-area voters.
- Some context: In January, a Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge ruled absentee ballot drop boxes are not permitted under state law. An appeals court later ruled drop boxes could be used for the state's Feb. 15 elections, temporarily blocking the Waukesha judge's decision. On Feb. 11, the state Supreme Court ruled drop boxes could not be used in last week’s spring general elections.
💰 How is MMSD spending its Covid-19 relief money?
- Madison Metropolitan School District officials have outlined their plan to spend $41.63 million in federal and state Covid-19 relief funds. Plans range from hiring new staff to HVAC remediation, Cap Times reports.
- The district will use the biggest chunk of money — $15 million — on updating the air systems in schools. Additionally, $12.09 million will go toward "addressing academic needs following the long-term school closure." This includes 24 different initiatives, according to the Cap Times.
- It's still early in the process but district officials plan to release the preliminary 2022-23 budget April 25.
😎 It's officially Terrace season.
- Rain or shine the Memorial Union Terrace officially opens today. Do I need to say more?
💊 The Dane County Jail announced a new program to help those fighting opioid addiction.
- The Dane County Sheriff's Office announced the implementation of the Medication Assistance Treatment (MAT) program in the Dane County Jail.
- The program makes a drug called Subutex available to residents who were already being treated with the medication before they entered the jail. In the past, these treatments were not available in the jail, resulting in interruptions to residents' recovery.
“A large number of people entering our jail system are suffering from various forms of addiction. The ability to offer this medication program and help maintain someone’s sobriety is a huge step in reducing recidivism and improving public safety." — Dane County Sheriff Kalvin Barrett
⚖️ Rededicating a capitol statue.
- The statue honoring Col. Hans Christian Heg — the highest-ranking Wisconsin soldier to die in the Civil War — will be rededicated this Memorial Day weekend. The statue sits outside of the state Capitol Building. Channel 3000 reports the ceremony will be held on Sunday, May 29 at 1 p.m.
- Why is this news? The statue, along with the “Lady Forward” statue at the capitol were torn down by protesters in the summer of 2020. The event served as a catalyst for conversation throughout the city and state forcing reflections on racism, power structures, and community values. The statues were re-installed in September 2021.
- Related commentary: The empty honorings of "Forward" (Tone Madison)
👯 Mark your calendars for these local events.
- Print & resist: Saturday, April 16, Madison's Central Library will host Print & Resist Zine Fest, "a day-long festival of political print media, zines, experimental publications, and prints related to the world of art, do-it-yourself culture, and political action." More than 50 artists and zinemakers from all over the Midwest will have works available at the event. The event is free and runs from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Masks are required.
- Marquette Waterfront Festival: The Marquette Neighborhood Association's annual fundraising festival will take place at Yahara Place Park June 11-12. The event features two stages of music and will also host "food stands, beer tents and gift vendors," Isthmus writes.
- From The Badger Herald: "With the pandemic only fueling the fire, conditions are coming to a head and nurses are demanding change. As current nursing students are forced to reconcile how the future of nursing may look, many young and veteran nurses are still determined to persevere into uncharted water in hopes of driving cultural changes in the field."
🦠 Covid-19 update
- Covid-19 cases continue to trend up, which is likely attributable to BA.2 variant.
- Have you gotten your second booster shot? Adults ages 50+ are now eligible for a second booster shot.
- Local Covid-19 vaccine options (PHMDC)
- Covid-19 testing options (PHMDC)
- Request at at-home testing kit (Wisconsin DHS)
- Local Covid-19 data dashboard (PHMDC)
📅 Events: Wednesday, April 13
- Clean Lakes 101: Lake Mendota – The Good, The Bad, The Present with Clean Lakes Alliance. 8 a.m. Virtual option. Free.
- Open and Shut Podcast Launch Event by Wisconsin Watch and WPR. Podcast shines a light on how prosecutors do their jobs — and the danger of allowing their power to go unchecked — through the trials, plea bargains and controversies surrounding district attorneys in two Wisconsin counties. 12 p.m. Virtual. Free.
- Beer Bingo with Sierra Nevada at Bierock. Prizes include various beer-related giveaways, brewery swag, free pours. 6:30 p.m. Free to play.
- Presentation: Insects and Ecosystem Services on a Changing Planet: Insights From the Humble Bumble Bee. Part of the Wednesday Nite @ The Lab series. 7 p.m.