Good morning, Madison!
Happy Wednesday. I hope everyone got a chance to enjoy the taste of spring weather we got yesterday because the rest of the week is about to get real cold, real quick.
On this fine Wednesday, I have a favor to ask.
We've been sending out the Madison Minutes free morning newsletter since April 2021 and we're incredibly proud of all we have accomplished in this short time. If you like us (we hope you do!) consider nominating Madison Minutes for Madison Magazine's Best of Madison awards.
I know we are an email but we think we'd fit best in the "Local News Website" category.
Round one nominations are open through the end of the month and you can vote once per day in each category per valid email address. There are tons of categories, so while you're casting your votes for Madison Minutes (heheh) don't be afraid to show some love to all of your other favorite local people, places, and things!
🦠 Your options for free Covid-19 tests.
- As the demand for Covid-19 testing skyrocketed in the past month, Public Health Madison and Dane County outlined where folks can go to get both rapid antigen tests and RT-PCR tests.
- You can now order free at-home Covid-19 tests via the US Postal Service.
- If you're shopping, insurance companies are now required to cover up to eight at-home Covid-19 tests per month. Just bring the tests to the register, show your insurance card and it will be no cost to you.
- PHMDC offers PCR tests at the Alliant Energy Center (by appointment only!) weekdays from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
- The Village on Park Public Health Clinic offers appointment-based testing options Tuesday-Saturday from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
⚖️ Wisconsin's top senate Democrat won't seek re-election.
- Minority Leader Janet Bewley said Tuesday she won't be running for another term in office so she can spend more time with her family. Bewley replaced Jennifer Shilling of La Crosse as minority leader in 2020.
- The move comes after state Rep. Gordon Hintz announced in December he would resign his position as Assembly minority leader. Assembly Democrats have already selected Greta Neubauer as their new leader.
"After four years in the Assembly and almost eight years in the Senate, it is time for me to make way for a new generation of progressive and pragmatic leaders from a part of the state that has produced so many." — Senate Minority Leader Janet Bewley, D-Delta
🐰 Happy Take Me Home Wednesday!
- I made a mistake and accidentally left out our featured adoptable animal for Take Me Home Tuesday yesterday. So without further ado, meet Alabaster! This adult rabbit is a bit shy at first, but once he warms up to you, he’ll be your best friend. He is a playful rabbit. Alabaster also enjoys munching on veggies and blueberries. He’s looking for a new home where he can hop about and release his zoomies. Learn more about Alabaster here.
☎️ A 3-digit national suicide hotline will go into effect in July, thanks in part to Tammy Baldwin.
- Early in the pandemic, Wisconsin Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin introduced the bipartisan National Suicide Hotline Designation Act which was signed by former President Donald Trump in October 2020.
- The legislation converts the 10-digit suicide hotline to simply 988, in hopes of making it easier for Americans to get the help they need when in crisis. The change will go into effect July 16, WPR reports.
📚 2021 was the year of the library card.
- Madisonians took full advantage of the public library system's offerings in 2021. Throughout the year, the system issued 10,898 library cards, a 34% increase from 2020.
💉 You'll have to be vaccinated if you want to go to Liquid.
- The campus-area bar and music venue announced last week that they would eliminate negative Covid-19 tests as a means of entry and instead, all patrons must be fully vaccinated. Boosters are encouraged, but not required.
✨ Looking for ways to celebrate the Lunar New Year?
- The Cap Times' Kayla Huynh has a solid roundup of all the activities going on around town to celebrate the Year of the Tiger, including festivals, karaoke, and more.
🎸 Your lunchtime read: At home at the former Smart Studios.
- From Tone Madison: "A new owner plans to live at the former Madison studio's East Wash building and keep its 'funky angles' intact. ... Neka Allen, a native of Kenosha, bought the two-story brick building in September and has been gradually turning it into her private residence. And since November, she's documented the ongoing renovations on Instagram."
🦠 Covid-19 Update
Source: Public Health Madison & Dane County
Wisconsin Vaccination Rate: 59.4%
Dane County Vaccination Rate: 77.2%
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: Wednesday, Feb. 2
- Clean Lakes 101: Love in the Lakes. "Learn more about the relationships and reproduction habits of some of our most common underwater dwellers." 8 a.m. Virtual. Free.
- Five facts to Publishing Your Children’s Picture Book. Organized by DreamBank. 6 p.m. Virtual. Free.
- Cooking class: Chocolate Truffles at Willy Street Co-op (West). 6 p.m. $20 for owners, $30 for non-owners.
- The German Art Students and Moonbot at The Bur Oak. Show at 7 p.m. $10 advance, $12 at door.
- Hippie Sabotage at The Sylvee. Show at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $29.
- Mitigation Strategies for Dairy Farms. Part of the Wednesday Nite @ The Lab series. 7 p.m. Virtual option. Free.
- Northside Arts Social at Bear & Bottle. An opportunity to mingle with the creative community. 7 p.m. No admission fee.