Happy Wednesday, Madison!

Get ready to bundle up because it's going to be cold today and — so sorry to be the bearer of bad news — even colder in the coming days.

Now that the bad news is out of the way, let's dig into the rest of the day's stories.

— Hayley

P.S. I know some of you caught the My Chemical Romance reference in Tuesday's email. Did we predict the emo revival that would come with yesterday's news cycle? Probably not but a fun coincidence nonetheless!


⚖️ Wisconsin's Assembly Majority Leader will not seek re-election.

"I firmly believe the time has come to pass the torch and allow for others in our community to step forward and serve their neighbors." — Rep. Jim Steineke

💉 Researchers at UW are working on a universal coronavirus vaccine.

💔 Community members are mourning the loss of a 14-year-old La Follette High student.

  • Jeremiah Broomfield died over the weekend as a result of a car crash on the city's Southwest Side. Police have reportedly arrested the driver who caused the crash but no charges have been filed yet.
  • Friends described Jeremiah as the type of person who could light up a room. Interim La Follette Principal Mathew Thompson wrote an email to parents Monday evening saying “Jeremiah had an incredible presence, he was connected to many of our students. The loss of a student, peer and friend is jarring and shocking.”

🎮 Microsoft purchased this Middleton-based video game company for a whopping $68.7 billion.

  • Middleton's Raven Software creates video games for parent company Activision Blizzard, including the massively profitable Candy Crush and Call of Duty franchise. California-based Activision Blizzard bought Raven Software in 1997 for $12 million. Microsoft announced its acquisition of Activision Tuesday.
  • Once the deal closes in 2023, it will turn Microsoft — who makes Xbox — into one of the world’s largest video game companies. If the purchase survives scrutiny from government regulators, AP reports it could be one of the largest tech acquisitions in history.
  • If you'll recall: In December, hundreds of Raven Software employees staged online walkouts in protest of previous Activision’s layoffs. The coalition of Activision workers fighting for contract negotiations Tweeted the Microsoft acquisition was a "surprise" but their goals of culture change remain the same.

🏀 The Badger men's basketball team managed their seventh straight win last night.

🚄 Two trains that would have been part of Wisconsin's (non-existent) high-speed rail system will now be used in Nigeria.

  • The trains are set to become part of West Africa's first operational metro system, WPR reports.
  • The sale of two trains originally intended for a high-speed rail line to connect Madison and Milwaukee is the latest turn in the decade-long saga of high-speed rail in Wisconsin. The story of high-speed rail in the state is one way too long for just a bullet point in a newsletter but if you want more train content (and who doesn't?!) I highly recommend checking out WPR's 2019 investigative podcast "Derailed."

😺 The Betty White Challenge has raised more than $20,000 for the Dane County Humane Society.

📰 Your lunchtime read: Misframing decisions about the County jail does the public a disservice.

  • From Tone Madison: "We can't keep caging people at absurd rates with absurd racial biases. Making mistakes? It happens. But to keep making the same mistake, by thinking our jails are "treating" people or making us safer, is more than misguided. It is deranged. We must try different paths. We have to get everyone excited to spend money on actual care and treatment, and push our leaders to continue to rethink our punishment bureaucracy and actual public safety instead of just mixing more cement to hide our issues behind."

🦠 Covid-19 Resources

Source: Public Health Madison and Dane County

Wisconsin Vaccination Rate: 58.8%

Dane County Vaccination Rate: 76.7%


📅 Events: Wednesday, Jan. 19