Good morning, Madison!
This past weekend brought a plethora of events to the isthmus, from protests and drag shows, to log rolling competitions.
This year, 80 competitors made their way to Lake Wingra to participate in Midwest Log Rolling Championships.
As the State Journal explains, matches are best out of five in the competition and each round can go on for minutes at a time.
"What keeps me going with it is just how it's fun," Connor Birdsong told the outlet. "You kind of need to use multiple different parts of your body to be successful at it, such as your feet, your arms, your core, keeping your eyes in the same place, focusing."
The event doubles as a fundraiser for the Huntington's Disease Society of America. I definitely recommend checking out the article for pictures (and video) of the event.
🏫 Madison teachers would get a 3% raise in the latest proposed budget.
- A new preliminary budget proposal from the district would give Madison teachers a 3% base wage increase, which is more than the 2% raise that was initially offered but less than the 4.7% staff have asked for.
- Madison Teachers Inc. (MTI), the union that represents MMSD teachers, has suggested in the past that anything less than a 4.7% raise "would further imperil the already-challenging staffing environment in the district after a year that featured low substitute fill rates," Cap Times reports.
- Many districts, including four of the state's largest, have already approved a 4.7% raise.
📣 Rallying for Roe.
- On Friday, roughly a thousand people rallied at the State Capitol Building to in support of abortion rights. With Roe overturned, an 1849 law criminalizing abortion is now in effect for Wisconsin. The law has an exception for medically necessary abortions to save the mothers life.
- Across the city, county, and state, officials have decried the U.S. Supreme Court's decision. At the local level, City Council passed a resolution to support the Madison Police Department in refusing to arrest people for any violation of the 1849 law. Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne has stopped short of vowing not to prosecute abortion providers but told the State Journal he plans to "prosecute only those crimes that keep our community safe and represent our collective values."
- Do you have questions about abortion access and reproductive rights in Wisconsin? WPR wants to hear from you.
- Related: 66 abortions canceled at Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin clinics because of Supreme Court ruling (Isthmus)
🚌 New funding will pave the way for a north-south BRT line.
- First things first, what's BRT? BRT stands for "Bus Rapid Transit," a transportation system that provides faster — but fewer — routes across the city. BRT buses and stations will also be larger.
- The city recently received a $670,000 grant from Federal Transit Administration to develop the Metro’s future north-south BRT line. The city estimates the full cost of the project will be $950,000.
- BRT routes are expected to launch in the summer of 2023 with the implementation of Metro’s complete network redesign. Larger buses and new stations will hit Madison streets in 2024.
👋 The Dane County jail is allowing in-person visits again.
- The jail halted in-person visits in March 2020 as a Covid-19 precaution. In its place, the jail allowed video visits.
- As the State Journal reports, in-person visits are re-opening in phases. Visits in the Public Safety Building jail are available for scheduling now and visits for in the City-County Building jail will be available starting next week.
- Remote video visits still remain an option.
🐵 It's a girl!
- Earlier this month the Henry Vilas Zoo welcomed a critically endangered baby Bornean Orangutan to its family. After weeks of anticipation, the zoo has confirmed that the new baby is a girl.
- The mother orangutan, Chelsea, and her baby girl are now visible to the public in the zoo's primate building. The new baby, who doesn't have a name yet, is Chelsea's second child. She gave birth to a male named Bob in 2006.
🏆 Meet some of Wisconsin's most influential Asian American leaders.
- Each year, local news publisher Madison365 recognizes the state's most influential Black, Latino, Indigenous and Asian American leaders. "I want kids here in Wisconsin to see role models of people who are succeeding, to know that it’s possible for people of color to achieve great things here," Madison365's Publisher Henry Sanders, Jr. writes.
- This is the first installment of a five-part series.
💟 Your lunchtime read: Taycheedah boosts mental health efforts for incarcerated women.
- From Cap Times: "In the early 2000s, an “egregious” lack of mental health care at Wisconsin’s only maximum security women’s prison brought about a pair of lawsuits that required the facility to turn its practices around. In the years that followed, according to experts involved in the legal process, mental health care at Taycheedah Correctional Institute, in Fond du Lac, went from the worst level of care in the statewide corrections system to among the best."