Good morning, Friday!

We've made it through another week and that honestly never ceases to amaze me. Also, it's almost September, how did we get here?

Here's a bit of feel-good news for your Friday. Back in March, Wisconsin candle maker Door County Candle Co. announced the creation of a special blue and yellow layered candle that would benefit relief efforts in Ukraine, which had just been invaded by Russian forces.

Now, six months into the war, what the candlemakers hoped would raise a few thousand dollars has turned into a nearly $1 million product.

On Wednesday, Door County Candle Co. celebrated Ukraine's Independence Day and the dozens of volunteers who stepped up to aid in the production of the special candle, which sold 70,000 units by the start of August.

"We are grateful for the outpouring of support that has allowed us to donate $800,000 so far, and we will continue our efforts as Ukraine still needs our help," Christiana Gorchynsky Trapani, owner of Door County Candle Co. and a second generation Ukrainian American, said at the event.

If you want to buy the candle for yourself, you can do so here. It's vanilla scented.

— Hayley


🏥 UW Health nurses have authorized a strike if their union isn't recognized.

covid 19 test and face mask
Photo by Waldemar Brandt / Unsplash

😷 What you need to know about Covid-19 testing and quarantining these days.

  • Earlier this month, the CDC updated its guidance for what to do if you are exposed to someone with Covid-19 or yourself get sick. Here's a breakdown of that information courtesy of the folks at PHMDC.
  • If you've tested positive for Covid-19: Stay home and away from others for at least five full days after symptoms began (the date you started to feel sick is day zero); You may leave isolation on day six, but must wear a high-quality, well-fitting mask when around others — in public or in your home — through day 10.
  • If you tested positive and experience moderate or severe symptoms or are immunocompromised: You should isolate for 10 full days.
  • Test early and test often: If you're using at-home Covid-19 antigen tests, the FDA has recommended folks take at least three tests in a row, ideally 48 hours apart. If all three tests are negative, you likely do not have Covid-19. Even if tests are negative, however, if you've been exposed to someone with Covid-19, you should continue masking and monitoring for symptoms for the full 10 days after exposure. If you're experiencing symptoms, it's best to get a PCR test if possible.
  • Related: Find a testing site near you (PHMDC), Order free at-home Covid-19 tests
High Injury Zone map and Vision Zero project locations, via City of Madison

🚨 Watch out for more cops on the road through September.

💸 What student loan debt forgiveness could mean for 700,000 Wisconsinites.

  • Some context: President Joe Biden announced a federal loan forgiveness plan Wednesday that will cancel $10,000 in student loan debt for those who earn less than $125,000 per year, or households that earn less than $250,000. Pell Grant recipients will have an extra $10,000 erased as well.
  • In Wisconsin, roughly 715,800 residents owe a combined $23.1 billion in federal education loans. The average borrower has a $32,230 loan balance, Cap Times reports. Meaning, even with Biden's debt forgiveness program most will still have outstanding debt.
Image via Madison Public Library/City of Madison

🌳 Meet the library's first-ever Naturalist-in-Residence.

  • Madison Public Library is launching a new residency all about nature. Local Master Naturalist John C. Newman will lead a series of events, walks, and workshops throughout September and October to encourage people to enjoy and care for the outdoors.

♻️ Your lunchtime read: Why does UW-Madison ranks dead last in sustainability among its peers?

  • Via Cap Times: "At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, addressing the climate crisis begins at the Office of Sustainability. But what, exactly, does 'sustainability' mean?

    It’s a broad concept, but the idea is simple: being sustainable means taking actions that preserve Earth’s natural resources for future generations, like biking to work instead of driving a gas-powered car. When executed correctly, sustainability balances economic needs with a healthy environment and social equity. [...]

    But student sustainability activists say Wisconsin’s flagship university has significant ground to gain if it hopes to live up to its ideals."

🐶 Friday Floof

Time for some floof. This cutie is Mora. She was adopted from the humane society and loves chasing chipmunks out of her humans' garden. She takes her duties seriously but clearly knows how to slow things down on the weekend.

😸 Do you have a floof to share with the Madison Minutes community? Fill out this form for the opportunity to be featured.


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