Goooooood morning, Madison!
A quick housekeeping note: Since Sam and I are both humans who enjoy activities other than work, we'll be taking next week off.
What does that mean? After this week, no newsletter until 2022. (Sad!)
This tends to be the time of the year when folks disconnect from work and life's responsibilities — which is totally fair and necessary — so we'll be doing the same. Since this is the first year of Madison Minutes' existence, we're still working on finding that perfect work-life balance. This break will be necessary for us to enter the new year ready to tackle all of the new and exciting things we have planned for the future. Trust me, we've got a lot of cool things coming!
If you find yourself with a Madison-Minutes-sized hole in your heart next week, consider becoming a member to support our work.
Now for the news.
p.s. There's something different about today's newsletter. If you've been subscribed for a while, perhaps you'll notice. (Or not, it's a pretty subtle change.)
🏐 NATIONAL CHAMPS, BABY!
- For the first time, the Wisconsin Badgers are NCAA volleyball champions.
- In five tense sets, No. 4 Wisconsin took down No. 10 Nebraska. The Badgers are no strangers to the NCAA tournament, having made four semi-final and three championship appearances but this is the first time the team has been able to snag the elusive championship title.
- See more: Photos: Wisconsin Badgers women's volleyball team win national championship (Cap Times)
"It’s a dream come true. All of these super seniors came back because we want to win a national championship and another Big Ten title. We did that! We made that dream a reality and it was a dream come true.” — Fifth-year senior Sydney Hilley
🗳️ Peng Her is running for lieutenant governor.
- Who is he? Her is currently CEO at the Hmong Institute, which he founded according to Madison365. He's a longtime Hmong leader from Madison’s north side.
- Her previously served on Tony Evers’ transition team focused on policy related to children and families. He made his campaign announcement Friday, joining the crowded field of hopefuls seeking to replace Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, who is running for U.S. Senate.
✅ State Rep. Dianne Hesselbein announced a bid for state Senate.
- Who is she? Hesselbein currently serves as Wisconsin's 79th Assembly District representative, a post she's held since 2013. A Democrat from Middleton, the Cap Times reports she's running to fill the 27th Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Jon Erpenbach.
🇱🇺 Tom Barrett is off to Luxembourg.
- If you'll recall, President Joe Biden nominated the Milwaukee mayor ambassador of Luxembourg in August. The U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed his appointment last Thursday.
🎓 Congrats to the winter class of 2021.
- Nearly 6,000 graduates, family, and friends gathered at the Kohl center Sunday. This marked the first time since 2019 UW opened its doors to allow family and friends to celebrate with their graduates.
- CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent Manu Raju served as the keynote speaker.
“Meaningful rewards will seldom materialize without daunting risk, and until those rewards are visible your failures ought not blind your foresight of what is possible. The University of Wisconsin teaches a master class in this timeless value of perseverance.” — Manu Raju speaking at UW's 2021 winter commencement
🏈 Your Wisconsin sports roundup.
- The Packers managed a narrow win against the Ravens. The team managed a 31-30 victory over the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium, but left much to be desired.
- The Bucks took an L against the Cleveland Cavaliers, falling 119-90.
- The Badger women's basketball team broke their five-game losing streak with a 70-60 defeat of the Illinois State Redbirds last Thursday.
- Badger men's basketball also took home a win last week, managing a (narrow) 71-68 victory over Nicholls State.
🦠 Covid-19 Resources
Wisconsin Vaccination Rate: 57.7%
Dane County Vaccination Rate: 75.5%
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.