MEDFORD – Medford Area School District is voting this November on a 39.9 million dollar referendum for Medford Area High School. If approved the district plans to build additional classrooms to help promote a more creative, collaborative and hands on learning environment. Superintendent Pat Sullivan says, the small classrooms at the school have been a struggle for years for the District. “We don’t have enough classroom space. The classroom space we have was built in ’68 so they were built small. Very little daylight. Some of them don’t have any windows,” Sullivan said. “We’re using every nook and cranny. Every office space we can. The referendum will also provide an additional gym and theater space.The proposed referenda would cost the public 53 dollar tax impact on a 100,000 household property. The district has already lowered their original proposal to match the public’s feedback after the District released a survey. Ultimately, the lack of space is not just an academic struggle for students, but one regarding their safety. “If you had a situation where a student was positive, there’s no doubt going to be a number of close contacts. We’ve been very honest about that and up front. We cannot social distance in many of our classrooms,” Sullivan said. As many districts move away from in-person classes, Sullivan says that this is the time to act in order to secure a better tomorrow for the community. “Yeah, COVID-19 I get. It, [there’s] a lot of uncertainty. But again, your always going to have something,” Sullivan said. “It’s never going to be a perfect situation.” The district will be having open house Q & A sessions about the proposal later next month. In the mean time, families can reach out to the district to schedule a tour to see the school for themselves.
RHINELANDER – The roundabout at the intersection of Highway 8 W and Highway 47 was pretty controversial a year ago; a lot of people didn’t like it.
Oneida County Highway Commissioner Bruce Stefonek says the change caused controversy in the city.
“We had numerous meetings with the public and it was somewhat divided,” said Stefonek.
Except now Stefonek says people have come around to accept the city’s first and only roundabout.
“A number of people that were against it before now like it,” said Stefonek.
Although the stoplight and 8 & 47 was familiar to people, it was also dangerous.
“There were a lot of accidents, it almost felt like they were weekly,” said Stefonek.
He saw cars speeding through the intersection in order to beat other traffic.
“It was almost like a racetrack coming through the intersection,” said Stefonek.
The roundabout was installed in August of 2019. Since then, there have been very few accidents.
– Park Falls Police Department is investigating two incidents when a man approached middle school boys earlier this month. It’s an incident that the City of Park Falls Chief Jerome Ernst says he has not experienced in the last 30 years.
“This type of report is very rare for us, but you see these types of things happen. You now all over the place, Park Falls is not exempt.,” Ernst said.
Ernst says back on September 8th, a middle school cross country runner was approached by a man after his practice near Chequamegon High School in Park Falls. The man told the boy that he was from ‘Up North’, and was asking for help to find the hospital. The second incident occurred on September 16th, when a man matching a similar description was seen on Saunders Avenue in Park Falls near Hines Park. When he approached two boys who were also in Middle School.
“The person only stated ‘Do you want to race’, and the kid just kinda ignored him, because he is a stranger, and he wasn’t comfortable about it,” Ernst said. “The other child however, tells us that the person said, ‘Do you want to race me to my house. If you win I’ll give you some prize or treats’, Something like that,” Ernst said. Then last Friday a man matching a similar description was also seen in Wausau. According to a Facebook post and video posted online, he was accused of watching a group of girls. “The description of the individual, looks a little bit like the person in the video. Although it’s hard to tell because the videos are a little bit shaded and dark. The vehicle is definitely not the same like it is in Park Falls,” Ernst said. However, Park Falls and Wausau Police Department are partnering up to see if the incidents may be connected. Even if the cases are not connected, Ernst says it’s a good reminder of stranger danger. “If you are going out to play or do things or walk over to the park, stay in groups with your trusted friends or family. Talk to them about stranger danger. Not to immediately trust, a new person or strange person,” Ernst said.
MADISON – The state is making more money available to help small businesses in Kenosha recover from damage during recent unrest over the police shooting of Jacob Blake, officials announced Wednesday.
MADISON – Wisconsin’s daily count of COVID-19 cases hit its second-highest total to date on Thursday, while the seven-day average topped 1,900 for the first time.
MADISON – A federal judge said Wednesday that he won’t rule before the election on a lawsuit that challenged a state law requiring college student IDs to have an expiration date in order for them to be used as a voter’s ID.
MADISON – On September 22nd the United States hit a staggering 200,000 COVID-19 deaths. Wisconsin alone has 100,000 cases. The high numbers of deaths and cases can be lowered by modifying our behaviors and by wearing a mask properly.
There have been revisions to the mask mandate. Originally, it was said that only people not feeling well are required to wear it. It was changed when it was discovered that just talking could cause an outbreak.
Dr. Jeff Pothof of UW Madison Health spoke about how not wearing a mask can affect your long term health.
“People who had no idea they were sick had enough virus where they could spread it and the only thing they needed to do to spread it was talk to someone else,” said Pothof.
COVID-19 is all across the country and not wearing a mask is putting yourself and the people around you at risk.
“There is no way you can know. It is everywhere right now. To think that you live in a location where COVID-19 hasn’t reached yet is just not true,” said Pothof.
To ensure you’re protected, wear a cloth mask that is two layers thick to prevent your droplets from escaping and to protect from other droplets.
Make sure to wash your cloth masks once a week and change paper masks once every three to 5 days.
“They need to cover your nose and your mouth. If you only cover your mouth, the mask is not effective. Those droplets are coming out your nose and it just doesn’t work,” said Pothof.
For those thinking there’s no repercussions from catching COVID-19, there are health risks that can be long term and affect your everyday life.
“People who have had COVID-19 may not ever return to normal lung function and that can impact them in ways such as in physical exertion and their ability to do things. Their physical stamina may decreased because their lungs are no longer as effective as they were before they had COVID-19,” said Pothof.
The other long term health risks of COVID-19 is an inflamed heart.
“Likewise people that have an inflamed heart muscle tissue their hearts don’t pump as effectively. The more severe COVID-19 the more inflammation they saw in the heart muscle. And we don’t know how long that will last. The more severe the COVID-19 the more inflammation they saw in the heart muscle,” said Pothof.
In cities like Madison and Milwaukee, their hospitals are equipped to handle a large influx of people and have special wards to combat COVID-19–unlike the smaller hospitals in our communities.
“Even if you have a small outbreak , you’re going to quickly strip the healthcare resources in your community and when that happens only bad things happen to those people,” said Pothof.
Make sure to mask up properly, to keep your loved ones and your community safe. For more information, you can visit the CDC website.