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Coronavirus in Wisconsin: Historical updates from April 12-18

coronavirus
Posted at 10:13 AM, Apr 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-19 11:13:53-04

Editor's note: This page features archived historical updates and will not be updated. For the latest updates, head to https://www.tmj4.com/coronavirus

As the 2019 novel coronavirus continues to spread across the country and the world, TMJ4 News is tracking how every day life is changing as schools, businesses, governments, and more react. Bookmark this page for the latest updates on how COVID-19 is affecting daily life.

As of Saturday, there were a total of 706,830 confirmed cases and 37,086 deaths in the U.S., according to tracking data from Johns Hopkins. At least 60,523 people have recovered.

Here in Wisconsin, as of Saturday, there were 4,275 total confirmed cases of COVID-19. 211 people have died. 43,962 tests have come back negative. Here is the latest county-by-county breakdown:

Wisconsin CountyPositive as of 4/18/2020Negative as of 4/18/2020Deaths as of 4/18/2020Rate (positive cases per 100,000 people) as of 4/18/2020Case fatality percentage (percent of cases who died) as of 4/18/2020
Adams4107119.925%
Ashland272012.70%
Barron6555013.30%
Bayfield3103120.033%
Brown2041,157178.50%
Buffalo4129130.425%
Burnett06300.00%
Calumet5234010.00%
Chippewa21702033.00%
Clark14127040.60%
Columbia27544147.44%
Crawford3148018.40%
Dane3586,5591667.64%
Dodge19606121.65%
Door9104132.811%
Douglas8372018.40%
Dunn9682020.20%
Eau Claire221,377021.40%
Florence211046.10%
Fond du Lac621,007360.65%
Forest03500.00%
Grant15332228.913%
Green9225024.40%
Green Lake112305.30%
Iowa6172025.40%
Iron226135.050%
Jackson11159153.69%
Jefferson27563031.90%
Juneau10233137.910%
Kenosha2361,3685140.22%
Kewaunee877139.313%
La Crosse251,446021.20%
Lafayette370017.90%
Langlade06900.00%
Lincoln012700.00%
Manitowoc620107.60%
Marathon17465112.66%
Marinette5191112.320%
Marquette3113119.733%
Menominee112021.80%
Milwaukee2,1418,932122216.46%
Monroe13517028.60%
Oconto4188010.70%
Oneida6215017.00%
Outagamie33813217.96%
Ozaukee79663989.511%
Pepin08700.00%
Pierce7301016.80%
Polk417509.20%
Portage421805.70%
Price14907.40%
Racine1641,283883.95%
Richland8185145.613%
Rock681,167442.06%
Rusk487028.20%
Sauk32506350.39%
Sawyer2184012.20%
Shawano6219014.60%
Sheboygan39609233.95%
St. Croix11308012.50%
Taylor07000.00%
Trempealeau133803.40%
Vernon026500.00%
Vilas490018.50%
Walworth89503486.44%
Washburn111806.40%
Washington821,237361.04%
Waukesha2592,5121164.94%
Waupaca425717.825%
Waushara29708.30%
Winnebago38795122.43%
Wood230802.70%
Total4,27543,96221172.75%

Editor's note: The numbers above may not match data from the state's Department of Health Services website. Many Wisconsin counties release confirmed COVID-19 cases independent of the state, and those cases are reflected in the above total.

Saturday, April 18

1:26 p.m. -- WI National Guard team called to Milwaukee County House of Corrections for COVID-19 testing

A Wisconsin National Guard team has been called to the Milwaukee County House of Corrections to conduct COVID-19 testing.

On Friday, Milwaukee County announced that there were 27 positive coronavirus cases at the House of Corrections in Franklin. Now, the Wisconsin National Guard has been ordered there to collect specimen for testing.

30 troops were sent to the site Saturday to establish the mobile testing site. According to the National Guard, they will collect 950 samples from staff and inmates.

Since Governor Tony Evers declared a public health emergency, the Wisconsin National Guard has trained and sent out team to perform similar tasks. That includes the team of about 30 troops that went to a senior living home in Sheboygan on April 5.

"We continue to work hand-in-hand with our partners across Wisconsin in state and local government to ensure the Wisconsin National Guard is in position to provide timely, efficient responses, when our support is requested,” said Maj. Gen. Paul Knapp, Wisconsin’s adjutant general.

12:54 p.m. -- Several gather in Brookfield to protest extension of 'Safer at Home' order

Several groups of people gathered in Brookfield to protest the recent extension of the 'Safer at Home' order.

The Liberate Wisconsin protest took place Saturday morning in Brookfield to protest Gov. Tony Evers recent extension of the Safer at Home order.

The order was set to expire on April 24, but Evers extended the order on Thursday until May 26.

The extended Safer at Home order noted that schools would remain closed for the remainder of the school year and eased restrictions on other businesses.

9:53 a.m. -- Federal investigators looking into Brown County virus surge

GREEN BAY, Wis. (Press-Gazette Media) — Brown County officials say federal investigators plan to be in the Green Bay area this weekend to look into a recent upsurge in COVID-19 cases.

County officials requested help from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention after the number of cases increased more than fourfold in just 10 days.

The Green Bay Press Gazette reports that officials are worried that the coronavirus is being transported to nearby counties by people who come into Brown County to work or conduct business, then return home. The Wisconsin Department of Emergency Management is expected to help in the investigation.

Friday, April 17

10:32 p.m. -- Dorsia serves Italian food and gives health care workers meals at half price

Dorsia on Brady Street has been serving Italian food to its customers for the past three years.

But there's no more sitting inside these days, it's all takeout, curbside pickup, and delivery.

"It's very strange having to change from being a restaurant to change into doing deliveries." says manager Joanna Szeszycki. "Instead of taking reservations, I'm taking phone orders."

Dorsia has been lucky during these tough times. They haven't laid off any of their staff and they are finding ways to give back to the community.

"Because of the craziness and the service industry being shut down all of those people in the hospitals and the front and first responders - all of them - get 50 percent discount every day of the week," says general manager Zachary Correa. "So that actually increases the volume of tickets that are coming in."

9:23 p.m. -- 'We got to start thinking ahead': Racine County Sheriff says he won't enforce 'Safer at Home' order

There's new pushback against Governor Tony Evers, extending his statewide shutdown until late May.

Some county leaders are taking steps to undercut the order.

Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling says he won't enforce it.

He shared his frustrations Friday about Governor Evers' "Safer at Home" order extension — saying he will leave enforcement of the order to the health department experts — allowing that his deputies to focus on safe roads and crime.

Some Racine County residents say they were shocked to hear their sheriff will no longer enforce the order.

"I would disagree in that he needs to enforce it," said Troy Treuber, who lives in Racine.

Linden Schulz fears the spread of coronavirus will skyrocket here if non-essential businesses fully reopen.

"It's a disgusting thought on his part, completely irresponsible," said Schulz.

"I'm sick and tired of staying at home," said Janice Kiesler. She believes the sheriff is making the right call.

"The small businesses in this city are pretty much what's left as far as employment, and it will just kill Racine if they don't allow these small businesses and restaurants to reopen," said Kiesler.

Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling said in a statement:

"I can not in good faith participate in the destruction of Racine County businesses or interfere in the freedoms granted to all of us by our Constitution."

"At the end of the day, we got to start thinking ahead, we cannot continue locking everybody in their homes forever," said Schmaling.

Racine Public Health Director Dottie-Kay Bowersox quickly responded with this statement:

"It is concerning and alarming that Sheriff Schmaling would be unsupportive and defiant of the extended 'Safer at Home' order. The actions come in response to the best available science and data from the CDC and local public health officials."

But Sheriff Schmaling isn't the only county leader pushing back on the governor's order.

"The biggest frustration really is the fact that we don't seem to have a plan for how things are going to move forward," said Washington County Administrator Josh Schoemann.

The Washington County Executive-elect says he's allowing golf courses to reopen immediately, admitting he may be defying Evers' order on purpose by allowing golf courses to open before April 24.

"I'm not overly concerned about that," said Schoemann. "I think that there's not a substantive difference between tomorrow and next week, Thursday or whatever it is."

9:03 p.m. -- Milwaukee Public Schools distribute Chromebook laptops to students amid closures

With no face-to-face classes for the rest of the academic year, school districts are forced to find other ways to connect with students.

Milwaukee Public Schools has begun distributing laptop computers to all of its students.

At Hamilton High School, a drive-through was organized as students and parents came to pick up their laptops. Chromebooks were distributed at each MPS high school.

Lines were long at Hamilton as parents and students came to pick up the Chromebooks.

"I got me some scratch-offs and sat right here waiting this whole time," said parent Kenyetta Taylor.

Taylor was the first in line on Day 2 of distribution. She waited for an hour ahead of opening time for the Chromebook, which will be the only computer in her household between her two high school students.

"It's amazing because a lot of students can't afford it," she said.

Chromebooks were/will be distributed on the following dates:

April 16 & 17: High School Students
April 20: Middle School Students
April 22-24: Elementary School Students

8:21 p.m. -- 'The worry is starting to creep in': Quarantine takes toll on local mother's mental health

Jessica Sorenson is a new mother, and expecting a baby girl next month.

"The worry is starting to creep in the closer I get to my due date, and it's giving me more angst than in the past," said Jess.

For her, the days of quarantine and uncertainty have brought on stress and anxiety.

"Being a mom, it sets in the worry, even more, you're worried about your kids and the newborn you're about to have, and I think mentally it's been a struggle to stay positive when there is really no true resolution yet," said Jess.

Jess is doing the best she can, trying to cope with this new normal.

"Just going on walks every day and getting away from the house has been a great mental break," said Jess.

7:36 p.m. -- Uncertainty hangs over businesses after 'Safer at Home' order extended

Southeast Wisconsin businesses are scrambling to stay afloat after learning the safer at home order will extend until May 26.

The order was put in place late March to slow the spread of COVID-19. It was initially set to expire on April 24.

Hotels are allowed to stay open, but many have closed.

Cedarburg's Washington House Inn is among those closed.

"I am missing being in the hospitality business," said Innkeeper Wendy Porterfield.

Porterfield has been the innkeeper here for 35 years.

"I checked out the last guest on March 22, was when we decided it was time to close the doors. It's definitely been a hit to our revenue," said Porterfield.

Wendy planned to reopen in May, but since the "Safer at Home" order was extended another month, she pushed it back until June.

"It just isn't the right time to reopen. I think it was the right decision," said Porterfield.

"We totally are supportive of anything for safety measures; however, we thought that that might be a pretty long extension. It will definitely cause a lot more pain in our industry," said Trisha Pugal, interim CEO of the Wisconsin Hotel and Lodging Association.

Pugal says a recent survey shows about 45 percent of properties are already closed.

"The ones that remain are extremely low occupancy, which puts them on the borderline of why they should stay open or whether they should close because they are not making money right now," said Pugal.

"I'm hearing a lot of very very difficult decisions, pairing back in any possible expense that they can just to stay afloat, trying to figure out how they can last longer. They are very, very difficult decisions."

Porterfield remains optimistic the inn will survive.

"The building was built in 1884. It'll stand long after all of us are gone. It's a viable business, and we'll be here later when things are better," said Porterfield.

Thursday's announcement was another blow to several industries.

Salon Brillare in Pewaukee closed March 20. Owner Janet D'Amato was devastated to hear the expiration date moved to May 26.

"This is really, really just eating me up alive inside," said D'Amato.

The empty chairs at her salon are a stark reminder the cashflow has stopped.

"In the salon, we have 20 small businesses, and it's not just about me, and it's not just about my salon. It's about 20 other individuals that are hurting and struggling," said D'Amato.

"Many of them are single moms who don't have another backup income."

D'Amato is frustrated. They had safety protocols in place before they had to close, including limiting people in the salon and extra-cleaning.

Also, D'Amato says she and the stylists are unable to qualify for any financial assistance, and rent is still due.

"Based on the way that our salon is set up with these independent contractors instead of employees, we are sadly slipping through the cracks," said D'Amato.

"That's really what's hurting is figuring out who gets helped, who hasn't, and how to help all of them because the fear is that you're going to lose a lot of small firms over the next few weeks," said Mark Kass, Editor at the Milwaukee Business Journal.

He says people in the business community across all industries were not expecting the "Safer at Home" extension to last another month. Even though the state has said it could end sooner, the toughest punch is the surmounting uncertainty.

"Nobody knows really no one knows what's going to open on May 26. Maybe they open earlier than that, maybe it goes into June but how do you plan for not knowing," said Kass.

D'Amato plans to push ahead. She is confident that if allowed, her team can get back to work sooner and safely.

"I can't let it close. I wouldn't be able to live with myself," said D'Amato.

6:07 p.m. -- Cousins Subs serves Wisconsin even during pandemic

With its roots in Wisconsin, Cousins Subs has become a staple in the Midwest.

So when COVID-19 hit the states, CEO Christine Specht, had to work fast to keep her employees and customers safe.

"We have things in place. We have plexiglass that is between the point of sale and the credit card terminal. And certainly, we have changed the way we have feed our community based on the compliance of the mandates and listening to out employees for what their concerns were," says Christine.

With no intention of laying off or furloughing employees, Christine says workers have stepped up to the plate.

"We can support the community by running our business. It's pretty incredible and lifts your spirits in a time when you can get pretty down about what's happening in the world. But our employees have been just phenomenal," said Christine.

On April 13th, Cousins Subs launched its "Cousins Cares" campaign.

"What can we do now? We need to be responsive to what is happening out there with our first responders and our health care providers because they are on the front lines and what they are doing is nothing short of miraculous," says Christine.

The campaign allows a guest to purchase a discounted 20-piece party box and have it delivered to the essential workers of their choice.

"Working in this environment is very stressful, is very different, and people have had to adapt to change," says Christine.

New normal or not, one thing Christine hopes will never change is people helping people. That's why Cousins Subs is open, to help spread hope one sandwich and side of cheese curds at a time.

5:39 p.m. -- Study shows Wisconsin could start opening up on May 18

With Wisconsin hitting its COVID-19 peak almost two weeks ago, a study conducted by the University of Washington shows Wisconsin should be able to start opening back up on May 18.

According to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), Wisconsin saw its coronavirus peak on April 5 when there were 20 deaths within 24 hours. The state then saw a peak in resource use on April 11.

With both peaks passed, the next thing to look ahead to is the date where Wisconsin can begin returning to normal. That date, as predicted by IHME, will be May 18, as long as there are containment strategies that include testing, contact tracing, isolation, and limiting gathering size.

By that date, they are projecting Wisconsin will have seen 302 deaths, and will have a rate of zero deaths per day.

This study also shows that there was and will not be any shortages in hospital beds or ICU beds.

5:01 p.m. -- Milwaukee Bucks selling face masks, profits go to Feeding America

The Milwaukee Bucks now have Bucks face masks for sale, with all profits going to Feeding America.

If you head to the Bucks Pro Shop website, you'll find a brand new item for sale. That's right, it's a Bucks face mask.

The masks come in a set of three, each one with a different Bucks design on it. Each set is $24.99 and is available in both adult and youth sizes. 100% of the proceeds from face masks will go to Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin.

As of right now, they are only available for pre-sale with shipping expected by mid-May.

The new products come after the NBA, WNBA, and Fanatics announced that league branded and team-specific face masks would be available.

To purchase a set of three Bucks' face masks, click here.

4:57 p.m. -- 27 inmates, 4 staff members test positive for coronavirus at Milwaukee County House of Corrections

The Milwaukee County Executive's office says 27 inmates tested positive for coronavirus at the House of Corrections in Franklin.

Of the 27 inmates, 26 are male, and one is female. 26 of the inmates are at the House of Corrections, and one is recovering from home while being monitored. 17 tests at the House of Corrections and four at the Milwaukee County Jail are pending.

Four employees at the House of Corrections and one employee at the Milwaukee County Jail have also tested positive for COVID-19.

On Friday, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele announced a new dashboard focused exclusively on coronavirus cases within correctional facilities.

"We're doing everything we can to flatten the curve in Milwaukee County, and that includes slowing the transmission of the coronavirus at the Jail and House of Correction. We have a responsibility to protect the individuals in our care and provide them with the best possible healthcare if they get sick," said County Executive Abele.

To get updates on coronavirus cases within these facilities, click here.

4:33 p.m. -- South side's 53215 zip code seeing growing number of COVID-19 cases, impacting Latino community

We know about COVID-19's disproportionate impact on African Americans here and around the country.

A lot of research shows Latinos now face a comparable risk.

Mayor Tom Barrett confirms part of Milwaukee's near south side, which has the largest concentration of Latinos in our state, has been added as one of the city's coronavirus "hot spots."

A lot of focus has been put on the Sherman Park neighborhood and the area north of Capitol Drive along with the city's far northwest side as COVID-19 hot spots in Milwaukee, but a new area of emphasis is on the south side.

The 53215 zip code is seeing a growing cluster of COVID-19 cases.

"There are about 90,000 residents in that piece of land," said Southside Organizing Center Executive Director Tammy Rivera. "It is the most densely populated piece of land in the state."

Rivera heads the non-profit, Southside Organizing Center, which is trying to help stop the spread of coronavirus in this area.

"Just because you have a press conference, that doesn't mean that reaches the average person, especially if I'm a low-income person, and I have one or two jobs, and my kids are home now," said Rivera.

She says many in the Latino community are employed in food service, maintenance occupations, and other essential businesses.

They tend to have larger, multi-generational families under one roof.

Space for social distancing and internet access at home are not givens, and for many, there's an added language barrier.

"People are still asking, where can I get tested? Where can I get health care? Where can I get basic needs?" said Rivera.

"We're digging into this as deeply as we can," said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

Mayor Barrett acknowledges developing the ability to do widespread testing in these neighborhoods is key, but still not readily available.

"I'm trying to be very aggressive on trying to bring together exact science, the state of Wisconsin, and those areas of Milwaukee, where we're seeing those clusters, and seeing how we can do more community testing," said Barrett.

The Southside Organizing Center and other local organizations focused on the Latino community are offering daily updates in Spanish and other resources to this community.

Click here for more information.

1:58 p.m. -- Wisconsin Center District issues temporary layoffs to half of their staff

The Wisconsin Center District (WCD) has issued temporary layoffs to half of its staff amid the coronavirus outbreak.

These temporary layoffs affect at least 34 full-time staff members and go into effect immediately.

WCD owns and operates the Wisconsin Center, the Panther Arena, and Miller High Life Theatre. These locations have already had to cancel or postpone over 70 events between now and June.

"Layoffs are always the last course of action and this decision was not made lightly," said Marty Brooks, President and CEO of the WCD. "Efforts to mitigate expenses in other ways simply weren't enough to counteract the deep and sudden loss of revenue due to cancellation and postponement of events because of COVID-19."

The WCD has seen a significant loss of revenue due to the lack of room rentals, audio/visual orders, food and beverage services, city and county hotel taxes, county food and beverage taxes, and a ticket surcharge from events at Fiserv Forum, where WCD is the landlord.

"As dire as the next few months may be, I do feel confident that we will come back even stronger," said Brooks. "The WCD has a full schedule of events from August through the end of the year."

1:53 p.m. -- Wisconsin clerks ready for special congressional election

Election clerks in northern Wisconsin say they're ready for next month's special congressional election after completing the April 7 spring election in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

Clerks struggled to find enough people to work polling sites during the spring election and the legal battle over whether to postpone the election left clerks uncertain.

But Gov. Tony Evers' attorney signaled Thursday that the May 12 special election in the 7th Congressional District would go on as scheduled.

Clerks around the rural district say they expect lower turnout and they have protective equipment left over from this month's election.

12:51 p.m. -- Menomonee Falls high schoolers pick up cap, gowns via drive thru amid pandemic concerns

Seniors at Menomonee Falls High Schools had a chance to pick up their cap and gowns Friday, after staff organized a drive-thru celebration amid Wisconsin's "Safer at Home" order.

"I didn't really think my senior year was going to end like this," said Cassie Stegner, a member of the class of 2020, as she drove up to pick up her graduation gear.

Her classmate, Jack Roche, agreed.

"It really hurts. My senior year, all my fun classes," said Roche.

The drive-thru celebration, which was held from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m., was the idea of the school's senior class adviser, Lisa Kiefer, who is a teacher.

Students were able to drive up, stay in the vehicles and school administrators and teachers wore masks and gloves while handing out the materials.

"We wanted to try to do something to them and bring a little smile to their face," said Kiefer.

With coronavirus spreading, it's still unclear if the seniors will be able to have an official graduation ceremony.

"We're still holding out hope that sometime in June we will be able to hold the ceremony for them," said Kiefer.

The drive-thru celebration was enhanced by a banner signed by all of the staff at Menomonee Falls High School. Cut-out photos of the teachers were also lined up outside of the school and students received a sign to help them display their accomplishments.

"It's very sad for these kids. They’re missing out on the parties and the celebrations," said Pam Stephens who was picking up a cap and gown with her daughter Jordan.

"I’m graduating! I’m going to college! That’s all that matters," said Jordan, who is experiencing her final days as a high school student virtually.

Students are still taking classes online, and many of their senior events, such as prom, have also been canceled.

District leaders are actively trying to work out plans to save some of the senior celebrations for the class of 2020. They hope to hold a graduation ceremony once it's safe to do so but, no plans have been made and it's still unclear if and how that celebration might be possible.

11:06 a.m. -- Milwaukee approves $400K in grants for fresh food access

The city of Milwaukee has approved up to $400,000 in grants for local programs that give access to fresh food.

Milwaukee has identified 24 different programs that assist under-served neighborhoods in gaining access to fresh food. These programs will share a total of $400,000 in city-funded grants.

The programs receiving these grants are located all over the city, with some on the north side, some on the south side, and some on the west side.

“Milwaukee neighborhoods that lack healthy food options and information leave residents vulnerable. And, these same neighborhoods have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19,” Mayor Tom Barrett said. “City government is making an investment to improve access to nutritious food in order to address one part of this health issue.”

12 of the grants will go to programs that educate people and promote healthy eating habits. Another 12 will go to programs that are moving forward in projects that provide buildings, equipment, and supplies.

Those receiving the grants are:

Fresh Food Access Fund Grant Awardees Educational Programs

$5,000 Bayview Community Center
$5,000 Children's Community Health Plan
$5,000 Core EL Centro
$5,000 Cross Lutheran Church
$5,000 Dominican Center for Women
$5,000 FoodRight
$5,000 HeartLove Place Inc
$1,500 Near West Side Partners
$3,525 Northwest Side CDC
$5,000 The Gathering of Southeast WI
$3,200 Tikkun Ha-lr of Milwaukee
$4,055 YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee

Capital Programs

$38,840 The Table Alice's Garden
$37,500 Walnut Way
$25,000Friedens Community Ministries
$55,000 Milwaukee Board of School Directors
$17,600 Groundwork Milwaukee
$10,000 MacCanon Brown Homeless Sanctuary
$55,000 Victory Garden Initiative
$50,000 Hunger Task Force
$12,780 Housing Authority of the City Milwaukee
$10,000 Pickle Alley Produce
$10,000 Muslim Community Health Center
$21,200 Mt Calvary Community Development

6:20 a.m. -- American Family golf championship canceled

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Organizers of the American Family Insurance Championship in Madison couldn’t find a suitable date for rescheduling the event and have now canceled it altogether because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The PGA Tour provided alternate summer dates for the June 5-7 championship, but an agreement on a time that was suitable for all parties could not be reached.

Madison resident and tournament host Steve Stricker said in a video message that the decision to cancel wasn’t an easy one because the event means so much to the community, the fans, the volunteers and the sponsors.

Thursday, April 16

10:23 p.m. -- Alternative care facility in final stages of construction

Construction of the alternative care facility at State Fair Park is in its final stages.

Randall Hogan, also known on-stage as Xeno, said times are hard. The local musician relies on gigs for his source of income, and he usually is busy in the spring and summer months, performing nearly 200 concerts a year. Due to COVID-19, Randall's income has stopped.

"Right now, it's like being a lumberjack in the Sahara Desert, it's a lot of nothing," said Randall.

Recently he was offered an opportunity to work with Local 770 Sign, Display, and Trade Show Workers to help build up the alternative care facility at State Fair Park.

"I'm spending all my cash reserves, so it's nice to have something coming in," said Randall.

Dean Wanty, a business representative for Local 770, said the project was a massive undertaking that required long hours.

"I've been in trade for almost 40 years, and this is a once in a lifetime thing you never think you would see something like this, but the call came, and we answered the call," said Wanty.

Wanty said construction on the facility is set to wrap up by the end of Thursday night.

"It's scheduled to hopefully be wrapped up by 11 o clock tonight is the target for that... it's amazing I don't know how else to say it," said Wanty.

Both men have never participated in anything like building a fully operational hospital.

"It definitely took 100 percent effort to get this done, no doubt about that," said Wanty.

Randall said he was thankful for the opportunity for work because many musicians are struggling right now.

"Everyone took it seriously, and we worked really hard to get it done," said Randall.

Both men say they hope ultimately, in the end, health care providers don't need to use it.

"I hope we don't need it to be honest with you, but if we do, it's there; it's for the community safety and hopefully to save lives," said Wanty.

If you'd like to sign-up, click here.

9:29 p.m. -- 'A one-size-fits-all approach is unfair': Business leaders oppose 'Safer at Home' extension

Gov. Tony Evers' extension of the "Safer at Home" order until May 26 has businesses across Wisconsin fearing their future.

A majority of stores in downtown Waukesha are either closed or providing limited services. Residents and business owners are at odds about whether Gov. Evers' prolonged stay-at-home order is the right choice.

Many shuttered Waukesha storefronts share signs of hope with their customers, but most nonessential businesses won't be 'returning soon' until after Memorial Day.

"I think that we should take every precaution that we can," said Karin Gerdisch.

Some support Gov. Evers' effort, which he hopes will save lives and reduce the strain on hospitals.

"I think lives are going to be a little more important to save than some money and some jobs," Tanner Pratt said.

Robert Gonzalez has owned a Mexican restaurant on E. Main St. for 25 years.

"I just don't see us making it another 30 days, and frankly, not all the banks are being helpful," he said.

9:06 p.m. -- Milwaukee police have responded to dozens of calls of those not following the 'Safer at Home' order

Milwaukee police are responding to about 13 complaint calls every day as they enforce Governor Tony Evers' "Safer at Home" order.

New numbers from the Milwaukee Police Department show calls to businesses, homes, and parks across the city. There have been 219 calls from when the order started on March 25 until April 9.

If you are charged with violating the order, you could face a $250 fine and up to 30 days in jail.

8:46 p.m. -- Milwaukee Public Schools to provide meals, education materials through the end of the school year

Milwaukee Public Schools are providing resources and materials for families of students.

This comes after Governor Tony Evers ordered the closure of all K-12 schools in the state of Wisconsin for the 2019-2020 school year due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This comes as the "Safer at Home" order has been extended to May 26.

"Our priority remains focused on the health and safety of all students, families, and staff," MPS Superintendent Dr. Keith P. Posley said. "We will continue to serve and educate our students through our online platform while adhering to the guidance of our state leaders and health officials."

The school district will continue to provide free meals to students between 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday-Friday for the remainder of the school year.

8:25 p.m. -- Organizers plan rally at State Capitol building to 'reopen Wisconsin'

A rally is being planned outside the State Capitol building to protest Governor Tony Evers' newly-extended "Safer at Home" order.

The protest, led by ReOpen Wisconsin and Wisconsinites Against Excessive Quarantine, will take place Friday, April 24, the original end date of the "Safer at Home" order.

"Government mandating sick people to stay home is called quarantine. However, the government mandating healthy citizens to stay home, forcing businesses and churches to close is called tyranny," says Reopen Wisconsin.

The groups say they are going peacefully protest lockdown restrictions continuing beyond May 1.

"It is not sustainable to continue this lockdown as the economic and societal consequences will be irreversible," the groups write in a statement.

ReOpen Wisconsin and Wisconsinites Against Excessive Quarantine are organizations formed in the last five days with members, they claim, exceed 10,000. The groups say they are not affiliated with any political party, political action group, or any other organization.

For more information, click here.

7:45 p.m. -- St. Francis High School mulls alternative prom, graduation plans amid COVID-19

Leaders at St. Francis High School are working on ways to make sure students can enjoy high school experiences they would've otherwise missed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

An online component to graduation or a mid-summer prom are a few of the alternatives school officials are looking into for seniors graduating in the Class of 2020.

Thursday, Principal Mike Lewandowski walked through the building. An unsettling silence filled the space.

That day he learned face-to-face classes would be suspended for the rest of the 2019-20 school year as Governor Evers' "Safer at Home" order was extended through May.

The hallways were empty. The cafeteria was quiet, and there were no morning announcements. The next time the bell rings for a scheduled class at the school is still up in the air.

"It's not what a school is supposed to feel like," Lewandowski said.

No school meant many students would go months without face-to-face teaching again in 2020, if at all.

"I have a lot of friends that are seniors," said sophomore Alexis Williams. "It's disheartening to see them not walk the stage for graduation."

6:51 p.m. -- City and health leaders: Need to meet benchmarks to safely reopen

It is the question on so many people's minds--how do we get back to "normal?" Local leaders say we have to meet a few benchmarks first.

"It's got to be done in an intelligent way, so we don't have a setback that's gonna make it even worse than what we're facing right now," said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

From his home, Mayor Barrett says he and his staff meet regularly and consult with experts and doctors on how to reopen Milwaukee as COVID-19 upends lives safely.

The mayor has listed five criteria for lifting restrictions: a sustained drop in cases for 14 days, more testing, hospitals treating patients without crisis standards, more personal protective equipment or PPE, and more contact tracing of COVID-19.

5:56 p.m. -- Experts fear half of Wisconsin restaurants could close because of 'Safer at Home' order extension

Restaurant industry experts in Wisconsin fear half of the restaurants in the state could be forced to close permanently because of the "Safer at Home" order extension.

"I'm already hearing from members saying they can't survive," Kristine Hillmer, President and CEO of the Wisconsin Restaurant Association, said. "We're thinking half of the restaurants statewide can't survive. I've had emails already, people saying, I cannot make it until May 26th. I should just close my doors right now."

Thursday, Governor Tony Evers announced the extension. However, Hillmer says this could change the landscape of the food scene around Wisconsin forever.

"We have a really strong and unique food scene," Hillmer said. "We have a lot of independent restaurants and great chefs. You'll see that impacted. You'll see a lot of that rich food culture disappear."

Places like The Packing House in Milwaukee. General Manager Chris Wiken says they've been open for 46 years but don't know if they'll see 47.

"It is a true concern whether or not we can weather this storm," Wiken said. "We've weathered a lot of good economies and bad economies in the last 46 years but nothing like this before."

5:47 p.m. -- Panel OKs furloughs for University of Wisconsin System

A University of Wisconsin System regents committee overwhelmingly approved imposing employee furloughs Thursday as campuses grapple with the coronavirus pandemic's economic fallout.

The regents' executive committee voted unanimously during a 20-minute teleconference to authorize system President Ray Cross to develop furlough plans for regional institutions and UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank to develop a specialized plan for the flagship campus. The plans are subject to review by the full Board of Regents but don't need their approval.

"This is an unprecedented time and we face unprecedented challenges," Cross told the committee. "The COVID-19 pandemic has produced significantly challenges for us financially ... the likes of which most of us will have never seen."

Cross told the committee moments after the vote that he has already drafted a plan for the system that will run from Friday though June 30.

Cross will have the authority to impose furloughs on system administration employees. Chancellors will have the authority to impose furloughs at their schools. They must report such plans to Cross before furloughs begin.

Furloughs may be assigned for consecutive days or intermittently. The maximum consecutive-day furlough will be three months and intermittent furloughs can't exceed one day every two weeks. It wasn't immediately clear whether furloughed employees would be able to collect unemployment benefits.

3:12 p.m. -- Empty hospitality spaces are opening their doors to blood donors during COVID-19 pandemic

Local event spaces continue to host blood drives during the coronavirus pandemic.

When coronavirus began to spread, and new social distancing rules were implemented statewide, wedding venues and open-concept hospitality spaces were forced to cancel much of their day-to-day business.

At the same, Versiti Blood Centers began to noticed many of its donation drives being canceled due to concerns over the virus.

That's when Aurora Health Care and Visit Milwaukee stepped in and asked hospitality businesses, like South Second in Walker's Point, to step up and host some blood drives.

"We saw that call for help and we thought what better way to utilize our space," said Hannah Kitzerow, who works at South Second. It's a space that typically hosts weddings and galas.

"It's still giving that space allowing everyone to be six feet apart," adds Kitzerow.

Thanks to the generosity of donors, leaders at Versiti Blood Centers say the blood supply is in good shape again. However, hospitals are looking to the future and starting to plan for the day doctors will be able to preform elective surgeries again. With that day in mind, Versiti Blood Centers say it will be up to donors to help ensure the blood supply can remain strong.

"Blood does have a shelf life of 42 days so, we have to be cognizant and aware of our resources so that we are ready to collect when hospitals need it," said Rheanna Pieroni, who helps coordinate blood drives in the Milwaukee area.

Donors say the process is quick, easy and safe.

"Everything's really clean, everyone's wearing masks and they even took my temperature right when we got in the building," said Curt Cluth who was donating blood at South Second on Thursday.

The events are described as a chance for hospitality workers to donate blood and help heroic healthcare workers.

Versiti Blood Centers would like to hear from other area businesses who have enough space to safely host blood drives amid the coronavirus pandemic. They're also hoping to begin scheduling blood drives for the months of May, June, and July. You can learn more about that process by clicking here.

2:28 p.m. -- Wis. Gov. Tony Evers, other Midwest governors announce partnership to 'reopen regional economy'

Governors of seven states announced a partnership on Thursday aimed at reopening the economy in Midwestern states.

Governors Tony Evers (WI.), Gretchen Whitmer (MI.), Mike DeWine (OH), Tim Walz (MN.), J.B. Pritzker (IL.), Eric Holcomb (IN.) and Andy Beshear (KY) announced a partnership on Thursday aimed at reopening the economy in the Midwest region.

“Today, we are announcing that Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky will work in close coordination to reopen our economies in a way that prioritizes our workers’ health. We look forward to working with experts and taking a fact-based, data-driven approach to reopening our economy in a way that protect families from the spread of COVID-19," said the governors in a press release. "Our number one priority when analyzing when best to reopen our economy is the health and safety of our citizens. We will make decisions based on facts, science, and recommendations from experts in health care, business, labor, and education."

The governors said they will look at four factors in determining when to reopen economies.

Those four factors include:

  • Sustained control of the rate of new COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations
  • Enhanced ability to test and trace
  • Sufficient health care capacity to handle resurgence
  • Best practices for social distancing in the workplace

“Phasing in sectors of our economy will be most effective when we work together as a region. This doesn’t mean our economy will reopen all at once, or that every state will take the same steps at the same time. But close coordination will ensure we get this right. Over time, people will go back to work, restaurants will reopen, and things will go back to normal. We look forward to working together as one region to tackle this challenge together," said the governors.

On Thursday, Wisconsin Gov. Evers announced that he was directing the Department of Health Services to extend the Safer at Home order currently in place for the state until May 26.

1:57 p.m. -- All K-12 schools in Wisconsin will remain closed through end of 2019-2020 school year

As part of Wisconsin's extended Safer at Home order, all public and private K-12 schools will remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year, Governor Tony Evers' office announced Thursday.

Though schools will remain physically closed, they may continue to offer virtual "distance learning" opportunities, a news release from the governor's office says.

Schools may also continue to be used for "essential government functions and food distribution," it says.

The order does not apply to any educational facilities operated by the Wisconsin Department of Corrections.

Gov. Evers on Thursday extended Wisconsin's Safer at Home order until May 26 - more than a full month after the order was originally scheduled to end on April 24.

“A few weeks ago, we had a pretty grim outlook for what COVID-19 could mean for our state, but because of the efforts of all of you, Safer at Home is working. That said, we aren't out of the woods just yet,” said Gov. Evers in a press release. “As I've said all along, we are going to rely on the science and public health experts to guide us through this challenge. So, as we extend Safer at Home, I need all of you to continue doing the good work you've been doing so we can keep our families, our neighbors, and our communities safe, and get through this storm together.”

12:55 p.m. -- Gov. Tony Evers extends Wisconsin's 'Safer at Home' order until May 26

Governor Tony Evers announced Thursday that he was extending Wisconsin's Safer at Home order until May 26.

The Safer at Home order that went into effect on March 25 was originally set to expire on April 24.

Since the order went into effect, Evers told President Trump the state is facing a $2 billion loss in revenue, according to the Associated Press.

The letter was sent that same day that Evers signed a bill passed by the Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature that clears the way for spending about $2 billion the state is receiving in federal funds.

“A few weeks ago, we had a pretty grim outlook for what COVID-19 could mean for our state, but because of the efforts of all of you, Safer at Home is working. That said, we aren't out of the woods just yet,” said Gov. Evers in a press release. “As I've said all along, we are going to rely on the science and public health experts to guide us through this challenge. So, as we extend Safer at Home, I need all of you to continue doing the good work you've been doing so we can keep our families, our neighbors, and our communities safe, and get through this storm together.”

Read the full story here.


12 p.m. -- Mayor Tom Barrett endorses Joe Biden, says DNC in Milwaukee could 'show the nation how you emerge' from coronavirus crisis

Fresh off his victory for a fifth term as Mayor of Milwaukee, Tom Barrett is endorsing former Vice President Joe Biden for president.

"We need a president right now who understands how to navigate through this tumultuous times," Barrett said.

The mayor has been holding daily briefings on the COVID-19 crisis facing the city. Milwaukee has the highest number of coronavirus cases, especially among the African-American community.

Barrett says the country will need to pull together to beat the virus.

"Right now what we are seeing with President Trump continuously, on a daily basis, is trying to be divisive and blame other people, and Vice President Biden is leader who will brings people together," the mayor said.

In response, Trump campaign spokesperson Anna Kelly said "President Trump’s strong leadership has undoubtedly saved lives while Joe Biden has fumbled his response from the sidelines."

Biden has hinted on more that one occasion that Democrats need to thinking about a virtual convention in Milwaukee. It has been pushed back from July to August.

The city was originally expecting 50,000 visitors over four days.

"This is what I know," said Barrett. I know the Democrats are going to nominate and i know they are going to nominate him in Milwaukee."

Could it be the first social distancing convention in history?

"Who knows, this might be the time where we are going to show the nation how you emerge from this COVID-19 crisis," said Barrett, "People will be looking to us to say: 'Okay that's how you do it.' That's what my goal is."

11:14 a.m. -- Local restaurant, Ignite the Spirit partner to deliver meals to Milwaukee firefighters

A local restaurant is doing their part in thanking front line workers who have tirelessly kept the public safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

Ignite the Spirit Milwaukee says while their job comes with its risks, they believe in the work they do.

Ignite the Spirit partnered with El Grecco Family Restaurant , making it possible to deliver 40 meals to the families of Milwaukee firefighters who are home due to illness, injury, or quarantine.

"I think the ultimate mission is to accomplish the most good for the most amount of people in our city. This specific project not only helped make some firefighters who were stuck at home feel some love from an organization ran by their own ‘brothers’ and ‘sisters’ but it also put a chef in the kitchen, some delivery drivers on the street, and provided a family-owned business a way to show their gratitude for the community they also serve," said Joe Flick, president of Ignite the Spirit. "That’s a win for a lot of people during a time that we are all just craving a some human interaction and to feel like we can help each other through to the other side of this pandemic."

9:40 a.m. -- Businesswoman creates new website for struggling Milwaukee County companies

A female entrepreneur is doing her part to fight the financial effects of COVID-19.

Kiley Peters, owner and CEO of Brainchild Studios, has dedicated her marketing and website development company to help millennial "momprenuers" and nonprofits that support women and children.

She developed a website within an hour of realizing this pandemic could have far-reaching effects on small businesses in Milwaukee County.

“Everyone was getting really worried and we were thinking as a group we were like well what can we do?"

Her business created the entire branding and website MKEfund.org

There you can search for businesses in Milwaukee County that are women-owned, minority-owned, or veteran-owned.

Read the full story here.

9:03 a.m. -- Evers tells Trump Wisconsin faces $2 billion in losses

Gov. Tony Evers is telling President Donald Trump that Wisconsin faces $2 billion in revenue losses due to skyrocketing unemployment and other hits to the economy caused by the coronavirus.

Evers and the governors from Michigan and Pennsylvania sent Trump a letter Wednesday asking him to urge Congress to send $500 billion in budget aid to states and local governments.

The letter was sent that same day that Evers signed a bill passed by the Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature that clears the way for spending about $2 billion the state is receiving in federal funds.

Wednesday, April 15

10:33 p.m. -- Wisconsin company uses technology in the fight against COVID-19

A Wisconsin company is working with hospital systems around the world to track coronavirus patients and help get critical medical records to field hospitals.

Verona's Epic Systems handles more than 50% of the country's digital medical records. It works with a majority of the large medical systems in the Milwaukee area, facilitating technology that does everything from medical records to telehealth.

One area where Epic has worked to expand capacities during the time of COVID19 is the mobile drive-thru testing sites that have popped up.

"By putting mobile tools in place, it allows a health system to say set up a testing site in a parking lot… With an internet connection, they can access the right patient information. They can quickly set up a tent hospital or a drive-thru lab," says Epic's Vice President of Client Success Eric Helsher.

Much of the technology and software that's being used already exists, but the pandemic has allowed them to test the scalability.

Helsher says, "to extend out the Epic environments to treat those new locations like a new tower that they've built or like a new set of beds that they've added to their facilities."

Epic has worked with officials setting up field hospitals in some of the nation's hardest-hit areas like New York and Chicago, and is currently working in Milwaukee at State Fair Park, a site transforming into a hospital.

The company will also work to continue and track the virus as the world moves beyond the pandemic.

9:51 p.m. -- 35-year-old Racine man dies from COVID-19, family says he had no underlying health conditions

A Racine man's family speaks out, hoping to warn others after 35-year-old Adam Biddle died of COVID-19 without any underlying health conditions.

"This isn't a joke. This is real life. My brother is gone, and I will never have him back because of this," said Cindy Biddle holding back tears as she talks about her brother Adam.

Adam Biddle was the oldest of the Biddle family. The kind of man his little sister said she was privileged to have in her life.

"Adam was my only brother, my big brother. It was the two of us against the world for a long time," said his sister Cindy Biddle.

"He was a person with a kind heart. People were attracted to him just because of that," said his mom Colleen Kane.

Adam Biddle was a Racine native who worked at his family's business R and B Grinding. His family said Adam always wanted to put smiles on people's faces including on his wedding day. He just got married last summer.

"His big surprise was he had Elvis officiate his wedding," said Cindy Biddle.

7:21 p.m. -- 'An obligation to the community to keep it safe': Milwaukee County court hearings move online

With the "Safer at Home" order in effect, the circuit court system in Wisconsin has had to find ways to adapt and continue their work.

Now many of the courthouses, including Milwaukee County, are going remote, holding hearings through video-conferencing.

These days you won't find any court hearings taking place inside the Milwaukee County Courthouse. Instead, you'll find them online, right on YouTube.

The new criminal justice system depicts a judge in his courtroom, the defendant in custody, and all other parties in different locations.

District Attorney John Chisholm said cases are still being processed. It's just all happening on Zoom.

"We still have an obligation to the community to keep it safe and to address the problems that are still occurring out there," Chisholm said.

Last month, as the coronavirus outbreak continued to get worse, Chisholm quickly realized his office would have to change how it operates.

"We knew that, that in itself posed a danger to the community if you had thousands of people interacting in a concentrated space like the courthouse," Chisholm said.

About ten days after the governor issued his "Safer at Home" order, courts started using video-conferencing for hearings, broadcasting them live for the public on YouTube.

"We're still processing the felonies. The misdemeanors are given ordering dates," Chisholm said.

All trials and civil cases are on hold.

However, they're still hearing any cases involving serious offenses, and those related to domestic violence and drunk driving.

In fact, they're processing nearly 15 percent more domestic violence cases now than they did during the same time last year, due to families spending more time together.

Chisholm said if there's an opportunity to come out of this situation, it's the way they're now handling these kinds of offenses.

"Allow victims, for example, to get restraining orders using this technology," Chisholm said.

He's already looking to the future, figuring out how they can learn from their current system, and prepare for the backlogs and challenges to come.

"We're going to have to reexamine a lot of our assumptions and a lot of our processes, sort of root and branch from this point forward," Chisholm said.

Circuit court branches throughout the state are now using Zoom for proceedings. You can find links to all of the live streams here.

7:06 p.m. -- Stimulus deposits roll in, IRS launches website to track stimulus status

According to the IRS, more than 80 million Americans will see their stimulus deposits hit their bank accounts in the next few days.

Johanna Rosque is eagerly awaiting her portion of the stimulus payment. She checked her bank's website this morning but was having issues logging on.

"It basically goes into a loading screen, and it says login failed, but I've tried all morning I'm anxious to see, it's got to be there," said Johanna.

Johanna hopes her money is deposited soon because she needs it to pay next month's rent.

"I got laid off a month ago or so, so I'm planning on saving it and using it for rent electric the essentials," said Johanna.

Hunter Resler is one of the many Americans who got his money today.

"I'm going to save it right now," said Hunter.

Timmothy Calloway with Eagle Eye Tax Services says all week he has been getting calls regarding stimulus checks. He said if you didn't file your 2019 tax returns, don't worry.

"The IRS will also look at 2018 return for tax information, and then you can go to the IRS.gov website and right on their screen, there's the coronavirus tax relief and Economic Impact Payment, so there's a whole screen how to update your information, how to check on your filing status," said Timmothy.

The IRS launched its new website called "Get My Payment." There, you can find the status of your stimulus check and enter direct deposit information to expedite the process.

The website will ask for your social security number, date of birth, address where you filed your taxes, and zip code. If your direct deposit information is not on hand, you will also need to enter your bank account information and adjusted gross income for 2018 or 2019 taxes.

6:21 p.m. -- Vice President Mike Pence to visit Madison on Tuesday, April 21

Vice President Mike Pence will travel to Madison on Tuesday, April 21.

The vice president plans to visit a GE Healthcare manufacturing facility to highlight the production of ventilators during the coronavirus pandemic.

During the visit, the Vice President will tour the facility and engage with GE Healthcare employees.

Additional details about the Vice President's trip are forthcoming.

5:50 p.m. -- Some Facebook buy and sell groups put a pause on business to help flatten the curve

To help flatten the curve, many buy, sell, and trade groups on Facebook and other e-commerce sites, are switching up how they operate.

Some are going cashless, while others put a pause on non-essential business all-together.

Sarah Turner is the group admin for OZ/NS (Ozaukee/Northshore) KidsShare. Her group decided to suspend non-essential buying and selling during the health crisis temporarily.

"We just thought it would be best, nobody excluded, that we need to be safer at home right now," said Turner.

"Hopefully, we can do our part to flatten that curve," she continued.

Buyers like Milwaukee mom, Heidi Williams, are still shopping on different buy, sell and trade groups.

"If there are things I am going to be purchasing from someone, I go to their doorstep. It's on the porch; it's left on the porch," she said.

Similar to Facebook, e-commerce sites like Letgo are encouraging buyers and sellers to follow the CDC guidelines, cleaning and disinfecting items, and avoiding close contact with anyone who is sick.

"That way, we're not exchanging germs potentially," said Williams.

Turner admits, for those relying on selling secondhand items for a source of income, the transition hasn't been smooth.

"If anyone is upset that we're not doing it or it's not open reach out, reach out, because they're scared, and if that is their money, we want to help," said Turner.

Since the pandemic surfaced, people are gifting essentials like baby formula, or asking how they can help others. A real sense of community is forming Turner said at a time when families need it most.

TMJ4 News reached out to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to see if online marketplaces or e-commerce websites are classified as "essential" businesses under Wisconsin's Safer at Home order. We are waiting for a response.

5:43 p.m. -- Local lighting company helping retrofit USNS Comfort in New York City amid coronavirus pandemic

A local lighting company is retrofitting a floating hospital in New York City with lights to help crews battle against COVID-19.

Phoenix Lighting in Milwaukee has worked with the United States Navy since the 1970s. However, when the USNS Comfort was called to New York City to provide an extra 1,000 medical beds, the Navy came calling for help from Phoenix.

"They said we need this now and we need it today," Caitlin Dunckel, Strategic Sales Manager for the Maritime Team said. "It's for security reasons so nobody can come close to the vessels because it's lit up like the Fourth of July."

The current lights were provided by Phoenix Lighting, but they were heavier, less energy efficient and costly.

"You have to replace the bulbs pretty frequently in those," Dunckel said. "Which is just one more person, doing one more chore, having one more thing to worry about. This relieves those extra duties of having to change out those bulbs."

The Navy teamed up with Phoenix for better security lighting after the USS Cole was attacked by terrorists in 2002. The new LED lights will provide visibility for at least 30 feet all around the ship. As an example of how well these lights work, the Capitol building in Madison is lit up every night by similiar lights.

While the ship will remain docked in New York City, these lights are battle tested. They spend hours in Milwaukee, running rugged testing to make sure the lights can weather the storm.

"We have very tight specifications for our projects," Jason Pechloff, Technical Engineering Manager said. "They will be lasting a very long time. It will be bright and perform well for many years to come."

The company will also retrofit the USNS Mercy, another floating hospital stationed near Los Angeles.

"It was very comforting to hear it's being used on the medical ship like that," Pechloff said. "It makes you feel like you're doing your part in this cause."

4:02 p.m. -- KinderCare day cares remain open for essential workers

An area day care is staying open for essential workers amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

KinderCare said that its day care facilities throughout the area would remain open for families with members working essential roles, such as health care providers and grocery store employees.

KinderCare operates several day cares throughout the country, but more specifically, several in the Wisconsin area.

The following KinderCare facilities remain open as mandates allow:

  • 27th Street KinderCare – 4854 S 27th St, Milwaukee, WI
  • Appleton KinderCare – 2407 S Oneida St, Appleton, WI
  • Eau Claire KinderCare – 2115 Fairfax St, Eau Claire, WI
  • Bellevue KinderCare – 1510 Bellevue St, Green Bay, WI
  • Green Bay West KinderCare – 1101 S Taylor St, Green Bay, WI
  • Hudson KinderCare – 2600 Center Dr, Hudson, WI
  • Kimberly KinderCare – 749 Truman St, Kimberly, WI
  • Main Street KinderCare – N88W15240 Main St, Menomonee Falls, WI
  • Premier Lane KinderCare – W180N9410 Premier Ln, Menomonee Falls, WI
  • Neenah KinderCare – 776 Birch St, Neenah, WI
  • St. Francis KinderCare – 4692 S Whitnall Ave, St Francis, WI
  • Schofield KinderCare – 5201 Alderson St, Schofield, WI
  • 61st Street KinderCare – 2374 S 61st St, West Allis, WI

3:20 p.m. -- Gov. Tony Evers signs pandemic relief package despite misgivings

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers has signed a sweeping pandemic relief package into law even though he says it doesn't go nearly far enough.

The bill largely ensures that Wisconsin can capture can capture the $2.3 billion allocated to the state under the federal stimulus bill, including higher Medicaid payments.

The measure also eliminates the one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits and allocates $75 million in emergency funding.

Evers said in a statement that the bill doesn't help workers at risk of infection, small businesses or farmers but he doesn't want to delay the state's response.


2:46 p.m. -- Third death reported at Greenfield convent

A third death has been reported at a Greenfield convent where four nuns tested positive for COVID-19.

Sister Mary Francele Sherburne died on April 9, according to the School Sisters of Notre Dame Central Pacific Province. The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner said Sherburne died due to COVID-19 complications.

Sherburne has lived the Lady of the Angels Convent since 2016. She held a bachelor’s in English from Mount Mary College in Milwaukee, and master’s degrees in English and linguistics from DePaul University in Illinois and the University of Michigan.

"Our Lady of the Angels is a co-sponsored ministry of the School Sisters of Notre Dame and the School Sisters of St. Francis. It is a state-of-the-art home for retired sisters of both communities and offers specialized memory care," said the School Sisters of Notre Dame Central Pacific Province. "We are grateful for the hard work, care and compassion our sisters receive at Our Lady of the Angels. The School Sisters of Notre Dame continue to pray for all who are impacted by COVID-19, especially our sisters, their families and those caring for our sisters."

Sister Mary Collins died on April 6 and Sister Marie June Skender died on April. Both lived at Lady of the Angels, as well.

2:11 p.m. -- Grafton company wants you to send letters, artwork to senior citizens and health care workers

Grafton-based metal stamping company Kapco is asking you to spread positivity during the COVID-19 pandemic by sending letters, artwork and personal videos to senior citizens and health care workers.

Kapco's Hero Mail Call is a way to say thank you to those battling coronavirus in the medical field, as well as a way to say you're not alone to people during self-quarantine.

To get involved, write a letter, create a drawing or use a template from Kapco's website and send it to Kapco’s Hero Mail, P.O. Box at 1170, Grafton, WI, 53024. You may also scan and send hi-res photos to heromailcall@gmail.com

Share your creations on social media using the hashtag #HeroMailCall.

Learn more about the joy-spreading initiative on Kapco's website.

1:51 p.m. -- Brides say 'yes to the dress' virtually with local boutique

It's not uncommon for brides to do a little dress shopping online. It's an easy way to figure out what you're looking for before trying on a gown in person.

However, the new normal doesn't allow for bridal shops to operate as they're used to. Instead, brides are forced to say "Yes to the Dress" virtually.

Luckily for brides in Milwaukee, Miss Ruby Boutique has figured out a way to make the distant experience special.

Brides say 'yes to the dress' virtually with local boutique

"Working with the brides one-on-one to try and curate a box of dresses for them and then shipping those out. Then we work with them virtually to do a full-blown bridal appointment," said Sara Johnson, sales manager at Miss Ruby Boutique.

Sara and her team may not be able to celebrate a bride's find by popping champagne at their downtown location, but they are so good at their job that when a box is sent for a home fitting, a special treat is inside.

Read the full story here.

1:14 p.m. -- Wisconsin Senate OKs virus package in virtual session

The Wisconsin state Senate has overwhelmingly approved a sweeping coronavirus relief package in a virtual session. The bill would ensure that Wisconsin can capture $2.3 billion in federal aid, including higher Medicaid payments and unemployment benefits.

Lawmakers would be allowed to allocate up to $75 million in funding.

The Senate voted on the bill via videoconferencing Wednesday. Democratic Sens. Lena Taylor and Tim Carpenter complained that Republican Senate President Roger Roth wouldn't let them speak.

The bill passed unanimously in the end and now goes to Gov. Tony Evers, who is expected to sign it.

12:25 p.m. -- Wisconsin Dairy Recovery Partnership helps dairy farmers, underfed community

Hunger Task Force has teamed up with Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection to bring fresh milk to the growing number of underfed and unemployed people in our state.

Since COVID-19 has taken the world by storm, more than 75% of the nation's over 660,000 restaurants have closed. Family dairy farmers and processors in Wisconsin have been hit especially hard by this as about half of the state's dairy production goes to the food service industry.

That being said, Hunger Task Force is committing up to $1 million to the Wisconsin Dairy Recovery Partnership, which will pay Wisconsin dairy farmers to supply milk to farmer-owned dairy cooperative Kemps in Cedarburg, Wis. Kemps will kick of beginning phases of production this week.

“The opportunity to do something for our communities is part of farmers’ DNA,” said Chad Vincent, CEO of Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin. “Keeping our farms as stable as possible is absolutely critical to the economic health of the communities where they live…and ultimately the state’s economy. We will continue to look for ways to get milk and dairy products to people in need. We are committed to developing new avenues for the movement of milk while the nation recovers from the pandemic.”

Huger Task Force will also distribute the milk to Free & Local partner food banks and food pantries through the Hunger Relief Federation of Wisconsin.

To support the ongoing recovery of Wisconsin’s dairy industry, Hunger Task Force encourages the public to make an online donation at www.HungerTaskForce.org/dairy.

11:43 a.m. -- Wisconsin Senate to take up virus relief package

The Wisconsin state Senate is poised to pass a sweeping coronavirus relief package in a virtual session.

The state Assembly overwhelmingly passed the legislation Tuesday in the first virtual legislative floor session in Wisconsin history. About two-thirds of the members attended the session via videoconferencing.

The Senate is set to follow suit with a floor session scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. the bill would ensure that Wisconsin can capture the $2.3 billion coming to the state under a federal stimulus bill, including higher Medicaid payments and unemployment benefits.

Lawmakers would be allowed to allocate up to $75 million in funding.

Tuesday, April 14

10:28 p.m. -- City of Milwaukee takes part in 'Light the Night' to show we're in this together

Across Milwaukee, residents took part in "Light the Night" on 414 Milwaukee Day.

It was started after TMJ4 Morning Blend host Tiffany Ogle worked to get residents and city landmarks involved. The idea was to have people shine lights through their front windows or add lighting to their home to let their neighbors know they are here during this tough time of the coronavirus pandemic.

In downtown Milwaukee, several of the city's tall buildings, added, flashed or changed the colors of their lights at 8 p.m. to show solidarity.

In neighborhoods across the city, people could be seen with flashlights or smartphone lights, shining them for neighbors to see.

Andy Silverman was one of the people behind creating 414 Day more than a decade ago.

"It's about figuring out what you love about Milwaukee and celebrating that as best you can," says Silverman.

This year is much different; the majority of people are confined to their homes during the "Safer at Home" order.

Silverman says, "I do think a lot of people are feeling lonely right now. I think it's a cool way to remind your neighbors and even in time when we are not isolating in the wake of coronavirus… I think it's good to remind your neighbors that you are around and thinking about each other."

9:57 p.m. -- New technology at Milwaukee VA hospital saves PPE masks, keeps workers safe

The Milwaukee VA Hospital takes us inside the COVID-19 ward and shows the measures they are taking to protect patients and staff.

Before you even get to the front doors, you have to go through a tent. There, medical personnel are waiting to take temperatures and give assessments.

"We are screening every individual that enters the building. We are asking a series of questions as well as checking temperatures before they enter any unit," said Nate Davis, housekeeping aid supervisor.

Then, once you make through that and onto the floors where COVID-19 patients are being cared for, there is another layer of protection.

"We erected some zippered walls for containment, fashioned some anti-rooms where we can have our nursing staff and medical staff don PPE before entering in," said Gaylyn Raduenz, Infection Preventionist.

Davis supervises the people responsible for keeping the hospital clean. The former Air Force Firefighter said one of the ways the staff protect themselves is through new specialized equipment that reminds him of his firefighting days.

"Whenever we have an isolation room, we are donning a gown, as well as gloves. And now instead of N95 masks we are using a CAPR (Controlled Air Purifying Respirator). A negative pressure helmet. You are only breathing the air inside of that helmet connected to a battery pack," said Davis.

7:24 p.m. -- Wisconsin health officials explain contact tracing and how it tackles COVID-19

Public health officials across southeast Wisconsin believe a process known as contact tracing is one of the paths out of the coronavirus pandemic.

Contact tracing is a process used to identify those exposed to a disease. It has been used for diseases like measles, mumps, and now COVID-19.

"It also helps us identify what the scope and scale of spread would be," said Ann Christiansen, Health Director and Health Officer for the North Shore Health Department.

It starts with a person who has tested positive. Christiansen says the individual fills out a form detailing all of the people and places they were in contact with starting two days before their symptoms.

"From there, we talk to the case again. Now you were with these individuals, what was that sort of contact like? Was it that you were in less than 6 feet for greater than 10 minutes," Christiansen said.

The health officer explained these questions determine if people were exposed at a low, medium, or high risk. The risk level determines the response, which ranges from monitoring symptoms to quarantine to testing.

Evan Gorr, Public Nurse with the Kenosha County Division of Health, illustrated contract tracing on a whiteboard. It resembles a family tree, but this one starts with one positive case of COVID-19.

Gorr showed from the one positive case they reach out to the individual's workplace, family, and any person or place they had contact with for more than 10 minutes. They help employers notify and screen workers.

6:45 p.m. -- Wisconsin Assembly passes COVID-19 relief bill with 97-2 vote, heads to the Senate on Wednesday

Wisconsin lawmakers passed a coronavirus response bill Tuesday that could bring relief for the unemployed and allows the state to accept hundreds of millions of federal dollars.

The Wisconsin Assembly passed the bill Tuesday afternoon with nearly unanimous support. The Wisconsin Senate is expected to take a vote Wednesday.

This was the first time Assembly representatives have been able to participate virtually due to the pandemic. A majority of the representatives decided to participate online in their homes or offices.

The extraordinary session in the Wisconsin Assembly gave new meaning to the word extraordinary. More than half of the representatives attended virtually, while dozens of others sat at a distance inside the state capitol building.

"We're here today to do our jobs because so many people across the state have been doing theirs," said Assembly Speaker Robin Vos.

Vos touted bipartisan support on issues pertaining to the bill, including the suspension of a one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits until February of 2021. Wisconsin's Department of Workforce Development said 375,000 people have applied for unemployment since mid-March.

The coronavirus response bill also allows the state to accept hundreds of millions of federal dollars for healthcare programs on top of $2 billion Wisconsin is set to receive from the Federal CARES Act.

6:15 p.m. -- Stimulus checks roll in, Wisconsin officials say people should be aware of scammers

Karla Brown is one of the many Wisconsinites who received their federal stimulus payment from the government on Monday.

She will be able to access money on April 15. Karla said she already knows how she's going to use it.

"First thing we are going to do is pay our tithes to our church and then save the rest just in case," said Karla.

Karla said during these hard times, it's important for people to look out for one another.

"Some of our church members are not working, some of them, their jobs have laid them off and giving to the church and being able to help our church members in this time of need is important to us," Karla said.

Like many in Karla's church who have lost their jobs, her neighbor Sandra Jackson hasn't been to work in a month. Sandra said when she gets her check in, she also feels inclined to help others.

"I've been off work since March 13. I feel the need to donate some, that's what my heart is telling me to do," said Sandra.

While many have a giving heart, the Better Business Bureau is warning people of scammers looking to take advantage of those during these hard times. Jim Temmer, President of the BBB Wisconsin, said they have already received reports of stimulus scams.

"They are saying, these checks are taking so long if you give us $50 or $80, we will expedite your payment and get it in there right away, so people are anxious to get that money," said Temmer.

5:52 p.m. -- Gov. Evers: Could be a month before lockdown lifts, wants to see more testing for COVID-19

Gov. Tony Evers is saying it could be at least a month before he starts to relax social distancing mandates.

The governor told KSTP-TV on Tuesday that lifting the mandates won't be "like flipping a switch" and it could be weeks or a month before he starts rolling them back.

Evers said he wants to see more testing for the coronavirus, tracking the sick and more protective gear before he starts thinking about reopening businesses.

Evers' stay-at-home and school closure orders are set to expire on April 24.

As of Tuesday the coronavirus had killed 170 people in Wisconsin and infected more than 3,500.

5:07 p.m. -- Lakefront Brewery gives free beer to health care workers, Three Lions Pub hands out discounts

Milwaukee Day looks a little different this year since many shops are closed. However, that didn't stop people from celebrating the city they call home.

"I'm grabbing beer from Lakefront Brewery. It's free for health care workers. You get a six-pack of Riverwest Stein and a classic 414 cup," Matt Lewis, a Milwaukee health care worker, said.

Dozens of medical field professionals lined up outside Lakefront Brewery to get some free beer from noon to 8 p.m. It's a small gesture, but it goes a long way.

"They're going to taste that much better today," Lewis said.

Lakefront Brewery wasn't the only one giving back on 414 Day. Local potter, Jean Wells, said she would donate 14% of what she sold on Tuesday 4/14 to local artists. Wells, who also battled through the 2008 financial crisis as an artist, said she knows exactly how hard artists are struggling.

"The arts of all kinds tend to be a specialty item or a way we treat ourselves, so those are the first things that fall off the wagon in terms of purchasing," she said.

Online, Milwaukee musicians were streaming live concerts from noon to 8 p.m. with various toasts and prize giveaways throughout the day.

Restaurants like Three Lions Pub are coming up with 4-1-4 related discounts to get customers in the door on this Takeout Tuesday.

4:30 p.m. -- Racine County Sheriff's Office takes steps to protect staff, inmates

The Racine County Sheriff's Office released the steps it is taking to protect staff and inmates at the Racine County Jail. The sheriff's office said that it has reduced jail population by over 25%, as well as creating two isolation floors and quarantine floors, temperature monitoring of incoming staff, professionals and inmates.

There is also a "two-tier quarantining of all new inmates" upon admission.

3:56 p.m. -- Wisconsin Assembly passes COVID-19 relief bill

Wisconsin Assembly passed the COVID-19 relief bill with 97-2 vote. The bill will head to the senate on Wednesday.

2:55 p.m. -- Wisconsin Assembly meets via virtual session for first time

About two-thirds of the Wisconsin Assembly's 99 members are participating remotely in a virtual session to vote on a coronavirus response bill. Tuesday's session is taking place in the Assembly chamber as usual.

But due to fears over spreading the virus, many representatives are attending via videoconference. The session got off to a slow start as the chief clerk tried to call the roll.

The Senate is holding a similar session Wednesday to send the bill to Democratic Gov. Tony Evers. As of Tuesday, the coronavirus had killed 170 people in Wisconsin and infected more than 3,500.

11:39 a.m. -- Wisconsin drivers take advantage of gas prices dipping below $1 per gallon

Coronavirus is having an impact at the pump.

AAA reports the U.S. demand for gas dropped nearly 44% since late February as people avoid travel in attempt to remain healthy.

The gas price was $1.86 nationwide on April 13, and in Wisconsin that price is even lower.

11:03 a.m. -- Committee members decide to cancel Port Fish Day 2020

Port Fish Day 2020 has, for lack of a better word, flopped. Event organizers decided to cancel the festival due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Port Fish Day Planning Committee and Board of Directors discussed whether the festival should be postponed or canceled, and ultimately decided to cancel.

It was initially set to take place July 18.

10:40 a.m. -- Froedtert says 114 COVID-19 patients have been released from the hospital

Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin shared some positive numbers with the public amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Froedtert shared that 42 COVID-19 patients were released from the hospital last week, bringing the total number of patients discharged to 114.

10:06 a.m. -- Wisconsin Assembly prepares to vote on virus response bill
About half of the 99 members of the Wisconsin Assembly plan to participate remotely in a virtual session to vote on a coronavirus response bill. Tuesday's session will be the first time lawmakers have gathered since the pandemic.
About half of the 99 members of the Wisconsin Assembly plan to participate remotely in a virtual session to vote on a coronavirus response bill. Tuesday's session will be the first time lawmakers have gathered since the pandemic.
The session was scheduled to take place in the Assembly chamber as usual. But due to fears over spreading the virus, about half of the representatives plan to dial in and vote remotely.
The session was scheduled to take place in the Assembly chamber as usual. But due to fears over spreading the virus, about half of the representatives plan to dial in and vote remotely.
The Senate is holding a similar session on Wednesday to send the bill on to Democratic Gov. Tony Evers. Republican Assembly leaders are predicting bipartisan support for the bill.
The Senate is holding a similar session on Wednesday to send the bill on to Democratic Gov. Tony Evers. Republican Assembly leaders are predicting bipartisan support for the bill.

Monday, April 13
Monday, April 13
10:47 p.m. -- Wisconsin health officials see early signs of flattening the curve
10:47 p.m. -- Wisconsin health officials see early signs of flattening the curve
As Wisconsin health officials see signs of "flattening the curve," they warn against any rollback of restrictions, especially after an election and religious holidays.
As Wisconsin health officials see signs of "flattening the curve," they warn against any rollback of restrictions, especially after an election and religious holidays.
"We're starting to see Wisconsin flattening the curve, which means safer at home is working," Gov. Tony Evers said during the state's daily health briefing.
"We're starting to see Wisconsin flattening the curve, which means safer at home is working," Gov. Tony Evers said during the state's daily health briefing.
Wisconsin saw the lowest daily increase in new COVID-19 cases on Monday for the first time in nearly three weeks.
Wisconsin saw the lowest daily increase in new COVID-19 cases on Monday for the first time in nearly three weeks.
"Wisconsin currently ranks in the top ten performance in flattening the curve of all the states in the union," said Dr. John Raymond, the CEO of the Medical College of Wisconsin.
"Wisconsin currently ranks in the top ten performance in flattening the curve of all the states in the union," said Dr. John Raymond, the CEO of the Medical College of Wisconsin.
10:02 p.m. -- Milwaukee-area residents file federal lawsuit for the chance to still vote in April 7 election
10:02 p.m. -- Milwaukee-area residents file federal lawsuit for the chance to still vote in April 7 election
The elections results have come in, but some people still want the chance to vote in the April 7th election.
The elections results have come in, but some people still want the chance to vote in the April 7th election.
A federal class-action lawsuit was filed in court Monday by 14 Milwaukee-area voters. They say they were disenfranchised by the coronavirus pandemic and want a new election or a partial re-vote.
A federal class-action lawsuit was filed in court Monday by 14 Milwaukee-area voters. They say they were disenfranchised by the coronavirus pandemic and want a new election or a partial re-vote.
"Those people all lost their right to vote in last Tuesday's election. Forcing all of these folks to choose between protecting their health and voting," said Joseph Goode, an attorney representing the voters.
"Those people all lost their right to vote in last Tuesday's election. Forcing all of these folks to choose between protecting their health and voting," said Joseph Goode, an attorney representing the voters.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs cite missing absentee ballots and no accommodations for people with autoimmune issues as among the reason why 14 Milwaukee-area residents are suing for a chance to cast a ballot—those suing range in age from 19 to 89.
Lawyers for the plaintiffs cite missing absentee ballots and no accommodations for people with autoimmune issues as among the reason why 14 Milwaukee-area residents are suing for a chance to cast a ballot—those suing range in age from 19 to 89.
"These are folks who aren't safe to be out because of their conditions, and they absolutely vote," said Jay Urban, a Milwaukee attorney representing plaintiffs.
"These are folks who aren't safe to be out because of their conditions, and they absolutely vote," said Jay Urban, a Milwaukee attorney representing plaintiffs.
7:51 p.m. -- Many receive first wave of stimulus payments, other checks to arrive as soon as Wednesday
7:51 p.m. -- Many receive first wave of stimulus payments, other checks to arrive as soon as Wednesday
Individuals who have direct deposit information on hand with the IRS will see their stimulus checks hit their account as soon as April 15th.
Individuals who have direct deposit information on hand with the IRS will see their stimulus checks hit their account as soon as April 15th.
Mary Lou Robinson is thankful to have a job still because, with record unemployment numbers, she knows the hard reality many are facing. That why Mary said when her stimulus payment clears, she plans on saving away some money.
Mary Lou Robinson is thankful to have a job still because, with record unemployment numbers, she knows the hard reality many are facing. That why Mary said when her stimulus payment clears, she plans on saving away some money.
"I had nothing to prepare myself for this, and I am fortunate because I am an essential worker to be able to still work, but that can change overnight if I get sick," said Mary Lou.
"I had nothing to prepare myself for this, and I am fortunate because I am an essential worker to be able to still work, but that can change overnight if I get sick," said Mary Lou.
Mary's said her $1,200 would help towards essential needs like fixing her car and paying medical bills.
Mary's said her $1,200 would help towards essential needs like fixing her car and paying medical bills.
For individuals like Mary, who make under 75,000 a year, they will receive a $1,200 payment. Those who are married, filed jointly, and make under $150,000 qualify for a $2,400 payment and an additional $500 for qualifying child.
For individuals like Mary, who make under 75,000 a year, they will receive a $1,200 payment. Those who are married, filed jointly, and make under $150,000 qualify for a $2,400 payment and an additional $500 for qualifying child.
But financial planner, Tony Drake, said how you utilize your money should depend on your situation. He said if you don't have a job, first, contact your lenders to see if some of your bills can be pushed back.
But financial planner, Tony Drake, said how you utilize your money should depend on your situation. He said if you don't have a job, first, contact your lenders to see if some of your bills can be pushed back.
"That will give you a little bit of extra cushion in the budget." "Pay bills like electric just to keep your lights going but ideally contact the lender because most of them are being flexible," said Drake.
"That will give you a little bit of extra cushion in the budget." "Pay bills like electric just to keep your lights going but ideally contact the lender because most of them are being flexible," said Drake.
Drake said if you have extra money, start using that to build up a savings account.
Drake said if you have extra money, start using that to build up a savings account.
"Hopefully, you haven't lost your job like million Americans have, but if you're in a position where you feel like you might lose your job, you want to build up the emergency fund we recommend 3-6 months of expenses, so you have that on hand," said Drake.
"Hopefully, you haven't lost your job like million Americans have, but if you're in a position where you feel like you might lose your job, you want to build up the emergency fund we recommend 3-6 months of expenses, so you have that on hand," said Drake.
The IRS is launching a new tool to track your stimulus check. For more information, click here.
The IRS is launching a new tool to track your stimulus check. For more information, click here.
7:35 p.m. -- Three West Bend firefighters test positive for COVID-19, three others test negative
7:35 p.m. -- Three West Bend firefighters test positive for COVID-19, three others test negative
Three West Bend firefighters tested positive for COVID-19, according to their fire chief.
Three West Bend firefighters tested positive for COVID-19, according to their fire chief.
Chief Gerald Kudek said it started at the beginning of April when one firefighter experiencing symptoms tested positive. In total, six firefighters were tested, three were positive for COVID-19, and the remaining three were negative.
Chief Gerald Kudek said it started at the beginning of April when one firefighter experiencing symptoms tested positive. In total, six firefighters were tested, three were positive for COVID-19, and the remaining three were negative.
"Once they develop symptoms, they're immediately put on leave," said Chief Kudek.
"Once they develop symptoms, they're immediately put on leave," said Chief Kudek.
The fire chief assumes the firefighters contracted the virus while on the job, judging by the nature of their work.
The fire chief assumes the firefighters contracted the virus while on the job, judging by the nature of their work.
Kudek says per the CDC leave for essential workers is seven days, three of those have to be symptom-free.
Kudek says per the CDC leave for essential workers is seven days, three of those have to be symptom-free.
It puts a strain on the 40 person department since they have to cover shifts with overtime, but the strain goes beyond that element.
It puts a strain on the 40 person department since they have to cover shifts with overtime, but the strain goes beyond that element.
6:44 p.m. -- Second death reported at Greenfield convent, nun remembered for career in education
6:44 p.m. -- Second death reported at Greenfield convent, nun remembered for career in education
Another nun has died at a Greenfield convent after four tested positive for COVID-19.
Another nun has died at a Greenfield convent after four tested positive for COVID-19.
Sister Mary Regine Collins died on April 6 after she tested positive for coronavirus.
Sister Mary Regine Collins died on April 6 after she tested positive for coronavirus.
Regine made her first profession in Milwaukee back in 1944 and dedicated her career to helping educational services in Milwaukee and Green Bay.
Regine made her first profession in Milwaukee back in 1944 and dedicated her career to helping educational services in Milwaukee and Green Bay.
She taught at grade schools, a high school, and even Mount Mary University.
She taught at grade schools, a high school, and even Mount Mary University.
According to the convent, "Sister Regine was a renowned artist. One of her creations was a wood carving dedicated to the SSND foundress, Blessed Theresa Gerhardinger. It is currently displayed in the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Baltimore, Maryland."
According to the convent, "Sister Regine was a renowned artist. One of her creations was a wood carving dedicated to the SSND foundress, Blessed Theresa Gerhardinger. It is currently displayed in the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Baltimore, Maryland."
This is the second death reported from School Sisters of St. Francis living at the Our Lady of the Angels convent in Greenfield. Sister Marie June Skender also died on April 7.
This is the second death reported from School Sisters of St. Francis living at the Our Lady of the Angels convent in Greenfield. Sister Marie June Skender also died on April 7.
At the time, administrators told TMJ4 News there were four other positive tests of COVID-19 at the convent. We're working on learning if there are more cases.
At the time, administrators told TMJ4 News there were four other positive tests of COVID-19 at the convent. We're working on learning if there are more cases.
5:46 p.m. -- 'We've been worried': Health officials prepare for impact of election, Easter on COVID-19 outbreak
5:46 p.m. -- 'We've been worried': Health officials prepare for impact of election, Easter on COVID-19 outbreak
On Monday, state health officials said they're starting to see a flattening of the curve in Wisconsin, but they said to take it with a grain of salt after last week's election and the Easter holiday.
On Monday, state health officials said they're starting to see a flattening of the curve in Wisconsin, but they said to take it with a grain of salt after last week's election and the Easter holiday.
According to multiple health leaders, Wisconsin hasn't reached its peak of the COVID-19 outbreak just yet. They expect to see the number of positive cases increase in the next week.
According to multiple health leaders, Wisconsin hasn't reached its peak of the COVID-19 outbreak just yet. They expect to see the number of positive cases increase in the next week.
Darren Rausch of the Greenfield Health Department and Milwaukee Unified Emergency Operations Center remains alert about a possible spike in coronavirus cases soon.
Darren Rausch of the Greenfield Health Department and Milwaukee Unified Emergency Operations Center remains alert about a possible spike in coronavirus cases soon.
"We've been worried about two things over the past week. One was the elections, and the second were the religious and family activities that were going to happen over the weekend," Rausch said.
"We've been worried about two things over the past week. One was the elections, and the second were the religious and family activities that were going to happen over the weekend," Rausch said.
Dr. John Raymond of the Medical College of Wisconsin is more concerned about the effects of the holiday.
Dr. John Raymond of the Medical College of Wisconsin is more concerned about the effects of the holiday.
"I did observe a pretty significant relaxation of social distancing. Many people were having their extended family over, and there were friends that didn't live in households that were visiting in my neighborhood and I'm sure across the region," Dr. Raymond said during a webinar for the Greater Milwaukee Committee.
"I did observe a pretty significant relaxation of social distancing. Many people were having their extended family over, and there were friends that didn't live in households that were visiting in my neighborhood and I'm sure across the region," Dr. Raymond said during a webinar for the Greater Milwaukee Committee.
5:35 p.m. -- State Assembly to hold session Tuesday on coronavirus response bill
5:35 p.m. -- State Assembly to hold session Tuesday on coronavirus response bill
The Wisconsin State Assembly will hold a session Tuesday to discuss a coronavirus response bill.
The Wisconsin State Assembly will hold a session Tuesday to discuss a coronavirus response bill.
According to Speaker Robin Vos and Majority Leader Jim Steineke, Tuesday's session will involve a vote on the bill.
According to Speaker Robin Vos and Majority Leader Jim Steineke, Tuesday's session will involve a vote on the bill.
The bill would eliminate the one-week hold on unemployment benefits and would allow the state to get more money from the federal government.
The bill would eliminate the one-week hold on unemployment benefits and would allow the state to get more money from the federal government.
"While tomorrow's extraordinary session will certainly be a first, we anticipate a day of bipartisan action to help hard-working Wisconsin families and businesses," wrote Vos and Steineke in a statement.
"While tomorrow's extraordinary session will certainly be a first, we anticipate a day of bipartisan action to help hard-working Wisconsin families and businesses," wrote Vos and Steineke in a statement.
The Wisconsin State Assembly session will take place at 1 p.m. Tuesday.
The Wisconsin State Assembly session will take place at 1 p.m. Tuesday.
4 p.m. -- Election results expected shortly
4 p.m. -- Election results expected shortly
Results from Wisconsin's unusual spring election are expected to be released shortly.
Results from Wisconsin's unusual spring election are expected to be released shortly.
Clerks around the state were instructed by the courts to hold results until 4 p.m. on Monday, April 13.
Clerks around the state were instructed by the courts to hold results until 4 p.m. on Monday, April 13.
You can check results for major races like the Wisconsin Supreme Court, Mayor Milwaukee, Milwaukee County Executive, and more right here.
You can check results for major races like the Wisconsin Supreme Court, Mayor Milwaukee, Milwaukee County Executive, and more right here.
3:56 p.m. -- Seven people test positive for COVID-19 at Kenosha County long-term care facility
3:56 p.m. -- Seven people test positive for COVID-19 at Kenosha County long-term care facility
Five residents and two employees have tested positive for COVID-19 at Parkside Manor, a long-term care facility in Kenosha County.
Five residents and two employees have tested positive for COVID-19 at Parkside Manor, a long-term care facility in Kenosha County.
The Kenosha County Division of Health made the announcement Monday. All seven individuals have not been hospitalized at this point.
The Kenosha County Division of Health made the announcement Monday. All seven individuals have not been hospitalized at this point.
Officials are working with the facility’s management to provide personal protective equipment for residents and staff. They're also working to isolate residents and send messages to their guardians.
Officials are working with the facility’s management to provide personal protective equipment for residents and staff. They're also working to isolate residents and send messages to their guardians.
Froedtert South has provided Parkside Manor with collection kits to test all residents.
Froedtert South has provided Parkside Manor with collection kits to test all residents.
Parkside Manor released the following statement:
Parkside Manor released the following statement:
"The health and well-being of our residents and team members are our greatest priority. While individuals at our facility have tested positive for COVID-19, we continue working together to care for our residents, to protect the safety of our team members, and to protect the people in our community. We are closely monitoring developments and guidelines with respect to the coronavirus (COVID-19) from the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization as well as other expert sources. We are also working with and at the direction of health care authorities. In addition, we are following enhanced internal protocols in order to help control the spread of COVID-19. Our facility is supported by a Senior Lifestyle-affiliated task force and management team comprised of various disciplines to aid us in our preparation, readiness, communication, and management of the COVID-19 coronavirus.”
"The health and well-being of our residents and team members are our greatest priority. While individuals at our facility have tested positive for COVID-19, we continue working together to care for our residents, to protect the safety of our team members, and to protect the people in our community. We are closely monitoring developments and guidelines with respect to the coronavirus (COVID-19) from the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization as well as other expert sources. We are also working with and at the direction of health care authorities. In addition, we are following enhanced internal protocols in order to help control the spread of COVID-19. Our facility is supported by a Senior Lifestyle-affiliated task force and management team comprised of various disciplines to aid us in our preparation, readiness, communication, and management of the COVID-19 coronavirus.”
Parkside Manor has 32 residents and 37 employees.
Parkside Manor has 32 residents and 37 employees.
Click here to see the latest cases out of Kenosha County.
Click here to see the latest cases out of Kenosha County.
2:43 p.m. -- 'We are flattening the curve': Wisconsin DHS reports lowest increase in day-to-day COVID-19 cases in nearly three weeks
2:43 p.m. -- 'We are flattening the curve': Wisconsin DHS reports lowest increase in day-to-day COVID-19 cases in nearly three weeks
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has reported the lowest increase in day-to-day COVID-19 cases in nearly three weeks.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has reported the lowest increase in day-to-day COVID-19 cases in nearly three weeks.
According to the Department of Health Services secretary, the number of COVID-19 cases increased by 87 on Monday. That number is the lowest Wisconsin has seen since March 24, when an increase of 41 cases was announced.
According to the Department of Health Services secretary, the number of COVID-19 cases increased by 87 on Monday. That number is the lowest Wisconsin has seen since March 24, when an increase of 41 cases was announced.
For comparison's sake, the most new cases that DHS announced on any single day was 199 on April 1.
For comparison's sake, the most new cases that DHS announced on any single day was 199 on April 1.
These 87 new cases suggest that Wisconsin's 'Safer at Home' approach is working, DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm said Monday.
These 87 new cases suggest that Wisconsin's 'Safer at Home' approach is working, DHS Secretary-designee Andrea Palm said Monday.

'We are flattening the curve': Wisconsin DHS reports lowest increase in day-to-day COVID-19 cases in nearly three weeks

"We have actually seen a decrease in the exponential growth as the result of Safer at Home," Palm said. "We are flattening the curve."
"We have actually seen a decrease in the exponential growth as the result of Safer at Home," Palm said. "We are flattening the curve."
Dr. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the federal government announced a few weeks ago that the week of April 5-11 could be the worst when it comes to COVID-19 cases.
Dr. Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and the federal government announced a few weeks ago that the week of April 5-11 could be the worst when it comes to COVID-19 cases.
As of Monday, there have been 3,428 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Wisconsin. 154 people have died, and 36,769 people have tested negative.
As of Monday, there have been 3,428 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Wisconsin. 154 people have died, and 36,769 people have tested negative.

2:03 p.m. -- Wisconsin FoodShare recipients to receive maximum benefits for two months
2:03 p.m. -- Wisconsin FoodShare recipients to receive maximum benefits for two months
FoodShare recipients in Wisconsin can expect to see a bump in benefits for the next two months.
FoodShare recipients in Wisconsin can expect to see a bump in benefits for the next two months.
Over 215,000 Wisconsin households will see an increase starting April 12 and April 26. The increase comes in light of hardships caused by COVID-19.
Over 215,000 Wisconsin households will see an increase starting April 12 and April 26. The increase comes in light of hardships caused by COVID-19.
"Maybe before, the FoodShare program didn't seem like it was all that much," Sherrie Tussler, Director of The Hunger Task Force said. "It's really going to be your ticket to food buying power in the future."
"Maybe before, the FoodShare program didn't seem like it was all that much," Sherrie Tussler, Director of The Hunger Task Force said. "It's really going to be your ticket to food buying power in the future."

FoodShare guide

Recipients will receive the maximum benefit for the number of people living in the household. An individual can expect to receive the maximum of $194, while it goes up incrementally for each additional person.
Recipients will receive the maximum benefit for the number of people living in the household. An individual can expect to receive the maximum of $194, while it goes up incrementally for each additional person.
Read the full story here.
Read the full story here.

1:22 p.m. -- GreekFest 2020 canceled amid coronavirus outbreak
1:22 p.m. -- GreekFest 2020 canceled amid coronavirus outbreak
GreekFest 2020 has been canceled due to the current global pandemic.
GreekFest 2020 has been canceled due to the current global pandemic.
The festival, which was slated to take place June 19-21, has been canceled due to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s need to use the State Fair Grounds as a makeshift hospital during the coronavirus pandemic.
The festival, which was slated to take place June 19-21, has been canceled due to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s need to use the State Fair Grounds as a makeshift hospital during the coronavirus pandemic.
The news came Monday morning in a press release from the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church.
The news came Monday morning in a press release from the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church.
“In addition to our fervent prayer for all those directly and indirectly affected by Covid-19, as well as the selfless medical care and service workers, our Annunciation Parish family is committed to doing everything we can to participate in the joint effort to restore life back to normal in our beloved Milwaukee community and beyond,” said Father Ciprian Sas, Parish Priest of Annunciation.
“In addition to our fervent prayer for all those directly and indirectly affected by Covid-19, as well as the selfless medical care and service workers, our Annunciation Parish family is committed to doing everything we can to participate in the joint effort to restore life back to normal in our beloved Milwaukee community and beyond,” said Father Ciprian Sas, Parish Priest of Annunciation.
Milwaukee's GreekFest was once named the "Best Church Festival" by Milwaukee's Shepherd Express.
Milwaukee's GreekFest was once named the "Best Church Festival" by Milwaukee's Shepherd Express.

12:48 p.m. -- Trump campaign sues Wisconsin TV station for airing Democratic PAC ad
12:48 p.m. -- Trump campaign sues Wisconsin TV station for airing Democratic PAC ad
President Donald Trump's reelection campaign filed a lawsuit against Wisconsin TV station WJFW-NBC in Rhinelander, Wis. on Monday, according to The Hill.
President Donald Trump's reelection campaign filed a lawsuit against Wisconsin TV station WJFW-NBC in Rhinelander, Wis. on Monday, according to The Hill.
Trump's campaign is suing for defamation after WJFW aired an ad from the liberal super PAC Priorities USA that alleges Trump called the coronavirus a "hoax."
Trump's campaign is suing for defamation after WJFW aired an ad from the liberal super PAC Priorities USA that alleges Trump called the coronavirus a "hoax."
The lawsuit seeks an undisclosed amount of money and legal fees and accuses WFJW of having “perpetrated a fraud on the public by recklessly broadcasting [Priorities USA’s] defamatory and false advertisement, which WJFW-NBC knew or should have known was produced through the use of technology that depicted a clearly false statement.”
The lawsuit seeks an undisclosed amount of money and legal fees and accuses WFJW of having “perpetrated a fraud on the public by recklessly broadcasting [Priorities USA’s] defamatory and false advertisement, which WJFW-NBC knew or should have known was produced through the use of technology that depicted a clearly false statement.”
The ad itself includes clips of President Trump downplaying the virus along with graphics showing statistics of rising cases. Priorities USA, the largest Democratic super PAC, has put nearly $7 million behind the ad that is running in Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
The ad itself includes clips of President Trump downplaying the virus along with graphics showing statistics of rising cases. Priorities USA, the largest Democratic super PAC, has put nearly $7 million behind the ad that is running in Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
"Our ad uses a series of Trump's own words to show that he downplayed the threat of the pandemic even as the infection spread," Josh Schwerin, a strategist for Priorities USA, told The Hill.
"Our ad uses a series of Trump's own words to show that he downplayed the threat of the pandemic even as the infection spread," Josh Schwerin, a strategist for Priorities USA, told The Hill.
The Trump campaign sent cease-and-desist letters to WJFW and other TV stations in March, warning them that they would face legal action for running the ad.
The Trump campaign sent cease-and-desist letters to WJFW and other TV stations in March, warning them that they would face legal action for running the ad.
“It is disappointing that WJFW-NBC would knowingly continue to broadcast this blatantly false ad and perpetrate falsehoods on the American people, even after the Trump campaign provided proof in good faith of the ad’s falsity,” Jenna Ellis, senior legal adviser to the Trump campaign, said in a statement. "The Trump campaign is now left with no other option than to use the force of law to ensure these false and defamatory ads cease."
“It is disappointing that WJFW-NBC would knowingly continue to broadcast this blatantly false ad and perpetrate falsehoods on the American people, even after the Trump campaign provided proof in good faith of the ad’s falsity,” Jenna Ellis, senior legal adviser to the Trump campaign, said in a statement. "The Trump campaign is now left with no other option than to use the force of law to ensure these false and defamatory ads cease."
Fact-checkers have since said that claiming Trump called the virus a "hoax" is incorrect, as his full quote shows he was describing Democratic efforts to politicize the virus.
Fact-checkers have since said that claiming Trump called the virus a "hoax" is incorrect, as his full quote shows he was describing Democratic efforts to politicize the virus.

12:14 p.m. -- Wisconsin Legislature releases coronavirus response bill
12:14 p.m. -- Wisconsin Legislature releases coronavirus response bill
(AP) The Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature has released its coronavirus response bill, a proposal the Legislature plans to vote on starting Tuesday in first-of-its-kind virtual sessions where most lawmakers will be dialed in remotely.
(AP) The Republican-controlled Wisconsin Legislature has released its coronavirus response bill, a proposal the Legislature plans to vote on starting Tuesday in first-of-its-kind virtual sessions where most lawmakers will be dialed in remotely.
Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, who had objected to an earlier version, had no immediate comment Monday on the latest 87-page proposal. Evers said on Friday he was hopeful that a bipartisan deal could be reached.
Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, who had objected to an earlier version, had no immediate comment Monday on the latest 87-page proposal. Evers said on Friday he was hopeful that a bipartisan deal could be reached.
The key provision that Evers objected to in the earlier version, which would have given the Legislature’s GOP-controlled budget committee the power to make any cuts in spending it wanted, was removed from the latest plan.
The key provision that Evers objected to in the earlier version, which would have given the Legislature’s GOP-controlled budget committee the power to make any cuts in spending it wanted, was removed from the latest plan.

11:55 a.m. -- Newest Packers linebacker Christian Kirksey already giving back to the Green Bay community
11:55 a.m. -- Newest Packers linebacker Christian Kirksey already giving back to the Green Bay community
The newest Green Bay Packers linebacker, Christian Kirksey, is already helping the Green Bay community before he's even played a single game with his new team.
The newest Green Bay Packers linebacker, Christian Kirksey, is already helping the Green Bay community before he's even played a single game with his new team.
Kirksey, who signed with the Packers in March, reached out to St. John's Homeless Shelter in Green Bay to make sure they have everything they need.
Kirksey, who signed with the Packers in March, reached out to St. John's Homeless Shelter in Green Bay to make sure they have everything they need.
According to St. John's, Kirksey has donated 20 packs of toilet paper, 20 packs of napkins, 540 bowls, 1,000 spoons, 1,000 forks, 1,200 plates, 50 masks, and 1,000 cups.
According to St. John's, Kirksey has donated 20 packs of toilet paper, 20 packs of napkins, 540 bowls, 1,000 spoons, 1,000 forks, 1,200 plates, 50 masks, and 1,000 cups.
Additionally, Kirksey hosted a pizza party and provided 30 pizzas to both of their shelters at Spring Lake Church Downtown and St. John’s Homeless Shelter.
Additionally, Kirksey hosted a pizza party and provided 30 pizzas to both of their shelters at Spring Lake Church Downtown and St. John’s Homeless Shelter.
In a blog post, St. John's wrote "We are so thankful to Christian for thinking of St. John’s and his newest home here in Green Bay! His passion for supporting people experiencing homelessness is inspiring, and we look forward to welcoming him to Green Bay when he officially arrives!"
In a blog post, St. John's wrote "We are so thankful to Christian for thinking of St. John’s and his newest home here in Green Bay! His passion for supporting people experiencing homelessness is inspiring, and we look forward to welcoming him to Green Bay when he officially arrives!"

11:18 a.m. -- Beware of scams as first wave of stimulus checks go out
11:18 a.m. -- Beware of scams as first wave of stimulus checks go out
If you qualify for the coronavirus economic impact payments, or stimulus checks, then you may be getting excited to see the numbers in your account rise soon; however, there are a few things to be wary of beforehand.
If you qualify for the coronavirus economic impact payments, or stimulus checks, then you may be getting excited to see the numbers in your account rise soon; however, there are a few things to be wary of beforehand.
The Federal Trade Commission says scammers are trying their hand at cashing in on stimulus checks, as the way it works is not crystal clear to all recipients.
The Federal Trade Commission says scammers are trying their hand at cashing in on stimulus checks, as the way it works is not crystal clear to all recipients.
There's thoughts that scammers may begin sending out official-looking, but very fake checks. Here's how to spot the scam:
There's thoughts that scammers may begin sending out official-looking, but very fake checks. Here's how to spot the scam:

  • Reports say that checks will start being mailed to people who do not have direct deposit no earlier than May, so if you get your check in the mail before then it is most likely fake. On a similar note, if you're expecting your check to be issued via direct deposit and it shows up in the mail, it's also probably not real.
  • If your check is for a larger amount than you expected, it's likely that this is also a scam. The Internal Revenue System will NOT send you an overpayment in the mail, and then ask for you to send the extra money back to them in cash, gift card, or through a money transfer.
  • The first wave of stimulus checks has already been sent out. These should automatically be directly deposited into your account.

The first wave of stimulus checks has already been sent out. These should automatically be directly deposited into your account.For more information on potential scams relating to the coronavirus and/or reporting scams visit the IRS and FTC websites.
For more information on potential scams relating to the coronavirus and/or reporting scams visit the IRS and FTC websites.

10:22 a.m. -- Family-owned restaurant cooks fresh food made from the heart during COVID-19 pandemic
10:22 a.m. -- Family-owned restaurant cooks fresh food made from the heart during COVID-19 pandemic
Fastbreak Cafe opened on Becher Street two years ago by head cook Crystal Hudson's two sons. The restaurant is known for its shrimp and grits, breakfast sandwiches, and a variety of other food items.
Fastbreak Cafe opened on Becher Street two years ago by head cook Crystal Hudson's two sons. The restaurant is known for its shrimp and grits, breakfast sandwiches, and a variety of other food items.
Hudson said cooking is her passion. Whether she is making eggs, turkey bacon or serving up fresh fruit, everything that comes out of her kitchen, is made with love.
Hudson said cooking is her passion. Whether she is making eggs, turkey bacon or serving up fresh fruit, everything that comes out of her kitchen, is made with love.
"Very rarely you find a job that you do that you like," said Hudson. "I love what I do and I cook with love so that makes all the difference in the world."
"Very rarely you find a job that you do that you like," said Hudson. "I love what I do and I cook with love so that makes all the difference in the world."

Family-owned restaurant cooks fresh food made from the heart during COVID-19 pandemic

That's why, to Hudson, it's heartbreaking to see the business in the state it is now. Due to COVID-19, business is slow. They recently downsized from ten employees to just three.
That's why, to Hudson, it's heartbreaking to see the business in the state it is now. Due to COVID-19, business is slow. They recently downsized from ten employees to just three.
Breakfast is typically a popular time for them, but recently, on any given morning, the orders are slow to come in.
Breakfast is typically a popular time for them, but recently, on any given morning, the orders are slow to come in.
"I just want to make sure we are still able to be open and still be in business so after this happened we can build back up our clientele," said store manager Tamika.
"I just want to make sure we are still able to be open and still be in business so after this happened we can build back up our clientele," said store manager Tamika.
Read the full story here.
Read the full story here.

9:37 a.m. -- COVID-19 pandemic a trying time for wedding venues
9:37 a.m. -- COVID-19 pandemic a trying time for wedding venues
The global outbreak of COVID-19 has led to the postponement of events large and small from birthday parties, to weddings, to the Democratic National Convention this summer.
The global outbreak of COVID-19 has led to the postponement of events large and small from birthday parties, to weddings, to the Democratic National Convention this summer.
But it's also caused issues for couples who are recently engaged and now searching for wedding venues to book.
But it's also caused issues for couples who are recently engaged and now searching for wedding venues to book.
At The Bowery Barn in Rubicon, owner Jessica Pike said the average booking for weddings is roughly 18 months in advance. The barn is open year-round, but Pike said the "peak season" is April through November.
At The Bowery Barn in Rubicon, owner Jessica Pike said the average booking for weddings is roughly 18 months in advance. The barn is open year-round, but Pike said the "peak season" is April through November.
While some newly-engaged couples are looking into booking a space for their weddings, other couples that were set to tie the knot this spring are bumping back their dates to the fall, Pike said.
While some newly-engaged couples are looking into booking a space for their weddings, other couples that were set to tie the knot this spring are bumping back their dates to the fall, Pike said.

COVID-19 pandemic a trying time for wedding venues

"We're trying to do as much as we can to be accommodating," she said.
"We're trying to do as much as we can to be accommodating," she said.
She noted postponing a wedding is difficult.
She noted postponing a wedding is difficult.
"It trickles down to caterers, to photographers, to event planners, really to everybody involved. The best we can do is communicate and work together," Pike said.
"It trickles down to caterers, to photographers, to event planners, really to everybody involved. The best we can do is communicate and work together," Pike said.
Read the full story here.
Read the full story here.

6:20 a.m. -- Spring election results to be tallied Monday
6:20 a.m. -- Spring election results to be tallied Monday
Election results from the April 7 spring election are going to be tallied on Monday, April 13.
Election results from the April 7 spring election are going to be tallied on Monday, April 13.
The Wisconsin Elections Commission said that though the election continued as scheduled on April 7, despite efforts from Gov. Tony Evers to postpone the election because of COVID-19 concerns, there wouldn't be a public release of the results until votes were totaled on April 13 after a previously extended absentee voting deadline.
The Wisconsin Elections Commission said that though the election continued as scheduled on April 7, despite efforts from Gov. Tony Evers to postpone the election because of COVID-19 concerns, there wouldn't be a public release of the results until votes were totaled on April 13 after a previously extended absentee voting deadline.
U.S. District Judge William Conley rejected lawsuits seeking to postpone the election, but gave voters until April 13 to return absentee ballots.
U.S. District Judge William Conley rejected lawsuits seeking to postpone the election, but gave voters until April 13 to return absentee ballots.
The Supreme Court blocked the plan to extend absentee voting, meaning that those with absentee ballots had to turn them in or be postmarked April 7 in order to be counted. Though absentee voting was not extended, the Wisconsin Election Commission said that elections results were still restricted until April 13.
The Supreme Court blocked the plan to extend absentee voting, meaning that those with absentee ballots had to turn them in or be postmarked April 7 in order to be counted. Though absentee voting was not extended, the Wisconsin Election Commission said that elections results were still restricted until April 13.
There were several reports of irregularities in residents receiving their absentee ballots in time for the election, prompting a USPS investigation.
There were several reports of irregularities in residents receiving their absentee ballots in time for the election, prompting a USPS investigation.
Votes will be tallied at the municipal board of canvassers meeting on April 13.
Votes will be tallied at the municipal board of canvassers meeting on April 13.

Sunday, April 12
Sunday, April 12
4:44 p.m. -- Pleasant Prairie plant switches gears to produce face masks
4:44 p.m. -- Pleasant Prairie plant switches gears to produce face masks
IRIS U.S., the U.S. division of Japanese-based household products manufacturer IRIS Ohyama Inc., announced that the company plans to add face mask production to its manufacturing plant in Pleasant Prairie, Wis.
IRIS U.S., the U.S. division of Japanese-based household products manufacturer IRIS Ohyama Inc., announced that the company plans to add face mask production to its manufacturing plant in Pleasant Prairie, Wis.
The decision was made to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S.
The decision was made to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S.
IRIS Ohyama Inc. is investing $10 million in new machinery and planning to hire an additional 60 employees to manufacture an estimated 70 million disposable 3-ply face masks per month.
IRIS Ohyama Inc. is investing $10 million in new machinery and planning to hire an additional 60 employees to manufacture an estimated 70 million disposable 3-ply face masks per month.
The company has been producing masks in China for more than a decade.
The company has been producing masks in China for more than a decade.

4:19 p.m. -- Gov. Tony Evers announces second 'alternative care facility' to be built at Madison's Alliant Energy Center
4:19 p.m. -- Gov. Tony Evers announces second 'alternative care facility' to be built at Madison's Alliant Energy Center
Gov. Tony Evers plans to work to open a second 'alternative care facility' (ACF) within Madison's Alliant Energy Center, his administration announced Sunday afternoon.
Gov. Tony Evers plans to work to open a second 'alternative care facility' (ACF) within Madison's Alliant Energy Center, his administration announced Sunday afternoon.
The ACF, commonly referred to as a field hospital, will be built to "prepare for a potential surge" in COVID-19 cases, a news release says. Construction is underway now on the state's first ACF, at the Wisconsin State Fair Park's Exposition Center.
The ACF, commonly referred to as a field hospital, will be built to "prepare for a potential surge" in COVID-19 cases, a news release says. Construction is underway now on the state's first ACF, at the Wisconsin State Fair Park's Exposition Center.
Evers' office said it had submitted an application to FEMA to begin development of the space. It plans to partner with the Army Corp of Engineers, as well as local contractor partners.
Evers' office said it had submitted an application to FEMA to begin development of the space. It plans to partner with the Army Corp of Engineers, as well as local contractor partners.
“This second alternative care facility will be an essential backup facility to ensure our healthcare system in the south central region is not overwhelmed. FEMA and the Army Corp of Engineers have been tremendous planning partners for our state and we are thankful for their quick responsiveness,” said Gov. Evers. “Wisconsin residents are doing a good job of helping to flatten the curve in our state by following the guidelines of our Safer at Home order, but we must continue our efforts to manage the pandemic in order to protect Wisconsinites. Hopefully this second site will not be needed, but we must prepare for it now so we are ready.”
“This second alternative care facility will be an essential backup facility to ensure our healthcare system in the south central region is not overwhelmed. FEMA and the Army Corp of Engineers have been tremendous planning partners for our state and we are thankful for their quick responsiveness,” said Gov. Evers. “Wisconsin residents are doing a good job of helping to flatten the curve in our state by following the guidelines of our Safer at Home order, but we must continue our efforts to manage the pandemic in order to protect Wisconsinites. Hopefully this second site will not be needed, but we must prepare for it now so we are ready.”
Additional details will be made available in the coming days, the governor's office said.
Additional details will be made available in the coming days, the governor's office said.

3:54 p.m. -- COVID-19 cases grow in Wisconsin, as death toll reaches 144
3:54 p.m. -- COVID-19 cases grow in Wisconsin, as death toll reaches 144
(AP) The number of people testing positive for the coronavirus in Wisconsin has risen by 128. State health officials say Sunday that the total number of cases in the state is now 3,341.
(AP) The number of people testing positive for the coronavirus in Wisconsin has risen by 128. State health officials say Sunday that the total number of cases in the state is now 3,341.
The state also reported seven more deaths from COVID-19, bringing the death toll to 144. A total of 42% of those who died in Wisconsin were black, and 53% of those who died were white.
The state also reported seven more deaths from COVID-19, bringing the death toll to 144. A total of 42% of those who died in Wisconsin were black, and 53% of those who died were white.
While more females have tested positive for the coronavirus, males have accounted for 60% of deaths. Health officials said 974 people who have tested positive for the coronavirus in Wisconsin have been hospitalized.
While more females have tested positive for the coronavirus, males have accounted for 60% of deaths. Health officials said 974 people who have tested positive for the coronavirus in Wisconsin have been hospitalized.

3:35 p.m. -- Sheboygan Festival Foods employees shop for woman who had minor incident in parking lot
3:35 p.m. -- Sheboygan Festival Foods employees shop for woman who had minor incident in parking lot
After one woman had a minor incident in the Sheboygan Festival Foods parking lot, employees of the store took it upon themselves to get her groceries for her.
After one woman had a minor incident in the Sheboygan Festival Foods parking lot, employees of the store took it upon themselves to get her groceries for her.
Sheboygan police officers were called to the store Sunday for a minor incident. As they were speaking with a woman involved, the store manager came out and offered to take her grocery list and get the items for her. The manager and other employees became personal shoppers for her while she dealt with things in the parking lot.
Sheboygan police officers were called to the store Sunday for a minor incident. As they were speaking with a woman involved, the store manager came out and offered to take her grocery list and get the items for her. The manager and other employees became personal shoppers for her while she dealt with things in the parking lot.
The Sheboygan Police Department took the news to Facebook Sunday saying, "We don’t recognize amazing acts as often as we should, but the staff at Festival Foods went above and beyond. Thank you Festival Foods for setting such a great example!"
The Sheboygan Police Department took the news to Facebook Sunday saying, "We don’t recognize amazing acts as often as we should, but the staff at Festival Foods went above and beyond. Thank you Festival Foods for setting such a great example!"
After Festival workers finished shopping for the woman, the manager walked her groceries over to her and handed her an Easter Lily.
After Festival workers finished shopping for the woman, the manager walked her groceries over to her and handed her an Easter Lily.

2:39 p.m. -- User briefly shares graphic images after taking over Milwaukee Election Commission Zoom meeting
2:39 p.m. -- User briefly shares graphic images after taking over Milwaukee Election Commission Zoom meeting
An unidentified user briefly hijacked the Milwaukee Election Commission's Zoom meeting Sunday, taking over the screen and sharing graphic imagery.
An unidentified user briefly hijacked the Milwaukee Election Commission's Zoom meeting Sunday, taking over the screen and sharing graphic imagery.
The meeting had been scheduled for 2 p.m. to discuss a number of absentee ballots that were returned without postmarks.
The meeting had been scheduled for 2 p.m. to discuss a number of absentee ballots that were returned without postmarks.
About twenty minutes into the meeting, the user took over the Zoom meeting and began using the screen share feature to display graphic images that were radical, violent, and pornographic in nature.
About twenty minutes into the meeting, the user took over the Zoom meeting and began using the screen share feature to display graphic images that were radical, violent, and pornographic in nature.
The meeting was eventually suspended as Commissioner Neil Albrecht fought to control the situation.
The meeting was eventually suspended as Commissioner Neil Albrecht fought to control the situation.
The FBI has issued warnings about so-called "Zomb-bombing," where teleconferences and other online classrooms are hijacked.
The FBI has issued warnings about so-called "Zomb-bombing," where teleconferences and other online classrooms are hijacked.

1:31 p.m. -- Hadfield Elementary school staff donates to Froedtert Hospital workers
1:31 p.m. -- Hadfield Elementary school staff donates to Froedtert Hospital workers
Staff from Hadfield Elementary School in Waukesha came together for a good cause this week, donating hundreds of dollars in food to workers battling the coronavirus.
Staff from Hadfield Elementary School in Waukesha came together for a good cause this week, donating hundreds of dollars in food to workers battling the coronavirus.
The school donated $715 intended for a meal to feed 25+ staff members in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit at Froedtert Hospital.
The school donated $715 intended for a meal to feed 25+ staff members in the COVID-19 Intensive Care Unit at Froedtert Hospital.
Hadfield staff also included gift cards to restaurants and grocery stores for their custodial staff to thank them for their amazing work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hadfield staff also included gift cards to restaurants and grocery stores for their custodial staff to thank them for their amazing work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
For information on supporting Froedtert healthcare workers during the pandemic, click here.
For information on supporting Froedtert healthcare workers during the pandemic, click here.

12:50 p.m. -- Milwaukee teachers make Easter baskets, deliver them to their students
12:50 p.m. -- Milwaukee teachers make Easter baskets, deliver them to their students
Three teachers from Rocketship Transformation Prep made Easter baskets for their students and delivered them to their homes.
Three teachers from Rocketship Transformation Prep made Easter baskets for their students and delivered them to their homes.
Abbey Baumer, Mariah Galraza, and Sarina Randazzo are missing their students a lot during this pandemic so they decided to make Easter baskets and deliver them to students' homes, contact-free of course.
Abbey Baumer, Mariah Galraza, and Sarina Randazzo are missing their students a lot during this pandemic so they decided to make Easter baskets and deliver them to students' homes, contact-free of course.
The teachers began delivering the baskets on Friday and will finish up over the weekend. The kids appeared to be very excited about the surprise.
The teachers began delivering the baskets on Friday and will finish up over the weekend. The kids appeared to be very excited about the surprise.

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Rocketship Transformation Prep is a K4-4th grade public charter school on Milwaukee’s north side serving students who are predominantly low-income and suffer from trauma.
Rocketship Transformation Prep is a K4-4th grade public charter school on Milwaukee’s north side serving students who are predominantly low-income and suffer from trauma.
These students are sure to have an even better Easter with these baskets. Thank you teachers!
These students are sure to have an even better Easter with these baskets. Thank you teachers!

12:07 p.m. -- Commission reaffirms ballots need election day postmarks
12:07 p.m. -- Commission reaffirms ballots need election day postmarks
(AP) Wisconsin election officials are telling local clerks to stick by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that absentee ballots must be postmarked no later than election day as they prepare to tally results from the state's spring election.
(AP) Wisconsin election officials are telling local clerks to stick by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that absentee ballots must be postmarked no later than election day as they prepare to tally results from the state's spring election.
The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that absentee ballots must be hand-delivered to clerks on election day or postmarked by election day to count, but confusion has been mounting as clerks say they've been receiving ballots with no postmarks or markings that may or may not be postmarks.
The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that absentee ballots must be hand-delivered to clerks on election day or postmarked by election day to count, but confusion has been mounting as clerks say they've been receiving ballots with no postmarks or markings that may or may not be postmarks.

11:26 a.m. -- COVID-19 cases, deaths continue rise in Wisconsin
11:26 a.m. -- COVID-19 cases, deaths continue rise in Wisconsin
(AP) The number of people testing positive for the coronavirus in Wisconsin continues to rise. Wisconsin health officials reported Saturday the number of people in the state testing positive for COVID-19 has grown to 3,213.
(AP) The number of people testing positive for the coronavirus in Wisconsin continues to rise. Wisconsin health officials reported Saturday the number of people in the state testing positive for COVID-19 has grown to 3,213.
That's up 145 from the day before. The number of deaths officially attributed to the coronavirus in Wisconsin grew Saturday to 137, an increase of nine from the previous day. Statewide, 34,680 tests have come back negative.
That's up 145 from the day before. The number of deaths officially attributed to the coronavirus in Wisconsin grew Saturday to 137, an increase of nine from the previous day. Statewide, 34,680 tests have come back negative.
That’s an increase from 33,225 negative tests reported Friday. Health officials said 30% of people who have tested positive for coronavirus in Wisconsin have been hospitalized.
That’s an increase from 33,225 negative tests reported Friday. Health officials said 30% of people who have tested positive for coronavirus in Wisconsin have been hospitalized.

10:47 a.m. -- New mural on Milwaukee's south side honors medical workers on the front lines
10:47 a.m. -- New mural on Milwaukee's south side honors medical workers on the front lines
A new mural in Milwaukee honors medical professionals on the front lines during this pandemic.
A new mural in Milwaukee honors medical professionals on the front lines during this pandemic.
The mural sits on the corner of 6th and Lincoln, and features a woman wearing a face mask who appears to be praying.
The mural sits on the corner of 6th and Lincoln, and features a woman wearing a face mask who appears to be praying.
The colorful work was created by artist and Milwaukee native Mauricio Ramirez, and honors those medical professionals who risk their health every day to help those fighting COVID-19.
The colorful work was created by artist and Milwaukee native Mauricio Ramirez, and honors those medical professionals who risk their health every day to help those fighting COVID-19.

New mural on corner of 6th and Lincoln honors medical workers on the front lines

"They're out there battling on the front lines and I just kinda wanted to show them some love," said Ramirez. "Our biggest heroes right now are the people working in the health care field."
"They're out there battling on the front lines and I just kinda wanted to show them some love," said Ramirez. "Our biggest heroes right now are the people working in the health care field."
Ramirez has painted several murals across Milwaukee and the country. For this mural, he paid for all the supplies out of pocket. He got permission from a building owner to take this plain white wall, and turn it into a masterpiece.
Ramirez has painted several murals across Milwaukee and the country. For this mural, he paid for all the supplies out of pocket. He got permission from a building owner to take this plain white wall, and turn it into a masterpiece.
After he finished the mural, Ramirez took to Instagram to share a time lapse video of him completing the piece.
After he finished the mural, Ramirez took to Instagram to share a time lapse video of him completing the piece.

10 a.m. -- 'Drive Thru at the Farm' aims to help fund local food supply chain
10 a.m. -- 'Drive Thru at the Farm' aims to help fund local food supply chain
Saturday, the second weekly Drive-Thru at the Farm opened up as shoppers made their way through to pick up fresh food and produce.
Saturday, the second weekly Drive-Thru at the Farm opened up as shoppers made their way through to pick up fresh food and produce.
“People are really coming by for the convenience, for the ability to just pull up and pay some money for a lot of food and not have to get out of their car," said organizer Thomas Schmitt.
“People are really coming by for the convenience, for the ability to just pull up and pay some money for a lot of food and not have to get out of their car," said organizer Thomas Schmitt.
For everyone involved with the 2-week-old drive through, the individual goals were different.
For everyone involved with the 2-week-old drive through, the individual goals were different.
"This is probably going to be dinner tonight," said Barbara Thompson, a customer as she picked up an order.
"This is probably going to be dinner tonight," said Barbara Thompson, a customer as she picked up an order.

'Drive Thru at the Farm' aims to help support the local grocery supply chain

Schmitt said much of the food he's now selling would've otherwise gone to waste due to restaurant and businesses closing.
Schmitt said much of the food he's now selling would've otherwise gone to waste due to restaurant and businesses closing.
“For 20 bucks, they get a very large bag of produce, fruit, vegetables and mashed potatoes," Schmitt said.
“For 20 bucks, they get a very large bag of produce, fruit, vegetables and mashed potatoes," Schmitt said.
The Drive Through at the Farm is open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Drive Through at the Farm is open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more information, click here.
For more information, click here.

9:25 a.m. -- Local hospitals administer first plasma treatments to COVID-19 patients
9:25 a.m. -- Local hospitals administer first plasma treatments to COVID-19 patients
Local hospitals are testing out an experimental treatment in an effort to help its COVID-19 patients recover from infection.
Local hospitals are testing out an experimental treatment in an effort to help its COVID-19 patients recover from infection.
Doctors at Aurora St. Luke's Hospital in Milwaukee administered the health system's first plasma transfusion to a coronavirus patient on Friday. Another local healthcare operator, Ascention Wisconsin, first utilized the method to treat a patient on Thursday.
Doctors at Aurora St. Luke's Hospital in Milwaukee administered the health system's first plasma transfusion to a coronavirus patient on Friday. Another local healthcare operator, Ascention Wisconsin, first utilized the method to treat a patient on Thursday.
According to medical professionals, a plasma transfusion involves taking the antibodies from the bloodstream of a patient who has recovered and giving them to someone who is trying to fight off COVID-19.
According to medical professionals, a plasma transfusion involves taking the antibodies from the bloodstream of a patient who has recovered and giving them to someone who is trying to fight off COVID-19.

Local hospitals administer first plasma treatments to COVID-19 patients

Dr. Ajay Sahajpal leads up transplant surgery at Aurora Health and says the method has been around since the late 1800s, being used to help fight the Spanish Flu.
Dr. Ajay Sahajpal leads up transplant surgery at Aurora Health and says the method has been around since the late 1800s, being used to help fight the Spanish Flu.
"The evidence is being somewhat encouraging that people do respond to this so in the absence of a vaccine and without a good treatment this the only real alternative we have," Sahajpal said.
"The evidence is being somewhat encouraging that people do respond to this so in the absence of a vaccine and without a good treatment this the only real alternative we have," Sahajpal said.
Read the full story here.
Read the full story here.

8:14 a.m. -- Lives Lost: Milwaukee police leader ensured racial equality
8:14 a.m. -- Lives Lost: Milwaukee police leader ensured racial equality
(AP) Lenard “Lenny” Wells had wide influence in his decades in law enforcement. He mentored generations of officers and community activists who went on to become police leaders and lawmakers.
(AP) Lenard “Lenny” Wells had wide influence in his decades in law enforcement. He mentored generations of officers and community activists who went on to become police leaders and lawmakers.
He helped ensure African Americans had equal access to promotions in the desegregated Milwaukee Police Department. Wells died March 21 at age 69 of complications from the coronavirus.
He helped ensure African Americans had equal access to promotions in the desegregated Milwaukee Police Department. Wells died March 21 at age 69 of complications from the coronavirus.
He dedicated his life to racial equality and fairness, both within the Police Department and the larger community. A retired colleague described him as “a very versatile leader in Wisconsin.” In retirement, he was teaching criminal justice at the University of Memphis in Tennessee.
He dedicated his life to racial equality and fairness, both within the Police Department and the larger community. A retired colleague described him as “a very versatile leader in Wisconsin.” In retirement, he was teaching criminal justice at the University of Memphis in Tennessee.

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