RHINELANDER - When Rhinelander's common council approved the city's 2020 budget Nov. 25, one item was left unresolved.
The city requested 45% of local room tax revenue but that may be against the law.
"I would like to reiterate, there's a state statute, a city ordinance and a contract that outlines room tax," said Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce director Lauren Sacket at the Nov. 25 meeting.
Under Wisconsin law, a municipality can only keep 30% of room tax revenue.
The remaining revenue collected goes to the Rhinelander Tourism and Marketing Committee (RTMC). The committee also lays aside 8% of room tax funds specifically for city marketing.
Sackett said there's still time to change the budget and ways for the city to have more input on how RTMC money is used.
"You can tell us how you like the 8% to be spent and you can also know more about how we allocate the 70% of funds by filling the city's vacant seat [on RTMC] and having more than our mayor attending the meetings," said Sackett.
At the Nov. 25, city attorney Steve Sorenson said he believed the city could legally use the money. However, he called it a "policy decision" that's up to the common council to make.
The council decided to gather more information and take up the issue a later meeting.
MADISON - On September 22nd the United States hit a staggering 200,000 COVID-19 deaths. Wisconsin alone has 100,000 cases. The high numbers of deaths and cases can be lowered by modifying our behaviors and by wearing a mask properly.
There have been revisions to the mask mandate. Originally, it was said that only people not feeling well are required to wear it. It was changed when it was discovered that just talking could cause an outbreak.
Dr. Jeff Pothof of UW Madison Health spoke about how not wearing a mask can affect your long term health.
"People who had no idea they were sick had enough virus where they could spread it and the only thing they needed to do to spread it was talk to someone else," said Pothof.
COVID-19 is all across the country and not wearing a mask is putting yourself and the people around you at risk.
"There is no way you can know. It is everywhere right now. To think that you live in a location where COVID-19 hasn't reached yet is just not true," said Pothof.
To ensure you're protected, wear a cloth mask that is two layers thick to prevent your droplets from escaping and to protect from other droplets.
Make sure to wash your cloth masks once a week and change paper masks once every three to 5 days.
"They need to cover your nose and your mouth. If you only cover your mouth, the mask is not effective. Those droplets are coming out your nose and it just doesn't work," said Pothof.
For those thinking there's no repercussions from catching COVID-19, there are health risks that can be long term and affect your everyday life.
"People who have had COVID-19 may not ever return to normal lung function and that can impact them in ways such as in physical exertion and their ability to do things. Their physical stamina may decreased because their lungs are no longer as effective as they were before they had COVID-19," said Pothof.
The other long term health risks of COVID-19 is an inflamed heart.
"Likewise people that have an inflamed heart muscle tissue their hearts don't pump as effectively. The more severe COVID-19 the more inflammation they saw in the heart muscle. And we don't know how long that will last. The more severe the COVID-19 the more inflammation they saw in the heart muscle," said Pothof.
In cities like Madison and Milwaukee, their hospitals are equipped to handle a large influx of people and have special wards to combat COVID-19--unlike the smaller hospitals in our communities.
"Even if you have a small outbreak , you're going to quickly strip the healthcare resources in your community and when that happens only bad things happen to those people," said Pothof.
Make sure to mask up properly, to keep your loved ones and your community safe. For more information, you can visit the CDC website.
MILWAUKEE - Demonstrations in Wisconsin over a grand jury's decision not to indict Louisville, Kentucky police officers in Breonna Taylor's death were relatively peaceful with protesters in Milwaukee blocking traffic on an interstate.
WASHINGTON - Spotify and the makers of Fortnite and Tinder are taking on Apple and Google as part of a newly formed coalition calling for "fair treatment" in the way the tech giants run their app stores.
MADISON - The University of Wisconsin-Madison lifted quarantine orders for two of its largest dorms on Wednesday, on a day when the state added 56 hospitalizations from COVID-19 complications to its record total.
WASHINGTON - Many American workers applying for unemployment benefits after being thrown out of a job by the coronavirus face a new complication: States' efforts to prevent fraud have delayed or disrupted their payments.
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