MADISON - Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers announced Sunday he wants state lawmakers to pass a package of bills aimed at curbing youth vaping and educating the public about vaping's potential dangers.
The Democratic governor is requesting bill that would ban vaping and vapor products on K-12 campuses and expand the definition of public health emergencies. Another bill would fund a public health campaign to address youth vaping.
The governor's office outlined his proposals in a press release Sunday.
The governor's office said vaping products pose serious health risks to young users because the nicotine contained in e-cigarettes can harm parts of the brain that control attention and learning.
RHINELANDER - With schools closed, teachers can't have face-to-face interaction with their students for now. One local resource officer was missing that connection too, so he found another way to reach out to the kids he's used to seeing every day.
Deputy Michael Baran oversees the four elementary schools in the Rhinelander district.
"I kind of bounce throughout the schools and try to stop in the classrooms as much as I can," said Baran. "I'm in there helping kids read books or work on their math problems."
To continue that tradition, Baran posted a video of himself online reading a popular children's book so students could read along at home. The idea came from Crescent Elementary School principal Gayle Daniel, who saw Baran as the perfect host for a virtual story time.
"Michael is such an important part of our school community," said Daniel. "Having parents read stories, older siblings, family members… It's really important that they are read to and that they also read."
RHINELANDER & WAUSAU - These days, many people are dealing with major changes to our lives, thanks to COVID-19. But experts say, for those with mental disabilities like autism, that struggle is multiplied.
Local health experts say people with mental disabilities often prefer a consistent schedule and routine. Now, thanks to coronavirus, all that has been interrupted and that has caused stress and uncertainty.
"That's very important for children who struggle on a day to day basis just to maintain a schedule for consistency," said Rosaleta Pahnke, who is a mom with special needs children. "It helps relieve some of the anxiety and the fear to them would be the unknown."
MADISON - A federal judge on Thursday declined to postpone Wisconsin's presidential primary as the coronavirus spreads, but he ordered that people be given an extra six days beyond Tuesday's election for absentee voting.
U.S. District Judge William Conley blasted state leaders' decision not to delay the election to protect people's health but refused to postpone it himself, saying a federal judge shouldn't act as the state's health officer.
MADISON - University of Wisconsin President Ray Cross cautioned Thursday that the coronavirus outbreak that has already led to the suspension of all in-person spring classes could also force changes to the fall semester, which is scheduled to begin in August.
Cross, in addressing the university's Board of Regents, said UW was working on various scenarios based on rapidly changing conditions. The flagship UW-Madison campus announced Thursday that it was moving all in-person summer classes scheduled to start in May to online only, another sign that leaders don't expect a return to normalcy for months.
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