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Lawmakers and Tavern League of Wisconsin react to 'Safer at Home' extensionSubmitted: 04/18/2020
Zack White
Zack White
Reporter
zwhite@wjfw.com

Lawmakers and Tavern League of Wisconsin react to 'Safer at Home' extension
RHINELANDER - Gov. Evers recently added an extension to his 'Safer At Home Order' which has some restaurant owners to worry about their futures.

"No we're not gonna make it through and we have lost members, and we need to find a solution to bridge the gap between now and getting back to normal," said Wisconsin Tavern League Spokesperson Scott Stenger.

Restaurants and even bars are restricted to carry-out and delivery, which some say is not enough.

"It's not working, it's not working to-go is essentially a one night proposition, Friday night is the night we get business," said Stenger.

Which Stenger said is a huge problem


"That's it to-go isn't enough to pay the bills," said Stenger.

Local Wisconsin lawmakers, like Representative Rob Swearingen (R-Rhinelander) said he understand how complex things are.

"We're very frustrated in the tourism the tourism industry, obviously it's such a huge economic impact here in the Northwoods," said Swearingen.

Senator Janet Bewley (D - Mason) said she agrees.

"I talk daily with multiple resort owners, campground owners, even summer camp kids and families," said Bewley.

Bewley said in order for the state to return to normalcy, more testing needs to be done.

"Another thing that comes into play its that I think we need so much more testing," said Bewley.

Although several restaurant owners say they would like to re-open as early as possible, they remain adamant that health is the highest priority.

"We wanna do this right, we wanna open up safe, we want our employees to be safe and our customers to be safe, the last thing we want to do is go through this again," said Stenger.

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 IN OTHER NEWS

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FOREST CO. - Over the last three weeks, Forest Co. went from having zero confirmed COVID-19 cases to now 28.

Health officials state all but one is tied to an outbreak at The Bay at Nu Roc Health and Rehabilitation Center, in Laona.

However, Forest Co. residents connected to employees at Nu Roc say the virus was present a few weeks prior to the county's first case.

Resident Jennifer Connor discovered after speaking to community members that two weeks prior to the county announcing their first confirmed case another employee at NuRoc tested positive in April

Witnesses at NuRoc, who wish to remain anonymous, did confirm that the administration brushed off that employee's COVID like symptoms as another illness and allowed her to continue working in the building until April 24.

That following week the employee tested positive for the coronavirus.

CDC guidelines state "if a healthcare worker develops symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, difficulty breathing), advise them to stay home from work."

Nurses and other staff stated that the employee's significant other tested posted for the virus prior and after speaking with administration they were asked to not share that information with their colleagues.

One stated "Corporate told us that the employer has the coronavirus, but not to say anything to anyone as we need to keep this real quiet. We were told by corporate not to worry."

Following CDC guidelines includes healthcare workers to report when they come in contact to a high or medium-risk exposure. Additionally they ask to exclude them from working for 14 days after the last exposure.

Knowing that information, Connor began to call multiple state agencies to warn of the potential outbreak at Nu Roc.

All nursing homes are required to report data weekly to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and CDC through NHSN according to the CMS and CDC reporting requirements.

After speaking with almost ten state agencies, Connor added in an email to Newswatch 12 that they had no knowledge of the spread and even admitted they had inaccurate data.


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MILWAUKEE - A rally organized by the group Community Task Force MKE took place outside the Wisconsin Black Historical Society at 1:00 p.m. today.

Protesters gathered to demand justice for the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Community activist Vaun Mayes took part in leading the rally.

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RHINELANDER - Ripco Credit Union announced that the lobbies of both the Rhinelander and Eagle River branches will be reopening on June 15th.

President/CEO Liza Edinger shared that the Reopening Plan uses a phased approach. 

Phase 1 has already begun, with members requiring specific services being welcomed back into their lobbies by appointment.

Those services include use of the coin machine, notary services, safe deposit box entry and certain loan closings.

Members are still asked to use non-contact services like the drive-ins, ATMs, phone, and digital channels whenever possible.

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MADISON - Wisconsin health officials have recorded nearly 20 more COVID-19-related deaths since Thursday.

The state Department of Health Services says the number of deaths in the state as of Friday afternoon stood at 568, up 18 from the same time on Thursday.

The total number of cases stood at 17,707, an increase of 733 from Thursday. Nearly 2,500 people have been hospitalized.

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MADISON, WI - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is proud to host the 8th annual Wisconsin Free Fun Weekend. Park admission fees, fishing license and trail pass requirements will be waived on June 6-7 to encourage Wisconsinites to take advantage of and enjoy Wisconsin's outdoors.

During Free Fun Weekend June 6-7:

- No state park admission stickers or trail passes are required.
- People may fish without a fishing license or trout/salmon stamps. All other fishing regulations apply.
- ATV, UTVs, and OHMs are exempt from registration requirements. Resident and non-resident all-terrain vehicle operators do not need a trail pass to ride state ATV trails.
- Capacity limits remain in effect at some properties to limit overcrowding.
- Visitors are asked to recreate responsibly close to home and practice social distancing.

Before heading to a state park, trail or waterbody near you, here are some additional things to know:

FISHING

- Residents and non-residents will not be required to have a fishing license or trout/salmon stamps.
- All 2020-2021 fishing regulations apply including bag and length limits.
- Due to the public health risk, loaner equipment will not be available. Anglers should bring their own equipment and bait.
- Only anglers living in the same household (i.e. family members or roommates) should fish within six feet of one another.
- Events such as fishing clinics are canceled.
- Anglers are encouraged to have a backup plan in the event there is crowding or unsafe conditions where they plan to fish. We encourage everyone to fish safely and responsibly.
- Locate launches and shorefishing access points near you.

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CRANDON -

The Sokaogan Chippewa Community in Crandon has been awarded $300,000 to fund their coronavirus relief effort.

According to a press release, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced they will award $15 million to 52 different tribes across the nation.

The money comes from the CARES Act that President Trump signed back in March.

Qualifying tribes can receive up to $300,000 in these grants. 


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MINNEAPOLIS - The white Minneapolis police officer who pressed his knee into George Floyd's neck as he begged for air was arrested Friday and charged with murder, as authorities imposed overnight curfews to try to stem violent protests over police killings of African Americans that have spread from Minneapolis to cities across the country.

Protesters smashed windows at CNN headquarters in Atlanta, torched a police car and struck officers with bottles. Large demonstrations in New York, Houston, Washington, D.C., and other cities ranged from people peacefully blocking roads to clashing with police.

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