THREE LAKES - The Three Lakes School District is using a new piece of equipment to sanitize classrooms during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It's called the Clorox 360," said Three Lakes School District facilities manager Dave Kirby. "Our job is to make our students and staff feel safe. This is just another tool in our toolbox to make that happen."
Kirby ordered the disinfecting machine back in December as an extra measure of defense against the flu. Now, it's being used to protect the community during a pandemic.
"When we saw what it would do, and the chemical that we're spraying kills the coronavirus, it was a win-win for everybody," said Kirby.
Kirby is using the machine to clean more than classrooms. He's partnered with the Three Lakes Police Department, which uses the spray-cleaner to sanitize squad cars.
"We reached out to the school and offered to pay for the chemicals," said Three Lakes Police Chief Scott Lea. "We offered to take care of the [Oneida County] sheriff's office cars to ensure their safety too."
Lea said the machine ensures his officers have a safe work environment.
"It may be a tool to ensure our squad cars, which are really a police officer's office, to be as safe as they can be," said Lea.
The machine can disinfect a squad car in about two minutes, and a classroom in less than ten minutes.
Kirby is glad to share the school's equipment with local police; a partnership he said came naturally.
"Those are some people we rub shoulders with every day in the community. The partnership with them just makes sense," said Kirby.
RHINELANDER - 114 colorful flower baskets will soon flood the streets of downtown Rhinelander.
For eight years the master gardeners at Forth Floral have put their effort into making downtown appealing to visitors.
Every April, petunias--one of the easiest flowers to grow and maintain--are picked out by color and grown in the greenhouse.
After that, each basket is displayed in June and watered every day for the rest of the season.
Forth Floral co-owner Ruth Hempel knows the impact the flowers have on people.
"Oh, people just love the hanging baskets. It's just been a real boost, it's good for our community as well as all the visitors that come to town. It just makes downtown a really beautiful place," she said.
A committee works with downtown to fund a campaign to fund the planting and maintenance of the flowers.
As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the group is struggling to find people to help nurture the plants.
MADISON - The National Guard as a whole is made up of many multi-faceted individuals, coming from many different backgrounds and offering many different types of skillsets where training and knowledge gained inside and outside of their military careers are often brought to enhance the fight.
MADISON, WI - Gov. Tony Evers today announced $75 million in assistance for small businesses as part of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation's We're All In initiative, a comprehensive effort to celebrate and help Wisconsin's small businesses get back on their feet and support best practices to keep businesses, consumers, employees and communities safe.
Funded largely by federal dollars received through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, this initiative will provide direct assistance to small businesses most impacted by the duration and restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic.
These $2,500 cash grants will assist with the costs of business interruption or for health and safety improvements, wages and salaries, rent, mortgages, and inventory. Businesses will be able to apply for grant assistance in early June.
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.
News of the arrest came moments after Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz acknowledged the "abject failure" of the response to the protests and called for swift justice for officers involved. Walz said the state would take over the response to the violence and that it's time to show respect and dignity to those who are suffering.
The former Minneapolis police officer shown on video putting his knee on the neck of George Floyd has been arrested, according to Minnesota Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington.
Derek Chauvin, who was fired on Monday along with three other officers involved in the detainment of Floyd, was taken into custody Friday.
Video showed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd's neck for at least eight minutes on Monday night. The police department initially said Floyd "physically resisted" the officers and that he died after "suffering medical distress."
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