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Evers calls Tiffany's resignation request for health leader 'insane'Submitted: 05/14/2020
Evers calls Tiffany's resignation request for health leader 'insane'
Story By Scott Bauer, Associated Press

Photos By Driscb21 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

MADISON - Democratic Gov. Tony Evers chided a Republican lawmaker Thursday who called for the resignation of the state's health secretary, saying it was an "insane statement."

Sen. Tom Tiffany, who was elected to Congress in a special election on Tuesday, said Palm should step down as leader of the Wisconsin Department of Health Services because of how she handled the state's response to the coronavirus pandemic, which Tiffany referred to as the "Wuhan virus."

The state Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled 4-3 that Palm exceeded her authority with an order that closed most nonessential businesses to slow the spread of the virus. Palm was appointed by Evers but has not been confirmed by the Republican-controlled state Senate. Two other Republican senators previously called for her confirmation to be rejected, just as the Senate did last year to Evers' agriculture secretary.

Tiffany said Palm's approach led to the collapse of the state's economy and health care system and "devastated our way of life."

"Ms. Palm came here as Governor Evers' hired gun, and she will leave with Wisconsin's corpse if she continues," Tiffany said in a statement.

Evers stopped a news conference on the virus to speak about Tiffany's statement about 20 minutes after he released it.

"Senator Tiffany please, you just won an election. Just relax," Evers said. "This is an insane statement. We talk about trying to tone down the rhetoric and I've done everything I can do to that. To make a statement like that about someone who has dedicated her life to saving lives, please sir give us a break. You're headed to Washington, D.C. I know you're better than this."

Tiffany defeated Democrat Tricia Zunker on Tuesday and will replace retired Republican U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy in Congress.

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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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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 - 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.

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BLACK RIVER FALLS - The death of an inmate in the Jackson County Jail is under investigation.

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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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MADISON - In a press release Friday, Gov. Tony Evers released the following statement on the death of George Floyd:

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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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