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Health officials close indoor service at Madison barsSubmitted: 07/01/2020
Health officials close indoor service at Madison bars
Story By Associated Press

MADISON - Public health officials are closing indoor service at bars in Madison as the Fourth of July weekend approaches and as the number of coronavirus cases accelerate, many involving young people in Wisconsin's largest college community.

The order from Public Health Madison & Dane County effective Thursday allows bars that have patios to keep them open and it limits the number of people who may eat inside restaurants to 25% capacity, the Journal Sentinel reported.

Since June 13, 614 people have tested positive for coronavirus and half of them were between the ages of 18 and 29.

"For the past week, Dane County has seen a sustained, high number of cases. After consultation with our contact tracing team, gatherings and visits to bars and restaurants continue to be implicated in interviews with cases," Janel Heinrich, the agency's director said in a statement.

Bar owners are weighing a legal challenge.

Tavern League of Wisconsin lobbyist Scott Stenger said public health officials are unfairly punishing bar owners and not taking into account what role the recent protests over police brutality may have in the surge.

"To make out bars to be a scapegoat of an increase when you've had historic protests for three weeks straight - it seems a bit irresponsible to not factor that in," Stenger said.


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MADISON - An oversight board is considering firing Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales after he ordered officers to use tear gas to break up protests over George Floyd's death, the last straw for members upset with how the chief has handled incidents since the arrest of Milwaukee Bucks player Sterling Brown in 2018.

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WISCONSIN DELLS - Noah's Ark Water Park at the Wisconsin Dells announced on Wednesday that the park is going to stay closed for the rest of the season.

Their Facebook page says the park is trying to keep their guests, employees and the Dells community safe from COVID-19.

According to NBC in Madison, the park did close on Aug. 1 after two employees tested positive for the virus.

People who have single day passes and season passes for 2020 can use them for 2021.

The water park will use the remainder of this year to prepare for the 2021 season.

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SEATTLE - A widely cited University of Washington model predicts U.S. deaths from COVID-19 will reach nearly 300,000 by Dec. 1.

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THREE LAKES - On Thursday, August 20th starting at 10:00 AM the Demmer Library will be giving away 100 trees.

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DETROIT - Joe Biden's Democratic presidential campaign has launched a new national ad focused on Black Americans, urging them to stand up to President Donald Trump the way their ancestors stood up to "violent racists of a generation ago."

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- The Grand Theater announced on Thursday that they will be postponing their 2020-21 Season and all other major events through November, as well as creating The Grand's Ghost Light Fund. 

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THREE LAKES -

Students and parents have been patiently waiting to hear from local school districts on what classes will look like in the fall.

Last night, the Three Lakes School District flipped the script, they instead took questions from community members to hear their concerns.

Educating is a stressful job, now imagine trying to plan a school year around a global pandemic, and combine that with answering questions from nearly 130 parents in one night. That's a day in Teri Maney's shoes.

"It was truly a listening session...this was laying the groundwork so people have an idea of what we're planning and thinking about at the district," Maney said. 

 Those plans primarily aim to have students back in the classroom full time.

 "That would be our goal to return on site five days a week," she added. 

But with COVID-19 showing no signs of letting up in the U.S. backup plans will be in place for any changes.

"Our next level would be a blended approach," Maney added, "We're keeping our primary focus on elementary students being on site and that might mean for our junior high and high school, a little shift of scheduling."

Three Lakes would then approach any positive cases in the district through guidelines from Oneida and Vilas county health officials.

"We also have a plan for if we would have a positive identification in a grade level, or a teacher, or if there's a teacher. We would not want to shut down the entire district," Maney explained. 

But if things don't go as planned, Three Lakes will be fully prepared for online classes.

"The last level, level four, that would be fully remote instruction."

The school board will vote on Monday night at 6:30 whether or not they will continue with the district's plan. 


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