Historical Society honors Garver Feed Mill with Restoration Award

The Wisconsin Historical Society has honored Baum Revision with the 2020 Historic Restoration Award for their role in the preservation of the Garver Feed Mill, an iconic landmark on Madison's near East Side that has become a production space for emerging artisan food makers, wellness studios and hospitality providers.

When you’re not ‘safer at home’: How city, state services are supporting domestic abuse victims during quarantine

Data suggests domestic abuse is proliferating around the world in conditions created by the coronavirus pandemic.

Officials in Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and Seattle have publicly stated they are seeing increases in domestic violence allegations. Shannon Barry, Executive Director of Domestic Abuse Intervention Services, anticipates the same for Madison.

Marsy’s Law passed in the Spring Primary, but what does it actually mean?

The Marsy's Law amendment was supported by an overwhelming majority in this month's election, passing with 75 percent of the vote. While the amendment appeals to common common sense  on the surface, opponents like the ACLU of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Justice Initiative (WJI), say the wording of the amendment is misleading. 

Despite closures, schools continue to keep communities connected

As COVID-19 continues to change the lives of those across Madison, the importance of local school systems has risen through the ways they have strived to support local families.

“It has completely changed the lives of every person I know.” Michele Ritt, a Special Needs teacher with the Madison Metropolitan School District who was recently re-elected as County Supervisor for Dane County’s 18th District, said.

Willy Street Co-op’s business model paying dividends for community during difficult time

If you have lived in Madison for any substantial period of time, you have likely wandered among the produce-lined and organically-stuffed aisles of Willy Street Co-op. With three locations across Madison, the customer-owned grocery store has been filling the carts (and bellies) of locals since 1974. 

Three-plus generations of success unfortunately don’t protect businesses like the co-op against a global pandemic, though. The upside of having ownership split among 35,000 individuals in this time, however, is reactivity. 

“Because we are owned by people right here in our community, it plays an important role in our decision making process,” said Communications Director Brendon Smith. “We can be responsive to community needs in a way that chain stores cannot.”

Chapman concerned for family, community and country during COVID-19 crisis

Kathleen Chapman admitted she is bored under the current stay-at-home order, but she also recognizes the struggles faced by millions of others around the country -- especially people of color and those in single- income households.

“I live in a position of enormous amounts of privilege. My husband's job is secure. My job is secure. Heck, even my daughter's job is secure,” Chapman said. “We are not in a position to worry about whether or not we're going to make our mortgage payments or any of that. My concern is for the people who are going to be more disproportionately affected, and that's going to be people who have always been more vulnerable in our society.”

Racism a concern for Chinese students amid COVID-19 pandemic

Tao Zhou is one of thousands among the UW-Madison Class of 2020 whose college years were cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic. For many seniors, the abrupt ending to college has been anything but easy. But for students like Zhou, it has sparked a whole new outlook on life. 

“I started to feel the gaze when I was walking on the street, probably around February, when the U.S. started to first see cases of the coronavirus.” 

Zhou, an international student from Beijing, China, has been studying economics and photography at the University of Wisconsin - Madison for the past four years. Following the first break of news around COVID-19 in February, Zhou started noticing a major increase in acts of racism around her. After spotting graffiti on UW- Madison campus reading, “It’s from China, #chinesevirus” Zhou shared a picture of the chalked words on her Instagram page.

Hollandale’s Kirsch sticking with Trump despite turmoil

Rhonda Kirsch and her husband and son care for 500 cows on a dairy farm in Hollandale, Wisconsin. Kirsch has been a Trump supporter from day one, voting for him in the Republican Primary in 2016.

She intends to vote for him again this November. 

 “I like Trump for the business,” said Kirsch. “He had a lot to clean up. I don’t know why anyone would want to be president.”

Amid post-election frustration, Chapman trying to make best of quarantine

Editor's note: This story is the third in Madison Commons' series of profiles focused on the current climate of economic uncertainty and the 2020 election cycle. Long-standing voter Kathleen Chapman is left with frustration and anger after not being able to cast her vote this primary election. As an immunocompromised individual, she has been isolated in her home for more than 30 days. Compromising her health by going to the polls was not a risk she was willing to take. Out of the 11 states holding an April primary, Wisconsin was the only state to hold an in-person election and not postpone.