Arts and crafts area for children after they’ve received their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine rollout for kids underway

Schools and businesses throughout Dane County are providing COVID-19 shots for children over 5 years old. Over the past month, Dane County schools and businesses launched a series of inoculation efforts following the approval of COVID-19 vaccines for children over the age of five. Dane County is among the most heavily vaccinated areas in the United States, with 86% of adults receiving at least one dose of a COVID-19 shot, and community members are hopeful similar trends will be sustained in vaccinating children. Clinics thus far were held at a variety of locations, including Prairie Elementary School, Arboretum Elementary School, Badger Ridge Middle School and the Madison Children’s Museum. One parent who brought their son to the Madison Children’s Museum clinic said they were eager to vaccinate their child amid concerns of a potential winter surge in cases or

the emergence of a new, more contagious variant.

Madison Commons Media Digest, December 12, 2021

Top Stories
New Wisconsin laws aim to prevent backlog of sexual assault kits, support survivors
Juliana Tornabene, NBC 15, Dec. 6, 2021
Gov. Tony Evers signed two pieces of legislation, Senate Bill 94 and Senate Bill 71, to make the current method of tracking and testing sexual assault kits more efficient, improving transparency and accountability for survivors

Exact Sciences donates a half million dollars to Urban League’s Black Business Hub project
Jaymes Langrehr, Channel3000, Dec. 9, 2021
Exact Science announced a $500,000 donation for the construction of the future Black Business Hub, a four-story, 76,000-square foot building project that will help connect Madison's Black community to career opportunities and support entrepreneurs of color. Community
What the Sun Prairie High School split means for student athletes
Andrew Balko, Madison Commons, Dec. 7, 2021
The opening of Sun Prairie West High School in fall 2022 will allow greater opportunities for student athletes, including more opportunities for playing time and student leadership.

Ashley Field, Home of the two teams of Sun Prairie.

What the Sun Prairie High School split means for student athletes

Two teams, two mascots and more chances to compete next year. Sun Prairie West High School will open its doors for the first time in fall 2022. This will shake up the school district, including its high school athletics. 
The district had about 2,500 students enrolled in grades 9–12 as of November, according to a district enrollment report posted on its website. This separation will provide new opportunities for each high school that otherwise wouldn’t be available. “I think you are more likely to see more kids come out,” said Eric Nee, Sun Prairie’s Athletic Director.

Madison Commons Media Digest, December 5, 2021

Top Stories
Madison Police report shows racial disparities
Meredith Opie, Madison Commons, Nov. 29, 2021
A Madison report revealed that nearly half of incidents of police force are directed at Black residents, despite making up 9% of the Madison population. Chief Barnes believes these biases exist both inside and outside of the police force. Madison mayor, attorney hit back at Michael Gableman’s 2020 review
Allison Garfield and Jack Kelly, The Capital Times, Dec. 3, 2021
Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway and Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich respond to threats of jail time by former state Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman over a review of the state’s 2020 presidential election.

Volunteers gather to supply food and hygiene packages to unhoused citizens in Madison

First United Methodist church delivers hope downtown

Volunteers feed unhoused Madison residents one care package at a time. Volunteering at a church before 8 AM is not how most college students spend their mornings. But for members of the UW-Madison Social Justice Hub, volunteers say it’s how they help deliver hope to the community. “It’s just a really great effort to be able to give back and do something good with my week,” said  Hunter Weber, a student volunteer. 

Volunteers gathered at First United Methodist Church on Tuesday morning to package over 120 emergency food packages plus 75 hygiene kits for the homeless. 

Each food bag contains three meals, snacks, towelettes, and two bottles of water. The hygiene packages hold various sanitary items, including dental care, feminine hygiene products, trash bags and toilet paper. 

“When you’re an individual suffering loss of home, these are lifelines,” said Karen Andro, director of outreach ministry. 

The bags are then distributed to different outreach groups in the area who deliver materials across the city. 

Andro says the initiative is not just about putting the bags together, it’s about building trust with the homeless community to bring them what they need to survive. 

“So the trust piece is really vital,” she said.

State Street, Madison, Wisconsin. Madison Police Department racial bias.

Madison Police report shows racial disparities

Black residents subjected to higher rates of use of force

Racism and policing are deeply intertwined in the United States… and Madison, Wisconsin is no exception. Shon Barnes joined the Madison Police Department in February 2021 as Chief of Police. Chief Barnes said racism and biases exist within their police department because they exist within society. “Systemic racism isn't just in police departments. We recruit from the human race.

Jewop, a Jewish A capella group at UW-Madison

A unique take on a capella

Singing group shares Jewish culture through music

Students from different backgrounds come together in harmony through Jewop, a UW–Madison campus A capella group. This story was originally produced for The Badger Report, a newscast by students in Journalism 425: Video Journalism at UW–Madison. View more from the Badger Report.


Will Sobol: “We are a culturally Jewish A capella group, which means that we do music by Jewish artists or whenever we can we do traditional Jewish music as well.”

Lauren Langeberg: “A capella is a way of performing music without instruments, so we sing all of the parts that instruments would usually make up in a song.”

Will Sobol: “I just love that kind of music, and classical, I suppose, classical genres like that, there’s not any other a cappella group on campus that does that.”

Will Sobol: “I found what I was looking for here.”

Lauren Langeberg: “It wasn’t so much the focus on Judaism. It was just the people that were involved.

Waunakee High School with the state football championship trophy.

Dane County Splits at State Football Championships

Waunakee defeats Homestead 33-21 while Sun Prairie falls to Franklin 17-38

Dane County was represented by both Waunakee and Sun Prairie at the WIAA football state championship this weekend, winning one state title.  

The Waunakee Warriors took home the WIAA Division II State Championship for football, beating Homestead High School 33-21. Waunakee’s momentum was fueled by a 97-yard kickoff return by senior Ben Farnsworth late in the second quarter. Farnsworth fumbled the kickoff prior to the one he returned for the touchdown. “We are always talking about the clean slate mentality,” Farnsworth said. “We just went out there with a clean slate, followed the blockers, and took it to the house.”

The return came right after Homestead was able to march down the field to tie the game 7-7.

radio, film, and theater come together to form new Edgewood entertainment experience.

‘Vintage Hitchcock’ adapts classic movies to tell a new story

Edgewood College play gets inspiration from 1940s radio
Edgewood College Theatre staged an unusual production that combines the unique elements of theater, radio and film. The play, done in the style of a 1940s radio show, blended shortened versions of some of director Alfred Hitchcock’s famous films. This story was originally produced for The Badger Report, a newscast by students in Journalism 425: Video Journalism at UW–Madison. View more from the Badger Report.


Olivia Rose: “‘Vintage Hitchcock: A Live Radio Play’ is a combination of shortened versions of Alfred-some of Alfred Hitchcock’s published movies.”

Olivia Rose: “In the style of a radio show set in the 1940s.”

Benson Gilkison: “I’ve worked on a bunch of shows here, but we’ve never had live foley art.”

Benson Gilkison: “So this is a really new experience for me and I definitely wanted to be a part of it.”

Olivia Rose: “I’m a big fan of Alfred Hitchcock’s work.”

Olivia Rose: “I really like the suspense that keeps you hanging on throughout the entire…I guess…work that you’re watching.”

Jeanne Leep: “What drew me to this play was that it had flexibility to deal with all the conditions that we have in our world right now.”

Jeanne Leep: “This show is one that we could do live in front of an audience or we could do it as a radio play.”

Olivia Rose: “This is a modem that I’m not familiar with, so just learning more about the craft in itself is expanding my knowledge in what it already is.”

Benson Gilkison: “I think it just opens a bunch of new doors for me. I’ve always been in the booth.

rental assistance

Rental assistance slow to reach residents who need help

Pandemic relief program hampered by application backlog and other issues

High demand and technical difficulties have hindered a rental assistance program the city organized to provide financial aid to Madison residents facing housing insecurity following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the nationwide eviction moratorium expires and rental assistance applications continue to pile up, activists and community leaders are sounding the alarm. They warn of the potential for an exasperated housing crisis and further backlog in aid rollout if substantial reforms to housing policy are not made. Approximately 8.8 million renters fell behind on rent payments across the United States in 2020 — a burden that fell disproportionately on Black and Latino tenants. Congress and the Centers for Disease Control moved to stop the bleeding in 2021, implementing a rent moratorium and dispensing rental assistance funds through the CARES Act.