Private schools set to reopen after Supreme Court halts public health order

Private schools across Dane County are planning to reopen their classrooms as early as Monday after the Wisconsin Supreme Court temporarily blocked an order issued by Public Health Madison & Dane County that had barred in-person instruction for grades 3-12.

This comes after several parents, schools, and other groups petitioned the court to strike down Emergency Order No. 9. The order originally barred all schools from in-person instruction for grades 3-12, but it was later amended to allow in-person learning for students with disabilities in any grade.

The Bus Stops Here: When Improvement Means Back to 85% of Normal

Beginning August 23, 2020 Madison Metro Transit resumed a roughly 85% level of regular service (revenue hours), a huge improvement over its much leaner "essential" routing that began near the end of March. At that time, Madisonians got to see how essential it is to have a public transit system that continues to operate, even during a pandemic, and even in a much-reduced form. 

Everett Mitchell steps into new role as presiding judge of juvenile division for Dane County Circuit Court

For Everett Mitchell, a Dane County Circuit Court Judge since 2016, one of the traits that he says makes a good judge is curiosity.

“It's never rubberstamping what people do, but rather be curious upon every hearing that you have. As long as you remain curious, you continue to ask the right questions, the best questions, the thoughtful questions and you push," he says, "and the community can bring the best out of what we can do."

Domestic violence spikes in pandemic

COVID-19 has brought forth a variety of issues for the country to address: access to healthcare, racial equity, and educational opportunity. However, one unforeseen and lesser acknowledged consequence of this virus is the pandemic of domestic abuse which has raged across the country. With Wisconsin’s COVID-19 infection rates regularly fluctuating, there is little certainty regarding when the state and regular business functions will return back to normal. For survivors of domestic abuse, especially women, this experience has brought forth a multitude of life-threatening challenges to combat in addition to staying physically healthy. “We are already seeing that people losing their jobs and not having a lot of income is creating a lot of stress for families and amplifying these issues,” said Shannon Barry, Executive Director of Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS), a Madison-based non-profit which has served victims of domestic abuse since 1977. 

During the 2008 Recession, the center experienced a 107 percent increase in people reaching out for shelter services, Barry said.

Need a socially distant sport? Hard to beat kite surfing

With so many sports canceled during the coronavirus pandemic, people are left wondering what they can do to move their bodies other than walk their dog, jog, bike or maybe play a little tennis.  People wonder if spikeball and basketball are OK to enjoy, and even soccer doesn’t feel quite right.  But there is one community of athletes in town that is enjoying the ride mask-free: The kiteboarders.

State Street murals draw mixed reactions

After the Madison Black Lives Matter protests, I made a point to see the murals along State Street. For me, this artwork raised new questions to consider, community issues to understand, and social concerns to contemplate.

Pandemic disrupts traditions for Madison’s Muslims on the holy day of Eid al-Adha

From our news partner, Madison365:

Dressed in colorful traditional attire, 9-year-old Norah Baloch was constantly looking at her hands, decorated with Henna, on the back porch of her house on the west side of Madison. However, she was apparently not happy with the way she was celebrating Eid, one of the most important festivals of the Islamic calendar. “I can’t invite my friends or visit them. Last Eid was better than this one,” Norah said. Norah said she couldn’t visit her cousins in Chicago, a family norm she used to do every Eid.

Black leaders express joy, hope in new superintendent

A virtual reception hosted by local Black leaders to welcome Carlton Jenkins as the new superintendent of Madison schools was filled with overwhelming excitement and deep sense of hope, as Jenkins said his move to Madison to address educational disparities is his contribution to the movement inspired by the death of George Floyd.