Education for children without homes is hard enough; COVID is making it worse

Access to quality education is at risk for housing-insecure children in Madison as their families face the economic blowback of COVID-19 and the end of an eviction moratorium looms. 

Governor Evers announced a $30 million CARES Act fund on Sept. 3, which directs $25 million towards the Wisconsin Rental Assistance Program. The next day, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a national eviction moratorium in an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. However, come Dec. 31, families will be to pay their accumulated rent. If they are unable to do so, they will be evicted, putting children’s access to quality remote learning at risk.

It’s finally Badger Gameday! Here’s what that means for campus-area bars

At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, football Saturdays usually mean large crowds, packed bars, and a football stadium full of thousands of fans. But this year will be markedly different. Courtney Degen spoke to public health authorities, neighborhood leaders & a bar owner about what Badger football looks like in the pandemic era.

‘Keep a steady flow’: Small shop owners carefully navigating the pandemic

Small business owners have seen a slow but steady flow of customers since Dane County loosened restrictions in early June in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic -- and some have been able to adapt, while others haven't.

With modified options such as operating under reduced hours, offering curbside pickups and focusing on take-out, small business owners on Monroe Street have responded to a changing economic environment making efforts to balance out public health protocols and their footing in the business. 

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.