Good Morning, Madison!
It's Thursday. Happy Thursday.
Here's a little history lesson for your morning: On this day in 1922, WHA radio came to be. You might be asking "WTF is WHA?" Well, today you probably know the station better as Wisconsin Public Radio.
WPR long pre-dates the creation of National Public Radio. The station is one of the oldest in the United States and one of the first educational institutions to be granted a "limited commercial" broadcasting license. Pretty neat, right?
🏫 Madison schools are scaling back contact tracing and cutting down quarantine times.
Amid a record-setting week of COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin and Dane County, the Madison Metropolitan School District announced two major changes to its COVID-19 mitigation strategy Wednesday.
First, families will no longer get emails, texts, phone calls, or school-wide notifications about positive cases. Only individuals who test positive and their high-risk household members will be alerted of an exposure.
Second, the district is cutting back the required quarantine time for those who test positive for COVID-19 from 10 days to five days, falling in line with new federal guidance.
The changes will go into effect Tuesday, the State Journal reports. Oregon, Middleton-Cross Plains, Verona, Monona Grove, and Belleville school districts have already implemented the five-day quarantine and Sun Prairie School District has plans to do so as well.
Related: UW Health: Isolate like you have COVID-19 while waiting for test results (NBC 15)
Further reading: COVID-19 cases spiking at largest UW campuses ahead of spring semester (WPR)
⛸️ The city's ice rinks are closed until further notice.
🚗 PSA: The Wisconsin DMV is extending driver's license renewal time for those 60 and older.
Drivers in that age group with licenses set to expire in January, February, or March have until March 31 to renew them, without getting a late fee. The change comes as recognition of the "current elevated health risks to drivers 60 and over," the State Journal reports.
🎓 What does UW want in its next chancellor?
As the Cap Times put succinctly: "Staff at the University of Wisconsin-Madison want a chancellor with a diverse background who understands the importance of all those who work on campus, rather than one who values only faculty and students."
This conclusion came from a listening session with the chancellor search committee and those classified as academic and university staff.
💻 Meet Dr. Christina Outlay, the new executive director of Madym.
What is Madym? Madym is a Madison-based organization that introduces girls and youth of color to technology and programming. It's been around since 2015.
Outlay is currently an associate professor of information technology at UW-Whitewater. She has an extensive background in corporate IT, nonprofit leadership, program development and project management, and higher education, Madison365 reports. She also has years of experience as a Navy reservist and founded Colorcoded in 2016, a two-day camp for middle school girls interested in learning about technology.
🐘 Dane County has launched an equity and inclusion study of its parks and the Henry Vilas Zoo.
The study will assess how accessible and inclusive County parks and the zoo are. A national equity consulting firm will conduct the research over the next several months, and a final report is due in late summer, Madison365 reports.
The study will cost just under $100,000 and community members are welcome to provide their own feedback on the matter by emailing email@example.com or calling 608-205-8444.
From the Wisconsin State Journal: "Brad Van Kauwenbergh, the frontman for the aptly named metal band Droids Attack, has partnered with Chris Welch of Trixie’s Liquor to open Aftershock Classic Arcade at 1442 E. Washington Ave. The business, which opened on New Year’s Eve in the former home of Maria’s bar, features more than 120 classic games like Space Invaders, Joust and 1943, along with newer games like Guitar Hero. There are colorful pinball machines with “Twilight Zone,” “Addams Family” and “Tales from the Crypt” themes and an air hockey table."
Of Note: Madison Minutes is now using case count data from Public Health Madison and Dane County, our local public health authority. Our previous charts used figures reported by the state’s Department of Health Services (DHS). The above graph represents new COVID-19 cases in Dane County.
Wisconsin Vaccination Rate: 58.6%
Dane County Vaccination Rate: 76.4%
Hardscaping to Enhance Your Garden or Landscape class with Olbrich Botanical Gardens. 6 p.m. $12 members, $15 non-members.
Artist Talk with Kenneth Tam of “Silent Spikes” with MMoCA. 7 p.m. Virtual. Free.
Mad Laughs at Old Sugar Distillery, with stand-up performances by Geoffrey Asmus, Tok Moffat, Drew Flagge. 7 p.m. $10 in advance, $15 at door.
What’s Canoe With You? A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Recovery of a 1200-Year-Old Canoe from Lake Mendota with the Wisconsin Historical Society. 7 p.m. Virtual. Free.
Neal Francis with Dos Santos at High Noon Saloon. Doors at 8 p.m., show at 9 p.m. $15 advance, $17 at door.
For more fun, see the full week's event lineup here.
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