— A new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation ranks Wisconsin 7th in the country for economic well-being of children, but a state group called Kids Forward says that high ranking “masks significant racial and ethnic disparities.”
The report details improvement in a number of measures. Fewer children in the state are living in households with “heavy housing cost burdens,” and fewer children are living in homes where no parents are working.
But the percentage of Wisconsin children without health insurance has been largely unchanged since 2010. While the state used to be ranked in the top five states for this measure, it’s now ranked 18th in the country.
Aside from the ranking on economic well-being, the report ranks Wisconsin 13th for overall child well-being. The state is also ranked 14th for health of children, 18th for family and community well-being, and 15th for education.
Kids Forward puts a spotlight on some of the education issues noted in the report, showing that two-thirds of fourth graders in the state don’t read at their own grade level. And more than half of eighth graders in the state are not performing at their grade level in math.
Across the board, 9 percent of kids in the state live in high-poverty areas. But when the numbers are broken down by ethnic group, it’s clear that some populations are particularly challenged.
According to a release from Kids Forward, 36 percent of African American children in the state live in poverty. That’s compared to 27 percent for Latino children. Fifty-one percent of the state’s African American children live in homes with high housing burden, while 36 percent of Latino children are in the same position. For white children, those rates are 9 and 17 percent, respectively.
— Delavan is getting a $250,000 grant from the state to support redevelopment of an industrial building into a new apartment complex.
The Community Development Investment Grant, authorized by WEDC, will go toward the new Brass Works Apartments. The $16 million project will include 73 apartment units and 1,000 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor.
Before the new plan is put in place, the building will have to be gutted, according to a release from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. The building’s entire structure will have to be stabilized, while historic windows are replaced and a new roof is installed.
“This is a very complicated adaptive reuse project with numerous layers of financing,” said Sig Strautmanis, partner at developer General Capital. “Each piece is critical to bringing this project to fruition.”
— Wisconsin Farm Bureau Vice President Kevin Kretz is calling for increased support for the UW System’s planned Dairy Innovation Hub, which he says would bring needed innovation to Wisconisin’s dairy industry.
This comes after the Joint Finance Committee voted last week to fund the facility with an $8.8 million appropriation. But the committee is holding onto the money until the UW System comes back with a plan for how to spend it.
Gov. Tony Evers could still use his partial veto authority to make changes once the budget makes its way through both houses of the Legislature. And the possibility remains that he would veto the budget in its entirety.
In a release, Kretz calls on Wisconsinites to contact their state representatives and senators and encourage them to support the Dairy Innovation Hub, saying any money put toward the project will be “an investment that will pay dividends in our rural communities and local businesses.”
As a dairy farmer from central Wisconsin, Krentz says the UW System has been “instrumental” in improving the health of his animals.
“They helped design a ventilation system for my young calves to help significantly reduce sickness and almost eliminated antibiotic use,” Krentz said in a statement. “The UW faculty also helped my farm set a team approach to reproduction and is a reason that today I continue to have team meetings, bringing industry experts together to help solve the challenges we face.”
He says the ongoing trade war and other factors have caused dairy farmers in the state to suffer, largely due to low prices.
“This is why we need the Dairy Innovation Hub within the UW System. The time is right to develop new products consumers desire,” he said.
That could include allergy-free products for people with lactose intolerance, he said, as well as dairy products that can last longer on the shelf.
See the comments from Krentz: http://www.wispolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/190614-WFB.pdf
See last week’s JFC motion that included funding for the Dairy Innovation Hub: http://www.wispolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/190611DATCP.pdf
— A neurosurgery research team at UW-Madison has created a device that could improve treatment for patients with hydrocephalus, a condition characterized by a buildup of fluid in the brain.
In patients with the condition, that buildup leads to increased pressure, which can have a number of other dangerous effects. Treatment usually consists of a shunt system being surgically placed into the patient’s head, allowing excess fluid to be redirected elsewhere in the body.
According to an info sheet from the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, continuous draining can sometimes cause the shunt to become blocked, causing the system to fail. WARF says that can eventually lead to permanent tissue deformation.
The new “smart shunt” device can effectively sidestep the over-drainage issue, the info sheet shows, thanks to a specialized lever system and a pressure sensor for inside the patient’s head. Using an external wireless transmitter, doctors can control the shunt system by altering when the valves open and close.
By alternating valve positions and continuously monitoring intracranial pressure, the system keeps fluid from constantly draining. The info sheet shows this allows the surrounding tissue to “rebound,” avoiding deformation.
A prototype of the device has been created, and scientists have constructed a testing scenario to demonstrate the function of the system. WARF is looking for commercial partners to help develop the device.
See the info sheet: http://www.warf.org/technologies/summary/P170214US01.cmsx
— Jerry Deschane, executive director of the League of Wisconsin Municipalities, says he gives high marks to the plan for transportation funding that came out of the Joint Finance Committee.
“A high B, B plus, maybe even an A minus on a good day,” Deschane said on “UpFront,” produced in partnership with WisPolitics.com.
“They addressed the whole system, but particularly city, village and town streets, which as you know have been in dire straits for a long time,” he said.
“I think it’s safe to say this is the most progress we’ve made on this problem in 10 years,” Deschane said.
Road improvements will be felt around the state, he said, if the transportation funding plan goes through.
See more from the show: http://www.wisn.com/upfront
# Researchers recruit Wisconsinites to contribute to massive biomedical database
# Middle East cheese buyers to visit Wisconsin this month
# Habitat for Humanity proposes 62-acre development
# Wisconsin home sales rise in May, after dropping for most of the year
– WI lawmakers asking USDA for flexibility amid planting delays
– Associated Bank completes Huntington deal
– Bergamot Brass building redevelopment in downtown Delavan receiving state grant
– Study shows mixed test results for technology in classrooms
– Wisconsin lawmakers seek change in teacher loan program
– Heart to perform at Fiserv Forum
# FOOD AND BEVERAGE
– New Land planning another food hall and market, in Bay View
– Kinetik apartments in Bay View to include food hall Flour and Feed
# HEALTH CARE
– Ascension St. Francis Hospital cuts 20-plus employees
– Komatsu acquires Canadian hard rock drill components manufacturer
– Komatsu Mining acquires Canadian underground mining manufacturer
– Rep. Kind issues Dairy Action Plan to help struggling farmers
– Evers signals opposition to car registration fees
# REAL ESTATE
– Walmart property in West Bend sold to San Diego firm for $17 million
– Silgan Containers’ Kenosha operation could receive $500,000 in incentives
– Mukwonago attracts two more projects to business park
– Racine seeks to rewrite lake-access rules to aid hotel development
– SC Johnson buying Sun Bum brand
– Pick ‘n Save parent Kroger rolls out fast-delivery service in its hometown
– Festival Foods announces opening date of Verona store
– Major dairy exhibit to be unveiled at State Fair Park
– Repairs still being made to forest roads damaged in devastating 2016 flood
– Jessie Opoien: Madison chamber of commerce’s strong support for equity deserves applause
# PRESS RELEASES
<i>See these and other press releases: