— A new study from Marshfield Clinic suggests people with certain racial and ethnic backgrounds require more aggressive treatments and monitoring for fungal infections.
Jennifer Meece, director of the Integrated Research and Development Laboratory at the Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, explains most prior studies of certain fungal infections have been restricted to non-Hispanic white patients. She says that fails to capture the different ways people of varying backgrounds experience these infections.
“We know patients of other ethnic and racial backgrounds, including Hispanic, Native American/Alaska natives and Asian, may be more likely to have infections isolated to the lung and may have more severe illness requiring hospitalization,” Meece said. “Providers need to be aware of this so they can better treat these patients.”
Study authors focused on blastomycosis, a lung infection caused by inhaling spores from the fungus, which is found in Wisconsin. It’s located in wet soil and places where biological matter like wood and leaves is breaking down.
Individuals exposed to forestry work, as well as hunting or camping, are at higher risk of breathing in the spores. Exposure and disease due to outdoor activities often occurs in late fall and early winter.
Researchers identified blastomycosis patients through Marshfield Clinic Health System and collected data from electronic health records. After analyzing 477 patients, they found significant age differences between infected groups. Non-Hispanic whites were oldest, with a median age of 48 years, while Asians were youngest, at 26 years.
They also found odds of hospitalization were up to three times higher for Hispanic whites — referring to people from various Spanish cultures who self-identify as white — than they were for non-Hispanic white patients. Similar ratios were observed when comparing non-Hispanic whites to Asians, and to American Indian or Alaska Natives.
— The latest episode of “WisBusiness.com: The Show” features an interview with Ryan Weber of Great North Labs, an early stage investment fund. He talks about how close the Midwest is to having an early stage investment hub.
Also, the show features an interview with Chandra Miller Fienen with StartingBlock who talks about the growth that StartingBlock has had since 2012. And Liz Schrum presents Tech Metrics, which chart key indicators and events in the Wisconsin economy.
In a separate commentary, Tech Council President Tom Still talks about the rising role of women in the related worlds of entrepreneurism and investing.
— Despite Foxconn scaling back its plans in southeastern Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker is defending the deal he signed with the Taiwanese tech company, noting that incentives are based on performance and the company hasn’t received any tax credits yet.
He also predicted Foxconn would meet or exceed its job creation targets, but “there will be variations along the way in terms of how they queue it up.” Walker spoke at a Milwaukee Press Club-WisPolitics.com luncheon in Milwaukee.
A new report from George Mason University researchers suggested the incentive package offered to Foxconn will likely “discourage more economic activity than will be encouraged by the subsidies themselves.”
As for infrastructure dollars already spent in connection with the deal, such as the expansion of I-94, Walker said other companies such as Uline and Amazon will benefit from the investments.
“So it’s not just for Foxconn,” Walker said. “There were infrastructure needs that needed to be done all throughout that corridor.”
— State and local officials have broken ground on the new Dorr Hotel in Sister Bay, an $8.1 million project that’s expected to create up to 15 jobs.
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation is providing a $250,000 community development investment grant to the village of Sister Bay for the project, which is expected to be complete by the end of 2021.
The developer, Bayland Buildings, will replace the 45-unit Helm’s Four Season Hotel currently located at the site. The new hotel includes 47 rooms as well as retail space. According to a release, the Dorr Hotel will be Door County’s first new hotel development in nearly 20 years.
WEDC has doled out more than $24 million in community development investment grants to 101 communities since the program began in 2013. Supported projects are expected to generate more than $500 million in capital investments in Wisconsin.
See the release: http://wedc.org/blog/door-county-boutique-hotel-breaks-ground/
— Uneven snowfall near the end of last week impeded fieldwork at farms in northern and central Wisconsin, according to the latest crop progress report from USDA and DATCP.
In areas with deep snow, some unharvested crops are being left in the fields. Meanwhile, southern parts of the state saw little to no snow, with ground conditions described as a “slippery, partially frozen mess.”
The report shows last week had three days suitable for fieldwork, compared to around four days per week over the past month. That short window of opportunity was brought to a halt by back-to-back winter storms that dominated the rest of the week. A combination of freezing rain, high winds, sleet and wet snow continued to slow progress.
In areas where heavy snow fell, field reporters say harvesting has been impeded, with one describing it as “a miserable week.” And another field reporter said deer hunting also got in the way of harvesting corn.
The soybean harvest was wrapping up near the end of last week, with 86 percent complete, which is 19 days behind last year. And the grain corn harvest was 66 percent complete, 22 days behind last year and 21 days behind the five-year average.
As in previous weeks, high grain moistures “continue to impede” the storage process. Moisture content for grain corn was 23 percent, the report shows.
— Hunters killed fewer deer over the 2019 nine-day gun hunting season than last year, according to the Department of Natural Resources.
DNR reported 160,769 registered deer killed this year, a drop of 53,203 from last year’s 213,972 that were harvested.
The department also said their number of gun, archery and crossbow licenses decreased by 1.4 percent from last year’s total of 803,772.
This year’s deer season marks the latest-possible dates for the hunt, which resulted in less rutting activity among the bucks.
In a statement, DNR said hunters reported low daytime deer activity throughout the season and uneven deer distribution throughout the state. The report also said “blizzard-like conditions” in northern Wisconsin and still-standing cornfields proved a factor in low deer visibility.
See the release: http://dnr.wi.gov/news/releases/article/?id=4979
— Madison officials have announced a new collaborative effort to improve the city’s resilience to the effects of climate change.
Expected changes in the region include rising temperatures and more heat waves, as well as more precipitation and larger storms, a release shows. City officials say these trends could impact infrastructure and health of residents, as well as other factors.
City departments will be working with the UW Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, the Wisconsin Institute on Climate Change Impacts and UW-Extension Dane County. By April 2020, they plan to propose recommendations to reduce climate change risks and impacts.
Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway says the city is already experiencing significant climate impacts with higher levels of precipitation and flooding.
“We are already starting to plan for a wetter future,” she said in a release. “Other impacts may be less obvious, but can make noticeable impacts to budgets and operations over time.”
# Tests: More Wisconsin wells contaminated with fecal matter
# Madison east side residents form group to help Jenifer Street Market receivership bid
# Milwaukee developer planning $27 million hotel in downtown Racine
# Analysts bullish on General Electric’s plans for GE Healthcare, which is apparently sticking around for now
– Latest WI crop report: 66% corn, 86% soybeans harvested
– Members appointed to WFBF’s Young Farmer Committee
– Marquette University names Kimo Ah Yun as provost
– Dr. Cook named WVMA Veterinarian of the Year
– DNR: Nine-day gun deer harvest down 25% from 2018
– Wisconsin researchers find microplastics in Boundary Waters
# HEALTH CARE
– Menstrual products now available in state buildings
– Madison hotels to host staff from nonprofits, advocacy groups during Democratic convention
– Congressional Cooperative Business Caucus gaining support
# REAL ESTATE
– Franklin industrial building sold for more than $8.5 million
– Fiserv looks to make decision on headquarters by early 2020
– West Milwaukee OKs possible entertainment district, town center on Komatsu, Rexnord land
– Light the Hoan invites students to ‘Code the Hoan’
– Nonprofit, advocacy leaders tour DNC sites, explore Milwaukee venues
– Wisconsin Dells developer eyes hotel, conference center next to Ikea in Oak Creek
– Feds trim Midwest transmission utility profits; unclear when ratepayers to see refunds
# PRESS RELEASES
<i>See these and other press releases: