MON AM News: Battle-tested maps enhance critical response to active shooters in schools, businesses; State surpasses 4,000 COVID-19 deaths

— Saving time saves lives at the scene of active shooter events like the kind that have plagued Wisconsin.

Just this year, such events have occurred at Molson Coors, Mayfair Mall and the streets of Kenosha during civil unrest.

Critical Response Group, a team of former educators, first responders and special operations professionals, is dedicated to enhancing critical incident response through a simple visual communication and collaboration tool — a map. 

The maps are used by law enforcement, first responders and the fire department. They are battle-tested, adapted from a mapping technique used by U.S. Special Operators overseas during counter-terrorism missions.  

It’s like a blueprint, but facing true north on a grid. The rooms, doors and other areas in and outside of a building are labeled in common terms that anyone could recognize — principal’s office, lobby, Room 207, for example. These characteristics enhance response time and improve command and control during an incident at a school, business, 5K run or the area in which people are searching for a missing person.

“If you don’t have a map of your building that’s given to first responders, you don’t have the basis for emergency response,” explained Joe Hanson, who heads CRG operations in Wisconsin. Hanson, a former Marine special op, has been with CRG for almost a year since leaving active duty and earning two Purple Hearts.

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— In the latest “Talking Trade” episode, hosts UW-Madison Prof. Ian Coxhead and M.E. Dey & Co. President Sandi Siegel consider how quickly the Biden administration could move on new approaches to trade policy.

Siegel indicates that those wishing away China tariffs will have to be patient.

The video podcast explores trade issues affecting Wisconsin and the Midwest.

See the show, supported by the Center for East Asian Studies at UW-Madison: 

— Wisconsin’s death toll surpassed 4,000 people this weekend after reporting 65 deaths.

The state also reported 6,816 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday and Sunday bringing the number of people who have had coronavirus to 436,773.

The seven-day average for daily cases dropped to 3,513, according to the Department of Health Services’ coronavirus dashboard. The peak, reached Nov. 18, was 6,563 average cases per day. That same day, the state saw a peak daily case count of 7,989 coronavirus cases.

The seven-day average for daily deaths due to the virus went down to 48 from 52 deaths Friday. One month ago, the average was 45 deaths per day. Two months ago, it was 16. The new death toll was 4,056.

Counties leading the state’s death toll are Milwaukee (815), Waukesha (282), Racine (221), Kenosha (178) and Brown (150).

To date, DHS does not report a COVID-19 death in anyone under 20 years old. 

Click here for more coronavirus resources and updates: 

— The latest Wisconsin Hospital Association coronavirus update shows COVID-19 hospitalizations in Wisconsin at 1,425 with 318 intensive care patients. 

Both of these figures are less than the week before. The Alternate Care Facility at State Fair Park is treating seven coronavirus patients. The West Allis field hospital has treated 156 total patients since opening on Oct. 14.

— DHS is conducting some 3,444 investigations in facilities across the state.

Workplaces outside the health care industry account for 961 of the investigations.

Long-term care facilities make up 908 of the investigations. Those facilities are reporting 1,036 COVID-19 deaths, making up 26 percent of the state’s death toll. These include nursing homes and assisted living facilities, such as community-based residential facilities and residential care apartment complexes. The average number of confirmed cases per investigation for long-term care facilities is 11.

The state has 316 active nursing home investigations. About 92 percent of confirmed COVID-19 patients who have died in the state were age 60 or older.

Educational facilities account for 768 of the investigations.

The state is also conducting 453 investigations in “other settings,” which according to DHS include adult day care centers, restaurants, event spaces and religious settings.

Two hundred and fourteen of the investigations are in group housing facilities, including correctional facilities, homeless shelters, dormitories and group homes, which have seen 110 COVID-19 deaths or 3 percent of the state’s total.

DHS marks 2,004 deaths as “unknown” meaning they may or may not have occurred at a long-term care or group housing facility. Health officials have said it’s likely the location wasn’t reported during the reporting process due to challenges or inabilities to collect all the data. 

Finally, the department is conducting 167 investigations in health care facilities.

Click here to see the nursing homes under investigation and a breakdown of investigations by county: 

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— In a world dominated by automation, Blue Line Battery has embraced the growth of technology in a way that avoids putting people and businesses at risk.

Whitewater-based Blue Line Battery leaders believe they have developed a disruptive lithium-ion battery technology system that will significantly improve business processes and replace lead acid batteries.

While lead acid batteries are the market standard in material handling, they are outdated, inefficient and are “just not cutting it anymore,” said Dustin Herte, the company’s founder and CEO.  

Herte, who was recently listed by Forbes in its “30 under 30” list, founded Blue Line Battery Inc. in 2017. After originally selling only eBike batteries, Herte realized that the custom battery he designed offered even greater potential in the industrial market. From that point on, Blue Line started to design and manufacture more efficient lithium batteries for motive power equipment such as forklifts and pallet jacks.

Blue Line has 63 industrial customers operating 263 industrial batteries designed and produced by the company, according to the Forbes release. The company is developing a “power-by-the-hour” model. 

Due to short charge cycles and short lifespans, lead acid batteries must be swapped out regularly. Because lead batteries weigh several thousand pounds, on average, this is not an easy or timely task for businesses to do. Furthermore, lead acid batteries are made up of toxic, flammable, and explosive substances that are a constant safety hazard and risk to the environment. 

Read the full story at 


# US Covid-19 vaccinations expected to begin Monday as CDC head gives final nod 

# WEDC CEO: Restaurants can expect $20,000 We’re All In grant from state before Christmas

# Online Cheese Sales Soar 108% 



– Wisconsin senator optimistic Dairy Innovation Hub funding will remain in place 

– Top Winter Wheat, Oat Producing Counties of 2020 Determined 

– Monroe Cheesemakers Make Statement 


– Students are struggling online. Where’s the ‘disaster plan’ to catch up? 

– Milwaukee Academy of Science plans expansion 


– Groups Comment On Governor’s Climate Change Task Force Findings 


– WEDC leader ‘anxious’ to resolve Foxconn contract renegotiation, expects resolution within months 


– Some Wisconsin health officers have quit during the pandemic, citing pushback over safety rules 

– Milwaukee County, four health systems to develop mental health emergency center 


– Federal Judge Denies Trump Lawsuit In Wisconsin 


– Snap-on submits plans for recently acquired Pleasant Prairie building 


– State Lawmakers Withhold Reimbursements For Dane, Milwaukee Counties’ Recount Costs 


– WMC, Wisconsin Legislature say now-expired capacity limit was invalid 


– REAP Starts The Conversation 


– Packers clinch NFC North, take lead in race for top seed 


– With empty seats, Milwaukee Rep expects at least $1.2 million in revenue losses from ‘Christmas Carol’ 


– Chicago’s O’Hare, Midway airports to open on-site Covid-19 testing next week 


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