MON AM News: Up to 200 Guard troops mobilize to support Madison civil authorities; UW System finds its grads generate “remarkable” earnings growth

— Wisconsin’s adjutant general mobilized up to 200 additional Wisconsin National Guard troops on Sunday to support civil authorities in Madison after weekend protests resulted in damage to downtown businesses, a spokesman said.

The Guard’s citizen soldiers and airmen were also alerted to be ready to mobilize elsewhere in the state if needed.

This is in addition to the 125 Guard members Gov. Tony Evers activated. They continue to support local law enforcement in the wake of Milwaukee protests that turned violent. A statement from Evers said he made the order at the request of local officials.

“It is critical that people are able to peacefully express their anger and frustration about systemic racism and injustice, in Milwaukee, the State of Wisconsin, and our Nation,” Evers, Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said in a joint statement. “This limited authorization of citizen soldiers from the Wisconsin National Guard will help protect people who are exercising their First Amendment rights and ensure the safety of the public.”

After arriving in Milwaukee, troops worked with local authorities to secure critical infrastructure in multiple locations around the city. 

The Milwaukee mayor extended the 9 p.m. curfew put in place on Saturday to Sunday evening, when the curfew began at 9 p.m. and will end this morning at 7 a.m. Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway put a 9:30 p.m. curfew in place for Sunday evening to last until 5 a.m. today. 

“The Wisconsin National Guard always serves in a support role to civil authorities, so our troops will work to assist and support local law enforcement’s efforts to preserve public safety and the ability of individuals to peacefully demonstrate,” Guard spokesman Joseph Trovato told 

The Guard’s role will be based on what local law enforcement requests, and those roles will vary depending on the communities’ needs, he said.  

— According to local media reports, about 95 Madison and Milwaukee businesses experienced damage this weekend from looters after protests in response to the death of George Floyd.

The demonstrations were also in response to police brutality towards people of color in Wisconsin and nationwide.

See more in headlines below.

— The University of Wisconsin System found that its graduates generate “remarkable” earnings growth and are likely to work in Wisconsin.

UW System found its grads overall earn a median salary of nearly $50,000 annually the year after securing their bachelor’s degrees. And after five years, the median earnings of graduates surpass $66,000.

But those numbers do vary among areas of study at UW schools with engineering being the highest paying work and English, literature and education being the lowest.  

“I have long believed there is no better investment for the state of Wisconsin than the University of Wisconsin System and that the UW System is a terrific investment for our students as well,” said UW System Regent President Andrew S. Petersen in a statement. “When individuals invest in a UW System education, their earning potential skyrockets.” 

Additionally, the system’s analysis found that nearly 90 percent of resident Wisconsin graduates remain in the state for employment five years after graduation. Of nonresident grads, 15 percent are living in Wisconsin five years later. 

The analysis does not show if the area of study determines the likelihood of working in the state. 

“When Wisconsin taxpayers invest in the UW System, our universities produce educated, successful graduates who contribute to their communities and to the economy,” said Petersen. “This data validates those beliefs.”

UW System’s Office of Policy Analysis and Research merged graduation, residence and earnings data to calculate the economic impact of a UW System education. The analysis used information from more than 12,000 graduates over the past six years.

According to a release, the results are more precise than typical post-graduation surveys, which rely on self-reported data. 

See the release: 

— DHS reports the state’s COVID-19 death toll at 592 — up four since Saturday.

The state’s number of confirmed cases also rose — by 173 — bringing the cumulative case count to 18,403. The positive tests results account for 2.3 percent of the total tests received today, the lowest that number has been since started calculating the percentages on April 11.

An estimated 63 percent of those who tested positive have recovered from COVID-19, while 3 percent of patients have died. Thirty-three percent are still in a 30-day waiting period of symptom onset or diagnosis.

Counties reporting deaths include: Milwaukee (299), Brown (37), Racine (37), Kenosha (30), Waukesha (30), Dane (29), Rock (19), Walworth (17), Grant (12), Ozaukee (12), Outagamie (8), Washington (7), Winnebago (7), Fond du Lac (5), Clark (4) and Richland (4).

Door, Jefferson, Sauk and Sheboygan counties report three deaths each. Dodge, Forest and Marinette counties report two deaths each.

Adams, Bayfield, Buffalo, Burnett, Calumet, Columbia, Iron, Jackson, Juneau, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Marathon, Marquette, Monroe, Polk, Waupaca and Wood counties report one death each.

Click here for more coronavirus resources and updates:

— COVID-19 patients still hover in high numbers at 414  statewide with nearly 72 percent of those patients — 296 — in southeastern Wisconsin. 

Dr. John Raymond, president of the Medical College of Wisconsin noted on a Friday webinar hosted by the Regional Leadership Council that in order to prevent surges and potential shutdowns, “people need to practice social distancing, practice hand hygiene and wear a face mask.”

“They are the courteous and responsible things to do,” he said.

According to data from the Wisconsin Hospital Association, state COVID-19 inpatients with pending COVID-19 tests number 211. And ICU patients are at 133 patients.

Of the state’s 18,403 confirmed cases, 14 percent have been hospitalized and 3 percent have received intensive care, according to DHS.

Raymond noted that if an individual tests positive for COVID-19, there is a 14.4 percent chance of being admitted to the hospital, down from about 30 percent at the beginning of the pandemic. He attributed the decrease to testing being more available for people who experience mild or lesser symptoms. 

The state department also reports that 56 or fewer patients are in each of the six other public health regions of the state.

WHA data reports that statewide, Wisconsin seems to have an adequate supply of beds and ventilators. Hospitals have a total of 1,276 ventilators and 312 ventilated patients.

ICU beds immediately available in the state number 389 out of 1,467 total in Wisconsin; intermediate care beds — 204 out of 904; surgical beds — 1,480 out of 7,227; and isolation beds — beds in negative pressure rooms meant for isolating patients — 1,058 out of 1,990.

But PPE is still lacking. The WHA data shows that 30 hospitals have a seven days or less supply of face shields, 44 have a limited supply of goggles, 33 have limited N95 masks, 31 have a limited supply of gowns and 30 hospitals have limited paper medical masks.

“The most critical needs are gowns and N95 masks,” said Raymond.

— Children’s Wisconsin identified the state’s first cases of multisystem inflammatory syndrome — a condition in children that may be related to COVID-19. 

The Milwaukee-based hospital has seen seven cases going back to April. Five were discharged after a brief hospital stay with their cases still under review, and two remain hospitalized and are “in good condition,” said Dr. Mike Gutzeit of Children’s Wisconsin in a Friday press conference.

The multisystem inflammatory syndrome or (MIS-C) has features similar to Kawasaki disease, a well known, but rare disease that causes multi-organ failure and shock. The World Health Organization reports that Europe and North America have had children and adolescents with the syndrome requiring admission to intensive care units.   

The range of symptoms can include prolonged fevers, abdominal pain,breathing trouble, red eyes and inflammation of organ systems such as the heart, lungs, GI tract or brain. 

“Symptoms can be severe, but a vast majority of kids recover, and in some cases, no hospitalization is required,” said Gutzeit.

MIS-C is likely a post infectious complication of COVID-19, according to Dr. Frank Zhu with Children’s Wisconsin. To support that claim, Zhu explains that this disease started popping up after COVID-19 and often, rather than testing positive for COVID-19, sick patients have coronavirus antibodies, suggesting the disease comes from the body’s immune response after battling coronavirus.

“The body has successfully learned the virus, but the immune response is still active and can go off kilter and affect different parts of the body,” said Zhu. “This is a theory of what causes Kawasaki disease, which we’re sort of applying this to COVID-19 and MIS-C. So we think that it’s something to do with immune response still remaining active or reactivating after infection that causes these symptoms.”

Zhu and Gutzeit warn there is still much to learn about MIS-C. Even COVID-19, now six months old, still has its mysteries. They both encourage parents to call their child’s pediatrician if there are any symptoms. 

“The diagnostic criteria or case criteria are generally quite broad in the sense that we don’t want to miss new cases and we want to collect as much data as possible to learn more about the disease,” said Zhu. 

Like its comparison, Kawasaki disease, MIS-C can affect children under five. But MIS-C is unique in that it also affects teenagers. According to the CDC, people who may be suspected to have it are under the age of 21 with a fever for more than 24 hours, inflammation of organs, and illness requiring hospitalization; no alternative plausible diagnoses; and had or is positive for SARS or COVID-19 exposure prior to onset of symptoms.

Zhu said that the positive antibodies associated with MIS-C patients suggest it is likely not infectious.

— Farmer interest in the state’s hemp program has remained steady despite cratering wholesale prices for the newly legalized crop.

Hemp is entering its third legal season after not having not been planted in Wisconsin since 1957. The crop had previously been banned federally since 1970, but Congress in 2014 opened the door state-operated hemp pilot programs and in 2018 fully legalized the crop.

Numbers provided to by the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection shows as of today, 1,488 farmers submitted applications to grow hemp this season. That’s compared to 1,491 hemp grower applications submitted in 2019.

The steady interest from growers comes as wholesale prices for hemp products have dropped by 60 percent in some cases, according to the two private companies that track the hemp markets. 

Price reporting agency Hemp Benchmarks and commodity trading platform PanXchange say between January and April of this year, the hemp products nearly all saw double-digit percentage point losses.

Hemp Benchmarks pegged the price of hemp flower — from which the increasingly popular CBD oil is extracted — at $145 per pound in April, a 36 percent tumble from its $226 per pound price point in January. PanXchange put the drop in price for processed hemp flowers between 21 percent and 32 percent.

The platforms also reported the price of crude oil extracted from hemp flowers dropped between 21 percent and 46 percent, while the price of hemp seed dropped from $1,435 per pound to $578 per pound, a 60 percent loss.

Kristen Nichols, the editor of Hemp Industry Daily, told “the early days of just eye-popping returns are gone, and they’re not coming back.” She attributed the change to the 2018 Farm Bill that legalized the crop and removed the shackles from hemp pilot programs. 

“(Hemp) not being on the black market anymore is great news for a producer, but they are now subject to economic headwinds,” she said. “You want to make money like a black market drug dealer but not be in the black market? Well that’s not how life works.”

Nichols said last year’s “gold rush” saturated the market and tanked prices, leading to a “cooling of interest in the hemp sector” nationally this year in terms of licenses and acreage. 

While that hasn’t been reflected in preliminary data DATCP has for this growing season, the makeup of hemp growers has shifted dramatically in the crop’s third legal season in the state. 

The more than sixfold expansion in the number of grower applications between the crop’s first pilot year in 2018 and last year was largely fueled by 1,320 new applicants while 171 farmers reapplied for the program. This year the split is 745 new applicants and 732 returning growers.

Phillip Scott is founder and president of the Wisconsin Hemp Farmers and Manufacturers Association and a hemp farmer who grew 187 acres of the crop last year. He said the continued interest boils down to hope.

“I think people realize that this is a new industry and they’re willing to keep making investments in the future of this new agriculture commodity,” he told 

UW-Madison Department of Horticulture assistant faculty associate Shelby Ellison believes the returning growers are coming back to the crop because they view it as “an investment into the long haul.”

“The crop is pretty difficult to grow and takes a lot of knowledge and you can have specialized equipment,” she told “if you invested in that equipment and you learned a lot last year, I think you kind of are eager to try to do it again and do it better and apply the knowledge that you’ve learned in the previous year.”

Scott agreed, saying he sees hemp as a “30-year industry.”

“It’s not just throw a couple dollars at it and boom, I’m going to be a millionaire,” he said. “I think this is going to be starting to evolve into an industry where you’re going to need to be in it for a few years before you start actually turning a profit.”

Nichols added that along with experience growing the notoriously tricky crop, improved genetics in the types of seeds available this year could be a motivating factor.

Ellison, who grows hemp under a special research license that does not allow her to sell the crops she harvests, also speculated other growers are returning or jumping in for the first time because of last year’s oversaturated CBD market.

“I think some people think because of that, a lot of people aren’t going to grow hemp this year,” she said. “Some of it might be that they just think maybe there won’t be as many people growing so they’ll have a better chance of being able to sell their crop at the end of the year.”

But according to Larry Konopacki, an attorney at Stafford Rosenbaum LLP who serves as general counsel for the Wisconsin Hemp Alliance, the motivations driving interest in hemp don’t break down cleanly into set categories.

“I could talk to 10 different people and they would probably give you ten different answers,” he told

Still, both Scott and Ellison predicted acreage totals would likely shrink across the state this year.

“People are starting to realize it’s not the mass amount that’s going to actually make money in the industry, it’s the quality of the product that you can bring to market,” Scott said.

A DATCP spokeswoman told planting reports that show planned acreage aren’t due until July 1 and likely won’t be processed until mid-July.

Despite the market downturn, Nichols said hemp is still an attractive crop relative to other commodities.

“If I’m a farmer, even if I don’t make a million dollars, I might make enough to not lose the farm and that’s maybe better than what I’m seeing in some other commodities right now,” she said.


# ‘This morning is what Madison is’: Hundreds help clean up after 75 stores vandalized

# Several Milwaukee businesses damaged during protests as Target temporarily closes two area stores

# George Floyd protests continue Sunday in Milwaukee, around state



– Farm families, livestock exhibitors saddened by Wisconsin State Fair cancellation

– Carr Valley Cheese names new chief executive officer

– Dairy’s optimism should be met with caution

– Backlog of animals gets smaller, but still a long way to go

– Pork producers continue to struggle mightily


– Big spending over the horizon


– PPP borrowers must report work refusals, rule says


– Covid-19 trends prevent city of Milwaukee from easing restrictions on bars, restaurants, stores

– Nearly 100 workplaces in southeast Wisconsin investigated for Covid-19 cases

– Wisconsin sees its largest single-day increase in coronavirus cases and its first children with multisystem inflammatory syndrome


– Milwaukee Business Journal parent company joins lawsuit seeking PPP data


– La Crosse protests for second night, mayor’s wife pepper-sprayed

– Peaceful protest in Appleton draws more than 1,000 people after George Floyd killing 

– ‘We must work to heal’: Madison leaders call for unity after Downtown violence 

– Video: Peaceful protest in Manitowoc in response to the death of George Floyd 

– Hundreds in EC peacefully protest George Floyd’s death 


– Park Lafayette developer facing prison time over Chicago condo project

– Mayfair Collection’s co-working offices pick up tenants with safety programs against Covid-19


-Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett extends city curfew for Sunday night

– Downtown Madison curfew starting at 9:30 p.m. covers much of Isthmus

– Despite Milwaukee extending coronavirus restrictions, Catholic churches to begin limited reopening


– ‘No shoes, no shirt, no mask, no service?’ Execs weigh in on requiring customers, visitors to wear masks 

– Several Milwaukee businesses damaged by looting as protests turn violent


– Milwaukee Bucks’ Antetokounmpo invests in sports nutrition company

– Tour of America’s Dairyland postponed until next June


– Otologic Technologies, Inc. closes $275,000 funding round


– Milwaukee Air & Water Show cancels 2020 event


– Midwest Express forges ahead during pandemic, wins $150K from Elite in lawsuit

– Milwaukee County to receive $40.9M in federal funds for bus rapid transit line

– Milwaukee County anticipates spring 2021 construction start on bus rapid transit project


<i>See these and other press releases: </i>

– Marshfield Clinic: Continues to expand services while focusing on patient health and safety