THU AM News: Deputy athletic director says UW-Madison needs to fund sports despite economic challenges; Restraining order on Evers administration extended

— Deputy UW-Madison Athletics Director Chris McIntosh says the university needs to continue to fund sports, despite economic woes befalling colleges across the country. 

“Much has been written about our financial challenges, and even with the potential of a modified season, it calls attention to the reality of our financial model,” McIntosh said. “Football underwrites the cost of providing opportunity to over 800 young people.”

He told a Madison Rotary Club meeting Wednesday that the vast majority of UW-Madison’s sports revenue comes from the football program.

UW-Madison athletics is focused on creating future opportunities by providing student athletes with a high quality education and resources to build bridges for their futures, McIntosh said. He added that they do that while providing more revenue than any other department.

He said student athletes have an impressive cumulative GPA of roughly 3.2 in 84 different majors. Three hundred and eight athletes were named to the dean’s list last year. 

The vast majority of student athletes become employed full-time, part-time or continue their education after finishing their undergraduate degrees as Badgers, he said.

Read the full story at 

— A Waukesha County judge granted the request of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce to extend the temporary restraining order preventing the Evers administration from releasing information on businesses with COVID-19 outbreaks.

The order from Judge Lloyd Carter, issued yesterday morning, will be in effect “until the matter can be fully presented to the court by way of briefs.”

The next hearing will take place on Nov. 30 between plaintiffs WMC and chambers from Muskego and New Berlin, and the defendants Gov. Tony Evers, Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm and Department of Administration Secretary Joel Brennan.

The suit argues that information on over 1,000 businesses with more than 25 employees with at least two employees that tested positive for COVID-19 was pulled from confidential patient health care records and shouldn’t be released.

Plaintiff attorney Ryan Walsh argued in yesterday’s briefing that if the judge did not extend the injunction while he reviewed the briefs from either side, the case would be moot.

The information would be released in response to open records requests in March, May and June from media outlets including the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which was granted permission today to intervene in the case arguing on the side of the defendants.

Read the full story at 

— UW-Madison leaders stressed the need for more diversity amid a pandemic disproportionately impacting communities of color. 

“We don’t have people of color on staff. We just don’t. And that’s wrong,” said Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation CEO Erik Iverson during a virtual conference. “There’s a strategy that needs to be implemented and put into place.”

Making WARF more diverse will take years of strategic hiring and leadership choices, Iverson said. But the organization can make more timely changes such as choosing to support underrepresented researchers and engaging in racial sensitivity and inclusion dialogue.

“In my opinion, it really starts with diversity at the highest levels,” said WARF Board of Trustees Chair James Berbee. “We’ve made strides and I’m not here to tell you that it’s good enough. It’s not good enough.”

Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Strategic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Administration Tracy Williams-Maclin encouraged WARF leadership to hold events where there’s an absence of power dynamics, citing the wealth gap between Black and white college graduates.

“Use the rigor that we use for research when we do our environmental scan of who we’re working with,” Williams-Maclin said. “It’s not intentional, but at the same time, we may value things that are excluding communities of color.”

Chancellor Rebecca Blank appeared for a short portion of the webinar.

“We need to be in the middle of that,” Blank said of the Black Lives Matter movement and efforts to combat COVID-19 outbreaks. 

UW-Madison student activists have called for the removal of Bascom Hill’s Abraham Lincoln statue, citing the former president’s past comments supporting white supremacy and policies discriminatory against Native Americans. 

“The University continues to support the Abraham Lincoln statue on our campus,” Blank responded in a statement.

See the video: 

— Three Midwest investors will discuss the potential of investing in Wisconsin and the region at the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium Nov. 11.

Panelists: Candice Matthews Brackeen of Cincinnati’s Lightship Capital, Jonathan Ellis of Chicago’s Sandalphon Capital, and Ron Watson of Dundee Venture Capital, which has offices in four Midwest cities. John McDonald of Godfrey Kahn will moderate.

Young companies will have three chances to pitch virtually to those investors or to meet them in brief virtual meetings. Company presentations will be announced later in October.

The conference, hosted by the Wisconsin Technology Council will be spread over parts of three days and has already attracted about 50 investor groups. The conference is in a virtual format with registration open by clicking here: 

— Workplaces outside the health care industry account for 510 of the Department of Health Services’ facility-wide COVID-19 public health investigations.

DHS is conducting 305 more investigations than last week, for a total of 1,827 active investigations statewide.

Long-term care facilities make up 430 of the investigations. Those facilities are reporting 472 deaths due to COVID-19, making up 33 percent of the state’s death count. These include nursing homes and assisted living facilities, such as community-based residential facilities and residential care apartment complexes.

There are 186 active nursing home investigations. About 88 percent of confirmed COVID-19 patients who have died in the state were age 60 or older.

The state is also conducting 379 investigations in “other settings,” which according to DHS include adult day care centers, restaurants, event spaces and religious settings.

Education facilities account for 340 investigations.

Ninety-seven of the investigations are in group housing facilities, including correctional facilities, homeless shelters, dormitories and group homes, which have seen 50 COVID-19 deaths or 4 percent of the state’s total. DHS marks 481 deaths as “unknown” meaning they may or may not have occurred at a long-term care or group housing facility.

According to DHS, people with “unknown” group housing status do not have information completed in the Wisconsin Electronic Disease Surveillance System regarding whether they live in a group housing setting or not. The department noted the information is being updated constantly.

DHS is conducting 71 investigations in health care facilities.

Counties with the highest numbers of investigations include: Milwaukee (208), Dane (200), Kenosha (114), Waukesha (112), Brown (109) and Outagamie (103).

See a breakdown of active public health investigations by county here: 

— Milwaukee, Dane, Brown and Waukesha counties have the most confirmed coronavirus cases in the state, but only Brown County is in the top five for the highest infection rate.

Brown County has an infection rate of 41.7 cases per 1,000 people, up from 37.6 last week. In a week, Brown County added 1,058 COVID-19 cases. The county has a cumulative total of 10,854 confirmed cases.

The second-highest infection rate in the state is Forest County at 37.7 cases per 1,000 people. It added 49 cases in one week for a cumulative 346 confirmed cases. Kewaunee County’s infection rate is 35.9 per 1,000 people and its cases number 742, an increase of 115 cases in one week. 

Oconto County has an infection rate of 33.7 and its cases number 1,278, an increase of 44 over the last week. The fifth-highest infection rate in the state is Shawano County at 32.9 cases per 1,000 people. It added 134 cases in one week for a cumulative 1,358 confirmed cases.

The state’s average infection ratio of 23.99 cases per 1,000 people.

See DHS’ data dashboard with county and regional breakdowns here:  

— Declaring the COVID-19 pandemic “out of control,” Gov. Tony Evers announced the state will reopen a field hospital to treat those with the virus in an effort to ease the burden on local systems.

The state began construction of the Alternate Care Facility at State Fair Park in the early stages of the pandemic, but mothballed it as the number of cases declined. With cases again surging and local hospitals saying they are at or near capacity, the state is beginning the process of reopening the facility.

The plan is for patients to be admitted on Oct. 14.

The decision comes on the heels of Evers issuing an order limiting many public places to 25 percent of their capacity. The guv told reporters on a call yesterday it is urgent that Wisconsinites wear masks, practice social distancing and limit their travel. The alternative, he said, is the number of cases and deaths will continue to pile up.

“All of this is about individual responsibility, every single piece of it, whether it’s related to our order or related to people’s behavior in their home any any place,” Evers said.

The field hospital will not accept walk-in patients. Instead, the facility will coordinate with health care systems to admit those who are still in need of care, but not seriously ill. That will free up hospital beds for those in need of more intensive hospital care.

Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm said the facility will have 530 beds, but will initially be able to accept 50 patients on Oct. 14 before ramping up capacity.

See more in releases below.

— Wisconsin is in a “dire” situation, according to Palm.

The state health department’s weekly surveillance update marks over 65 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties as “very high” for COVID-19 activity. That’s an increase of 10 counties over last week. The rest of the counties are ranked “high.”

Wisconsin reported 2,319 new COVID-19 cases yesterday. The seven-day average is now at 2,346, up from 879 one month ago. The state also reported 16 new COVID-19 deaths, bringing the state’s toll to 1,415.

“The strain on our health care system is not only measured in hospital beds, we must also think about the people working in these hospitals,” Palm said. 

Every region in Wisconsin is reporting current and imminent staffing shortages due to community spread, Palm said, adding that at least one region is reporting shortages in the majority of its hospitals. 

Health care workers are out sick or in quarantine due primarily to exposure in the community. The public health system is also stretched beyond capacity, Palm said. Contact tracers are not able to keep up with the new cases.

“To be clear, this is going to get worse before it gets better,” Palm said. “Our current surge in cases will lead to even more hospitalizations and we must prepare for that.”

— Wisconsin’s COVID-19 hospitalizations number 873, up from 289 one month ago, according to the Wisconsin Hospital Association’s coronavirus data dashboard. 

The state has 219 COVID-19 patients in intensive care — also a new record that continues to climb in all regions of the state.

Statewide, hospitalizations increased 26 percent this week over last. South central Wisconsin’s patient count increased by 54 percent. The ICU numbers represent a 27 percent increase over last week statewide, but an over 60 percent increase in three regions of the state: Fox Valley, northeast and southeast. Those regions are operating at or over 90 percent ICU capacity, according to DHS Secretary Palm.

“Typically, you want to see ICU use at 70 percent or below,” said Medical College of Wisconsin President Dr. John Raymond. He added that areas such as southeast and south central Wisconsin can tolerate up to 85 percent. 

“These ICUs are predominantly filled with people who do not have COVID-19. All other illnesses continue to go on … that would normally occupy intensive care units,” Raymond said.

Meanwhile, he said the state’s ventilator capacity is stable and more than adequate for any anticipated COVID-19 surge. The personal protective equipment supply chain has also significantly improved as have stocks in critical PPE in the state. 

“However, those supply chains still remain fragile,” Raymond said.


# ‘Pushed to the side’ — Milwaukee-area restaurants, bars prepare for new capacity limit

# Ethanol outlook dims as sun sets on summer 

# Wisconsin Technical Colleges Reporting Enrollment Declines Amid Pandemic



– Sand County Foundation Invests Grant Monies 

– Town of Troy Preserves Agriculture through Farmland Protection Policies 


– Wisconsin Teachers Are ‘Already At The End Of Their Rope,’ Says Union Leader 


– President Trump Shuts Down Stimulus Talks, Suggests Narrower Relief Bills 

– 163 Rural Response Units Get Some Financial Help 


– State Attorney General Gives Update On Opioid Crisis 


– Gov. Tony Evers activates National Guard in Wauwatosa ahead of court ruling


– Google given skeptical reception in Supreme Court against Oracle 


– Republican official draws outrage for post accusing Kamala Harris of using sex to advance her career

– Wisconsin elected its presidential electors this week. Could a close election subvert their role?

– Biden Maintains Lead Over Trump In Latest Marquette Poll

– Rep. Bryan Steil Says Defeating Coronavirus, Getting Wisconsinites Back To Work Are Top Priorities 


– How Huron Building kept Tupelo Honey as a tenant even as pandemic has restaurant industry reeling 


– No fans, no funds: Projected game-day losses for Brewers and other MLB teams in 2020 


– Four Wisconsin hotels make Conde Nast Traveler’s top 20 Midwest hotels 


– Trucking company HQ proposal for West Allis Colder’s paused by city 


– Green Bay Has Officially Replaced All City’s Lead Pipes 


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

Marshfield Clinic Health System: Response to Gov. Evers’ executive order

Opportunity Wisconsin, Main Street Alliance: Hear from tourism industry leaders