THU AM News: RehabPath connecting people with addiction resources; Local unemployment rates rebounding, report shows

— A startup called RehabPath aims to help more people escape the cycle of addiction. 

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration estimates about 20 million Americans have an addiction to illicit drugs, alcohol or both. Out of that group, only about 10 percent will seek help with addiction rehab. 

Madison-based RehabPath was founded in 2017 by Ben Camp and Jeremiah Calvino with the goal to make the journey to treatment much easier. Its various websites compile resources that individuals can use to seek addiction help.

“People start on the internet when they are on that journey, but the types of results people get are confusing and sometimes misleading,” Camp said. “We present really high-quality options and highlight the treatment capabilities of each (treatment) center.”

Although RehabPath wasn’t officially founded until 2017, Camp and Calvino had been actively working in the rehab scene for years. The two met at Maranatha Baptist University in Jefferson County, where Camp was enrolled in a marketing course Calvino was teaching. 

When the class ended, Calvino asked Camp to join his new marketing agency, where they provided marketing services for treatment centers. In 2010, they began working on what was initially meant to be a side project — — which helps people in India find addiction treatment.

Today, compiles and organizes information on resources from over 1,200 treatment centers in India, according to the RehabPath website. On top of providing a list of treatment centers around the country, it also hosts webinars and shares information to educate on addiction.

See more: 

— The latest employment figures from the state Department of Workforce Development highlight the state’s continued recovery from last year’s economic downturn. 

A release from DWD shows preliminary unemployment rates in July decreased in all 12 of Wisconsin’s metropolitan statistical areas, over both the year and month. 

Based on the seasonally adjusted figures, the greatest increase was seen in the greater Milwaukee area, including Waukesha and West Allis, with an increase of 28,800 jobs over the year. Madison had an increase of 13,800 jobs over the year, while all other metro areas gained between 1,500 and 4,400 jobs. 

At the same time, unemployment rates for the state’s 34 largest cities all declined over the year, while rates also decreased in all 72 counties over the same period. 

Milwaukee had the highest July unemployment rate of the state’s largest cities, with 7.4 percent, while Menominee County had the highest rate among Wisconsin counties, with 11.9 percent. 

See the report: 

— Applications are now being accepted for the $15 million Destination Marketing Organization Grant Program, which will fund organizations promoting tourism in the state. 

Recipients can receive up to $1 million grants based on expenses incurred between March 3, 2021, and Dec. 31, 2022. The grant funding is part of the $150 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds going to the state’s tourism and entertainment industries, announced earlier this year by Gov. Tony Evers. 

“Thanks to Governor Evers, these grants will assist tourism organizations as well as the organizations that host meetings, conventions, and events throughout the year for entertainment and the business community,” said Department of Administration Secretary Joel Brennan. 

DOA will be accepting applications until Sept. 29. Grant recipients will be announced later this fall, a release shows. 

See more: 

— Dr. Jeff Pothof, chief quality officer for UW Health, recommends that employers require frequent testing and masks for unvaccinated workers to reduce the spread of COVID-19. 

“I would approach this from the public health perspective,” he said during a recent virtual interview published by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. “If you have unvaccinated people, you understand that they pose a higher risk to the rest of your employees, to your customer base.” 

To reduce that risk, he urges businesses to enact indoor mask policies for unvaccinated employees, since these individuals are much more likely to be infected with the virus and to spread it to others. 

He also recommends that employers conduct COVID-19 testing twice a week for unvaccinated workers. 

“If you do those things, I think you can pretty significantly reduce the risk that those who are unable to be vaccinated pose to both your workers and those folks that might be coming into your business,” he said. 

Pothof highlighted some of the challenges standing in the way of widespread vaccinations. He argued that many who are opposed to being vaccinated are falling prey to confirmation bias, only trusting information that supports their existing belief that vaccines are dangerous. 

“We’re having a hard time reaching them, because they’re still saying things that we know aren’t true,” he said. “That has been a hard group to reach just because they’re anchored on it so tightly.” 

The Department of Health Services site shows 54.1 percent of the state’s population have gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 50.9 percent have completed the vaccine series. On the national level, 61 percent of the U.S. population have gotten at least one dose, and 51.7 percent are fully vaccinated. 

The seven-day average for new COVID-19 cases in the state has risen to 1,417 for the first time since late January. The seven-day average for COVID-19 deaths has also seen a recent increase, with a total of 7,558 deaths in the state. 

Meanwhile, 804 people in Wisconsin are hospitalized with COVID-19 and 244 patients are in the ICU due to the virus, the Wisconsin Hospital Association dashboard shows. Both of those numbers have been on the rise since early July. 

Watch the full interview: 

— Attorney General Josh Kaul and Gov. Tony Evers have announced that the Sher Edling law firm will help the state investigate and litigate PFAS contamination claims.

Sher Edling submitted the lowest bid out of the finalists selected from 11 firms that applied to act as outside PFAS litigation counsel to the state. The state won’t pay anything to Sher Edling if the firm loses in court. But if the state wins a lawsuit, the firm would receive:

*more than 23 percent of the recovery if it is less than $10 million.

*just over $2.3 million, plus 18.5 percent of the amount by which the recovery exceeds $10 million, if it is between $10 million and $15 million.

*just over $3.2 million, plus nearly 13.9 percent of the amount by which the recovery exceeds $15 million, if it is between $15 million and $20 million.

*just over $3.9 million, plus more than 9.2 percent of the amount by which the recovery exceeds $20 million, if it is between $20 million and $25 million.

*just under $4.4 million, plus more than 4.6 percent of the amount by which the recovery exceeds $25 million, if it is $25 million or more.

The aggregate contingency fee for one action won’t be more than $27.75 million, excluding some expenses as determined by the court. The Legislature placed caps on the amount a law firm contracted with the state can recover following the tobacco settlement. The Evers administration said it negotiated a 7.5 percent discount on the maximum percentages allowed by the statute.

“Clean water is essential to our health and well-being and to a thriving economy. We must protect it from PFAS and other contaminants that put people’s health at risk,” Kaul said in a statement. “The addition of outside counsel will enhance our ability to get accountability from those who are responsible for the severe harms that PFAS contamination has caused in Wisconsin.”

Read the contract here:

Read the press release here:

— Supporters of a bill that would allow electric vehicle manufacturers to sell direct to consumers say Wisconsin needs to adapt to changing markets as opponents argue it would create major issues for locally-owned dealers already in the state.

SB 462 would allow EV manufacturers to purchase their own dealerships and sell only all-electric vehicles directly to consumers. The bill would not allow the same manufacturer-owned dealerships for hybrid-electric or alternative fuel-cell vehicles. Current law allows only independently franchised dealers to sell vehicles to consumers.

Bill author Sen. Dale Kooyenga, R-Brookfield, argued the bill would help Wisconsin stay current with market trends as people look to buy more environmentally friendly vehicles such as electric cars.

“Wisconsin is now dead last in this new, emerging industry,” Kooyenga said in a Senate Government Operations, Legal Review and Consumer Protection Committee public hearing.

But opponents, such as organizations representing car dealers and manufacturers, argue there is nothing stopping EV manufacturers from entering the market in the same manner as every other vehicle manufacturer.

Alliance for Automotive Innovation State Affairs Director Jeff Fisher during the hearing argued the bill is unfair because it allows all-electric vehicle manufacturers more ability to establish dealerships than those that do not make all-electric vehicles.

“There should be one set of rules for all manufacturers in the same marketplace,” he said.

See more at 

— UW System interim President Tommy Thompson will be the featured guest at today’s virtual luncheon. 

President Thompson is set to discuss the return to in-person classes during the ongoing pandemic, the UW System building repair program and budgeting without the tuition freeze, among other topics.

The program will feature a moderated discussion and answers to questions submitted from the audience. This noon event is free and open to all registrants.

Register here: 


# Molson Coors’ Marino discusses early growth of Dwayne Johnson’s Zoa: Beer Biz MKE

# Growing list of Milwaukee employers requiring COVID vaccine for patrons, employees

# Nurse leads La Crosse protest of Gundersen Health staff vaccine mandate



– Cost share funds available for organic farms


– Wisconsin school chief urges masks, vaccinations

– MMSD’s new virtual learning program receives 452 applications, will offer enrollment to 234


– DNR report shows most of Wisconsin’s drinking water is good


– Draft and Vessel, with locations in Shorewood and Wauwatosa, is now requiring customers to be fully vaccinated


– Evers hires San Francisco law firm to handle PFAS suits


– A nonprofit group operating on Milwaukee’s near south side has bought one of the city’s older homes for its new headquarters


– Biden taps Milwaukee Mayor Barrett as Luxembourg ambassador


– 100 East office building in downtown Milwaukee in foreclosure

– One of downtown Milwaukee’s largest office towers is in foreclosure after losing its largest tenant to a new building


– Milwaukee Film to enforce Covid-19 protocols requiring vaccine or negative test


– Taking flight: Nonstop routes returning to Madison airports sooner than expected


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

Acuity: Named a top performer by Ward Group for 22nd straight year

DBA, Edge Dairy Farmers Cooperative: Dairy Stream podcast – H-2A visas and Farm Workforce Modernization Act