TUE AM News: Digital school mapping tech expected to save time and lives; DHS identifies second presumed case of monkeypox in state

— The head of the state’s Office of School Safety says digital facility mapping is expected to “save time and save lives” during violent incidents and medical emergencies. 

The office, part of the state Department of Justice, yesterday announced applications are being accepted for the 2021 Wisconsin Act 109 Digital Mapping of School Buildings 2022 grant program. This program will provide reimbursement for school boards and private school governing bodies for critical incident mapping data, a release shows. 

“Our law enforcement partners have been telling us that this is going to be helpful, and this is what they feel could save time and save lives,” Trish Kilpin said during a Newsmakers interview hosted by WisconsinEye. 

One such company that provides “geo-spatial mapping” services for schools and other clients, Critical Response Group, has deployed its technology at over 400 schools in Wisconsin. That’s according to Joe Hanson, regional director of sales and implementation for the company, who spoke during a recent Wisconsin Technology Council event in Madison. 

During the interview, Kilpin explained 2021 Wisconsin Act 109 amends existing state law to allow schools to submit digital maps of their buildings to the OSS and law enforcement in lieu of blueprints. She noted these maps can provide better information for first responders in the case of school shootings as well as health-related incidents. 

“We want to get that information to the first responders so they can pull up to the most appropriate entrance and they can access that patient as efficiently and quickly as possible,” she said. 

Applicants can apply for up to $5,000 per building, a DOJ release shows. A total of $2 million in grant funding is available, with the project period running from this month through the end of June 2024. 

Tom Wohlleber, executive director of the Wisconsin School Safety Coordinators Association, says schools in the state have become much more dependent on technology as they respond to various incidents. 

“We often know, when an event goes south, it often has to do with a breakdown in communications — whether that’s in the physical technology of communications, or in the process of communications that the school system has set up amongst its staff as well as among emergency responders,” he said during yesterday’s WisconsinEye interview.  

See the full interview: https://wiseye.org/2022/07/11/newsmakers-assessing-school-safety-in-wisconsin/ 

See the DOJ release: https://www.wispolitics.com/2022/doj-launches-2-million-critical-incident-mapping-data-grant-program/ 

See more on the Critical Response Group in a recent story: https://www.wisbusiness.com/2022/experts-tout-tech-aimed-at-helping-first-responders/ 

— The Department of Health Services has identified the state’s second presumed case of monkeypox in Milwaukee County. 

DHS says officials are working to identify people who have been in contact with the patient, who’s currently isolating. 

This comes after DHS announced the state’s first monkeypox case earlier this month in Dane County. But the agency says the risk to the general public remains low. 

“Current evidence from around the country shows that the virus is spreading mostly through close, intimate contact with someone who has monkeypox,” DHS Secretary-Designee Karen Timberlake said in a release. “We urge all Wisconsinites to stay vigilant and contact a doctor if you develop a new or unexplained rash.”

As of yesterday, the CDC was reporting a total of 866 confirmed cases of monkeypox in the United States. 

See the DHS release: https://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/news/releases/071122.htm 

— Exact Sciences says a proposal from federal officials would make follow-up colonoscopies free to Medicare patients after a positive at-home colon cancer test. 

The Madison-based company — which has developed its Cologuard test for at-home colon cancer screening — is applauding the proposal from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. 

CMS has also proposed covering this service for Medicare participants aged 45 years and older, according to a release from Exact Sciences. The company says the final rule is expected to be published in the fall and take effect starting in 2023. 

Kevin Conroy, the company’s chairman and CEO, says colon cancer is the “most preventable, yet least prevented cancer,” as about 44 million average-risk U.S. adults haven’t been screened for the disease. 

He says the company supports the CMS proposal, “which has the potential to close the screening gap by reducing barriers to screening, prevention and earlier detection for individuals aged 45 and older.”

Since Cologuard was launched in 2014, the company says 9 million people have used the test to screen themselves for colon cancer. 

See the release: https://investor.exactsciences.com/investor-relations/press-releases/press-release-details/2022/Exact-Sciences-Applauds-Proposed-CMS-Change-to-Colorectal-Cancer-Screening-Policy/default.aspx 

<i>For more of the most relevant news on COVID-19, reports on groundbreaking health research in Wisconsin, links to top stories and more, sign up today for the free daily Health Care Report from WisPolitics.com and WisBusiness.com.</i>

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— UW-Madison Chancellor Emeritus Rebecca Blank has announced she will step down as president-elect of Northwestern University after she was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer. 

Northwestern President Morton Schapiro will stay in his role until the search committee that selected Blank finds a replacement. Blank, who was set to begin her tenure Sept. 1, will return to Madison for treatment.

Blank in a letter to the Northwestern community said doctors advised her it would be “almost impossible” to do the job effectively while undergoing the treatment she needs. 

“As heartbreaking as this is for me, I take solace in knowing Northwestern is in great hands. Although I have not been on campus full-time, I have had the opportunity to talk with many campus leaders over the past eight months,” Blank said. “It is clear that NU has tremendous leadership, outstanding faculty and staff, and a wonderful group of students.” 

UW-Madison Provost and Interim Chancellor John Karl Scholz lamented Blank’s diagnosis.

“I can speak for all of us in the leadership of the University of Wisconsin-Madison in saying that we’re absolutely devastated by the news that Chancellor Emeritus Becky Blank has been diagnosed with cancer and will not be assuming the presidency of Northwestern University,” Scholz said. 

Blank’s replacement, UCLA Law School Dean Jennifer Mnookin, will begin her role as UW-Madison chancellor on Aug. 4. 

Gov. Tony Evers on Twitter said he and his wife were “incredibly saddened” to hear the news. 

“Becky and Hanns, as you return to Wisconsin for this difficult journey, know the entire state is thinking of you and is behind you in this fight,” the guv said.

See the Northwestern release:


See Blank’s letter:


— Crop growth for oats and soybeans in Wisconsin continues to lag behind last year and the five-year average, the latest USDA report shows. 

The report from the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service shows 29 percent of soybeans were at or beyond the blooming stage at the end of last week. That’s one week behind last year’s growth rate and two days behind the five-year average. 

Meanwhile, 79 percent of oats were “headed or beyond,” meaning the seed heads had emerged from the stalk. That’s 13 days behind last year’s rate and three days behind the average, the report shows. 

Farmers in Wisconsin continue to harvest their second cutting of hay, according to the report, as sections of southern Wisconsin saw heavy rains early last week but the state “remains dry overall.” 

See the full report: https://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Wisconsin/Publications/Crop_Progress_&_Condition/2022/WI-Crop-Progress-07-11-22.pdf 

— Menasha Packaging Company has announced it has acquired Georgia-Pacific’s Color-Box, a corrugated packaging manufacturer with plants in Indiana, Mississippi and California. 

According to the release, Color-Box was founded in 2000 and has about 550 employees. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. 

“By joining forces, we will be able to offer both an expanded geographic footprint, as well as enriched capabilities in the area of high-end graphic packaging solutions for our customers,” Mike Riegsecker, president of Menasha Packaging, said in the release. 

The Neenah-based company operates over 50 facilities in North America. 

See more details: https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/menasha-packaging-finalizes-acquisition-of-georgia-pacifics-color-box-business-301583479.html 

— Wisconsin Laborers’ District Council President and Business Manager John Schmitt will be retiring in September after nearly five decades with the Laborers’ International Union of North America. 

According to a release, Schmitt started as a laborer at the Miller Brewery in Milwaukee and a member of LIUNA Local 113 in 1974. After becoming a business representative, local union executive board member and later business manager of the chapter, he was elected to his current position in 2010. 

The council is made up of five local labor unions representing about 9,000 construction workers in Wisconsin. 

See the release: https://www.wispolitics.com/2022/wisconsin-laborers-district-council-president-business-manager-john-schmitt-retirement-announcement/ 


# New brewhouse at Old World Wisconsin offers a taste of history in a pint glass


# An apartment development that targets people who don’t own cars is proceeding on Milwaukee’s east side after winning city approvals


# New IT and esports class starts in Milwaukee Public Schools this summer




– Farm technology days to feature live safety demonstrations


– Officials learn benefits of environmentally friendly farming



– Spec industrial buildings planned in Yorkville


– Blank stepping down as president of Northwestern following cancer diagnosis


– Updated: Former UW chancellor Rebecca Blank steps down as Northwestern president



– Wisconsin cities part of global pilot program to rank heat waves based on risk to human health



– Old World Wisconsin’s Robert Novak takes beer back to the 19th century


– Let’s Eat: Mad Seafood Boiler turns up the heat on its lobster boil



– Trucking firm Schneider National leads investment in Green Bay startup ChemDirect



– Schmitt retiring from Wisconsin Laborers


– Wauwatosa residents file lawsuit challenging approval of Drew Tower project


– Teweles Seed Tower upgrades planned after Walker’s Point property sold


– Uline buys another 230 acres in Kenosha County for $23.6 million


– Wheel & Sprocket seeking to redevelop Brookfield location into mixed-use project


– Go alpaca go! UW alum joins with Peruvian artisans to make Badger wear



– Stock House ownership trio calls it quits after turning hobby and friendship into a business


– Leon L. Williamson Funeral Home transfers ownership, keeps name



– Rides, music, food, contests and animals – Northern Wisconsin State Fair has it all


– Four Madison-area restaurants selected for Wine Spectator’s 2022 Restaurant Awards


<i>See these and other press releases: 

https://www.wisbusiness.com/press-releases/ </i>

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