Gov. Evers Announces Additional CARES Act Funds for Early Care and Education

Sept. 3, Gov. Tony Evers announced an additional $30 million of federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) dollars are being directed toward supporting early care and education providers. The additional funds will allow the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to conduct an additional round of Child Care Counts payments.

“As I’ve said before, what’s best for our kids is what’s best for our state,” said Gov. Evers. “Our early care educators stepped up in a big way for Wisconsin families – and their kids – to help keep our state’s economy strong during the pandemic. Frankly, our state needs them now more than ever. These funds are a recognition of the vital role they play in our communities.”

Access to safe, affordable, quality child care has risen to the forefront for Wisconsin families as the new school year begins. Yet the early care and education sector is still reeling from the impact of COVID-19. At the height of the public health emergency, just under 40 percent of child care providers (1,729 of 4,444 providers open on Jan. 1, 2020) closed their doors. That number has decreased to just over 12 percent of providers remaining closed (538 providers) as of Aug. 27, 2020. The Wisconsin Tomorrow plan, authored by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), also highlighted the importance of early care and education to the state’s economy. The report notes the role access to early care and education plays in returning everyone, but especially women, to the workforce.

“Wisconsin families rely on access to child care in order to stay employed,” said DCF Secretary Emilie Amundson. “That is especially true for women, who still carry a disproportionate burden raising children. The additional funding the state is providing to early care and education will help to stabilize the industry and ensure families have safe and reliable options for care.”

The Child Care Counts: COVID-19 Supplementary Payment Program is designed to help counter those trends. The additional round will of funding will be distributed through two, new programs targeted at the current challenges early care and education providers are facing. Applications and program eligibility details will be available starting Sept. 9, 2020, on DCF’s website, with the application window closing Sept. 18, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. Payment notifications will be issued on Sept. 26, 2020.

As providers move back to regular operations, many have struggled to bring back staff due to depressed wages. This program is designed to support the costs associated with recruiting and retaining high-quality staff.

In addition to the individual payments for eligible early care and education providers, the State Emergency Operation Center (SEOC) has made personal protective equipment (PPE) available for providers statewide. DCF is finalizing a survey that will be distributed to all regulated providers with information about how PPE can be accessed and distributed within the week.

NOTE: DCF recently launched an initiative to connect families with local child care, including an interactive map that displays open, available care.

St. Croix Falls

Burnett County District Attorney responds to SCF PD

By April Ziemer

In a letter sent to Polk County District Attorney Jeff Kemp and St. Croix Falls Police Chief Erin Murphy dated Aug. 27, James Rennicke, Burnett County District Attorney, said he believes officers acted appropriately during the Aug. 8 shooting of Terry Trevelen.

The Burnett County D.A.’s Office was asked to investigate and review for possible charges the officer involved death incident that occurred in St. Croix Falls (SCF).

The shooting occurred when SCF police officers responded to a domestic incident at The Dallas House Motel.

Two St. Croix Falls police officers responded after a woman in room 258 had called for help. The owner of the motel had also called 911 to report a disturbance from the room.

According to the report for Burnett County, there were other civilians in the immediate area of this incident. The report said an officer knocked on the door to room 258 and announced the presence of police. A male with a large kitchen “Chef’s type“ knife exited the motel room. Officers ordered the man to drop the knife. The man raised the knife in a threatening manner and aggressively approached one of the officers, while still brandishing the knife.

Both officers continued to give loud verbal commands to drop the knife. When the man continued to rapidly approach the officer while still holding the knife, the officer fired his service pistol. The officer fired three shots in rapid succession. The man fell to the ground and dropped the knife. The knife was moved away from the suspect male.

The motel room was “cleared” and an adult woman with severe knife wounds was found on or near a bed in the motel room. She required emergency medical treatment. An ambulance and notice of the shooting was immediately communicated by the officer and Emergency Medical Aid was attempted to be provided by both officers, once the scene was otherwise secured. Other civilians were segregated from the area.

Other law enforcement and emergency medical personnel arrived at the scene shortly thereafter in due course. A severely injured woman was taken from the motel room via ambulance. The suspect male died at the scene from his injuries.

Rennicke’s letter said, “Upon review, it is the belief of this writer that the officers each acted appropriately. That the shooting officer was authorized to use necessary and reasonable force, in this case, deadly force to uphold the law and to defend himself and others. No criminal action or charges are recommended against the officer involved.”

River Falls

Wildcat Centre finalist for Hockeyville USA title

The crisp fall air is just the first sign that hockey season is right around the corner. River Falls Wildcat Centre was named a finalist in the Hockeyville USA contest, sponsored by Kraft, the NHL and NHLPA. They faced East Grand Fork, Minnesota, El Paso, Texas and Wichita, Kansas.

Online voting saw the $150,000 in rink upgrades going to El Paso, Texas. East Grand Forks, Minnesota, the runner-up, will receive $30,000 in rink upgrades and the other two finalists will receive $10,000 each.

The NHLPA Goals & Dreams Fund will donate $10,000 worth of new hockey equipment to each of the four finalists.

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