Saturday, December 5, 2020
The first widespread significant snowfall of the season is expected tomorrow. Snowfall rates will likely reach 1-3"/hr at times tomorrow afternoon and evening, and the snow is expected to be a wet and heavy snow, especially closer toward the coastline. pic.twitter.com/W1GesZANYC— NWS Gray (@NWSGray) December 4, 2020
Friday, December 4, 2020
The House passed a bill Friday to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level and set up a process to expunge past convictions.
MADISON – Residents of Madison will now be able to possess and consume small amounts of marijuana under a series of ordinances passed by the city's Common Council.
The ordinances will allow people 18 or over within Madison to possess up to 28 grams of cannabis on public or private property, beginning on Friday. Those in possession of the substance will also be able to smoke it or consume it by other means, with the permission of the homeowner, landlord or tenant.
The ordinances do not allow cannabis to be smoked in areas already deemed non-smoking, like the inside of bars and restaurants, and does not allow the possession or consumption of synthetic chemical cannabinoids.
They also allow for the possession of paraphernalia for cannabis use, such as bongs or pipes, but ban consumption in a motor vehicle while in operation by both the driver and passengers, within 1,000 feet of a school and on a school bus.
The legalization of the substance in the city is a big step forward and long overdue, said council member Michael Verveer, the representative for the city's 4th district, which includes much of Madison's downtown.
MADISON - The state Supreme Court rejected a request Thursday by President Donald Trump to revoke the certification of his loss to Democrat Joe Biden.
The 4-3 decision left room for Trump to bring a new challenge to the election results and the president quickly did so. But the high court's ruling provided a serious setback for him because even some of the dissenting justices signaled they do not support Trump's call for throwing out hundreds of thousands of ballots.
Conservative Justice Brian Hagedorn and the court's three liberals declined to take the case he filed directly with them because state law requires election challenges like his to be filed in circuit court.
"We do well as a judicial body to abide by time-tested judicial norms, even — and maybe especially — in high-profile cases," he wrote. "Following the law governing challenges to election results is no threat to the rule of law."
Austin mayor was vacationing in Cabo when he said residents ‘need to stay home'
In early November, as health officials warned of a impending COVID-19 spike, Austin Mayor Steve Adler hosted an outdoor wedding and reception with 20 guests for his daughter at a trendy hotel near downtown.
The next morning, Adler and seven other wedding attendees boarded a private jet bound for Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, where they vacationed for a week at a family timeshare.
One night into the trip, Adler addressed Austin residents in a Facebook video: “We need to stay home if you can. This is not the time to relax. We are going to be looking really closely. ... We may have to close things down if we are not careful.”
In hosting the wedding and traveling internationally, Adler said he broke neither his own order or those established by Gov. Greg Abbott.
But at the time, the city was recommending people not gather in groups of more than 10, and the day after Adler’s departure, Austin’s health authority warned that “it’s important that we drive the (COVID-19) numbers down in advance of Thanksgiving.”
As he pressed the public to help stop the spread of the virus in recent weeks, Adler had not previously disclosed details of his private actions. He gave no indication in his Facebook video that he was outside the city as he discussed Austin’s rising number of cases and reviewed the number of hospital patients.
Thursday, December 3, 2020
Wisconsin lawmakers have failed to reform juvenile corrections for years. Will a teen's death in a Racine jail push them to act?
After 16-year-old Maricella Chairez died in a Racine County jail cell in 2017, local officials did little to address her death — and their own failures.
Now, Wisconsin lawmakers, responding to a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel investigation, vow numerous reforms in the juvenile justice system statewide, including more thorough investigations of jail deaths.
“While Maricella’s story is unique, the issues she faced are not,” said Sen. Van Wanggaard, R-Racine. “Maricella’s story shows us that despite the progress we’ve made, and made since her tragic death, more work remains.”
The Journal Sentinel investigation found numerous failures by authorities who downplayed Chairez’s reports of sexual assault, jailed her when she escaped traffickers, held her in an unsafe environment without proper mental health care, and were late to check on her the night she killed herself at the Racine County Juvenile Detention Center.
Gov. Tony Evers’ office did not answer questions about Maricella’s death and the proposed reforms, referring the Journal Sentinel to the Department of Corrections. A spokesman for the department did not allow department officials to be interviewed in recent weeks.
Lawmakers from both parties who serve on committees on corrections and children’s issues said the Legislature could make several changes to reduce youth incarceration and address suicide hazards.