Walk-in COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic for Ages 12+ at Middle School Tuesday, June 1 / Clínica de vacunación COVID-19 sin cita previa para estudiantes de 12 años en adelante – Martes 1 de junio

The Whitewater Unified School District is partnering with the Walworth County Health Department to offer a walk-in COVID-19 vaccine clinic for students ages 12 and older. The clinic will be held at Whitewater Middle School on Tuesday, June 1, 2021 from 4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. The clinic is free, with no appointment or insurance needed, and no identification is required. These clinics will administer the Pfizer two dose vaccine to those age 12 and over. (A parent or guardian MUST accompany any minor 12-17 years old.) And the one dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine to those age 18 and over. If you have any questions or need further information, please contact Walworth County at 262-741-3200 or co.walworth.wi.us.

El Distrito Escolar Unificado de Whitewater se está asociando con el Departamento de Salud del Condado de Walworth para ofrecer una clínica de vacunación COVID-19 sin cita previa para estudiantes de 12 años en adelante. La clínica se llevará a cabo en Whitewater Middle School el martes 1 de junio del 2021 de 4:00 pm a 6:00 pm. La clínica es gratuita, no se necesita cita ni seguro médico, y no se requiere identificación.Estas clínicas administrarán la vacuna Pfizer de dos dosis a los mayores de 12 años. (Un padre o tutor DEBE acompañar a cualquier menor de edades 12 a 17 años). Y la vacuna Johnson & Johnson de una dosis para los mayores de 18 años.Si tiene alguna pregunta o necesita más información, comuníquese con el condado de Walworth al 262-741-3200 o co.walworth.wi.us.

The background on the home page, “Stone iPhone Background” by Patrick Hoesly is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Business Update: Baymont Inn; Center Street Cafe; Walmart Curbside Pickup Service Begins Friday (Walmart promo info updated)

By Lynn Binnie
Whitewater Banner volunteer staff

The Baymont Inn, 1355 W. Main Street, was closed for several months, reportedly due to decreased business due to COVID-19. As of May 1 the hotel has reopened.

Center Street Cafe, 106 W. Center Street, opened in recent months after a long pandemic-related delay. Their beverage menu includes coffee, latte, cappuccino, mocha, turkish coffee, espresso, hot chocolate, and special cold drinks such as the seasonal Strawberry Pineapple Fizz. All day breakfast includes bagel sandwiches, and lunch sandwiches include ham, BLT, hoagie, turkey fresca, grilled cheese, and veggie bagel. Finally, they feature homemade pastries including baklava. Open Monday thru Saturday, 9-5.

Walmart will offer curbside pickup for in-store merchandise beginning on Friday, May 14. The Banner was told that orders, which are placed online or through the app, may include anything that is in the store. The first step is to select an available pickup time, which may be any day of the week between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. The minimum order is $35; there is no pickup fee, and pricing is apparently the shelf price. Customers may go inside to pick up the order at the Customer Service Desk, but most will probably prefer to park in one of the 12 designated pickup parking spaces near the store entrance, check in with the app or by phone, and await delivery of their goods to the car. There is an introductory offer for $10 off the first order with a $50 minimum. Use code WOWFRESH. “Restrictions apply,” but it is unknown what those restrictions may be. UPDATE: It appears that the introductory offer will not work if you’ve previously used pickup at another Walmart.

As most readers are probably aware, Walmart is undergoing a major renovation. Entrance gates have been installed but are not yet activated. Bold new signage is appearing throughout the store. All of the checkout stations are now self-service; however, the Banner was told that any shopper who wishes for store personnel to scan their items should ask one of the employees, who wear very visible vests, and they will be happy to assist. Apparently this service is not routinely provided at all Walmarts that have transitioned to the self-service model.

Fort Hospital Nationally Recognized with an ‘A’ Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade

(Fort Memorial Hospital press release) Fort Memorial Hospital received an “A” grade in the spring 2021 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, a national distinction recognizing Fort Memorial Hospital’s achievements protecting patients from errors, injuries, accidents, and infections. The Leapfrog Group is an independent national watchdog organization committed to health care quality and safety. The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade assigns an “A,” “B,” “C,” “D,” or “F” grade to all general hospitals across the country and is updated every six months. It is the only hospital ratings program based exclusively on hospitals’ prevention of medical errors and other harms to patients in their care.

Mike Wallace, President and CEO, states, “Fort HealthCare continues to be progressive at all levels when it comes to patient care. Our employees continuously work hard to control the quality and safety at Fort Memorial Hospital. We are honored to continue to receive “A” ratings from The Leapfrog Group.”

“An ‘A’ safety grade is an elite designation that your community should be proud of,” said Leah Binder, President and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. “The past year has been extraordinarily difficult for hospitals, but Fort Memorial Hospital shows us it is possible to keep a laser focus on patients and their safety, no matter what it takes.”

Developed under the guidance of a national Expert Panel, the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade uses up to 27 measures of publicly available hospital safety data to assign grades to more than 2,700 U.S. acute-care hospitals twice per year. The Hospital Safety Grade’s methodology is peer-reviewed and fully transparent, and the results are free to the public.

Fort Memorial Hospital was awarded an “A” grade today when Leapfrog updated grades for spring 2021. To see Fort Memorial Hospital’s full grade details and access patient tips for staying safe in the hospital, visit hospitalsafetygrade.org and follow The Leapfrog Group on Twitter and Facebook.

About The Leapfrog Group

Founded in 2000 by large employers and other purchasers, The Leapfrog Group is a national nonprofit organization driving a movement for giant leaps forward in the quality and safety of American health care. The flagship Leapfrog Hospital Survey and new Leapfrog Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) Survey collect and transparently report hospital and ASC performance, empowering purchasers to find the highest-value care and giving consumers the lifesaving information they need to make informed decisions. The Leapfrog Hospital Safety initiative assigns letter grades to hospitals based on their record of patient safety, helping consumers protect themselves and their families from errors, injuries, accidents, and infections.

#FlashbackFriday with the Whitewater Historical Society: Old Main

It’s time again for #FlashbackFriday with the Whitewater Historical Society! This week’s photo features another wintery Whitewater scene from the past. Affectionately dubbed “Old Main,” this building stood as the flagship building for the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater campus since the college’s founding in 1868, undergoing many expansions and renovations over the years.

As the result of a fire in February 1970, only the East Wing of Old Main still stands today and is now known as Hyer Hall. This image was probably taken in the 1950s or 1960s. Join us next week for more from the Whitewater Historical Society collections!

(3679P, Whitewater Historical Society)

The Whitewater Historical Society collects, preserves, and interprets the history of Whitewater and the surrounding area. Be sure to join us next week for more from the Society’s collections. Please “like” us on Facebook, and check out our website at whitewaterhistoricalsociety.org!​

Have You Received Your Second Economic Impact (“Stimulus”) Payment Yet? Believe it or not, it might be coming by prepaid debit card! (Or it might not be coming at all)

(Provided by the Aging & Disability Resource Center of Jefferson County via Deb Weberpal)

Have you received your stimulus check yet? Most people received their stimulus check by direct deposit in their bank or by check in the mail, but did you know that millions of individuals are going to receive their stimulus check by prepaid debit card? DON’T THROW THEM AWAY!! The IRS states that the debit cards are arriving in a white envelope that displays the U.S. Department of Treasury seal on them. The debit card is called an Economic Impact Payment Card.

Per the IRS website, the cards can be used to make purchases online or in stores where Visa Debit Cards are accepted. You may also transfer your funds into your personal bank account; please check with your bank on how to complete this action.

Please check the website below for more information or to have your specific stimulus questions answered.

IRS Electronic Impact Payment Card website: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/millions-of-taxpayers-will-receive-their-second-economic-impact-payments-by-debit-card

Banner note: Not all citizens are receiving $600; in fact, due to an income limit, some will not receive a payment at all. This article from Kiplinger answers sixteen FAQ’s about the “stimulus” payment.

First Installment of Property Tax is Due by Monday, February 1

Per Steve Hatton, City of Whitewater Finance Director, since the first installment of 2020 property taxes is due on Sunday, January 31, payments will be considered timely if received by next Monday, February 1. Checks should be made payable to City of Whitewater. They may be mailed to P. O. Box 690, Whitewater, 53190, paid in person at the Municipal Building Finance counter (Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.), or left in the 24-hour drop box at the Whitewater Street entrance to the building.

The second payment is due to the county on July 31, though property owners may choose to pay the entire tax through the city at this time.

Local UW-Stevens Point undergraduates honored for scholastic achievement

STEVENS POINT, Wis. (January 13, 2021) – The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point honored more than 2,600 undergraduate students for attaining high grade point averages during the fall semester of the 2020-2021 academic year.

Full-time undergraduates who earned grade points of 3.90 to 4.0 (4.0 equals straight A) are given the highest honors designation.  High honor citations go to those with grade point averages from 3.75 to 3.89 and honor recognition is accorded to those with grade point averages from 3.50 to 3.74.

Personalized certificates of scholastic achievement are being sent to those who earned highest honors distinction.

Students who received honors include:

Whitewater, WI

 Sage Babcock, Senior, High Honors
 Allison Ceranske, First-year, Highest Honors
 Kathryn Schramm, Post-Bacc, Honors

Gov. Evers Signs Executive Order calling Special Session on Policing Accountability and Transparency

Gov. Evers Signs Executive Order Calling Special Session on Policing Accountability and Transparency; See below for Wisconsin National Guard to Support Law Enforcement in Kenosha
MADISON, August 24 — Gov. Tony Evers and Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes today announced Executive Order #84, calling the Wisconsin State Legislature into a Special Session on policing accountability and transparency convening at noon on Aug. 31, 2020. The announcement comes after Jacob Blake, a Black man, was shot repeatedly in the back by a law enforcement officer in Kenosha.   

“Today I am calling for a Special Session of the Legislature to take up the package of legislation we announced earlier this year,” said Gov. Evers. “We must begin the long but important path toward ensuring our state and our country start to live up to our promises of equity and justice. I am urging the Legislature to rise to this occasion and give this special session the urgent and productive effort this moment demands and that the people of Wisconsin deserve.”   
On June 19, 2020, in the wake of widespread pleas for justice following the murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, Gov. Evers called for the legislature to take up a series of policing accountability and transparency measures. As of August 24, 2020, more than 130 days since the Wisconsin State Legislature last passed a bill, the Legislature has not convened to take up the measures.   

In a letter then to the legislature, the governor indicated the Legislature’s failure to take up these measures would prompt executive action, stating, “As we move forward, if there is an unwillingness to do this important work, conversations with legislative leaders break down, or there are talks of delays until the next legislative session, as governor, I am ready and willing to use my power to call on the Legislature into special session to act.”    

“We know we cannot remedy the systemic racism built into all of our systems with just this package of bills, but that does not mean we should stand still,” said Lt. Gov. Barnes. “For over two months, our legislative leaders have ignored the calls for change from people in every part of our state, and now another Black man is fighting for his life due to the actions of law enforcement. The people of our state are done waiting for the Legislature to act, and so are we.”  

“I know folks across our state will be making their voices heard in communities across Wisconsin. Every person should be able to make their voices heard and report on these calls to action without any fear of being unsafe. If you are exercising that right today and in the days ahead, please do so peacefully, and please wear your masks and keep physical distance as best as you can,” Gov. Evers concluded.  The package of legislation included in the governor’s special session call includes: 

LRB 6273/LRB 6424: Establishes statewide use of force standards for all law enforcement agencies that includes that the primary duty of law enforcement is to preserve the life of all individuals; that deadly force is to be used only as the last resort; that officers should use skills and tactics that minimize the likelihood that force will become necessary; that, if officers must use physical force, it should be the least amount of force necessary to safely address the threat; and that law enforcement officers must take reasonable action to stop or prevent any unreasonable use of force by their colleagues;Prohibits discipline of a law enforcement officer for reporting a violation of a law enforcement agency’s use of force policy; andRequires the Law Enforcement Standards Board (LESB) to develop a model use of force policy for law enforcement agencies.
LRB 6274/ LRB 6425:​Requires each law enforcement officer to annually complete at least eight hours of training on use of force options and de-escalation techniques.
LRB 6275/LRB 6426: Creates a $1,000,000 grant program, administered by the Department of Justice, to fund community organizations that are utilizing evidence-based outreach and violence interruption strategies to mediate conflicts, prevent retaliation and other potentially violent situations, and connect individuals to community supports.
LRB 6276/LRB 6427: Requires law enforcement agencies to develop policies prohibiting the use of chokeholds.
LRB 6277/LRB 6428:Requires each law enforcement agency to not only prepare a policy regarding the use of force by its law enforcement officers, but to make it available publicly online.
LRB 6281/LRB 6429: Creates a civil cause of action for unnecessarily summoning a law enforcement officer with intent to infringe upon a right of the person under the Wisconsin Constitution or the U.S. Constitution; unlawfully discriminate against the person; cause the person to feel harassed, humiliated, or embarrassed; cause the person to be expelled from a place in which the person is lawfully located; damage the person’s reputation or standing within the community; or damage the person’s financial, economic, consumer, or business prospects or interests.
LRB 6283/LRB 6430: Requires that the Department of Justice publish an annual report on use of force incidents, including incidents where there was a shooting, where a firearm was discharged in the direction of a person (even if there was no injury), and where other serious bodily harm resulted from the incident; andRequires certain demographic information to be collected about each incident and reported annually by DOJ on its website. 
LRB 6289/LRB 6431: Prohibits no-knock search warrants.
LRB 6292/LRB 6432:Makes certain changes to the responsibilities of the LESB, including requiring LESB to also regulate jail and juvenile detention officer training standards and regulate recruitment standards for the recruiting of new law enforcement, jail, and juvenile detention officers;Requires each law enforcement agency to maintain an employment file for each employee; andRequires each potential candidate for a position in an agency, jail, or facility that is or has been employed by a different agency, jail, or facility to authorize their previous employer to disclose his or her employment files to the hiring entity.

 Wisconsin National Guard to Support Local Law Enforcement in Kenosha
MADISON, Aug. 24 — Gov. Tony Evers today, at the request of local officials, authorized the Wisconsin National Guard to support local law enforcement in Kenosha County to help protect critical infrastructure and assist in maintaining public safety and the ability of individuals to peacefully protest.

“I know folks across our state will be making their voices heard in Kenosha and in communities across Wisconsin. Every person should be able to express their anger and frustration by exercising their First Amendment rights and report on these calls to action without any fear of being unsafe,” said Gov. Evers. “This is a limited mobilization of the National Guard focused on supporting the needs of local first responders to protect critical infrastructure, such as utilities and fire stations, and to ensure Kenoshians are able to assemble safely.”

Pursuant to Section 321.39(1)(a) of the Wisconsin Statutes, the governor ordered into state active duty members of the Wisconsin National Guard deemed necessary to support to local law enforcement and first responders in Kenosha. Any Guard members called to active duty may only be used to provide support to local law enforcement and to protect critical infrastructure and cultural institutions necessary for the well-being of the community, and to provide support to first responders such as the Kenosha Fire Department. The National Guard may not be used to impede the ability of people to peacefully protest or impede the ability of the media to report on this situation.

“Serving our fellow Wisconsin citizens and assisting civil authorities during times of need is one of core missions in the National Guard,” said Maj. Gen. Paul Knapp, Wisconsin’s adjutant general. “Our Citizen Soldiers and Airmen are well-trained and prepared to assist in any way we can in an effort to preserve public safety.” 

A New Banner Service – Garage Sale Ads

As a result of a reader’s comment that it’s hard to find garage sales in Whitewater now that we no longer have a weekly shopper, the Banner staff has agreed to begin a “consolidated” garage sale posting that will be published each Thursday morning for the upcoming weekend’s sales. This announcement will only be for garage sales (a sale of miscellaneous household goods, often held in the garage or front yard of someone’s house) in the city and school district boundaries. We will not be accepting, for example, ads for cars or other items that are not part of a scheduled garage sale. There will be a limit of three times per year for a particular property. Although we may eventually make a small charge for this service, initially it will be complimentary.

Those wishing to place a notice must send the information to whitewaterbanner@gmail.com by Wednesday at 6 p.m. You may include a brief description of the items that are for sale, the hours and days of the sale, and of course your address.

Our thanks to Ellie Wilson for the suggestion that we add this service to the Banner’s features.

City of Whitewater Introduces New Portal Website Page

The City of Whitewater has introduced a new landing page for their website to help citizens navigate to many organizations within the city. After receiving feedback from a community civic summit in 2019, the city worked with their website vendor, Civic Plus, to help create a new landing page. When citizens are searching for the city of Whitewater or visit the city’s original website, https://www.whitewater-wi.gov, they will now be directed to this landing page. On this page, they will have access to view the city’s website; a link to view Discover Whitewater’s site that includes the Chamber of Commerce, the Whitewater Community Foundation, Downtown Whitewater Inc., and the Whitewater Tourism Council; the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s website; the Whitewater Unified School District website; the city’s Aquatic and Fitness Center website; a newly designed Economic Development page on the city website; a listing of local organizations along with a listing of local news and media outlets.

The City of Whitewater is happy to offer this new opportunity to reach many avenues in which residents and out of town citizens can find many of the resources they are interested in finding, all in one place.

The City of Whitewater provides efficient and high-quality services which support living, learning, playing and working in an exceptional community. Visit www.whitewater-wi.gov for community information and updates.