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Author: knutson4

Gates’ divorce shines light on ‘gray divorce’ trend


Quoted: Dr. Christine Whelan, clinical professor in the Department of Consumer Science at UW-Madison, says it’s often not that the two are fighting, it’s just that they are ready for a new phase of life.

“When we say ‘til death do us part,’ back in the day that was somewhere in your 50s. Now, if you’re living until your 90s or even further than that, that can be decades more with the same person.”

As COVID-19 Restrictions Lessen, Returning To Normal Life May Take Some Time


Quoted: Christine Whelan, a clinical professor in the School of Human Ecology at UW-Madison, said that returning to everyday life is going to look different for each person.

“If you’re an introvert, perhaps the last 15 months or so has actually been a source of relief to you because you haven’t had to do a lot of the things that stress you out or that actually deplete your energy,” she said. “If that is you, then now’s a really good time to pick and choose what kind of in-person social events you’re going to want to add back into your life.”

Why Do Intelligent Women Join Cults?

Institute for Family Studies

Quoted: The inclination toward self-help is strong in this country. As Christine Whelan, a professor at the University of Wisconsin who wrote her dissertation on the self-help industry, told me, “The NXIVM cult started out as a traditionally leadership self-help model of empowerment and behavior modification. …. the lessons that were being taught to the broad introductory group were fairly simple strategies for accomplishing goals in your life.”

But then, she notes, NXIVM faced the same problem that all personal-improvement workshops seem to face: “How do you continue to ‘transform’ people after they’ve completed the entry-level experiences?” she asks, adding: “You up the ante.”

Drug in Kentucky Derby winner’s system is commonly used


Quoted: There’s recently been controversy surrounding 2021 Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit’s credibility after traces of an illegal drug was found in the horse’s system during a postrace drug test.

The commonly used drug is called betamethasone.

Director of the Wisconsin Veterinarian Diagnostic laboratory at U-W Madison Dr. Keith Poulsen
says that drug is frequently used as an anti-inflammatory.

“When I was in practice, I would use it to inject a joint to calm down inflammation or arthritis,” said Poulsen.

Paulsen explains that the frequently used drug only recently became illegal on race day.

“In August the race commission had changed the ruling to no allowable levels in urine post tests in any horse that’s in a race. So, I think that’s where the conflict is now, is that the rule changed to no detectable levels and they did find some in the horse.”

New partnership works to improve vaccine hesitancy for families


Quoted: UW professor Christine Whelan has shared her expertise as part of Dear Pandemic, helping people understand how to talk with others about their COVID-19 fears.

“We can see people who say, absolutely I will never get the vaccine, and a couple of weeks later, they change their mind. So, interestingly enough the research has found that it is much easier to change your opinion, than it is to change your behavior,” she said.

As COVID restrictions ease and some teams move to full attendance, Wisconsin officials couldn’t be more excited Jeff Potrykus, Milwaukee Jour

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Officials in the University of Wisconsin athletic department were beaming Thursday.


The Milwaukee Brewers had just announced they would end all restrictions on the number of fans allowed inside American Family Field, beginning June 25.

That announcement came just two days after the team said it would increase maximum attendance to 50% from 25%.

“(Thursday) was a big day, man,” UW deputy athletic director Chris McIntosh said. “Between the Brewers news and the CDC. That was huge.

Water levels drop in Great Lakes after record-breaking highs in 2020, years of steady increases

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Typically the Great Lakes follow a specific seasonal cycle, said Adam Bechle, a coastal engineering specialist with the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute. The lakes bottom out in the winter when there’s more evaporation occurring as cold air moves in over the warmer water. Lake levels are highest during the summer, after snow melts and runs into them and rain falls.

But there wasn’t as much snow this winter, and this spring has seen most of the state enter drought-like conditions.

Water levels have been climbing steadily in the Great Lakes since 2013. Before that, historic low levels going back to the 1990s caused issues, too, forcing some cities to dredge out harbors and ports so boats could gain access. Fluctuating water levels also impact beaches, and recreation is impacted, too.

“So even those who aren’t directly impacted by the lakes, they still have an impact on their lives,” Bechle said.

The CDC’s guidelines on mask wearing have created confusion. Here are answers to 12 of the most common questions.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Quoted: “The goal in all decisions is to minimize risk,” said Patrick Remington, an epidemiologist from the University of Wisconsin-Madison who formerly worked for the CDC.

“Assuming that the person who is immunocompromised is not able to be vaccinated, then it would be prudent for you to reduce your risk as much as possible, by continuing to wear a mask in public.”

‘We’re in a fragile situation’: COVID cases are rapidly declining in Wisconsin and most states, but they could surge again in winter

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Wisconsin reached its pandemic tipping point on Nov. 18.

That was the day the state recorded its highest number of confirmed new COVID-19 cases — 7,989 — and the virus began to flip from exponential growth to its opposite, exponential decay, according to Ajay Sethi, associate professor of population health sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health.

Report says Wisconsin should outsource unemployment services after pandemic failures

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

After a year fraught with unemployment payment delays, high rates of unemployment denials, call center headaches and other issues, a new University of Wisconsin report suggests the state should outsource at least a portion of its unemployment system.

The report by conservative UW economics professor Noah Williams detailed areas the state lagged behind most other states as the wave of unemployment claims swamped the state’s Department of Workforce Development last year.

Milwaukee-area Muslim community celebrates Eid al-Fitr, end of Ramadan with outdoor festival, fun for

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Noted: Rawan Hamadeh of Brookfield, who just finished her freshman year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, was at the festival surveying people about their vaccination status.

“There are a lot of rumors being spread about the vaccine and how safe it is,” Hamadeh said. “Our goal is, if they aren’t vaccinated and they don’t want to be vaccinated, to try to educate them and inform them that there is nothing in the vaccine that can harm you.”

‘The day we have been waiting for’: COVID-19 cloud begins to lift as CDC issues new guidelines about going without masks

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Quoted: “I think it actually is the day we have been waiting for, the day we feel good and safe gathering indoors,” said Patrick Remington, a former epidemiologist for the CDC.

“The pendulum has really swung back,” added Remington, who directs the preventive medicine residency program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “Now the benefits of gathering in person for fully vaccinated people clearly outweigh the risks.”

Fearing medical and governmental overreach, white evangelical Protestants resist the COVID-19 vaccine mo

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Noted: Those who get their news from national outlets on the so-called Christian right likely are hearing at least some vaccine skepticism, said Daniel Hummel, an evangelical scholar and director of university engagement at the Upper House, a Christian study center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.Outlets with large evangelical audiences have been blending typical evangelical messaging with right-wing views about COVID-19 that can dip into conspiracy theory territory.

‘I’m very, very serious about this race’: Wausau radiologist Gillian Battino makes bid for U.S. Senate

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Noted: Battino has done extensive work with the nonprofit RAD-AID International, which according to its website “brings radiology to low-resource areas by delivering education, equipment, infrastructure, and support.” According to an online biography, Battino “led the development of Guyana’s first Diagnostic Imaging residency while building Guyana’s CT and breast cancer screening programs.”

She also co-founded the University of Wisconsin-Madison chapter of RAD-AID.

Budget-writing committee begins work by stripping hundred of Evers items out

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Noted: The two-year state budget plan also won’t allow the University of Wisconsin System to borrow for operational expenses, restore collective bargaining for public employees, make Juneteenth a state holiday, create a so-called red flag law for gun owners or adopt maps from the governor’s redistricting commission, among other proposals.

Climate change is bringing heavier rains. Here are steps Wisconsin communities are taking to combat flooding

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

While the northern half has seen a smaller increase, Dane County has seen a 20% increase and Milwaukee County has seen a 15% increase, according to data from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Scientists started keeping records of precipitation levels in the 1890s, said Steve Vavrus, a climate professor at UW, and since then, all records for the state have been broken.

Climate change explains the rising amount of rain falling from the sky, Vavrus said. As temperatures rise, warmer air can hold more droplets of water.

“More moisture can be wrung out of the air than 100 years ago or so,” he said. “And climate models have been projecting that for a long time that as the climate warms, we’ll get more heavy rains.”

Opinion: UW-Madison chancellor and state legislators use digital dodges to hide records from the public

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

In March, The Washington Post reported that University of Wisconsin-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank sought to move a conversation around the COVID-19 pandemic and students returning to campus in the fall to a private portal used by presidents and chancellors of the 14 Big Ten universities.

The census is months behind schedule. What that means for the fight over Wisconsin’s election maps

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Quoted: The new maps are supposed to be in place for the 2022 elections. But the delays could be so severe that Wisconsin’s existing, Republican-friendly maps will have to be used for those elections, said Barry Burden, director of the Elections Research Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“It seems unlikely I think that the litigation would be resolved in time for elections to happen in new districts in 2022,” he said.

Keeping the old maps for another cycle “doesn’t feel right,” he said. “But I think courts often view it as the least bad option, as opposed to forcing candidates to make very quick decisions or changing the dates of primaries or something else.”

Wisconsin budget battle begins: GOP lawmakers plan to remove 280 items from Gov. Tony Evers’ proposal

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Noted: The two-year state budget plan also won’t allow the University of Wisconsin System to borrow for operational expenses, restore collective bargaining for public employees, make Juneteenth a state holiday, create a so-called red flag law for gun owners or adopt maps from the governor’s redistricting commission.

A minor change could bring the state $1.6 billion in federal dollars. Republican legislators are uninterested.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Quoted: Republicans in Wisconsin first took their stance when Scott Walker was governor, contending that the federal government eventually could stop paying as much as promised for the expansion.

“There might be a little bit of Scott Walker legacy in all of this,” said Barry Burden, a political scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

How COVID-19 may have made the economic divides in youth sports worse than before

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Noted: Out of Wisconsin’s 72 counties, Milwaukee County ranks 70th in both health outcomes and health factors, according to the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. Health outcomes measure length and quality of life, while health factors account for things that can improve health, such as access to education, quality clinical care, healthy food or affordable housing.

As participation in youth sports grows, more are winding up on the injured list

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Noted: The prime injury culprits are specialization — which the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health defines as participation in a single sport for more than 8 months of the year — and overtraining.

A groundbreaking 2017 University of Wisconsin study of 1,544 Wisconsin high school athletes found that those who specialized were 70% more likely to sustain a lower extremity injury than athletes who played multiple sports.

“Should we really be asking our young kids to do what we’re asking our collegiate athletes?” asked David Bell, associate professor of kinesiology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and director of the Wisconsin Injury in Sport Laboratory.

“Kids aren’t programmed to do a single sport for 15 to 20 hours a week for the entire year.”

Kathleen Gallagher: Why do schools like MIT excel in launching startups, while UWM and other area schools do so little?

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

UWM’s Sandra McLellan and MIT’s Eric Alm are among the world’s foremost experts at detecting very small organisms in very large quantities of sewage — a useful tool during the COVID-19 pandemic. But despite their similar research capabilities, Alm’s work is having a wider impact and creating more economic value and high-paying jobs.

Ron Johnson disputes scientific consensus on the effectiveness of masks in preventing spread of COVID-19

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Quoted: “People who wear masks in close settings have a lower risk of being infected than people who don’t,” said Patrick Remington, former epidemiologist for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s preventive medicine residency program.

It took a hustler, a native son, a priest’s blessing and a city hungry for sports to bring the Bucks to Milwaukee

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Noted: Fishman grew up in Milwaukee on North 14th Street, served in the Army in the mid-1940s and went to college at the University of Wisconsin, according to a Jan. 15, 1997, airing of the PBS TV show I Remember Milwaukee. Fishman started a real estate company, building Cape Cod-style homes for the Baby Boom generation.

There’s a new agreement between Foxconn and Wisconsin. Here are some important unanswered questions.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Noted: Foxconn has worked to try to create goodwill with other parts of the state by signing agreements with the University of Wisconsin-Madison and local governments in Racine, Eau Claire and Green Bay to establish “innovation centers.”

The company has signed a $100 million agreement with the University of Wisconsin-Madison to create Foxconn Institute for Research in Science and Technology within the College of Engineering.

Ed. Leaders: Discuss Race, Call Out White Supremacy

Education Week

Written by John B. Diamond, the Kellner Family Distinguished Chair in Urban Education and a professor in the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s education school, and Jennifer Cheatham, a senior lecturer on education and the co-chair of the Public Education Leadership Project at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and former superintendent of the Madison school district in Wisconsin.

Gov. Tony Evers authorizes emergency work after concrete slabs fall at UW-Madison. Tommy Thompson says other campuses have similar problems.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Gov. Tony Evers authorized emergency work on the 19-floor Madison building that houses the University of Wisconsin System’s headquarters Thursday after two precast concrete railing slabs fell from the third floor.

The 10-by-6 foot slabs fell from Van Hise Hall on UW-Madison’s campus Sunday, landing directly in front of the building’s entrance. No one was injured.

Michigan is overwhelmed by another COVID-19 surge, this one driven by young people. Is Wisconsin next?

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Quoted: “I think we’re all at the edge of our seat, fingers crossed we don’t experience that, but all the signs indicate that we could experience it,” said Ajay Sethi, an epidemiologist and professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “We’re headed in the wrong direction.”

Although vaccines appear to be highly effective against new variants of COVID-19, not enough of the population is yet vaccinated to prevent a surge without other precautions, Sethi said.

Absentee voting declines from last year’s sky-high levels as more voters resume the habit of going to the polls.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Quoted: “I think it’s safe to say Wisconsin elections are now going to be mixed-mode operations for the foreseeable future,” said political scientist Barry Burden of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

“A good chunk will vote on election day, as they always have, but there will also be a good chunk voting earlier,” either in person or with a mail ballot, Burden said.

UW chancellor Rebecca Blank understands the importance of hiring a capable replacement for retiring AD Barry Alvarez

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Chancellor Rebecca Blank understands the importance hiring the right person to replace University of Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez.

“Leadership matters,” Blank told reporters Wednesday after UW officials announced the formation of a nine-member search committee. “And leadership matters for maintaining the culture and the ethos and the quality of programs we have here.

UW schools won’t make students get COVID-19 vaccines, but if they get them, they’ll be exempt from continual testing

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

With college-age students now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, University of Wisconsin campuses have a new rule that leaders hope will encourage young adults to get their shots.

UW System interim President Tommy Thompson asked campus chancellors Wednesday to allow students who have gotten vaccinated against COVID-19 to be exempt from the weekly COVID-19 testing regimen.

“One of the inducements, encouragements to not to have to go through testing is to get vaccinated,” Thompson said.

New COVID-19 cases continue to tick in the wrong direction

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Noted: University of Wisconsin students who get their vaccines will be exempt from weekly testing requirements under new system guidance.

UW System interim President Tommy Thompson asked campus chancellors Wednesday to allow students who have gotten vaccinated against COVID-19 to be exempt from the weekly COVID-19 testing regimen.

“One of the inducements, encouragements to not to have to go through testing is to get vaccinated,” Thompson said.

High-capacity wells are reducing lake levels in Wisconsin’s Central Sands region, a new study finds

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Noted: The DNR worked with the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey, the United States Geological Survey and the University of Wisconsin System to complete the research. The agencies looked at several different potential impacts, including recreation, fish, aquatic plants and water chemistry.