October 2020

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City Offers Aircraft Noise Study, Rejects Halt to Master Plan

MIDDLETON–The City of Middleton has offered to hire an independent consultant to review aircraft noise at one location in the Town of Middleton and two locations in the city.

The offer came in an Oct. 14 response by City Administrator Mike Davis to the Aug. 20 joint meeting with the Common Council and the Towns of Middleton and Springfield in which the towns brought up airport and planning issues.

The town would get to choose the time and location of the noise monitoring in the town, and the city locations, Middleton Hills and downtown Middleton, would be monitored on the same day for a comparison, according to Davis’ letter.

On Friday, the city Planning Department asked residents to share their personal observations of aircraft 
“flight tracks” by Oct. 30 to help consultants Mead & Hunt develop aircraft noise contours to be included in an airport master plan being drafted.

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MERL Loan Applications Now Available Online

MIDDLETON– The Middleton Economic Relief Loan (MERL) program, offered to businesses within the Middleton city limits, passed its final hurdle on Thursday when the application became available at the Middleton Area Development Corporation’s (MADC) website. MADC and the city teamed up to offer low interest loans after surveys indicated need and the program made its way through the Middleton Common Council. 

The one-page application is pretty straightforward and at a press conference in front of City Hall last week, Kevin Mahaney, MADC President, said applicants will need to provide the following:

Two years tax returns

Current interim financial statement for 2020

The business owner’s guarantee of repayment.

“Business owners do not find that to be burdensome,” Mahaney said. He added that we now have a better perspective of the impact of COVID-19 and feels the loans are “important to businesses and the local community.”

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Board Member Defend Virtual Learning Votes

MIDDLETON–Middleton Cross Plains Area School District (MCPASD) board members Bob Hesselbein and Minza Karim are at the center of a recall election petition based on their votes to keep the district in an all virtual learning model. The petition is being circulated by parents in the district calling themselves Parents for Change.

Hesselbein and Karim both said they stand by their decisions to vote for virtual classes. 

“I voted for virtual learning because I am seeing the science,” said Karim, whose husband is a physician at UW Hospital.

She said his number of shifts had increased as patients increase and reminded that the state just opened an Alternate Care Facility in West Allis to accommodate overflow. 

“It’s not the time to reopen,” she stated.

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City Council Reviews COVID-19 Youth Survey, Establish Pandemic Business Loan Program

MIDDLETON–The Middleton Common Council reviewed the results of a survey conducted by the Commission on Youth to assess the needs of youth and families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Commission on Youth member Jeff Rogers presented the survey findings and committee recommendations to the council. The survey received 108 responses total, four of which were from students.

Rogers said the survey indicates that youth are struggling as well as their parents. Children are yearning for in-person socializing while parents cite a lack of affordable childcare options.

“Our community is struggling, they are having a very difficult time and it is not just the children, it’s the parents,” Rogers said. “We have to think about this as a family.”

The three greatest areas of concern from respondents are education, health and socialization. Rogers said families would like more opportunities for in-person socializing but are concerned about safety.

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School Board Hears of Three COVID-19 Cases at Elm Lawn

MIDDLETON–Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District (MCPASD) Board of Education member Bob Green asked Superintendent Dana Monogue to comment on the closure of Elm Lawn Elementary following three individuals testing positive for COVID-19 at the board’s regular meeting Oct. 12. 

Monogue said three staff members tested positive at the building and all quarantining and contact tracing protocols have been used. The district is working with Public Health of Madison and Dane County (PHMDC) to determine the best course of action.

The building is closed through the end of the week for deep cleaning. All staff at the building have been alerted, Monogue said. The families of a small number of students attending Elm Lawn in-person were also contacted.

Green said going forward he would like any cases and closures included in the pandemic planning discussions.

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Group Petitioning for School Board Recall Election

MIDDLETON–A group of Middleton Cross Plains Area School District (MCPASD) parents registered a committee to recall school board members Bob Hesselbein and Minza Karim on Oct. 8. Hesselbein and Karim are two of the five board members who voted to continue virtual learning at the board’s regular meeting on Sept. 28.

One of the group’s organizers, Angela Rachidi, said the committee has nearly 300 members, and 575 signatures as of the past weekend.

“We are distributing the recall petition signature sheets to this network and asking them to obtain signatures from qualified electors in their neighborhoods and networks. We also have a team of people in each school district area planning signature drives in public spaces. The response so far has been overwhelming,” she said.

She added that there are those involved with the committee that are willing to step up and run if the petition receives enough signatures.

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Wait and see on winter sports at MHS

The Big Eight Conference announced on Monday it would not have an official conference winter sports season.

That doesn’t mean winter sports are dead at Middleton High School, though.

Far from.

Although the Big Eight member schools have determined conference competition for winter sports will not occur, in-person practices, games, and workouts may be allowed to occur as adopted by member schools and following public health recommendations.  

On Monday night, Middleton athletic director Jamie Sims said he still hopes to begin winter sports practices as scheduled, in accordance with Public Health Madison Dane County (PHMDC) guidance. Sims was meeting with his winter coaches Tuesday night to discuss plans for getting student-athletes back in the building.

There’s no guarantee Middleton’s teams would be able to play games later this winter. But getting practices going would be a good start to eventually making that happen.

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Lynam named Coach of the Year

Middleton’s Dan Lynam has been selected by the Wisconsin Swimming/Diving Coaches Association as the 2019-20 National Federation High School Coaches Association Boys Swimming Coach of the Year Award for Wisconsin.

Lynam led the Cardinals to the WIAA Division 1 state championship in February, the first state title in school history. Middleton finished with 228 points and edged runner-up Waukesha South/Catholic Memorial (222) for the state title.

“I am humbled to receive this honor in a state that is packed with so many talented and dedicated coaches,” Lynam said. “I have learned so much over the years from working with a number of them, it really is amazing how small the swim world is.

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