A School District Opens Up

The Sparta School District faces many of the universal challenges schools across the nation face: planning for school to open, having contingency plans should students get sick, how to contact trace, how to isolate, figuring out busing, at-home internet access --not all kids have it--and lots, lots more. The school has made detailed plans--and Superintendent... Continue Reading →

KwikTrip: What You Didn’t Know

You buy gas there. You buy butter there. (For $1.99 a pound--that photo is all the KwikTrip butter in my mother's freezer). You buy milk, bananas, sandwiches. But you never really think about what KwikTrip is. It's a close-to-the-source food provider. The milk you you buy today was in a cow down the road yesterday.... Continue Reading →

The Wisconsin Model: Part 1

Wisconsin has more than 700 cooperatives--far more than most other states. What is a coop? It's democratic democracy, a model that is about far more about producing a return for investors and instead produces a return for the community. I talk to two experts, Lynn Pitman and Kelly Maynard of the UW Center for Cooperatives.... Continue Reading →

A Covid 19 Chamber of Commerce

Heidi Prestwood, the new executive director of the Sparta Chamber of Commerce, started the job in the middle of the pandemic.One of her first tasks--helping local businesses get financial aid. And guess who stepped up to the plate first? Local banks. And then the state and the feds.But, we don't talk just about Covid. There's... Continue Reading →

Monroe County Health Department on Covid 19

Kayleigh Day, community health educator calmly explains the factors determine the county's severe risk factors--it's more than the number of cases--and how to bring those numbers down.She discusses the Covid 19 compass, the partnership with surrounding counties and the detective work of contact tracing! 

Covid 19 and Monroe County Farmers

2020 had been shaping up to be a pretty good year for Monroe County farmers. And then, Covid 19 hit. Monroe County's UW Extension agriculture agent, Bill Halfman, talks economics, distribution, supply chain and disaster aid. It's looking a little better folks, but just in case, I'm putting a little more half and half in my coffee!

Arenz Shoes, A Five-Generation Retailer, Adapts, Yet Again

Mike Arenz and his dad, Gene, talk about running a small family business for five generations. they've done it by being nimble, planning ahead when they can and turning on a dime when they can't. And they're following these same basic rules with Covid-19. Mike, for instance, does not consider himself a techie. Nonetheless, when a friend offered to create a virtual tour of the store for him, Mike went for it. And, he turned a small glitch into a marketing campaign.

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