One-Year Anniversary of the Sikh Temple Tragedy
Monday, August 5th was the one-year anniversary of the tragedy at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek. One year ago, in the wake of the senseless violence, our friends and neighbors in the Sikh community showed us the best way to respond to the tragedy was with love. It is amazing that in the midst of so much personal loss, the greatness of American character shines through.
Tonette and I join with others in our state and across the nation to offer our prayers and support to the survivors and families who lost loved ones as they continue to heal.
Tour of Storm Damaged Communities
Yesterday, I toured damage in New London caused by storms earlier this week, which affected Brown, Clark, Chippewa, Jackson, Outagamie, Marinette, Monroe, Waupaca, Winnebago, and Wood counties. Recent storms caused damage in many communities, and it was important for us to show our support for those affected.
The following state agencies have been directed to assist local communities:
- Wisconsin Emergency Management -- will work with local communities to review damage, coordinate resources, and apply for any assistance they may be eligible to receive. Updated information on the storm event can be viewed at www.emergencymanagement.wi.gov.
- Department of Administration -- will work with communities to make emergency assistance funds available to eligible homeowners for rehabilitation. Funds for qualifying businesses will also be made available as well as funds to repair public infrastructure, where eligible. Local communities should work with the Division of Housing to apply.
- Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection -- will connect affected farmers with crop damage and livestock shelter needs with assistance and counseling through its Farm Center and Animal Health Division. The connection can be made by dialing 1-800-942-2474. More information can be found using this link.
- Office of the Commissioner of Insurance -- will make available assistance for property owners filing claims. Homeowners can contact the OCI helpline for assistance with their homeowner insurance coverage. Individuals can visit www.OCI.wi.gov or call 1-800-236-8517.
- Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority -- will provide access to emergency funding for local assistance organizations giving assistance to affected residents. For more information, homeowners can contact WHEDA at 1-800-562-5546.
- Department of Transportation -- will work to make funds available for infrastructure repair. Staff are inspecting and documenting the impacts and damages to existing infrastructure.
- Department of Health Services -- will continue to be in contact with local organizations and the Hospital Program Manager to provide assistance.
National Governors Association 2013 Summer Meeting
Last weekend, America's governors and an estimated 1,000 attendees gathered in Milwaukee for the National Governors Association 2013 Summer Meeting. It was Wisconsin's third time hosting the National Governors Association annual meeting -- the previous events were held in Milwaukee in 1998 and in Madison in 1914. These annual meetings are a unique opportunity for governors from across the country to meet and discuss policy issues facing our states.
In addition to engaging in discussions on economic development and commerce, I also had the honor of showcasing some of the best of Milwaukee's attractions. Friday night, I hosted a Harley-Davidson ride to celebrate the 110th Anniversary of Harley-Davidson. Hopefully, all of the governors and their families left feeling they had sampled the best of Milwaukee.
Highlights of the ride included:
- Seven Governors and one First Gentleman participated.
- Medal of Honor recipient Gary Wetzel led the ride with Governor Walker.
- Major General Don Dunbar, Brigadier General Mark Anderson, and Brigadier - General Ken Koon also participated in the ride.
- Combat veterans including several paralyzed veterans.
Governor's Red, White, and Blue Ribbon Livestock Auction
The annual Governor's Red, White, and Blue Ribbon Livestock Auction took place this Wednesday at the State Fair. The auction raises funds for scholarships to assist youth exhibitors with their continuing education. Last year, 14 scholarships were awarded in amounts ranging from $500 to $1,000.
The youth who participate each year work diligently to earn their spots in the Governor's Red, White, and Blue Ribbon Auction. They balance school and extracurricular activities with raising their animals. These youth exhibitors deserve special recognition for their hard work and congratulations to those who took home scholarships.
In order to qualify, youth must be between the ages of 17-19, be a current or former livestock exhibitor at the Wisconsin State Fair, and be pursuing higher education. Finalists are evaluated based on their participation in the Fair, their leadership activities, their interview, their educational achievements, and their career plan.
Investment in Agriculture Research and Science Centers
Plans were announced this week for new University of Wisconsin buildings for dairy and meat science research. The Babcock Hall, Center for Dairy Research, and the University of Wisconsin--Madison Meat Science and Muscle Biology Laboratory renovations are expected to be completed by 2018.
Our dairy and meat science industries will be able to remain on the cutting edge of research with these new buildings. The current buildings are not able to meet the research needs and accommodate the number of students interested in these fields.
The Center for Dairy Research is the largest dairy research center in the United States. The Center provides research, technical support, and outreach for dairies, suppliers, regulatory agencies, and national and international dairy organizations. Originally established 25 years ago, the project will expand the building to allow for more research space, add environmentally controlled rooms, which are necessary when making different varieties of cheese, and add air handling equipment.
This will be the first renovation for Babcock Hall, which was originally built in 1948. The building project will expand the research facility to accommodate students who are forced onto waiting lists due to the current building size. The project also includes a new laboratory for the University of Wisconsin--Madison Meat Science and Muscle Biology Department. The new laboratory will help the Department meet its goals to train the next generation of meat industry leaders, support innovative research, and provide ongoing outreach education.