Weekend recap: Appleton North student starts club for poetry as activism

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Mya Koffie is a junior at Appleton North High School, where she founded and runs the school’s poetry club. She says poetry is how she is able to feel brave when so much in today’s world weighs on students like her.

“In writing, I find a way to exist in a way that the present moment doesn’t always allow — fully, courageously,” Koffie told the Post Crescent.

There are approximately 15 club members. Koffe says much of their work deals with suicide and mental health, topics that are personal to him. “It is in her poems that she can address the complications of sexual assault, her identity as a young multiracial woman, and the oppressive forces within anti-LGBTQ legislation and the killing of unarmed black people,” writes the Post. Crescent.

On May 26, the poetry club hosted a showcase highlighting the connection between poetry and activism, which included readings from students. Through ticket sales, concessions and donations from the showcase, the club donated $250 to the nonprofit Prevent Suicide Fox Cities.

“Poetry has always given me a way to hold onto the truths that seem too dangerous to say out loud — the words I have no way to hold onto,” Koffie said.

Wisconsin DHS: Weekly COVID-19 Recap

The seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin is 1,639 on Friday. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has confirmed 13,058 total deaths of the disease.

Just over 61% of Wisconsin residents are fully immunized — 82.7% of people aged 65 and over, 58.5% of children aged 12-17 and 25.3% of children aged 5-11. On Friday, 34.7% had received a booster injection.

Submit Recipes for a Dane County Farmer’s Market Cookbook

This year is the 50th anniversary of the Dane County Farmer’s Market, and to celebrate, market organizers are asking you to share your favorite recipes.

The recipes will be used to create a cookbook that will contain up to 150 recipes in a 200-250 page book, reports the Cap Times. Little Creek Press plans to publish the cookbook next spring.

Bidders can enter five or fewer recipes and are encouraged to include their story behind each one.

The theme of the book is: buy local, cook global.

Terese Allen, a longtime Wisconsin writer and food historian, leads the editorial component of the cookbook project alongside Ted and Joan Ballweg, owners of Savory Accents.

“We want to express both how the marketplace community has grown and expanded into a larger, more multicultural community, and we want to showcase the ingredients themselves,” Allen told the Cape Times.

Publication of the cookbook is funded by the Dane County Farmer’s Market, and the book will likely cost around $30.

Tourism revenues are expected to return to pre-pandemic figures before the end of the year

Tourism in Wisconsin rebounded significantly last year after the pandemic prompted so many people to stay close to home over the past two years, state officials say.

The La Crosse Tribune reported that in 2020, the pandemic cost the state of Wisconsin billions of dollars in lost tourism revenue. “Wisconsins’ hotels, water parks, stadiums, restaurants and many other attractions” have seen low attendance for the past two years, but there are signs that visitors are returning to Badger State.

The newspaper reported that direct tourism spending in Wisconsin jumped 31.1% to $12.9 billion and “the overall economic impact of tourism reached $20.9 billion,” an increase of 21.2%. These numbers come from an annual study commissioned by the state Department of Tourism.

Officials said they “believe the 2019 record of $13.6 billion in direct spending and $22.2 billion in overall economic impact will likely be reached before the end of the year.”

Wisconsin Supreme Court says COVID-19 records can be released

A split Wisconsin Supreme Court says the state’s health department can release data on coronavirus outbreak cases, information sought two years ago near the start of the pandemic.

The court on Tuesday ruled 4-3 against Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, the state’s largest trade lobbying group. He had sought to block publication of the tapes requested in June 2020 by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and other news outlets.

The state health department in the early months of the pandemic in 2020 had planned to release the names of more than 1,000 businesses with more than 25 employees where at least two workers tested positive for COVID-19.

Supply chain issues hit Madison school cafeterias

The Madison School District is one of many districts across the country facing supply chain issues that affect the ability to feed its students.

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These shortages have delayed deliveries of several products, leaving schools in a bind given federal nutritional requirements and the logistics of feeding thousands of children two meals a day, reports the Cape Times.

Nichele Smith, the district’s food and nutrition manager, told the Cape Times that they often found out on the day when they ran out of crucial breakfast and lunch ingredients.

“Now you’re literally taking it out of inventory to create meals at this point, that’s how disruptive it’s been this year,” Smith said. “But I predict it will be a bit better next year, I really am. I pray it will be a bit better.”

A teacher, who asked the newspaper to remain anonymous, said the cafeteria issues had made their way into the classroom.

“Trying to teach kids after that’s all they have to eat is a huge challenge,” the primary school teacher said. “So many kids in Madison are heavily dependent on our meals.”

Tumors disappear in all patients in small rectal cancer drug trial

An experimental immunotherapy treatment has so far been shown to be 100% effective in patients with early-stage rectal cancer with a specific type of immune deficiency, according to the Washington Post.

The small trial treated 14 patients with nine doses of dostarlimab. This drug specifically targets proteins in cancer cells that can shut down the body’s immune response to cancer. This treatment is effective for people with mismatch repair deficiency, an inability for the body to repair abnormalities that occur during cell division. The deficiency is seen in about 5-10% of all patients with rectal cancer.

“I don’t think anyone has seen this before, where every patient has had their tumor disappear,” Andrea Cercek, an oncologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York and lead author of the study, told The Washington Post.

The Post reported that after six months of treatment, the “knobby, discolored tumors instead revealed smooth, pink tissue.” After receiving treatment, none of the patients required follow-up chemotherapy or surgery.

Patients will be followed for several years to see if the tumors come back.

Editor’s note: The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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