State News: Flu Cases Spike, Trump Plans Milwaukee Rally

Flu Cases Spike Unexpectedly in Wisconsin

Wisconsin has had low flu activity since the beginning of the influenza season in October, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, flu cases have recently spiked, putting Wisconsin at a high flu activity level.  

In October, Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services (DHS) warned that flu season could hit the state early after having 11 confirmed flu cases and six flu-related deaths between Aug. 7, 2019 and Oct.12, 2019.

DHS announced in a recent respiratory-virus surveillance report that 459 people have been hospitalized in the state, which is three times greater than hospitalizations last year around the same time. Eleven people have died due to flu complications so far in Wisconsin.

“These hospitalizations and deaths are a sober reminder that flu is not only dangerous – it can be deadly,” said state health officer Jeanne Ayers in a press release. “That’s why we urge all Wisconsinites to get flu shots – not only to protect themselves, but also everyone around them from serious illness.”

Trump Plans Milwaukee Rally in January

President Donald Trump is planning a campaign rally at UW-Milwaukee’s Panther Arena on Jan. 14, the same night when CNN and the Des Moines Register are sponsoring the first Democratic presidential debate of 2020 at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. 

The Milwaukee rally will be Trump’s second within a week. His campaign has said he’ll hold his first 2020 rally in Toledo, Ohio, on Jan. 9.

Wisconsin Residents Head to Illinois to Buy Legal Marijuana

Any changes to Wisconsin’s current marijuana policy appear unlikely, with state lawmakers recently saying they won’t consider a proposal to allow medical use. But that isn’t stopping state residents from going to Illinois to buy legal weed. On Jan. 1, more than $3 million in marijuana was reportedly sold on the first day of legal sales of recreational pot in Illinois.

Trent Yager of Kenosha waited outside of RiSE in Mundelein, Illinois, on Jan. 2 with his father. It’s the closest dispensary to Wisconsin. Yager said he planned to buy a few plants.

“I’m not a regular user. I just wanted to try it out and see if I liked it,” Yager said.

Tara, who didn’t want to give her last name, said she has never used drugs before, but she drove to RiSE to see what a dispensary was like and buy some edibles.

“It’s exciting,” she said. “Obviously, yesterday was probably insane, but it is part of history.”

Although hundreds of Wisconsin residents are headed south to purchase legal marijuana, it’s still illegal in Wisconsin to possess the drug.