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A large crane places metal support beams in place for the external structure of the downtown Beloit stadium project as seen from Bluff Street across the Rock River looking southeast at the stadium site.


Covid-19
Beloit, Clinton and Parkview get less state aid this year

Although most school districts around Wisconsin will get more state aid this year, the School District of Beloit, Clinton and Parkview school districts will get less aid for the 2020-2021 school year as Beloit Turner and Janesville districts get a slight increase, according to Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) data released Thursday.

The 2019-2020 state biennial budget increased funding for general school aid for the 2020-2021 school year by 3.5%, or $163.5 million, to a total of $4.90 billion. Aid varies widely by district based on the equalization formula. Of 421 districts 297 (71%) will receive more aid than last year, and 119 (28%) will receive less aid.

Statewide, the majority of general school aid is equalization aid. Equalization aid is distributed according to a formula designed to help Wisconsin communities provide public education despite differences in property wealth. The formula considers school district expenditures, property values and resident student counts.

General school aid is the largest form of state support for public schools in the state. State equalization aid is meant to make up the difference between a district’s actual tax base and the state guaranteed tax base. Districts such as Beloit with a low valuation per pupil typically receive a higher percentage of state aid.

However, declining enrollment factored into the formula is resulting in less state aid this fall. School District of Beloit Executive Director of Business, Human Resources and Operations JoAnn Armstrong said Beloit has a rolling three-year average of 268 fewer students. The three-year figure is used to calculate funding,

Beloit will receive 0.19% less in state aid, a decrease of $131,826. Beloit received $67,609,174 last year and is set to receive $67,477,348 for the 2020-2021 school year.

Beloit-Turner School District will receive 4.98% more in state aid, an increase of $441,892. Beloit-Turner received $8,873,929 last year and is set to receive $9,315,821 for the 2020-2021 school year.

The Clinton Community School District will receive 0.87% less in state aid, a decrease of $63,272. Clinton received $7,244,018 last year and is set to receive $7,180,746 for the 2020-2021 school year.

The Parkview School District will receive 0.14% less in state aid, a decrease of $7,649. Parkview received $5,419,740 last year, and is set to receive $5,412,091 for the 2020-2021 school year.

The Janesville School District will receive 0.30% more in state aid, an increase of $193,519. Janesville received $64,580,519 last year, and is set to receive $64,774,038 for the 2020-2021 school year.


Local-news
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Beloit police as community to help solve Oct. 3 fatal shooting

BELOIT — Beloit police are still seeking help from the public as they continue to investigate the Oct. 3 fatal shooting of a woman near the intersection of Grand and Park avenues.

No suspects have been publicly identified and no arrests have been made related to the shooting that resulted in the death of Chelsey R. Payton, 26, and left Jeffery D. Scott, 32, injured. Payton was a mother of five children and was beloved by family and friends

The shooting occurred in the early morning hours. A large group of people had gathering near the intersection. Police initially responded to areport of gunfire at the scene.

Several shots were reportedly fired at the scene and reporters observed shattered car windows and other damage at the scene.

In an Oct. 9 Facebook post, the Beloit Police Department stated the investigation was “complicated” due to the large number of people involved.

“Please reach out so that we can help Chelsey’s family get answers in this senseless tragedy,” the post said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the department’s non-emergency line at 608-757-2244 or Greater Beloit Area Crime Stoppers at 608-362-7463. Anonymous tips can also be left online at p3tips.com/482. A smartphone application is available for streamlined tip submission.


Covid-19
County reports 91% positivity rate for COVID-19

Ninety-one percent of COVID-19 tests came back positive in Rock County, according to the daily update Thursday from the Rock County Health Department.

The 91% rate is the highest percentage positivity rate for the county to date and well above the state seven-day positivity rate of 20.8%.

Rock County continues to have escalating postivity rates for COVID-19 as the new cases in Illinois reached 4,015 and new cases in Wisconsin reached 3,747.

While the number of school-age children testing positive is increasing countywide, it’s still a fraction of the total number of cases.

Rates of COVID-19 have continued to increase since the beginning of September as schools reopened. Between Sept. 1 and Oct. 13, 192 school-aged children (age 4 to 17) contracted COVID-19, which marks a 40% increase from 137 school-aged kids who tested positive over the five months from April to August, according to information from Rock County Epidemiologist Nick Zupan. There have been a total of 2,791 COVID-19 cases in Rock County between Sept. 1 and Oct. 13.

Although the number of school-aged children with COVID-19 is increasing, it’s still a low percentage of the total positive cases in the county. According to municipal data from the health department on Monday, in Beloit 7% of positive cases are among those under age 15, and 17% are ages 15-24. In Janesville, 7% of positive cases are among those under age 15, and 21% of cases are in 15-24-year olds.

On Thursday, the Rock County Health Department reported 96 new cases of COVID-19 from the previous day and no additional deaths in Rock County, bringing the countywide total to 3,634 cases and 37 deaths.

The health department estimates 39,475 people have tested negative and 2,576 people have recovered. There were 1,030 active cases as of Monday. The positivity rate, or those whose tests were positive, was 91%, the highest to date.

Dane County reported 12,072 cases and 46 deaths; Green County reported 760 cases and 3 deaths; and Walworth County reported 2,989 cases and 36 deaths, Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) data from Thursday shows.

Wisconsin reported 3,747 new cases and 17 additional deaths on Thursday, bringing the statewide total to 162,325 cases and 1,553 deaths. As of Thursday, 127,576 people have recovered in the state and DHS believes there are a total of 33,160 active cases in Wisconsin.

As of Thursday, the Winnebago County Health Department reported 293 new cases and 1 additional death, bringing the countywide total to 8,247 cases and 161 deaths. Winnebago County had a positivity rate of 11.4%.

Boone County reported total 1,527 cases and 24 deaths; DeKalb County reported 1,984 cases and 42 deaths; McHenry County reported 5,310 cases and 119 deaths; Ogle County reported 964 cases and 6 deaths; and Stephenson County reported 732 cases and 7 deaths, state data shows.

On Thursday, The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) reported 4,015 new cases in Illinois, including 53 additional confirmed deaths. Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 331,620 cases, including 9,127 deaths, in 102 counties in Illinois.


Happy, healthy bottle fed kittens are almost ready for adoption.


Covid-19
Trump to hold rally, fundraiser in area Saturday

JANESVILLE — President Donald Trump will hold a campaign rally at the Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport Saturday afternoon and there will be some diverted traffic issues to deal with because of his visit.

The event is expected to begin at 6 p.m. at the airport located along State Highway 51 south of Janesville. Doors are to open for the event at 3 p.m. according to the Trump campaign website.

The Rock County Sheriff’s Office has announced that Highway 51 between Highway 11 and B-R Townline Road will be closed from 5—8 p.m. due to the president’s visit.

Parking for attendees will be available at Blackhawk Techical College’s central campus. Shuttle buses will be available to take attendees to the airport.

Rock County Sheriff’s officials recommend people travel along County Road G to reach the campus.

The campaign website said those who attend will have their temperature checked and will have access to hand sanitizer and face masks as a precaution against the COVID-19 virus.

Trump previously scheduled an event at the Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport on Oct. 3, but that event was canceled after it was announced the president and the first lady had tested positive for COVID-19.

Trump will make a stop in Muskegon, Michigan before his stop in Rock County.