Kenosha – Hello, neighbor. The news is constantly changing these days, and it can be hard to keep up. In this update, you will find a review of news items from the past week as well as news you can use for the week ahead. I hope this is helpful. Stay safe and healthy.
In Case You Missed It (ICYMI)
Scammers Look to Cash in on Coronavirus
Options and Resources for Jobseekers During COVID-19 Crisis
Offering Information and Assistance with Unemployment Benefits
Businesses Looking to Give Back to Workers on Front Lines of COVID-19 Fight
Helping Small Businesses Survive Coronavirus Shutdown
The Week Ahead
*April 7 Election – Know Where to Vote
The Coronavirus outbreak has caused changes to voting absentee and on Election Day, April 7. Yesterday, a federal judge extended the deadline to request an absentee ballot to 5 pm TODAY; you can request a ballot at https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/. In addition, the judge extended the deadline to return an absentee ballot; ballots must now be returned to the municipal clerk by 5 pm on April 13. To find your up-to-date polling place, visit https://myvote.wi.gov/en-us/FindMyPollingPlace. You can also check with the clerk in your municipality, using the contact information below:
Racine – [email protected]
Somers – [email protected]
Elmwood Park – [email protected]
*Local Restaurants Still Serving Delivery and Carryout
A number of local restaurants have remained open, adapting their business to delivery and carryout service. A great way to support the local economy during this time is to support our restaurants. Use the links below to find restaurants still serving in Kenosha and Racine Counties:
The number of in-home entertainment options is growing by the day. Here are some of the new activities that are now available or will be coming soon.
Dolly Parton Bedtime Stories: Beginning Thursday, April 2, at 6 pm, and continuing every Thursday for 10 weeks, the legendary performer will read a new bedtime story for children. The stories will be streamed live and can also be watched later on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tT9fv_ELbnE&feature=emb_title) and Dolly’s Facebook page.
Grand Ole Opry Live Concerts – Every Saturday night, live shows (without audiences) will be streamed live from the Grand Ole Opry. Check https://www.opry.com/calendar/ for to watch the shows and for information on upcoming concerts.
Amazon: The streaming service has made a number of family- and kid-friendly movies and TV shows available for free, without a subscription.
Netflix April Releases: New releases this month include comedy specials; Community, Seasons 1-6; the Lethal Weapon movie series; The Matrix movie series; The Hangover; The Social Network; Deep Impact
Netflix Party: Netflix and Chrome have partnered to create this Chrome extension that allows you to watch Netflix and chat with friends from separate locations
Spotify Kids: Offers playlists of child-friendly songs
Harry Potter at Home: An education and entertainment hub with a Harry Potter theme
Other Free Concerts: CNET has a list of upcoming streaming concerts, including Dolly Parton, Diplo, Melissa Etheridge, OneRepublic and more https://www.cnet.com/news/every-livestream-concerts-coronavirus-shutdown/
Free at-home Workouts: Planet Fitness on Facebook and YouTube; the free Nike Training Club premium app is temporarily being offered for free; Free 45 day trial of Crunch Live; Gold’s Amp app is free until May 31; CorePower yoga has free daily sessions on YouTube
Free eBooks – Project Gutenberg (https://www.gutenberg.org/) is an online library of over 60,000 free eBook classics
Virtual Rollercoasters: coasterviews.com offers point-of-view (POV) videos of rides from all of the major amusement parks
Free Photography Class: Nikon is offering free photography lessons through the month of April. https://www.nikonevents.com/us/live/nikon-school-online/
*How to File an Unemployment Claim
The Department of Workforce Development is encouraging all who have lost their jobs or whose hours have been reduced due to COVID-19 to file their unemployment claims online at https://dwd.wi.gov/ui/. The site also features a “Frequently Asked Questions” section and information on the federal coronavirus stimulus. You can find a how-to video on filing an unemployment claim here: https://media.wisconsin.gov/ui/ext/benefits/how_to_apply.htm. It is important to note that, while a new federal law has been passed which increases weekly unemployment benefit rates and extends benefits to gig workers, independent contractors and the self-employed for the first time, the state is still waiting on guidance from the federal Department of Labor on how to implement these new changes and award these benefits. That means that if you qualify under the new federal law and apply for unemployment benefits, you may be denied currently. The state Department of Workforce Development is doing all it can to get these new federal programs up and running as quickly as they can to get benefits out to all who qualify.
*Federal Coronavirus Stimulus for Individuals and Families
Eligibility for the federal stimulus will be determined using your 2019 federal income tax return (if you have filed); your 2018 return will be used otherwise. If you are a Social Security recipient and did not file in either year, your eligibility will be determined using information supplied by the Social Security Administration. If you have not filed a 2019 or 2018 federal income tax return and do not receive Social Security payments, you will be required to complete a simplified income tax return to receive your stimulus money; the return will require just basic information, such as filing status, number of independents and bank information. More information can be found at irs.gov/coronavirus. The IRS has indicated that it plans to begin disbursing direct deposit payments as soon as April 9, with paper checks scheduled to begin going out on April 24; these dates may changes, however, and it could take longer for some recipients.
*WORSHIP AND HOLY WEEK SERVICE UPDATES
In a message on YouTube, Fr. Roman of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Kenosha shared an updated from Archbishop Jerome Listecki of the Diocese of Milwaukee. It can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8hQZV5aJyQ&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR2uNWEs5mqMdxEV19iO8Pgt-yBlLcX8Rt_sD2_tiHGYFxuSeSTDNVDWQ98. In short, all Catholic masses in the Diocese are suspended until at least May 3; this includes Holy Week services. The dispensation for not attending mass has been extended until May 31. No palm distribution will take place at this time; that will be done at a later date, to be determined. Fr. Roman and Archbishop Listecki are encouraging all to participate in Holy Week services by watching the livestreams from the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist in Milwaukee at the following site: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrw_JySXFU94eYPgE_ILokQ.
Beth Hillel Temple has cancelled its Community Passover Seder scheduled for April 9. For the time being, all Beth Hillel Temple Shabbat services will be made available, recorded on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BethHillelTemple/.
This is not meant as an endorsement of these two denominations. I am happy to share information on services from all area houses of worship, if requested.