It’s fitting that we have weather and economic news in the Key Reads today. For the Agribusiness and tourism sectors of the economy, weather plays a pivotal role.

Let’s get right to it.

This certainly won’t be the last community in the state to face these concerns this month.

State of emergency declared in Prairie du Chien due to flooding | WKBT

St. Feriole Island will be shut down to public traffic at midnight Friday and will remain closed until further notice. Passes will be available to business owners to check on their businesses. A scheduled Legion Alumni and Junior Legion game/fundraiser will still take place at the ball park Saturday. Access will be restricted to walking from downtown.

…Officials are already staging sandbagging operations at the corner of East Washington Street and North Ohio Street. Sandbags have been delivered and more are on the way. The city will provide sandbagging assistance to the elderly and those living with disabilities if needed — call (608) 326-0266.

The flood gate on Wells Street is closed.

At 19.5 feet, river traffic on the Mississippi in Crawford County will be restricted.

…The Villa Louis will be closed this week, and officials will re-evaluate on Sunday for the following week

The latest Marquette University Law School Poll results were released yesterday. The Presidential race was a dead heat and Senator Tammy Baldwin has a slight lead over her challenger, Eric Hovde. But a key finding within the poll should have all incumbent politicians worried.

MU Poll: Wisconsinites worried about state economy, fewer living comfortably | The Center Square

Most voters in Wisconsin say they are struggling or just getting by, and more than half don’t think the state’s economy is in great shape.

The latest Marquette Law School Poll asked voters in the state about both the state’s economy and their personal finances.

“Forty-five percent say [the state’s economy is] excellent or good, 38% say not too good, and 16% say poor,” MU chief pollster Charles Franklin explained Wednesday. “So that 16% is half of the rate that say the national economy is poor. On the other hand, it’s still only 45% saying excellent or good we’re not up into a majority saying Wisconsin’s economy is doing well.”

On personal finances, Franklin said again, many Wisconsinites say they’re doing well, but a majority say they’re not.

The poll says 46% of people say they are living comfortably, 37% say they’re just getting by, and 17% say they are struggling.

“On family finances, we saw a 1-point increase in the percent saying they’re living comfortably. But we saw a 2-point increase in the percent saying they’re struggling. And so that’s a very mixed picture about how people feel about their finances,” Franklin added. “Pre-COVID, we were saying in the high 50s or even 60% saying they were living comfortably. So, this is considerably more negative than it was in 2019.”

The controversy over a proposed power facility in Superior continues.

‘We don’t want it’: Superior mayor, resident voice dismay over proposed gas plant | WPR

The Nemadji Trail Energy Center is a project many mayors would welcome to their city: A billion-dollar natural gas plant backers say would bring 350 construction jobs and 25 permanent jobs, as well as $1 million in annual tax revenue.

But Superior Mayor Jim Paine is among those who oppose the cooperative venture of Minnesota Power, LaCrosse-based Dairyland Power Cooperative and Basin Electric Power Cooperative of North Dakota. He says there is a growing number of officials and citizens hesitant to the project — chief among their concerns are public health and environmental issues.

The two sides are embroiled in legal battles, most recently over the power of the city to restrict the plant’s construction via zoning regulations. That dispute follows years of rulings for and against the project by Wisconsin and Minnesota regulatory agencies and state courts. 

Before you plan your next outdoor adventure, you can consult a new public land web app, courtesy of the Wisconsin DNR.

New public access land map available online | Dairyland Sentinel

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced that a new web mapping application is available for people to learn about public lands in Wisconsin and plan their next outdoor adventure. The Public Access Lands application is designed for desktop and mobile devices and offers user-friendly tools.

From state natural areas to state trails, lakeshores and rivers, Wisconsin has a wealth of public lands for everyone to enjoy. The Public Access Lands application makes it easy to locate a state park, county forest or lake for hiking, hunting or fishing. The Open Managed Forest Law/Forest Crop Law properties are also included in this update.

…This web-based mapping application provides up-to-date property information, including maps, restricted areas and links to webpages, if available. To find specific opportunities, such as fishing waters or hunting zones, select which “theme” interests you, and the application will display layers relevant to the activity. The application also shows DNR parking areas and boat access sites and complements the printed Public Access Lands Atlas, which contains 441 maps covering statewide public lands, roads and waterways.

Access is available by clicking the headline, above.

There is a lot more data from the MU Law School poll available here if you are interested. There is a long way to go until November, so we will wait a couple of months before we pay too much attention to any political polls.

Most of us have a break from the storms for a few days, and if we’re not in a community that requires sand bagging, we’re going spend our time enjoying the outdoors, not pouring over political poll results.

We’ll be back again tomorrow to wrap up this week’s Key Reads.