Our network

Task force will research ways to protect Madison's honeybees

A task force will research the problem of Colony Collapse Disorder, which directly affects honeybees and other pollinators, in the Madison area, according to a release.

The Madison Common Council adopted a resolution earlier this month directing the Madison Food Policy Council to lead the task force, which will be composed mainly of city staff, officials said. The task force will provide recommendations to departments and the common council on local solutions to protect pollinators.

Madison?s Pollinator Protection Task Force will monitor the progress of the federal task force, use best practices to inform its work and review relevant recommendations from the federal government, according to the release.

Community Sponsors

Are you interested in promoting your business to local customers?
Beautiful and unique accessories, jewelry, and gifts.
Greek-style lunches and dinners

Spring commencement to stay at Camp Randall

University of Wisconsin-Madison commencement will continue in Camp Randall, the university said Wednesday.

In May 2014, for the first time in more than two decades, UW-Madison graduates gathered at the Badgers football stadium for the official graduation ceremony.

UW-Madison called the May ceremony a success and said spring commencement activities will stay in the stadium and not return to previous smaller ceremonies by area of study that were held at the Kohl Center for the last 25 years.

Graduates did not walk across the stage in the Camp Randall ceremony this year, but instead took part in another UW tradition. The university played House of Pain's "Jump Around," a song played at Badgers football games that invites the crowd to bounce between third and fourth quarters.

Study: Hottest, coldest places in Dane County 10 miles away

A new study is documenting the hottest and coldest places in Dane County.

The study, by researchers at the University of Wisconsin - Madison is one of the first of its kind. Over the past three years, researchers have collected temperature data from 150 locations across Dane County.

The most recent data has found the hottest place is in downtown Madison on the isthmus.

Arguably most surprising about the data is that the coldest place is just about 10 miles away, outside the city limits, and is nearly 10 degrees cooler.

"We're honestly surprised at how big the differences were," graduate researcher Jason Schatz said. "For such a small area, that's within 5 or 10 miles, you can see a huge range of climates."

What makes the downtown area so much hotter than outside the city is its buildings, Schatz said.

Madison water customers could see rate increase, conservation incentives

Madison Water Utility is asking the Public Service Commission for a rate increase and changes to its rate structure to incentivize users to conserve water.

The utility wants to increase revenue by 30 percent by increasing rates, on an annualized basis, 7.5 percent per year for each of the four years since the last rate increase. The utility has not decided how the increase will be distributed among residential, multi-family, commercial, industrial and public authority customers.

General manager Tom Heikkinen said the increase is needed to replace aging water mains, improve water quality and make a payment in lieu of taxes to the city.

This is the first rate increase requested in four years, according to the utility.

If approved, Madison Water Utility will be the largest water utility in Wisconsin to offer a conservation rate for residential customers.

If approved, the new rates would go into effect in the spring of 2015 at the earliest.

Community Sponsors

Beautiful and unique accessories, jewelry, and gifts.
Are you interested in promoting your business to local customers?
Greek-style lunches and dinners

Madison debuts online water tracking tool

A new online tool is helping Madison residents keep better track of their water usage.

Madison is the first city in the state to launch an online tool that allows residents to check their monthly, daily and even hourly water use. The tool lets you compare month-to-month usage and set up email notifications to warn you of higher-than-normal usage, among other services.

"What we're talking about for us is really the ultimate conservation tool when it comes to water conservation," says Amy Barrilleaux, spokesperson for the Madison Water Utility.

Prior to the online option, residents could only track their usage by checking their monthly water bill or constantly comparing the water meter before and after use.

"This is just night and day from having to go into the basement and look at your meter to see how much water you're using every day," Barrilleaux said.

The goal is to help conserve water and dollars for Madison's residents.

Dodgeville man urinates on squad car, runs from officers

A Dodgeville man was arrested Saturday night for allegedly urinating on a marked Madison Police Department squad car, according to a release.

MPD officers working the Central District Safety Initiative observed Chase Royal Martin, 21, urinating on the squad car in the 600 block of State Street just before midnight, officials said.

Several people told Martin police were approaching him, but he did not stop his behavior, according to the release.

Martin resisted arrest and fled officers on foot, police said. Officers found him hiding behind a building on Gilman Street, but he physically resisted officers again.

Martin was eventually taken into custody after a brief struggle on tentative charges of disorderly conduct, resisting police, damage to property and depositing human waste prohibited.

2014 Halloween event at zoo features costume contest

2014 Halloween event at zoo features costume contest

A free costume contest is just one event at a Halloween celebration at Henry Vilas Zoo next weekend.

Halloween at the Zoo is a free event to the public with a suggested donation of $2, and features free trick-or-treating and an activity tent, according to a release.

There will be five categories for the costume contest and the top three contestants will win prizes. The contest will be from 11 a.m. to noon in the center of the zoo. To enter the costume contest, participants will need to go to the costume contest stage across from the seals and fill out an entry form.

Organizers said the contest will end promptly at noon, but they will accept as many entries as they can. Participants will be judged on creativity, originality and authenticity.

The winners will be announced at 12:30 p.m. at the costume contest stage.

Costume contest prizes: