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W. Gilman St. bar avoids phone call scam

W. Gilman St. bar avoids phone call scam

A scam-savvy business owner was able to detect a caller's fraud attempt last week, Madison police said. 

Madison police said a person called the Blue Velvet Lounge on West Gilman Street at 6:19 p.m. Friday claiming to be with MG&E. The caller told the bar owner that the business was behind on payments and that the owner must pay $745 immediately or service would be cut off in 2 hours.

The bar owner called the real MG&E and a company representative told him to contact police. 

A Madison officer called the scammer's number, 888-681-5444, and spoke to a person who identified himself as Larry Anderson. The suspected scammer claimed to be with MG&E's "billing interruption service," police said. 

The Madison officer identified himself and asked to speak with the suspected scammer's supervisor, but when the officer's call was transferred to another line, it rang several times and disconnected, according to the report. 

Badgers game brings potential shoppers to Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday in Madison saw an extra several thousand potential shoppers on the streets, thanks to the Badgers' final home game.

Whether that additional foot traffic benefits local shops, though, is up in the air.

Mary Carbine, executive director for Madison Central Business Improvement District, says every home game brings big business to small shops in the State Street area.

"What is so much a part of the Badger game experience for many people is visiting State Street and the Capitol square," Carbine said. "Badger athletics is terrific for downtown business and downtown shopping."

The outlook is a little different several blocks away, on Monroe Street. Carol 'Orange' Schroeder, the owner of Orange Tree Imports, says she would prefer home games don't fall on the same Saturday as the first big shopping weekend of the holiday season.

Robber orders employee at State Street store onto ground

Robber orders employee at State Street store onto ground

A masked and armed robber is still at large after robbing a store on State Street on Tuesday night, Madison police said.

Officers were sent to a report of an armed robbery at the Life is Good Store at 514 State St. just before 7:30 p.m., according to a release.

The robber ordered the store clerk onto the floor at gunpoint, reached into the till, took an undisclosed amount of money and fled in an unknown direction, officials said.

The female store clerk was not injured.

The robber is described as a black man in his 30s, 5 feet 7 inches tall with a chubby build. He was wearing a dark coat, dark jeans, dark shoes and a dark scarf covering his face.

New E-Cab partners with DCHS for week-long fundraiser

New E-Cab partners with DCHS for week-long fundraiser

Customers who ride in Green Cab?s all-electric E-Cab will be able to donate to the Dane County Humane Society during week-long fundraiser that starts Wednesday, according to a release.

Green Cab and the DCHS are working together on Ride to Rescue, a fundraiser where all donations from E-Cab riders will go to funding continuing efforts to care for at-risk animals in Dane County, officials said.

The E-Cab, a low-speed motorized vehicle, will be collection donations starting Wednesday and going through Aug. 13.

Seven thousand animals pass through the doors of the DCHS each year, according to the release. DCHS accepts all types of animals, and provides medical care and behavioral enrichment programs when needed.

Passengers riding the E-Cab will be required to make a $1 donation during the fundraiser, officials said. E-Cab is the first of its kind in Madison.

3 generations celebrate bakery's 60th anniversary

Three generations of men were on Madison's south side at the bakery named for the family to celebrate a milestone Thursday morning. 

"It's been a lot of hard work, a lot of struggles, moving from location to location. But it's all been worth it," Chuck Lane said.

Lane's Bakery celebrated a grand re-opening and anniversary at its new location, about a mile and a half south of its former operation on South Park Street. Lane's closed for about a year before reopening Dec. 18, 2013. The first store originally opened its doors in 1954.

A frosted filled favorite from the eatery, Lane's kringle, would become a specialty. The bakery makes nearly 200 kringles a week, with peak kringle popularity on Fridays and Saturdays.