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Kosama Fitness To Launch In Februrary

Kosama Fitness To Launch In Februrary

How’s that fitness resolution going?

If self-motivation and standard gym equipment are putting a damper on your plan to get in shape for this year, perhaps you should consider giving Kosama fitness a try. The new fitness center opening at High Point Center Shopping Mall on 7475 Mineral Point Road focuses on group fitness, a strategy that Kosama’s co-owners say provides both accountability and reliability.

“We literally have a version of every exercise for every type of person,” said co-owner Ryan Amundson. “Anybody can walk in and have a good workout without getting hurt and feeling like their having fun, too.”

UW Press Reports Banner Year For Book Sales

UW Press Reports Banner Year For Book Sales

Print book sales at the University of Wisconsin Press bounced back in 2011 from a recession-driven slump.

The list of the 15 bestsellers in 2011 includes books that appeal to lovers of popular culture and books of a more scholarly nature. The top seller, a biography of legendary actor Glenn Ford written by his son Peter, sold more than 4,250 copies since its April release.

Sheila Leary, director of the University of Wisconsin Press, said the trend toward higher print book sales is in part due to the timely topics of some of the works.

"A few of these books were really capturing the zeitgeist," Leary said in a news release, citing as an example Bronson Lemer's book "The Last Deployment: How a Gay, Hammer-Swinging Twentysomething Survived a Year in Iraq." The book was released around the time the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy was being repealed.

Salvation Army Says Donations Are Up

Salvation Army Says Donations Are Up

The Salvation Army of Dane County said more people are ringing bells and giving this holiday season.

Preliminary retail numbers show more people are shopping this holiday season, and it looks like Dane County's shoppers are giving more to those famous red kettles.

The Salvation Army of Dane County said its current kettle donation total of $156,000 is up $10,000 from last year at this time. And bringing technology to the forefront of its Red Kettle campaign, the Salvation Army is hoping QR codes help recruit volunteers and prompt shoppers to make credit card donations.

"We have worked very hard this season to get the coverage," said Maj. Loren Carter. "Because we figured that each shift represents about a $100 of income at each location. And so the coverage is very important."

Out of 12,000 total bell ringing shifts, 7,000 shifts are left for the season. The goal for this year's campaign is set at $715,000.

Madison Apartment Vacancy Hits Historic Low

Madison Apartment Vacancy Hits Historic Low

Madison's apartment vacancy rate hit its lowest level in at least 16 years, as economic challenges have forced thousands of Madison residents to seek affordable units.

Only 2.6 percent of the city's apartment units were available in the third quarter, according to Madison Gas and Electric data. Vacancies have dwindled nearly every year since 2005, when 6.4 percent of units didn't have occupants.

The high demand is causing rent prices to increase and allowing landlords to turn more potential tenants away, said Brenda Konkel, executive director at the Tenant Resource Center in Madison.

"It's probably the worst I've seen it," she said. "For people who have had problems with unemployment, who don't have steady income, for people who have any type of blemish on their rental record, it's become incredibly difficult."

Dane Co. Exec Urges Buying Local On Black Friday

Dane Co. Exec Urges Buying Local On Black Friday

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi is urging the public to buy local on Black Friday to help support local businesses in the area and return valuable dollars to the county's economy. 

Leaders and retailers from Dane Buy Local, a coalition that advocates for thinking local first, joined Parisi at the event Tuesday.

"Eighty-six percent of the county's businesses employ 10 or fewer people," Parisi said.  "By buying local on Black Friday, and throughout the year, we can support these working families, create and retain jobs in the area, and make a real positive impact on our local economy."

Goodman's Jewelers, Customers Make Generous Donation

Goodman's Jewelers, Customers Make Generous Donation

Goodman's Jewelers hosted an event to celebrate owner John Hayes' birthday on Nov. 11 and to help out with the Goodman Community Center.

More than $8,000 will be donated to the center, that's 11 percent of the day's sales.

In addtion, more than three barrels of non-perishable food items for the Fritz Food Pantry at the Goodman Community Center was donated.

“We want to thank all that helped make this donation possible, we love our community and want to continue to support it in ways that we can,” said John of Goodman's Jewelers.