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Mayoral candidates disagree on State Street's future

Mayoral candidates Paul Soglin and Scott Resnick squared off on the fate of State Street during their first candidates’ forum since the primary election.

The Thursday night forum was hosted by three east side business associations and focused on the Capitol East Business District, but debate turned to zoning on State Street.

Resnick reacted to a Soglin suggestion of a cap on the number of bars on State Street.

"The young professionals, like myself and my wife who live down there, are not being listened to. We are seeing threats of moratoriums on bars, as if that would be the answer."

Soglin defended his proposal suggesting that support is needed for retailers on State Street.

"Are you going to walk past one bar after another, and like missing teeth in a smile, eventually get to one retailer and if we lose the dynamics of enough retailers, we're going to lose the rest of them."

Phone scam targets international students on UW campus

University of Wisconsin police are warning the campus community of a phone scam targeting international students and staff.

The UW Police Department and the Madison Police Department have gotten a number of calls over the last week from students reporting that they’ve been contacted by someone claiming to be a UWPD officer.

The caller says the person they’re calling owes taxes or a warrant has been issued for their arrest, according to a release.

Officials said the caller seems to be preying on international students and staff, sometimes threatening deportation if they don’t comply with the requests.

According to the release, the call looks like it’s coming from a local number, but is more than likely coming from overseas.

Officials said it is not necessary to call police if you receive a scam phone call, but if you feel harassed or unsafe, or if you feel you have been scammed, you can call UWPD at 608-264-2677.

Police: Man exits bar wearing woman's stolen coat

Police: Man exits bar wearing woman's stolen coat

A 21-year-old was arrested Wednesday for stealing a woman's coat and using her credit card, police said.

Madison police said a 21-year-old Madison woman was at Whiskey Jacks at 552 State St. Saturday night into Sunday morning. She had placed her jacket on a pile with others as she socialized with friends.

Police said covert bar surveillance video showed a man enter the tavern wearing a coat and depart wearing the woman's.

The woman's wallet was inside her coat pocket, police said. Her credit card was used to make unauthorized purchases after the coat was taken, according to the report.

Police said the bar surveillance video was used to track down Ahmed Saeed H. Al Mutlaq of Madison, who was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of theft.

Zoo announces new polar bears

The Henry Vilas Zoo announced the addition of two polar bears to the new "Arctic Passage" exhibit set to open this summer.

Suka and Sakari are 2 1/2-year-old twins that will come from the Como Zoo in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Once they arrive, the Henry Vilas Zoo will house two of only 60 polar bears in Association of Zoos and Aquariums-accredited zoos in North America.

A release from the zoo states that the new exhibit is designed to meet or exceed "the most stringent standards in bear care."

The Arctic Passage exhibit is on schedule to open Memorial Day weekend.  About $270,000 is still needed to pay for the project.

Firefighter injured in blaze downtown

The Madison Fire Department said one firefighter was injured after responding to a smoky blaze at a downtown apartment complex Thursday morning.

The fire department got a call shortly before 4 a.m. for a structure fire in the Capitol Centre Court Apartments at 344 West Dayton Street.

Officials say the fire started in a fifth floor apartment, which was filled with smoke when they arrived.

One firefighter was taken to Meriter Hospital for a minor injury, and two people were check out by paramedics,  but not taken to a hospital.

Firefighters said not all residents were evacuating the building to the sound of the fire alarms and had to be told it was a real fire.

Officials said the found smoke in the fifth floor hallway and thick black smoke in the apartment.

Damage from the fire is estimated at $70,000 and was contained to one apartment.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Forequarter, Heritage Tavern chefs finalists for national award

Restaurants in Madison are receiving nationwide recognition for their culinary creations this week.

Chef Dan Fox of downtown Madison's Heritage Tavern and Chef Jonny Hunter of Forequarter on the near east side are in the running for the prestigious James Beard Best in the Midwest Award. 

WATCH as Fox and Hunter describe what makes their cuisine award-worthy.

Senate to take up right-to-work bill; Rally scheduled

The full state Senate is expected to vote on right-to-work Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. after a shortened public hearing Tuesday that sent dozens of people waiting to speak into a rage.

Senate Republicans cut a public hearing on right-to-work legislation short Tuesday night.

WATCH END OF HEARING

The Senate labor committee began the hearing at 10 a.m. The committee's chairman, Sen. Stephen Nass, had planned to end testimony at 7 p.m. and vote on the bill. At 6:20 p.m. Nass ended the hearing, saying union members had threatened to disrupt the hearing. Dozens of people who had been waiting all day to speak leapt to their feet, shouting profanities at the Republicans.

The committee chair, Steve Nass, R-Whitewater, said he was concerned a planned protest would become unsafe.