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After slow season, winter storm means big plowing business

Sunday?s winter storm was a big relief for area plow operators, who have so far struggled with a mostly snow less winter.

?It was certainly slow there for a while,? Barnes Inc. supervisor Mike Wenkman said.� ?Money comes easy when it?s snowing.� You?re happy when it comes around.?�

Operators were out in force early Sunday morning, even as the snow kept falling.

?In an ongoing snow it's what?s expected. On the up side of it - you know what you?re removing now is going to help you when you come in tonight to for the final run,? Wenkman said.� ?You?re kind of doing yourself a favor knocking down a few inches at a time."

Wenkman says diversity is the key to keeping a snow plowing business profitable year round.� For instance the company provides lawn services during the summer, and also has a holiday lighting service during the winter.

UW research team tracks, studies wildlife in city

January and February are part of the mating season for coyotes and foxes, which is good news for UW-Madison professor David Drake and his research team.

"If we can learn more about the animal and try to proactively manage these animals and the interactions between them, domestic dogs, and humans hopefully we can head off conflicts to the point we can peacefully coexist," said Drake, UW-Madison associate professor of forest and wildlife ecology.

Drake and his students humanely trap the animals, run tests and fit them with tracking devices. They hope through the research to learn more about the animals' traveling patterns, diseases they carry, interactions with other animals and most importantly including humans.

"These animals are moving into these areas where people are living," Drake said. "If that habituation continues and the animals continue to lose their fear of humans, in extreme cases these animals can start becoming aggressive."

Madison mayor candidates tackle downtown issues

With incumbent Mayor Paul Soglin away on the East Coast on city business, his opponents took the podium at the Concourse Hotel Thursday night. The forum was focused on issues in downtown Madison.

Richard Brown, an accountant and former Dane County supervisor, stressed a strong fiscal backbone and faith-based connections in the community.

"We're going to do this through strong fiscal policy and partnerships and collaboration. I want to be your mayor because I've been placed in this situation just for a time like this. My background has done a lot of things," Brown said.

Christopher Daly talked about his activism and his desire to establish a public bank for the city of Madison to protect citizens from a pending economic downfall. He mentioned economic, social and environmental sustainability as important points on his platform.

2nd woman reports inappropriate touching incident

A Madison woman told police about a man who touched her inappropriately on a Madison Metro bus after reading a news report about a similar incident.

The 47-year-old told police she read a report on Channel3000.com about an inappropriate touching incident that occurred Wednesday. She said a stranger passed, reached down and touched her inappropriately. She said the incident happened near State Street and Lake Street just after the other victim reported being assaulted.

Police said they don?t know if the same man is responsible, but the crimes are similar, and time and proximity of the events suggest it could be the same man.

The woman described the man as in his late 20s to early 30s, possibly Middle Eastern or Hispanic with a heavy build. He was wearing a heavy winter coat and an knit winter cap, and was carrying a backpack.

WISC-TV executive, Madison business leader dies

George Nelson, a Madison business and community leader instrumental in the building of major civic projects, died Wednesday night. He was 76.

Nelson was a Morgan Murphy Media vice president for administration and finance for the Evening Telegram Company, the parent company of WISC-TV.

"George was as proud of WISC as we were of him," said Morgan Murphy Media President and CEO Elizabeth Murphy Burns. "He was an integral part of the community he loved and Channel 3. He will be missed by his family, his many friends, Madison, the station and me."

Police: Passerby gropes woman walking on N. Frances

Police: Passerby gropes woman walking on N. Frances

A woman was groped by a passerby Wednesday morning as she was walking in downtown Madison, police said.

The Madison Police Department said a 20-year-old downtown resident was on her cell phone walking in the 500 block of North Frances Street at 11:03 a.m. when a stranger reached down and touched her inappropriately as he passed.

The woman told police it happened very quickly and she was unable to get a good description of the man.

The man was described as possibly Hispanic and was wearing a winter coat and carrying a backpack, according to the report.

Madison committee approves study on police body cams

Police officers in Madison are one meeting closer to wearing body cameras.

Members of the city's Board of Estimates unanimously voted to recommend a $30,000 study and ad hoc committee to take a closer look at how police body cameras would work in Madison. The proposal would also hire a project manager to oversee the process.

The proposal was put on the fast track by its authors, bypassing both the Equal Opportunities Committee and the Public Safety Review Committee to make it to the Board of Estimate Monday night. Alders said that was necessary to ensure the proposal reached City Council in a timely manner, allowing for the study to take place this summer.

While board members approved of the proposal Monday night, some voiced concern the move may be too fast for those still questioning cameras.