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Madison budget includes $35 property tax increase

The average homeowner in Madison will pay about $35 more in city property taxes in the most recent budget.

The Madison Common Council passed the 2014 capital and operating budgets Tuesday night, something Alder Mark Clear said the group had never done so quickly in his seven budget sessions.

Alder Lisa Subeck said the amendments made by the Board of Estimates before final approval were nothing startling or controversial.

City finance director David Schmiedicke said with council's changes, the budget came in just $500 under the state levy limit. As a result, city property taxes will increase $9.51 per $1,000 assessed value.

Schmiedicke said that means the levy will go up 2.6 percent and the tax rate will increase 2.2 percent.

Taxes paid on the average home, valued at $230,831, will be rise 1.6 percent, totaling an increase of about $35 per household.

DOJ: 2 south central Wis. men in court on cocaine charges

DOJ: 2 south central Wis. men in court on cocaine charges

A Fitchburg man and a Madison man were in federal court Wednesday facing drug charges, according to a Wisconsin Department of Justice release.

Luis Alcantar Garcia, 27, a citizen of Mexico found in Fitchburg, was charged with two counts of possessing cocaine with intent to distribute, and with being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm, according to the release.

He allegedly possessed cocaine and planned on distributing it twice on Oct. 30, officials said. He also faces a second count that charges the amount of cocaine he possessed was 500 grams or more.

According to the release, he also allegedly possessed a .32-caliber semi-automatic firearm on Oct. 30.

Marathon to close John Nolen Drive

Marathon to close John Nolen Drive

The Madison Marathon will close all lanes of John Nolen Drive Sunday, according to a release.

The closure is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., and will be between Olin Avenue and Williamson Street.

Inbound John Nolen Drive traffic will be detoured onto Olin Avenue to Park Street, according to the release.

Police hope sketch leads to downtown sexual assaulter

A 22-year-old woman told police she was sexually assaulted in a secluded parking lot in the 300 block of West Wilson Street early Sunday morning.

The woman told police she met a man while out socializing in downtown Madison around 1:45 a.m., officials said.

According to a release, the two went to a bar together, and the man later attacked and assaulted the woman.

She told police she may have injured the man during the assault, police said. The woman also suffered injuries, and was taken to a hospital and released.

The man is in his mid-20s and is described as having a tan complexion, with a chunky build, very short hair and facial stubble. He was wearing a dark-colored pullover with some type of orange design on it. He may also have been wearing rimless glasses.

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Holiday hiring starts up in Madison

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'Tis the season for shopping, and many businesses need some extra elves to help.

Shops and restaurants up and down State Street already have "help wanted" signs posted for the holiday rush.

Jerry O'Brien, executive director at the UW Center for Retailing Excellence, said businesses could not make it through this season without additional employees.

"Most retailers, this month makes or breaks the year," O?Brien said.

O?Brien said there is less time to shop this holiday season. With Thanksgiving coming later this year, the time between Black Friday and Christmas is cut short by almost one week. O?Brien said that could have some effect on hiring decisions.

"I think they will hire fewer people. They have less time, so really, just how much can you squeeze in at a time?" O?Brien said. "But also, there?s been a lot of changes in their ability to hire smarter. They're better at measuring when they will be busy."

Police: Thief took stolen TV on Metro bus

A 61-year-old man walked away from a Radio Shack with a stolen TV and rode away in a Metro bus, police say.

Madison police said Reynaldo Hudson was seen on surveillance video taking a boxed 32-inch LED TV from the Radio Shack at 3525 University Avenue Monday afternoon.

Officers contacted Madison Metro to see if a man with a boxed TV had just gotten on a bus. They were told a man with a TV had been on the bus and got off at the Capitol Square.

Police said they contacted Hudson and when asked about the TV, he replied, ?What about it??

Hudson was arrested on suspicion of theft.

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Some concerned over bike parking on UW campus

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More than 10,000 commuters hop on two wheels to get around the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, but there is an issue many people may not expect.

A major hassle when it comes to biking to campus is issues with parking and locking up bikes.

Whether you get behind the wheel or pedal around town, everyone has been frustrated in the attempt to find a parking spot.

Some bikers on the UW campus say parking isn?t too bad.

?They have tons of bike racks there, it?s just there?s a lot of kids in and out on any given time,? said Ian Norman.

But others resort to makeshift parking stalls, and Juan Caballero feels the struggle every time he bikes to Van Hise Hall.

Caballero said the couple of minutes it takes him to find a bike are bad because he has to teach and is always in a rush.