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Part of N. Mills St. closed for crane removal

Part of N. Mills St. closed for crane removal

City to shut down traffic at 100 block for 5 days    

A portion of North Mills Street is scheduled to be closed to traffic for five days beginning Monday to remove a construction crane, the city’s traffic engineering department said.

The crane removal will close the 100 block of North Mills between West Dayton Street and north of the Southwest Commuter Bike Path through Friday, according to a city news release.

A 150-foot tall crane that’s been stationed at the Charter Street Heating Plant for more than two years will be removed, city employee Phil Nehmer said.

Nehmer, program specialist with the city’s traffic engineering department, said the crane is scheduled to be removed by Feb. 8 but inclement weather could delay workers.

“The crane company said [work on the crane is] weather dependent, so if it’s too windy or too icy or if it’s raining or snowing, they’ll be working on the weekend,” Nehmer said.

‘Family Business of the Year Award’ seeks nominees across the state

 ‘Family Business of the Year Award’ seeks nominees across the state

Award celebrates impact of family biz on Wis. communities    

A state group that celebrates family-owned businesses is seeking nominations for the 2013 “Business of the Year” award, which is also the group’s 10th year sponsoring the program.

One family business will be selected for grand awards in categories including small (less than 50 employees), medium (50-99), and large (100 or more) companies. The organization said special awards will also be given to companies excelling in a particular area.

Created by Smith & Gesteland, a Middleton accounting and business consulting firm, the annual awards highlight the importance of family-owned businesses.

The deadline for nominations is April 13.

Salvation Army down bell-ringers, donations

Salvation Army down bell-ringers, donations

As grocery store customers walk out of the Copps on Monona and Broadway, they're greeted by a bell-ringing veteran.

"Do what I can to help," 30-year "golden ringer" Ed Burke said.

Burke is decked out in Packers gear, sporting a pin on his green and gold cap, each dangling addition signifying 20 hours of service in a holiday season.

He brings his own brass bell, one he can hear clearly. Burke also has a basket of candy by his side. "Can't do any harm," Burke said.

Just before his shift, Larry Dobie wore his four-pointed Santa hat, teaching a new generation of bell ringers and collecting as many donations as possible. "You see ones, or fives and tens and occasionally a twenty," Dobie said.

Both Burke and Dobie have seen the signs of a suffering Salvation Army. This year, the group is down volunteers and donations compared to last year's early return.

Kids to ‘Shop with a Cop’ Sunday

Kids to ‘Shop with a Cop’ Sunday

About 79 kids will get to spend the day shopping, wrapping with officers

Area families who may not have the finances for Christmas gifts will get to share in the season through a program organized by area police officers.

Dane County area police departments will pair officers with kids for the annual “Shop with a Cop” program on Sunday.

Each year, children from families in need are chosen to participate in the event. Each child receives $150 -- collected through private and corporate donations -- to buy gifts for his or her family. The shopping spree will take place at the East Side Target, organizers said.

Detective Kathy Wessel with the Dane County Sheriff’s Office said about 79 kids are participating in the event Sunday. She said the little shoppers enjoy taking part in the giving season.

“They get a kick out of shopping for their families and picking out presents for brothers, sisters, mom and dad,” Wessel said.

Fair trade market offers gifts with a story

Fair trade market offers gifts with a story

Holiday Festival sale takes place Saturday

Fair Trade goodies don’t include just coffee and chocolate anymore.

Organizers for Madison's 16th annual Fair Trade Holiday Festival said the gifts that will be available at the event Saturday are unique handicrafts that support a humanitarian cause.

The sale will feature more than 50 vendors with gifts made around the world and locally.

On behalf of the Festival, Rebecca Kendziorski from African Youth Outreach said the goods found at the Fair Trade festival come with a history. Gift givers who buy from the festival can share a story with their holiday presents, Kendziorski said.

Soglin plan underway to bring good-for-you grub to low-income families

Soglin plan underway to bring good-for-you grub to low-income families

Mayor says idea stemmed from summer ‘Meet and Eat’

A food truck experiment this summer lead to the mayor establishing a council this fall to continue work bringing affordable healthy food options for low-income families.

At the first meeting of his Madison Food Policy Council on Oct. 24, National Food Day, Mayor Paul Soglin made the opening statements explaining its importance.

“In terms of the farmers’ market, we have one of the best known markets in the world,” Soglin said. “When it comes to food policy, there is this enormous gap. I see that as an opportunity to take us to another level.”

The MFPC is an extension of the Dane County board. It joins the Dane County Food Council and Coalition, but aims more to answer the question of accessibility and affordability than connecting producers to buyers, which is the focus of the county’s council and coalition.

Massive used-book sale to fund library, lecture series

Massive used-book sale to fund library, lecture series

More than 15,000 books up for grabs

A library organization is hosting its annual fall book sale. Book-buyers have more than 15,000 titles to choose from at the Memorial Library in Room 116 through Saturday. Sale organizers said the used book sale is one of the largest in Wisconsin

The Friends of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries sale takes place over four days with its proceeds benefitting a variety of events, special collections and a lecture series.

The annual book-buy event began Wednesday but continues Friday from 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m and Saturday from 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m. From 10:30 a.m.-1  p.m. Saturday, shoppers who bring a grocery-sized bag can fill it for $4. From 1:05 p.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, all remaining books are free, the library said.

Book prices are also reduced each day of the sale, but organizers said the books sell quickly.