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County budget targets ‘pressing needs’

The Dane County Board of Supervisors approved an operating budget of about $530 million for 2015 and a capital budget of just under $41.7 million Monday night.

According to a county news release, board president Sharon Corrigan said the budget addresses the county’s “most pressing needs.” She cited emergency response, homelessness and “smarter” criminal justice as examples... Read More

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New Century changes focus to STEM

Five years after remaking itself into a “green” charter school to ensure its survival, New Century School is once again aiming for a new niche.

That doesn’t mean it will completely turn away from environmental lessons or getting students out-of-school experiences, but its classroom concentration will move in the same direction as many others around the country – Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM. 

Site council and board of directors member Katie Smith presented the school’s charter renewal application, which includes the STEM curriculum goals, to the school board Monday night, and it got a mostly warm welcome. ... Read More

23 new Madison restaurants you'll love

Each year brings with it a swath of new eateries, and with new eateries comes excitement. We love what?s fresh and untested but also untainted. Sure, some are more hyped than others (we?re looking at you, Sujeo, Cento, Rare and the Edgewater), but even the low-key taco joints and quaint caf�s offer intrigue?maybe this is the place we?ve been waiting for. Whether it?s a go-to date night spot, an equal parts convenient and tasty takeout joint on the way home from work or the perfect neighborhood bar, the following twenty-three places offer something in the way of excitement, many for more reasons than one, and we couldn?t be happier to welcome them to town.

$ <$10
$$ $10?$15
$$$ $15?$25
$$$$ $25+
(price indicates cost of a dinner entr�e)

Girls on the Run founder visits, inspires Leopold group

Girls on the Run, which just completed its sixth season, is part of a national organization founded in 1996 that aims to empower young girls while also instilling physical fitness into the lessons. ... Read More

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Firefighters battle house fire in Verona

Firefighters from multiple jurisdictions battled a house fire in Verona early Monday morning.

The fire on Aspen Avenue was called in around 3:30 a.m. When firefighters arrived, they found smoke and flames shooting out of the building, according to Lt. Marc Lindquist.

Six departments were called to assist Verona Fire. Lt. Marc Lindquist said crews switched out every 20 minutes because the temperature was 5 degrees.

"That's about the air time they use on their cylinders. So what we like to do is get them out of the building, change the cylinder, recoup a little bit and then they can go back in," Lindquist said. "When one company or one team has been working for quite a while we bring them out, try to get them refreshed, try to get them some warm liquids."

Lindquist said a smoke detector alerted the family to the fire and they got out safely. He said the fire appeared to have started in the back of the house.

Fire department on track for 24-hour staffing

As construction of the city’s new $10 million fire station progresses, plans for increasing the city department’s staffing are also under way.

The settlement of a lawsuit between the Local 311 firefighters union and the city includes some provisions for adjusting the structure of the department, and budget deliberations this month are expected provide some of the funding to make those changes possible. 

Verona Fire Department chief Joe Giver said the changes are in line with what the city had hoped to do last year when it began a hiring process for the new city-run department. That process was put on hold due to a lawsuit by the full-time firefighters. But now the staffing reorganization is back on track... Read More

Dane County to expand snow-plowing operations

As the population in Dane County continues to grow, the amount of roads that will receive 24-hour plowing attention this winter grows with it.

County officials said they will be adding 46 miles of county roads to the 24-hour routes. Those roads include large and heavily traveled stretches of county roads M, Q and PD.

?What we find is as the community grows, county roads which used to be more rural end up being either right in urban areas or linking various urban areas,? Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said.

The added 46 miles of road to be plowed 24 hours a day during snowy conditions impacts the county budget, but also increases public safety.

?The very fundamental job of government is public safety and it doesn?t get much more basic than plowing the roads,? Parisi said.

The added hours of plowing county roads also reflects the changing traffic patterns the county is seeing.