Dane County pilots $750K farm runoff program
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin county that is home to Madison plans to spend $750,000 this year on a pilot program that pays farmers to plant cover crops in an effort to curb runoff from heavy...
Wisconsin county expands opioid recovery program
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin's second-most populous county is expanding a program that tries to get people with addictions into treatment after they land in jail or the emergency room.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin district attorney's office is using a $100,000 federal grant under the Victims of Crime Act to provide protection to those who've suffered domestic abuse.
Dane County to seek proposals for funding private renewable energy projects
Dane County Executive Joe Parisi hopes to expand the county’s influence over renewable energy by investing county dollars in private solar arrays and wind farm projects across the state.
The county would focus on projects that wouldn’t get off the ground without support from the county, Parisi said, but they would not be limited to those within the county’s borders.
Resurfacing of Capital City Trail will mean biking detours this summer
One of the most popular biking trails in Dane County will be under construction after the Fourth of July.
The Capital City Trail, which sees about 125,000 bicyclists each year, opened in 2001, and hasn't had a major upgrade since.
The trail is a 17-mile asphalt-paved trail running from the isthmus to Monona Terrace and John Nolen Drive, through the Nine Springs E-Way south of Madison, then west to Verona to meet up with the Military Ridge Trail.
East Towne Mall runoff to be held in pond to help cleanup of local lakes
A runoff water detention pond near East Towne Mall is being reconstructed to keep thousands of pounds of sediment and algae-producing phosphorus from Lake Monona.
Dane County has awarded $615,000 to the city of Madison for a project to convert the dry retention basin into a wet pond, which will have water in it year-round as it slowly drains into the east branch of Starkweather Creek and eventually into Lake Monona.
Yuri the tiger newest addition at Vilas Zoo
Yuri the tiger is settling in at the Henry Vilas Zoo, and officials couldn't be happier.
The male Amur tiger came from the John Ball Zoo in Michigan, his move made possible in large part to over $32,000 raised on Giving Tuesday last November.
"This is a great addition to our Henry Vilas Zoo family," said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi.
Amur tigers are endangered, so the zoo is keen on making a good home for Yuri, who will be sharing space with Callie, a female Amur tiger at the zoo.
Dane County hires attorneys to sue drug makers over opioids
Dane County has hired the legal team that will represent the county when it files a federal lawsuit against pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributors that the county believes have cost taxpayers millions in its fight against opioid drug addiction, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said Monday.
Environmental grants for local projects awarded by Dane County
Sixteen projects proposed by non-profits and communities to help environmental efforts have been awarded grants from the Dane County Environmental Council.
Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said $17,327 in grants will go to the organizations for conservation, restoration and education projects in 2018.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Officials in a southern Wisconsin county have proposed a large solar energy project.
Dane County ready to help municipalities do clean water projects
Keeping garbage and pollutants out of Dane County waterways has been a goal of county government for over a decade, and there's funding available for local communities wanting to help the effort.
Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said $1.3 million has been put into the Urban Water Quality Grant Program this year, to help communities build storm water management facilities.
Massive solar energy site to provide power to Dane County Regional Airport
A massive solar energy site proposed just north of the Dane County Regional Airport could become the largest solar energy project in south-central Wisconsin and the second largest in Wisconsin, officials say.
The project was announced Monday by Dane County Executive Joe Parisi, as requests for proposals went out to seek private partners in building on the 41-acre site of airport-owned land.
Major expansion planned for Dane County Regional Airport
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Officials say a major expansion is planned for the Dane County Regional Airport.
At news conference Wednesday, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi, the airport's director, Bradley Livingston, and other officials said there's $25 million in the county's capital budget this year to begin the multi-year project.
Initially, aircraft boarding bridges will be replaced. Phase 1 will also include selecting consultants for the design and engineering of the project.
Major improvements coming to Dane County Regional Airport
The Dane County Regional Airport will be undergoing a major expansion and upgrade over the next three years, to handle an ever-growing number of passengers using Madison's airport.
Dane County Executive Joe Parisi, Airport Director Bradley Livingston and other officials announced plans on Wednesday for Phase I of the multi-year project, with $25 million in the county's capital budget this year to start the work.
Lower Yahara River Trail gets big land boost
Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced Thursday that 160 acres of state-owned land will be acquired by the county for expansion of the Lower Yahara River Trail southeast of Madison.
The 160 acres are in the county’s Door Creek Wildlife Area and includes frontage on the northern shore of Lake Kegonsa as well as along Door Creek.
New restrooms, breastfeeding area coming to Vilas Zoo
With a big increase in attendance at Madison's Henry Vilas Zoo, more bathrooms and other amenities were in need, with that need being filled this year.
Construction began Wednesday on a $1.6 million project at the zoo to replace an aging bathroom building with a new facility that will include more bathroom space, new handicapped stalls, a breastfeeding area and a concession window.
The project also includes a new outdoor seating area next to the flamingo exhibit.
Dane County Parks Division to seek public comment on 5-year guidance plan
Dane County residents will be able to provide input for the county’s growing parks and trail systems to influence the five-year guidance plan for the Parks Commission.
The 2018-2023 Parks and Open Space Plan will set priorities for the county Parks Division relating to preservation efforts of natural land or historical sites as well as funding for recreation and trail needs.
Proposed Madison housing for veterans and their families would be nation’s largest
A developer is planning a low-cost housing complex for veterans and their families on Madison’s East Side that would be the largest facility of its kind in the nation, Dane County officials announced Thursday.
The $15.1 million development — called Valor on Washington — would offer 64 housing units including a mix of subsidized and market-rate rents with two- and three-bedroom apartments and on-site services for veterans.
Dane County grants available for conservation projects
Community groups planning environmental projects are invited to apply for grants from Dane County.
Grants up to $2,500 or $1,000 are available through two different programs designed to support projects that improve, protect and enhance Dane County's land and water resources.
County Executive Joe Parisi and the Dane County Environmental Council announced on Wednesday that the county is accepting applications for the Capital Equipment Grant Program and the Community Partners Grant Program.
Sweet deal: Sugar River frontage to provide more fishing, hiking access to popular stream
A Dane County stream that has become popular with anglers, kayakers and hikers will soon have more public access, thanks to a land and easement purchase by county officials.
The Sugar River, a stream south of Verona in Southwest Dane County, will get almost a mile of additional river frontage open to the public, if the purchase and easement rights to about 160 acres is approved by the Dane County Board.
Dane County to pursue legal action against pharmaceutical companies for opioid epidemic
Dane County could join dozens of states, counties and cities suing pharmaceutical companies for actions they contend have contributed to the opioid overdose epidemic affecting Wisconsin and much of the country, County Executive Joe Parisi said Wednesday.
Under a resolution to be introduced Thursday to the County Board, county lawyers would be instructed to pursue a legal remedy to hold the companies accountable for what Parisi called their responsibility in triggering the epidemic.
Clean car standards needed to maintain health, save money, local officials tell Trump
Local leaders are calling on the Trump administration to maintain federal clean car standards for the same of public health and to save money and help the economy.
The Sierra Club held a news conference at the City-County Building on Monday, to bring community leaders together to support the standards, including Madison Mayor Paul Soglin and Dane County Executive Joe Parisi.
The clean car standards help ensure vehicles are more fuel-efficient, saving drivers money every trip to the gas station.
Dane County study looks to alleviate congestion on Highway M
Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said he remembers Highway M as a standard country road when he was growing up in Middleton. That’s not the case anymore, as the county’s population has doubled since he was born and commuters now clog the thoroughfare that connects Middleton to Waunakee across the north side of Lake Mendota.
Finance Committee approves proposed amendments to Dane County budget ahead of board vote
An amendment to the Dane County capital budget would require that social services and diversion programs continue to receive funding if the county is going to spend millions of dollars on jail renovations.
911 dispatchers could get mental health crisis training
Emergency dispatchers in Dane County would get mental health crisis intervention training under an amendment to the county’s proposed 2018 budget.
The move would add nearly $63,000 to the $538 million budget, mostly to cover overtime for the 911 dispatchers. The training would also be available to staff from the new Beacon homeless day center.
Amendment would add funds to Dane County budget for bus passes for homeless center users
Users of The Beacon, a day resource center for the homeless, could get help with transportation next year under an amendment to the 2018 Dane County operating budget.
Lacking state-funded staff increases, DA turns to county, may pare caseload
Decrying repeated failures by the state to better staff his office, Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne called on Dane County officials Tuesday to approve three new attorney jobs for the DA's office that were among those turned down in the latest state budget.
He also said that prosecutors will be more selective about the cases they charge in light of caseloads that outstrip staffing levels.
Dane County supervisors hold public hearing on proposed 2018 budget
Dozens of people weighed in on the proposed 2018 Dane County budget at a public hearing Wednesday, with most focusing their ire on a plan to renovate the county’s jail facilities.
Dane County expanding driver’s ed program to six new school districts
The public school driver's education program started by Dane County Executive Joe Parisi four years ago, to give high school students a better opportunity to get to jobs by driving, is growing six-fold in 2018.
The Access to Opportunity Initiative, in the Madison school district since the summer of 2015, will be expanded to six new school districts this school year, with the money included in the 2018 Dane County budget.
Dane County Executive Joe Paris proposes $28 county vehicle registration fee
It could cost more to operate a vehicle in Dane County under a provision in County Executive Joe Parisi’s budget that would impose a first-ever vehicle registration fee on county residents.
County officials say the move is necessary to make up for inadequate state transportation funding.
The $28 annual fee would apply to all passenger vehicles and generate $12 million in revenue toward highway studies, repairs and expansions, County Board Chairwoman Sharon Corrigan said.
Mental health needs major focus of proposed county budget
A proposed 2018 operating budget for Dane County that includes funding for an expensive new jail and a renewed focus on mental illness showcases how the county meets the needs of its diverse population and makes it a special place to live, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said.
Dane County employees with new children could get 10 weeks of paid leave under proposal
New parents who work for Dane County could get 10 weeks of paid leave to focus on their new family members, under a county proposal.
County employees could take advantage of the paid parental leave starting Jan. 1, said county spokeswoman Stephanie Miller.
The program would include mothers and fathers. It would also cover adopted children.
Frontier adding new flights to Philadelphia in April
Frontier Airlines will be heading east from Madison this spring in addition to going west.
The discount flyer will be going to Philadelphia starting April 8, with one non-stop flight three times a week from Dane County Regional Airport to the City of Brotherly Love.
Tickets are on sale now, but flights won't start until spring.
"Expansion of service by Frontier continues to make Dane County a world-class destination," said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi.
‘Suck the Muck’ to remove algae-making phosphorus from Dane County streams
How to reduce algae-making phosphorous in Dane County lakes? Suck the muck.
Muck, the ooze at the bottom of streams, is the chief culprit in the phosphorous/algae problem, holding hundreds of thousands of pounds of phosphorus for decades, slowly and steadily getting released to exacerbate the pollution mucking up the lakes.
Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced on Monday the Suck the Muck project has started, with Dorn Creek the first stream to get the Hoover treatment.
Committee drops bid to rename City-County Building after Barack Obama
After overwhelming opposition to naming the City-County Building after former President Barack Obama, city and county officials are dropping the proposal and instead seeking community feedback for a more appropriate public space to bear his name.
The City-County Liaison Committee on Wednesday voted to withdraw a resolution to name the Downtown building after the 44th president.
The proposal was introduced by County Executive Joe Parisi and three County Board supervisors last month.
Local NAACP votes against Barack Obama City-County Building
Support from Dane County officials may be waning for a plan to name the City-County Building after former President Barack Obama, after the county’s chapter of the NAACP voted against it.
The NAACP is objecting to the idea on grounds that naming a building that houses a portion of the county jail after the nation’s first black president is inappropriate.
PASS program gets funds to continue tutoring after school in Dane County
The Partners for After School Success in Dane County has been awarded $386,000 from a federal agency to continue tutoring and extended learning programs.
The Corporation for National and Community Service, which also funds AmeriCorps and Senior Corps, awarded the grant to PASS so 52 AmeriCorps workers can help middle- and high-school students in low-income and resource-challenged areas of the county.
Dane County announces plans to adhere to Climate Paris agreement terms
Dane County will stick to the terms of the Paris climate agreement, despite President Donald Trump pulling the United States out of the accord earlier this month, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said Monday.
President Obama’s name could adorn City-County Building
The 44th president of the United States could soon have a building named after him in Downtown Madison.
Local government leaders are working together to rename the City-County Building in honor of President Barack Obama, according to the County Executive's Office.
‘Early Childhood Zone’ slated to open on Madison’s North Side, aims to address barriers to education
Madison partners have secured a location on Madison's North Side to house an "Early Childhood Zone," a community initiative that aims to address early barriers to education by supporting families, County Executive Joe Parisi said Thursday.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The population continues to rise in Wisconsin's capital city.
New estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau show that Madison grew more than any other city in the state from 2015 to 2016, surpassing a quarter of a million residents.
The Wisconsin State Journal reports (http://bit.ly/2qjWbvE ) that several Madison suburbs also had significant population gains.
Lower Yahara River Trail construction starting this week
Construction work on the Lower Yahara River Trail should begin this week, with the project expected to be completed in late summer.
The $9 million, two-mile-long project runs next to Lake Waubesa and is being paid for through a combination of federal and county dollars, the contract administered by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.
City and county must battle booze -- Jamie McCarville
I appreciate the State Journal’s continued emphasis on the out-of-control alcohol issues.
County: No travel to states with “discriminatory” laws
The Dane County Board has passed an amendment prohibiting county employees from traveling to states that have "discriminatory legislation."
Under the amendment, which passed 30-1 Thursday, no elected county officials or county employees will be required to travel to a state or have their expenses reimbursed if they travel to a state that has discriminatory outcomes based on sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.
Dane County leaders announce new homeless day resource center will be named “The Beacon.”
After a public contest, Dane County's long-awaited day resource center for the homeless now has a name: The Beacon.
The name was chosen from 400 submissions, and was one of four finalists that included, The Opportunity Place, The Net, and The Turning Point Center.
The Beacon "is a beautiful and hopeful message," Jackson Founder, president of Catholic Charities, which will run the facility, said at a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
Free days in Dane County parks start Saturday
Dane County will give area residents the chance to use special parks facilities for free on certain Saturdays in May, June and July, as a way for the county to show what it has to offer in its parks system.
The free days means permit charges will be waived for those facilities.
"We have a parks system that is second to none," said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. "There's no better time to get out and see for yourself."
The free days are on May 6 and 27, June 3 and 17 and July 1.
Joe Parisi won’t run for governor, says Scott Walker is both vulnerable and strong
Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said Tuesday he won’t run for governor in 2018, removing one of the most high-profile Democratic elected officials from the shortening list of Gov. Scott Walker’s potential challengers.
In an interview Tuesday, Parisi said Walker is “both vulnerable and strong,” and could lose to “the right person with the right message.”
Parisi latest Democrat to bow out of governor’s race
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Dane County Executive Joe Parisi became the latest Democrat to decide against challenging Republican Gov. Scott Walker, saying Tuesday that he can get more done in his current job rather than taking on an "extremely dysfunctional" state government.
NIU grads hook investor on ‘Shark Tank’
CHICAGO – Did you see that? If you missed it, Northern Illinois University graduates Joe Parisi and Adam Havey just landed a new partner on ABC's “Shark Tank.”
Barbara Corcoran trumped fellow Shark Kevin O’Leary with an offer of $100,000 for 20 percent of the guys’ brainchild, Guard Llama.