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Forequarter, Heritage Tavern chefs finalists for national award

Restaurants in Madison are receiving nationwide recognition for their culinary creations this week.

Chef Dan Fox of downtown Madison's Heritage Tavern and Chef Jonny Hunter of Forequarter on the near east side are in the running for the prestigious James Beard Best in the Midwest Award. 

WATCH as Fox and Hunter describe what makes their cuisine award-worthy.

East Washington Avenue hotels, motels form crime-fighting alliance

Aiming to decrease the number of crimes on their property, 24 hotels and motels on East Washington Avenue have partnered with police to share information about individuals they will not rent to, and assist in the arrest and prosecution of violators.

The businesses hope to decrease the amount of drug use, human trafficking and prostitution incidents in their rooms and parking lots.

"What we recognize is that a problem for one hotel is very likely a problem for all hotels," Madison police officer David Dexheimer said. "Our hope is that it develops into something that's self-sustaining between the hotels and the motels."

While antagonizers may currently be denied rooms at one place, they can take their business to another nearby hotel or motel.

By sharing troublemakers' information through an email exchange, Comfort Inn front desk supervisor Sandra Haire hopes to see less crime in general.

Area Girl Scouts ready for cookie sales season

Friday marks the first day of Girl Scout cookie sales.

News 3 Reporter Mary Jo Ola was at the Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Badgerland Council Center on Madison's south side Friday to talk to the budding entrepreneurs, a group of Daisies, Brownies, Juniors and a Cadette Girl Scout, about the coming sales season.

Visit gsbadgerland.org for more information.

StartingBlock to draw, keep talent in Dane County

Madison's growing community of entrepreneurs will soon have a new place to potentially call home, StartingBlock.

The project has garnered big investors, including American Family Insurance, and the city has put aside $1.5 million for the effort in its Capital Budget.

Some say the project will help bring new life to the city's East Capitol District.

Sector67 and startup accelerator Gener8tor will move into one space on East Washington Avenue and Livingston Street. The space will be called StartingBlock.

Startingblock, a more than $30 million endeavor, would be the anchor tenant of a new mixed-use building that would include space for mentor program, collaboration and a performing art venue.

It would be a space dedicated to sparking new ideas and giving 20- to 40-year-olds more reasons to keep their talents in Dane County.

City wants to expand car-sharing options

City wants to expand car-sharing options

The city of Madison is exploring options for expanding car-sharing options for residents.

City Parking Utility Interim Parking Operations Manager Bill Putnam told News 3 there is one car-sharing company operating in Madison and another on the University of Wisconsin campus, but neither operation rents spaces from the city.

A public meeting scheduled for Jan. 28 will include presentations from car-sharing companies.

Putnam said they are early in the process of coming up with ideas to bring more companies to Madison and support the concept of car-sharing in the city.

One outcome is the city could request proposals from companies to rent spaces in city lots and garages.

A release from the city states that car-sharing reduces the need for car ownership and can replace as many as nine to 13 individually-owned vehicles, leading the less congestion, demand for parking and emissions.

Jolly Bob's to close after 22 years

Jolly Bob's to close after 22 years

After 22 years, the Williamson Street staple Jolly Bob?s is closing down.

The Wisconsin State Journal reported the owner has already stopped serving food and the bar will stop serving Saturday. Jolly Bob's will also host its last DJ dance party Saturday night.

The owner told the Wisconsin State Journal the restaurant business has taken a toll on him, so he's getting out, but he said he'd be willing to sell the business to an interested buyer.

Badgers game brings potential shoppers to Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday in Madison saw an extra several thousand potential shoppers on the streets, thanks to the Badgers' final home game.

Whether that additional foot traffic benefits local shops, though, is up in the air.

Mary Carbine, executive director for Madison Central Business Improvement District, says every home game brings big business to small shops in the State Street area.

"What is so much a part of the Badger game experience for many people is visiting State Street and the Capitol square," Carbine said. "Badger athletics is terrific for downtown business and downtown shopping."

The outlook is a little different several blocks away, on Monroe Street. Carol 'Orange' Schroeder, the owner of Orange Tree Imports, says she would prefer home games don't fall on the same Saturday as the first big shopping weekend of the holiday season.