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Improv troupe celebrates 10 years with free show

Improv troupe celebrates 10 years with free show

"I can still smell it. It was like rancid oil mixed with musty concrete."

That's the former artistic director of east-side-based Atlas Improv Co. describing the improv troupe's humble beginnings, which included holding classes in the dank basement of a Planned Parenthood. 

Neil Pohl now works in New York as a copywriter and studies improv at Magnet Theater. Pohl's been improvising for 14 years and was with the company in the beginning, when the group split from then ComedySportz Madison and founded Atlas.

On March 29 from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., Atlas will present "PhatCamp: 10 years, 10 hours," a non­stop evening of improv offered up as a free event in celebration of the company's 10-year anniversary. 

Current artistic director, Kristina Martinez, credits the performers and the community for the group's decade of longevity.

Dobra's closure points to changes in Madison's tea, State St. business culture

Dobra's closure points to changes in Madison's tea, State St. business culture

On Dobra Tea’s last day in business, owner Adam Ernst invited the community to come visit the State Street shop to drink tea and shatter teapots from around the world.

The gesture offered him an opportunity to share some of the philosophies surrounding tea culture and to gain a sense of closure as the tea shop closed its doors Feb. 9 after five years in downtown Madison.

“Tea in general encourages us to embrace the imperfection in life, the impermanence in life, and thus smashing teaware is a kind of symbol to communicate to people,” Ernst said. “We need that sort of catalytic breaking, smashing and severing of all contacts in order to see and reunite them. Simply as a symbol of impermanence it seemed very effective.”

As a teenager, Ernst, a Madison native, discovered a passion for tea far from Wisconsin during a visit to the East Coast.

Atwood Ave. chocolate shop a viewer favorite

Atwood Ave. chocolate shop a viewer favorite

Just in time for Valentine's Day, an east side Madison chocolate shop was the winner of a viewer contest for favorite area chocolatier. 

Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier, 2086 Atwood Ave., is run by its namesake, a former cartographer. 

Roots Chocolates, of Wisconsin Dells and Baraboo, came in second place in the News 3 Viewers Dish contest. 

Watch News 3 Reporter Mary Jo Ola chat with Ambrosius about her confection business: http://www.channel3000.com/entertainment/-/1628/24482880/-/12daokwz/-/index.html

 

Supporters: Despite spills, manure digesters make positive impact

Supporters: Despite spills, manure digesters make positive impact

In November, a pipe ruptured on Dane County's community manure digester, which converts cow waste into power. About 360,000 gallons of manure flowed through a dry ravine, according to Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources spokesman Bob Manwell. The spill entered a creek and reached the village of Waunakee, located more than two miles away, bringing with it an odor.

"As far as environmental damages, there was no immediate fish kill, which is a good sign," Manwell said. About 90 percent of the spill was cleaned up within a week, he said, but some of the spill, located in areas unreachable by equipment, remains.

"We're not saying there were no damages," Manwell said. "This is going to take some time, and we'll continue to monitor to see what impacts there may be."

$24M pavilions to replace Alliant Energy Center's barns

$24M pavilions to replace Alliant Energy Center's barns

Dane County will replace the Alliant Energy Center’s barns with multi-use pavilions in a $24 million project set to begin early next year.

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said Tuesday that the county will award a Middleton construction company a nearly $20.7 million contract to build the pavilions. 

The project is pending funding approval from the Wisconsin State Building Commission and the Dane County Board of Supervisors.

Middleton-based Miron Construction will build the pavilions that will create 290,000 square feet of multi-use space on the footprint of the Alliant Energy Center’s existing barns, according to a news release from Parisi’s office.

Demolition of the barns is expected to begin next year, with the project’s estimated completion in time for the 2014 World Dairy Expo.

Ping Pong club finds permanent home on Winnebago St.

Ping Pong club finds permanent home on Winnebago St.

Ping Pong might not be considered a serious sport, but a local group is finding a niche on Madison's near east side.

Instead of a church basement, the Madison Table Tennis Club is renting space at 2100 Winnebago Street.

Matches at the Madison Table Tennis Club can get pretty intense.

"It's all in the head. You have to feel where the ball is coming," 14-year-old Madison Memorial freshman Peter Yang said.

Watch the News 3 report:

"A lot of what I like about table tennis is that it doesn't discriminate. People of all shapes and sizes and ages can participate," Aaron Avery, co-president of Madison Table Tennis Club, said.

Local food options open in Dane County Airport

Local food options open in Dane County Airport

Local options to grab a bite to eat have grown at the Dane County Airport.

The new Metcalfe's "Local To Go" Market opened Monday alongside the Great Dane and a recently re-branded and expanded Ancora Coffee as food options at the airport.

"It's important to have these here. This introduces people to the personality of our county with some of our restaurants and one of our themed coffee shops. It also is a nice place for people either leaving or coming who live here," said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi.

The additions are part of a $250,000 investment.

The market and the second-floor Ancora can be found near gates 7 and 8. There's also an Ancora before the security check.