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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.

Madison's winter clothes drive happening this month

Madison Parks is partnering with Community Action Coalition of South Central Wisconsin, Inc. on an outdoor winter clothes drive Jan. 5-16.

Winter coats, snowpants, boots, hats, scarves, and gloves may be dropped off during operating hours at the following locations:

  • Tenney Park Shelter, 402 N. Thornton Ave.
  • Vilas Park Shelter, 1400 Vilas Park Dr.
  • Elver Park Shelter, 1250 McKenna Blvd.
  • Odana Hills Golf Course, 4635 Odana Road

Operating Hours:

Shelter hours are weekdays 3-9 p.m. and weekends 11 a.m.-9 p.m.Odana Hills hours are weekends 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

Click here for more information.

Habitat for Humanity asking for volunteers

Habitat for Humanity is seeking families to build homes in Madison, Sun Prairie, Fitchburg, and Stoughton.

Over the last year, Habitat for Humanity of Dane County has purchased 29 family unit lots in Sun Prairie, 24 lots in Fitchburg and eight lots in Madison.

For individuals and families interested in building with Habitat for Humanity, informational meetings will be held:

Jan. 11, 1-2:30 p.m., Clarion Suites, 2110 Rimrock Road

Jan. 14, 6-7:30 p.m., Clarion Suites, 2110 Rimrock Road

If interested in partnering with Habitat, attendance at one of these meetings is mandatory.

To learn about the program requirements, visit habitatdane.org.

Annual chili cookoff seeks chefs

On Feb. 7 from 6-8 p.m., the Essen Haus, 514 E. Wilson St., will host its second annual Mad City Chili Cookoff.

As many as 20 cooks may enter for the chance to win cash prizes. Organizers said smell, taste, heat balance, texture/mouthfeel and appearance are among this year's judging criteria.

Up to $200 will be awarded to both the judge's top pick and to the people's choice award.

A chili recipe and $20 are needed to enter the competition.

If you would like to enter the contest, email chili.essenhaus@gmail.com.

Entry fee to the event is $10 for adults and free for children ages 10 and under.

Click here for complete details.

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.

Goodman Community Center able to meet Thanksgiving goal

Goodman Community Center able to meet Thanksgiving goal

After concerns over being able to provide a Thanksgiving meal for 3,000 area families in need, the Goodman Community Center's executive director is happy to credit the community for helping them meet their goal.

"Today is great news," Becky Steinhoff said. "We provided to all 3,000 families who were on our list."

Even late last week, the Goodman Community Center's Fritz Food Pantry only had 2,100 turkeys. Thanks to the generosity of neighbors, more than 1,000 turkeys were donated over the last few days.

"It's probably 15,000-20,000 people who'll eat this Thanksgiving thanks to the generosity of our community. That's a lot of people," Steinhoff said.

With more than 100 extra turkeys, the Fritz Food Pantry has been able to also provide anyone who called-in or walked-in part of their meal.

Enjoy family fun at the Downtown Madison Family Halloween party

On Wednesday, Oct. 29, the city of Madison will be hosting a Halloween party for families to enjoy.

The party goes from 3-6 p.m. at the corner of State St. and the Capitol Square.

There are many free and low cost activities for families and kids 12 and under to get involved with. Some include magic shows, hayrides, crafts, spooky stories, art projects, festive Halloween photos, kids' musical theater, trick or treat at participating businesses and more!

You can pick up a full list of activities and trick or treating locations on Oct. 29 at the Downtown Visitor Center, 452 State St.

Don't forget to show off your spooky costumes at the party as well!

Downtown Halloween fun continues through that week with additional programs at the Wisconsin Historical Museum and Madison Children's Museum. Visit the downtown Madison website for links and information.