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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.

For many neighborhoods, accessing fresh food remains a challenge

For many neighborhoods, accessing fresh food remains a challenge

Food deserts abound in Madison, especially on north, south sides  

It's a struggle to find fresh and healthy food some areas in Madison, despite many big box grocery stores and 16 seasonal farmers' markets.

The closing of Walgreens on Verona Road at the end of 2014 has exposed the instability of south Madison's Allied Dunn's Marsh neighborhood. Though the neighborhood is biking distance from the Capitol, the amount of resources present in its immediate area are severely lacking.

Burglar causes $1,800 damage but takes nothing from shops

Burglar causes $1,800 damage but takes nothing from shops

A man broke into two near west Madison businesses early Sunday causing property damage, police said.

Madison police said a burglar used a flower pot to break windows of an ice cream shop and a gift-and-game store at 12:30 a.m.

Surveillance video showed the burglar enter the Chocolate Shoppe, then enter the business next door, Whoops & Co., according to the report.

Police said it didn't appear the burglar stole anything from the stores, but property damage from the broken windows was estimated at $1,800.

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.

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.

Woman makes 3 drive-thru purchases using 3 fake $20s, police say

Woman makes 3 drive-thru purchases using 3 fake $20s, police say

A woman went through an east Madison fast-food drive-thru paying with counterfeit bills three times in the same day, according to police. 

The Madison Police Department said a woman used fake $20 bills to purchase inexpensive food items at Wendy's on East Washington Avenue on Wednesday afternoon. The woman, driving an older red SUV, made three separate purchases within an hour.

The manager going through the cash from the till found the fake bills and called police, according to the report. The manager said the restaurant's protocol is to ink test large bills, but the three bills that were accepted were not tested.

The woman is described as white, in her 20s to 30s, with long dirty blonde hair and a tattoo on her upper right chest.

Two of the fake $20s had the serial number JE58590236C; the other bill had the number JD95368601C, police said.