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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.

No injuries reported in chemical spill at Oscar Mayer

No injuries reported in chemical spill at Oscar Mayer

No one was injured in a chemical spill at Oscar Mayer on Madison's north side Wednesday afternoon, according to a release from the Madison Fire Department.

The Madison Fire Department Hazardous Incident Team was dispatched to Oscar Mayer Foods at 910 Mayer Avenue just before 3 p.m. for reports of a chemical reaction, officials said.

An employee reported accidentally mixing lactic acid and sodium nitrate, according to the release. The employee moved the 35 gallon barrel of the mixture outside of the factory and called 911.

After researching the materials, crews determined the materials react when mixed together, producing heat and acid fumes, officials said.

HIT team members neutralized the reaction using soda ash while wearing protective clothing and air packs, according to the release. Firefighters also monitored the air quality during the incident.

Nearly 50 restaurants offer fare for summer's 'Restaurant Week'

Nearly 50 area eateries will take part in a semi-annual area food event next week. 

Madison Magazine's summer season Restaurant Week runs July 20-25. Forty-seven restaurants from Madison, Middleton, Verona and Fitchburg will offer special menus during the week. Each menu features three courses for a fixed price that shows off the eatery's culinary specialty and offers diners the opportunity to sample new or favorite cuisines from local establishments. 

Executive Chef Charles Lazzareschi at Dayton Street Grille in downtown Madison previewed some of the restaurant's planned menu. Dayton Street Grille is offering House Cured Salmon Spring Rolls as one of three appetizer options on the dinner menu.