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Madison property values show first increase in recent years

Madison property values show first increase in recent years

Increasing Madison property values for both commercial and residential properties are a sign of an economic recovery, according to city officials.

The city announced Friday a 3.2 percent increase for the average residential property and 4 percent increase for commercial properties. The overall increase is 3.5 percent.

Property assessments are being mailed to property owners on Friday.

City officials said properties appreciated in value $345 million during 2013 compared to a $31 million drop during 2012. In 2008-2009, property values depreciated more than $1.1 billion.

New construction in 2013 was 75 percent higher than in 2012, spreading the tax burden across more properties.

Also, the tax burden continues to shift from residential to commercial properties. It has increased from 31 percent to 35 percent since 2007.

Madison ranked greenest city in nation

With Earth Day just around the corner, a website has ranked Madison the greenest city in the nation.

VIEW GALLERY OF TOP 25 GREEN CITIES

The website Nerd Wallet looked at the 95 largest cities in America and measured air quality, alternative modes of travel and natural attributes like lakes, biking and hiking trails and local parks.

Jessi Claringbole, community relations manager at Madison Environmental Group, a consulting firm that urges companies to build and think green, said she?s not surprised Madison made the list, but there?s even more the city can be doing.

?If we could expand the metro offerings, have it to be more available to outlying neighborhoods, and they maybe connect with other communities. Maybe starting in Dane County and then kind of expanding from there,? Claringbole said.

Officers focus on 3 areas to enforce speed, red-light-turn laws

Officers focus on 3 areas to enforce speed, red-light-turn laws

Police said officers are focusing on three areas of Madison this week to reduce traffic violations.

The Madison Police Department's traffic enforcement safety team will enforce speed limits on the eastbound Beltline Highway on Madison's west side and on the north side on Wright Street, according to a statement released Tuesday.

Officers will also be enforcing restrictions on East Washington Avenue in areas where right turns at red lights are restricted.

The special enforcement team regularly conducts targeted patrols to promote compliance with traffic laws.

Stolen pickup linked to robbery, images released

The Dane County Sheriff's Office has released images from a gas station robbery and confirmed a stolen truck was connected to the robbery.

Deputies said a gloved, masked and armed man robbed a gas station in the town of Burke Tuesday morning. Around 3:50 a.m., deputies responded to reports of an armed robbery at the TA Travel Center on Highway 51, according to a release.

Two employees were approached by a gloved and masked man who had a handgun and demanded money, officials said. The man fled with an undisclosed amount of money to a pickup truck waiting outside with a second man in the driver seat.

Just before 8 a.m. a resident of the town of Windsor reported their truck stolen, according to the release. Detectives believe the robbers stole the truck from the town of Windsor before robbing the gas station. They since confirmed that suspicion.

The stolen vehicle was recovered and returned to its owner.

Madison woman returns to Boston Marathon for 15th time

A Madison woman will make her 15th trip to the Boston Marathon this year, but she said this time it will be different.

Mary Tierney first qualified for the famous race in 2000 when she was 47 years old. She has qualified and completed the marathon every year since. The only exception was in 2012 when runners received a bye for heat conditions.

Last year Tierney was ready to make it her final run, but she never made it through the finish line.

In 2013 Tierney made plans to run with her younger sister. The pair took a picture a day before the race and planned to take another one after the race, but they never got the chance.

"We didn?t get it because she finished just before, maybe 20 minutes before the bomb went off, and I was running in," Tierney said.

When the two bombs went off at the finish line, Tierney and other runners came to a stop less than a mile away.

Dept. of Public Health looks for pit bull that bit man

The Department of Public Health is looking for a dog that bit a man Friday around 6 p.m. at the PDQ gas station on North Third Street in Madison, according to a release.

The man told officials he was petting the brindle pit bull when it bit him.

The dog was on a leash and was with another dog, a Jack Russell terrier, according to the release. The person holding the leashes is described as a black girl in her teens with long, straight hair.

Officials ask anyone with information regarding the incident to call the police and fire dispatcher at 608-255-2345 and ask for the animal services officer.

Madison libraries, streets division to host composting classes

Madison Public Library will be hosting a series of home composting classes led by the city of Madison Streets Division at four locations, according to a release.

The classes, being taught by Madison?s Recycling Coordinator George Dreckmann, cover home composting basics, an introduction to compostable materials, where to put your compost bin and how to tend to your compost, according to the release. Plans for building a compost bin will be available, and information about leaf management will be presented.

All classes are free of charge: