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Friday, December 26, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 45.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
The Daily


Tobacco subsidies: The USDA rules and how they worked

Federal price-support legislation helped farmers of all stripes who were reeling under the pressure of the Great Depression. Here's how the tobacco subsidy system worked. >More
 Tobacco epitomizes the 'botany of desire'

Tobacco is native to the Americas, like its sister plant the potato, and most likely originated in Peru. It was considered a medicine in ancient times, and really still is, at root, a nicotine delivery device. >More
 Tobacco in Wisconsin: A timeline

Here's an outline of important events in Wisconsin's long tobacco history, covering business, agriculture and regulation. >More
 Turning leaves into cash: Tobacco farming in Dane County, Wisconsin

Parts of Wisconsin are extremely conducive to growing tobacco, including the south-central part of the state. But it can be tough on the land, sucking micronutrients out of the soil, and it is tillage-intensive as well. >More
 Madison's dirty jobs

You think cleaning your garage or policing your backyard for dog poop is a dirty job? If so, you really need to read this article. Modern life is full of truly dirty jobs, and Isthmus set out to find some of the nastiest ones and the people who tackle them. From cleaning up crime scenes to mucking out cages at the zoo, these are jobs most of us would never consider doing. But here's the kicker: Many of these workers love their dirty jobs. >More
 My life as a carny

In late July, just ahead of a four-day festival in Dane County, Corina Wenzel rallied her crew of 16 carnies. After setting up the bunkhouses, affixing the water hoses and connecting to the electric grid, the crew was moments away from being cut loose for the day in a new city. But not before a little pep talk. >More
 In defense of Madison

"Good news always sleeps 'til noon." That small piece of wisdom from Margo Timmins applies to my job pretty well. When my phone rings in the wee hours of the morning, it's never the comptroller telling me we've kept our Aaa bond rating, or the parks superintendent calling to say the golf courses made money last year. >More
 Sex for sale in Madison

"Donna" has spent most of her life as a prostitute. She started sleeping with men for money at 21 and didn't quit until last December, at the age of 57. She remembers walking King Street, back when it used to be Madison's seedy red-light district. "I hate to glorify it," she says of that era. "There was a lot of money out there, a lot of girls making a lot of money." >More
 Taking on Bishop Morlino

Jim Beyers is a lifelong Catholic and proud of it. He loves his church and what he feels it stands for -- "justice and service to others." He's been active in many parish ministries and was the CEO of a Catholic hospital for 13 years. But there is one thing that Beyers, like some other local Catholics, does not like about his church: its leader, Madison Bishop Robert Morlino. >More
 How Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett gets elected governor of Wisconsin

The email from the Republican partisan might as well have had a sound file attached of him laughing and chortling. He was among a number of activists -- Democrats and Republicans alike -- whom I asked how Democratic gubernatorial nominee Tom Barrett might pull off a win in what looks to be a deliciously good GOP year. >More
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