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Thursday, August 28, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 67.0° F  Overcast
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Tim Cullen explains his break with Wisconsin Senate Democrats

State Sen. Tim Cullen of Janesville announced today that he is leaving the Democratic caucus after being snubbed on committee assignments, erasing the Democrats' new majority in the Senate. >More
 Frac sand sites double in Wisconsin, raising environmental concerns

Tucked behind a hill in rural Trempealeau County, farmland undergoes an industrial transformation. Outside Blair, a city of 1,300, Preferred Sands turns Wisconsin's sandy soil into a hot commodity. A wall of green trees opens to a vast expanse of sand buzzing with activity. Excavators mine and conveyors carry the sand from towering stockpiles up into the processing plant. Every week, this facility ships 7,500 tons of sand by rail to oil and gas fields in Texas, North Dakota and Pennsylvania. >More
 Private well owners balk at connecting to Madison water system

Private well owners are concerned about city ordinance amendments that would require them to connect to the city's water mains. "I think there needs to be a logical transition from wells to city water," said Joe Grande, water quality manager for the Madison Water Utility, at an informational meeting Monday evening. >More
 Wisconsin progressives take on election fraud, not to be confused with voter fraud

In a few weeks, a group of volunteers will don latex gloves, huddle around a table in downtown Madison under the watchful eyes of election clerks and start counting -- by hand -- a select group of ballots cast in the June 5 recall elections. >More
 Wisconsin gay rights law passed with GOP support. What?

Former state Rep. David Clarenbach was feted July 9 at a reception at Quivey's Grove hosted by OutReach. The occasion was the 30th anniversary of Wisconsin's gay rights law, which Clarenbach sponsored. >More
 Wisconsin railroad commissioner likely to close South Livingston on Madison's east side

The Office of the Commissioner of Railroads is set to close Livingston Street at the Wisconsin & Southern Railroad crossing Madison's near east side. However, it would leave the crossings at South Brearly and South Blount Streets open. It also could rule to open a crossing at Few Street, which dead ends at the city's proposed Central Park, for bicycles and pedestrians. >More
 Fundraising donations, personal cash flow into Wisconsin congressional campaigns

This Modern World, the biting satirical cartoon by the pseudonymous Tom Tomorrow, recently proposed streamlining the American political process. "Take elections," mused the strip's narrator. "They're such an inefficient way to purchase a government! That's why we'll be replacing them with eBay auctions! Simple and straightforward -- highest bidder wins! You probably won't even notice the difference." >More
 Madison task force recommends removal and chemical treatments to fight emerald ash borer

While neither the insect nor its larvae have been detected in Dane County, Karl van Lith, a member of Madison's EAB task force, says it's likely they're here. The task force has preemptively made four recommendations in an attempt to mitigate the impact of EAB, according the task force's June report. >More
 Madison landlords say they won't provide tenants voter registration forms despite proposed city mandate

Some Madison landlords are criticizing a proposed ordinance that would require property owners to provide new tenants with voter registration forms. With 12 co-sponsors, the ordinance is expected to pass when the Common Council votes on the measure at Tuesday's meeting. >More
 New Madison Public Library director Greg Mickells got his start converting card catalogs into a database

Greg Mickells will take the reins of the Madison Public Library at the beginning of September. Under the terms of his five-year contract, expected to be approved by the Common Council, the new director will make $115,000 a year. Isthmus called Mickells in Lincoln, Nebraska, where he currently works as the assistant library director for Lincoln City Libraries, to learn about what he likes to read and what he thinks is next for libraries. >More
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