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Friday, January 30, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 14.0° F  Fair
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Vince O'Hern sells Isthmus; Cost of security for governor and lieutenant governor tripled since Walker and Kleefisch took office; Wisconsin buys 70 miles of rail line

Thursday, 7.10

President Obama nominates Madison native John Tefft to be the Russian ambassador.

Vince O'Hern, Isthmus' founder and publisher, announces he has sold the business to Jeff Haupt, Mark Tauscher and Craig Bartlett, merging the company with Red Card Media.

City officials brief the Common Council on a new car sharing service, car2go, which wants to operate in Madison but first needs a change in state law. See Joe Tarr's report.

Saturday, 7.12

The Wisconsin State Journal reports that the cost of providing security for the governor and lieutenant governor has tripled since Scott Walker and Rebecca Kleefisch took office, growing from $657,457 in 2010 to $2.23 million last year. Senate Minority Leader Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee) criticizes the expense, saying, "We're paying some guy to stare at Scott Walker while he does junkets across the country trying to increase his tea party credentials." Well, it is one way to create jobs.

Monday, 7.14

Harper Lee issues a statement denying that she willingly participated in a book about her by Madison native Marja Mills. This week, Penguin released Mills' book, The Mockingbird Next Door: Life With Harper Lee, about the year and a half she spent living next to Lee and her sister, Alice, in Monroeville, Ala. Mills claims she had the sisters' blessing to write about them. But the reclusive Lee says, "Rest assured, as long as I am alive any book purporting to be with my cooperation is a falsehood."

Tuesday, 7.15

The U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago expedites an appeal to Judge Barbara Crabb's decision that Wisconsin's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, scheduling oral arguments for Aug. 13. Several states have appeals pending on same-sex marriage cases, but since the Wisconsin case has been expedited, it means it could be the one the U.S. Supreme Court takes up when it begins a new session in October. Andrew Coan, a UW-Madison Law School professor, tells the State Journal: "If a case is decided on an expedited schedule that increases the chances the Supreme Court would choose to use it as a vehicle for deciding the issue nationally."

Wednesday, 7.16

Wisconsin announces it has agreed to buy 70 miles of rail line, from Reedsburg to Madison and from Madison to Cottage Grove, for $30 million from the Union Pacific Railroad in order to strengthen the state's freight system.

UW-Madison announces that Aaron Olver, the city's director of economic development, has accepted a job as managing director of University Research Park.

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi proposes an extra $225,000 to increase staffing at the beleaguered 911 center.

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