Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle delivers a downbeat State of the State speech, calling this "a time of sacrifice," not "big new programs." His to-do list includes sobriety checkpoints, a statewide smoking ban, mandatory insurance coverage for autism and, Republicans say, oodles of new taxes.
MATC unveils a 10-year master plan that recommends turning the Mitby Theater into a welcome center. All the world's a stage.
The Wisconsin Natural Resources Board yanks trumpeter swans and ospreys from the state's list of endangered and threatened species. Cheeseheads rejoice, 'cause "Them's mighty good eatin'."
The Legislative Fiscal Bureau rejects predictions of a $346 million state budget shortfall this fiscal year. Woo-hoo! The actual deficit will be $593 million. D'oh!
Local writer and radio host Judith Strasser dies of cancer at age 64. Strasser wrote a stunning memoir, Black Eye, about her escape from an abusive marriage, and a recent book, Facing Fear, about her battle with cancer. A memorial is set for Feb. 14 at First Unitarian Society, 1 p.m.
In yet another Craigslist-related crime, a couple was beaten and robbed on Madison's far east side, where they went to deliver a TV they'd offered for sale on the shadowy Internet service. Two men attacked the couple and stole the TV, pistol-whipping one of the victims. That's what can happen when you use Craigslist!
Clara Penniman, a local scholar and historian who in 1963 became the first female chair of the UW-Madison's political science department, dies of pneumonia in Madison. She was 94.
An estimated 800 anti-abortion activists protest plans to offer second-trimester abortions at the Madison Surgery Center. Meriter surgeon Dr. William Evans assures the crowd that a growing number of local physicians "are just beginning to get the courage" to oppose the plan. Or not.
After a day and night of Super Bowl-occasioned drinking, Jimmy the Groundhog crawls out of his hole and upchucks. Six more weeks of winter.
Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk files campaign finance reports showing that she raised almost $136,000 in the second half of 2008 and has $215,265 cash on hand. Challenger Nancy Mistele raised $16,270 during this period and has $16,270 cash on hand. Let the spending begin! (Did we mention that newspaper ads are an excellent value?)
Madison Symphony Orchestra musicians vote 43-36 to unionize, joining the American Federation of Musicians. See web report here.
The Madison Common Council yanks the liquor license of A Place for Friends, a north-side bar, for being "disorderly or riotous," rejects plans by the Alexander Co. to build an 18-unit apartment building behind a Langdon Street frat house, and green-lights a gay bar in the old Star Photo building on Willy Street.
A state Assembly committee unanimously approves a rule against fundraising during budget negotiations; it applies only to Assembly members, not the Senate or governor. One step at a time.
Compiled from local media