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Friday, December 26, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 36.0° F  Overcast

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Young and sober: A thriving movement provides support for clean living in Madison

On a frigid December day in 2004, 17-year-old Aaron Meyer came home from drug and alcohol treatment. He'd already been to hell and back in his short life, but things were going to be different now. He felt alive with hope and possibility. >More
 Bringing up baby, again: More grandparents are stepping in when parents check out

Single mom Sue Palm knew things were bad with her daughter, Tina, but at least she was getting help. Tina (whose name has been changed to protect her privacy, along with those of other children in this story) had long struggled with learning and behavioral issues, and eventually her father's death. >More
 Madison Birth Center blames its demise on HMO refusal to cover services

You'd think a free-standing birth center in progressive Madison, Wisconsin would be wildly successful, or at least comfortably sustainable. Not so, according to Jennifer Bell, who bought the Aszani Kunkler-founded Madison Birth Center in 2011 and announced its November closing on Tuesday night. >More
 Renovated downtown Madison branch will showcase the future of libraries

It's 4 p.m. on a Tuesday at the Goodman South Madison library on Park Street, and the brightly lit community room is packed with teenagers. A seated pair aim Wii controllers at the jumbo screen on the back wall, leaning to and fro in the synchronized sway of gamers everywhere. Another four sit focused in front of laptops, headsets firmly in place, pulling swigs on bottles of water or soda. >More
 Bringing sexy back: A vibrator developed in Madison restores pleasure for women following cancer and menopause

It's the kind of thing nobody talks about, the sort of life-altering, debilitating problem you don't know anything about until you're forced to know: the incredible pain and sexual dysfunction in women brought on by cancer treatment and, in many cases, menopause. The side effects of treatment, as well as lack of estrogen, can have a devastating impact on women, and in many ways the health care system is ill equipped to address sexual health in women unrelated to reproduction. >More
 Madison cooperatives offer an alternative to a system of haves and have-nots

Protesters flood the street, chants and song punctuated by drumming and the low, steady honk of a tuba. Sign after sign decries the attack against nurses, teachers and sanitation workers; others demand a living wage in bold letters. A man stands before a podium addressing the masses, crying, "Those who need the increases least get most, and those that need them most get least!" The crowd erupts in response. Sound familiar? >More
 How Safe Harbor helped Alex confront her history of sexual abuse

At first glance Alex looks like any other young adult. But if you sit with her for a while you can see the little girl she was. There is a slight tremor to her fingers as she swipes back her bangs, a self-protective hunch to her shoulders. Her dress is a fabric garden planted with hundreds of tiny, perfect daisies. What she has to say is shocking. "My dad started sexually abusing me when I was 4 years old," says Alex, now 18. "I was terrified of him my whole life." >More
 Kaleem Caire: Change agent

It's 8 p.m. on South Park Street, just off the Beltline, and the November night is dark and cold. But from the inside of the slick new Center for Economic Development and Workforce Training, home to the Urban League of Greater Madison, it looks and feels much warmer. The first-floor library is packed, with men sunk into plush armchairs with laptops and books and kids gathered near the fireplace. Kaleem Caire looks around, pleased. >More
 Scott Anderson is loved by his God

Scott Anderson, 54, a Madison resident, lifelong Presbyterian and current executive director of the Wisconsin Council of Churches, had completed all of the necessary requirements for ordination. His résumé was spectacular: a Princeton Theological Seminary graduate, 25-plus years in the field, a wealth of ecumenical service and a glowing list of referrals. There was just one problem: Anderson was openly engaging in a same-sex relationship with his partner of nearly 20 years. >More
 Beware of cyberbullies

Even looking back on it now, Deb Archer did everything right. Like most parents today, the Dane County working mother carefully tiptoed the line between Internet safety and privacy. Archer put the family computer in her home office, where she could keep a casual but deliberate eye on her 16-year-old daughter's Internet activities. And while her daughter's Facebook account was set to private, Archer had the password. She didn't check, though, in an act of trust. >More
 Comforting the afflicted

Pam Thompson's February 2006 breast cancer diagnosis had been the shock of her life. But after a year of treatment, she thought the worst was over. The 50-year-old Sun Prairie woman had no idea a fight remained, on a front she never expected. >More
 Taking it personally

She'd known for about a year. Not in the clinical, definitive sense to which she was accustomed, but in the instinctual sense, in her gut. The year before, in 1995, when Heidi Nass was 32, she spent a week in the hospital with the worst case of flu of her life. It turned out to be an acute retroviral syndrome -- an illness she knew was common at the onset of HIV. >More
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