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Meet the Meetups: My foray into the world of online social groups

Andrea Rutledge, 43, an organizer with Madison's Forever Young Meetup group, decided to become more active as she faced the prospect of the empty nest. "I knew my son would be graduating in a few years, and at that point my life had revolved around him," she says. Through the Forever Young group, Rutledge has since taken part in "lots of really fun activities that I'd never heard of before or done by myself." >More
 Madison Police investigation of Paul Heenan shooting offers explanations, spurs protest

A Madison Police Department internal investigation has determined that Officer Steven Heimsness did not violate any department policies or procedures when he shot east-side resident Paul Heenan to death in an early morning confrontation on Nov. 9. During a press conference Wednesday, Chief Noble Wray said the department plans to return Heimsness to patrol. >More
 Madison Common Council candidate Christian Hansen cries foul on incumbent Scott Resnick's nominating petitions

The race for alder in the heavily-student populated 8th district turned ugly this week, with a challenge to both Ald. Scott Resnick's nominating petitions and his integrity. Christian Hansen, who is challenging Resnick, filed a complaint with the city clerk's office this week, noting that Resnick's nominating petitions do not include the year in the date column, as required. >More
 Madison Police issue report finding Officer Steve Heimsness justified in shooting death of Paul Heenan

The Madison Police Department has found that the use of deadly force by Officer Steve Heimsness, when he shot and killed Paul Heenan outside a Baldwin Street home November 9, was "objectively reasonable and in compliance with Madison Department Policy." Chief Noble Wray released a 37-page report detailing the department's internal investigation of the shooting at a news conference Wednesday at the City-County Building. >More
 Wisconsin again increases spending on outside contractors in fiscal 2012

State bureaucrats, it seems, are less than enthusiastic about the law requiring an annual report itemizing how much Wisconsin spends contracting out work to various service providers. Under Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle, the report was submitted as late as seven weeks past its Oct. 15 due date. Republican Gov. Scott Walker proposed axing the requirement. Failing that, his administration turned in its first report, for fiscal 2011, more than eight months late and only after this column reported on the delay. >More
 Soglin to explore Wallace Foundation funding for after-school programs

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin will be meeting Thursday with the Wallace Foundation in New York City to talk about after-school and summer recreation programs. The foundation bills itself as a "national philanthropy that seeks to improve education and enrichment for disadvantaged children." Soglin was inspired to connect with the group at National League of Cities conference in Boston in early December. >More
 How secure are Madison-area schools?

In Madison and the surrounding area, where only a handful of school buildings were constructed in the post-Columbine age of school security, many facilities have been updated to increase safety. And schools are now being built to new safety standards, including Madison's Olson Elementary, Sun Prarie High School and two Sun Prairie elementary schools, says Luis Yudice, head of the Office of Safety and Security for Madison's schools, and Sun Prairie Deputy District Administrator Phil Frei. >More
 Late forms will keep two Madison Common Council candidates off the ballot (updated)

The long list of candidates running for Common Council this spring will apparently be two candidates shorter than expected. Madison City Clerk Maribeth Witzel-Behl said this morning that two candidates running for alder -- Colin Bowden and Arthur Kohl-Riggs -- will not be allowed on the ballot because they did not turn in statements of economic interest on time. >More
 Neighbor disputes Madison police account in Paul Heenan shooting

The owner of a home mistakenly entered by an intoxicated neighbor, who was shot and killed by a Madison police officer arriving on the scene, said he tried repeatedly to inform the officer that the intruder was someone known to him. "I remember yelling, 'He's a neighbor! He's a neighbor!'" Kevin O'Malley told the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, recounting events outside his east-side Madison home in the early morning hours of Nov. 9. >More
 Expansion of Meadowridge library branch on Madison's southwest side to proceed

The city is moving forward with a last-minute plan to expand the Meadowridge library branch at its current location on the southwest side. The proposal drew scrutiny from city alders but was ultimately approved by the Common Council during negotiations on the 2013 budget. >More
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