A heads up from us

Morning update: Wednesday, Oct. 26

A heads up from us

Happy Wednesday, Madison!

Today, Sam and I are traveling to Austin, Texas, AKA the Madison of the South.

Why? We're attending the Independent News Sustainability Summit so we can learn from industry professionals how make this newsletter better for you and how to make the Madison Minutes business one that sticks around for the long haul.

We're going to try to take in as much as possible over the next few days, so there won't be any more newsletters this week. But don't worry, we'll be back soon!

— Hayley

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🦁 The results of the Henry Vilas Zoo investigation are in.

  • The county commissioned an independent investigation of the Henry Vilas Zoo following allegations of racism and animal neglect.
  • The results of the investigation found no evidence of discrimination, hostile work environment, or violations of the Dane County Employee Handbook. But, according to the county, the investigation did find "some evidence of isolated past issues with animal treatment that have been investigated and/or are being resolved."
  • The report included 10 recommendations to improve the work environment at the county-owned zoo.

🌮 La Pollera Colombiana is officially open.

  • The former site of OM Indian Fusion Cuisine at 3579 E. Washington Ave. is once again a restaurant. According to the State Journal, the Colombian restaurant La Pollera Colombiana opened Monday. The new spot is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily.
Image via Dane County Sheriff

🚨 The Sheriff wants you to tour the county jail.

  • The Dane County Sheriff's Office is offering tours of the troubled downtown facility. In a Facebook post, the office said it wants residents to see the space firsthand.
  • Some context: The facility has been a source of debate for years. The county's Jail Consolidation Project aims to modernize the space, which has a documented history of safety issues that affect both jail staff and residents. Some parts of the jail were built in the 1950s. Opponents of the renovation plan have argued the county's funds should be put toward services to help keep people out of jail.
  • In addition to community opposition, the project is facing setbacks because of its rising price tag. In August, the County Board of Supervisors rejected a proposal that would have asked voters to approve more funding for the project. Its current cost is estimated at roughly $176 million.
  • Further reading: 'A crisis moment': With no clear plan, Dane County Jail project at a crossroads (Wisconsin State Journal)

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Photo by Hayley Sperling

🩺 The county is considering covering employee travel expenses for abortions.

  • Dane County Sup. Mike Bare introduced a budget amendment that, if passed, would "reimburse Dane County employees for travel expenses to travel out of state for abortion care."
  • According to the county, its employee health insurance provider does not provide travel benefits to obtain abortion services. The proposed amendment would allow the county to contract with a vendor to cover transportation, accommodation, and related costs. The budget is expected to be finalized by November.

🎙 Your lunchtime read: 'It’s going to be meaningful.' Bianca Martin to host daily local podcast launching next month.

  • Via Madison365: "Bianca Martin is a 'full, across-the-board nerd.'

    At least, that’s how she styled herself in an interview Monday ahead of the launch of City Cast Madison, the daily podcast she’ll host beginning next month.

    Martin said she started the Chess Club and Science Club at Baraboo High School, and went on to the University of Wisconsin where she couldn’t quite decide what to do next."
🗳️
Are you ready to vote? The election is Nov. 8 and MyVote.wi.gov is your one-stop shop for all election information. We've also pulled a few extra links for specific questions. Happy voting!

Read our voting guide here.
Check your voter registration here.
Get the details on voter IDs here.
Meet the candidates here.
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🦠 Covid-19 update

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Morning update: Tuesday, Oct. 25