Morning Update: Friday, Feb. 18

Good morning, Madison!

In yesterday's newsletter, we wrote that incumbent school board president Ali Muldrow was "running for a seat unopposed."

A reader wrote us to point out that David Blaska has launched a write-in campaign to challenge Muldrow. That's true! We wrote about his announcement on Tuesday. His name won't be listed as an option on ballots, but he is running via write-in campaign.

A big thank you to the reader who took the time to write us.

Time for more news!

— Sam

⚖️ A judge found Monona police officers committed a “clear-cut violation of the Fourth Amendment” when they entered a home without a warrant and detained Keonte Furdge.

  • Police entered the home where Furdge was staying with guns drawn and briefly detained him in 2020. They did not have a warrant, and the judge said an application for one would have been "laughable" since there was no evidence of a crime being committed, Madison 365 reports.
  • Furdge, a Black man, told Madison 365 that he was scared for his life during the traumatic incident. The police department has publicly apologized for the incident. A trial will determine what damages Furdge will receive.

🚔 The jail update is that there's no update.

  • The Dane County Board of Supervisors voted last night to postpone a vote on a measure that could increase spending on a new jail facility by $24 million.
  • Advocates of the project say it will be more humane than existing facilities. Opponents point out that it's still a jail.
  • Officials say “recent market changes” are the reason for the increase in spending.

🎥 Market Square Cinema is now closed.

💰 Local libraries might be able to help you file your taxes for free.

  • The last time the library did a study, it found the assistance programs helped filers save $325,000 in fees in just one year.
  • "Assistance is available for individuals with disabilities, seniors, non-English speakers, and individuals who qualify for homestead credit or earned income credit," Madison Public Library's Tana Elias said.
  • Related: Here’s How TurboTax Just Tricked You Into Paying to File Your Taxes (ProPublica)

🌳 Time for some Extremely Local tree talk.

  • There’s a whole situation happening with a massive, 200+ year old white oak tree in the Atwood neighborhood.
  • "A number" of neighbors are worried that construction near the tree could damage it, the Cap Times reports.
  • Important to note: None of the parties are anti-tree. Nobody is threatening to cut down the tree, but there is disagreement over how construction should proceed.
  • The tree's safety advocates want construction moved further away from it. The people building the home want to stick to their original plans as much as possible. The Zoning Board of Appeals wants the builders to stay within regulations. So is there a way where everyone gets what they want? I guess we'll have to stay tuned.

🚴 BCycle is coming back next month.

  • The company says bikes will be available to rent again starting March 15.
  • The bikes are removed for the winter months each year.

🐈  "Blep edition"

😬 Oof. We've been in pandemic long enough to post throwback photos.

  • But these photos from PHMDC are still interesting! The Instagram post includes photos of agency's first vaccine shipment, the since-closed drive-thru testing site at Alliant, and this February 2020 Covid-19 taskforce meeting.

📚 Your lunchtime read: Madison photographer launches March Madness-style tournament fundraiser for dogs, dog lovers

  • From Madison 365: "Shalicia Johnson, a Madison photographer and lifelong pet lover, is giving people the opportunity to have their dog professionally photographed while directly raising funds for canine cancer research as she once again hosts a March Madness bracket-style competition to determine which dog will be the cutest canine in Wisconsin."

🦠 Covid-19 Update

Source: Public Health Madison & Dane County

Wisconsin Vaccination Rate: 60.1%

Dane County Vaccination Rate: 77.9%


Here's where to find a COVID-19 vaccine near you.

📅 The weekend

Friday, Feb. 18

Saturday, Feb. 19

Sunday, Feb. 20

Wondering what that 🟠 means?

That symbol next to an event listing means that Tone Madison’s team of writers and editors recommends checking it out. Tone knows Madison’s arts and music landscape better than anybody else.

Sign up for the Tone Madison weekly newsletter here.

(Header image courtesy of Bcycle.)