Good morning, Madison!

It's Thursday and I've got a little update on our journey to releasing your ultimate events calendar.

As of this moment we're only four people away from meeting our goal of 200 paying Madison Minutes members.

This is huge. So many of you have stepped up to support our work and help make this resource available to the whole community. But we can't claim victory on this endeavor quite yet.

If you've been on the fence about becoming a paying member — and I get it — let me give you a few reasons to help sweeten the deal.

Your contributions directly support our work. You won't find any hedge funds, venture capitalists, or wizards behind the Madison Minutes curtain. It's just me and Sam (and all of you, of course).

Local journalism needs help. Since the pandemic started, more than 100 local newsrooms across the country have vanished. That's a terrifying number. While we work with local advertisers to bring in revenue, the pandemic has shown us it's never a good idea to keep all of your eggs (revenue) in one basket (advertising).

The calendar kicks ass. The calendar we've built is sleek, uncluttered, and easily searchable.

Are you ready to step up and help our Madison Minutes team cross the figurative finish line?

— Hayley


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Photo by Glen Carrie / Unsplash

🗳️ Who's still in the running?

  • The Aug. 9 primary is right around the corner and the field of candidates vying for various offices looks much different than it did even last week. Here's a quick look at who's still in and who's out of the races.
  • Democrats running for Senate: This week alone two top contenders in the field for U.S. Senate ended their campaigns. Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson announced his departure from the race Monday and has endorsed Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes for the Democratic nomination. Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry suspended his campaign Wednesday and has also voiced his support for Barnes. This leaves just Barnes and State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski as the frontrunners in the primary. The winner of the primary will face off against Sen. Ron Johnson in the general election.
  • Republicans running for governor: Former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, businessman Tim Michels, and state Rep. Timothy Ramthun are the front runners in the Republican bid to unseat Democratic Gov. Tony Evers. This week, Kleefisch picked up an endorsement from U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, who won Wisconsin’s 2016 presidential primary. Kleefisch also announced an endorsement from former Vice President Mike Pence. Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump will be in the state stumping for Michels, whom he endorsed in June.
  • Republicans running for attorney general: There are three Republican candidates in the running to take on Democrat incumbent Josh Kaul in the race for attorney general. The three-way race is between former state lawmaker Adam Jarchow, conservative lawyer Karen Mueller, and Fond du Lac County District Attorney Eric Toney. Learn more about where they all stand on the issues in this piece from the Wisconsin State Journal.
  • Related: You voted early, and then your candidate dropped out. Now what? (Cap Times)

💰 Madison Metropolitan School District staff will get a 3% base wage increase.

  • The Madison School Board Wednesday night officially approved a 3% base wage increase for MMSD staff.
  • The 3% raise is an increase from the 2% the district initially proposed in April but below the maximum 4.7% teachers had been fighting for.
  • Union officials say they worry about the future of staff retention and hiring without better wages. The State Journal reports the Milwaukee, Green Bay, Kenosha, and Oshkosh school boards have all approved 4.7% wage increases for staff.
Image via Lamar Johnson Collaborative

🏠 Goodbye Buckingham’s, hello more apartments.

  • Earlier this week, the city's Plan Commission approved a Chicago developer's request to demolish multiple buildings at the corner of Park and Regent streets, including a small church, a former Italian deli, two houses, and Buckingham’s Bar and Grill.
  • Developers want to construct a 10-story mixed-use building with apartments, retail, and parking in the space.
  • City Council still needs to give its blessing of approval before the project can proceed but with no apparent major roadblocks, developers hope to begin construction in the fall and open the building in 2024, the State Journal reports.

🥜 Nutkrack is expanding production.

  • The east side specialty nut maker has plans to vastly increase its production with a new 19,000-square-foot production facility in Cottage Grove, Cap Times reports.
  • Don't worry, the Atwood shop isn't going anywhere. Moving production to Cottage Grove will just help free up some much-needed space at the current location, which is on track to produce 90,000 pounds of pecans this year. For context, Cap Times reports Nutkrack expects to grow its annual production to 900,000 pounds within five years at the new facility.

🪪 Still need a voter ID?

  • The Wisconsin Department of Transportation will provide voters with free IDs ahead of the Aug. 9 primary. If you still need an ID, head to the DMV with the proper documentation to get the process started.
  • Some context: Wisconsin requires a photo ID to vote in elections. Acceptable IDs include Wisconsin driver's licenses, Wisconsin DOT-issued identification cards, U.S. passports, and military ID cards. Click here for a full list of acceptable voter IDs.
Photo by Diana Parkhouse / Unsplash

🦌 Registration is open for the Wisconsin Deer Hunt for Hunters With Disabilities.

  • Eligible hunters with disabilities have until Sept. 1 to register to participate in this fall's deer hunt.
  • The Wisconsin Deer Hunt for Hunters With Disabilities takes place Oct. 1-9. For more details on the event and registration from the Wisconsin DNR, head here.

🥡 Your lunchtime read: Madison entrepreneur looking for community support to launch city’s first Black woman-owned vegan food truck.

  • Via Madison365: "Daijah Birchette has always had a love for cooking delicious meals. For the past five years, she has had a dream of having her own food truck and, eventually, her own restaurant that specializes in the vegan dishes that she creates. Now, she’s looking to the greater Madison community to help support her in that dream.

    Birchette, 26, who was born and raised on Madison’s south side, cooks every day for her family of four little girls and her partner, Andrew. She says she has learned through trial and error about veganism, plant based foods, health, agriculture and so much more."
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