The tiny new face of Henry Vilas Zoo
An African pygmy hedgehog will soon have a new home at the Henry Vilas Zoo.
Quillbur the hedgehog will become one of the zoo's "animal ambassadors" and help educate people about animals.
The spiky creature was given up for adoption at an exotic pet surrender event hosted by J&R Aquatic Animal Rescue. The nonprofit organization is the state's largest exotic animal rescue and has re-homed over 400 exotic animals so far this year.
"This is the ideal situation," nonprofit Director John Moyles told Channel 3000. "We have these events because, with exotic pets, people don't often have a lot of resources when they can't care for them anymore."
We love a story with a happy ending.
🚫 Street closures of note.
- East Washington Avenue: North Few Street will be closed between Curtis Court and East Washington Avenue. North Dickinson Street will be closed at East Washington Avenue. Both closures will last for a month as crews work on Bus Rapid Transit-related construction. A walking route will remain open during construction.
- Atwood Avenue: Southbound lanes of Atwood Avenue from Oakridge Avenue to Cottage Grove Road will close Thursday after the morning commute. The closure will restrict traffic to one northbound lane. Buses will use alternate routes. You can all of the traffic change details here.
🛒 An update on the long-awaited south side grocery store.
- After years of back and forth, the city announced it has reached an agreement with a local grocer to open a full-service, 24,000-square-foot store by the end of the year.
- If all goes to plan, Maurer's Urban Market will be the commercial anchor tenant of the $42 million redevelopment on Park Street, which is also set to bring 150 units of affordable housing.
- Some background: Finding a grocer to fill the space has been a priority for city officials ever since development plans put the neighborhood at risk of losing its only full-service grocery store and becoming a food desert.
🎓 Tuition could go up for UW students.
- University of Wisconsin System President Jay Rothman announced plans for a 5% tuition increase next school year. If approved, this would be the first time in roughly a decade that tuition has changed for in-state undergraduates.
- Rothman told the state Assembly's committee universities committee the increase would raise about $38 million annually and help cover annual staff pay increases across the system, according to AP.
- Some context: Republican lawmakers froze tuition at UW System's four-year universities in 2013 as part of the state budget. The decision was made after a memo showed the system had $648 million in reserve funds, most of which came from unspent tuition, according to WPR. The freeze was lifted in 2021.
- How much is college anyway? In-state tuition at UW-Madison for this academic year is $9,273.36. This does not include housing, meal plans, books, or supplies.
📊 The Madison Black Chamber of Commerce is starting a new accelerator program.
- The 12-week accelerator program and month-long incubator program are meant to help minority entrepreneurs, startups, and existing businesses grow.
- The chamber is looking to recruit eight to 10 companies for the initial cohort but hopes to put more than 100 businesses through the accelerator program over the next 18 months, according to Blueprint365.
- "The idea is to make sure that businesses, specifically Black and other BIPOC businesses are not just surviving, but figuring out how to make sure that they’re thriving. We’ve developed a 12-week program to essentially make them loan or investment ready, really put them on a path for growth," local CEO and program organizer Dan Guerra told the outlet.
- The program is open to businesses anywhere in southwestern Wisconsin, including Dane County.
❄️ How MMSD is making up for snow days.
- Madison Metropolitan School District officials recently announced students will have to put in some extra hours outside of the classroom starting next month to compensate for snow days.
- All K-12 students will have 60 minutes of asynchronous learning on Mondays from April 3 to June 5. Additionally, April 10, which was previously a day off, will be a full day of asynchronous learning.
- Asynchronous learning is schoolwork completed "without a teacher necessarily present," according to The Cap Times.
- On top of that: The district has already made May 26 a regular school day instead of a day off and added five minutes to the end of the day for middle schoolers to make up for earlier snow days.
🎙️ Today on City Cast Madison
160 Movies, Seven Screens, One Week+: WI Film Festival
Spring is just a few weeks away and in Madison, that always means…. the Wisconsin Film Festival! Each April, one of the largest campus film festivals in the country takes over theaters across Madison. This year, they’re showing more than a hundred films in five theaters from April 13 to 20.
The Wisconsin Film Festival guide hits newsstands on Thursday; find it in the March issue of Isthmus. Tickets go on sale Saturday, March 11th, at noon.
Operations director Ben Reiser gives us the sneak peek about what’s coming up.
- Arkansauce at High Noon Saloon
- Bach Around The Clock Festival: Just Bach Concert at Luther Memorial Church
- Clean Lakes 101: The Lake Mendota Dugout Canoe Discovery at the Edgewater. Virtual option available.
- Trivia at Starkweather Brewing Company
- Presentation: “The Pitfalls of Not Being Scientific About Science Communication…Especially After Covid.” Virtual and in-person options available.
- Morgan Wade at The Sylvee
- Q-Cinema: Tár (2022) at OutReach LGBTQ+ Community Center
- Bach Around The Clock Festival: Sean Kleve at Hamel Music Center
- Ben Ferris // Jason Kutz Duo at Leopold's Book Bar and Caffè
- Music Bingo at Starkweather Brewing Company
- Plant & Sip - Succulent Bar at Delta Beer Lab
- Presentation: Running Deep: Understanding Water to Understand Our Future. Virtual and in-person options available.
- Sarah Silverman at Orpheum Madison
- Spoken Word Night hosted by Rob DZ at Cafe CODA
- Presentation: What Do We Know about PFAS in Wisconsin's Surface Water and Fish? at the UW–Madison Arboretum
⏪ Yesterday's news
- Mark your calendar for a Wisconsin Supreme Court debate.
- The city has plans to sue Kia and Hyundai.
- Today is the big day for local nonprofits.
- Turnover at the top of Badger men’s hockey.
- Your lunchtime read: For Madison indie horror filmmakers, abandoned convent is a godsend.