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Madison mayor candidates tackle downtown issues

With incumbent Mayor Paul Soglin away on the East Coast on city business, his opponents took the podium at the Concourse Hotel Thursday night. The forum was focused on issues in downtown Madison.

Richard Brown, an accountant and former Dane County supervisor, stressed a strong fiscal backbone and faith-based connections in the community.

"We're going to do this through strong fiscal policy and partnerships and collaboration. I want to be your mayor because I've been placed in this situation just for a time like this. My background has done a lot of things," Brown said.

Christopher Daly talked about his activism and his desire to establish a public bank for the city of Madison to protect citizens from a pending economic downfall. He mentioned economic, social and environmental sustainability as important points on his platform.

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St. Mary's names interim president

St. Mary's Hospital has named an interim president to replace retiring Frank Byrne.

SSM Health Regional President of Hospital Operations in Wisconsin Damond Boatwright will run the hospital on an interim basis.

SSM Health said a national search will be conducted for a permanent replacement. In the meantime, Boatwright will work on the leadership transition, and will also continue to serve the region in his current role.

Boatwright led patient-centered care delivery at Overland Park Regional Medical Center in the Greater Kansas City metropolitan area since October 2011 and joined SSM Health in 2014.

WISC-TV executive, Madison business leader dies

George Nelson, a Madison business and community leader instrumental in the building of major civic projects, died Wednesday night. He was 76.

Nelson was a Morgan Murphy Media vice president for administration and finance for the Evening Telegram Company, the parent company of WISC-TV.

"George was as proud of WISC as we were of him," said Morgan Murphy Media President and CEO Elizabeth Murphy Burns. "He was an integral part of the community he loved and Channel 3. He will be missed by his family, his many friends, Madison, the station and me."

Retiring St. Mary's president has 'big heart'

Retiring St. Mary's president has 'big heart'

Dr. Frank Byrne says his weekend will go as it normally does.

He'll have breakfast at Mickie's Dairy Bar on Monroe Street with friends. He'll take in the Badger basketball game on TV against Iowa. He'll get out in the community later that evening and play music with his new band, the Grooving Needles, at Babe's on Schroeder Road.

It's when Monday hits that it will start to sink in.

"I was teasing some of my colleagues, 'What are you going to do if I actually show up next Monday?' Hopefully they won't call security."

Friday is Byrne's final day as president after more than 10 years of service at St. Mary's Hospital in Madison, capping a career of 40 years in healthcare. Byrne served as a critical care ICU physician prior to making the jump into hospital management in 1994, because healthcare was changing. "I felt someone who knew how to take care of a patient at 2 a.m. should be at the table where decisions were being made.," Byrne said.

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For many neighborhoods, accessing fresh food remains a challenge

For many neighborhoods, accessing fresh food remains a challenge

Food deserts abound in Madison, especially on north, south sides  

It's a struggle to find fresh and healthy food some areas in Madison, despite many big box grocery stores and 16 seasonal farmers' markets.

The closing of Walgreens on Verona Road at the end of 2014 has exposed the instability of south Madison's Allied Dunn's Marsh neighborhood. Though the neighborhood is biking distance from the Capitol, the amount of resources present in its immediate area are severely lacking.

Madison committee approves study on police body cams

Police officers in Madison are one meeting closer to wearing body cameras.

Members of the city's Board of Estimates unanimously voted to recommend a $30,000 study and ad hoc committee to take a closer look at how police body cameras would work in Madison. The proposal would also hire a project manager to oversee the process.

The proposal was put on the fast track by its authors, bypassing both the Equal Opportunities Committee and the Public Safety Review Committee to make it to the Board of Estimate Monday night. Alders said that was necessary to ensure the proposal reached City Council in a timely manner, allowing for the study to take place this summer.

While board members approved of the proposal Monday night, some voiced concern the move may be too fast for those still questioning cameras.

Man driving 100 mph on Beltline crashes, caught in foot chase

A Madison man was caught in a foot chase after going 100 mph on the Beltline and crashing into the back of a van Friday morning.

Madison police said Deontae M. Webster, 26, passed two detectives on the Beltline on the left side median next to the concrete barriers at 100 mph. He crashed into the back of a Badger Bus van near Verona Road at about 7:32 a.m.

The detectives chased Webster on foot until he was cornered in the stairwell of a building on Britta Parkway, police said. A large amount of cash and drugs were found in his car, according to the release.

The driver and a passenger in the van suffered non-life-threatening injuries. There were no children in the van.

The crash triggered two other crashes. No serious injuries were reported.

Webster was arrested on suspicion of second-degree reckless endangerment, operating while under the influence and on a parole hold.