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Madison property values show first increase in recent years

Madison property values show first increase in recent years

Increasing Madison property values for both commercial and residential properties are a sign of an economic recovery, according to city officials.

The city announced Friday a 3.2 percent increase for the average residential property and 4 percent increase for commercial properties. The overall increase is 3.5 percent.

Property assessments are being mailed to property owners on Friday.

City officials said properties appreciated in value $345 million during 2013 compared to a $31 million drop during 2012. In 2008-2009, property values depreciated more than $1.1 billion.

New construction in 2013 was 75 percent higher than in 2012, spreading the tax burden across more properties.

Also, the tax burden continues to shift from residential to commercial properties. It has increased from 31 percent to 35 percent since 2007.

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Attendance up 2 percent at Midwest Horse Fair

Attendance was up this year at the Midwest Horse Fair in Madison.

Officials say despite rain and thunderstorms last weekend attendance hit nearly 55,000 people at the three-day fair, an increase of 2 percent over 2013.

According to the fair, the event's estimated economic impact on the Madison area was $8.4 million, which includes spending at local hotels, restaurants, shops and other businesses.

This year was the first time the event hosted two nights of PRCA Rodeo. Tickets nearly sold out for Friday night's rodeo and sold out on Saturday. The event also featured the world's tallest donkey and horse.

It was the third-highest attendance in the event's 35 year history. The most was in 2010 when 56,000 people attended.

Madison ranked greenest city in nation

With Earth Day just around the corner, a website has ranked Madison the greenest city in the nation.

VIEW GALLERY OF TOP 25 GREEN CITIES

The website Nerd Wallet looked at the 95 largest cities in America and measured air quality, alternative modes of travel and natural attributes like lakes, biking and hiking trails and local parks.

Jessi Claringbole, community relations manager at Madison Environmental Group, a consulting firm that urges companies to build and think green, said she?s not surprised Madison made the list, but there?s even more the city can be doing.

?If we could expand the metro offerings, have it to be more available to outlying neighborhoods, and they maybe connect with other communities. Maybe starting in Dane County and then kind of expanding from there,? Claringbole said.

Madison woman returns to Boston Marathon for 15th time

A Madison woman will make her 15th trip to the Boston Marathon this year, but she said this time it will be different.

Mary Tierney first qualified for the famous race in 2000 when she was 47 years old. She has qualified and completed the marathon every year since. The only exception was in 2012 when runners received a bye for heat conditions.

Last year Tierney was ready to make it her final run, but she never made it through the finish line.

In 2013 Tierney made plans to run with her younger sister. The pair took a picture a day before the race and planned to take another one after the race, but they never got the chance.

"We didn?t get it because she finished just before, maybe 20 minutes before the bomb went off, and I was running in," Tierney said.

When the two bombs went off at the finish line, Tierney and other runners came to a stop less than a mile away.

Madison libraries, streets division to host composting classes

Madison Public Library will be hosting a series of home composting classes led by the city of Madison Streets Division at four locations, according to a release.

The classes, being taught by Madison?s Recycling Coordinator George Dreckmann, cover home composting basics, an introduction to compostable materials, where to put your compost bin and how to tend to your compost, according to the release. Plans for building a compost bin will be available, and information about leaf management will be presented.

All classes are free of charge:

Madison Water Utility ends running water order

Hundreds of water customers in Madison who were asked to keep their water running this winter can finally turn their water off.

Madison Water Utility announced Monday the frost line has receded to the point where the more than 650 customers in high-risk areas can stop running a constant stream of water to avoid frozen laterals.

The request to run water started in February, and the utility thawed 300 frozen laterals. There are only a handful of frozen laterals during a typical winter, according to the utility.

Many of the high-risk areas are dead ends and cul-de-sacs.

Customers who were asked to run water will receive a credit on their next bill based on average water use over the last three years. The credit might extend beyond one billing cycle.

Other communities in southern Wisconsin have also been lifting running water orders as the ground thaws.

Officers, worker hit with man?s urine at detox facility, police say

Madison police said an incident reported last week involving a 60-year-old man who allegedly threw urine at police happened at a detox center.

Julius A. Wilson, 60, of Madison, is accused of throwing urine at two police officers and a treatment facility worker, according to a release from Madison police.

Police said the incident occurred at 1:27 a.m. on April 7, while the officers and a worker were trying to subdue Wilson at the facility on Industrial Drive. One of the officers and the facility worker said they were hit in the face with urine when the man threw a plastic receptacle at them. The other officer got urine on his uniform.

Wilson tried to punch the officers and grabbed the collar of one of the officers, damaging the officer's uniform, police said.

The officer and the staff member were treated at a local hospital for exposure to the urine, officials said.