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GREEN BAY - Survey: Green Bay nonprofits' financial strength improving
Area nonprofits say they’re in better financial shape than any other time since the economic recession of 2008, according to a newly released survey.
 
Nonprofits in Northeastern Wisconsin said they are better able to keep up with demand for services and are attracting more donations as well as doing more collaboration with other agencies to streamline services, according to the 2014 Nonprofits and the Economy Survey.

However, they’re still concerned about their ability to keep up with fundraising as costs rise, and they’re having difficulty attracting talented individuals to serve on their governing boards.

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MADISON - Madison only latest fight for Uber, Lyft
Uber and Lyft are banned in St. Louis and Miami, while California officials have created new state regulations to accommodate the ride-sharing companies.
 
Taxi drivers sued the city of Chicago over what they called a weak proposal to regulate ride sharing, while authorities in Philadelphia cited drivers and impounded their cars in a sting operation last year.

Minneapolis officials have taken a hard line against the companies. Across the river in St. Paul, they’ve been embraced.

The controversy over ride-sharing companies, which use smartphone apps to match riders with drivers using their private cars, is relatively new to Madison.

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SHEBOYGAN - Council OKs downtown master plan
The Common Council on Monday night approved a plan that local leaders hope will help spark new development in Sheboygan’s downtown and waterfront.
 
Alderman unanimously approved the Harbor Centre master plan with no discussion, which gives city staff and other stakeholders the go-ahead to consider what parts of the plan to begin implementing.

The 100-page plan was developed over several months by city staff, consultants and members of the Harbor Centre Improvement District.

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MADISON - Madison moving to boost funds to battle emerald ash borer
Madison is moving to boost funds to deal with the emerald ash borer this year and getting a picture of whopping long-term costs, which could exceed $19.1 million for treatment, removal and replanting through 2020.
 
Mayor Paul Soglin, on behalf of the Parks and Streets divisions, is seeking an extra $365,000 to treat one-third of eligible terrace trees this year and would add $60,000 to $350,000 in the 2014 budget to begin buying equipment and supplies for removal and replanting from 2015 through 2020.

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WAUSAU - Wausau Center property manager to close 21 malls in next few years
The company that manages Wausau Center mall plans to sell 21 of its malls as part of a business strategy to enhance shareholder value, but it’s not known if the Wausau Center is one of the properties targeted to be sold.
 
As part of its business strategy, CBL & Associates Properties Inc. plans “targeted divestitures of stable, but lower-growth malls and non-core properties over the next several years,” according to a news release from the company.

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APPLETON - Appleton school board supports wage increases for employees
The Appleton Area School District Board of Education approved 2.07 percent salary and wage increases for five of its employee groups Monday at a cost of nearly $400,000.
 
The board unanimously supported wage and salary increases for custodians and maintenance personnel, administrative support staff, secretaries and paraprofessionals. They voted 6-1 to approve salary increases for administrators, with outgoing board member John Gosling voting against.

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NEENAH - Rep. Tom Petri confirms decision to retire in 2015
Fond du Lac Rep. Tom Petri thanked his constituents Monday and commented publicly for the first time on an ethics probe into his affairs just days after announcing he would not seek re-election after 35 years in Congress.
 
“Any decision to retire involves 101 different considerations, and there was no particular one thing that’s worth singling out over others,” Petri said during a town hall meeting in Neenah. “Sooner or later, you either are booted out, die or retire. No time is perfect, but this was a pretty good time.”

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LA CROSSE - Walker to kick off campaign with stop in La Crosse
Gov. Scott Walker is planning a stop in La Crosse today as he officially launches his re-election campaign.
 
Walker has been inviting his supporters to attend the events, which begin early this morning in Dane near Madison and end tonight at State Fair Park. He will be joined by Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch.

Walker’s campaign spokeswoman told The Associated Press only that Walker and Kleefisch are planning a “special announcement” related to the campaign. Today is the first day candidates for office can circulation petitions to get on the November ballot.

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BELOIT - Center nearing first opening
Plans continue to come together for Commercial Property Group's new business center located at 2850 Milwaukee Road in Beloit.
 
The 9,000-square-foot retail center has experienced a slight delay. However, the strip is expected to at least finish space for its first tenant, Arby’s, in time for a May 1 opening.

“It's similar to all developers. It's been a challenge this winter in getting projects done. I still believe that Arby’s will be open May 1,” Commercial Property Group partner Joel Patch said. “I think the other spaces may not be available until June 1.”

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CARLSVILLE – Door County Distillery scores with gin and vodka
Wisconsin wineries made their mark in national competitions on a regular basis, and now distilleries are gaining notice.
Door County Distillery, an offshoot of Door Peninsula Winery in Carlsville, was a finalist in the gin category in the fifth annual Ultimate Spirits Challenge in New York. The distillery's gin scored 91 out of 100 points, which means it is considered "excellent" and "highly recommended."

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HAYWARD - Wisconsin survey: 75 percent favor raising minimum wage
The Wisconsin Survey from Wisconsin Public Radio and St. Norbert College's Strategic Research Institute shows most people in the state think the minimum wage should be raised, but maybe not as high as $10.10 per hour.

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MADISON - UW scientists hope to discover drugs from bugs
Three UW-Madison researchers are part of a team that just received a five-year, $16 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to discover drugs from bugs, marine life and other species.

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APPLETON - Exhibit pays tribute to The Boldt Co.
Take a drive through downtown Appleton and it's hard to miss The Boldt Company's imprint on the community.

The construction company's skilled handiwork is evident in the concrete, glass, brick and unique zinc-panel exterior of the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center.

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WASHBURN - Chamber of Commerce awarded tourism grant
A second-year paddle sport race and festival in Washburn will have additional marketing power thanks to a $11,500 Joint Effort Marketing grant from the Department of Tourism, presented by Secretary Stephanie Klett.

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OREGON – Headquarters going gangbusters after two-year struggle
Businessman Jamie Bush can't estimate the number of times he questioned whether it was worth all the time, effort and frustration.

But now that his new Headquarters Bar and Restaurant is finally open at the corner of Concord Drive and Wolfe Street on the village's south side, Bush is glad he decided to build in Oregon instead of choosing a different community.

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