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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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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.

Citizens take away keys of alleged drunken driver

Citizens take away keys of alleged drunken driver

A Madison man was arrested on Madison?s east side for his fifth drunken driving offense, officials said.

Police responded to the 2600 block of South Stoughton Road around 2:20 p.m. on April 10 for reports of an intoxicated driver, according to a release.

Witnesses told police Paul Borman, 49, parked his vehicle in an odd way, and reported that his vehicle was blocking the entry and exit of other vehicles attempting to access a commercial parking lot.

Borman was seen getting out of his vehicle, staggering and stumbling forward, according to the release. Witnesses thought alcohol might be involved so they took his keys to stop him from driving.

Police said they could smell alcohol more than 5 feet away from Borman when they were talking with him.

Some alcohol cans were found inside Borman?s vehicle and he was taken into custody, according to the release. He was arrested on tentative charges of his fifth-offense operating while intoxicated.

Local runners remember Boston Marathon tragedy

Tuesday's Boston Strong Run is no ordinary run for the members of Fleet Feet. The running group took to the pavement to reflect on the one-year anniversary of the bombing that stunned the nation.

One participant, Jeff Vanbendagom, has run the Boston marathon in the past but missed qualifying for last year's marathon by 15 seconds.

Next week he will head back to Boston alongside almost 40,000 other runners to send a message.

"Seeing how divisive last year's bombing was, I wanted to come to support those who were injured and show that terrorism doesn't win," said Vanbendegom. "If we all show up and work together, keep this event alive, share in the spirit of it, then we win and the terrorists don?t."

42-year-old did not file tax returns as owner of 3 Madison businesses

A former Madison man pleaded guilty Tuesday to failing to file income tax returns for 2006, 2007 and 2008, according to a state Department of Justice release.

Eric T. Plantenberg, 42, of Bend, Ore., faces a maximum of one year in federal prison and a $100,000 fine, officials said. He is scheduled for sentencing on July 8.

In his plea agreement, Plantenberg said he made $1,300,792 in unreported income between 2005 and 2008, according to the release. During those years he was an owner of, and made income from, three Madison-based companies -- Freedom Personal Development, Freedom Professional Services and I-Kinetic.

Company to add 286 jobs to Madison location

A company is adding close to 300 workers to its Madison location through growth of existing clients, bringing in new clients, and with state incentives, according to a release.

SPi Global Madison (Laserwords) provides call center services for a Fortune 200 client selling Internet and television packages across the country, officials said.

Department of Workforce Development Secretary Reggie Newson and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation Secretary Reed Hall toured Laserwords? Madison call center Tuesday. The company plans to add 286 workers to its 40-employee location thanks to incentives from the WEDC and DWD.

WEDC awarded Laserwords $375,000 in economic development tax credits to create 286 new jobs and keep 40 existing jobs in Madison, according to the release. Laswerwords is also investing $1.2 million in capital improvements to its facility.

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.