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East Washington Avenue hotels, motels form crime-fighting alliance

Aiming to decrease the number of crimes on their property, 24 hotels and motels on East Washington Avenue have partnered with police to share information about individuals they will not rent to, and assist in the arrest and prosecution of violators.

The businesses hope to decrease the amount of drug use, human trafficking and prostitution incidents in their rooms and parking lots.

"What we recognize is that a problem for one hotel is very likely a problem for all hotels," Madison police officer David Dexheimer said. "Our hope is that it develops into something that's self-sustaining between the hotels and the motels."

While antagonizers may currently be denied rooms at one place, they can take their business to another nearby hotel or motel.

By sharing troublemakers' information through an email exchange, Comfort Inn front desk supervisor Sandra Haire hopes to see less crime in general.

Area Girl Scouts ready for cookie sales season

Friday marks the first day of Girl Scout cookie sales.

News 3 Reporter Mary Jo Ola was at the Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Badgerland Council Center on Madison's south side Friday to talk to the budding entrepreneurs, a group of Daisies, Brownies, Juniors and a Cadette Girl Scout, about the coming sales season.

Visit gsbadgerland.org for more information.

City wants to expand car-sharing options

City wants to expand car-sharing options

The city of Madison is exploring options for expanding car-sharing options for residents.

City Parking Utility Interim Parking Operations Manager Bill Putnam told News 3 there is one car-sharing company operating in Madison and another on the University of Wisconsin campus, but neither operation rents spaces from the city.

A public meeting scheduled for Jan. 28 will include presentations from car-sharing companies.

Putnam said they are early in the process of coming up with ideas to bring more companies to Madison and support the concept of car-sharing in the city.

One outcome is the city could request proposals from companies to rent spaces in city lots and garages.

A release from the city states that car-sharing reduces the need for car ownership and can replace as many as nine to 13 individually-owned vehicles, leading the less congestion, demand for parking and emissions.

East side Great Dane fully reopens after fire

East side Great Dane fully reopens after fire

Six weeks after a fire shut down the Great Dane on Madison's east side, the restaurant is reopening, according to a release.

The Nov. 15 fire caused $150,000 in damage in the kitchen area when grease ignited in the ventilation shaft of the kitchen grill.

The bar area opened the first week of December, but due to renovations the kitchen stayed closed until Monday, according to the release.

There were no injuries reported during the incident, and the damage was limited to the first floor kitchen and the third floor kitchen and bar area.

Sub shop drive-thru robbed at gunpoint

Sub shop drive-thru robbed at gunpoint

Police said an east Madison sub sandwich shop was robbed at gunpoint Friday night.

Madison police said officers responded to a report of an armed robbery at Milio's Subs, 4292 East Towne Blvd., 8:56 p.m.

Police said a man pulled up at the drive-thru and requested a glass of water. The clerk obliged and returned to the sliding window where the suspect had a gun in his hand and demanded money.  The clerk turned over an undetermined amount of cash and was warned by the suspect not to call the police. The robber fled.

Police said the robber was described as black and was wearing a black ski mask, red and black beanie hat, a white light-weight jacket, black hooded sweatshirt and jeans.

Badgers game brings potential shoppers to Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday in Madison saw an extra several thousand potential shoppers on the streets, thanks to the Badgers' final home game.

Whether that additional foot traffic benefits local shops, though, is up in the air.

Mary Carbine, executive director for Madison Central Business Improvement District, says every home game brings big business to small shops in the State Street area.

"What is so much a part of the Badger game experience for many people is visiting State Street and the Capitol square," Carbine said. "Badger athletics is terrific for downtown business and downtown shopping."

The outlook is a little different several blocks away, on Monroe Street. Carol 'Orange' Schroeder, the owner of Orange Tree Imports, says she would prefer home games don't fall on the same Saturday as the first big shopping weekend of the holiday season.

Woman makes 3 drive-thru purchases using 3 fake $20s, police say

Woman makes 3 drive-thru purchases using 3 fake $20s, police say

A woman went through an east Madison fast-food drive-thru paying with counterfeit bills three times in the same day, according to police. 

The Madison Police Department said a woman used fake $20 bills to purchase inexpensive food items at Wendy's on East Washington Avenue on Wednesday afternoon. The woman, driving an older red SUV, made three separate purchases within an hour.

The manager going through the cash from the till found the fake bills and called police, according to the report. The manager said the restaurant's protocol is to ink test large bills, but the three bills that were accepted were not tested.

The woman is described as white, in her 20s to 30s, with long dirty blonde hair and a tattoo on her upper right chest.

Two of the fake $20s had the serial number JE58590236C; the other bill had the number JD95368601C, police said.