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City of Madison officials look to ban e-cigarettes

E-cigarettes are not currently part of the Madison?s smoking ban but the city council is looking to change that. However, with little information to prove the potential effects of the vapors advocates say banning them would be premature.

"To ban them in public is silly because you are forcing people to go where smoking happens, which for a lot of people could cause a relapse," e-cigarette user Steven Fischer said.

It's been three months since Steven Fischer stopped smoking cigarettes, which was a 12-year battle he said he might have never won if it had not been for e-cigarettes

Madison city council is looking at including electronic cigarettes in the city's smoking ban, which prohibits smoking in most indoor places as well as parks and beaches. But supporters of the products believe restricting them may do more harm than good.

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Body of former Oregon resident, Eagle Scout recovered at Colorado peak

Searchers have recovered the body of a former Oregon, Wisconsin, resident who was reported missing after he told friends he planned to climb the highest peak in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Park officials say 25-year-old Peter Jeffris' body was spotted by a helicopter search crew Thursday about 200 feet below a popular route up Longs Peak.

Jeffris was a 2007 graduate of Edgewood High School, an Eagle Scout and was honored by the United Way of Dane County as the 2007 Community Youth Service Award winner. He left his mark on his hometown of Oregon by spending more than a hundred hours building a duplex in 2006 for Habitat for Humanity.

"He was enthusiastic and focused and did anything they wanted him to do," said Oregon Habitat volunteer Bernie Treichel.� "He often would be the first one on the site and be the last one to leave."

Jeffris was living in Colorado and still has family in Oregon.

Man accused of attempted homicide in west side shooting

A Madison man is accused of attempted first-degree intentional homicide and numerous other charges in a west side shooting.

A criminal complaint states Sean Watkins, 21, shot a 20-year-old man at a home in the 3900 block of Hillcrest Drive during a stop to purchase marijuana on Nov. 10.

The victim told police he was playing video games at the home on Hillcrest Drive when he heard a commotion downstairs and found several men inside the home yelling. He told police Watkins was one of the men in the home and was armed. He said Watkins threatened to shoot him and as he ran for the door he was shot. He said he ran outside the home and as he did he heard five or six more shots and someone in the SUV yelling, ?Shoot him again. Shoot him in his back.?

He said he ran into a garage and hid.

Police said shell casings were found near the intersection of Hillcrest and Alden drives.

23 new Madison restaurants you'll love

Each year brings with it a swath of new eateries, and with new eateries comes excitement. We love what?s fresh and untested but also untainted. Sure, some are more hyped than others (we?re looking at you, Sujeo, Cento, Rare and the Edgewater), but even the low-key taco joints and quaint caf�s offer intrigue?maybe this is the place we?ve been waiting for. Whether it?s a go-to date night spot, an equal parts convenient and tasty takeout joint on the way home from work or the perfect neighborhood bar, the following twenty-three places offer something in the way of excitement, many for more reasons than one, and we couldn?t be happier to welcome them to town.

$ <$10
$$ $10?$15
$$$ $15?$25
$$$$ $25+
(price indicates cost of a dinner entr�e)

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Alarm scares away would-be burglar

An alarm scared away someone who kicked in the backdoor of a home on Madison?s near west side Thursday afternoon.

Madison police said officers responded to an alarm in the 2100 block of Danbury Street at 2:43 p.m. and found the back door kicked in. Nothing was taken.

Neighbors told police a man had been seen knocking on doors and walking around backyards. Police said a man matching the description given by neighbors was stopped but there was not enough probable cause to arrest him.

The man was described as black, in his 30s to 40s, 6 feet tall with a medium complexion and thin moustache. He was wearing a puffy dark parka, black beanie, jeans and work boots.

Water utility board to consider monthly base charge increase of $2.62

Representatives with Madison Water Utility will be holding a meeting to get input on a proposed rate increase from the public, according to a release.

MWU submitted a rate application last month with the Public Service Commission, asking for a 30 percent revenue increase, officials said.

Base charges would increase for most customers by $2.62 a month, officials said. Usage charges would transition to a conservation rate, which means they would vary depending on the time of year and the amount used.

Customers currently pay $2.81 per 1,000 gallons of water used, but under the conservation rate plan customers would pay $2.96 per 1,000 gallons used during the off-peak season from October to May regardless of how much water is used.

State releases list of potential Hill Farms developers

The Wisconsin Department of Administration has released a list of potential developers for the Hill Farms property on Madison's near-west side.

The state issued a request for proposals [PDF]�for a $196 million redevelopment of the site on Oct. 10, and proposals were due back to the state Nov. 7.

Six companies originally bid on the project, which would include designing a 600,000 square-foot state office building, purchasing remaining land and the existing Hill Farms office building, and purchasing the Badger Road State Office Building that would be emptied as part of office moves.