UP: Operation Fresh Start. The Madison nonprofit is selected to receive a three-year, $570,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Operation Fresh Start helps troubled teens learn construction skills by remodeling old homes, which are then resold. The group will use the money to provide mentoring and financial assistance for its students who go on to college or vocational school.
DOWN: Commuter rail. Dane County's plans to build a rail line between Sun Prairie and Middleton are put on hold, because the $255 million project lacks a mechanism for local funding. County Board Chair Scott McDonell says the county will resubmit its application for federal assistance, if the state allows the creation of a Regional Transit Authority with its own taxing ability.