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a.MKE: Downtown expansion, Rahman sentenced, Wake Up London and Loon deaths explained 3.12.13

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Gov. Scott Walker and Mayor Tom Barrett announced a city-state plane for $34 million in road-work that includes extending Lincoln Memorial Drive south into the Historic Third Ward, and opening up land for new buildings by moving I-794 ramps near the Hoan Bridge. The state DOT would pay for moving the ramps, which would open up 3 acres for development south of Clybourn Street. A picture of the proposed site can be found on our Facebook page.

Feras Rahman, the man tried and acquitted of starting the five-alarm fire that destroyed Pizza Man restaurant, but convicted of lying to officials investigating the blaze, was sentenced Monday to 2 1/2 years in prison, plus three years of supervised release. The judge will allow Rahman to remain free on bond pending an intended appeal.

A group in the U.K. called Wake Up London is turning the streets into their place of worship. For the last two years, they have been mobilizing meditation flash mobs, taking over public spaces with mindfulness. They've converges on Trafalgar Square, Covent Garden and City Hall, dropping into Buddah-like postures at the sound of a bell, demonstrating that anyone can look inward, even amidst the chaos of a bustling city like London.

Last fall, nearly 900 loons died while migrating south across Lake Michigan. Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey suspect invasive zebra mussels created bacteria that produced botulism, which worked its way up the food chain into fish that were eaten by the loons. Loons will begin their migration back north from the Atlantic and Gulf coasts in less than a month.