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a.MKE THE List: Mayor Barrett Gives State of the City Address & Milwaukee's Bicycle Community: Today’s Top Stories

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Mayor Barrett gave the annual State of the City address yesterday where he focused on everything from job creation to foreclosures and upcoming funding for road repairs. A crowd of roughly 500 people went to a Spanish manufacturer in the city’s Menomonee Valley to hear Barrett speak. Barrett pushed the message that Milwaukee must form links between the positions employers need to fill and the thousands of people here looking for jobs.

The Milwaukee Public Market is underway with a new bike shelter that will accommodate to Milwaukee’s bicyclist community. The shelter parking area will be along North Broadway and the racks will hold up to two-dozen bikes. Market Facility Manager David Ware said, “the enthusiasm for biking in the area had prompted the addition and the expanded bike parking will make the market more attractive for those biking customers.”

Wisconsin’s 2011 high school classes led the Midwest in the percent of students earning college credits in the advanced placement program. The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction released a report that shows that 19.4% of state graduates, got a score of three or higher on the exam. Enrollment in AP courses is on the rise in Wisconsin, and these exams were taken in science, technology, engineering and math fields.

Wisconsin and Michigan tourism officials have collected at least 3,100 hundred pairs of mittens and other winter items after their good-natured battle back in December over whose state looks more like a mitten. About a week after that, the states called it “The Great Lakes Mitten Campaign” and the slogan says “Two Great States Connecting for a Common Cause.” Mittens, hats, scarves, and even blankets were donated through state travel centers, chambers of commerce and some were given directly to charities.

As of last night, roadwork and lane closures started for the repaving of I-94 eastbound, including Mitchell Boulevard. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation will have crews working on the repavement process between 70th and 32nd Street, with night work falling between 9:30 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. During the night shift, double lane closures are necessary to keep up with the project schedule. During daytime hours, work will be done on the 2.5-mile stretch to keep two lanes open in each direction and that will start next week. Construction will go through mid-April.

Discovery World is teaming up with South Shore Cyclery to present “Pedal Power”. It’s an entire week that will be dedicated to the exploration of bicycling. The goal is to increase the public’s interest in bicycles and tie it in with Discovery World’s hand on approach to learning.  The weeklong exhibition will also feature bike fix-it workshops, a bike-powered generator and the history of biking in Milwaukee. The event runs from Monday, April 9th to Friday, April 13th.