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a.MKE The List: Voting Day Here in Milwaukee & Preview of Bike to Work Week: Today's Top Stories

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Today is Wisconsin’s Democratic Gubernatorial Primary. Democratic candidates Tom Barrett, Kathleen Falk, Kathleen Vinehout, and Doug la-Follette are all vying for the spot to take on Governor Scott Walker during the June 5th recall primary. Last week Marquette University Law School released a poll that showed voters are viewing jobs as the top issue in the campaign. The poll also showed that Tom Barrett is leading in most polls for the Democratic nomination. Election voting hours run from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Voting details can be found at www.citymilwaukee.gov.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation is putting $150,000 into a new fund aimed at helping veterans start their own businesses. This investment will make Wisconsin the first state to launch such a fund to support veteran-owned businesses. The fund will be managed by VETransfer, which is a Milwaukee nonprofit group that has trained nearly 300 veterans in the lean start-up methods. The $100,000 fund will provide 15 grants to veteran-owned start-ups and the remaining $50,000 will support an effort to market the fund to potential contributors.  

Milwaukee entrepreneurs recently took first place in a national technology competition. The company is called “The Good Jobs LLC” and it took first place in the iTalent Innovation Recruiting Technology Competition in Washington D.C. For the past year, the local company has been developing a website that will essentially match companies and employees by using seven exclusive “badges”. The website will help them sort with priorities like flexibility around scheduling, commitment to the planet and opportunities for professional growth. The company’s founders are hoping the award will help bring momentum to the launch of their site.

The State Department of Tourism says that Wisconsin’s tourism economy had an impact of $16 billion last year, which is an increase from $14.8 billion the previous year. The department released figures that also show that one in thirteen Wisconsin jobs rely on tourism and that about 181,000 jobs are supported by tourism. During 2011, more than 95 million people visited Wisconsin and contributed about $1.3 billion in state and local revenue. The rest, which was over $9 million, came from federal taxes.

The MREA is teaming up with Milwaukee Shines to launch a pilot group-purchase program called “Milwaukee Power Rack.” The Milwaukee Power Rack is essentially designed to build the local solar industry and local solar workforce while providing a lower cost to customers. The program will reduce marketing, outreach and education costs for individual installers. And the program will also support local manufacturers and build a customer base for installers. The next solar power meeting will be tomorrow afternoon at Helios Solar Works.

The BIcycle Federation of Wisconsin is presenting: Bike to Work Week, which starts this Saturday and runs through the 18th. The bike federation is partnering up with local businesses and non-profits to make the work week a fun and active experience. The Milwaukee Bicycle Collective will be volunteering at the Alterra Foundry’s commuter station throughout the entire week. The group will be looking for volunteers to help spread the word about the bike collective, help with minor repairs and help teach people how to fix their flats.