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a.MKE THE List: Wisconsin's Historic Recall Election & Little Free Library Program hits Martin Drive Neighborhood: Today’s Top Stories

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It’s a big day here in Wisconsin as all eyes are on us. Today marks the historic 2012 Gubernatorial Recall Election for Governor and Lt. Governor. Today Mayor Tom Barrett and Governor Scott Walker will face off. Now Friday was the last day for absentee voting, and Wisconsin election officials said that local election clerks issued more than 206,000 absentee ballots. And today’s voter turnout is expected to exceed 65%. Voting hours are from 7 a.m to 8 p.m.

State officials recently announced a new $1 million program that will help eliminate blighted housing in Wisconsin. It’s called “The Strategic Neighborhood Revitalization and Demolition Program”. The program will focus on properties that are a pronounced “safety issue”. The goal is to assist local municipalities at eliminating distressed properties, improve property values and make neighborhoods safer. Half of the money is set for projects within Milwaukee and the other half will be given to communities outside the city.

Milwaukee prosecutor, Christopher Ladwig, has been honored by a national group for his work in the county’s community-based prosecution program. Ladwig was recently honored the “2012 Innovations in Community Enforcement Award” in Washington D.C. President of the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys said, “Chris has consistently and successfully practiced the community prosecution principles and problem solving, collaborating and community engagement in all of his work and has made a substantial difference in the quality life in Milwaukee.”

The Greater Milwaukee Committee and partnering organizations are offering collaborative work space tours this Friday. Right now there are at least 25 collaborative work spaces throughout the city where operators provide offices, equipment, art studios and other shared resources. The tour will include seven of these spaces, such as Johnson Controls, Hudson Business Lounge and Bucketworks. The tour is part of Milwaukee Innovation Week. The goal of the tour is to show that big corporations can work alongside artists and entrepreneurs to drive innovation in a co-working space.

Residents in Milwaukee’s Martin Drive Neighborhood now have the “Little Free Library Program”. The program aims to promote literacy and a love of reading by building free book exchanges. The program has little libraries throughout the states and in dozens of countries. Martin Drive Neighborhood Association members said, “It just seemed like a great way to foster a sense of neighborhood and promote literacy for children and families at the same time.” You can find two of these little free libraries in the Martin Drive Neighborhood.