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a.MKE The List: Absentee Voting is Underway & City's East Side Library to be Demolished: Today's Top Stories.

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The Milwaukee Common Council decided that the city’s East Side Library will be demolished and replaced by a new library, apartments and shops. Yesterday, Alderman voted 12-0 in support of the redevelopment plan for the 44-year-old library. The four-story building is to be called “The Standard at East Library” and it would include 99 apartments, 2,100 square feet of retail space and parking spaces. HSI Properties will lead the $14.9 million dollar project, which developers hope to finance through a federally guaranteed loan. Now if the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development approves the loan guarantee, work could start in 2013 and the new library could then open in 2014.

Planning has begun for the major reconstruction projects for I-94 on Milwaukee’s west side and I-43 in the north shore suburbs. State transportation officials plan to study reconstruction of 94 from 25th Street to 70th sStreet, including the stadium interchange. Then plans also call for the rebuilding of I-43 from Silver Spring Drive in Glendale to State Highway 60 in Grafton. Officials say both projects could also involve adding lanes. State officials hope to finish draft environmental impact statements by late summer of 2013, and then submit the final documents by spring of 2014. 

Tomorrow Kids Matter is hosting its 3rd Annual Fostering Hope Event. Kids Matter is a grassroots organization that dedicates its time to neglected youth in Milwaukee. The organization is all about rebuilding childhoods while fostering futures. Tomorrow’s event asks for the public to be superheroes who will help prevent child abuse and promote healing among children who have been abused. The event starts at 6 p.m. and is being held at the Black Rose Pub on North Oakland Avenue. Proceeds benefit local foster youth.

Just a reminder that absentee voting is officially underway and the City Election Commission plans to keep its Milwaukee offices open over Memorial Day weekend. That means Milwaukee residents will be able to cast absentee ballots in person before the June 5th gubernatorial recall election. Absentee voting is taking place at the Zeidler Municipal building on North Broadway. Now through May 25th, hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. then over the holiday weekend, hours will vary slightly. The last day for in-person absentee voting is June 1st.

A Madison cab company is making solar strides. Union Cab’s 5-kilowatt project is the first made-in-Wisconsin solar project.  The employee-owned taxi company was awarded $10,000 form the City of Madison’s solar energy program. The cost covered the installation of panels, which were connected to the power grid about two weeks ago. Those panels were actually made by Helios and some inverters were made in Milwaukee as well. The project was created to highlight for Wisconsin residents, how many state companies are participating in the solar energy sector.

STRIVE or also known as “students taking responsibility for independence and vocational education” is finishing up its eight-week pilot program. The program is a new partnership between Homestead and the MATC Mequon campus. The goal is to enhance the high school’s existing transition program for young adults with cognitive disabilities by educating students at the college a few times a week, then also spending afternoons working at MATC or visiting local businesses. Supporters of the program say the experience has been successful and they hope MATC might expand the partnership to allow students at other local schools to participate in the coming years.