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a.MKE THE List: Hiawatha Line Sees Record High RIdership Levels & Youth of the Year for Boys & Girls Club: Today’s Top Stories

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The Amtrak’s Hiawatha line that runs between Milwaukee and Chicago, reached an all time record high in ridership levels in 2011. With over 820,000 riders, those numbers make the route the busiest Amtrak corridor in the Midwest. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation reported that the increase in ridership jumped by 4% in 2011 compared to 2010. The Hiawatha line provides seven round-trips every day except Sunday, that’s when there are six.

Today Historic Milwaukee will present its 5th annual “Remarkable Milwaukee” event. The group plans on honoring the Pabst Theater Foundation for its three incredible and historic theaters, in addition to recognizing those with vision and creativity to develop cultural and economic growth throughout the city. The roundtable discussion will involve many Milwaukee leaders who will discuss culture, history and positive ideas about Milwaukee’s future.

Congratulations to Larsharae Hooker, she’s the 2012 Northwestern Mutal Foundation Youth of the Year for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee. Larsharae was once considered a very shy girl but is now a leader who has overcome many obstacles. The boys and girls club gave her a safe and secure place to live, and that’s where she counseled younger children, bonded with co-workers and became confident and committed to community service. Next she’ll compete for the Wisconsin Youth of the Year title and a $1,000 college scholarship.

Over the weekend, the Government Accountability Board finished scanning all petitions for the recall of Governor Walker, and today is when they’re saying everything will be posted online for the public to view. In total, the board scanned over 152,000 petition pages, but there’s no estimate on the number of signatures on the petitions.

The Wisconsin Hospital Association is launching a statewide initiative, funded with money included in the federal health care reform law, and the goal is to reduce both hospital-acquired conditions and readmissions. About 100 hospitals plan on participating. The initiative is part of a national project that was announced last year by Health and Human Services. The Wisconsin Hospital Association plans to start with its staff reviewing self-assessments by the hospitals and from there, determine where to put their initial focus.

Milwaukee Ballet School and Academy Student Jennifer Hackbarth, won first place in the world’s largest student ballet scholarship competition this month. Jennifer is from Whitefish Bay and is only 13-years-old. With her high score, she’s been invited to compete in the finals at the Lincoln Center in New York City this April. Over 25,000 young dancers have participated in the competition and over $2 million in scholarships have been awarded.