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a.MKE The List: Milwaukee Streetcar Project Moves Forward & City of Milwaukee Celebrates 166 Years : Today’s Top Stories

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During a news conference yesterday, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke turned heads to County Exec Chris Abele, calling for a new bus patrol unit that could cost up to $6 million a year. Clarke said that in order to patrol buses effectively, a unit of 50 deputies would be needed full time riding buses. The goal of this would be to limit quote “horrible, intimidating and frightening” conditions on county buses. The criticisms come after Abele cut Clarke’s 2012 budget by roughly $13 million.

It’s that time again…tax season and the IRS is urging tax filers who earn $49,000 or less in wages, self-employment or farming, to check out their earned income credit. During Wisconsin’s 2010 year, over 377,000 families got an average of $2,000 back from the internal revenue service in “earned income credits”. Now if you’re looking for tax help, Milwaukee’s volunteer income tax assistance program is set to start tax preparation season this Friday.

Tonight is your chance to help ring in Milwaukee’s 166th birthday. The Milwaukee Press Club is hosting the city’s birthday party at the Grain Exchange from 5:30 to 8. City officials, local business leaders and a variety of media outlets will be on hand to talk about the city of Milwaukee and all of it’s success with business, arts, non-profits and more.

Tommy Thompson just announced he raised more than $656,000 within three months for his bid to win the Republican Nomination for the U.S. Senate race. Thompson also noted that he has about $540,000 in cash. Thompson’s figures trump his Republican rival and former U.S. Rep, Mark Neumann but they aren’t as good as the only Democrat in the race, U.S. Rep Tammy Baldwin, who raised $1.1 million over the same period.

Federal Officials gave the go ahead for the Milwaukee Streetcar project to move forward. The Federal Transit Administration had issued a, “finding of no significant impact” – meaning the agency thinks the streetcar line won’t harm the environment. So now the city is looking for consultants to help guide the project through its final design phase. The entire project calls for modern streetcars that would run every 10 to 15 minutes depending on the day, seven days a week. All of this starting in late 2014.

COA Youth and Family Centers are working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction to offer free, healthy meals to children throughout Milwaukee. The meal service makes sure that all meals and snacks meet nutritional standards. The amount of reimbursement the program gets from the USDA is based on the household incomes of the children enrolled in the program. There’s 69 other Milwaukee organizations that offer similar child and adult care food programs as well.