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a.MKE The List: New Hampshire Republican Primary & The Journey House Announces "VITA" Program: Today’s Top Stories

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Today kicks of the 2012 New Hampshire Republican Primary. Frontrunner Mitt Romney won the Iowa Caucuses by just eight votes and political analysts are saying he’s on the track of winning in New Hampshire as well. Following Romney is Ron Paul, tied for third is Rick Santorum and Jon Huntsman, fourth is Newt Gingrich and behind him is Rick Perry. Results are expected to start trickling in around 8 tonight. 

Three new hotels are being built downtown and another is expected to resume within the next two years, which will bring more competition, jobs and tax revenue for the city of Milwaukee. The hotels are going to be a Marriott, a Hilton Garden Inn, a Staybridge Suites, as well as the independent Brew House Inn and Suites. Additional hotel rooms will also help attract more meetings and conventions to Milwaukee. All four projects are expected to end by 2013.

With the Packers game set for Sunday, fans, mark your calednars because Green Bay City Officials are planning on hosting a Packers’ pep rally this Friday at 3. It’s going to be held at the Brown County Courthouse Lawn in downtown Green Bay. The Packers President and CEO, along with Green Bay’s Mayor are even expected to attend.

Over the weekend the Labor Department reported that U.S. Employers added 200,000 jobs in December, and the unemployment rate fell to 8.5%. The jobs numbers were better than expected which gives President Obama better ratings; however, Obama said quote “obviously we have a lot more work to do, but it is important for the American people to recognize that we’ve now added 3.2 million new private-sector jobs over the last 22 months.”

Starting in February, for the first time, The Journey House will be offering free tax advice. The program is called VITA - “volunteer income tax assistance” and these volunteers are retired accountants and trained students who will provide low-income individuals and families with tax filing, financial counselors, workshops, and credit repair.  The tax assistance site will be open from February 1st through April 15th.

The Milwaukee Arts Board is advancing public art conservation throughout the city and recently announced its first grant recipient, the “Mural of Peace” which sits on the International Building on West National Avenue.  The goal behind the grant is to preserve parts of the city’s cultural and civic heritage, especially through public art.