A1 centerpiece story for Saturday paper
I realize I just posted a blog entry regarding  my internship experience but this one goes out to my Verona Road (U.S. 18/151) construction story that the A1 Saturday centerpiece a week ago. 

The construction began July 1 and will revamp the Verona Road and Beltline interchange. If you are a Madison resident the news of the construction is not necessarily new news since it has been spoken about and tossed around by officials for more than a decade – the new news is that it finally began.

Wrapping my head around construction jargon was not easy, but it happened. 

Making orange traffic cones appear “sexy” as my editors wanted was nearly impossible, but it happened.

Read more about the construction if you are coming to the city or passing through. It’s not likely to affect your commute terribly, until next year, but I have noticed about 10 minutes delays when using the roads that are currently undergoing construction. 

For more information and updates on the Verona Road project visit  the Verona Road Project website managed by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation

Thus far this summer I have been able to cover an array of topics including, but not limited to,  surgical operations, nature research, education, fitness and local government. The Wisconsin State Journal has really been a place for me to expand my reporting and interact with a variety of different sources. 

The State Journal has a staff smaller than that of other newsrooms I have worked in, but no matter the size the main goal of a newsroom is to inform and that is what the State Journal does. It knows its audience is intellectual, desires to be informed and is interested in changes the city and surrounding suburbs are facing.

Each day as an intern, no matter where you're located, you learn something new. Whether it's from a mistake, success or  something just clicks, there is always room for growth - even for full-time journalists. With each piece I write, I learn and that feeling never gets old.

So far all of my work has been print-based, but I hope to publish at least a few multimedia pieces this summer as well as that is a very big passion of mine. Below are a few articles I have written since the beginning of my internship at the Wisconsin State Journal.  For a complete list visit my portfolio or  Clippings.me

It's an exciting time to be a journalist and I am excited to see where this field takes me. 

Spoiler: A fun piece on a Madison group that plays with fire - in a safe, controlled manner of course - is coming this weekend! Great photos, by John Hart, will accompany the piece. 

Now, read on and give me some page views. Please! 

UW Health participates in largest kidney swap ever performed in less than 40 days

Anna Kottke always had a deep admiration for her aunt, Susie Walters.

In 1993, Walters donated a kidney to Kottke’s mother, Bonnie Thoreson, after lupus began affecting her kidneys. In 2010, Thoreson began dialysis after the kidney failed a year earlier. Immediately, Kottke knew she needed to be tested to see if she was a match.

Verona Road construction to begin Monday

The daily commute may get longer with the $175 million, six-year Verona Road project beginning Monday.

While Madison-area residents are preparing to add time to their daily commutes, local businesses are bracing for the economic impact of limited access, route changes and frustrated drivers.

Madison Circus Space open, to hold open house

Local circus professionals and hobbyists balance inside German wheels, juggle clubs and could soon be twirling and shifting in the air from silks hanging from the ceiling.

After a rainy start, the curtain goes up on Make Music Madison

Make Music Madison, the city’s first summer solstice music festival, had a rough start Friday, with gusty winds and heavy rains. But by afternoon, the weather changed its tune for scores of musicians and hundreds of audience members.

Middleton's National Mustard Museum shrinking

The 21-year-old National Mustard Museum is on the move again. The museum, which moved from Mount Horeb to Middleton in 2009, is being condensed from two floors into one as soon as early August.

Permanent ban of alcohol at Olbrich Park and Reindahl Park is a possibility

The Madison City Council referred an ordinance to be reviewed by the Board of Park Commissioners that could permanently ban the consumption of alcohol at Olbrich and Reindahl parks.
Journalists move. A lot.

To some this is a nuisance, but to my fellow journalists and myself it is what makes our job interesting. We place roots temporarily, and then find ourselves packing up a few years later to move to a different market until we find the fit that keeps us stationary.

The most stationary I have ever been in my life was the 18 years I spent at home growing up. After that it seems I have never been able to keep put – it’s the journalist in me.

In the past year I have moved a handful of times:
  1.  May 2012: MILWAUKEE, Wis. to MINNEAPOLIS, Minn.
  2. June 2012: MPLE back to MKE
  3. August 2012: MKE to MADRID, Spain   
  4. December 2012: MAD to MKE
  5. May 2013: MKE to MADISON, Wis. 

With each move I have always been one to explore what the city has to offer. Even when I was "home" in Minneapolis for a few short weeks last summer, I found myself taking the time to see, with fresh eyes, what I missed about the city and what more it had to offer since I had left. In Spain I was never in the city for more than two weeks before I embarked on a new adventure to a different city or country. 

Now, as an intern at the Wisconsin State Journal and temporary UW-Wisconsin Badgers fan, I am determined to see what Madison has to offer. Who knows, it may even break my streak of being stationary for more than four months – I never said I was opposed to staying in one place.

So, as I sit in my new favorite café, Zuzu Café on Drake and Randall (where I saw the first person to wear a Real Madrid jersey in months), I can’t help but feel Madison has plenty more surprises and adventures for me this summer. This blog will serve as a way to catalog and share the many experience I hope to have and what Madison is like for those, like me, coming to the city for the first time with a pair of virgin eyes.