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Resident, dog evacuate garage fire safely
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A Madison hilltop resident and her dog escaped injury shortly before daylight Wednesday when they were forced to evacuate their home due to a garage fire in the 1700 block of Orchard Street.

A neighbor said he was awakened by his own dog barking at about 5:20 a.m. and when he looked outside flames were shooting out of the garage of the home. By the time he called 911, firefighters were already on their way and the home owner, listed as Jane Thacker, escaped with her dog without injury.

Firefighters arrived soon after and brought the blaze under control in about 20 minutes. Madison Fire Chief Bill Devries said the fire was reported as a vehicle fire in an attached garage an first arriving units reported a working structure fire in the garage area. The main fire damage was contained to the garage area.

The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Madison Fire Department.

Charlie’s Beat
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Another talented troubadour has joined the live music scene. Daniel Taylor, who goes by the stage name Troubadour D, moved to Madison about a year ago to be with his girlfriend (local resident Tasha Lanettee) and to start playing out in Madison’s many vibrant live music venues.

Daniel is originally from Ft. Collins, Colorado. It seems Tasha is the sister of a best friend, but there is also a connection to locals Danny and Bri Adams (who are both also musicians) and Will Warren and all of them playing together in a church in Clovis, New Mexico and … you get the idea. Against all odds, he ends up in our little music mecca.

“I also came to Madison for Ribberfest a few times before I moved here. My dad is a huge Michael Kelsey fan and we came to the festival to see him play.” adds Daniel. “Tasha told me about the music scene here and it seemed like the perfect place to launch my music career.

“My story is a bit different than a lot of younger musicians who come out very young. I’m actually 32 years old, and I’ve been sitting on the craft, writing songs and developing my personal style. I wanted to start things out right.

“I’ve also come to realize that to be successful, so much is dependent on the business of music, the relationships and communication. I like to say it’s about 10% playing and 90% the other stuff. So I’ve spent a lot of time getting that part right, too.

“So about a year ago I decided I was ready. Time to come out from under my shell and start sharing my music. And from what Tasha was telling me, there’s no better place for musicians than right here in Madison. But wow, as it turns out, it was not the best year to start.

“As everybody knows, COVID has kind of put a wet blanket on the whole music industry, not just in Madison but everywhere. Actually, things may be a little better here in Madison. Several places like Mad Paddle and Off-Broadway Taproom are keeping the flame alive.

“And I’ve met some great people who have been super encouraging, like Drew Eades, Dave Butler and Gary Applegate. And now Jerry Wade is giving me a chance to open for Keith Scott, which I really appreciate. I’m a big fan of Keith from way back.”

(I’ll jump in at this point and report on Daniel’s first show at Mad Paddle, which took place last Friday, Jan. 8. Daniel delivered a tight opening set featuring original and cover tunes, and then sat in and jammed with the formidable Keith Scott, showing great style and enthusiasm. All and all an excellent first outing. He’s a talented performer you’ll want to see for yourself.)

“I have about an hour’s worth of original songs,” Danny continues, “and several hours of classic and eclectic cover songs. I like to choose covers that are a little off the beaten path, but still familiar. It’s all part of being a troubadour, introducing people, especially the younger generation, to fresh music they may not normally listen to.

“At the moment I’m working with Joe Breek renovating the old Courtyard restaurant, and I’ll be the cook there when it opens as the Rivertown Grill. But I’m also going up to Indy and recording an album at Postal Recording Studio. Lots going on and lots to look forward to. I think 2021 is going to be my year!”


Just keep going to Mad Paddle if you are looking for consistent live music in Madison. Owner Jerry Wade is committed to Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays and he is working very hard to keep the calendar scheduled, in spite of the many challenges. You should also keep a watchful eye on the Off-Broadway Taproom. They can’t always give me an advance schedule for the calendar, but often as not they are getting live shows in there on Saturday nights. Thomas Family Winery, the longest running live music venue in town, is on a winter break, so just watch this column and I’ll let you know when they are back up and running. Stay warm, and support live music!

Charlie Rohlfing is a retired advertising man and partner in The Red Bicycle Hall music venue. Look for his distinctive fedora bobbing above the crowd, anywhere live local music is happening.

This Week in Music

Thursday, January 14

Mad Paddle Brewery — Tracy & Elaine

Friday, January 15

Mad Paddle Brewery — Hunter Wainscott

Friendship Tavern — Josh Wells

Saturday, January 16

Mad Paddle Brewery — LCC with Leah Pruett

Board begins process of dissolving JCDIC
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Board members of the Jefferson County Industrial Development Corporation met Monday and approved a motion to begin the process of dissolving the corporation formally.

According to Jeff Studebaker, the group’s chairman, a subcommittee has been tasked with investigating and developing a plan for closing the corporation permanently.

He said the JCDIC has played a vital role in local economic development by assisting with the recruitment and retention of several major projects but that with Mayor Bob Courtney’s 2020 reorganization of Madison City Hall to bring economic development in-house with the city, the group “no longer has much of a role” in that process.

In fact, former JCIDC Director Matt Wirth is now Executive Director of Madison’s Economic Development Department with an office in city hall.

Wirth said the non-profit JCDIC has played an important role in the development of a number of local economic partners over the past 25 years but that the city’s new Economic Development Department is taking over and continuing that mission so both groups are no longer needed.

“The board does not take this decision lightly,” Wirth said. However, at this point JCIDIC’s mission runs parallel to the office created by Courtney and the City of Madison.

Subcommittee to propose entities go own way on local cable content
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A three-member subcommittee that has been charged with outlining a course for resolving lingering issues between the city of Madison and the Public Video Service Board that has managed Madison TV15 in recent years has agreed upon a proposal to take before the PVSB tonight.

The committee — Denise Buxton representing the Town of Hanover, Stephanie Hellmann for Jefferson County and Jim Bartlett for Madison — will recommend that the nine-member Public Video Service Board cease to exist with the three local entities reverting to the Cable Advisory Board that formerly served in that capacity. Madison TV15 would continue to operate as support to all three government stakeholders but each would also be able to pursue and produce their own programming to stream on the internet or on the cable network’s government TV channels.

The fracture surfaced several months ago when Madison Mayor Bob Courtney refused to consider additional funding for the PVSB and TV15 until the PVSB resolved gaps in its operating agreements with the county and municipalities. He said the group had failed to follow through on ordinances pertaining to that agreement and over the years had changed its focus and taken on responsibilities that were probably not part of the original operating agreements or any documentation that was on hand.

Monday night the three-member panel agreed that the PVSB should be scrapped with business reverting back to the Cable Advisory Board, which there are actually ordinances in place to establish, and board membership reduced in number with the three entities taking more control of their content and operating budgets.

The Cable Advisory Board would once again serve as a liaison between the governments and the local cable TV providers to hold the cable companies accountable on quality and content and allow the three government stakeholders to continue collecting cable franchise fees to help fund production of local content and supplement their general funds.

The plan would still fund TV15, which could produce content from meetings and possibly execute an agreement with Indiana PBS to bring more of that content to the channels the Cable Advisory Board schedules content for on both the Metronet and Spectrum cable systems. But the town of Hanover, City of Madison and Jefferson County would be encouraged to invest in their own equipment and staffing to produce their own content for use on their websites, Facebook pages, YouTube as well as the cable TV channels.

“At this stage of the game I’m inclined to (abandon the PVSB) — and I know it feels like throwing in the towel in a way — but the CAB is in existence assuming it was signed off on by both Jefferson County and the Town of Hanover 20 years ago. If it was fully executed and in existence we can move forward under that,” Barlett said. “I think we just operate under that agreement and let it be.”

He said the three entities would “do away with the Public Video Advisory Board — assuming it’s even in any of your ordinances — because it’s not functional anyhow.”

Courtney, who sat in on the meeting, said the new agreement will allow Madison to “do our thing and you do your thing” so Madison can focus on its live and recorded streaming to educate and inform residents and promote the community within and to a wider audience.

“We want to focus on what we try to do,” Courtney said. “At this junction we are at a fork in the road. We’ve figured out what we want and it’s time for Jefferson County and the town of Hanover to figure out what they want.”

Bartlett said the city envisions developing a platform that not only reaches local residents but also other viewers who are interested in Madison from around the region and throughout the world.

He said he envisions a CAB that meets as little as once a year to satisfy regulatory requirements pertaining to the local cable providers with the city, town and county each making decisions that impact their content and budgets for that content rather than the CAB. He also noted that he sees cable’s reach diminishing as more and more customers migrate from traditional cable TV to streaming services.

The next step for the proposal is to go before the PVSB tonight and then, ultimately, some approval would be needed by the three government entities.

Broken press delayed Saturday delivery
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Last Saturday’s edition of The Madison Courier has been included with today’s newspaper.

A broken part on our printing presses at the Paxton Media Group’s Central Print Hub in Owensboro, Ky., last week made it impossible for The Madison Courier and several other Paxton newspapers to be printed in time for distribution in Saturday’s mail.

The highly specialized part for the press took several days to receive and install so Tuesday’s paper was printed at a different location that did not have the capacity to print both the Saturday and Tuesday editions until today. Some deadlines were moved up substantially in order to take advantage of printing options.

To better serve our readers, The Madison Courier website, www.madisoncourier.com, turned off its paywall to allow full access to story content and our e-edition.

We apologize to our print readers and advertisers for any inconvenience caused by this equipment failure.