People's stories are often the focus of our work at The Cap Times. We wrote about a variety of people in the Dane County community in 2017 -- from activists, to educators, to entrepreneurs and lobbyists -- all with different perspective and backgrounds that inform the work they do. 

Here is a roundup, in no particular order, of some of our most-read stories about people in 2017. 

On trusting herself:  “I always think of it as the yellow brick road. I can see the yellow brick road. I know how to step down it and I don’t want to go off of it. I can see it. And I think for the others maybe they can see it, but they question it. They say, ‘Is it really the yellow brick road?’ But they probably know it is.

In her talk with WKOW's Amber Noggle at the Cap Times Idea Fest, Carey talked about how the brewery has grown, the politics of the beer and liquor industry and just how weird it was to name a beer "Spotted Cow" in the 1990s. 

On stereotypes of what a business owner looks like: “I think if people start to accept the fact that people dress how we dress, and talk how we talk, and still be businessmen or women or amazing people, that'd be good. It eliminates the assumptions,” he said.

 On how teachers should treat students: “Treat them like your grandchildren … I really think my grandkids are special, I think they can do anything. And everyone deserves that.”

On the biggest changes in Madison’s elementary schools during her tenure: "Definitely a focus on equity. There have been educators across our district that have really valued work around race and equity. Conversations around what it means to hold kids to high expectations or the impact of bias or implicit bias on discipline were happening in pockets across the district."

On the media's fixation and criticism of sensitive crimes defense attorneys: "It’s very frustrating because people tend to think, "Oh, defense attorneys, they just want to get people off without regard to justice" and that’s not accurate. We want people to have a fair trial and we decided a long time ago as a country that part of a fair trial is that you're presumed innocent unless the state overcomes their burden of proof.

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On the unreal expectation promoted by TV crime shows like CSI: "The image through repetition is we wear flashy clothes, we drive these awesome vehicles, we take lickety-split camera shots and we have really cool equipment that creates three-dimensional, holographic images – or makes the blood glow. So when we have to testify in court, they’re looking for some of this stuff. And they’re disappointed when we say, “It doesn’t work that way."

Sabrina Madison-founder of the Progress Center for Black Women at the Urban League, entrepreneur

On the creation of her new group, which launched in October: “This is about providing a more concrete and long-lasting way to serve black women,” she said. “It shouldn’t need me to survive.”

On coming to Wisconsin, on developing a winning Badgers football tradition at the Cap Times Idea Fest in September: “I didn’t come here to leave,” Alvarez said. “It’s like my mother said, we all want some place where we can be buried.”


Katelyn Ferral is The Cap Times' public affairs and investigative reporter. She joined the paper in 2015 and previously covered the energy industry for the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. She's also covered state politics and government in North Carolina.