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DOT: Beltline lane shift expected to last until 2016

Long-term lane shifts will start Thursday morning on the westbound Beltline between Verona Road and Whitney Way, according to a Wisconsin Department of Transportation release.

Starting Thursday, all westbound Beltline traffic will be shifted to the outside lanes, officials said. The lane shift will last until the spring of 2016.

A similar traffic shift will start Saturday morning on the eastbound Beltline between Whitney Way and Verona Road, according to the release. The eastbound lane shift is expected to last until spring 2015.

Nightly lane closures will be scheduled in the area of the lane shifts, and preliminary work will start on the Beltline median in the area, according to the release.

Officials said traffic shifts will be weather-dependent, and are subject to change.

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Missing woman sought by police found safe

A Madison woman who was last seen Sunday is found safe.

Madison police said Sara Lovelle, 31, was last seen at her home on the west side. She was later found safe.

Police said she returned home late Monday night.

West, Memorial battle to scoreless tie

Madison West and Madison Memorial battled to a 0-0 tie in a boys soccer match at Mansfield Stadium Tuesday night.

West is ranked third in the state in the Wisconsin Soccer Coaches Association poll this week, while Memorial is ranked fourth.

Middleton, which is ranked second, defeated Sun Prairie 3-1 Tuesday night.

Middleton travels to Mansfield Stadium to face Memorial Thursday.

State’s report cards show MMSD meets expectations

State education officials say the majority of Wisconsin public schools and school districts meet or exceed expectations for student achievement.

The Madison Metropolitan School District was rated at 69.8, which is meeting expectations. That score is an improvement over last year’s score of 68.5.

While Madison remained in the bottom third of districts statewide, it moved up from 11th to eighth among districts located in cities.

“As a school district, we’ve been very focused on the school improvement process. That means tightening up the process by which we set measurable goals for them to choose a few powerful strategies for meeting those goals and then consistently monitoring them along the way so they can make adjustments,” MMSD Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham said. “We believe this is how you raise student achievement to narrow achievement gaps.”

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Madison reaches top of 100 best places to live list

Madison has reached the top of Livability?s 2015 list of the Top 100 Places to Live.
The website announced the rankings on its website on Monday.

Madison ranked fifth on the list last year.

Mayor Paul Soglin told Liveability.com that he wasn?t satisfied with the No. 5 ranking and convened a task force to determine how to improve the ranking and make Madison a more livable place.

"I think the way we respect this award is to not simply accept a first place ranking, but to set a goal of everyone in our community being happy and believing that they live in the best place in the country," Soglin said.

Livability makes the rankings based on the local economy, health, housing, civic engagement, education, amenities, diversity and infrastructure. Madison has appeared in previous Livability rankings for top college town, foodie city and top music destination.

3 arrested after girls exchange punches

Three teenage girls were arrested after a disturbance where punches were thrown, according to a release from Madison police.

Officers were called to the 4700 block of Jenewein Road at 6:55 p.m. Saturday for a report of a disturbance. When officers arrived, there were many people yelling in the street, while others were gathered on nearby lawns to watch the disturbance.

Witnesses told officers two girls exchanged punches.

Two 15-year-old girls were arrested on suspicion of disorderly conduct. A 17-year-old girl was arrested on suspicion of disorderly conduct and carrying a concealed weapon.

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Epic annual meeting to cause Beltline delays

Next week, thousands of visitors will come to Madison for the annual Epic Systems Users Group Meeting.

Significant backups and delays are anticipated on the Beltline, Verona Road (Highway 18/151), and other area roadways, especially during the morning rush hours Monday through Thursday.

Make sure you plan ahead if you travel on these roads.

As we are also in the midst of the Verona Road project, use the signed alternate route, which can be viewed on the Verona Road Project website.