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Warm weather prompts reminders about seasonal fire hazards

Warm weather prompts reminders about seasonal fire hazards

Warm weather in the 60s arrived this week, and with it, an advisory from fire officials on outdoor fire hazards that accompany the season. 

The Madison Fire Department said ordinances do not permit burning yard waste. A fire within outdoor fireplaces or pits -- with spark arresters in use and fire extinguisher or water source nearby -- are permitted as long as it is attended by a responsible adult. 

The fire department also offered reminders on other seasonal fire hazards:

Squad car camera catches images of possible meteor

Squad car camera catches images of possible meteor

A camera in a Madison police squad car parked on the city's west side caught images of what appears to be a meteor late Wednesday.

The squad car was parked near Westgate Mall's Hy-Vee store when the light in the sky appeared at about 11:52 p.m.

Another officer driving on Old Sauk Road also saw the light.

The officer parked at Westgate drove to where he thought the object might have fallen there and could not find anything out of the ordinary.

The Federal Aviation Administration reported no large planes in the area.

VIDEO

Meadowridge Library expands while engaging community through art

Meadowridge Library expands while engaging community through art

A building block, an introduction, a prelude. Every great endeavor starts with something.

The beginning of an anticipated expansion is bringing together community, sustainability and new perspectives at the Meadowridge branch of the Madison Public Library system.

Kick-starting the Meadowridge Library expansion is a citywide collaboration: 2,403 Tetra Paks, a visionary artist and an engaged community. In other words, a social art project.

Meadowridge Library branch supervisor Alice Oakey said the expansion plan is in the "waiting period."

"We know it's going to happen, but we don't see anything yet," Oakey said. "In that waiting period, we have Victor creating the art, making the whole thing seem real; helping us wait."

Although construction will not start for another four weeks, Oakey said as a community, "we've already begun."

Supporters: Despite spills, manure digesters make positive impact

Supporters: Despite spills, manure digesters make positive impact

In November, a pipe ruptured on Dane County's community manure digester, which converts cow waste into power. About 360,000 gallons of manure flowed through a dry ravine, according to Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources spokesman Bob Manwell. The spill entered a creek and reached the village of Waunakee, located more than two miles away, bringing with it an odor.

"As far as environmental damages, there was no immediate fish kill, which is a good sign," Manwell said. About 90 percent of the spill was cleaned up within a week, he said, but some of the spill, located in areas unreachable by equipment, remains.

"We're not saying there were no damages," Manwell said. "This is going to take some time, and we'll continue to monitor to see what impacts there may be."

Winter season ripe for snowshoeing at area parks

Winter season ripe for snowshoeing at area parks

If Madison area residents are looking for a cabin fever cure, area parks offer various trails for a fun snow activity.

Madison Parks spokeswoman Laura Whitmore said snowshoeing is a great way to get outdoors in Wisconsin's winter months and experience the Madison area parks. 

In addition to Edna Taylor Conservation Park, snowshoe trails are offered at Cherokee Marsh Mendota and North units, Elvehjem Park, Garner Park, Heritage Prairie, Heritage Sanctuary, Hoyt Park, Knollwood Conservation Park, Mineral Point Park, Prairie Ridge Conservation Park, Sandburg Woods, Walnut Grove Park and Warner Park. 

More information is available online at cityofmadison.com/parks/snowshoeing.

Watch News 3's Mary Jo Ola tackle the winter activity at Edna Taylor Conservation Park:

City: Recycle, opt out of receiving unwanted phone books

City: Recycle, opt out of receiving unwanted phone books

If residents have old or unwanted phone books, Madison city officials said there are environmentally friendly ways to dispose of them. 

The Madison Department of Public Works said in a news release on Wednesday that phone books are recyclable and can be placed in city's green recycling collection bins all year round. 

Residents can also opt out of receiving phone books online though www.yellowpagesoptout.com

Businesses with large volumes of phone books can bring them to the city's drop off sites at 1501 W. Badger Road on the west side or 4602 Sycamore Ave. on the east side. The facilities are open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

City warns residents to take precautions in bitter cold

City warns residents to take precautions in bitter cold

Amid forecasts of extreme cold in the next few days, the city of Madison said residents should take precautions to stay safe and be vigilant for the well-being of others. 

News 3 Chief Meteorologist Gary Cannalte said low temperatures Thursday will fall into the teens below zero with wind chills as cold as minus 30. Wind chill advisories go into effect Thursday evening and continue through Friday morning.

Friday will be partly sunny and windy with high temperatures in the mid-teens and wind chills as cold as minus 15.

The city suggested several precautions residents should take during the extreme cold, including: