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Free health talk focuses on prescription drugs

This month, Jim Rybacki, director of pharmacy for Dean & St. Mary's starts a series of free events focused on prescription drugs.

The first in the series will kick off on Feb. 27. It will be an opportunity to learn about the 12 key medicines you and your family should know.

Rybacki said the health education session will teach attendees about aspirin and cholesterol-lowering medicines that you can get people on a path toward a healthy heart.

Rybacki is the author of "The Essential Guide to Prescription Drugs, Medicines and Your Family," national treatment guidelines and more than 30 books and eBooks. Rybacki has been active with the American Heart Association Patient and Professional Education committees and sits on the National Advisory Council for Mended Hearts International.

The free informational series is offered by Dean Clinic Pharmacy.

Dance school offers new ballet class for all abilities

A Madison dance school offers a ballet class that is the first of its kind in the area.

Jo Matzner began teaching sitting ballet to children and adults at the Kehl School of Dance on Verona Road in January. 

The class was designed to allow anyone with mobility or health concerns to learn ballet and exercise. It is open to people who use assitive devices, but it is not limited. Students should have upper body mobility.

Seven-year-old Lauren Tierney was one of the newest students over the weekend. Tierney has cerebral palsy and uses crutches to move around, but on Sunday she was excited to get her first pair of ballet slippers.

She said she wanted to take class after a personal care worker showed her some ballet moves.

"In Wisconsin it's a really long winter, so having a range of activities and things that can be done in the winter is great," Lauren's father Adam Tierney said. He said Lauren had built up excitement before the first class.

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."

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:

Scope of hunger in Dane County is getting worse

Scope of hunger in Dane County is getting worse

Vincent Washington took his place in line outside of the Bread of Life Food Pantry. It's certainly not his first time at St. Paul's. He and his wife used to volunteer there, until the temp jobs ran out, along with the food in his kitchen.

Now unemployed, Washington said coming to the pantry once a month is about survival.

"Without it, what are you going to do? Go out there and steal and rob, and then where would you be?" Washington said.

Teriann Strassi will also have Thanksgiving dinner thanks to Bread of Life. She started coming in 2010 after her job was shipped overseas and her unemployment benefits ran out.

A mother of three, Strassi is working toward her paralegal degree. Since her husband works full time, the family doesn't qualify for food stamps or other government help when it comes to food.

"There have been plenty of tears. Plenty of days when I feel like I can't make it," Strassi said. "Tomorrow's always better."

Public Health: Assistance available for Marketplace sign-up

Public Health: Assistance available for Marketplace sign-up

Public Health of Madison and Dane County would like to remind residents of assistance programs that are available when signing up for health coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace.

Residents can ask questions or sign up for coverage by going to the website or calling 1-800-318-2596 and talking to a Marketplace representative, according to a release. Both options lead residents through a step-by-step process, but until the website is running more smoothly, calling a Marketplace representative is the best option.

Below is the information needed to sign up:

Man adopts dog with secret sniffing ability

Man adopts dog with secret sniffing ability

There are thousands of successful adoption stories coming out of the Dane County Humane Society. Countless pets have found homes but News3 traveler Mark Koehn has a story not so much about adoption but about fate.

The story begins one morning this past July; Tim Stephenson was watching the news.

"I saw her on News3, the pet of the week. Then I hear a little bit of the stories that she's not really adoptable," Stephenson said.

Ten-year-old Sassy was brought to the news station but adoptees knew older dogs can sometimes be harder to place.

"Just because she's 10 years old and she has a few problems, it doesn't mean anything. I'm not going to let her die just because of all of that," said Stephenson.

Stephenson said he wasn't going to let her die just because she was 10 years old and had a few problems, but he expected to not have to keep up with such a fast pace.