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Seasonal leaf collection crews to start pickup

Seasonal leaf collection crews to start pickup

The city of Madison will begin the season's leaf collection pickup next week.

The Streets Division crew will start collecting leaves Monday and will continue as long as the weather permits through late November or early December.

There is no leaf collection schedule, according to the city news release. The crew begins in the Monday refuse collection area and continues through each district in order of the day of the week. However the collection may be on a different day than the regular refuse schedule depending on the workload.

"We always start leaf collection the first Monday in October because many residents want to get started cleaning out their gardens," Madison recycling coordinator George Dreckmann said.  "We will operate with fewer crews until the volume of material picks up," which is expected to be mid-to-late October.

Construction prompts closure of Walgreens at Verona Road

Construction prompts closure of Walgreens at Verona Road

The drugstore that's been on Verona Road nearly 20 years is scheduled to close before the end of the year because of construction in the area, the company said Thursday.

Corporate Walgreens spokesman Phil Caruso said the store at 4641 Verona Road will close Dec. 30 and that construction on Verona Road was a factor in the decision to close the store.

Caruso said customers with prescriptions on file at the Verona Road store will automatically have their prescriptions transferred to the store at 5702 Raymond Road.

The majority of the employees at the Verona Road store will be placed in jobs at other area Walgreens location, Caruso added.

He said the decision to close the Verona Road store was not easy.

2.6K athletes descend to Madison for Ironman

2.6K athletes descend to Madison for Ironman

Approximately 2,600 athletes will be descending on Madison over the weekend to compete in the 2014 Ironman triathlon.

The triathlon routes feature Madison and its surrounding scenic areas, organizers said.

Ironman Wisconsin offers a $25,000 professional prize and 50 age-group qualifying slots for the 2015 Ironman, according to a release.

The triathlon starts at 7 a.m. on Sunday with a 2.4-mile swim in Lake Monona, followed by a 112-mile bike ride through rural Dane County and a 26.2-mile run through downtown Madison.

According to the release, 17 countries and 48 states will be represented in the triathlon, with 818 participants coming from Wisconsin.

Many University of Wisconsin campus and downtown streets will be closed to accommodate the biking and running portion of the race, organizers said.

Henry Vilas Zoo announces 2 new residents coming to zoo

Henry Vilas Zoo announces 2 new residents coming to zoo

Madison?s Henry Vilas Zoo announced Wednesday that two new residents will be moving in as soon as their home in the zoo?s new Arctic Passage Exhibit is finished.

Zoo Director Ronda Schwetz said the new residents are two grizzly bears who are currently at the Bismark?s Dakota Zoo, in North Dakota.

The bears were born in the wild, and their mother and grandmother were nuisance bears, which mean they were too comfortable being around people. They broke into campsites, and the grandmother had to be relocated 11 times to keep her away from people.

Then the grandmother broke into and raided a pig farm and became too dangerous. Officials euthanized the mother and grandmother, leaving four cubs behind.

Madison will be helping the zoo in North Dakota out by taking two of the cubs. The bears don?t have names yet, but zoo officials hope the community will help them out with that.

City plans to buy vacant building for neighborhood center

City plans to buy vacant building for neighborhood center

The long-vacant Griff's Restaurant, on the city's west side, has a new future after the common council approved a plan to buy the building.

The city will pay $469,000 for the building, which was Griff's from 1993 until it closed in 2010.

The building will be converted into a neighborhood center and a job-training site for teens and adults.

"Surrounding Elver Park we have a large number of low- and moderate-income housing units," Madison Alder Lisa Subeck said. "This is exactly the kind of facility we need to ensure that this neighborhood turns around."

Subeck said the center will serve the surrounding neighborhoods well.

"It is the only piece of commercial property available at or very near the Park Ridge Neighborhood -- one of our neighborhood's that's really been on the cusp and struggling," Subeck said.

She said it took three years to hammer out a deal to buy the building, and it is set to open next year.

A message from the MPD's Traffic Enforcement Safety Team

With the school year right around the corner, the Madison Police Department would like to remind Madison residents to slow down and obey school zone speed limits.

Watch for crossing guards and please follow their directions. Yield to pedestrians who are crossing the street and be aware of children present in the area.

Obey posted parking restrictions and park your vehicle accordingly.

The MPD considers School Zone safety a top priority and will be enforcing School Zone violations throughout the school year, to help keep children safe.

They also want to remind the public of Wisconsin State Statute 346.46 (2m) when approaching a crossing guard.

To read more about MPD rules and regulations, click here for more information.

MPD Mounted Unit officially announces newest member

MPD Mounted Unit officially announces newest member

The newest member of the Madison Police Department?s Mounted Unit will be announced Monday at a Community Corral, according to a release.

Torres is an 8-year-old Friesian Gelding that has spent the last two months in field training with the unit, and has now earned the right to start his solo career, officials said. Torres joins the unit thanks to a private donor working in conjunction with MPD?s nonprofit organization.

In March, Jack, a veteran horse member of the unit, passed away following a short illness, according to the release. But Torres has filled the void and is ready to carry on in Jack?s footsteps.

Torres will be introduced to the public at the Community Corral from 5-7 p.m. at Vilas Park. The unit?s team members will also be available to share information and answer questions about the horses and the responsibilities of being a mounted police officer.