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Habitat for Humanity Seeking Families for Homes to be built in Sun Prairie, Fitchburg, Madison

Earlier this year, Habitat for Humanity of Dane County purchased 29 family unit lots in Sun Prairie and will be building homes in both the Uplands and Vandenburg Heights neighborhoods over the next several years, according to a press release.   Habitat also recently purchased 24 lots in Fitchburg in the Renaissance in the Park neighborhood and three lots in Southwest Madison.

For individuals and families interested in building with Habitat for Humanity of Dane County starting in 2015, informational meetings will be held:

Annual safety demo event returns to Capitol Square

Annual safety demo event returns to Capitol Square

An annual event hosted by area public safety groups returns to downtown Madison this weekend.

Each year, Safety Saturday provides an opportunity to demonstrate safe behaviors and teach people how to live, work and play safely, according to a city notice.

The event runs from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday on the Capitol Square and includes interactive demonstrations for all ages, organizers said. 

Safety Saturday is a cooperative effort between the City of Madison Fire Department and more than 25 public and private organizations throughout Dane County, fire department spokeswoman Bernadette Galvez said.

The event educates people of all ages, teaching them how to make safe decisions, prevent injuries and use devices such as seat belts, bike helmets, AEDs, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

Downtown roads will be closed Sunday for bike event

Downtown roads will be closed Sunday for bike event

Streets in downtown Madison will be closed Sunday for the annual Ride the Drive event, according to a release.

The 6-mile route will be closed to traffic from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., officials said. Traffic will be allowed to cross the route at several key intersections under police direction.

Streets that will be closed include the Capitol Square, State Street, Gilman Street, Frances Street, Dayton Street, Bedford Street, North Shore Drive, John Nolen Drive, Blair Street and the outbound lanes of East Washington Avenue.

Madison neighbors seek school district switch

Erika Dean's son Aiden went to daycare in McFarland. He grew up going to the grocery store in town. He has friends there. He plays on McFarland sports teams.

However, district lines snake right around Liberty Place where Dean lives, putting Aiden in Madison schools. When she applied for open enrollment, Aiden was put on the waiting list.

When she went through the same process for her daughter, Adelene, Dean was able to get her in. She attends 4K in Conrad Elvehjam Early Learning Center in McFarland, while her brother goes to first grade at Glendale Elementary in Madison.

Dean said she's happy with Madison schools, but after spending the school year with two drop offs, two pick ups, two daycares, and two different school calendars, it comes down to convenience.

Madison Parks regional beaches open for Memorial Day weekend

Looking to do some swimming or hanging out on the beach this holiday weekend? Madison Park Regional beaches will be open for those looking to enjoy the lakes over Memorial weekend. Lifeguard services are scheduled for this weekend, but are subject to change due to cool or rainy weather.

Regional beaches open June 13:

Police partner with organization to host free concerts at Olin Park

Friends of Olin-Turville Park and the Madison Police Department South District are partnering once again for an annual free concert series at Olin Park, according to a release.

A number of years ago, members of the South District Community Policing Team reached out to residents in the Baycreek Neighborhood to try and eliminate the Olin-Turville conservancy of open displays of sexual behavior, officials said. The frequency that type of behavior happens and the reputation of the conservancy has significantly improved over time.

The Madison Parks Department also got federal grant dollars and reinvested other funds to help rid the area of invasive species and replant grasses and other trees that are native to the area, according to the release.

Every May, FOOT now organizes a free concert series to show off what a beautiful location the 60-plus acre Olin-Turville conservancy is, organizers said.

City receives grant to update Goodman Pool playground

City receives grant to update Goodman Pool playground

The Madison Parks Foundation gives the city of Madison a grant to update the playground at Goodman Pool, according to a release.

Thousands of children and families make their way to the Goodman Pool and its adjacent playground in the summer, city officials said. The playground’s beach-themed play structure and sand-based play area is as popular as the pool itself, but officials said the sand creates a variety of maintenance problems for the play structures and the pool area.

The Madison Parks Foundation is giving the city of Madison Parks Department a $15,000 grant to replace the playground, according to the release. The total cost of the project is expected to be approximately $26,000.

The project, which is expected to start in the spring, will feature a poured-rubber surface covered by artificial turf, and the new design encourages kids to crawl, climb and play, officials said.