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WATCH: Get a first look at Arctic Passage at Henry Vilas Zoo

Mary Jo Ola was at Henry Vilas Zoo Wednesday morning to share a preview of the new Arctic Passage that opens this weekend.

The Arctic Passage is the zoo's biggest renovation in its history. Crews broke ground on the project in March 2014. The passage spans nearly two acres of land and features environments for twin polar bears Sakari and Suri; and a pair of grizzly sisters known as the Grizzly Girls; and harbor seals. 

A restaurant in the addition offers diners a look at the polar bears, who can also watch you have your meal.

For more information about the opening weekend event, visit vilaszoo.org/arcticpassagegrandopening.

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STAR Credit Union helps kids learn how to save

STAR Credit Union helps kids learn how to save

Kelsey Johnson earns money by babysitting her neighbor's two children; it is her main source of income. She also earns a little money at home by cleaning her room, “which I hate,” she said.

Johnson just entered the sixth grade, and has had a savings account for four years. She banks through STAR (Save to Achieve Results) Credit Union, the only kids-chartered credit union in the world.

Madison school board delays implementing Cheatham's discipline changes

Madison school board delays implementing Cheatham's discipline changes

The Madison Metropolitan School District’s board of education delayed implementing changes Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham calls key to making the district's discipline policy, known as the Behavior Education Plan, work effectively.

Cheatham told board members based on staff, student, parent and community feedback, changes can be made to correct massive misunderstandings surrounding the BEP, such as disruptive or unsafe students being kept in classrooms and teachers being unable to ask students to leave their class.

The proposed changes include:

New ladder truck joins Madison Fire Department's fleet

New ladder truck joins Madison Fire Department's fleet

A new ladder truck has joined the city of Madison Fire Department's fleet, according to a release.

A Pierce aerial platform ladder truck with a 100-foot ladder and 1,500 gallons-per-minute fire pump will improve the working area's safety for firefighters, the release said.

The truck will be kept at Fire Station 8 on the east side of Madison.

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Brat Fest announces Lifest Stage lineup

According to a release, Brat Fest will partner with the Christian music festival Lifest for the second year.

The Lifest stage will feature Christian musical artists, including headliners Hawk Nelson, Rapture Ruckus, Family Force 5 and Sidewalk Prophets. Family acts from AJ the Animated Illusionist and Josh Jordan will also take the stage.

On other stages, Bret Michaels, The Charlie Daniels Band, Aaron Lewis and over 70 other bands will perform.

Brat Fest takes place Memorial Day weekend and will offer brats and other food, a carnival, bands and other activities. The event has been held every Memorial Day weekend since 1983 and is the world's largest festival featuring brats.

Madison West stays undefeated in Big Eight girls soccer

Madison West stays undefeated in Big Eight girls soccer

Simo Bambi had a goal and an assist to lead Madison West to a 2-1 win over Middleton in a Big Eight girls soccer game at Mansfield Stadium Thursday night.

Bambi set up Claire Mooney for the first goal of the game in the 42nd minute as West took a 1-0 lead at halftime.

The Regents made it 2-0 in the 82nd minute as Anali Osori assisted on Bambi's goal.

Middleton scored in the 88th minute as Megan Sullivan broke up the shutout, but West held on to go to 5-0 in the Big Eight conference.

Middleton suffered its first conference defeat to drop to 4-1.

New early childhood center hopes to take on education disparities

New early childhood center hopes to take on education disparities

The Playing Field, a unique childcare center seeking to bring kids ages 0-3 from different socioeconomic and racial backgrounds together in one classroom, will open next fall in the lower level of Bethany United Methodist Church.

The program's founder, Abbi Kruse, said she wants to know the effects of placing dissimilar children together at an early age, and hopes it will help close education disparities between white and minority students that have become a focus in Madison.

“It's my hope that at least if our children are playing together, that that's a start,” Kruse said. “And from there who knows what can happen?” Monica Host, the city of Madison's Child Care Program Coordinator, said she applauds Kruse's initiative to purposefully combine children from different backgrounds. “It's better for everyone. It's better for families, it's better for children,” she said.