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Enjoy family fun at the Downtown Madison Family Halloween party

On Wednesday, Oct. 29, the city of Madison will be hosting a Halloween party for families to enjoy.

The party goes from 3-6 p.m. at the corner of State St. and the Capitol Square.

There are many free and low cost activities for families and kids 12 and under to get involved with. Some include magic shows, hayrides, crafts, spooky stories, art projects, festive Halloween photos, kids' musical theater, trick or treat at participating businesses and more!

You can pick up a full list of activities and trick or treating locations on Oct. 29 at the Downtown Visitor Center, 452 State St.

Don't forget to show off your spooky costumes at the party as well!

Downtown Halloween fun continues through that week with additional programs at the Wisconsin Historical Museum and Madison Children's Museum. Visit the downtown Madison website for links and information.

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Most municipalities set Halloween trick-or-treating hours

Most municipalities set Halloween trick-or-treating hours

When will the ghosts and goblins be out?

Find below a list of the trick or treating hours for communities in southern Wisconsin:

Oct. 31

2 Beltline construction projects nearing completion

Two road construction projects tying up Beltline traffic should be finished soon.

Officials with Wisconsin Department of Transportation said they hope the projects will be wrapped up in November.

One Beltline project stretches from Fish Hatchery Road to the interstate. DOT officials said crews are replacing six miles of concrete and making repairs to five bridges. The old pavement was 25 years old. DOT officials hope the new concrete will last at least 12 years.

This project started in April and the DOT hopes to finish it by early November.

The second project is on the Beltline from Midvale Road to University Avenue. Road crews are installing a noise wall, widening ramps and doing some electrical work. DOT officials said work is mostly complete with an end date at the end of November.

Task force will research ways to protect Madison's honeybees

A task force will research the problem of Colony Collapse Disorder, which directly affects honeybees and other pollinators, in the Madison area, according to a release.

The Madison Common Council adopted a resolution earlier this month directing the Madison Food Policy Council to lead the task force, which will be composed mainly of city staff, officials said. The task force will provide recommendations to departments and the common council on local solutions to protect pollinators.

Madison?s Pollinator Protection Task Force will monitor the progress of the federal task force, use best practices to inform its work and review relevant recommendations from the federal government, according to the release.

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Small, white, shaggy dog bites man on west side

A dog bit a man on Madison?s west side Tuesday afternoon, according to a release from the Department of Public Health.

The dog bit the man around 5 p.m. in the 1100 block of Merrill Springs Road, officials said. The man was jogging when the incident happened.

The dog is described as small, white and shaggy, according to the release.

Officials ask anyone with information on the incident to call 255-2345 and ask for the animal services officer.

Woman injured in crash that shut down Beltline Tuesday

A woman was injured in a crash that shut down the westbound Beltline briefly Tuesday morning.

The Dane County Sheriff's Office said a vehicle crashed at about 7:52 a.m. between Verona Road and Whitney Way.

Madison police spokesman Joel DeSpain said a 22-year-old woman was driving west on the Beltline as traffic began to slow because of construction. The woman changed lanes to avoid rear-ending a vehicle but rear-ended another car driven by an 80-year-old woman, police said.

The 22-year-old woman?s vehicle also struck a concrete median barrier and the vehicle came to rest on its side, DeSpain said. There were construction workers on the other side of the median but they were not injured, police said.

The 22-year-old received minor injuries, DeSpain said. The 80-year-old driver was not injured.

The right lane opened at about 8:54 a.m. for traffic that was stuck after the Verona Road exit and all three lanes reopened at about 9:11 a.m.

Madison water customers could see rate increase, conservation incentives

Madison Water Utility is asking the Public Service Commission for a rate increase and changes to its rate structure to incentivize users to conserve water.

The utility wants to increase revenue by 30 percent by increasing rates, on an annualized basis, 7.5 percent per year for each of the four years since the last rate increase. The utility has not decided how the increase will be distributed among residential, multi-family, commercial, industrial and public authority customers.

General manager Tom Heikkinen said the increase is needed to replace aging water mains, improve water quality and make a payment in lieu of taxes to the city.

This is the first rate increase requested in four years, according to the utility.

If approved, Madison Water Utility will be the largest water utility in Wisconsin to offer a conservation rate for residential customers.

If approved, the new rates would go into effect in the spring of 2015 at the earliest.