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7 schools to offer free breakfasts, lunches on school days

Seven Madison Metropolitan School District schools will start offering free, healthy school breakfasts and lunches on regular school days, according to a release.

The meals will be provided as part of the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Community Eligibility Provision program, officials said. The program will start at the beginning of the upcoming school year.

?We are pleased that we will be able to provide free breakfast and lunch to all students in some of our schools with the highest need,? MMSD Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham said in the release. ?Through the CEP, we?ll be able to reduce the administrative burden on families and ensure that every child has access to nutritious meals.?

The schools that will be offering free breakfast and lunches for all students are Allis Elementary School, Falk Elementary School, Lakeview Elementary School, Leopold Elementary School, Mendota Elementary School, Sherman Middle School and Wright Middle School.

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Madison police chief, district officials to host community forums

The Madison Police Department has scheduled community forums to stay engaged with questions and concerns of residents, according to a release.

The sessions will be an opportunity to provide police officials and MPD Police Chief Mike Koval with direct feedback, officials said. There will also be a representative from the district to talk about specific neighborhood issues.

Woman climbs into exhibit, gets licked, kicked by giraffe

A California woman visiting the Henry Vilas Zoo on Saturday was fined after climbing into the giraffe exhibit, Madison police said.

Around 5:30 p.m. Amanda Hall, 24, of San Luis Obispo, California, climbed over one of the fences and was partially through a second fence around the giraffe exhibit when Wally, a 2-year-old, 12-foot-tall giraffe named Wally, licked her face and then turned and kicked her in the face, according to a release.

Hall sustained non-life-threatening injuries, but was cited for harassment of zoo animals, which includes a $686 fine, police said.

Zoo staff said giraffes are capable of killing lions, so Hall was lucky not to have been more seriously injured, according to the release.

Hall told police she climbed into the exhibit because she loves giraffes.

Local firefighter bikes cross county to honor fallen firefighters

Four-year town of Madison firefighter and paramedic Jeff Moore made it his mission last year to visit every fire department in Dane County on his bike. This year he went a step further and is now biking across the country, visiting fire departments along the way, all in an effort to raise money for fallen firefighters.

"I thought he was crazy. That's a long way to go for one person," town of Madison Assistant Fire Chief Matthew Wright said.

Moore started his 4,400-mile journey 39 days ago on his bike, traveling from San Francisco to New York with two specific goals in mind.

"The first goal is that I wanted to honor, respect and remember all fallen firefighters. The second, I wanted to promote a positive for the American fire service," Moore said.

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MadMarket Double Dollars program kicks off 2nd year

The MadMarket Double Dollars program kicked off Sunday at the Northside Farmers Market, according to a release.

The Double Dollars program is a farmers market incentive program for SNAP/FoodShare Wisconsin participants that offers a dollar-for-dollar match for money spent at participating markets, officials said.

In the program?s second year participating markets are the Northside Farmers Market, the Eastside Farmers Market at Wil-Mar Center and the new Brittingham Farmers Market at Brittingham Park, according to the release. The program will run through October and SNAP participants are eligible to obtain up to $25 in matching dollars at each market.

?Access to farmers markets, especially access to fresh, healthy and affordable food, should not be a luxury only enjoyed by those of means,? Madison Mayor Paul Soglin said in the release. ?Thank you to our supporters of this true public/private partnership and we look forward to continued growth of the program.?

Construction set to begin on Hilldale Mall project

Construction set to begin on Hilldale Mall project

Construction on a redevelopment of Hilldale Mall is set to begin with demolition Sept 4.

A mall spokesman said a construction bear claw will rip out the first sections of the old mall following a short press conference.

The project is expected to take the existing enclosed mall area between Metcalfe?s and Macy?s and create an open-air streetscape, officials said. The plan shows outward facing storefronts along the existing streets in the area, and adds an open-air retail connection through a pedestrian walkway to the west parking lot with additional storefronts.

The 53,000-square-foot redevelopment is scheduled to open in 2015.

Mallards program places players with families

Mallards program places players with families

Meet Craig and Sherry Barnsley of Madison, who are one of several families in the area that have a Madison Mallards baseball player staying with them for a few months.