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Group seeks to share Japanese art of Taiko drumming

The Madison group, Beni Daiko, is working to preserve the ancient art of Japanese Taiko drumming. 

The group meets at Neighborhood House Community Center on South Mills Street every Tuesday evening to practice, and is available for performances.

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.

Metro: Riders should exchange Quik Tix for passes

Metro: Riders should exchange Quik Tix for passes

The city of Madison said Metro bus passengers will have about three months to exchange paper Quik Tix for a new pass due to an upgrade in equipment beginning next month.

Madison said in a release Thursday that Metro Transit will install new fareboxes on all fixed-route buses in August. The new system will accept cash and Metro fare items, but paper Quik Tix will not longer be valid as of Oct. 31.

The city said passengers are asked to trade in existing Quik Tix for two-ride or 10-ride cards.

Trash collection suspended Friday, returns Monday

Trash collection suspended Friday, returns Monday

There will be no refuse or recycling collection in the city of Madison on Friday due to the Independence Day holiday, officials said.

Residents who have their refuse and recycling collected on Fridays will have their material collected on Monday, according to a notice from the city Streets Division. Residents in Monday’s trash collection district will also have their material collected on the Monday.

Madison Recycling Coordinator George Dreckmann said that residents should have their material out for pickup by 7 a.m.

Dreckmann also said the holiday may cause large item service to run a day late next week.

Madison's yard waste drop off sites will also be closed on Friday. They will reopen Saturday and Sunday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., officials said.

More information about waste services is available online at www.cityofmadison.com/streets or by phone at 246-4532 (east) or 266-4681 (west).

Elver Park fireworks show to briefly close McKenna Blvd.

Elver Park fireworks show to briefly close McKenna Blvd.

A free family-friendly fireworks event will take place on Madison's west side Thursday night. 

The city of Madison said it will host fireworks at Elver Park at 9:30 p.m., and residents are welcome to arrive as early as 7 p.m.

Organizers said parking will be free in the two lots at Elver Park, however cars will not be allowed to leave the parking lot until 30 minutes after the fireworks show ends for the safety of guests exiting the park on foot.

Some side streets in the area will have temporary parking restrictions Thursday. At about 9 p.m., McKenna Boulevard will be closed to vehicles from Raymond Road to Schroeder Road, the city said. The closure will last until about 30 minutes after the fireworks have ended.

Park visitors are welcome to bring a picnic, however the city said alcohol and grilling are not allowed in the park Thursday. Limited food will also be available at the old shelter, according to the city. 

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:

City asks residents to help save the ash trees

City asks residents to help save the ash trees

At the end of March, the city's Parks Division launched an Adopt-A-Park-Tree Program intended to help save trees endangered by one of Madison's newest residents -- the emerald ash borer. The small, invasive green-colored beetles were first discovered in Madison last November. Originating from Asia, the insect's larvae feed on the inner bark of ash trees and have already killed millions of trees in other parts of Wisconsin and across the country.

"It is an invasive insect and 30 percent of the trees in our streetscape and the parks are ash," said Laura Whitmore, spokeswoman for the city of Madison Parks Division.