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MPD: More than 30 packages stolen following deliveries

Madison police say that since November, more than 30 packages have been stolen following deliveries throughout the city.

Police reported on Dec. 8 that there were similar reports in the Isthmus area, but now say that there have been 10 thefts in the Central District, seven in the West District, six in the South District, five in the East District and three in the North District.

All the thefts took place during daylight hours after deliveries by USPS, UPS and FedEx.

Anyone expecting deliveries might want to have packages routed to places of work or other locations where someone is present.

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300-year-old oak tree at UW-Madison to be felled

The oldest tree on the University of Wisconsin's Madison campus is coming down.

The 300-year-old bur oak is known as "The President's Tree" because it stands on Observatory Hill next to the former home of university presidents, which is now the La Follette School of Public Affairs.

Daniel Einstein, the university's historic and cultural resources manager, told the Wisconsin State Journal they wanted to keep the tree as long as possible. But he says the recent drought and harsh winter caused the hollow old oak to decline rapidly.

The tree is so big that it recently took 20 preschoolers holding hands to circle it.

Einstein said they won't know the tree's exact age or how much of the wood can be salvaged until it comes down.

Sun Prairie choir to perform in Madison theater

Choir members from Sun Prairie United Methodist Church will perform in Madison for a special holiday concert on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Orpheum.

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Bus service reduced for Christmas Eve, Day

Bus service reduced for Christmas Eve, Day

Madison Metro will have reduced service hours next week due to the holidays.

The city of Madison posted a reminder Thursday that the buses will follow regular weekday schedules on Wednesday, Christmas Eve, but service will end early with the last trips of the day between 5 and 6:30 p.m. 

Buses will follow the holiday schedule Christmas Day, Thursday. 

For online guides, visit www.cityofmadison.com/metro/schedules/Holidays/index.cfm

More information is also available through the Metro customer service center at 608-266-4466.

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Man grabbed handful of cash from tip jar, police say

Man grabbed handful of cash from tip jar, police say

A homeless man stole cash from a State Street restaurant's tip jar Monday night after the store refused him free food, police said.

The Madison police department said 60-year-old Ray A. Wallace was at the Five Guys Burgers and Fries at 517 State St. shortly before 8 p.m.

Wallace reportedly asked the Five Guys manager for a "burger for credit," but the manager said that wasn't possible. Wallace then reached into the tip jar and grabbed a handful of money, about $10, according to the report.

The manager yelled, but Wallace walked out, police said. The manager provided police with a description of the thief, and officers found Wallace with a bottle of alcohol and tip jar money.

Wallace was arrested on suspicion of theft and unlawful possession or consumption of an open intoxicant on a public street.

Madison schools to ask $41 million referendum question

Madison schools to ask $41 million referendum question

The Madison Metropolitan School District will ask voters for $41 million school facilities referendum in April.

A school district official said the school board finalized a project list involving 16 schools during a Monday meeting.

If approved, the money would be used to improve accessibility in 10 schools, add classroom space to five schools and renovate four schools in need of upgrades.

The biggest projects include $8 million in renovations at Jefferson Middle School and $4 million to redo the theater at East High School.

If approved, taxpayers owning an average $237,000 home would pay an additional $62.95 a year in property taxes for 10 years.

"If we can get these addressed not only will we create stronger schools and learning environments for our students, but we will set ourselves up for some long-term facilities planning that will really help bring our vision as a school district to life," MMSD Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham said.

Private security coming for City-County Building

After multiple incidents over the last two months where individuals have broken into the City-County Building overnight, the city of Madison and Dane County are expected to start private security patrols of the building as soon as Wednesday.

City and county officials met Monday afternoon to work out dates, times and the type of security needed for the building, according to Dan Lowndes, the county's risk manager. He said the county is negotiating an amendment with JBM Security, which currently provides security for other county facilities.