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Red Cross seeks, celebrates blood donations on 'Donor Day'

Officials with the American Red Cross are appealing to the public to turnaround their declining blood supplies.

They said that they're asking people to donate blood in World Blood Donor Day on Thursday. They said the event is a chance for the organization to raise awareness about blood donation and to thank everyone for coming out to do so.

They're giving away specially designed bandages.

Officials said there's a strong need for blood types O negative and positive, B negative and A negative.

In order to give blood, donors have to be at least 17 years old (or 16 with parental consent0 weigh at least 110 pounds and be in general good health.

Here's a list of four places in the Madison area:

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Beloved lion at Henry Vilas Zoo has died

One of the most popular animals at the Henry Vilas Zoo has died from cancer.

The 16-year-old lion, named Vilas, died after cancer spread from her mammaries to her lymph nodes.

She came to the zoo in 1997, along with a male lion, Henry.

Vilas had eight cubs, including her most recent, Leo, who was born in December 2010, and is still at the zoo.

Zookeepers are now working to find a new female lion to be with Henry.

Common Council OKs new mobile food trailer project

The Madison Common Council gave the thumbs up on Tuesday night to a proposal to bring fresh fruits and vegetables to low-income neighborhoods.

The goal is to bring food to families who otherwise don't have access to grocery stores. These access issues have left some parts of the city being described as "food deserts."

To that end, plans for a mobile food trailer are in the works. The refrigerated trailer would be filled with fruits and vegetables and come to six neighborhoods in the city.

Madison's Orpheum Theater loses liquor license

The Orpheum Theater has been part of Madison's State Street since the 1920s, but the venue's future could be in jeopardy.

The Madison Common Council voted to take away the theater's liquor license.

City leaders said someone with the business canceled their state seller's permit last year, which is required for an establishment to have a liquor license. Because of this, the Orpheum shouldn't have been selling alcohol for the last 14 months.

However, one of the Orpheum owners, Eric Flemming, said the state seller's permit was canceled this year.

"I did not cancel the seller's permit," said Flemming. "That was done by Henry (Doane) without giving me notice, which I would have fixed at the time. It happened on April 15 of this year."

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Soglin went to State Street to observe taxis' compliance with law

Days after pushing for greater observance of city laws about taxis driving on State Street, Madison Mayor Paul Soglin went to the city's main drag early Saturday morning to checking on how local taxis responded.

The mayor said he wants to add taxi stands on State Street because the city's 35-year-old ordinance that says vehicles can only use one block to conduct business, keeping the street a pedestrian mall.

Soglin said on Monday that most drivers are complying, but not all.

"They think once they're on the street with a pickup, then can go the entire length of the street and around the normal traffic pattern on the rest of the downtown streets," he said. "That the rest of us mere mortals have to deal with."

Soglin said he hopes taxi companies will follow the ordinance and said he doesn't want police wasting time writing tickets.

He said that ticketing will begin in a few weeks.

Museum explores '80s, '90s music recorded in Madison

A Wisconsin museum is exploring punk, alternative and grunge music recorded and produced in Madison in the 1980s and 1990s.

The exhibit is called "Smart Sounds/Alt Music/Mad Scenes" and it runs from June 19 to Sept. 15 at the Wisconsin Historical Museum in Madison.

It's expected to explore how the music being played, recorded and produced in Madison during those decades created a music scene with national impact.

The exhibit centers around Madison's Smart Studios, starting with its founding in 1983, its rise to fame in the 1990s and its closing in 2010.

Bands like Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins and Madison's own Grammy-nominated band Garbage recorded there.



Neighborhood debates environmental impact of Orton Park Festival

Neighborhood debates environmental impact of Orton Park Festival

The Orton Park Festival has grown exponentially since its debut 47 years ago, now attracting as many as 5,000 attendees, estimates Event Coordinator, Bob Queen. Since he became involved 23 years ago, Queen has helped bring in international and Grammy-nominated acts to perform at the four-day event.

But some neighbors and city officials worry the high volume of people and equipment places increasing strain on the turf, soil, and trees of the 4.21 acre park.