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$300K grant to help MMSD open 4 full-service schools

The Madison Metropolitan School District received a three-year, $300,000 grant to support community planning and implementation for four full-service schools, according to a release.

Full-service schools integrate community services into schools sties and work to connect students and families with needed services to make schools hubs of support, officials said.

"Full-service schools take our support for children and families in Madison to a new level. Many of our families still struggle with access to community services, but by integrating coordinated services where our children and families are every day, we will be better able to support families and our students," Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham said in the release. "We are thrilled that thanks to the Madison Community Foundation, we’ll be able to work together to make full service schools a reality in Madison."

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MPD: 18-year-old inappropriately touches 8-year-old at library

An Oregon man allegedly assaulted an 8-year-old girl at Madison’s Central Library last month, Madison police said.

Alexander M. Cook, 18, is accused of approaching the 8-year-old while she was playing a game on a library computer and started making lewd comments, including “Oh, baby, you are so hot,” according to a release.

The 8-year-old said Cook touched her inappropriately on the outside of her clothing, police said.

Some of the child's family members were close by and intervened when they saw the interaction taking place, according to the release.

Cook later told a Madison police detective he had been using a library computer to look up pornography, specifically a “hook-up site.”

Cook was arrested on a tentative charge of first-degree sexual assault with a child under 13.

Baby orangutan born at Vilas zoo

Madison's zoo family just got a little bigger.

A healthy female Bornean orangutan was born two weeks ago at Henry vilas Zoo to first-time parents Kawan and Datu.

The baby was named Keju, which is Malay for "cheese," according to Dane County officials.

Keju is important to the national effort to maintain a population of the endangered species through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Orangutan Species Survival Plan. Orangutans are found only on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, and are the only great ape found in Asia. Bornean orangutans are endangered and Sumatran orangutans are critically endangered with less than 6,000 individuals left in Sumatra, Henry Vilas Zoo said.

"We are excited to have Keju as part of our zoo family," Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said in a news release. "No matter where she goes in life, her name is a reminder that she is a true Wisconsinite. We take great pride in the work we do to protect endangered species."

Water utility: Several businesses receive similar scam call

Madison Water Utility officials said several businesses have received scam calls that a business dependent on water never wants to hear.

"When you have a laundromat you need water. When you have a restaurant, you need water, a hotel you need water and to have that threat of it being cut off right away I think is a scary thing," said Amy Barrilleaux, Madison Water Utility public information officer.

Four businesses so far this week have been threatened over the phone by a man posing as a Madison Water Utility employee.

The man reportedly says the business will have its water turned off immediately if it doesn't pay a fee. One business owner said the man demanded a payment of $1,400.

So far, a laundromat, a hotel and a restaurant have received a similar phone call, but MWU utility officials said that is a call they would never make to their customers.

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Crazylegs race to close downtown streets Saturday

Motorists planning to drive in the downtown Madison area Saturday morning will want to take note of a few road closures from the Crazylegs Classic race, city officials said Wednesday.

The Madison City Traffic Engineering department said traffic will not be able to cross Wisconsin Avenue or State Street from 9:45 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

Major streets affected include Gorham Street, Johnson Street and Dayton Street. The city provided a map for through-traffic routes.

The city advised motorists to allow extra travel time if traveling downtown during during the closures.

Power restored at WARF building after hours-long outage

A power outage inside the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation building on the UW campus kept workers out of the building Wednesday morning and into the afternoon.

University of Wisconsin-Madison police originally said the outage could last until Thursday morning, but power was restored before 2 p.m. Wednesday.

"Crews worked hard and found the source of the issue," UWPD spokesman Marc Lovicott said in an email. He said power was restored and the building has reopened.

Officials said Wednesday afternoon that though the source of the outage had been repaired, the cause was still not clear.

UWPD said workers were asked to stay away from the building Wednesday morning due to safety concerns in connection with the outage.

Lovicott said workers were advised to stay in touch with their supervisors for further updates and instructions.

There is no word yet on what caused the power outage.

Madison hospital posts ER wait times online

A Madison hospital has begun posting the wait times for its emergency room, according to a release.

Meriter spokeswoman Leah Huibregtse said the hospital's goal is to increase transparency and help patients make more informed decisions about their health care. ER wait times are  automatically updated every 15 minutes Meriter.com. As part of the initiative's kickoff, wait times are also posted on a digital billboard near the Beltline and Rimrock Road.

Meriter said its average wait time last year was 9 minutes.

Patients also spent significantly less time in the Meriter ER in all measured categories when compared to city, state and national averages, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.

Many factors can affect wait times, including the arrival of patients with trauma, life-threatening injuries or illness or those arriving by ambulance.