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Brat Fest announces Lifest Stage lineup

According to a release, Brat Fest will partner with the Christian music festival Lifest for the second year.

The Lifest stage will feature Christian musical artists, including headliners Hawk Nelson, Rapture Ruckus, Family Force 5 and Sidewalk Prophets. Family acts from AJ the Animated Illusionist and Josh Jordan will also take the stage.

On other stages, Bret Michaels, The Charlie Daniels Band, Aaron Lewis and over 70 other bands will perform.

Brat Fest takes place Memorial Day weekend and will offer brats and other food, a carnival, bands and other activities. The event has been held every Memorial Day weekend since 1983 and is the world's largest festival featuring brats.

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Burglar gets in through unlocked door, police say

A robber took off with a laptop after getting into the Spring Street home of two University of Wisconsin students through an unlocked ground-floor balcony door, according to a release from Madison police.

The women, ages 20 and 22, told police that they went to bed early Friday morning after studying late, and before they fell asleep, they heard something in the living room and went to investigate.

The women said they found a man with one of their laptop computers tucked under his arm. Police said the man ran as the women called for police.

The women said they believe that the man was in their home for about 30 seconds.

Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra announces 2015 Concerts on the Square lineup

The Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra released their summer Concerts on the Square lineup Friday.

Concerts on the Square take place Wednesdays on Capitol Square at 7 p.m. from June 24 to July 29.

  • Once Upon a Time, June 24, Featuring Young Artist Concerto Competition winner Julian Rhee on violin
  • S'Wonderful, Wednesday July 1, Featuring soprano Amanda Huddleston and tenor Andrew Clark

  • Classical top 40, July 8, Featuring violinist Andrew Sords

  • Ole!, July 15, Featuring Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra cellist Karl Lavine

  • Livin' it Up, July 22, Featuring Jeans 'n Classics, The Music of the Eagles

  • Victory, July 29, Featuring pianist Michael Mizrahi

The concerts will be sponsored by Exact Sciences Corp.

New early childhood center hopes to take on education disparities

New early childhood center hopes to take on education disparities

The Playing Field, a unique childcare center seeking to bring kids ages 0-3 from different socioeconomic and racial backgrounds together in one classroom, will open next fall in the lower level of Bethany United Methodist Church.

The program's founder, Abbi Kruse, said she wants to know the effects of placing dissimilar children together at an early age, and hopes it will help close education disparities between white and minority students that have become a focus in Madison.

“It's my hope that at least if our children are playing together, that that's a start,” Kruse said. “And from there who knows what can happen?” Monica Host, the city of Madison's Child Care Program Coordinator, said she applauds Kruse's initiative to purposefully combine children from different backgrounds. “It's better for everyone. It's better for families, it's better for children,” she said.

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Police: 4 men invade apartment, take jewelry

Four men armed with bats broke into a downtown apartment and stole jewelry early Thursday morning, according to a release from Madison police.

A 20-year-old woman who was in the apartment during the break-in told police she fled to a neighbor who helped her contact police at 12:20 a.m. The 19-year-old man who rents the apartment was not home at the time.

When the man returned to his apartment in the 400 block of West Washington Avenue, he discovered some of his property missing.

Police said they believe the apartment was targeted.

Madison water quality report available for MWU customers

More than 130,000 people will be getting postcards in the mail over the next few days announcing the release of Madison’s annual Water Quality Report, according to a release.

The report is an overview of the tens of thousands of drinking water quality and safety tests Madison Water Utility conducted in 2014, officials said.

Test results show the city’s water met and exceeded all federal and state standards for health and safety, according to the release.

“Madison Water Utility takes the quality of the city’s water very seriously, routinely collecting more samples and running more tests than are actually required by the EPA and DNR,” the release said. “Madison’s drinking water system is made up of 840 miles of water main, 30 reservoirs and 22 active wells that draw water from an artesian sandstone aquifer below the city.”

MPD: Unwanted sexual advance likely cause of downtown fight

Madison police said an unwanted sexual advance combined with alcohol likely led to a physical disturbance in downtown Madison Tuesday night.

Madison police responded to the 100 block of West Wilson Street around 11:20 p.m. after receiving numerous reports of an active disturbance, according to a release.

Officers talked with a 34-year-old man who said he had been slapped several times in the face after being grabbed by the suspect, Madison police said. Officers later identified the suspect as Bradley James Kieny, 31, of Genoa City.

The fight between the two men allegedly started with an unwanted sexual advance by the victim and Kieny reportedly responded violently, according to the release. Officers reported hearing the victim yell for help when they responded to the area.

Police said they were able to help keep the fight from escalating further, but Kieny was arrested on tentative charges of battery and disorderly conduct.