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MPD estimates 50K people attended Freakfest, 35K bought tickets

Madison police estimate the amount of people who attended last weekend?s Freakfest to be 15,000 higher than actual ticket sales, according to a release.

Ticket sales were estimated at around 35,000, but the Madison Police Department estimated the true number of people on State Street from the Capitol down to the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus was closer to 50,000.

Thousands of people were inside the soon-to-be gated area before the official Freakfest event started, police said.

?At the crowd?s peak, one sergeant commented that officers were feeling their ranks to be very thin compared to the large volume of people in the streets,? the release said.

MPD officials were pleased with the behavior of the vast majority of Freakfest attendees, but the sheer number of people created some concern for police crews.

According to the release, two people were arrested and taken to jail, and 44 others were cited and released.

Distracted drivers put crossing guards, children at risk

The crosswalk is supposed to be a safety zone for children and crossing guards, but a new report shows walking across the street is becoming increasingly dangerous for pedestrians in Madison.

"I had just turned to head back to the curb and a car assumed that I was finished and they just accelerated and came right through," said Mark Evans, a Madison crossing guard.

It's an all-too-familiar close call for Evans and other crossing guards in Madison, with crossing guards at some intersections in the city at times reporting two drivers breaking the law in one hour-and-a-half shift.

So far this year, 256 citations for failure to yield to adult school crossing guards have been issued. Those numbers are 70 percent higher than the 151 citations given the same time last year.

Police: Drunken homeless woman beats sleeping man with metal crutch

Police: Drunken homeless woman beats sleeping man with metal crutch

Police said a drunken homeless woman beat a man with a metal crutch in downtown Madison early Thursday because she wanted his sleeping spot.

The Madison Police Department said Loretta D. Manuel, 38, is homeless and is one of many who sleep on the streets downtown. Early Thursday morning, Manuel wanted to sleep out of the wind in a spot near the front doors to the City County Building on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. But a 53-year-old homeless man was already sleeping there.

At 3:15 a.m., Manuel reportedly grabbed an aluminum crutch that belonged to another homeless person, began yelling and violently striking the man in the head. Police said the man tried to block the woman's blows and was able to get up and get the metal crutch away from the alleged attacker.

A man nearby heard the kerfuffle and called 911; police who were inside the City County Building were able to respond quickly, according to the report.

UWPD issues Bucky Bucket list warning

An illegal University of Wisconsin-Madison "bucket list" item is happening so often campus police are issuing a warning.

Multiple times every night campus police say after students hoist themselves up onto Bascom Hall's old, rusty fire escape they are making the dangerous trek up 80 see-through stairs. Official said the students are trying to check reaching the roof of the iconic campus building off their Bucky Bucket List.

So far this year there have been 35 citations issued for unauthorized presence, as compared to 38 citations at this time last year, which includes a hefty fine.

"It's $200.50, and then also the students we do contact up here have been drinking. It's a second ticket of underage drinking, and that's $263.50." UWPD officer Kristin Radtke said. "The worry is they would either fall on the stairs or fall off the roof."

DOT expects delays on eastbound Beltline Thursday

Department of Transportation officials said drivers should expect delays on the eastbound Beltline on Thursday.

Daytime work on the eastbound Beltline between Whitney Way and Verona Road is expected to start at 8:30 a.m., officials said. The construction work is expected to continue into Thursday night.

Construction vehicles will be regularly entering and exiting the eastbound Beltline in the work zone throughout the day, according to a release.

Officials said backups and delays are expected Thursday, especially during Thursday afternoon rush hour.

Some delays are also expected on the westbound Beltline in the area, according to the release.

Officials are encouraging drivers to plan ahead, use alternate routes and allow additional travel time Thursday.

Madison explores 'border dropping' to speed up emergency response

The City of Madison is taking the first steps to work with its neighbors to ensure the closest fire engine would be sent to an incident regardless of which municipality it happens to be in.

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin is requesting a study be conducted into what's called "border dropping." It was first discussed by Dane County Executive Joe Parisi as a way to speed up emergency response times. Border dropping ensures that the closest unit to an incident goes no matter if the emergency is across a municipality border.

"I?m glad the city is taking a look at this," Parisi said . "When people experience an emergency, they want help fast, and political lines should not determine where that help comes from."

Officials release video of 'close calls' with buses

Madison Metro officials hope releasing video footage will show the community how close calls are a daily occurrence for city buses.

Over the past several years the city has added surveillance cameras to metro buses.

A safety campaign focused on educating the public and encouraging people to use the streets safety was the focus of a news conference Monday.

"I would say it is our presence on the street and the occasional accident that reminds us what we can do to improve our safety," Madison Metro General Manager Chuck Kamp said. "What you?re seeing today, this discussion today is hopefully going to improve our safety even further."

Metro buses are now equipped with audible turn signals, which is another part of metro?s effort to increase safety.