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Official: Extreme cold closes MMSD schools Monday

Official: Extreme cold closes MMSD schools Monday

An official announced Friday afternoon that Madison Metropolitan School District Schools would be closed Monday. 

MMSD spokeswoman Rachel Strauch-Nelson said just before 5 p.m. that all school buildings would be closed Monday due extreme weather conditions.

The Madison School and Community Recreation department activities, athletics and other extra-curriculars scheduled Monday were also canceled.

The district said said a decision about school Tuesday had not yet been made, and families with children attending MMSD schools should monitor local media and email for Tuesday's status. 

For additional area announcements, visit the cold weather announcements page on Channel3000.com.

RELATED: 

Live blog: Brutal bitter cold

Ski trails, outdoor ice skating rinks open

Ski trails, outdoor ice skating rinks open

Two websites will be available throughout the season to update residents on ski trail and ice skating rink conditions at Madison parks.

There are thirty-two kilometers of signed and groomed trails available for cross-country skiers in six Madison parks. Trail difficulties range from easy to advanced.

Three park trails require a cross-country ski permit, but the rest offer free ski trails that are groomed less often.

For daily updates on cross country ski trail conditions, go online.

As of this week, most ice rinks in Madison are open. Ice skate rentals and concessions are available at Elver, Tenney and Vilas parks.

For daily updates on outdoor ice skating rink conditions, go online.

Snowy weather doesn't stop UW-Madison graduates

Snowy weather doesn't stop UW-Madison graduates

For video on this story, visit http://video.channel3000.com or the video section of our app

Slippery conditions and long, slow drives were all too common stories at this year's University of Wisconsin - Madison winter graduation ceremony.

"We actually drove up today. It was pretty slushy and slippery, we had to take our time," one graduate said.

With Madison getting over a half foot of snow, staff said they weren't expecting such a large turnout for the usually smaller ceremony. But it was something graduate Devin Schlapbach said no student or family would have missed.

"After you go to school for four or five years, you put a lot of time and effort into it," Schlapbach said. "Nothing is really going to stop anyone from seeing their kids graduate."

Another graduate concurred, acknowledging how important the day was for family.

Carver crafts ice sculpture in Peace Park

Carver crafts ice sculpture in Peace Park

A professional ice sculptor demonstrated his skill for onlookers on State Street Friday morning.

Maurie Pearson of Black River Ice Sculptures in La Crosse said he's not very good with a pencil and paper, but when he's carving a 300-pound block of ice, it just seems to come easily from his brain to his hands.

Pearson sculpted a sleigh our of ice in front of a crowd outside 452 State St. His demo was planned from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

A local business group, Madison’s Central Business Improvement District, sponsored the event as part of a series of holiday events Friday and Saturday.

Kids, families invited to Downtown Holiday Open House

Kids, families invited to Downtown Holiday Open House

Downtown businesses will be hosting a free Downtown Holiday Open House for kids and families this weekend.

The Downtown Holiday Open House includes free holiday fun, special offers and refreshments at participating businesses downtown, organizers said.

Events include ice sculpting demonstrations in Peace Park, pictures with Santa and a holiday crafting party at DreamBank, holiday trolley rides, welcome bags, ‘Kids in the Rotunda’ performances at the Overture Center and family activities at the new Central Library.

Downtown businesses will be open for families to start their holiday shopping, and families can join the businesses and the United Way of Dane County in providing holiday gifts for teens in need, according to a release.

The event is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday on State Street and the Capitol Square. For more information call 608-512-1342 or go online.

Madison Parks to host Toys for Tots drop-off sites

Madison Parks to host Toys for Tots drop-off sites

Madison Parks will be joining the Toys for Tots Foundation by hosting collection sites at three locations starting Monday, according to a release.

Anyone can stop by one of the three drop sites to donate a new, unwrapped toy of any size, organizers said. Toys for kids of all ages are encouraged.

"Madison Parks is proud to be a part of a great program like Toys for Tots," Kevin Briski, Madison Parks Superintendent, said in the release. "By hosting three drop-off sites, we can play a part in providing the children of our community the opportunity to experience the joys of the holiday season."

The collection starts Monday and will continue through Dec. 8 at the locations during their regular operating hours.

Donation drop-off sites:

Clinic offers healthy alternatives to Halloween sugar rush

Clinic offers healthy alternatives to Halloween sugar rush

A health care facility is offering tips to reduce the sugar intake that accompanies the Halloween festivities.

Krista Kohls, a dietitian at the Meriter Clinic downtown on West Washington Avenue, said there are multiple ways parents can make Halloween healthy.

“I’m always a proponent of fruits and vegetables,” Kohls said. “Anytime you can include fruits or vegetables into the snacks or party favors, it’s going to be a good thing to add fiber and vitamins and minerals.”

Kohls said one way to make Halloween partiers  young or old more healthy is a new twist on a veggie tray. She suggested arranging veggies to resemble a Jack-o’-Lantern using baby carrots, cucumber and broccoli on a circular tray with three dipping cups of hummus.