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Snowy weather doesn't stop UW-Madison graduates

Snowy weather doesn't stop UW-Madison graduates

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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.

Dozens watch anti-bullying film at library

More than 40 people showed up to watch the documentary "Bully" downtown at the Madison Central Library on West Mifflin Street Wednesday.

"Bully" is a powerful and provocative film that follows the lives of five kids who are bullied every day. Its message is that the culture of our schools is broken and needs to change.

The film resonated with many viewers, bringing some close to tears, who discussed the film after the 6:30 p.m. showing. The dialogue was moderated by News 3 Anchor Susan Siman as part of WISC-TV's year-long "Time for Kids Buddy Project" to fight bullying.

Eleven-year-old Terriana Brown said the movie hit close to home for her.  

""I might cry right now," Brown said. "It feels like it's me that is on the screen."

Documentary screening, discussion aimed at anti-bullying efforts

Documentary screening, discussion aimed at anti-bullying efforts

The public is invited to join a conversation about the impacts of bullying, and what's happening in the community at a special event Wednesday evening.

WISC-TV, Dean Clinic and Madison Public Library are hosting a free screening of the award-winning documentary, "Bully." There will be a discussion afterward with the audience and area experts. WISC-TV's Susan Siman will be moderating.

The screening is part of the Time for Kids: Buddy Project, a year-long initiative and series of reports dedicated to the topic of bullying and ways to stop it.

The screening is the third in a series and begins at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 23, at Central Library in downtown Madison. Attendees will also be given an opportunity to take the "Be A Buddy, Not A Bully" pledge and those who do so will be given orange, anti-bullying wristbands.