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Madison Utilities: Make sure your pipes are protected

Madison Utilities: Make sure your pipes are protected

Madison Water Utility officials are hoping a few quick tips will help residents avoid costly -- and dangerous pipe bursting accidents during the extreme cold.

According to a release, MWU has initiated emergency water shut-offs at six unoccupied homes because of burst pipes. But, officials say there are a few simple steps customers can take.

  • If you have heating tape around pipes, make sure it's plugged in.
  • Double-check that outdoor spigots are off and all hoses are disconnected.
  • Insulate pipes in unheated areas.
  • Leave some heat on in unused areas of the home.
  • Keep the thermostat on at least 55 degrees if you're going out of town
  • If leaving town for extended period of time, have pipes winterized.

According to the release, all family members and household residents should know where the main water shut-off valve in the home is in case of a burst pipe.

Award-winning authors to visit UW campus

Award-winning authors to visit UW campus

Two award-winning authors will speak at the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus next week.

The first is Turkish author Orhan Pamuk. According to a release from UW, Pamuk is the winner of the 2006 of the Nobel Prize in Literature, becoming the second youngest person to ever receive the award. He is a freedom of speech advocate and his novels have been translated into more than 46 different languages.

Pamuk will speak Monday at Varsity Hall in Union South at 7:30 p.m.

The author of the celebrated post-apocalyptic, zombie author Max Brooks will speak Tuesday night.

Brooks' latest novel "World War Z" was recently adapted into a movie starring Brad Pitt. According to a release, Brooks also wrote "The Zombie Survival Guide." His lecture is in Varsity Hall at 7:30 p.m.

The lectures are free to attend.

Scope of hunger in Dane County is getting worse

Scope of hunger in Dane County is getting worse

Vincent Washington took his place in line outside of the Bread of Life Food Pantry. It's certainly not his first time at St. Paul's. He and his wife used to volunteer there, until the temp jobs ran out, along with the food in his kitchen.

Now unemployed, Washington said coming to the pantry once a month is about survival.

"Without it, what are you going to do? Go out there and steal and rob, and then where would you be?" Washington said.

Teriann Strassi will also have Thanksgiving dinner thanks to Bread of Life. She started coming in 2010 after her job was shipped overseas and her unemployment benefits ran out.

A mother of three, Strassi is working toward her paralegal degree. Since her husband works full time, the family doesn't qualify for food stamps or other government help when it comes to food.

"There have been plenty of tears. Plenty of days when I feel like I can't make it," Strassi said. "Tomorrow's always better."

County, city discuss possible day shelter for homeless

County, city discuss possible day shelter for homeless

Dane County could make a deal on a new permanent day shelter for the homeless in the next couple of weeks.

Officials said the push for finding a place for the homeless is because there are so many people still trying to get on their feet after the recession.

The ideal location would be in the immediate downtown area so the homeless can have quick access to services to help them get jobs and get back on their feet. But as the real estate market bounces back, properties that fit the county's needs and fit into the $600,000 budget have been scarce.

As a result, their focus has turned to properties some distance from the city center, like the MARC East building on Lien Road.

"Part of the answer is that the homeless are everywhere in Dane County and everywhere in the city of Madison. But there are many services that are centralized in the central part of Madison, and a building like MARC would require a substantial transportation plan," Hendrick said.

Former Madison foodies get taste of Big Apple food scene

Former Madison foodies get taste of Big Apple food scene

Ruthie Young walks the streets of New York with an appetite and a pen. The University of Wisconsin-Madison graduated in 2012 and moved to New York. She's out to get a taste of the Big Apple as a freelance food blogger.

"It really gives me an opportunity to explore the New York and the food scene on my own budget and my own time," Young explained.

New York City has its own little taste of Wisconsin within in the form of a group of restaurants borrowing Badger State influences, and transplants, like Adam Benedetto. He said incorporating the Midwest culture of being nice to people is part of the package in Little Wisco Restaurant Group eateries popping up in New York City. Little Wisco has opened four restaurants in the last two years, all staffed with Cheese State natives.