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14 cadets graduate Madison College as police profession faces 'tense times'

Many of the 14 law enforcement cadets walking across Madison College's stage Friday night know they are heading directly into an occupation that finds itself under unprecedented scrutiny.

"It’s kind of a tense time to come to law enforcement, for law enforcement officers that are currently in it," 128th Law Enforcement Academy class president Sam Vollrath said.

"They have been through a lot of social events. That was really a litmus test to their own character," academy director Brian Landers said. "And they’re here to graduate. And they’re here to announce to the whole world that they’re ready to go off and be law enforcement. The next generation of police officers in our community. And I’m incredibly proud of them."

From viewing national and local racial tensions, graduates from the college’s 128th academy say they have learned important lessons about the use of force and how to act on the job.

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14 cadets graduate Madison College as police profession faces 'tense times'

Many of the 14 law enforcement cadets walking across Madison College's stage Friday night know they are heading directly into an occupation that finds itself under unprecedented scrutiny.
Matthew Simon reports.

Mallards ready to open 2015 season

The Madison Mallards open the 2015 Northwoods League season Tuesday night at Warner Park against Kalamazoo.

Manager Donnie Scott begins his third season with the Mallards. After winning the Northwoods League Championship in 2013, the Mallards finished in the middle of the pack last season.

Scott says he's ready to get to work and get back to that championship level.

"I know I can't wait for this thing to get started," Scott said. " I want to get out the gate. I mean I'd like to put a pretty good run together  right off the bat, try to win the first half.  And once they get comfortable with things, things really seem to start clicking."

Nurse survives stroke, emphasizes identifying signs 'FAST'

Nearly 800,000 Americans suffer from a stroke every year. It's the fourth leading cause of death in the United States, and it can happen to anyone.

"Patients didn’t really realize that it could happen to them," stroke survivor Becky Stowers said. "A 26-year-old didn’t realize that it could happen to them and it did. And as a 46-year-old I didn't really believe it but when I went to the hospital, I really thought I did."

Stowers has been a nurse for more than two decades but in her 40s she never thought she would become a patient herself.

"The neurologist that saw me in the hospital told me I would never go back to work again, and I told him that he didn't know who I was," Stowers said.

Stowers had a right thalamic stroke caused from a medication she was taking, a symptom that affects only one in 250,000 people.

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Deputy strikes pedestrian with squad car, police say

A Dane County sheriff’s deputy struck a pedestrian with a squad car on Madison’s north side Wednesday afternoon, according to a release from Madison police.

Police said the pedestrian was crossing Aberg Avenue in a crosswalk on a walk signal when the light turned to a flashing warning sign before he made it to the other side of the street. As that happened, an SUV turned from North Sherman Avenue onto Aberg Avenue with the deputy directly behind it. Police said the deputy didn’t see the pedestrian.

The 63-year-old pedestrian suffered bruises and road rash.

The deputy will be cited for failure to yield.

WATCH: Get a first look at Arctic Passage at Henry Vilas Zoo

Mary Jo Ola was at Henry Vilas Zoo Wednesday morning to share a preview of the new Arctic Passage that opens this weekend.

The Arctic Passage is the zoo's biggest renovation in its history. Crews broke ground on the project in March 2014. The passage spans nearly two acres of land and features environments for twin polar bears Sakari and Suri; and a pair of grizzly sisters known as the Grizzly Girls; and harbor seals. 

A restaurant in the addition offers diners a look at the polar bears, who can also watch you have your meal.

For more information about the opening weekend event, visit vilaszoo.org/arcticpassagegrandopening.

STAR Credit Union helps kids learn how to save

STAR Credit Union helps kids learn how to save

Kelsey Johnson earns money by babysitting her neighbor's two children; it is her main source of income. She also earns a little money at home by cleaning her room, “which I hate,” she said.

Johnson just entered the sixth grade, and has had a savings account for four years. She banks through STAR (Save to Achieve Results) Credit Union, the only kids-chartered credit union in the world.