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City budget commits funds to create affordable housing

Madison's 2015 Executive Capital Budget will have funds committed to addressing the issue of not having affordable housing in the city.

Between 3,000 and 4,000 people are served by the shelter system in Madison annually, according to a release from city officials. Lack of affordable housing has been made worse by low vacancies in the rental market, new landlord-tenant laws and a tightened lending market.

"Housing is essential to creating a safe community," Madison Mayor Paul Soglin said.

The primary goal for the Affordable Housing Strategy is to support the development of approximately 750 additional units of affordable rental housing by committing over $20 million over the next five years to a new Affordable Housing Fund, officials said.

Monday garbage, recycling pickup delayed due to holiday

Crews will not be picking up garbage or recycling in the city of Madison Monday due to the Labor Day holiday, according to a release.

Residents who have their garbage and recycling picked up on Mondays will have their material collected on Tuesday next week, officials said. All other garbage and recycling pickup will happen on normally scheduled days.

"Because of the double collection on Tuesday, it is important that residents have their material out by 7 a.m. to ensure collection," Madison Recycling Coordinator George Dreckmann said in the release.

Because of the holiday, the street's division's large-item pick-up service may run a day late.

The city of Madison drop-off sites will be open Saturday and Sunday, but will not be open on Monday, according to the release.

Police: Purse snatcher punches woman in face

Police: Purse snatcher punches woman in face

A woman was punched several times in the face by a woman who took her purse from her, according to a release from Madison police.

The 40-year-old victim told police she was walking along Northport Drive near Troy Drive Saturday night when she crossed paths with two other women. She said one of the women grabbed the strap of her purse.

The struggle for the purse ended when the robber began punching the woman in the face.

The victim told police the second woman was rooting the first woman on but didn?t get involved.

The robber is described as black, in her early to mid-20s, 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighing 220 pounds with a heavy build and orange tinted hair worn in a bob style. She was wearing a white and pink top.

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7 schools to offer free breakfasts, lunches on school days

Seven Madison Metropolitan School District schools will start offering free, healthy school breakfasts and lunches on regular school days, according to a release.

The meals will be provided as part of the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Community Eligibility Provision program, officials said. The program will start at the beginning of the upcoming school year.

?We are pleased that we will be able to provide free breakfast and lunch to all students in some of our schools with the highest need,? MMSD Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham said in the release. ?Through the CEP, we?ll be able to reduce the administrative burden on families and ensure that every child has access to nutritious meals.?

The schools that will be offering free breakfast and lunches for all students are Allis Elementary School, Falk Elementary School, Lakeview Elementary School, Leopold Elementary School, Mendota Elementary School, Sherman Middle School and Wright Middle School.

Madison police chief, district officials to host community forums

The Madison Police Department has scheduled community forums to stay engaged with questions and concerns of residents, according to a release.

The sessions will be an opportunity to provide police officials and MPD Police Chief Mike Koval with direct feedback, officials said. There will also be a representative from the district to talk about specific neighborhood issues.

Police investigate report of child grabbed by stranger

A 13-year-old said a stranger grabbed him and tried to drag him toward a railroad car before he was able to escape, according to a report from Madison police.

The incident happened around 5 p.m. Saturday in the 800 block of Troy Drive.

According to police, the boy, who was visiting from Minnesota, said the man who grabbed him was wearing a mask at the time.

Police said the boy yelled for help. Another boy, a 14-year-old from Madison, came to help him, throwing rocks at the man, which allowed the victim to escape.

The boy described the attacker as a white man, 5 feet 6 to 5 feet 10 inches tall, with a slender build, short brown hair, wearing black clothing and a mask. Anyone knowing anything about the incident is asked to call Madison police.

Local firefighter bikes cross county to honor fallen firefighters

Four-year town of Madison firefighter and paramedic Jeff Moore made it his mission last year to visit every fire department in Dane County on his bike. This year he went a step further and is now biking across the country, visiting fire departments along the way, all in an effort to raise money for fallen firefighters.

"I thought he was crazy. That's a long way to go for one person," town of Madison Assistant Fire Chief Matthew Wright said.

Moore started his 4,400-mile journey 39 days ago on his bike, traveling from San Francisco to New York with two specific goals in mind.

"The first goal is that I wanted to honor, respect and remember all fallen firefighters. The second, I wanted to promote a positive for the American fire service," Moore said.