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Meals on wheels continues despite cold

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While many stayed indoors during the frigid weather Monday, others ventured out to make sure hot meals got to those who need them.

Home Health United did their daily Meals on Wheels run between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday, taking hot meals prepared by the Market Street Diner to more than 230 people on 38 routes.

Some of the recipients of the meals were shocked to see volunteers at their doors given the extreme weather.

"I think they will not be able to come out and sure enough they were right there," Madison resident Karen Sauer said. "Meals on Wheels never fails."

Sean Morrison works on staff at Home Health United, but is a backup volunteer who helped out since some regular volunteers could not make it in because of the cold. He said he was glad to do it because of how important the meals can be.

Towing companies, mechanics busy in blistering cold

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A true Minnesota man, Rob Dean was in his element.

"I prefer this. I love the cold. I love it," Dean said.

A knight in neon armor Monday, Dean spent his day jumping car after car for Prairie Land Towing.

Monday was busy. Been really busy. A little chilly, but we all survive it. Every year, same time every year it gets cold.

Yet, after buzzing around Madison saving dozens of drivers, even Dean admitted the weather he is so fond of was doing some damage.

"The batteries, they're not able to do the cold-cranking amps that they need to have in there, and their cars are cold," Dean explained. "There's not much you can do about that. You just got to get a jump start and go."

Thief takes off with Jeep warming up at East Towne Mall

A Jeep warming up in a parking lot outside East Towne Mall was swiped by a thief Sunday night, according to a release from the Madison Police Department.

Officers said a restaurant employee started up the vehicle to let it warm up and went back inside Red Lobster when someone got in and drove away. She told police she had been watching her Jeep when it suddenly started backing up.

Police said she had left the Jeep unlocked. It has not been recovered.

Madison to start holiday tree collection

The Madison Streets Division will start collecting Christmas trees on Monday, according to a release.

Most trees will be processed at the curb with chippers, officials said. The chippers are expensive and can be damaged when foreign material goes through them, so crews are asking residents to follow some guidelines when putting trees out for collection.

  • Remove all tree stands (metal and wood)

  • Remove all lights, ornaments and other objects
  • Remove any tree bags
  • Place trees at the street edge only
  • If it snows, residents are asked to dig out trees

Wreaths, evergreen rope, garlands and boughs will not be collected with holiday trees, according to the release. Those items can be put out during regular garbage collection.

3 family members represent USA on Olympic team

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We're just weeks away from the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia and once again Madison will be represented on the U.S. Olympic team.

Craig Brown of Madison is an alternate on the men's curling team headed to Sochi next month.

"It's exciting," said Brown. "I've tried for a long time with my own team and we've had a lot of success but never quite come out on the Olympic side."

But he's not the only Brown repping the red, white and blue.

"My sister is going as the skip of the women's team, so now I get to go and watch her and be a part of the men's team," Brown said�.

His sister, Erika, who was born and raised in Madison but now lives in Canada, will play in her third Olympics this year.

But lest you think the family talent ends there, Erika and Craig's father, Steve is also a coach for the Paralympic team.

City workers prepare to battle bitter cold

City workers prepare to battle bitter cold

The cold had many people preparing to stay indoors the next few days, but that's not the case for everyone. For Madison Streets Division workers, it will be another day of work. 

City of Madison Streets Superintendent Chris Kelley said any delays to streets pick up will put an extra strain on workers. 

"We pick up every day, so if we go two days without (service), the third day, it'll take us quite awhile to get caught up," Kelley said. 

Streets Machine Operator Leroy Grieshammer said the cold weather will create a few changes, but won't stop him or his coworkers from getting the job done. The team members shorten their outdoor rotation times from 30 minutes to every 15 to keep from getting too cold. 

"We can always get back in the truck and warm up for a little bit, then continue on," Grieshammer said. 

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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.