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Henry Vilas zoo says Henry the lion has died

Henry Vilas Zoo announced Wednesday that the nearly 18-year-old African lion, Henry, has died.

Officials said Henry?s health and quality of life had been progressively getting worse with late-stage kidney failure.

?Henry was beloved by zoo staff and visitors, and he will be greatly missed,? Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said in a release. ?He and his previous mate, Vilas, contributed greatly to the survival of their species, and towards educating the public on the importance of preserving our natural world.?

Henry came to Henry Vilas Zoo in 1997, according to the release. Henry and Vilas, who passed in 2012, were the first residents of the zoo?s Big Cat Exhibit.

The pair of lions raised eight cubs, which have been transferred to other zoos, officials said. Their cubs can be visited at the Milwaukee Zoo, the Racine Zoo, the NEW Zoo in Green Bay, the Topeka Zoo, Blank Park Zoo and Tautphaus Park Zoo.

Soglin: Madison becoming drop-off for state's homeless

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin has spent time scrolling through pages of listed sex offenders, searching for those with addresses listed as a homeless shelter.

"There are other units of government that are not taking up their fair share of the responsibility, and in fact, because Madison has been a sensitive, caring, and generous community, other folks have taken advantage," Soglin said.

Those other government agencies might include the state Department of Corrections and other communities across the state, Soglin said.

Soglin said Madison police are looking into three accounts in which individuals said they were dropped off in the city by other Wisconsin municipalities. Soglin would not say where these people said they came from, but said the city is assuming a disproportionate amount of responsibility for these people.

Woman attacked in parking lot, officials say

A woman reported being attacked early Monday morning by an acquaintance in the 2800 block of East Washington Avenue, officials said.

The woman was in a parking lot after partying with several people around 2:30 a.m., according to the release.

The 47-year-old told police she was knocked unconscious after being kicked, punched and stomped on, officials said. She was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

Investigators are attempting to identify a suspect.

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BBB warns about timeshare solicitation

The Better Business Bureau is encouraging Wisconsin residents who own timeshares to be careful about solicitations promising that they can help ease their financial burdens. As the economy has decreased the value of many time shares, maintenance fees have doubled and tripled, leading many people to consider abandoning their vacation investments.

A Call For Action volunteer received numerous calls from an organization claiming to be a nonprofit organization that could help her lower her maintenance costs.

When she arrived at a meeting they set up at a restaurant on Madison's east side, she was pitched on a different travel package, one that promised her more flexibility and more locations. Her cost would be roughly $5,000 plus the equity in her timeshare.

St. Mary's, Dean merger official

Two local healthcare groups finalized a deal that merges a hospital system with a physician group and health plan.

SSM Health Care and Dean Health Systems announced Tuesday that the merger became effective on Sept. 1 after all necessary regulatory approvals were received.

Shareholders from the two companies signed an agreement in April under which Dean and its subsidiaries would become part of SSM Health Care. Before becoming official, the deal required the approval of the Wisconsin Insurance Office of the Commissioner of Insurance and other regulatory agencies.

SSM Health Care president and CEO William P. Thompson said patients should not see any disruption in care on the Dean Clinic and Dean Health Plan side.

Family reports hearing gunshot, officials say

A father walking with his family reported hearing gunshots on Madison?s east side Monday night around 9:40 p.m., officials said.

The man told police a dark-colored Chevy Impala drove past them on Bartillon Drive with its lights off and stopped, according to a release. He said that is when they heard the weapon go off.

After the shot, he told police the car?s lights turned on and the vehicle sped away, according to the release.

There were no initial reports of injuries or property damage, police said.

Officials said the man does not believe anyone was shooting at his family.

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2 women punched in 'strange' attack

Two women were the victims of what police are calling a "strange" attack outside a Madison grocery store.

The women, both 24, were about to walk into Woodman?s at 3817 Milwaukee Street Saturday night when a man tossed a grocery bag containing a gallon of milk at them, according to police. The jug burst when it struck one of the women?s legs.

Police said the man then hit each victim once in the face, sending each of them to the pavement.

A witness said that after the attack the man was laughing as he fled west on Milwaukee Street.

The attacker is described as black, in his late 20s to early 30s, 6 feet tall with a thin but muscular build and very short hair. He was wearing a light-colored T-shirt and jeans.