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Sheriff offers boating classes in Sun Prairie, Verona, Stoughton

Sheriff offers boating classes in Sun Prairie, Verona, Stoughton

The Dane County Sheriff's Department is offering multiple classes this summer throughout the area teaching boater safety. 

Two classes will be held in Stoughton, one beginning May 24 and another beginning June 8; the class in Sun Prairie is scheduled to begin May 18; and the Verona class begins July 8. 

Sheriff spokeswoman Elise Schaffer said lack of education was considered a factor in many of the 87 boating accidents last year. 

The classes are open to beginning and experienced boaters, Schaffer said Wednesday. The minimum age to attend is 10 and there is a $10 fee due the first day of class. 

Registration is available online at https://danesheriff.com/boatSafety.aspx

-IF YOU GO-

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New arena features NHL-size ice rinks, other amenities

A new two-sheet ice arena will open next weekend in Sun Prairie, according to a release.

There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 9:30 a.m. on Jan. 17 and then a grand opening event from 5-10 p.m. on Jan. 18, organizers said. Both events are free and open to the public.

The grand opening event will include open skating on both rinks, tours of the facility, door prizes, a silent auction, hockey and figure skating demonstrations, face painting and more, according to the release.

The 94,000 square-foot ice arena features 14 locker rooms, 2 concession stands, a skate rental room, a dance studio, meeting rooms and a family lounge, according to the release. It also features two NHL-size ice surfaces with seating available for more than 1,000 spectators in the Cardinal Rink and 600 in the Tubbs Rink.

MacKenzie environmental education program could be cut

MacKenzie environmental education program could be cut

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' decision to restructure funding could put the MacKenzie Environmental Education Center's school programs on hold.

The Poynette facility plays host to thousands of students every year.

DNR officials acknowledge the value of MacKenzie's school-based environmental education, but the state is questioning whether the current curriculum can survive without addressing cost concerns.

DNR announces first winter season free-fishing weekend

Residents, nonresidents invited to try winter-time fishing without a license    

The state Department of Natural Resources announced Wisconsin’s first winter free fishing weekend, which is scheduled to take place Jan. 19-20.

Bob Manwell, DNR spokesman in Fitchburg, said residents and nonresidents are invited to fish Wisconsin waters without first purchasing a license.

Wisconsin has had a similar free fishing weekend in June for many years but Manwell said the mid-January free fish event offers the chance to  try "hardwater" fishing.

Manwell also said loaner tackle is available at some sites.

National Preparedness Month begins Sept. 1

National Preparedness Month begins Sept. 1

National Preparedness Month begins Saturday, the first day of September.

As Labor Day weekend brings the end of summer, ReadyWisconsin is urging Wisconsinites to discuss emergency preparation.

“Preparing for emergency events like tornadoes, flooding and winter storms requires individuals and families to be self-reliant and ready to face days without utilities such as electricity, water and phone service, access to local businesses such as gas stations and supermarkets, and other needed services,” said a Wisconsin Emergency Management press release.

People across the country are encouraged to prepare for emergencies by getting an emergency supply kit, making a plan for an emergency, and being informed about what types of emergencies could happen in your community.