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Free health talk focuses on prescription drugs

This month, Jim Rybacki, director of pharmacy for Dean & St. Mary's starts a series of free events focused on prescription drugs.

The first in the series will kick off on Feb. 27. It will be an opportunity to learn about the 12 key medicines you and your family should know.

Rybacki said the health education session will teach attendees about aspirin and cholesterol-lowering medicines that you can get people on a path toward a healthy heart.

Rybacki is the author of "The Essential Guide to Prescription Drugs, Medicines and Your Family," national treatment guidelines and more than 30 books and eBooks. Rybacki has been active with the American Heart Association Patient and Professional Education committees and sits on the National Advisory Council for Mended Hearts International.

The free informational series is offered by Dean Clinic Pharmacy.

Inside Gio's Garden

Inside Gio's Garden

It has been a year and a half since a draem came true for News 3's morning anchor Charlotte Deleste and her family. In June of 2012, a cozy home on Parmenter Street was transformed into Gio's Garden, inspired by Charlotte's son Giovanni. It is a lifeline for families of special needs children. Susan Siman takes us inside to talk with the director.



New sign, lights to improve safety crossing McKee Road

New sign, lights to improve safety crossing McKee Road

Area leaders said new signs installed at the Badger State Trail and McKee Road crossing in Fitchburg are meant to reduce pedestrian-car crashes.

During a news conference Thursday morning at the intersection, Fitchburg Mayor Shawn Pfaff and Dane County Executive Joe Parisi unveiled the signs -- including lights -- that they said will make crossing the four-lane McKee Road safer for cyclists and pedestrians.

Parisi's office said an incident where a cyclist crossing McKee was struck by a car and three other crashes at the roadway and trail underscored the need for new measures to protect pedestrians.

The signs allow people on foot or bike activate the lights signaling to motorists they're about to cross. The lights flash in a pattern similar to the ones used by emergency vehicles, Parisi's office said.

Funding from Dane County -- $20,000 -- and money from the city of Fitchburg were used to purchase the signs.

School to host night of free fitness

A local school will host a night of free fitness classes September 23.

Northside Elementary School in Middleton is opening its doors to host two fitness classes. The classes will be held in the school's multipurpose room.

The first class is 20-20-20. According to a release from the city it focuses on total body strength and flexibility. Participants will get 40 minutes of upper and lower body strengthening and 20 minutes of pilates-yoga work.

The second class is a holiday boot camp. The class is one of six sessions to help participants burn unwanted calories that come from holiday eating through aerobic and strengthening exercise.

The hour-long classes start at 5:45 p.m. Residents can register online at http://www.ci.middleton.wi.us.

Cancer survivor takes on extreme marathon for charity

Cancer survivor takes on extreme marathon for charity

A local runner is taking on an extreme footrace for the third time for a cause near to his heart.

Darren Fortney's put on a lot of miles since he began running in 2005 but nothing like he'll experience during the Badwater Ultramarathon, a 135-mile foot race in central California where runners often experience extreme heat.

Fortney, a Middleton native and cancer survivor, is training to run the race this year on July 15-17. It will be his third time on the Death Valley course.

Fortney is a part of the Gilda's Club Madison board and participates in the race to raise money for the organization. Gilda's Club provides support, education and social events as a supplement to medical care for people touched by cancer.

For more information on the fundraising effort, visit gildas.kintera.org/badwater.

Program uses poetry to help memory loss

A nationally recognized program in Middleton, the Memory Cafe, part of the Alzheimer's & Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin, is using poetry to help those dealing with Alzheimers and dementia deal with memory loss.

Teacher saves toddler's life

Teacher saves toddler's life

Olivia Lauchner couldn't be happier to be back on a swing.

"By this morning, she's asking for ice cream and applesauce and the swing set and the swimming pool," Olivia's mom Annie Lauchner said. "And we knew she was back to her little sassy self."

The last couple days haven't been spent at home, but in the hospital. Olivia's dad, Jesse, was out of town on business when he got the call. He hopped on the first plane back to Madison, luckily returning to his two-year-old daughter in good health.

"Even when she's sick, we've never really encountered her slowing down, even a beat," Jesse said.

"She was responding and saying, you know, Mama and Dada, but still just completely out of it," Annie said.

After one night in the ICU hooked up to oxygen machines and a second night in general care, Olivia recovered from a choking scare while at daycare.