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Hundreds of schools closed in Wisconsin

Published On: Dec 20 2012 07:04:49 AM CST   Updated On: Dec 20 2012 07:16:14 AM CST
MADISON, Wis. -

Students across Wisconsin have a day off. Hundreds of schools canceled classes as a major snowstorm moved into the state.

Madison, Prairie du Chien, La Crosse and Tomah were among the many school districts closed Thursday.

More than 130 school closings were reported to Channel3000.com.

The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning for some counties as winds of up to 45 mph were expected to create whiteout conditions. The State Patrol is advising against non-essential travel.

Ten inches of snow had already piled up in Osseo by early Thursday morning with 6 1/2 inches at Lomira.

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    MADISON, Wis.--A west Madison store is part of an effort to collect hundreds of stuffed animals to donate to six police departments in Southern Wisconsin.

    Todd Merryfield, owner of The Learning Shop at 714 S. Gammon Road, said the store is collecting the bears for officers who use them to help comfort children with whom police come in contact.

    "This is a great way to support what (police) do," Merryfield said. "Those are the kids that need something like this to reassure them, calm them down, and let them know that things are all right."

    Nearly 500 plush animals were donated Tuesday, a Learning Shop spokeswoman said. The Madison store's effort is part of a larger initiative through the Bears for Humanity organization. 

    Photos by Doug Wahl

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