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a.MKE The List: Another Heat Wave to Hit Milwaukee & LGBT 'Weed Dating': Today’s Top Stories

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Today is the start of another heat wave in Milwaukee with the temp reaching the high 90’s and there’s even a chance for triple-digit temps tomorrow, and if Milwaukee hits 100 degrees then it will be the first time in seventeen years. The Milwaukee County Parks Department extended hours of operation for wading pools, splash pads and deep well pools for today and tomorrow. City Health Officials are warning Milwaukee-area residents to be smart about the warm weather, drink a lot of water, stay cool and watch out for heat-illness warning signs, including cramps, heat exhaustion and heat strokes.

The American Red Cross recently issued an emergency call for blood donors. The Red Cross is dealing with a big donation shortfall this month because there have been 50,000 fewer donations in June than expected. So the organization issued an emergency call for blood donors, saying there is a need for blood and platelet donors of all types and it’s in critical need of O-negative blood. The Red Cross says they typically see a decline in people who give blood during the summer, as schools are out of session and families head out on vacations. If you donate blood through one of the BloodCenter’s drives in Southeastern Wisconsin from now until July 7th, you can get a one-day admission to either Summerfest or the Wisconsin State Fair.

It was recently announced that the Second National-International Urban and Small Farm Conference will be held here in Milwaukee from September 7th through the 9th. Growing Power actually first hosted this event back in 2010 and a crowd of over 1,500 people gathered together to share ideas for building a healthy and resilient community-based food system. So this year’s conference will build on the efforts from two years ago and CEO of Growing Power, Will Allen, expects to have even more breakaway sessions, more speakers, more tours and over 3,000 participants.

The Medical College of Wisconsin is planning on expanding its campuses to Green Bay and central Wisconsin. The school is adding the campuses to address the shortage of physicians and other health care providers in Wisconsin. The college will aim to admit the first group of students to the new campuses as early as the summer of 2015. The goal is for a minimum of 15 students at each campus. The school’s president, John Raymond, said, “This isn’t just about education. We’re going to have many new opportunities in research and community engagement and for new clinical partnerships.”

“LGBT– Weed Dating” is an event aimed at single lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and it’s being held in the Concordia Gardens this July. Paul Williams is Milwaukee’s LGBT Community Center Co-President, and he said, “Our community has requested events for singles in environments outside the clubs. This event provides us the opportunity to meet people from numerous organizations and give back to the larger Milwaukee community.” The event is sponsored by Cream City Foundation, Victory Garden Initiative, and Milwaukee’s LGBT Community Center. No gardening experience is necessary and the goal is to engage with others and find new ways to give back to the community. The event will be held on July 21st from 9 a.m. to noon.

It’s the start of the 45th year of Summerfest. The music festival starts today and runs through July 1st, it’s closed Monday the 2nd, then continues from July 3rd through the 8th. Today is Johnson Controls “Stomp Out Hunger Day with FOX6”, which means all patrons who arrive between noon and 3 and donate three non-perishable food items will get one free admission ticket. Donations will be accepted at the Mid Gate Promotions Booth and the North Gate. All donations benefit the Hunger Task Force. You can also find the 88Nine Crew broadcasting live throughout the festival next to the Potawatomi Bingo Casino Stage and Pavillion.