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Dog, owner attack lifeguard in beach incident

A lifeguard at a Madison park was beaten Saturday afternoon after pepper-spraying a dog that had gone after a small child on a beach, according to a release. The child’s family was able to grab him before the dog attacked him around 6 p.m., officials said. The 53-year-old lifeguard, Tom, told the dog’s owner he needed to take his dog and leave. “I intervened. At that point the dog was attracted to me and the owner and dog both approached me and violently,” said Tom, a lifeguard for the city of Madison. News 3 is not using Tom’s last name at his request as he is the victim of a crime and expressed concern for his safety. A city ordinance prohibits dogs on city beaches, even if they are on a leash, according to the release. Police said the dog’s owner is aware of the ordinance because he has had run-ins with lifeguards after letting his dog loose in Vilas Park in the past. When the dog started going after the Tom, he pepper-sprayed it, which made the dog’s owner mad, causing him to go after Tom, according to the release. The dog’s owner slammed Tom into rakes hanging on the wall of the beach shelter, and punched and kicked him. “He knocked me to the ground and started kicking me with his boots and hitting me with his fists and saying he was going to kill me,” Tom said. Two other lifeguards, a 29-year-old woman and a 20-year-old man, got involved in the altercation, and were eventually able to pull the man off of the lifeguard and convince him to leave the park, officials said. Police said the man was last seen leaving on his bicycle with his dog running alongside. The 29-year-old lifeguard was hit in the hip with a rake, and the 53-year-old lifeguard sustained multiple injuries, according to the release. This is the second time in a month the man and his dog have been involved in a confrontation at Vilas Park beach. On the previous occasion the dog, which was off of its leash, became aggressive with two small children. Life guards were called to step in. “We had repeatedly asked him to leave, and he and the dog both acted aggressively toward us and the children,” Tom said. During the incident about a month ago the man and his dog left the area without further incident. The dog’s owner is described as white, 29-35 years old, 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighs 160 pounds with scraggly dark hair and a goatee. The dog is described as a brown German shepherd mix. Crime map

Published: Wed, 03 Sep 2014 01:02:22 GMT

DOT: Additional Beltline construction starts next week

Construction scheduled to start next week will affect Beltline traffic between Whitney Way and Seminole Highway, according to a Wisconsin Department of Transportation release. The initial work, which is part of the Verona Road Project, will include temporary widening, pavement work, storm sewer work and other traffic control projects in preparation for Beltline reconstruction next spring, officials said. Starting Sept. 8, nightly lane closures are scheduled on the Beltline between Whitney Way and Seminole Highway, according to the release. Nighttime ramp closures are also expected at Verona Road and Whitney Way. During the project two lanes will remain open to traffic in each direction on the Beltline, but officials still expect to see delays in the area. Access to area businesses and neighborhoods will remain open during the project, according to the release. The $55 million project will reconstruct and expand the Beltline to three lanes in each direction between Whitney Way and Seminole Highway, including the Beltline/Verona Road interchange, officials said. Construction is expected to be completed in November 2016.

Published: Tue, 02 Sep 2014 20:28:48 GMT

Body found on hiking trail ID'd as Elkhorn man, deputies say

A body found near a hiking trail in the Kettle Moraine Forest has been officially identified as Russ Delorme, according to a release from the Walworth County Sheriff’s Office. A hiker called the sheriff’s office at 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 17 to report the discovery of a man’s body off the Yellow Trail. The body was found in a heavily wooded area off the marked trail. Personal items at the scene led deputies to believe the body was that of Delorme, 48, who was reported missing Aug. 1. The cause of death is believed to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Deputies were waiting for dental records, but confirmed that the body was Delorme on Tuesday. Deputies had conducted eight searches on foot, horseback, and ATVs in search of Delorme.

Published: Tue, 02 Sep 2014 19:52:01 GMT

Deputies seek motorcyclist spotted going more than 100 mph

Grant County sheriff’s deputies are looking for the driver of a motorcycle spotted going more than 100 mph. The motorcycle was first spotted Saturday at 11:38 p.m. traveling east on Highway 11 near Hill Road in the town of Hazel Green. A deputy attempted to stop the motorcycle that was going 86 mph. Deputies called off the pursuit for safety reasons. The motorcycle headed north out of Hazel Green on Highway 80 and was spotted by a Cuba City police officer turning west onto Highway 11 toward Benton. Lafayette County deputies located the motorcycle in Shullsburg as it went through town at more than 100 mph passing vehicles on the right. Deputies again decided not to pursue for safety reasons. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the Grant County Sheriff’s Office or Grant County Crime Stoppers.

Published: Tue, 02 Sep 2014 20:11:55 GMT

Injuries sideline Stave, Watt

Injuries will sideline Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave and tight end T. J. Watt, according to a report from UW Athletics. Stave is contending with a shoulder injury and Watt injured his right knee during camp requiring surgery. “Joel has been dealing with some issues with his throwing shoulder for the last couple of weeks and we have come to a decision, after talking with Joel, that the best thing for him right now is to shut it down and give him some rest, ” UW football head coach Gary Andersen said. Watt is expected back during the conference season. There’s no timetable for Stave’s return.

Published: Tue, 02 Sep 2014 17:19:19 GMT

Former Madison police captain named Pittsburgh police chief

Pittsburgh officials have announced the hiring of a new police chief. He is Cameron McLay, a former Madison, Wisconsin, police captain who has been working as a consultant for the International Association of Chiefs of Police. McLay is a 35-year veteran of law enforcement. The 56-year-old's hiring is subject to approval by the Pittsburgh City Council. McLay will succeed acting Chief Regina McDonald. She replaced former Chief Nate Harper, who is serving a federal prision sentence for conspiring to divert money into a slush fund for his personal use.

Published: Tue, 02 Sep 2014 18:30:24 GMT

Highway improvements spurred by fatal crash complete

The Highway 14 construction project spurred by a crash that killed a student teacher near Wisconsin Heights High School is complete, according to a Wisconsin Department of Transportation release. Safety improvements at the entrance of Wisconsin Heights High School on Highway 14 between Black Earth and Mazomanie were initiated after Katie Binning was killed in May 2012 while slowing down to turn into the parking lot. Binning was a student athlete at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and was student teaching at Wisconsin Heights High School at the time of the crash. The $900,000 project consolidated the two entrances to the school and added turn lanes on Highway 14, according to the release. The project started July 10.

Published: Tue, 02 Sep 2014 21:33:56 GMT

City?s capital budget doesn?t include Judge Doyle Square hotel

City leaders will get a first glimpse of Madison Mayor Paul Soglin’s $250 million capital budget Tuesday night. While Soglin said there’s a lot of improvement money in the 2015 proposal for things like neighborhood centers, affordable housing and a public market, there’s no spending proposed on the long-talked-about Judge Doyle Square hotel. Soglin said there’s no money in the budget for the hotel since the city council failed to act on that part of the plan. Earlier this summer, the city’s developer called for nearly $50 million in public money to subsidize what the developer estimated was a more than $111 million plan. As time went on, it was more and more difficult to find any council member who supported that high price tag. “We need a program for the hotel that is affordable and justified in return to the city taxpayers what it generates in terms of the TIF. We have yet to see a proposal that does that,” Soglin said. The city is continuing to negotiate with the plan’s developer. The mayor’s spokesperson said they are now waiting for the developer to come back with a new proposal. In the meantime there are still two parts of the Judge Doyle Square Development Plan included in the proposal, which includes renovating the Madison Municipal Building and the parking ramp behind it. The biggest commitments in the budget are for neighborhood centers and affordable housing. Sogline said as the city continues to work its way out of past financial challenges, new issues are always popping up and take priority. “There are still growing needs – some in new areas that were not previously budgeted, like dealing with the Emerald Ash Borer, the commitment to neighborhood centers and at the same time, maintaining the city’s traditional infrastructure,” Soglin said. A few projects that did not make it into the mayor’s proposed budget include a new transit facility for maintenance and repairs and a development of a biodigester for food waste. Proposed improvements to Monroe Street were also pushed back to 2017. The $10 million street project was expected to start next year.

Published: Tue, 02 Sep 2014 23:33:54 GMT

Increase in microbreweries, hop growers creates opportunity for retired teacher

An increase in microbrewers and hop growers in Wisconsin is creating new business opportunities. Rick Cole, a retired Evansville chemistry teacher, is finding himself right in the middle of the growing trend. Cole has always had a love for science, but he never imagined that passion would also help continue the expansion of Wisconsin's brewing industry. "I really like the idea of home culture, back-to-the-roots Wisconsin. We were known for growing hops, we've been known for years for our brewing. So it just helps things get back to perspective," Cole said. Cole is using his 25 years of home-brewing experience, along with combining his love for chemistry and beer, to provide chemical analysis for local growers and brewers. Cole officially opened his doors for business Tuesday, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony alongside friends and the Evansville Area Chamber of Commerce. Customers said testing alpha acids in hops is a key ingredient to crafting the perfect beer. "To the growers you want to harvest it at its peak, when the acid contents are the highest, before the plant starts breaking down and going dormant for the year," said Brendan Deneen, a local hop farmer. Alpha acids are what gives beer its bitterness. There are close to 50 different varieties of hops. However, with the majority of testing companies located on the west coast, Brendan Deneen, owner of Ore-ganic Wisconsin Hops, said local lab access is crucial to harvesting. "I have a sensitive crop. I have a week or two where its ready to harvest up until it's too late. In which case, I have extremely expensive fertilizer. So, to have somebody local right here who can get me a 24-hour turnaround is huge," Deneen said. Deneen, a former student of Cole's, gave him the idea to come out of retirement. Now, after years of teaching, Cole said he finally gets to take his own advice and pursue his passion. "I guess I'm putting my money where my mouth is and actually doing what I've been trying to tell students to do," he said. Cole plans to host an open house from 1-5 p.m. on Sept. 20.

Published: Wed, 03 Sep 2014 01:08:11 GMT

Mini Brat Fest raises $70K for stabbing victim

A mini Brat Fest held last week to raise money for a stabbing victim raised over $70,000, organizers said. The fundraiser event was held Friday at Metcalfe’s Market on the west side. All proceeds went to the family of the 12-year-old Wisconsin girl who was stabbed 19 times by people she thought were friends in May. More than 11,400 brats and almost 2,600 hotdogs were sold at the event, which had 250 volunteers and 45 sponsors. “We want to thank Tim Metcalfe and the Metcalfe family, the people at Johnsonville, Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C., and everyone who made this amazing event possible,” the family said in a statement. “The generosity of so many Wisconsin businesses, the support of so many volunteers, and the goodwill shared by so many people means so much to our entire family.”

Published: Tue, 02 Sep 2014 22:04:14 GMT

Annual fence slogan nod to Ha-Ha

One of the traditions connecting the Green Bay Packers and their fans is an annual slogan painted on a fence across from Lambeau Field. The slogan goes up on Fred Harrsch's fence just before the Packers start the regular season. The fence is even on Green Bay's historical sites list. It's been around since 1984. Packers President Mark Murphy shows up with a paintbrush when it's time for another slogan — as it was on Monday. He says the fence is part of the cultural of the Packers organization. This year, the slogan is a nod to a rookie who grew up in the South, Ha-Ha Clinton Dix. WLUK-TV says that when the paint dried, the fence read "Welcome to the Frozen Tundra Ha-Ha, Ho-Ho, He-He."

Published: Tue, 02 Sep 2014 21:39:05 GMT

Police: Suspect killed by victim was teenage boy

Milwaukee police say an armed robber who was shot and killed by a would-be victim was a 15-year-old boy. Police say the shooting happened Monday about 5:30 a.m. The name of the Milwaukee boy who was killed was not released. Authorities say the suspect was one of four people who tried to rob a group of victims. One victim pulled out a handgun and fired, killing the suspect. The other three suspects fled. Police say the 30-year-old West Allis man who shot the teen has been released from custody. Milwaukee police have arrested five additional suspects believed to be part of a group responsible for dozens of robberies over the past several days.

Published: Tue, 02 Sep 2014 22:58:50 GMT

Students head back to school 2 months after tornado

Tuesday was a big day for teachers and students at Country View Elementary School in Verona. The first day of school was just two months after an EF3 tornado heavily damaged parts of the school. The Verona School District managed to get the building ready in time for the new school year. Kids coming back to the school said they were excited for the new playground, while parents were happy the year started on time. “The timing really worked. If it was going to get hit by a tornado, it was good timing. (Crews) had the whole summer to get it done, so it went along smoothly and quickly,” said Shannon Page, a Country View Elementary School parent. "I don't know much about the efforts to get it done. I just know it was pretty good that they got it done as quick as they did," said James Blanchard, another Country View Elementary School parent. The school suffered an estimated $3-$4 million in damage in the June storm.

Published: Tue, 02 Sep 2014 23:06:36 GMT

Cars crash trying to avoid cow, person in roadway

Two vehicles collided in Lafayette County on Sunday night when both drivers tried to avoid hitting a cow and a person on a highway, deputies said. Around 9:30 p.m. Lafayette and Green county deputies were sent to the 13600 block of Highway 78 east of Gratiot for reports of a vehicle crash, according to a release from the Green County Sheriff's Department. Investigators determined that a vehicle being driven by Brett L. Broge, 25, of Gratiot, was going north on Highway 78 behind a vehicle being driven by Elisabeth G. Anderson, 24, of Argyle, authorities said. Anderson abruptly braked to avoid hitting a cow and a person in the roadway, according to the release. Broge braked and tried to avoid hitting Anderson’s vehicle, but was forced back into the northbound lane to avoid hitting the person and the cow. Broge’s vehicle then hit the back end of Anderson’s vehicle, investigators said. Both vehicles sustained moderate to severe damage and were towed from the scene. All occupants were wearing seat belts and were not injured, deputies said. No citations were issued for the incident. Map

Published: Mon, 01 Sep 2014 15:11:00 GMT

'Fit Families Rock' program planned to fight fat

A new health program in Rock County is aimed at combating area childhood obesity.

Published: Tue, 02 Sep 2014 21:55:09 GMT

Police: Woman thwarts purse snatchers with boxer?s stance

A Madison woman thwarted a strong-armed robbery by taking a boxer’s stance against two men who tried to take her purse, according to a release from Madison police. The 40-year-old woman told police she was walking in the 100 block of Williamson Street early Sunday morning when two men approached. One of the men grabbed her purse, but was unable to take it when she took the defensive posture, police said. Words were exchanged before the men fled, according to police. One of the men is described as white, in his early 20s, 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighing 150 pounds, with light brown or blonde shaggy hair. He was wearing a light gray hooded sweatshirt. The other man is described as black, in his 30s, 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing 200 points and wearing a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt. Crime map

Published: Tue, 02 Sep 2014 15:09:52 GMT

MMSD continues work to improve attendance

Many Madison Metropolitan School District students woke up early Tuesday easing back into their school routines. Step by step students made their way back to class at Cesar Chavez Elementary School. Parents, including Anita Kulas, felt mixed emotions as they dropped their kids off. "I'm feeling really kind of nervous but excited at the same time because my kids, they really want to go back to school, but it's that end of summer feeling right now," Kulas said as she walked her third-grader to the door. On the other hand, feelings weren't very mixed for MMSD Superintendent Jen Cheatham. She said she feels great about her second year in the district and believes they're off to a good start, building on positive momentum from last year. "What we're shooting for is to make sure every school provides a thriving school environment that really puts students on track to graduate, ready for college, career and community," Cheatham said about the district's focus. To get there, Cheatham said the district will continue to work on improving student achievement, access and participation in the arts and school climate. However, it is the students you may not see here who need more attention. According to Cheatham, 20 percent of students miss 18 or more days of school per year. "African American students, students with disabilities, those rates are even higher. We see there are even certain grade levels where chronic absenteeism becomes a big problem -- 4-K and kindergarten tend to be a challenge and of course high school," Cheatham said. Last year, the district worked on informing families of the issue. This year they're continuing to partner with the United Way of Dane County targeting kindergartners. "The United Way launched a request for proposals for community organizations to support those schools in working with parents. So we'll see a whole variety of strategies this year, including home visits, behavioral health screening for families, a whole variety of strategies that we'll be able to study and learn about what's really going to have the biggest impact on our schools," Cheatham said. As the new year begins, Cheatham urges families to talk with teachers and encourage their students to have a positive attitude when they head into school.

Published: Wed, 03 Sep 2014 01:02:24 GMT

2 taken to hospital after drunken driving crash, police say

Two people were injured and a Mukwonago man arrested after a suspected drunken driving crash on Highway 12/18 Sunday night, according to a release from Madison police. Police said Lawrence A. Hana, 44, was driving south on Millpond Road at about 8 p.m. when he pulled his SUV into the path of a car traveling east on the highway. The collision caused the car to hit a pickup stopped on the other side of Millpond Road as its driver was waiting for traffic to clear so he could drive west on the highway. A 41-year-old woman who was a front seat passenger in the car was taken to the hospital with internal injuries that are not thought to be life-threatening. The woman’s husband and two sons were not seriously injured, nor were the two people in the pickup. A 33-year-old Jefferson woman who was riding with Hana was taken to a hospital and treated for minor injuries. Hana was arrested on suspicion of injury by the intoxicated use of a motor vehicle and cited on suspicion of failure to yield at a stop sign. Crime map

Published: Tue, 02 Sep 2014 19:17:04 GMT

Group accuses Happ of going easy on child molester

A conservative investigative group is accusing Democratic attorney general hopeful Susan Happ of letting a child molester off easy because he was in a contract to purchase her house. Media Trackers released a statement on Tuesday saying court and land documents show Happ and her husband entered into a three-year land contract calling for Daniel J. Reynolds to purchase their home in late 2009. In early 2013 Happ's office charged Reynolds with two felony counts of sexual assault of a child. This past March her office agreed to defer prosecution, an arrangement where an offender avoids a conviction in return for completing certain conditions. Media Trackers says the case raises questions about Happ's commitment to protecting children. Her campaign says the case was handled appropriately.

Published: Tue, 02 Sep 2014 20:07:10 GMT

Ryan, Johnson reflect on beheading video

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan says the circumstances that led to the purported beheading of a second U.S. journalist by the Islamic State group reflect a weakness of President Barack Obama's foreign policy. Ryan heard the news Tuesday while taking questions at a luncheon at the Rotary Club of Milwaukee. An organizer told him of news reports saying an Internet video had just been posted purporting to show the beheading of Steven Sotloff. Ryan said a prayer might be in order and he called for a moment of silence. Then he said one reason groups like the Islamic State have risen so quickly is because of the power vacuum created by the Obama administration's "bad decisions." He says the U.S. needs a decisive campaign to "finish off" the Islamic State. Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson said the Islamic State extremists reported to have beheaded a second American journalist are evil barbarians who must be defeated. The Islamic State group released a video Tuesday that appears to show the beheading of Steven Sotloff. If confirmed, it would be the second such video in two weeks after the killing of journalist James Foley. Johnson said Tuesday's video highlights the need for the U.S. to intervene in the Middle East to stamp out the terrorist group. Johnson spoke from Plymouth, Minnesota, where he is helping fellow Republican and Senate candidate Mike McFadden campaign against Democratic Sen. Al Franken. McFadden said the U.S. should continue targeted bombings in Iraq and possibly Syria, but wouldn't support a boots-on-the-ground invasion. Johnson didn't specify the intervention he supports.

Published: Tue, 02 Sep 2014 22:14:05 GMT