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Vandalism affects neighborhood?s rebranding progress

The Meadowood neighborhood's rebranding suffered a setback last week when vandals tagged a building in the neighborhood with graffiti. Last week, a business on Raymond Road was tagged and it has some wondering if the improvements in the neighborhood are working. News 3 talked with neighbors about safety, and some said the recent vandalism is a bad sign, while others said it’s a setback, but hope is not lost. "I think the neighborhood needs to just stay strong," said Lisa Veldran, board member of the neighborhood association for the past 17 years, and she has lived in the southwest Madison community for 21 years."I'm really shocked because we didn't have that type of tagging in a long time.” She said the recent acts of vandalism are likely from people who don't live in the area, and points out the positive things like the Meadow Ridge Library expansion and the building of a community center. "It's changing but I think for the better. But we have some neat things that are going on. I love that we are expanded the neighborhood and we are going to have a community kitchen," Veldran said. Madison police say the last five to six years they have made strides improving the quality of life in the area, and they are looking into all leads. "As far as whether or not this is gang related or gang graffiti that is something that we will investigate and take a look at. We will talk to not only people in the neighborhood, but our contacts within the gang community," Madison police Lt. Mike Hanson said. Other neighbors said the vandalism is a sign the neighborhood is not as safe as it used to be, but Veldran said everyone needs to stick together. "I'm very proud of the neighborhoods in Meadowood. Every step back we take, we take two or three more steps ahead," Veldran said. The property manager of the business that was vandalized said they are aware of the problem and they have plans to clean things up soon. He also said he thinks an increased police presence would help, and he hopes something like this doesn't happen in the future.

Published: Wed, 23 Apr 2014 03:04:08 GMT

Controversial restaurant looks to open in Madison

A controversial fast food restaurant is setting its sights on Madison. A proposal to build a Chick-fil-A is going to the Urban Design Commission on Wednesday. The possible site would be in the parking lot of West Towne Mall. Two years ago the company took a very public stance against gay marriage. Since then, it has changed its approach, but the local LGBT community isn’t buying it. “Because of their national presence, they are trying to appear more appealing and broadminded, but the owner certainly hasn’t changed his religious viewpoint,” said Steve Starkey, with the Outreach LGBT Community Center. Chick-fil-A has one other Wisconsin location in Racine, but they’ve added 27 new stores this year. Company officials said they look forward to Madison expansion later this year or early next year.

Published: Tue, 22 Apr 2014 23:21:33 GMT

Postal worker caught on camera tossing packages

A postal worker in Kentucky is caught on surveillance video throwing packages from his vehicle.

Published: Tue, 22 Apr 2014 16:36:49 GMT

Man beaten unconscious, bicyclists step in

Two bicyclists came to the aid of a man who was beaten unconscious on a bike trail in a feud over a woman, according to a release from Madison police. The bicyclists told police the 60-year-old man was being punched under a bridge on the Yahara River Bike Path Monday morning when they stopped to help. One of them pulled the attacker off the victim while the other called police. Witnesses told police David M. Hurley, 45, continued to punch the victim after he lost consciousness. The man was hospitalized for treatment of head injuries. Police said both men were drunk and one said they were fighting over a woman. Hurley was arrested on suspicion of substantial battery.

Published: Tue, 22 Apr 2014 19:16:51 GMT

Police expand search for SUV involved in fatal hit-and-run

Investigators in Rock County have expanded their search across the state line for the vehicle involved in Sunday night's hit-and-run crash that killed two Janesville motorcyclists. Capt. Todd Christiansen, from the Rock County Sheriff's Office, said investigators are widening their search to Illinois. Police are looking for a dark-colored 2004 to 2007 Infinity QX56, and the driver who left the scene after colliding with the two motorcyclists. "Two people are dead here. Their families deserve to know an answer. It's hard to comprehend how someone can do that and walk away from it," Christiansen said. Deborah Lipke has known 24-year-old Mitchell Vance since he was 3 and he had become like another son to her. Lipke visited the site of the crash Tuesday, still searching for answers. "It’s disbelief; you just don't know how to feel. You keep waiting to wake up from this nightmare but it's not a nightmare. We are not going to wake up from it," Lipke said. Eighteen-year old Devin Julius, who recently moved to Janesville, had no immediate family in the area. Lipke said it was important to her to place another cross at the memorial site in his honor. "I've brought angels and said prayers for him. He is a part of our family and his is too far away to do this, so we are doing it for them," Lipke said. Three other motorcyclists and another vehicle avoided the crash. Detectives found two pieces of debris at the scene, and a local dealership traced it back to the Infiniti SUV. So far, detectives have no leads on locating the vehicle and are asking for the public's help. As for friends and family, Lipke said she hopes the driver will come forward. "They need to come forward, and they need to admit what they did. They can't keep denying it. It's a terrible tragedy and I'm sure it's hard for them. They will have to live with this for the rest of their lives. Justice needs to be done, it's not going to bring the boys back, but it needs to be done," Lipke said.

Published: Wed, 23 Apr 2014 03:06:46 GMT

Footprints in snow led police to homicide suspects

Court records say investigators followed footprints in the fresh snow to arrest two men charged with fatally shooting a driver who crashed into a house in Kenosha. Nineteen-year-old Markese Tibbs and 22-year-old Joseph-Jamal Brantley are each charged with first-degree reckless homicide and other felony counts in last week's shooting death of Anthony Edwards. Police say Edwards lost consciousness after he was shot with his foot on the gas pedal. His car jumped the curb and hit a house. A 15-year-old passenger called 911. Detectives followed the footprints to a nearby apartment and arrested the two men. The Kenosha News ( ) reports police say the shooting was over a drug deal. A criminal complaint says Tibbs and Brantley wanted to commit a robbery rather than pay for the drugs. ___ Information from: Kenosha News,

Published: Wed, 23 Apr 2014 11:56:18 GMT

Half-eaten cinnamon roll leads police to vehicle thief

A half-eaten cinnamon roll led a State Department of Corrections officer to the man who stole his vehicle early Monday morning, Madison police said. A Wisconsin correctional officer got to Madison around 4:25 a.m. for training, and parked his car, with the keys still in the ignition, just outside of a hotel in the 4800 block of East Washington Avenue, according to a release. When the officer went into the hotel, he heard his car starting up and saw it leaving the lot, officials said. The officer didn’t see the person stealing his vehicle, but the hotel’s surveillance cameras led him to a partially-consumed cinnamon roll in the parking lot. The officer could see the man on the surveillance footage eating the cinnamon roll before he got into the car and drove away, according to the release. The officer went to a nearby restaurant and asked if there had been any recent cinnamon roll purchases, police said. The employee said there was, and the man had paid with cash, so they wouldn’t be able to track a credit card. The employee also told the officer the man who bought the cinnamon roll had been dropped off by a squad car from the Sun Prairie Police Department. According to the release, the man was with a friend who was arrested for operating while under the influence, and got a ride from a Sun Prairie officer to the restaurant. Madison police got the man’s name from Sun Prairie police, and went to an associated address on Portland Parkway, police said. The man initially denied having contact with Sun Prairie police, denied being at the restaurant, and denied being at the hotel where the car was stolen. Officers told the 26-year-old they had visual evidence, and arrested him on tentative charges of operating a motor vehicle without consent, according to the release. Officers found the correctional officer’s stolen vehicle parked near the residence, and his uniform, cellphone and other personal items inside the residence. The 26-year-old told police after he was arrested that he “just had a really bad night.” Crime map

Published: Tue, 22 Apr 2014 20:34:17 GMT

Homicide trial delayed due to new evidence

The Wisconsin trial for an Arizona man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend's fiance has been delayed while the defense analyzes new evidence. Terrance Luukkonen, of Duluth, Minn., was shot in his vehicle outside his workplace in Superior last May. Forty-two-year-old Juan Padilla, of Fort Mojave, Ariz., is charged in his death. Padilla's trial was scheduled to begin May 5. But a Douglas County judge has delayed the trial at the request of Padilla's public defender. Attorney Patrickj O'Neill says an analysis of the phone records conducted by the Wisconsin Crime Lab was received last week and the defense needs time to review it. WDIO-TV reports prosecutors say a cell tower 'ping' from a phone that belonged to Padilla could place him in the city at the time of the homicide.

Published: Wed, 23 Apr 2014 12:23:35 GMT

Medical examiner says Baldwin woman drowned following car crash

A medical examiner has determined the cause of death for a woman whose body was found in a western Wisconsin lake. The Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office in Minnesota says 38-year-old Kristelle Wolle, of Baldwin, drowned in Pine Lake last weekend. St. Croix County sheriff's deputies were dispatched to a car crash about 5 a.m. Sunday in the Town of Hammond. Deputies found no one in the car. Emergency responders searched the area and found Wolle's body in the lake. Authorities said Wolle's blood alcohol content was .21, more than twice the legal limit to drive.

Published: Wed, 23 Apr 2014 11:36:03 GMT

2 fined for mistreating Brown County dairy cows

Two people convicted of mistreating cows at a Brown County dairy farm have been fined hundreds of dollars. Lucia Martinez pleaded no contest Tuesday to two counts of mistreating animals, and Abelardo Jaimes pleaded no contest to one count. As part of a plea deal the charge was downgraded from a misdemeanor to a forfeiture. Prosecutor David Lasee says with fines and court costs, Martinez will owe about $1,100, while Jaimes will have to pay $600 to $700. Martinez, Jaimes and two others were charged after Mercy for Animals, an animal-rights group, secretly recorded workers beating injured cows. Jaimes' attorney, Luca Lopes Fagundes, says workers were told they needed to make sure sick cows didn't remain down because they could die. A message left with Martinez's attorney wasn't immediately returned.

Published: Tue, 22 Apr 2014 22:07:53 GMT

2 arrested on drug charges on Madison?s west side

A lengthy drug investigation into the sale and distribution of crack cocaine ended with police arresting two people on drug charges Tuesday morning, Madison police said. Around 11 a.m. the Dane County Narcotics Task Force and Madison police officers executed a search warrant at a residence in the 6800 block of Park Ridge Drive on Madison’s west side, according to a police report. Julius Ento was arrested on three tentative charges of delivering crack cocaine, police said. James Bloodsaw was arrested on a tentative charge of delivering marijuana. Crime map

Published: Wed, 23 Apr 2014 01:03:28 GMT

Bob Berglin, Executive Director of the Dodgeville Chamber of Commerce talks about the Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Championship.

Published: Wed, 23 Apr 2014 13:10:00 GMT

Gunman arrested after taking worker hostage

Police have arrested a gunman who held a McDonald's restaurant worker hostage and caused a standoff in Wittenberg. Shawano County Sheriff Randall Wright says the 28-year-old suspect from Gillett held the worker captive for about an hour Tuesday before letting him go unharmed. The suspect surrendered about an hour later without incident. Authorities were called around 2 p.m. to a Shell convenience store that includes a McDonald's. The sheriff says the suspect let everyone in the store leave expect for one worker. Authorities don't know what caused the incident. They say the suspect did not demand money and is not related to the hostage. WAOW-TV reports nearby schools went into lockdown as a precaution. U.S. Highway 45 was shut down for about two hours during the standoff. No one was hurt.

Published: Wed, 23 Apr 2014 01:28:16 GMT

What you need to know: Wednesday

It's Wednesday, April 23 and here is your day ahead: In local news... WEATHER: We'll start with clear skies this morning, but a storm is heading our way. Scattered showers are expected late this afternoon, mainly west of Madison. Highs will reach the middle 30s. Breezy and milder later tonight with a chance of showers. Full forecast  1. FATAL HIT-AND-RUN Rock County authorities are now searching for a different style SUV they suspect was involved in a deadly motorcycle crash Sunday night. Police are now looking for a mid-sized Nissan Infinity QX56, made between 2004 and 2007. It's likely black or blue in color and has damage to to its front end and driver's side. Police have also expanded the search into Illinois. Two people were killed in the accident Sunday night. Full story 2. MEADOWOOD NEIGHBORHOOD Improvements to the Meadowood neighborhood on Madison's west side are in question after a business was tagged with graffiti on Raymond Road last week. Madison police say they are investigating the incident but they feel the neighborhood has made improvements. The property manager of the business that was vandalized says they are aware of the problem and they have plans to clean things up soon. Full story 3. OFFICER-INVOLVED SHOOTING BILL Gov. Scott Walker plans to sign a bill today that changes investigations into officer-involved fatal shootings. Once signed, it will become the first law in the country to require independent investigators in those incidents. Walker's office has indicated he will sign it this morning. Full story 4. CHICK-FLI-A Madison is poised to get its first Chick-fil-A fast food restaurant. The Atlanta-based company with more than 1700 locations in 37 states is seeking city approval to open in the West Towne Mall parking lot. Two years ago, the company took a very public stance against gay marriage. Since then, it has changed its approach, but the local LGBT community isn't buying it. Full story In national news... 1. SOUTH KOREAN FERRY Student memorial: Hundreds of people paid their respects today to the students lost in last week's ferry sinking off the South Korean coastline. No survivors have been found since 174 people were rescued on the day the ship went down. More than two-thirds of those on board were students from Danwon High School in Ansan. They were on a field trip. The death toll is up to 150. About the same number of people are still missing. 2. MISSING PLANE Debris, or not debris? Officials are looking at an "object of interest" that washed up on the coast of Western Australia. Australian Transport Safety Bureau Chief Commissioner Martin Dolan says it appeared to be sheet metal with rivets in it, but he warns that "the more we look at it, the less excited we get." The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is nearly seven weeks old, and up to this point, no physical evidence linked to the jetliner has been found. The hunt continues in the Indian Ocean. 3. AFFIRMATIVE ACTION No special treatment: The U.S. Supreme Court says Michigan can keep its law banning the use of race in college admissions. In a 6-2 vote, the justices decided that a lower court did not have the authority to set aside the measure approved in a 2006 referendum supported by 58% of voters. It bars publicly funded colleges from granting "preferential treatment to any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin." 4. YEMEN OPERATION Uncle Sam chips in: The United States provided lots of help during raids against suspected al Qaeda members in Yemen over the weekend. American forces ferried Yemeni commandos in Russian-made helicopters to remote locations to engage the militants, a U.S. official said. The operation resulted in the deaths of at least 65 suspected terrorists. No American forces took part in the fighting, we're told. 5. MOUNT EVEREST Saved by his Sherpa: American climber Jon Reiter is alive today because his Sherpa saved his life, pushing him out of the way of an oncoming avalanche on Mount Everest. The event, the deadliest single day in the mountain's history, killed at least 13 Sherpas. Three others are missing and feared dead. The deadliest year on Everest was 1996, when 15 people died. Bonus: PLANE STOWAWAY Beating the odds: That 15-year-old boy who survived a flight from California to Hawaii by hitching a ride inside a plane's wheel well says he was just trying to get to Somalia to see his mother, a law enforcement official told CNN. He didn't get anywhere close to Africa, but the teen should consider himself lucky after surviving the nearly five-hour flight in subzero temperatures with little oxygen at heights up to 38,000 feet.

Published: Wed, 23 Apr 2014 12:27:19 GMT

Wisconsin GAB to certify spring election results

Wisconsin election officials are set to certify results from the 2014 spring election. The state Government Accountability Board is set to meet on Thursday morning in Madison to certify the results in races for appellate and circuit judges. No statewide or legislative offices were on the ballot. Municipal and county canvassing boards are responsible for certifying results in local government races. A GAB spokesman says most of those bodies have completed their work by now.

Published: Wed, 23 Apr 2014 12:16:20 GMT

Officers explain school safety and social media

Sun Prairie officer Brandon Lingle said 75 percent of his time on the job is spent tapped in to social media. “Social media is so hot.  It changes daily,” Lingle explained. Lingle was one of a handful of officers to present to parents Tuesday night at the Sun Prairie school safety conference.  He joined another school liaison officer to tell parents about social media and how that plays into kids’ security in the hallways. “The kids know a lot more than we do, and they are constantly, it feels like every time we pick up a new habit that they're doing, they find five more tricks,” Lingle said. Lingle said there’s no way to get ahead of what students will log onto and post on next, but he is constantly asking kids about the latest social media trends and how they work. “I go to the kids a lot.  I have a lot of kids that I work with on a routine basis, and I just ask them, what's new?” Lingle said.  “You know, I just learned about Kik about three weeks ago.  It's a new social media website that does a lot of stuff that concerns me but that they just love.” Lingle said if things are posting on walls, those issues would likely end up in the halls. “Kids say mean and hateful things, and then the next day, well now you have to face the person or the group of people, and it brings it all together,” Lingle said. Lingle said social media can be a useful tool for school officers. “Sometimes it helps us.  A lot of people have posted stuff online that they don't think that we're going to see,” Lingle said, “and they're really surprised when I come to them the next day, like hey, I'm seeing what you posted on Instagram.  I'm a little concerned.  And they're like, how did you see that?  And it was like, well, you're not the only one on there.” Lingle said one of his major concerns with posts on social media is the ability of others to know where students are based on their posts or pictures. “Children are our most precious resource, and the last thing we want is the entire Internet, or everyone who has access to the Internet being, have access to your children.  That's scary for all of us,” Lingle explained.  “And it's such a simple thing to do to shut the geo-tagging off.  And you can still share your pictures and you can still share your information with family members safely, but you never know where the information is going as far as the pictures and stuff.” Sun Prairie staff also covered topics like bullying, heroin use, and suicide prevention as part of the school safety conference.

Published: Wed, 23 Apr 2014 11:58:42 GMT

Sen. Baldwin to discuss politics at Marquette

Democratic U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin is scheduled to talk politics during an hour-long forum at Marquette University in Milwaukee. Baldwin's office says she'll discuss health care reform, immigration, minimum wage and Washington's political divide at Wednesday's event. The 52-year-old was elected to the Senate in 2012. She previously spent 14 years in Congress, and before that was in the state Assembly for six years. She serves on the Senate's budget committee, as well as committees involving homeland security, health, aging and natural resources. A Marquette Law School poll last month said her favorable and unfavorable ratings were both 35 percent. Another 27 percent said they didn't know enough about her to form an opinion. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Published: Wed, 23 Apr 2014 12:06:43 GMT

Steinhafels American TV purchase approved

A Dane County judge has approved the sale of five American TV & Appliance stores for a total of $21 million, including three to the Steinhafels furniture chain. American TV went out of business last month and shuttered 11 locations. Nearly 1,000 people in Wisconsin, Illinois and Iowa lost their jobs. Steinhafels president Gary Steinhafel said the Pewaukee company will hire 125 to 150 people to work at the three stores it's purchasing in Grand Chute, Oak Creek and on Madison's east side. He says the stores will be remodeled and will likely open in the fall. The State Journal reported Judge Rhonda Lanford also approved the sale of stores in Pewaukee and Brown Deer and a parcel of land in Oak Creek to American Property Acquisition.

Published: Tue, 22 Apr 2014 18:23:42 GMT

Aide: Walker to sign police bill

An aide to a Wisconsin lawmaker says Gov. Scott Walker intends to sign a bill that would put outside agencies in charge of investigating officer-involved deaths. Craig Trost, an aide to Rep. Chris Taylor, says in an email that Walker's office notified Taylor's office that he plans to sign the bill Wednesday. Taylor, a Madison Democrat, and Rep. Garey Bies, R-Sister Bay, developed the legislation in response to three high-profile deaths in the last 10 years. None of those incidents resulted in criminal charges. Supporters say the new requirements will counter claims that police protect their own from consequences of using deadly force. But police observers say the bill could create conflict and confusion for Wisconsin agencies that have traditionally done the investigations themselves. The bill passed the Legislature earlier this year.

Published: Wed, 23 Apr 2014 01:13:32 GMT

American Family Insurance having success being green

American Family Insurance started a simple recycling program at its national headquarters in 1989. In the 25 years since, the company has developed it into one of the most aggressive programs in the country in diverting waste from landfills. “We just feel like it is about doing the right thing, and we pledge to protect the dreams of our customers. And we do that in part by being supportive of the communities in which they live and we feel this is one way in which we can do that,” said Maggie Becker, facilities program analyst for American Family Insurance. With nearly 3,000 employees working at ther national headquarters, a significant amount of waste is generated. Currently, American Family Insurance is able to divert 78 percent of that waste from landfills. It has an expansive recycling program but also collects organic items, which are then sent to a composting facility in Oshkosh. Their goal is to reach a 90 percent rate of waste diverted from landfills. Doing so is also a good business decision. “In Madison, the city landfill is full and our waste actually gets hauled to Rockford, Ill., so for us it is about the carbon footprint of that waste being hauled all the way to Rockford. It is also about the rising costs of landfill fees. So as the landfills get full, the fees are going up and so it is really about mitigating some of those costs. And for us, this program is about cost-neutral,” Becker said. While 90 percent of waste can be diverted from landfills, the few items that cannot fall under the three Fs: foil, foam and film. Things like aluminum foil, Styrofoam and film wraps still get sent to landfills. American Family Insurance has, however, found a way of keeping the Styrofoam out of the landfills. They identified a company in Middleton that utilizes plastic foam, turning it into picture frames.

Published: Wed, 23 Apr 2014 02:22:47 GMT