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Officials ID 2 killed in crash at intersection with obscured stop sign

Two people were killed and three were injured, including a 4-year-old, in a crash where deputies said a stop sign was obscured at Rock County intersection. Rock County sheriff’s deputies were sent to the intersection of West County Road C and North Pleasant Prairie Road in the town of Union for a report of a two-vehicle crash just before 6 p.m., according to a release. Kay Ellen Coleman, 53, of Madison was driving a 2011 Dodge Charger north on North Pleasant Prairie when she did not stop at a stop sign, officials said. The Charger was T-boned by a 2013 Dodge Avenger, being driven by a 24-year-old Brooklyn woman, at the intersection. The 24-year-old Brooklyn woman and her 4-year-old daughter were transported to UW Hospital by Med Flight for non-life-threatening injuries, according to the release. The woman and her daughter were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash. Coleman and a passenger, 46-year-old Michael D. Crotty, 46, of Evansville, were pronounced dead at the scene, officials said. Coleman's husband, a 60-year-old Madison man, was transported to Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center in Janesville with non-life-threatening injuries. Investigators said the three occupants of the Dodge Avenger were wearing their seat belts. Speed and alcohol are not believed to be factors in the crash, but investigators said the stop sign at the intersection was obscured by foliage in a wooded tree line. There was also high corn on the opposite side, making the intersection difficult to see, officials said. The intersection was closed about three-and-a-half hours during the investigation, according to the release. At this time, authorities do not expect to file charges in the incident.

Published: Sun, 02 Aug 2015 21:49:13 GMT

Neosho woman killed in single-vehicle crash

A Neosho woman was killed in a single-vehicle crash in Dodge County Saturday night, sheriff’s officials said. The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a crash in front of W2182 County Road NN in the town of Rubicon around 8:20 p.m., according to a release. A 42-year-old woman was driving a 2005 Kia Sorento EX east on County Road NN when she lost control of the vehicle, investigators said. The vehicle spun around, went into the south ditch, hit an embankment and went airborne. When the vehicle landed, it rolled over several times and ended up on its roof, according to the release. The 42-year-old woman was ejected from the vehicle and was killed. The cause of the crash is still under investigation, deputies said. Officials said the woman’s name will be released Monday.

Published: Sun, 02 Aug 2015 13:51:41 GMT

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Published: Tue, 10 May 2011 13:51:57 GMT

Sheriff seeks SUV in fatal hit-and-run wreck

Officials are asking for the public's help locating an SUV believed to be involved in a crash Friday night that killed a driver. The Sauk County Sheriff's Office said it received a call at 9:04 p.m. reporting a multiple vehicle crash in Winfield with people possible pinned. Deputies responded to the scene at County Road H near Drover's Pass. Witnesses told police a westbound white SUV passed a Lincoln Towncar and Toyota near a curve. The SUV then reportedly  struck an eastbound pickup truck, causing the pickup to collide head-on with the Towncar. The pickup then slid into the Toyota and came to rest in the ditch, according to the report. The white SUV didn’t stop and continued west toward Reedsburg. The sheriff's office said the driver and passenger of the pickup, driver and passenger of the Toyota and passenger of the Towncar were all taken to Reedsburg Memorial Hospital by Reedsburg Area Ambulance with non-life-threatening injuries. The Towncar driver was pronounced dead at the scene by Sauk County Coroner Greg Hahn. The sheriff's office said the names of the people involved were not being released Saturday. The crash remains under investigation by the Sauk County Sheriff’s Department. Anyone with any information regarding the wreck, especially pertaining to the white SUV, is asked to call Sauk County Crime Stoppers at 888-847-7285 or the Sauk County Sheriff’s Department at 608-356-4895.

Published: Sat, 01 Aug 2015 16:22:13 GMT

Man arrested for shooting at street lights to 'protect universe from aliens'

Police have arrested a Wisconsin Rapids man after he allegedly fired his gun at street lights, saying he was protecting the universe from aliens. WAOW-TV reported that police in Wisconsin Rapids found the 36-year-old man after a 911 caller reported someone was shooting at street lights early Wednesday morning. Lt. Kevin Schwartz told the television station that Daniel Collins was carrying a concealed 9-mm handgun and acknowledged he was shooting at the lights, saying he was an alien and he was protecting the universe from other aliens. Swartz said Collins wasn't a very good shot since he didn't hit a single light. He was jailed on suspicion of endangering safety with a firearm and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Published: Fri, 31 Jul 2015 20:28:09 GMT

Man snatches purse as couple loads groceries, police say

Black River Falls Police are looking for two people accused of stealing from an elderly couple. The theft happened at about 3:30 p.m. Thursday at the Walmart store in Black River Falls. Police said a husband and wife, both 88 years old, were loading groceries into their car when the male suspect approached out of their sight. Police said he reached into the couple's car, took the elderly woman's purse and left to a waiting get-away car. The elderly woman lost money, a cell phone, numerous credit cards and other valuables she carried inside her purse. Police were able to view surveillance video and identify two suspects. The first suspect is John Rose, 45. He is described as 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 180 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes. The second suspect is Rebecca Davis, 39. She is described as 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs 152 pounds. She has blue eyes and blonde hair. Neither suspect has a valid driver's license. Police are asking for the public's help in finding Rose and Davis. Anyone with information is asked to call Black River Falls police at 715-284-9155 or Jackson County Sheriff's Office at 715-284-5357.

Published: Sat, 01 Aug 2015 18:27:17 GMT

Wisconsin native dies fighting California wildfire

A firefighter evaluating a Northern California wildfire was killed by the erratic, wind-stoked blaze while he was surveying an area to decide the best way for crews to handle the flames, a U.S. Forest Service official said Saturday. Forest Service firefighter David Ruhl, 38, was in a vehicle in the Modoc National Forest and would have been scouting for ways to suppress the fire when crews lost contact with him Thursday evening, Forest Service spokesman Ken Sandusky said. Officials said they couldn't immediately say whether Ruhl had time to let others know by radio that he was in trouble, or whether flames overtook him too fast to call for help. His body was recovered Friday. An investigation has begun to determine exactly what happened and whether there are any lessons to be learned from Ruhl's death, Forest Service spokeswoman Heather Noel said. "We owe that not only to the family and to the friends and to the employees that worked with Dave, but we also owe it to the agency and the rest of the firefighters, so that whatever did happen won't be repeated if possible," she said. Ruhl lived in Rapid City, South Dakota, with his wife and two children, who are devastated, said Scott Jacobson, Ruhl's co-worker and a spokesman for the Black Hills National Forest in South Dakota. "He was a great husband, a great father and a great employee," Jacobson said. "He was loved by everybody." Jacobson said Ruhl had been on temporary assignment since June in California, where he was an assistant fire management officer for the Big Valley Ranger District of the Modoc National Forest. He wanted to broaden his firefighting experience and improve his skills because he was so passionate about his job, Jacobson said. "He was just always eager to get out and about and work with people," he said. "It says a lot about the kind of guy he was that he took time away from his family to do that." He said co-workers liked Ruhl for his easygoing and humble manner, and for always being there when one of them needed help. By Saturday, the blaze about 100 miles south of the Oregon border had burned nearly 3 square miles and was 5 percent contained. Erratic winds were challenging fire-containment efforts and moving the fire in all directions. Gusty winds were expected Saturday evening, when lightning also was forecast, the Forest Service said. Ruhl grew up in Wisconsin and previously worked for the U.S. Coast Guard and as a correctional officer. He joined the Forest Service in 2001 and had been with Black Hills National Forest since 2011, Jacobson said. Ruhl was the engine captain for Black Hills' Mystic Ranger District, where he supervised a crew responsible for sizing up and suppressing new wildfires. He also oversaw crews as they contained prescribed burns intentionally set to control forest and prairie growth. Black Hills National Forest supervisor Craig Bobzien said Ruhl was admired by his peers and cared deeply about his work. "He was so highly respected, I think the kind of person that people just wanted to be around," Bobzien said, his voice breaking. --- Myers reported from Los Angeles. Associated Press writer Kevin Burbach in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, contributed to this story. --- This story has been corrected to show Forest Service officials do not know what Ruhl was doing when they lost contact, only what his role was, and that it's unknown if he was trapped by the fire, since the details are still under investigation.

Published: Mon, 03 Aug 2015 01:57:03 GMT

Huber inmate, passenger flee from crash reportedly involving alcohol

A Huber inmate on work release and his passenger were injured in a single-vehicle crash that officials believe involved alcohol, according to a release from the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office. The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office received reports of a crash on County Road P near the intersection of O’Neil Road in the town of Ashippun around 1:30 p.m., officials said. Robert Wiedmeyer, 27, from Oconomowoc, was driving a 2001 Ford truck south on County Road P when he went into the right should and spun counter-clockwise, investigators said. The truck went into the northbound lane of traffic and then into the east ditch where it vaulted and turned over. The truck hit several trees 9 feet off the ground before stopping, according to the release. Wiedmeyer was injured in the crash and fled from the scene on foot. Wiedmeyer is a Waukesha County Huber inmate on work release. A passenger in the vehicle, Ryan Uhrmann, 26, from Oconomowoc, was injured and also fled the scene of the crash, deputies said. The Flight for Life helicopter assisted police in searching for both men, according to the release. Uhrmann was found a short time later, and Wiedmeyer was found at 3:29 p.m. Alcohol and speed are believed to be factors in the crash.

Published: Sun, 02 Aug 2015 15:12:32 GMT

Police: Homeowner detains would-be burglar until police arrive

A homeowner was able to detain a would-be burglar until police arrived after finding the man inside his Milton home Saturday night, police said. Rock County sheriff’s deputies and Edgerton police officers were sent to the 11000 block of North Ridge Road in the town of Milton around 5:45 p.m. for reports of a burglary in progress, according to a release. The initial call indicated the homeowners arrived home and found a man inside their residence, officials said. While deputies responded, the homeowner confronted the man, James S. Hergert, 31, of Milton, and was able to detain him until officers arrived, according to the release. Hergert was taken into custody on tentative charges of burglary and attempted theft. He will be in court Monday.

Published: Sun, 02 Aug 2015 16:34:04 GMT

Dog rescued from house fire in Beloit

Hot ashes are to blame for a house fire in Beloit that did an estimated $35,000 worth of damage. Beloit rescue crews were called out to the 1500 hundred block of Jackson Street just before 1:30 p.m. Sunday.  When firefighters arrived, there was already heavy smoke and fire coming from the back of the house, and the flames had extended into the roof. The two residents weren’t in the home at the time, but a dog was inside.  The Beloit Fire Department rescued the pet, and a Town of Beloit engine helped provide the dog oxygen.  The dog is now fine. There was heavy damage to the home’s exterior and second floor.  There is also smoke damage throughout the home. Crews say the fire did about $20,000 of structural damage and damaged about $15,000 worth of contents. According to the firefighters, ashes were left in a container and ignited combustible materials on the back porch.

Published: Mon, 03 Aug 2015 02:09:44 GMT

2 ?seriously? injured, 1 cited in ATV crash

Two people suffered serious injuries in an all-terrain vehicle crash that reportedly involved alcohol, according to a release from the Rock County Sheriff’s Office. Rock County emergency crews responded to Highway 14 and County Road C in the town of Bradford for reports of a crash with injuries around 10:35 p.m., authorities said. Jonathan D. Scribner, 29, of Elkhorn, was driving a 2009 Polaris Sportsman 850 ATV in a private field on the west side of County Road C when he didn’t make it around a curve, according to the release. Scribner went down a steep embankment and was thrown from the ATV. Scribner and his passenger, Felicia M. Scribner, 28, also of Elkhorn, landed in the road and the ATV continued east into an open field, investigators said. Jonathan Scribner and Felicia Scribner were transported to Mercy Hospital in Janesville with serious but non-life-threatening injuries, according to the release. Neither of them was wearing a helmet at the time of the crash. Jonathan Scribner was cited for operating an ATV while intoxicated causing injury, deputies said.

Published: Sun, 02 Aug 2015 14:01:34 GMT

'Miniature' pigs abandoned as they grow too big

Imagine buying a bet, only to realize you got way more than you paid for - to the tune of more than 100 pounds. That's what families across the country are experiencing with the purchase of teacup pigs, a pet trend that's left thousands of the animals abandoned. Lola the pig is one of those pets. A 170-pound, 3-year-old potbelly pig, she now lives at Heartland Farm Sanctuary outside Madison after a family adopted her and quickly realized they could not handle her. When they first picked her up from the breeder, she was only 30 pounds but hard to handle, immediately overwhelming the family. "It's actually very common, unfortunately," says Heartland's Sarah Konkol. "And I think it's becoming more common.” Konkol says the sanctuary currently houses four miniature pigs and has to turn away dozens of others a year. "Mini pigs started to become very popular, and this whole teacup pig movement... everybody wanted this little tiny pig in their house," Konkol said. "They thought they would stay 30-35 pounds, but the reality is most potbelly pigs are going to be 100 pounds or more." Konkol says some breeders will feed their pigs a restricted diet to keep them tiny, but that can actually starve the animal - or send them tearing through your home in search of a snack. "They're very food-motivated," Konkol says. "They need a balanced diet, but you need to feed them well... and if they're not being fed enough, they're going to go other places to get food." The lesson to be learned from Lola - before you piggyback onto the teacup trend, do your research first. "They can be great animals," Konkol says. "But it's certainly not the best pet for any average person."

Published: Mon, 03 Aug 2015 00:44:25 GMT

4 injured in gunfight after family gathering turns bad

Milwaukee police are investigating a Saturday shooting that injured four people, including an 11-year-old boy. The Milwaukee Police Department says the incident started at a family gathering in northern Milwaukee. Around 5 p.m. during the gathering, a 22-year-old man and a 30-year-old woman grabbed handguns and shot at each other. Both were hit by gunfire, as were another 30-year-old female and an 11-year-old boy. All four were taken to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries. Authorities say the two shooters were arrested after being treated.

Published: Sun, 02 Aug 2015 19:26:19 GMT

Police find suspected drunken driver in intersection facing wrong direction

A Fitchburg woman faces her sixth drunken driving charge after an officer found her parked near an intersection facing the wrong direction, police said. A Fitchburg police officer observed a vehicle stopped in the traffic, facing west in the eastbound lane of Greenway Cross near the intersection of Bryant Road around 1:45 a.m., according to a news alert. The officer stopped to talk with the driver, Lucinda J. Bannon, 57, of Fitchburg, and the officer was able to establish probable cause to arrest Bannon on a tentative sixth-offense operating while intoxicated charge. Bannon was also cited for possession of open intoxicants in a motor vehicle and operating left of center.

Published: Sun, 02 Aug 2015 14:10:58 GMT

Kitchen appliance maker plots $62M expansion in Fitchburg

A kitchen appliance manufacturer is planning a $62 million expansion south of Madison. The Wisconsin State Journal reports that Sub-Zero Group opted to expand its Fitchburg facility over a planned site in Kentucky. The 400,000-square-foot expansion will make upscale dishwashers and ranges. Their new facility is slated to open in fall 2016. The expansion is expected bring along 300 new jobs over the next three years. At least $5 million in state and local incentives are part of the deal to build out in Fitchburg. That includes state tax credits for meeting job creation and wage requirements. Chuck Verri is the company's vice president for human resources. He says a new labor contract with local employees helped seal the deal for expanding in Wisconsin.

Published: Sun, 02 Aug 2015 16:30:30 GMT

Janesville man stopped for speeding faces 5th OWI charge

A Janesville man faces his fifth drunken driving charge after being pulled over for speeding early Sunday morning, officials said. A Rock County sheriff’s deputy stopped a vehicle for speeding in the area of Highway 51 and County Road F in the town of Janesville around 12:45 a.m., according to a release. The deputy noticed signs of impairment and requested the driver, Joshua V. Winkle, 35, of Janesville, to complete standard field sobriety tests, officials said. At the end of the tests, Winkle was taken into custody on his fifth operating while intoxicated charge. Winkle was also cited for operating while revoked and other traffic offenses.

Published: Sun, 02 Aug 2015 14:47:03 GMT

Pilot recovering after small plane crash in Jefferson County

Federal safety agencies are investigating after a small plane crashed Saturday evening in Jefferson County. The pilot suffered minor injuries and was taken to a nearby hospital. The plane crashed shortly before 6 p.m. on Beryl Drive in the Township of Watertown. The initial investigation shows that the 1978 single engine Cessna was approaching the Watertown Airport for a landing when it lost engine power and crashed through some trees, coming to rest on a private property. The Federal Aviation Administration, along with the National Safety Bureau are behind the investigation. 

Published: Sun, 02 Aug 2015 12:55:47 GMT

Ridgewood wins 54th Madison All City Swim Meet

Ridgewood won the 54th Madison All City Swim Meet where 18 records were broken throughout the weekend. Beata Nelson beat a pair of her own marks Saturday that she set two days earlier in the preliminary rounds, according to a release. Middleton’s Nate Lamers also broke two records. Ridgewood had 2,615 points to win the meet, which was its 18th victory in the past 20 years and its 41st victory in the 54-year history of the league, event organizers said. Seminole came in second with 1,989 points and Shorewood, which won last year, placed third. Full results can be found online.

Published: Sun, 02 Aug 2015 14:31:03 GMT

Turn restrictions, lane closure on Highway 14, Pontiac Drive starts Monday

Turn restrictions and an overnight lane closure are schedule to start Monday at the intersection of Highway 14 and Pontiac Drive near Janesville. Left turns will not be allowed at the Highway 14 and Pontiac Drive intersection starting Monday, officials said. Traffic on Pontiac Drive crossing Highway 14 will also be restricted. The intersection of Highway 14 and Lexington Drive will remain open, according to a release from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Highway 14 westbound near Pontiac Drive will be closed from 10 p.m. Monday until 5 a.m. Tuesday for crews to complete a storm sewer crossing, officials said. The eastbound lanes will remain open. A signed detour route will use Pontiac Drive, Morse Street and Highway 26. Crews will be reconfiguring the Highway 14 and Pontiac Drive intersection, lengthening the left turn lanes on Highway 14 and will be updating the traffic signals, officials said The work is scheduled to be done Aug. 17.

Published: Sun, 02 Aug 2015 15:20:40 GMT

2 killed in explosion, fire

Two people were killed in an explosion and fire in Adams County Friday afternoon, according to a release from the Adams County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies were called to 931A East Trout Valley Road in the town of Big Flats at 1:48 p.m. for a report of explosions and a structure fire. Emergency responders said a mobile home was engulfed in flames when they arrived. The Big Flats Fire Department, Nekoosa Ambulance, Rome Fire Department, Adams Fire Department, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and the Wisconsin State Patrol assisted at the scene. The Wisconsin Department of Criminal Investigation Arson Bureau and the Adams County Medical Examiner’s Office are involved in the investigation.

Published: Sat, 01 Aug 2015 21:27:42 GMT