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Sugar-sweetened beverages removed from UW Health

UW Health has stopped selling sugar-sweetened beverages at University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, American Family Children’s Hospital and UW Medical Foundation buildings. The sugar-sweetened beverages are being replaced with healthier alternatives. The changes are being made at food service locations, vending machines, kiosks and catering at the hospital. The removal of sugar-sweetened beverages is being done to promote healthy living and smart choices. “We understand that nutritional needs may vary, but UW Health needs to promote healthy living and smart choices. We can no longer support something that we know has little to no nutritional value,” said Ron Sliwinski, CEO of UW Hospital and Clinics. Regular soda, sweetened fruit-flavored drinks, sport and energy drinks, sweetened teas and coffees will no longer be sold. Sugar packets for use in coffee will still be available. Diet soda and other beverages with artificial sweeteners will be available in vending machines and retail outlets. UW Health will still allow patients, visitors and staff to bring their own sweetened beverages into the facility.

Published: Thu, 30 Oct 2014 15:27:06 GMT

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

Men accused of hosting sex party with minors

Four men are facing charges related to what a 17-year-old describes as party involving sex, drugs, alcohol and minors in a Madison hotel room. Lucas J. Anderson, 20, Hanife E. Johnson, 21, and Jourdyn Ross, 20, all of Madison, are charged with sexual assault of a child under age 16, party to the crime of child enticement, and party to the crime of causing a child under age 13 to view or listen to sexual activity. Joseph D. Barney Jr., 22, of Madison, was charged with party to the crime of child enticement and party to the crime of causing a child under age 13 to view or listen to sexual activity. According to a criminal complaint, a 17-year-old told police she was driven to the Red Roof Inn at 4830 Hayes Road on Aug. 3 by Barney, Anderson, and Ross and a 14- and 15-year-old were also in the vehicle. When they got to the hotel room, Johnson answered the door and a 16-year-old was inside, according to the report. Police said a post on Anderson’s Facebook account on Aug. 3 showed Anderson, Ross and Barney in the hotel parking lot holding liquor and inviting people to come to the hotel to smoke marijuana and party with them. A detective said they were using hand gestures consistent with gang signs. The 17-year-old told police the girls were told to play drinking games in which the girls ended up in some state of undress exposing their breasts and other body parts. She said the girls were getting drunk and the boys were not drinking so much. She told police she performed sexual acts with the other minors in the room and with three of the men. She described to police many people in the room having sex, and said that at one point, the lights went out and photos were taken with cellphones. She said at one point that night, one of the minors had drunk too much alcohol, and she had to take her to find help. Ross and Anderson are due in court for a preliminary hearing on Wednesday.

Published: Wed, 29 Oct 2014 20:20:31 GMT

Halloween photos

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Published: Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:25:15 GMT

Mother, grandmother arrested after child abduction scare

Police arrested the mother and grandmother of a 1-year-old who was found safe after a child abduction alert was issued Wednesday morning. Janesville police said they were called to 107 Red Apple Dr. at 7:15 a.m. on a report of a child abduction. The victim told police he has sole custody of the child who was staying with the child’s mother overnight while he was at work. He told police the child and the child’s mother, Bianca McLaughlin, 27, of Janesville, were gone when he returned. Police found McLaughlin and the child at another home in Janesville. Police said McLaughlin’s mother lied to officers about her daughter’s whereabouts. Bianca L. McLaughlin was arrested on suspicion of interference with child custody. Her mother, Linda L. McLaughlin, 52, of Janesville, was arrested on suspicion of obstructing an officer.

Published: Wed, 29 Oct 2014 19:42:59 GMT

Lucky No. 13? Family with 12 sons expecting new baby

A couple with 12 sons is expecting baby No. 13. Will their streak be broken? Jay and Kateri Schwandt's 13th child is is due May 9, and the couple plans on sticking to their tradition of not finding out the sex of the baby before the birth, reported the Grand Rapids Press. "If we were to have a girl, I think we would go into shock," Kateri said. "It would probably be disbelief." Jay said the family is just "hoping for a healthy baby." "I love being pregnant," Kateri said. "I've spent half of my life being pregnant."

Published: Wed, 29 Oct 2014 15:07:24 GMT

Contractor accused of skipping employee retirement payments

A Janesville contractor is accused of lying about deducting funds from employees’ paychecks for a retirement fund. A federal grand jury indicted Christopher C. Fields, 41, on five counts of mail fraud. Fields owns and operates a residential and commercial construction company named F.J. Lincoln that was working as a subcontractor on a federal project for City Row Townhouse Apartments in Madison. The indictment states that from February 2010 through March 2012, Fields deducted $336,261 from his employees’ wages but these deductions were never paid to the employees or deposited into the retirement plan. If convicted, Fields faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison on each count.

Published: Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:40:46 GMT

Sugar-sweetened beverages removed from UW Health

UW Health has stopped selling sugar-sweetened beverages at University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, American Family Children’s Hospital and UW Medical Foundation buildings. The sugar-sweetened beverages are being replaced with healthier alternatives. The changes are being made at food service locations, vending machines, kiosks and catering at the hospital. The removal of sugar-sweetened beverages is being done to promote healthy living and smart choices. “We understand that nutritional needs may vary, but UW Health needs to promote healthy living and smart choices. We can no longer support something that we know has little to no nutritional value,” said Ron Sliwinski, CEO of UW Hospital and Clinics. Regular soda, sweetened fruit-flavored drinks, sport and energy drinks, sweetened teas and coffees will no longer be sold. Sugar packets for use in coffee will still be available. Diet soda and other beverages with artificial sweeteners will be available in vending machines and retail outlets. UW Health will still allow patients, visitors and staff to bring their own sweetened beverages into the facility.

Published: Thu, 30 Oct 2014 15:27:06 GMT

Little Free Library goes up in flames

A Little Free Library box was set on fire in a near west side neighborhood early Thursday morning. Madison police said officers and firefighters were called to the 1100 block of Erin Street at 3 a.m. for a report of a fire. A nearby resident told police they heard a bang, looked out a window and saw her neighbor’s Little Free Library box on fire. The library box and the books inside were damaged by fire and water. Anyone with information about the fire is asked to call Madison Area Crime Stoppers at 608-266-6014.

Published: Thu, 30 Oct 2014 15:44:50 GMT

Pizza place robbed by gunman

An armed man robbed a Papa John’s Pizza on Wednesday night. Madison police were called to the restaurant at 2604 E. Washington Ave. at 9:12 p.m. for a report of a robbery. Officers said the man entered the business with a handgun and removed money from the till and a safe before fleeing. The robber is described at black, 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighing 170-200 pounds and wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans and a nylon mask.

Published: Thu, 30 Oct 2014 11:23:53 GMT

2 women charged in heroin death

Two women who police say tried to revive a man who had overdosed on heroin have been charged in his death in Dane County. Prosecutors say one of the women is the victim's cousin. Joshua Hendrickson was found dead in his pickup truck in a restaurant parking lot in Stoughton last June. A criminal complaint said Hendrickson shot up heroin supplied by Kathryn Dustin of Madison after Dustin and man's cousin, Angel Hendrickson, met him in a Madison park-and-ride lot. The complaint says the women tried to revive him without success, so they drove him to Stoughton, put him in his pickup and left him. The Janesville Gazette reported prosecutors said Hendrickson was showing some signs of life when the women left. The two are charged with reckless homicide and other counts.

Published: Thu, 30 Oct 2014 15:41:17 GMT

Burke rejects allegations of firing from Trek

Democratic candidate for governor Mary Burke is refuting a claim by two former executives of Trek Bicycle that she was fired from the company in 1993. The allegations surfaced online from the conservative website the Wisconsin Reporter. Former human resources director and now chair of the Jefferson County Republican Party Gary Ellerman claims Burke was fired from her job after financial losses and poor European sales. Former Trek President Tom Albers then told the Associated Press that Burke's role as head of Trek's overseas operations "just didn't work out. We were losing money." Albers said overseas sales plummeted on Burke's watch. He said Burke's brother, John Burke, fired her. Albers left Trek to work for a competitor, and told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he considered himself a conservative and had donated $50 to Gov. Scott Walker. Both Mary Burke and her brother, John Burke, the current head of Trek, denied the allegations Wednesday, calling them "character assassination." Mary Burke was asked by a Green Bay reporter whether it was her decision to leave Trek that year. "Yes," Burke said. "Absolutely." Trek also refuted the allegations in a statement to News 3. "Mr. Ellerman was fired from Trek in 2004," the statement said. "His politically motivated characterizations of Mary and her tenure at Trek are inaccurate." "When Mary was in charge of Europe, she grew sales from $3 million to $50 million," the statement continued. "In 1993 Mary decided that it was time for her to make a change and she left Trek." Burke was then asked to return to the company in 1995. “I actually rejoined Trek as director of Strategic Planning and Forecasting later, but that was at a point where we had decided we reorganized and eliminated the position that I had,” Burke said. Burke later served as the secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Commerce under Gov. Jim Doyle from 2005-2007 and most recently has served on the Madison School Board.

Published: Thu, 30 Oct 2014 00:51:13 GMT

Soglin says he was threatened politically if he spoke out on 911 problems

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin said he was threatened politically by Dane County Executive Joe Parisi over his statements on problems at the Dane County 911 Center. Soglin said his campaign manager received two phone calls from Parisi's Chief of Staff Josh Wescott about the mayor's criticism of the 911 Center. Madison fire and police officials have been the most outspoken about slow answer times of 911 emergency calls and slow dispatch times getting their crews out the door. "What's been real curious is over the last year, there have been two telephone calls made to my campaign manager on this subject," Soglin said. "Telephone calls which were clearly designed to indicate that I was going to have political problems for having raised these issues. One of the things that came out of this was a reminder of how popular the county executive was, and it was not a good idea for me to challenge somebody authoritatively who was that popular." Soglin has not stopped criticizing the 911 Center since his campaign manager received the call and Parisi has not endorsed another candidate in the 2015 Madison mayoral race. Phone calls to Soglin's campaign manager, Melissa Mulliken, were not returned. Wescott also did not return an email or text asking for comment. Melanie Conklin, a spokeswoman for Wescott and the county executive's office, emailed a statement to News 3 that said, "Mayor Soglin is mistaken about phone conversations he did not participate in.” "Melissa Mulliken is not only Mayor Soglin’s campaign manager and policy adviser, she also has frequent contact with many Dane County staff in her work as a lobbyist," Conklin said in the statement. "A few weeks ago on his way to work, the executive’s chief of staff received a call from Melissa Mulliken, who had heard a rumor, which was false, that the county executive had endorsed one of Mayor Soglin’s opponents. She expressed her desire for the executive not to endorse against Mayor Soglin in his upcoming election. She also asked to be kept informed of changes and developments on issues impacting city-county relations." Soglin made the comments during an interview on an open records request the county recently filed with two Madison Fire Department assistant chiefs and a Madison alder who serve on the 911 Center Board regarding a recent report highlighting problems at the 911 Center. "We can't answer this request fast enough," Soglin said. "I can't wait for the county executive to get this information and for the public to get it, so they get a better idea as to (the problems) going on." Soglin said the county could have called the city to ask for the information instead of filing an open records request, but did not. Conklin said the open records request was made because "in working to improve the 911 Center governance, it is important that all parties have access to all the same data and information on priority dispatch so we can reach our mutual goal of public safety and protection."

Published: Thu, 30 Oct 2014 01:27:26 GMT

District investigates alleged illegal Rx drug use by student athletes

Mount Horeb School District officials said they are cooperating with a law enforcement investigation into allegations that student athletes are illegally using prescription medications. According to a release, the district is also conducting its own investigation into the allegations at the high school. “Consistent with our cooperation with law enforcement and due to state and federal student privacy laws, we are unable to comment further at this time,” the release said. It is unclear what sport the athletes play.

Published: Wed, 29 Oct 2014 22:55:08 GMT

Tow truck driver thwarts would-be robber, officials say

A tow truck driver was robbed while loading a car onto his truck Wednesday night on Madison’s east side, according to a release. The tow truck driver told police the robber put an unknown object into his back and demanded his wallet around 7:35 p.m. at Firestone Auto Care at 4201 Lien Road. The driver was able to hit the robber, causing him to stumble backward, according to the release. The robber then fled toward East Towne Mall without the man’s wallet. Police said the robber is still at large. He is described as black, in his 20s, 5 feet 7 inches to 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighed about 160 pounds.

Published: Thu, 30 Oct 2014 11:15:18 GMT

Attorney general candidates spar over experience during final debate

Who is experienced enough to be Wisconsin’s next attorney general was a central focus during the third and final attorney general debate Wednesday night at the State Bar Association. “We need an experienced attorney general, who’s not going to earn while they learn,” the Republican, Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel said. “I’ve got that experience with 25 years as a front-line prosecutor.” “Both Brad and I are experienced front-line prosecutors,” the Democrat, Jefferson County District Attorney Susan Happ responded. “I put away serial killers, heroin dealers, domestic abusers and sexual predators. I also have 10 years, a decade, of private practice experience.” To reinforce his claim that his opponent lacks experience, Schimel used Happ’s 2009 prosecution of Andrew Wirth, who shot and killed off-duty Oconomowoc police officer Jennifer Luick, and her boyfriend Greg Peters, during a bar fight. Wirth was eventually sentenced to 10 years in prison. “Ms. Happ sent out an email in the middle of that trial to prosecutors statewide, that I saw, and many others saw, that demonstrated she was over her head,” Schimel said. “Wasn't the jury's fault. She got it reduced to the lowest possible homicide. She got in that position because she wasn’t prepared, she didn’t know the law well enough, of self-defense.” “In terms of the Wirth case, you know that your representation of the email, and that case, is not true. No matter how many times you say it, it isn’t true,” Happ responded as she looked directly at Schimel. Happ told the audience that prosecutors assisting other prosecutors is a common practice. “That's what we’re there for,” Happ said. “At the very end of our trial my judge decided to give a homicide by negligent use of a dangerous weapon instruction. And my email to Brad, and others, was asking whether that was actually a lesser included (change) and whether he was entitled to that instruction, which he was not.” ATTACKING ATTACK ADS Schimel’s accusations that Happ lacks experience came after the Democrat attacked Schimel’s attack ad. “I haven’t really picked apart Brad’s record. His campaign has been desperate to paint me from the beginning as ‘soft on crime,’ Happ said. “Last Friday, Brad had the chance to look me in the eye and say I was soft on crime, and he didn't. Yet at the same time he was talking about independent, negative attack ads, Brad was running his own independent attack ads against me with false claims that I receive payment from predators.” The Schimel ad, in part, says, “Another child molester case sat for months while Happ finished pocketing $180,000 in a land deal with the molester, who is still on the streets." As a News 3 Reality Check showed, the ad needs clarification. Happ and her husband sold a piece of property to Daniel Reynolds in 2009, with payment on that property to go through 2013. Reynolds was accused of sexual assault in 2011 by his 25-year-old sister-in-law, who claimed the assaults happened when she was in fifth grade. Charges were not filed in the case until 2013. The case ended in a plea deal for deferred prosecution in March. Documents show if Reynolds received a psycho-sexual evaluation and treatment, paid for the victim's therapy and stayed out of trouble with the law for 12 months, he would be charged with disorderly conduct instead of sexual assault in March of 2015. The attorney on the case was not Happ, but an assistant district attorney in her office. Happ claimed she was not involved, but the case was handled by her office. The victim filed a complaint with the State Office of Lawyer Regulation, and a Republican Party employee filed a second complaint with the state’s Government Accountability Board challenging Happ's handling of the case. In both cases Happ has been cleared of any conflict. During the debate, Schimel did not specifically address his Happ attack ad. “I said our records were fair game, and the public was welcome to consider those. But it’s important that we consider just, truthful representations,” Schimel said, instead turning the focus to an attack ad by a party Schimel identified as Happ’s allies. Another News 3 Reality Check found parts of that ad misleading and needing clarification, as well. “Her allies ran a series of ads that have been demonstrably false,” Schimel said. “I’m confident enough if the voters look at my record they’ll find I have a strong record.” ACTIVIST AGENDA Schimel renewed accusations Happ is a liberal activist who will hurt businesses, saying she will turn the state Justice Department into another hurdle. He said she will especially fight to stop a proposed iron mine in far northwestern Wisconsin even though federal and state environmental agencies have oversight of the project. “She’s an activist who has promised to dangerously pick and choose which laws she likes and which laws she doesn’t,” Schimel said. Happ, meanwhile, reiterated she would fight to protect voting rights and women's reproductive rights. Happ has said previously that she would not defend GOP-authored laws mandating voters show photo identification and abortion providers to get admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. Happ also took issue with Schimel’s idea to move district attorneys from the state Administration Department to the state Justice Department. “That sounds like an activist to me,” Happ said. “Brad also wants to move the lab of hygiene over to the Department of Justice. And he has a lot of plans. But he doesn’t articulate how he’s going to pay for those plans, how we’re going to adjust for the personnel or what we’re going to do to fill the void.” ROLE TO LEGISLATE A key difference thoughout the campaign has been Schimel’s view if elected attorney general he would defend state laws no matter his personal opinion, while Happ said a law’s constitutional muster must be considered. “The attorney general is not a legislator,” Happ said when asked if elected attorney general she would push to change legislative policy. “But the attorney general certainly has the wonderful opportunity to let legislators know when there are gaps in the law. So I think it’s a good ability for the attorney general where we’re falling short and where we can improve.” While Schimel recounted a long resume of state task forces he has sat on that has advised the legislature, he stood firm in saying he would not promote his personal beliefs as attorney general. “When the state of Wisconsin elects an attorney general, they are in fact electing their attorney. And your job is not to represent your personal interests, and personal views, and inflict those on the voters by being a super legislator.” HEROIN EPIDEMIC Both Happ and Schimel said if elected the state’s next "top cop," their priority will be combating the state’s heroin epidemic. While Happ said her plan is better than Schimel’s because she will use her experience holding local summits, which she said brings heroin resources directly to local communities, Schimel said he has been doing that for years, and Happ’s heroin plan offers no real vision, while his is contingent on continuing to secure drug treatment court funding. “My opponent talks about being part of her heroin task force. That wasn’t started until (late) 2013,” Schimel said. “I led the charge to create Waukesha County’s successful drug treatment court. And it’s been up and running, successful for years. And in Jefferson County there were identified 14 delivery of heroin cases in the city of Watertown alone in 2010. And yet it took more than three years before she responded in any way compressible.” “As Brad knows full well in law enforcement we’re often dependent on our law enforcement agencies to make referrals to us in order to prosecute those types of actions. And they’re often dependent on confidential informants. And, so, in terms of timelines we know we have to aggressively and quickly prosecute those cases."

Published: Thu, 30 Oct 2014 11:54:59 GMT

Interstate ramp to Beltline to close tonight

A ramp closure will affect traffic trying to get on the Beltline from Interstate 39/90 overnight. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation said the northbound I-39/90 exit ramp to the westbound Beltline will be closed 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. for construction work. Motorists must use alternate routes. 

Published: Thu, 30 Oct 2014 15:03:23 GMT

Judge to hold hearing on releasing Schimel videos

A Madison judge could rule on whether to release videos of what Democrats believe is Republican attorney general candidate Brad Schimel making inappropriate remarks at prosecutorial training seminars. The state Democratic Party has filed a records request with the state Justice Department seeking five videos of presentations Schimel, the Waukesha County district attorney, gave at five seminars. DOJ officials said they can't find three of the videos and don't believe they exist and releasing the other two would compromise victim privacy and reveal law enforcement strategy. The Democrats filed a lawsuit asking Judge Richard Niess to force DOJ to give up the tapes. According to court filings, Niess has watched the two videos and found nothing offensive on them. He's scheduled a hearing for Thursday and may issue a ruling.

Published: Thu, 30 Oct 2014 15:32:11 GMT

DOJ records show agent was fired over ICAC delays

Newly released records show a state Justice Department agent that left her job over delays in assigning Internet child pornography cases was fired. Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced in March that two investigators in DOJ's Milwaukee office had left their jobs after DOJ officials discovered they had left nearly four dozen cases languish for months. One of them was Special Agent-In-Charge Willie Brantley. He was fired but later reached a settlement calling for the agency to reclassify his termination as a retirement. The other investigator was Special Agent Anna King. DOJ officials haven't said whether King resigned or was terminated. Records the agency released to The Associated Press in response to an open records request include a letter to King telling her she was fired.

Published: Thu, 30 Oct 2014 14:45:21 GMT

Walker, Burke campaign in northeast Wisconsin

Democrat Mary Burke is back on the campaign trail on the heels of a poll showing her trailing Republican Gov. Scott Walker by 7 points. Burke was scheduled to campaign Thursday in Port Washington. Walker is starting his day in the Wausau area, then going east to Green Bay, Manitowoc and Sheboygan. Sen. Ron Johnson was campaigning with Walker. On Friday, Walker is to be joined on the campaign trail by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour. They have stops planned in the Wausau area and Rhinelander. The final Marquette University Law School poll released on Wednesday showed Walker with 50 percent support among likely voters and Burke with 43 percent. The poll had a 3-point margin of error.

Published: Thu, 30 Oct 2014 14:41:34 GMT