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Update: UW-Madison given the all clear; no suspect found

University of Wisconsin Madison police gave the all clear around Memorial Union and the Helen C. White Library, after investigators say they could not find an armed suspect in the area. Authorities were called to the college at 6:53 p.m. for a possible domestic incident involving a gun inside the library. Crews cleared the library as well as the terrace, asking people to avoid the area during the search. Police are still looking into the incident as a credible threat, but are not counting out the possibility of a false report. Stay with News 3 as we learn more about this incident.

Published: Sun, 05 Jul 2015 03:55:43 GMT

Multiple men stabbed on State Street

Madison officers responded to a fight on the State Street and Johnson Street early Saturday morning to find several people had been stabbed, police said. According to police, one man in his 20s, two men in their 30s and one man in his 40s, all from Madison, suffered stab wounds after an argument between two groups earlier Friday night. They were taken to hospitals with non-life-threatening wounds. Police said the assailants are two black men in their 20s. According to police, the incident does not appear to be random, and there is no ongoing threat to the public. The investigation is ongoing.

Published: Sat, 04 Jul 2015 14:21:53 GMT

Walker says open records restrictions will be dropped

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says he and GOP legislative leaders have agreed to completely remove a part of the proposed state budget that would severely roll back the state's open records laws.     Walker announced the decision in a joint statement Saturday with Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, and the co-chairs of the joint budget committee.     The statement says the records proposal "will be removed from the budget in its entirety." They say the plan "was never intended to inhibit transparent government in any way."     The restrictions, which Republicans slipped into the proposed budget late Thursday, would exempt nearly everything created by government officials from Wisconsin's open records law. The statement says the Legislature will form a committee to study the issue and allow for public discussion.

Published: Sat, 04 Jul 2015 21:35:53 GMT

More haze in Wisconsin from Canadian wildfires

Skies in Wisconsin remain hazy because of wildfires in Canada that started more than a month ago, according to the National Weather Service. The National Weather Service said there are 168 uncontrolled burns and 273 controlled burns in Canada as of Monday. Unusually warm temperatures, dry forests, lightning and strong winds are blamed. The fires producing the most smoke are clustered over northern Alberta. A strong jet stream was sending smoke southward into the Great Plains in late June, but the band has now shifted east to include Wisconsin. The National Weather Service said the haze could make for some colorful sunrises and sunsets.

Published: Fri, 03 Jul 2015 17:29:04 GMT

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

MPD: Man exposes, touches himself near couple sleeping by lake

A Madison man faces charges after allegedly exposing himself while lying next to two people sleeping near Lake Mendota early Sunday morning, Madison police. Madison police officers responded to the 600 block of North Frances Street around 3:15 a.m. for reports of a disturbance and made contact with Brian Ducksworth, 37, according to a release. Ducksworth was sitting on a bench near State Street, and based on the description given to the emergency dispatcher, officers believed he was connected to the Frances Street incident, police said. The 28-year-old victim told police he and his wife were sleeping down by the lake when he was awakened by the sound of his wife yelling, according to the release. The victim’s wife said she saw Ducksworth lying behind her husband with his hand on her husband’s back and his other hand on his exposed genitalia. When police found Ducksworth near State Street he admitted to sleeping near other campers, but left when a woman got agitated with him, officials said. According to the release, Ducksworth and the 28-year-old victim got into a fight after the incident, and Ducksworth apparently fell backwards into the lake. Ducksworth faces a tentative charge of lewd and lascivious behavior.

Published: Thu, 02 Jul 2015 22:21:56 GMT

2 men die after falling into manure pit

Two Wisconsin men have died after falling into a manure pit and being overcome by the gases. The Chippewa County Sheriff's Office says it happened around 5 p.m. Thursday in the Town of Woodmohr. According to the sheriff's office, Jeremy Seibel and Rodney Seibel of Bloomer were trying to retrieve a piece of equipment that fell into the manure pit. They were overcome by the gas and became unresponsive. First responders pulled them from the pit, but efforts to revive them were unsuccessful.

Published: Fri, 03 Jul 2015 16:58:04 GMT

Man swings vodka bottle, chases man with knife, police say

A Madison man was arrested after he swung a vodka bottle at a woman and chased a man with a knife Tuesday, according to police. Madison police said 30-year-old Brandon D. Bradley Sr. was on the 100 block of State Street at 5:15 p.m. when he was involved in an argument over a cellphone charger with a 36-year-old Madison man. According to the report, witnesses told police Bradley had an issue with the 36-year-old and threatened to kill him. When the 36-year-old ran from Bradley, Bradley reportedly chased him with a knife in one hand and a bottle of vodka in the other. An officer on routine patrol in the area noticed broken glass on the ground on the 100 block of State Street. A witness told police Bradley struck someone with the liquor bottle before pulling his knife. Madison police spokesman Howard Payne said that when officers arrived, they found Bradley in the 100 block of West Mifflin Street, drinking from a bottle of vodka. "Bradley tried to aggressively walk away from officers, but based on the knife information, Bradley was stopped by police at gunpoint," Payne said in a news release. "He refused to comply with officer's commands to show his hands, and he attempted to break free from officers." Police found a 7 1/2 inch locked-blade knife in Bradley's pocket when he was arrested. Police said a 51-year-old Madison woman told police Bradley  swung his liquor bottle around nearly hitting her in the head before police arrived. Payne said that as officers were taking Bradley into custody, a crowd of about 50 "hostile" onlookers converged on the officers, taking cellphone pictures and videos. They also yelled derogatory statements at police. Officers had to ask people to move away in order to move Bradley to a secure area.

Published: Fri, 03 Jul 2015 18:14:41 GMT

Police issue warning about toy gun shaped cellphone cases

Law enforcement officers across the country are using social media to issue warning about a toy gun shaped cell phone case being sold online.  The concern is that responding police officers will mistake the case for a real gun. “For us, it is a huge safety issue and it is really a big concern,” says Marc Lovicott, public information officer for the University of Wisconsin Madison Police Department.  “This is about common sense and public safety.  If anybody sees what looks like a weapon coming out from somebody’s pocket or next to their ear, they are going to call us, and our officers have seconds to react, and they have seconds to figure out, does this person have a real gun?  What am I going to do to make sure I’m safe and the people around me are safe?” The UW Madison Police Department used their Twitter account to caution followers of the danger of carrying the toy gun cell phone case.  They were joined by law enforcement agencies in New York City, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and California. “For us, it is dangerous.  I mean, you talk about a public safety issue when you’ve got somebody with a cellphone in their pocket with a gun handle hanging out, and you don’t know if that’s a real gun or not,” says Lovicott. The toy gun cell phone case is easily found online.  One site listed the product as sold out.

Published: Fri, 03 Jul 2015 23:40:39 GMT

Dane County sheriff?s deputies ramping up drinking and driving enforcement

The Dane County Sheriff’s Office has received a $90,000 federal grant to increase alcohol enforcement on highways.  The funding will allow six deputies to be added to patrols on weekend nights.  Those deputies will be patrolling in areas where data shows high numbers of crashes and impaired drivers. “We’re hoping it will have a positive impact.  Certainly in Dane County we have a lot of traffic crashes and we have a lot of accidents and unfortunately we have multiple fatalities every year.  We’re hoping that the additional presence out there and law enforcement visibility will help deter people from drinking and driving and encourage people to slow down and wear their seat belts,” says Sgt. Heil, with the Dane County Sheriff’s Office. Heil says that traffic fatalities statewide are up approximately 30 percent over last year.

Published: Sat, 04 Jul 2015 21:31:02 GMT

Baraboo pushes to keep wine glasses full

Twice a year, businesses in downtown Baraboo invites customers to join them for a wine walk, a fundraiser that both raises money for charities and shows off local merchandise. But residents are worried that their glasses will soon be empty. In April, language in the Department of Revenue's handbook made it appear that wine walks, where customers purchase tickets and are served wine at various businesses, are illegal. Many other communities that hold these types of walks, like Middleton, the Wisconsin Dells and Reedsburg are affected as well. "We thought that we had been following the law," said Baraboo City Administrator Ed Geick. "Now it appears from their latest bulletin that wine walks are generally banned all together." Todd Wickus, president of downtown Baraboo and owner of Just Imagine Toys, a store that has participated in the wine walks since their beginning in 2007, said the wine walks give businesses a unique way to connect to customers. "We're able to relate to them on a different level. We're able to talk to them, and they're able to spend some time in here in a lesiurley fashion," said Wickus. "Also we're getting a lot of new customers that have never been here before because people bring friends." Wickus said if Baraboo could no longer have wine walks, it would leave the city feeling empty. He said a large portion of the downtown's revenue comes from these walks, which goes into more events and has an impact on the economy. "It would have a great impact on our origination in our efforts to keep the downtown vibrant and alive and healthy," said Wickus. "Our downtown is thriving," said Geick. "Almost all of our storefronts are active and working. We have a lot of positive attitude downtown and (wine walks) are part of it." For the past several years, these downtown businesses have operated using picnic licenses, which they apply for and temporarily allow them to serve alcohol.  But the recent messages from the Department of Revenue have city officials unsure of the walks' future. "It shouldn't be a conflict but they seem to be still with that position that you can't have them, for whatever reason," said Geick. "I'd say about 99.99 percent are in favor of the wine walks," said Wickus. "They're a little confused as to why there’s a problem." Geick and Wickus said the worry that people under 21 might enter in the stores while alcohol is served should not be an issue. According to them, the wine cannot be taken out of the store and merchants follow all regulations to prevent people from drinking underage, much like a bar.  "We do check IDs and some people enjoy that and some people don't," said Wickus Despite the legal uncertainty, Wickus still sees the glass as half full. Business owners have created a "Save the Wine Walks" campaign, and are working with state representatives to create legislation that would make wine walks legal. "I believe there’s enough support where we can create something that will work for our communities." said Wickus. "Not just Baraboo but many other communities as well."

Published: Sat, 04 Jul 2015 21:43:24 GMT

Scam call steams coffee shop owner

It took Todd Allbaugh 15 years to realize his dream of opening up his own coffee shop, The Fifth Element, on Madison's University Avenue. He was not going to let a single phone call from his "power company" three weeks after he opened turn it into a nightmare. "They said I owed $900 in pastdue amounts and they had a disconnect team on the way to my business and I need to clear it up right away," he said about the call he received on Thursday. He said the craziness of the buildup to opening day and the next few weeks gave him a momentary belief that it was legitimate. "It's possible. It's feasible. You're human," he said. "Things can slip through the cracks, so your first thought is, 'Oh my gosh, I messed up.'" He told the person calling that he needed to get his MG&E paperwork and that he wanted to get his landlord on the phone to discuss the bill further. The caller hung up on him. "I was reaching for my wallet because I thought I'd have to pay it until I just stopped and thought for a second," he said. "If it sounds too weird to be true, it probably is. 'Take a minute,' as my old history teacher used to say, 'Pause and reflect.'" MG&E officials say they get calls about scams like this one every week. The key to not becoming a victim is to know how the utility company handles overdue payments. "We're never going to call and demand an instant payment over the phone," said Steve Schultz, MG&E's corporate communications manager. "We're not going to threaten you, 'Hey, we're coming in the hour to disconnect if you don't make this payment.' If an MG&E customer is facing disconnection for non-payment, they will have received several past-due notifications in writing. They will have had multiple legitimate contacts with MG&E or attempted contacts. Calls like (Albaugh received), it's not something that we do." Albaugh's caller ID showed the number calling him as 1-858-222-3899. The same number was linked to a scam alert issued by a Michigan police department with callers using that number, claiming to be with the electric company and demanding money from consumers. He filed a report with Madison Police and with MG&E. Allbaugh said if the amount the caller asked for had been smaller, maybe $200, he would have fallen for the scam. After all, he didn't want a few hundred dollars to stand in the way of the power being turned off. "Without power, we would pretty much be toast, not coffee," he said. "We'd be done." For more information, MG&E has a webpage designed to protect consumers.

Published: Fri, 03 Jul 2015 23:49:56 GMT

Police: Man found asleep at wheel arrested for 10th OWI

A Janesville man is facing his 10th OWI after being found asleep at the wheel early Saturday morning, according to Fitchburg police. Police said an officer found a vehicle stopped in traffic at Post and Fish Hatchery roads just before 3 a.m.. He found that the driver, Mark R. La Veen, 52, of Janesville, was sleeping and arrested him on charges of operating while intoxicated. La Veen is being held at the Dane County Jail.

Published: Sat, 04 Jul 2015 14:31:24 GMT

Update: Juvenile detained in shooting of 14-year-old in Milwaukee

Milwaukee police say they've taken a juvenile male into custody as a person of interest in the fatal shooting of a 14-year-old boy in a dispute that started with a fight over a girl on Facebook. Police were called about 10:30 p.m. Friday, just after a nearby fireworks display ended on Milwaukee's lakefront. Teams of officers worked to resuscitate Tariq Akbar and got a pulse, but he died later at Froedert Hospital. Police Chief Ed Flynn says eight or nine shots were fired. He expressed frustration with the easy access young people have to firearms and their recourse to deadly violence over affronts. A police statement says preliminary information indicates Akbar was among a group of individuals who were feuding with another group on Facebook over a girl.

Published: Sun, 05 Jul 2015 04:00:22 GMT

Beloit K-9 voted Arson Dog of the Year

A K-9 with the Beloit Fire Department has been voted the American Humane Association's 2015 Arson Dog of the Year, according to a release. Lt. Keith Lynn's partner Glory won the title, along with $2,500 for the charity Project Paws Alive, which provides protective equipment for K-9s. Glory is trained to sniff out traces of hydrocarbon based accelerants to help prevent purposefully set fires.. She also provides emotional support for firefighters and paramedics. “It is very humbling to know so many friends recognize the work Glory does and take the time to vote for her,” Lynn said.  Lynn and Glory also visit schools, clubs and organizations to talk about fire safety. Glory is also up for the title of American Hero Dog, which would secure another $5,000 for Project Paws Alive. The third round of voting is open from July 6 to Sept. 7 for up to one vote per day at this website. Lynn and Glory will fly to Hollywood to attend the American Humane Association Hero Dog Awards to find out if she is voted the 2015 American Hero Dog.

Published: Sat, 04 Jul 2015 17:40:08 GMT

Ellsworth man dies in Pierce County tractor accident

An Ellsworth man has died in a tractor accident in Pierce County of western Wisconsin. The Pierce County Sheriff's Department said in a statement Saturday that deputies were called to the scene in Salem Township southeast of Ellsworth about 10 p.m. Friday. They found 38-year-old Travis Anderson of Ellsworth near a tractor with unspecified traumatic injuries. Paramedics took Anderson to a nearby helicopter landing zone on U.S. Highway 10, where the Pierce County medical examiner pronounced him dead. The accident remains under investigation.

Published: Sat, 04 Jul 2015 19:23:39 GMT

Madison man stabbed, struck with cane in Janesville

Two Janesville men have been arrested after a Madison man was stabbed and struck with a cane Friday afternoon. According to police, officers responded to a disturbance near Janesville's 4th Ward park just after 4 p.m. The victim was taken to the hospital and released with non-life-threatening injuries. He is currently at the Rock County Jail on a hold. Police arrested Reggie Louis Smith, 46, of Janesville, and Javen Louis Smith, 19, of Janesville on Saturday morning in the 2300 block of Mt. Zion without incident. Police said the incident and motive for the fight is still under investigation, and more arrests may be pending. Both suspects are being held at the Rock County Jail.

Published: Sat, 04 Jul 2015 15:55:31 GMT

Minnesota teen dies in rollover crash on I-94 near Eau Claire

A Minnesota teenager has died and two were injured in a rollover accident on Interstate 94 near Eau Claire, Wisconsin. The Wisconsin State Patrol says 16-year-old Kevin William Messer, of Plymouth, Minnesota, died in Friday evening's crash Fifteen-year-old Leo John Schreiner of Plymouth, and 16-year-old Hanna Fatima Sedqi, of Robbinsdale, Minnesota, were taken to Eau Claire hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries. The patrol says the three teenagers were in a 2007 Chevrolet Cobalt that was traveling eastbound on I-94 when it veered onto the shoulder just east of the U.S. Highway 53 interchange. It says Sedqi, who was driving, attempted to regain control, overcorrected and the vehicle rolled into the median. The patrol says none of the three was drinking, and they all wore seat belts. The accident remains under investigation.

Published: Sat, 04 Jul 2015 21:37:49 GMT

Study requested by WisDOT shows 2nd daily St. Paul-to-Chicago train could be popular

A new Amtrak study says adding a second round-trip between St. Paul and Chicago could prove to be popular. The Wisconsin and Minnesota departments of transportation as well as La Crosse County in Wisconsin asked Amtrak to conduct the study. The study predicts ridership on a second daily train could exceed 150,000 passengers a year, but Wisconsin and Minnesota would have to subsidize about $6.6 million in operating shortfalls annually. It says the necessary infrastructure improvements could range from $142 million if the route ends in St. Paul to as high as $257 million if stops are also added in Minneapolis and St. Cloud. Amtrak's only train now serving the Twin Cities is the once-daily and often late Empire Builder from Chicago via St. Paul to the Pacific Northwest. ___ Online: The study is available at: http://www.dot.state.mn.us/passengerrail

Published: Sat, 04 Jul 2015 18:28:19 GMT

Police put spit hood on man resisting arrest, report says

Police had to place a spit hood over a trespassing man who was resisting arrest Tuesday night, according to a report. The Madison Police Department said 29-year-old Kristopher R. Breister, of Madison, refused to leave the doorway of a restaurant in the 100 block of State Street at 11:17 p.m. Restaurant managers had asked Breister more than 10 times to leave. Employees called police. According to the report, Breister cursed at officers, pulled his shirt over his head and "continued to sleep." When Breister did not follow orders to leave the business, police physically removed him. Breister refused to be placed in handcuffs. He also attempted to bite, spit and kick at officers, according to the report. Officers put a spit hood over Breister's head to prevent police from coming into contact with Breister's saliva.  Police spokesman Howard Payne described Breister's resistance as "vigorous," and said it took five officers 5 minutes to take Breister into custody. Breister was charged with resisting or obstructing an officer and unlawful trespassing.

Published: Fri, 03 Jul 2015 18:13:29 GMT