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Hundreds expected at memorial for slain trooper

A 21-year-old Wisconsin state trooper killed in a shootout with a bank robbery suspect is being remembered in his hometown. Hundreds of mourners are expected to attend a public memorial service Sunday evening for Trooper Trevor Casper. The service is being held at Kiel High School, where Casper graduated in 2011. Casper will killed Tuesday in a shootout that also left the bank robbery suspect dead. Casper had just graduated from the State Patrol's academy in December and was on his first solo patrol when he was killed. A spokeswoman for Gov. Scott Walker tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that Walker will attend Casper's service. Walker has ordered flags in Wisconsin lowered to half-staff through Tuesday in the trooper's honor. A private burial for Casper is planned Monday.

Published: Sun, 29 Mar 2015 17:11:13 GMT

Wisconsin heads to Final Four after 85-78 win over Arizona

Frank Kaminsky and the Wisconsin Badgers hung on to make the Final Four again. "Frank the Tank" scored 29 points, Sam Dekker added his second straight career high of 27 and the West Regional's top seed beat No. 2 Arizona 85-78 on Saturday to reach consecutive Final Fours for the first time in school history. The Badgers (35-3) denied the Wildcats (34-4) a Final Four berth for the second straight year, having beaten them by one point in overtime in Anaheim a year ago when their seeds were reversed. Wisconsin and 67-year-old coach Bo Ryan head to Indianapolis next week hoping for another shot at undefeated and top-seeded Kentucky, which beat the Badgers by one point in the national semifinals last year. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Brandon Ashley scored 17 points each for the Wildcats, who once again failed to deliver a first-time Final Four appearance for coach Sean Miller.

Published: Sun, 29 Mar 2015 14:22:45 GMT

Orphaned female kit's health improves under care

A volunteer wildlife group caring for a fox found orphaned in a Middleton church parking lot Sunday said the baby is responding to medical treatment, and her health is improving. Wisconsin WildCare shared pictures of the kit online Friday night and said the female is doing well. "She has doubled in body weight while in care and her future is bright," the group wrote. WildCare said the kit has been given specialized care to maintain natural behaviors she needs to thrive in the wild. Specialized care includes housing needs, dietary needs and necessary enrichment. The group also thanked people who donated funds to the volunteer-only operation. A second fox was found near the same location but later died.

Published: Sat, 28 Mar 2015 18:23:16 GMT

Homemade ranch dressing comes close to restaurant ranch dressing

In the Midwest we really like our condiments, and one of those condiments we regularly use on things other than salads is ranch dressing. I love using ranch dressing as a dipping sauce for cheese curds, pizza crust, cheesy bread and even the traditional veggies every now and then. When it comes to ranch dressing there are two classes -- the kind out of a bottle (think Hidden Valley) and the really good kind you get at restaurants. The restaurant kind is referable because it is usually tangier and has a deeper flavor. The kind out of a bottle is usually thicker and can have a plasticy flavor. Since the restaurant kind is preferable (and because one of our producers requested it) I tried making some homemade ranch this weekend. My version turned out a bit thicker than I would have liked, but the flavor was on point. I doubled the recipe so I could keep some at home and deliver a batch to the friend who requested I try out the recipe:1 cup mayo 1 cup sour cream 1 cup buttermilk 1 1/2 teaspoon dried dill week1 teaspoon dried parsley 1 teaspoon dried chives1/2 teaspoon dried onion powder1 teaspoon garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon salt1/4 teaspoon pepper Freshly squeeze lemon juice Directions: whisk together the mayo, sour cream and milk, and then add all of the spices. Once that’s all combined you add the lemon juice to taste. DIY do or don’t? It’s a super simple recipe and whips up really quick. I used the juice of half a lemon and then just a little bit from the other half. I wish the dressing would have thinned out a bit, but it’s still pourable. Between the ingredients I already had the ones I had to buy, I only spent about $4 for two decent-sized containers. If you have a couple minutes and really like restaurant-style ranch, this recipe is a good option. -- Hannah

Published: Sun, 29 Mar 2015 19:20:10 GMT

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

Chemical spill shuts down I-90 most of Friday

One lane of westbound Interstate 39-90 in Janesville reopened at about 2:30 p.m. Friday after a nearly 13-hour closure because of a chemical spill earlier in the day. More than a dozen people were evacuated from nearby homes as a precaution, officials said. All restrictions on the residents were lifted and both lanes on the interstate were reopened at 11:50 p.m. Friday, the Rock County Sheriff's Office said. The Janesville Fire Department and the Madison Fire Department hazmat team responded to the spill, which happened after a crash involving two semi-trucks just before 2 a.m. Friday near mile marker 173. One semi was parked on the shoulder, awaiting removal after an engine fire Thursday night. At 1:48 a.m. Friday, it was struck by a second semi coming from Rockford, Illinois, that was carrying what were described as swimming pool-type chemicals. No one was injured in the crash, but one of the semis was carrying 15 chemicals in 55-gallon drums, and several were leaking following the crash, according to the Janesville Fire Department. The sheriff's department said four damaged and leaking barrels were found along the highway, and other chemicals had been spilled on the road. In a news release Friday, the Rock County Sheriff's Office said the Janesville hazmat team began monitoring neighborhood air quality at about 7 a.m. Friday and recommended the evacuation of five Green Valley Drive apartments as a precaution. The air quality readings did not indicate any danger, and there was no threat to the public outside the immediate area of the spill, officials said. The Rock County Sheriff's Office said the Madison hazmat team and the National Guard 54th Civil Support Team assisted at the spill and were released by 2 p.m., a fire officials told News 3. A cleanup crew, SunPro, of Elkhart, Indiana, arrived at 10:30 a.m. to assist, the Rock County Sheriff's Office said. Air quality monitors were set up around the spill, and investigators wearing protective equipment were able to enter and evaluate the threat at the site of the spill. The approximately 19 Green Valley Drive residents who were evacuated were taken to the Ramada Inn on Milton Avenue, Janesville fire officials said.  In an updated release Friday, the Rock County Sheriff's Office said hazmat teams were allowing evacuated citizens to return to their residences at 4:30 p.m.. The teams recommend that those that choose to return home inside stay until the cleanup is complete. Traffic leading up to the Racine Street exit was backed up about three miles. Department of Transportation cameras showed that the exit was still backed up and traffic hampered at 2 p.m. Friday. Officials said one lane of the stretch of roadway that was closed for nearly 13 hours reopened at 2:30 p.m.

Published: Sat, 28 Mar 2015 16:54:13 GMT

Father, baby killed when pickup rear-ends horse-drawn buggy

Authorities say a 21-year-old father and his 6-month-old child were killed when a pickup truck read-ended their horse-drawn buggy in western Wisconsin. The Chippewa County sheriff's office says it happened on Highway 64 in the town of Colburn shortly before 7 a.m. Saturday. All three members of the family were thrown from the buggy. The father and child died at the scene. The 21-year-old mother suffered extensive injuries and was flown to a regional hospital. Their names were not immediately released. A statement from the sheriff's office says alcohol is not believed to have been a factor, but the investigation is continuing. It says the pickup was driven by a 66-year-old man from the Cornell area. The highway was closed for about three hours.

Published: Sat, 28 Mar 2015 23:58:25 GMT

Edgerton man faces 5th drunken driving charge

An Edgerton man was arrested on a drunken driving charge and on outstanding warrants after police responded to reports of a stalled vehicle on in the interstate early Sunday morning, according to a release. Just before 4 a.m., Rock County sheriff’s deputies were sent to mile marker 167 on Interstate 39/90 for reports of a stalled vehicle, officials said. The deputy noticed Casey T. McIntyre, 34, might be impaired and had him complete field sobriety tests, which he failed, according to the release. McIntyre was arrested on a tentative felony fifth-offense operating while intoxicated charge and on other outstanding warrants, police said. McIntyre will be in court for his preliminary hearing Monday afternoon.

Published: Sun, 29 Mar 2015 13:33:55 GMT

Beloit man admits to drinking, faces 6th OWI

A Beloit man is facing his sixth drunken driving charge after being pulled over for a traffic violation and admitting to a deputy that he had been drinking, Rock County officials said. Just before noon a Rock County sheriff’s deputy stopped a 2000 Oldsmobile Alero at Fourth Street and Liberty Avenue in Beloit for a traffic violation, according to a release. The deputy noticed a strong odor of intoxicants coming from the driver, John P. Purdy, 44, and attempted to conduct field sobriety tests, officials said. Purdy, who admitted to consuming alcohol, refused the test and told the deputy he would likely be over the legal limit to drive. Purdy was arrested for sixth-offense operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. He was also cited for operating after revocation.

Published: Sun, 29 Mar 2015 19:58:46 GMT

UW-Madison alum makes waves in LA

There's been a movement over the last few years to get more Badgers into the entertainment business in Los Angeles. News 3 talked to Richie Schwartz, whose Madison connections got him started in LA. Jessica Arp reports.

Published: Sat, 28 Mar 2015 04:02:19 GMT

Fire that caused $174K in damage displaces 7

The cause of a fire in a Janesville duplex that caused $174,000 in damage is still under investigation, according to a release. Crews were sent to 320 N. Jackson St. just after 4:30 p.m. Saturday to reports of a residential fire in a duplex, officials said. Crews could see smoking coming from roof vents and the attic of the building when they arrived. There were initially reports of a person still being on the second floor, but all residents were accounted for shortly after, according to the release. Crews rescued a dog from the second floor of the building. The construction type of the home and an old addition with hidden voids made the fire difficult to find and extinguish, authorities said. Seven people were displaced, according to the release. The Red Cross responded to assist the residents. The Janesville Fire Department maintained a fire watch at the property through the night, officials said. The cause and origin of the fire are still under investigation, but damage is estimated at $74,000 to the structure and $100,000 to the contents of the structure.

Published: Sun, 29 Mar 2015 13:45:48 GMT

DOR: Volunteer sites offer free tax preparation, filing

The Wisconsin Department of Revenue is reminding taxpayers that free tax assistance is available at volunteer sites across the state. Trained volunteers are available to answer questions and e-file returns for low- to –moderate-income residents, individuals age 60 or older, veterans and individuals with disabilities, according to a release. If you’re married and filing jointly, officials said your spouse must come with you. More than 135 Volunteer Income Tax Assistance and Tax Counseling for the Elderly sites are across the state that offer free income tax filing assistance, according to the release. Many VITA sites are in community centers, libraries, churches, shopping malls and retirement homes. To find a free tax assistance site in your area, call 211 or download the mobile app. To find a VITA site, call 800-906-9887, or go online and search VITA. To find a TCE site, call 888-227-7669, or go online and search Foundation Tax Aide Locator. The income tax filing deadline is April 15.

Published: Sun, 29 Mar 2015 15:18:58 GMT

Man, 18, charged in deaths of 2 teens in Milwaukee crash

An 18-year-old Milwaukee man is charged in the deaths of two teenagers killed when authorities say he crashed a stolen car into another vehicle. Gerald Harper was charged Friday in Milwaukee County court with two counts of homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle in the deaths of Jamar Canady and Marquise Tate. Both victims were 16. The crash happened about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday on Milwaukee's west side. Police say the crash also injured Harper and a 17-year-old boy who was in the car as well as a 47-year-old man who was driving the other vehicle. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports Harper is also charged with two counts of operating a motor vehicle with a revoked driver's license causing death. He's due back in court April 3.

Published: Sun, 29 Mar 2015 17:08:52 GMT

$10.4M construction project scheduled to start Monday in Cross Plains

Reconstruction work is scheduled to start Monday on Highway 14 in Cross Plains, according to a release from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. The 1.2 miles of Highway 14 between County Road KP and Westview Court is expected to be closed until mid-October, officials said. The posted detour route will use County Road KP, Bourbon Street and County Road P. An alternate route will be posted using Highway 78 and Highway 12. According to the release, traffic delays are expected in the village, and motorists traveling through Cross Plains are encouraged to use alternate routes. Businesses on Main Street in Cross Plains will remain open during the construction work, and parking will be available on streets near Main Street, officials said. The estimated $10.4 million project will include new underground utilities, new pavement, concrete sidewalk and a new and wider bridge over Brewery Creek, according to the release. County Road P will be realigned for a safer and more efficient intersection with Highway 14. Officials said the project will improve traffic safety and operations through the community. The project is expected to be completed by November.

Published: Sun, 29 Mar 2015 14:47:05 GMT

For 1 veteran at Tomah, even high doses didn't end the pain

Air Force veteran Jason Bishop says he has struggled in vain to find chronic pain relief at several Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals, including one in Tomah. Bishop says the VA hospitals have offered him treatment, including prescriptions for narcotics, but few long-term solutions. Bishop was one of thousands of veterans to receive the narcotic as well as a prescription for a benzodiazepine, a class of psychoactive drugs that act as a tranquilizer. Experts say combining the two raises risk of injury and death. The Tomah hospital is at the center of multiple probes after reports of narcotic overprescribing practices and retaliatory behavior surfaced in January — allegations already affirmed by a preliminary report. U.S. House and Senate committees are to hold a joint field hearing Monday in Tomah.

Published: Sun, 29 Mar 2015 16:14:24 GMT

Woman pinned, injured in rear end crash vs. semi, police say

An Oregon woman was injured after she rear ended a semitrailer on Highway 51 in Madison Saturday morning, police said. The Madison Police Department said officers responded to a report of a crash with an injured person at 9:30 a.m. on Highway 51, or North Stoughton Road, at East Washington Avenue. A vehicle headed north on the highway struck the rear of a semi that was stopped at the red light at East Washington Avenue, according to the report. Iris Cooley, 62, was pinned in the vehicle and traffic on northbound Highway 51 was shut down for about 1.5 hours, officials said. Dispatch confirmed Med Flight responded to the crash. Cooley was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injures, police said. She was cited on suspicion of imprudent speed. Police said alcohol was not a factor in the crash.

Published: Sat, 28 Mar 2015 19:05:01 GMT

Wisconsin Supreme Court race marked by cries of partisanship

Wisconsin Supreme Court races are officially nonpartisan affairs, but don't tell that to high court hopeful James Daley and Justice Ann Walsh Bradley. Daley, a Rock County circuit judge who is open about his conservative lean, is trying to unseat the more liberal Bradley in the April 7 election. The court's ideological tilt won't change regardless of who wins because conservatives already hold four of the seven justice slots. With little at stake in the big picture, the race has been marked mostly by each candidate insisting the other is too political to serve on the high court. "It's hard to run campaigns about issues that justices on the Supreme Court deal with most of the time, which is matters of law. They're not a fundamental trial court," said Charles Franklin, a Marquette University law professor and expert on state politics. "(The race) reflects the contemporary world of partisan and ideological races rather than the old days of who was more qualified. Most citizens of the state will not have learned anything about the candidates." Daley, who earned the Bronze Star and a Purple Heart in Vietnam, served three terms as Rock County district attorney before then-Gov. Tommy Thompson appointed him as a judge there in 1989. He's been there ever since, handling civil, criminal and family matters. Bradley, a former high school teacher, became a Marathon County judge in 1985. She was elected to the Supreme Court in 1995 and is completing her second 10-year term. She and Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson are generally seen as the court's two-justice liberal minority and have been openly feuding with the conservative majority for years. Things have grown so hostile that Justice David Prosser called Abrahamson a "bitch" in a 2010 email. In 2011 Prosser wrapped his hands around Bradley's throat during a 2011 argument over when the court would release an opinion upholding Republican Gov. Scott Walker's law ending collective bargaining for most public workers. Prosser said Bradley charged him and he was defending himself. Prosser was cleared of any criminal wrongdoing. The state Judicial Commission filed an ethics complaint against Prosser but his fellow conservative justices recused themselves from the case and the matter died. Republican legislators have placed a proposed constitutional amendment on the April 7 ballot that would have justices choose the chief justice rather than having the title automatically go to the most senior justice. That would allow the conservatives to strip Abrahamson of her title as chief and elect one of their own. Daley has been courting Republican support since he got in the race early last year. He accepted a $7,000 in-kind contribution from the state GOP and has been speaking at Republican gatherings around the state. He has attacked Bradley for dissenting from the Walker union restriction opinion as well as an opinion upholding Wisconsin's Republican-authored voter identification law. He's also accused Bradley of sowing the rancor that has enveloped the court. "She's an activist judge," Daley said during a candidate forum in Madison this month. "She has placed her extreme liberal political views and her politics and special interests over impartiality and common sense." Bradley has insisted she's impartial and has accused Daley of directly injecting politics into the race, even though she is backed by labor unions and other supporters with ties to Democrats. She also has accused Daley of flip-flopping from his stance last year that she wasn't to blame for the court's problems. "He'll call me over and over again an activist judge," she said at the candidate forum. "When they call you an activist judge it just really means they don't agree with the bottom line of your decisions. These labels don't bother me. What bothers me is an influx of political parties in judicial races and the outsized presence of special interests." The latest campaign finance reports show Bradley's fundraising has far out-paced Daley's. She raised $109,894 between Jan. 1 and Feb. 2 and had nearly $353,000 on hand. She's put up two television ads. Daley raised $65,000 over the same period and had $88,427 on hand. He hadn't aired ads as the campaign entered its final two weeks.

Published: Sun, 29 Mar 2015 13:19:57 GMT

Shell casings found near west Madison area of shots fired reports

Evidence supporting a possible weapons violation was found in a west Madison neighborhood early Saturday, police said. The Madison Police Department said officers responded to multiple reports of shots fired on the 7100 block of Carnwood Road at 5 a.m. Officers canvassed the area and located spent shell casings, according to the report. One of the callers told police a white vehicle was seen leaving the area southbound on Muirfield Road toward County Road PD just after the suspected gunfire was heard. Madison police said no injuries or damage related to the incident were reported.

Published: Sat, 28 Mar 2015 15:55:31 GMT

Voters to decide how Wisconsin chief justice is chosen

Wisconsin voters will decide April 7 whether to amend the state constitution to let state Supreme Court justices choose their leader. Approval almost certainly would mean the court's conservative majority will strip long-time Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson of her title. Abrahamson and her close friend, Justice Ann Walsh Bradley, are generally seen as the court's liberal minority and have been openly feuding with the conservative justices for years. The Wisconsin Constitution says the justice with the most seniority is automatically chief. The chief serves as lead administrator for the state court system. The chief can assign any judge or justice to work any case below the Supreme Court, designate and assign reserve judges and schedule oral arguments before the high court, among other duties. Republicans who control the Legislature crafted a constitutional amendment that would allow the justices to vote on who should serve as chief. The GOP has passed the amendment in two consecutive sessions, setting up a statewide vote on the measure Tuesday. Republican lawmakers say the amendment is meant to inject a dose of democracy into the high court. "The chief justice serves as the administrative head of the state's entire court system and sets the direction for Wisconsin's judicial branch," said Rep. Rob Hutton, R-Brookfield, the amendment's chief Assembly sponsor. "It is imperative that our Supreme Court justices have the ability to choose who they think is most qualified for that role." But opponents say the amendment is really a thinly veiled mechanism to neuter Abrahamson. Abrahamson, who became the state's first female justice when Gov. Patrick Lucey appointed her to the court in 1976, has served as chief since 1996. The court's four-justice conservative majority has been bickering openly with Abrahamson and Bradley for years. Emails emerged in 2011 that revealed conservative-leaning Justice David Prosser, a former Republican state Assembly speaker, referred to Abrahamson as a "bitch" and had vowed to "destroy" her. Prosser also acknowledged to police that he wrapped his hands around Bradley's throat after she charged him during an argument in chambers that same year. Abrahamson has said the change would tarnish the constitution and threaten the judiciary. She pointed out voters have re-elected her twice as chief justice in 1999 and 2009 and if they didn't want her to lead the court system they wouldn't have let her keep her job. Former Wisconsin Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager, a Democrat, has tried to build opposition to the amendment, calling it a partisan power grab. The most valuable player in the court system is someone who has been doing the job a long time and has a deep well of knowledge, Lautenschlager said. "When did it become bad in Wisconsin to be senior, mature, experienced and to be well-qualified?" she said. Bradley faces a re-election challenge from Rock County Circuit Judge James Daley on Tuesday. She's still found time to come to her Abrahamson's defense, saying the amendment is an attempt to get rid of balance on the court. Polls open at 7 a.m.

Published: Sun, 29 Mar 2015 13:21:52 GMT

3 displaced in kitchen fire in 8-unit apartment building

Three people were displaced by a fire that damaged their apartment on Madison’s east side Saturday morning. Crews were sent to 802 Vernon Ave. for reports of a working structure fire around 11 a.m., officials said. Firefighters saw smoke coming from a first-floor window when they arrived. According to a release, crews found heavy black smoke in an apartment, used thermal imaging cameras to find the fire, and extinguished the fire with a small amount of water and foam. Crews used fans to help remove smoke from the hallway of the eight-unit apartment building, officials said. Most of the smoke and fire damage was limited to the apartment where the fire originated. No injuries were reported at the scene. Investigators said the fire originated in the kitchen, but they are still investigating the cause of the fire. The fire caused about $25,000 in damage to the building and $15,000 in damage to the contents of the unit, according to a release. The Red Cross is assisting the displaced residents.

Published: Sat, 28 Mar 2015 22:42:32 GMT