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Man killed when tire crashes through windshield ID'd

The Wisconsin State Patrol said one person died early Monday morning after a tire from a car crashed into the windshield of a car going westbound on the interstate. The incident happened at mile marker 144 on Interstate 39-90 just south of the Beltline around 1:20 a.m. Monday. According to the state patrol, the tire had come off a vehicle traveling eastbound when it went through the windshield and struck a passenger in the car. The driver of the car lost control and slid into the concrete barrier on the right shoulder of the interstate. Mark C. Bolan, 55, of Lombard, Illinois, died in the crash. The driver, Victor A. Gauger, 56, was not injured in the crash. The state patrol said both people in the car were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash, and alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the accident. Officials said the 16-inch rim has a Mastercraft Courser tire on it, size LT235/85R16, and they believe it came off a heavy utility truck or trailer. Investigators are asking anyone with information regarding the crash to call 608-846-8500.

Published: Mon, 29 Sep 2014 23:16:32 GMT

Former UW-Whitewater wrestling coach seeks to clear name

From the moment his son came home crying from the playground after hearing his "dad's been fired," Tim Fader realized the trouble he was in. The subsequent phone calls canceling speaking engagements only reenforced the message. As University of Wisconsin-Whitewater's head wrestling coach, Fader was coming off the most successful year in program history. He had academic All-Americans and wrestling All-Americans. He was a three-time defending conference champion and the reigning conference coach of the year. But on Good Friday, April 18, he said he received a phone call from the mother of a student he knew on campus. His reaction, he believes, cost him his job and has harmed his chances to continue his career. "She was very emotional and she said, 'You know that recruit you had here yesterday. (He) sexually assaulted my daughter,'" Fader said. "I called the police and said, 'I'm Tim Fader. I'm the wrestling coach. I have a sexual assault allegation. What do I do?'" Fader said the Whitewater police officer he spoke to suggested he get the recruit to the station for questioning. Fader did that, sending the recruit with an assistant coach to meet with detectives. A spokesman for the Whitewater Police Department said officers are meeting with the Walworth County District Attorney's Office this week to determine if charges will be filed. Whitewater police would not discuss how the department learned about the alleged incident, stating it remained an open investigation. A spokesman said that Fader's name is not in any of the reports he had read associated with the case, but he also did not discount Fader's statement that he initiated contact with Whitewater police. Fader knows he violated university policy, by not telling his athletic director or any academic staff on campus. He said in his decade at the school, his experience led him to believe that whenever an athlete would get in trouble for underage drinking or fighting or any criminal activity, the police department would contact the school. Fader was suspended by the school in May for not reporting it to campus authorities, and he believes his contract was not renewed for the 2014-2015 school year because of that as well. "I wish I could go back and sit in somebody's office and say, 'This is the weekend that I had,' but at the time and under the circumstances, it just seemed like I did what I should have done," he said. "I thought when I went to the police, the police would work with the university." Fader chaffs at the notion he didn't do anything. An email sent to the Whitewater campus after his suspension makes no mention of Fader reporting the alleged incident to the police and led, he believes, to the incidents with his son and others, that somehow he did nothing when hearing the sexual assault allegation. "I followed my gut," he said. "My gut said to call the police. That's what you're taught to do. That's what I teach my kids to do if they see a problem." A university spokeswoman told News 3 that campus administrators learned about the incident after the student verbally filed a report with the university's Dean of Students Office on May 12. The alleged April incident came two weeks before the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education announced the UW-Whitewater was one of 55 schools nationwide being investigated for how it handled sexual assault or harassment allegations. The Washington Post reported that the Whitewater Title IX investigation was opened on Feb. 14. No further details about the investigation have been released. UW-Whitewater spokeswoman Sara Kuhl denied an open records request asking for documents related to the Title IX investigation into the alleged incident in April because she said its attorneys and the federal government advised the school to do so. "Given that your request seeks information that has been or is likely to be requested by OCR as part of the investigation, the university believes that the release of information could compromise the integrity of the investigation, including the university's ability to adequately represent its interests," Kuhl said the records request response. In a telephone conversation, Whitewater Dean of Students Mary Beth Mackin told News 3 that in the alleged April incident, "The university responded appropriately in accordance with its obligations under Title IX and its own institutional policies and practices." After Fader was suspended, an internal investigation into the wrestling program's recruiting practices revealed violations that the university reported to the NCAA. Fader said they were minor in nature, including a booster driving a potential recruit to the campus and a recruit engaging in a practice with an assistant coach present. UW-Whitewater Athletics Director Amy Edmonds told News 3 she expected resolution from the NCAA in the near future as to possible penalties. Fader meanwhile does not believe that's the reason his contract was not renewed. He said telling the police about an alleged sexual assault should never be considered wrong, but acknowledges that he didn't do "enough of the right thing" when he didn't tell campus officials. "It doesn't make sense," he said. "I was told I was a great wrestling coach and that I had really high values and that I would be given a chance to resign, but that I would be non-renewed. I chose not to resign. I preach about it all the time. You don't quit. You never quit. I couldn't agree with something I didn't agree with. You know, I just don't believe that the punishment fits the crime."

Published: Mon, 29 Sep 2014 23:42:02 GMT

Pet cow dies after being pelted by softballs

A north Phoenix family is mourning the loss of their pet cow. They woke up Friday morning and found the animal gravely injured on their ranch on 52nd Street, near Bell Road. Phoenix police said this does not appear to an accident, because the cow was surrounded by more than a dozen softballs. "The early indications are that perhaps this cow was injured by someone who may have thrown these softballs at this cow," said Sgt. Steve Martos. "Unfortunately, as I understand it, this cow had to be put down by a vet." A neighborhood block watch issued an alert that said the vet who euthanized the cow believed a potato-launcher was used to pelt her – because of how badly she was hurt. The bulletin said a total of 13 neon and white softballs were found on the field. Some were marked: DSMS, for Desert Shadow Middle School. Neighbors are sickened that anyone would hurt an innocent animal and hope neighborhood kids aren't behind this. "We actually love having this rancher here," said David Jones, who lives near the ranch where the cow was injured. "It kind of gives you a sense of country in the neighborhood, driving by and seeing the cows and seeing the farmland. So, it really disturbs me that somebody would do this in our neighborhood." Martos said police are investigating this as a case of animal cruelty. Because the cow died, whoever is caught will likely be charged with a felony.

Published: Mon, 29 Sep 2014 14:23:14 GMT

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

Naked man walks into Capitol rotunda

State officials are looking into how a naked man found his way into the Wisconsin state Capitol's rotunda. The man appeared undressed in the rotunda around 4 p.m. Monday au natural and began shouting at the top of his lungs. It was unclear what he was saying. A Capitol Police officer quickly led him away. Stephanie Marquis is a spokeswoman for the state Department of Administration, which oversees the Capitol Police. She said the man was screaming that he was Jesus Christ. She says he will be taken to jail on suspicion of disorderly conduct and lewd and lascivious behavior.

Published: Mon, 29 Sep 2014 22:55:16 GMT

Lawmaker's daughter faces new drug charges

The daughter of a Wisconsin lawmaker faces new criminal charges accusing her of possessing narcotics. Twenty-five-year-old Cassie Nygren of Marinette appeared in Brown County court on Monday after being arrested Friday morning. A report by Press-Gazette Media said Nygren faces two counts of possession of narcotic drugs and one count of possessing an illegally obtained prescription. Nygren's struggle with heroin has made her a face of recovery and prompted her father, Republican state Rep. John Nygren, to draft legislation aimed at helping addicts. Rep. Nygren told WBAY-TV that he's "disappointed, saddened, a little angry" but not surprised by his daughter's arrest. He did not appear at her hearing. "This is a long road. We've been down this before, and I was more hopeful this time around. Addicts need to understand that recovery is something that you're never really done with, that it's a day-to-day fight," John Nygren said. Bail was set at $5,000 cash bond. Defense attorney Shannon Viel said it was too early to comment. John Nygren said he won't be bailing his daughter out, and that she needs to pay the consequences for her mistake.

Published: Tue, 30 Sep 2014 02:17:07 GMT

Another woman accuses billionaire of sexual assault

Another woman has accused Racine billionaire Samuel Curtis Johnson III of sexual assault. The woman filed a civil lawsuit in Racine County in July alleging Johnson sexually assaulted her on multiple occasions between March of 2007 and July of 2009 while she was on vacation with Johnson's family in Mexico and the Bahamas and while she was at Johnson's home. The lawsuit said the woman was a minor at the time. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages. Johnson's attorney, Michael F. Hart, says the woman's claims are false. The 59-year-old Johnson's family has run home-products giant SC Johnson for five generations. He pleaded guilty in June to a misdemeanor charge of fourth-degree sexual assault after a girl accused him of having inappropriate sexual contact with her 15 to 20 times.

Published: Mon, 29 Sep 2014 22:15:18 GMT

8 injured in chain-reaction crash on interstate

Eight people were injured in a chain-reaction crash on Interstate 90 Monday afternoon, according to a release. The crash happened on the eastbound lanes of Interstate 90 near mile marker 43 around 4:30 p.m., officials said. An earlier crash had caused traffic in the area to slow down and back up, according to the release. A silver Honda Accord started to skid after seeing the stopped traffic too late and hit the back of a Honda minivan that was in the backed-up traffic, investigators said. The minivan had severe damage, and as it lurched forward from the impact, it hit the back of a red Pontiac Grand Am. The driver of a Toyota Rav4 also did not notice the stopped traffic and also hit the back of the Honda minivan, according to the release. Finally, the driver of a green Honda Accord did not notice the stopped traffic in time and hit the back of the Rav4 and came to a rest ahead of the Honda minivan on the median shoulder. The impact of the green Accord caused the Rav4 to hit the Honda minivan again, investigators said. All six occupants of the Honda minivan and both occupants of the Rav4 sustained non-life-threatening injuries and were transported to Tomah Memorial Hospital. They were identified as John T. Lange, 44, of Watertown; Molly B. Hennig, 16, from New Hope, Minnesota; Bailey E. Ziemer, 17, from Rochester, Minnesota; Bethany E. Schutlz, 16, from Rochester, Minnesota; Carissa A. Lange, 16, from Watertown; Kaitlin N. Lange, 17, from Watertown; Robert W. Suchner, 70, from DeKalb, Illinois; and Patricia M. Suchner, 69, from DeKalb, Illinois. The four occupants in the silver Accord, Tyler P. Christman, 23, Anthony J. Sylvester, 23, Zachary J. Sylvester, 20, and John S. Lannoye, 23, all of Madison, refused medical attention, officials said. Two occupants of the Grand Am, Michael L. Weinke, 21, and Jemimah A. Vettrus, 22, both of Stevens Point, and the driver of the green Accord, Sean W. Bilderbach, 19, of Oshkosh, were not injured. Interstate 90 eastbound was closed for approximately 45 minutes, according to the release. The crash is still under investigation.

Published: Tue, 30 Sep 2014 01:17:49 GMT

Rail line will run from Fitchburg to Oregon

After a 20-year planning process, one of Madison’s rail lines was reactivated Monday. The rail line is located on the east side of Fitchburg and runs from South McCoy Road to the village of Oregon. The Wisconsin Southern Railroad Company held a news conference and ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the rail line coming out of retirement. The plan is to use the line to transport aggregate for the construction industry in Dane County. Officials at the ceremony Monday said there will be measures taken to ensure the rail line operates safely. “We’re going to be implementing those strategies over the course of the next several months. One of those strategies is to upgrade several crossings with advanced warning signals, with gates as well as lights,” said Ken Lucht, director of the Wisconsin Southern Railroad Company.

Published: Tue, 30 Sep 2014 02:58:45 GMT

Man sentenced to 25 years in prison for killing brother

The man convicted of killing his brother earlier this year in Madison was sentenced Monday to 25 years in prison. Bonnell Hanger, 40, was sentenced for the March 3 killing of his brother Fredrica Hanger, who had been released from prison just days before he was killed. Fredrica Hanger was shot twice while parked outside his mother’s home. The two may have argued because Bonnell Hanger dated his brother’s girlfriend when he was sentenced to prison years earlier. “What happened here? Why? The answer is as old as Cain and Abel. We’ve got jealousy, hatred and a violent rage,” Judge William Hanrahan said. By pleading down to a second-degree intentional homicide charge, Bonnell Hanger avoided an automatic life sentence. He was also sentenced to 10 years of extended supervision.

Published: Mon, 29 Sep 2014 23:17:37 GMT

Man arrested after car fire, crash on Beltline

Two men were captured and one arrested after fleeing a stolen car that caught on fire on the Beltline, according to police. A four-car crash behind the car fire caused massive delays Sunday night. Monona police were called to the eastbound Beltline at 6:12 p.m. near Monona Drive for a report of a car fire. Police said the car had been stolen in Madison and two men fled from the scene of the fire. A citizen followed the men, who were later found by police. Gregg A. James, 18, was arrested on suspicion of operating a vehicle without the owner’s consent. A separate crash behind the car fire resulted in the closing of a lane in an area that already had another lane closed for construction. The second lane was closed until about 7:50 p.m.

Published: Mon, 29 Sep 2014 14:00:19 GMT

Dairy expo expected to bring 300K visitors to area

One of Madison’s largest events will open its doors Tuesday. The World Dairy Expo is celebrating 48 years at the Alliant Energy Center, and exhibitors put the finishing touches together Monday. Event organizers are anticipating over 300,000 visitors throughout the week. The expo runs Tuesday through Saturday. Around 90 different countries will be represented, and each will display their dairy expertise to cattle farmers and other dairy companies attending. The show grows each year creating a need for new additions. “We do have a sell-out show. We’ve had a waiting list now for a number of years, and that’s very exciting to see this event prosper and grown,” said Janet Keller, the expo’s public relations and communications manager. “The addition of the New Holland pavilions here at the Alliant Energy Center is part of that growing story.” The expo is open to the public. Admission to the grounds is $10 per day and $30 for a five-day pass.

Published: Mon, 29 Sep 2014 23:29:19 GMT

Man questioned for double homicide released

Green Lake County's top prosecutor says the man being questioned about two deaths in Berlin has been released. Police have described the deaths of Melissa Tuinstra and Justin Daniels as a double homicide. They were found slain late Saturday. The crime resulted in an Amber Alert for Tuinstra's 8-year-old daughter who was found safe Sunday with relatives in a nearby community. The Amber Alert also named the man who was brought in for questioning as a "person of interest." District Attorney Andrew Christenson said Monday the investigation into the deaths is ongoing. Police said Tuinstra was found with gunshot wounds outside her apartment building. Daniels had also been shot and was found on the second floor of the building. Both were 28.

Published: Mon, 29 Sep 2014 17:21:30 GMT

UW student swimming in Lake Mendota likely paralyzed

A University of Wisconsin student was paralyzed Saturday night after jumping into Lake Mendota and hitting his head on the bottom of the lake, Madison police said. Officers were called to 644 N. Frances St. just before 9 p.m. for reports of an injured person, according to a release. The 20-year-old student was swimming near the Francis Street address and dove into the water, which is estimated to be 5 feet deep, officials said. The student hit his head on the bottom of the lake, causing paralysis. The student floated to the surface of the lake, called for help, and was brought to shore by his friends, according to the release. He was transported to a local hospital and admitted for a suspected spinal injury.

Published: Mon, 29 Sep 2014 13:59:08 GMT

2-year-old falls from 2nd-floor balcony

A 2-year-old boy was taken to a hospital after falling from a second-floor apartment balcony Sunday afternoon, according to a release from Madison police. Witnesses told police the child slid between railing slats and tumbled to the ground shortly after noon in the 5800 block of Raymond Road. An officer in the area on another call came to help. The boy’s mother was found and went to the emergency room. The boy suffered apparent minor injuries.

Published: Mon, 29 Sep 2014 16:49:52 GMT

$10M targeted to clean county lakes, streams

Dane County's 2015 budget will represent a big financial commitment to clean lakes and streams in the area. It is also a budget that reflects a growing cooperative effort among government leaders, environmental groups and farmers to solve the problem. “When we partner and we come together and pool our resources and pool our knowledge and pool our passion for cleaning up our lakes and leaving those lakes to the next generation in better shape than we inherited them, that’s when we can get a lot done,” Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said. Parisi unveiled a 2015 budget that targets more than $10 million in resources toward the cleaning of lakes and streams in the county. It will include $500,000 in low-interest loans and grants for farmers to construct manure storage facilities if they agree to not spread manure on their fields during the winter. Research has shown that the spreading of manure during winter, especially in late winter, has a significant impact on phosphorus runoff into lakes and streams. The county is also supporting the opening of a new manure digester that has technology that will make it possible to remove 100 percent of the phosphorus. One million dollars is also being targeted for Urban Water Quality Grants to improve an aging infrastructure. The money will be used to keep pollutants from entering lakes and streams following heavy rains. The budget will also provide $60,000 to remove phosphorus that already exists in high concentrations in sediment. Of significance is the support this proposal is getting from both environmental and agriculture groups. “At points in time, we were not always seeing eye to eye. It has been real refreshing these last several years that we’ve been able to sit down with the county executive and his staff and really begin to have some good, frank discussions,” said Bob Uphoff, a Dane County farmer whose family has been farming for more than 100 years. Cleaning the area's lakes and streams is important to the health of the community and the economy. The beauty of those waterways draws tourists to the area, and last year direct visitor spending in Dane County accounted for $1.35 billion, according to Oxford Economics. Maintaining a strong farm community is also important. Last year, according to University of Wisconsin Extension, agriculture contributed $3.19 billion to Dane County’s economy. The goal of this cooperative effort is to assure the long-term survival of both the lakes and farms.

Published: Tue, 30 Sep 2014 03:11:13 GMT

La Crosse Oktoberfest attendants flip car

The annual Oktoberfest celebration in La Crosse has ended without major incident, despite police reports of attendees flipping a car and damaging several others. Local police reports say one car was flipped on its side and the widows of at least six others were smashed. The La Crosse Tribune reports more than 130 people were cited for underage or public drinking, drunken driving and public urination. The police department is still processing hundreds of tickets. At least five residences were ticketed for hosting parties, including one with more than 250 people in the backyard. Tri-State Ambulance responded to 158 ambulance requests, more than double the amount of requests last year. Tri-State says about 60 percent of the calls from La Crosse were alcohol-related.

Published: Tue, 30 Sep 2014 01:16:06 GMT

Cattle truck goes down embankment, driver cited

The driver of a truck pulling an empty cattle trailer will be cited after he damaged hundreds of feet of guardrail and went down an embankment, according to a release from the Grant County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies said the semitrailer driven by Lloyd Kropf, 38, of Muscoda, was traveling south on Highway 35/16 near Highway 81 at after 11 p.m. Sunday when the truck drove across the northbound lane into the ditch on the east side of the road and struck the guardrail. Investigators said that when the trailer hit the guardrail it pulled the truck further into the ditch. The semi crossed a driveway and went through another guardrail before going about 200 feet down an embankment and stopped in a pasture. About 200 feet of guardrail and 100 feet of private fencing was damaged. Kropf was wearing a seat belt and wasn’t injured. He was cited for inattentive driving and operating left of the center line. Highway 35/61 was closed for several hours Monday while the semi was removed.

Published: Mon, 29 Sep 2014 18:47:31 GMT

Democratic faithful gather to hear Michelle Obama

Wisconsin residents are lining up in Milwaukee to hear first lady Michelle Obama speak. Obama was campaigning Monday in Milwaukee for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke. Burke is locked in a tight race with Republican Gov. Scott Walker. Most of those lined up outside Milwaukee's Wisconsin Center say they had already decided to vote for Burke before the first lady's visit was announced. They describe Mrs. Obama's visit as a bonus. “This is the first time I met Mary, but she is all the buzz,” Obama said. “I love her. She is smart, in this for the right reasons, she cares about people, doesn’t care about politics, has been such a passionate champion for our kids and families here in Wisconsin.” Mequon resident Natasha Smet says she planned to vote for Burke as soon as the former Trek Bicycle Corp. executive announced her candidacy. Smet says the majority of her college education was financed by a scholarship established by Burke's father and she thinks the candidate comes from "good stock." A Burke spokesman and the Democratic Party of Wisconsin confirmed the president will come to Wisconsin to campaign for Burke before Election Day, but they have not set a state or location for the visit.

Published: Tue, 30 Sep 2014 00:15:13 GMT

Milwaukee school settles discrimination claim

The U.S. Justice Department says Milwaukee Montessori School will pay $55,000 to settle a claim that the school discriminated against a disabled student. The department alleged the private day school failed to accommodate and then "impermissibly disenrolled" a young child because he stumbled and fell "more frequently than his peers." In a statement Monday, headmistress Monica Van Aken says the school maintains it did not discriminate against the student but was concerned about the child's safety. Under the agreement, the school will pay $50,000 in compensatory damages to the child and his parents, and will pay a civil penalty of $5,000. The school says it already has a nondiscrimination policy and does not discriminate, but decided it was in the school's best interest to move forward and settle the claim.

Published: Mon, 29 Sep 2014 21:16:40 GMT