Bookmark and Share

rss logo Top Madison Area Local News Stories

Source: Local News

UW officials OK?d former recruit accused of sexual assault to play at Kohl Center

A former University of Wisconsin football recruit accused of sexually assaulting a student on campus was allowed to participate in his high school's state basketball championship at the Kohl Center by Chancellor Rebecca Blank and UW-Madison Police Chief Susan Riseling. Eighteen-year-old Dominic D. Cizauskas was charged with third-degree sexual assault. He is accused of sexually assaulting a woman at a UW residence hall dorm room last December. The detective who investigated the case and Chris Cole, the head of threat services on the UW campus, both recommended banning Cizauskas from campus after he had been arrested but not yet charged with the crime. However, in a March 13 email from Cole, obtained through an open records request by News 3, he wrote, "After the chief consulted with the chancellor, it was decided that a ban letter would be issued, but with a limited exception allowing Cizauskas to be present at the Kohl Center in order to play in the Mukwonago game(s) this weekend." That amended ban order was sent to numerous university officials, including head football coach Gary Andersen and UW Athletics Director Barry Alvarez. Andersen is prevented from commenting on potential recruits by NCAA rules, but Cizauskas was not listed among UW's official recruiting class in February. Last summer, Cizauskas had given the Badgers a verbal commitment, and according to numerous recruiting websites, he was on his official recruiting visit to campus at the time the alleged sexual assault happened. He was named the 2013 Wisconsin Football Coaches Association defensive player of the year. Cole, who spent 26 years as an FBI agent, including five as a supervisor of the Madison office, wrote in a March 12 email to colleagues, including Riseling, that a campus ban "is appropriate given the seriousness of the alleged crime, the fact that Cizauskas has associated on campus who he is known to visit increasing the likelihood of contact with the victim or other witnesses in this matter." In a statement sent to News 3, UW-Madison Police Department spokesman Marc Lovicott said several factors went into the chief's and chancellor's joint decision, including the fact that "playing basketball had nothing to do with the behavior that was being investigated," that he had not yet been charged with a crime, and that he would be supervised in Madison at all times by his team. Cizauskas's amended ban order allowed him to score 8 points on March 14 as Mukwonago lost 58-41 in the Division 1 semifinal game. It did not allow him anywhere else on campus. A Dane County judge set bond for Cizauskas at $500 last month and ordered him not to have any contact with the woman and not to be on the UW campus. If convicted, he faces up to a $25,000 fine and 10 years in prison.

Published: Fri, 25 Apr 2014 02:03:54 GMT

Madison craft beer scene sees explosive growth

By Aaron R. Conklin It's one of the first things you notice when you sidle up to the bar at Dexter's Pub—and why wouldn't it be? It's what you're here for, after all. More than a third of your twenty-four tap beer choices are local craft brews. If you're a local beer lover, you can tick 'em off like the days of the week—there's New Glarus and there's Capital. And there's Lake Louie, Tyranena and Vintage. Uh-huh. Dexter's owner, Nick Zabel, a self-described craft beer nut, always wanted to run a craft beer bar. The local piece of it, he says, has just fallen into place. "It's quality product first," says Zabel, who's also given tap space to other locals, like Ale Asylum and Karben4, in his east-side establishment. "And the bottom line is that these guys are brewing awesome beer." The man's got an indisputable point. The local craft beer movement, a trend that's been, um, brewing and gaining steady steam for the last few decades, has sailed well past critical mass in our fair city over the last five years, doing a lot of growing up along the way. While trailblazing stalwarts like Middleton's Capital Brewery and the Great Dane Pub & Brewing Company continue to thrive, the scene's now augmented by new and intriguing populist strains, with new startups cropping up, almost literally, everywhere. There are now close to ten craft breweries and brewpubs plying their trade within Madison city limits, and more than twenty in Dane and its surrounding counties. We're talking up-and-comers like MobCraft, where customers get a say in what gets brewed, a process that has yielded eclectic, only briefly available batches of beer like chocolate banana stout and carrot cake ale. The crowdsourcing gig's not only winning awards—MobCraft was recently named the best new brewery in Wisconsin by the beer enthusiast website ratebeer.com—but it’s also working like wildfire. According to Henry Schwartz, one of MobCraft's trio of founders, they'll soon be moving out from under the auspices of Page Buchanan's House of Brews, which operates as a community supported brewery by offering subscriptions much like community supported agriculture offers shares, and into their own location. Meanwhile, in the Atwood neighborhood, a pair of breweries, nano-brewer One Barrel Brewing and brewpub Next Door Brewing, are succeeding within a four-block throw of each other. But the Madison craft beer scene has become more than the sum of its parts. Taken collectively, these breweries are elevating what beer can be. Hardly a week goes by without a beer pairing dinner at a Madison restaurant—an event previously reserved for wine—showing craft beer’s rising profile in chefs' quality- and flavor-focused eyes. Local festivals like Great Taste of the Midwest and Madison Craft Beer Week are quickly drawing attention from beer enthusiasts in the region and across the country. And the culture of collaboration among area breweries has become one of its finest, and most distinguishing, features. Sure, sharing a pint is still a fun and casual social occasion. But beer's stature has grown beyond that here, increasingly becoming one of the most prominent facets of the local, artisanal food movement. It's enough to surprise even the guys brewing the beer. "Madison has never led in anything," says Carl Nolen, the affable president of Wisconsin Brewing Company in Verona, noting that the Fox Valley has historically been the state's beer-industry trendsetter. "Now, with craft beer, it's completely the other way around. Madison is leading the explosion." CRAFTING COLLABORATION As beer drinkers, it's hard to argue with the notion that we're living in a golden era of craft beer here in Madison. Heck, there are even people who are moving here in part to enjoy the robust beer scene. Some of it's understandable. There are, of course, the usual familiar touchstones about Madison—as a university and government town, we’re a highly educated lot with sophisticated palates. Plus, there's that whole longstanding love affair Wisconsin has with beer and other agricultural products. But in Madison, it goes much deeper than that. In a different city with a different beer scene, the established haves, everything from Capital to Ale Asylum, might easily have staked their own market share and turned a blind eye to would-be brewmasters emerging from their basements and garages to start their own businesses. Instead, they've embraced the newcomers, helping to fuel the craft boom with a little ingredient called collaboration. Consider the evidence. When state laws briefly barred the Great Dane from selling its own beers at its new Hilldale location in the mid-2000s, they didn't slap Budweiser on the tap as a stopgap; they turned instead to Tom Porter's Lake Louie Brewing and other local suds—creating "a brewer's dream menu," the Dane's brewmaster Rob LoBreglio says. On his days off, Porter hangs out with Otto Dilba and the gang at Ale Asylum. Wisconsin Brewing Company brewmaster Kirby Nelson test-drives his brews with LoBreglio and Scott Manning of Vintage to avoid mistakes at his own shop. During more than half the interviews for this piece, the brewmaster in question was either working with someone from another brewery or making preparations to do so within the next few days. It's common to see brewers who run out of key ingredients turning to competitors for help—and happily receiving it. KEEP READING THIS STORY ON MADISONMAGAZINE.COM >>

Published: Thu, 24 Apr 2014 20:51:47 GMT

What's going on this weekend?

Looking for something to do this weekend? Here are some highlights from Madison Magazine's Weekend 608. Friday, April 25th: Fridays mark our Freebie Friday Facebook giveaways. Like us on Facebook for a chance to win great prizes every Friday!Celebrate pop legends Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder in the a cappella production I Wish For All Time at the Overture Center tonight. overturecenter.com  Enjoy the annual student-produced H’Doubler Concert of contemporary works in Lathrop Hall. Through April 26, dance.wisc.eduMadison Opera’s season closer Dead Man Walking opens tonight. The opera is based on a novel about a nun’s journey as the spiritual advisor to a convicted murderer on death row. Through April 27, madisonopera.org Read our April feature story on Dead Man Walking here. Saturday, April 26th:Join Hop Head Beer Tours for their fourth annual Backroads Brewery Bus Tour. The day trip includes stops at Lake Louie Brewery, the historic Badger Bar in Platteville, Potosi Brewery and the National Brewery Museum. hopheadbeertours.com  Reggae royalty and five-time Grammy winner Stephen “Ragga” Marley is set to perform at the Barrymore Theatre tonight! barrymorelive.com  Bring your beau to Stoughton Opera House for pianist Jim Brickman’s romantic Love Tour. stoughtonoperahouse.com Sunday, April 27th:It’s the third annual Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Championship! Journey out to Dodgeville to witness one of the state’s finest food products. grilledcheesewisconsin.com   Celebrate Earth Day with a guided walk through the UW Arboretum led by Kathleen Wildwood. The informative walk will highlight various herbs and their uses. wildwoodinstitute.com  Attend REAP’s Spring Gala at the Madison Club for a five-course meal celebrating local ingredients. Hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction book-end the event. reapfoodgroup.org There's more of Weekend 608 at MadisonMagazine.com. For a complete list of local events for every day of the week, check out the Channel3000.com Events page.

Published: Thu, 24 Apr 2014 20:35:32 GMT

2-vehicle crash results in 7th OWI arrest, officials say

A Beloit man was arrested Wednesday for his seventh drunken driving charge, Beloit police said. Around 11:30 p.m. Beloit police responded to the intersection of Prairie and Keeler avenues for reports of a two-vehicle crash without injuries, according to a release. Investigators said one of the drivers, Walter Ewing, Jr., 44, was arrested on charges of seventh-offense operating while intoxicated and operating a motor vehicle without insurance. Ewing was held in the Rock County Jail on the charges related to the incident and on a parole violation.

Published: Thu, 24 Apr 2014 20:27:02 GMT

Consumer reports mortgage issue, CFA retrieves largest amount of money

Kathy Popp and Raymond Popp turned the corner along County Road B in Richland County just across Bear Creek, and knew that was where their dreams met reality and would stay for a while. "It was like, 'Oh my God,'" Kathy Popp said. "This is my first home and my last home." They bought the one-story, 1930s former cheese factory seven years ago this spring with little down and 7 percent interest. When Nationstar Mortgage, the company that held their $70,000 home loan, offered a refinance to them more than two years ago that could cut their interest rate almost in half, the retired couple -- who live on Social Security -- filled out papers and waited. "We spent two years trying to get something going, sending papers back and forth," Kathy Popp said. "I kept calling and then, after a while, you just give up, whatever." Then she saw a woman on News 3 who had a mortgage problem solved by Call For Action. So she called and introduced herself and her problem to Nancy, a Call For Action volunteer. "I feel like I talked to Kathy once a week for several months," Nancy said. "They were very frustrated and they didn't know what else to do." But Nancy, a former state investigator, did know what to do. It took a while, but she finally got through to a media representative with the company. What happened next led to the largest amount of money retrieved for consumers by Call For Action over the last year. "The guy (Nancy) had been talking to called me and he says, 'You know this doesn't need to be anything public. Your local TV station called me. That isn't really necessary, let's see what we can do,'" Popp said. "They gave us the runaround. They didn't give Nancy the runaround." Shortly thereafter, a notary appeared on their doorstep with refinance documents containing an interest rate of 4.25 percent. "Our house payment was 600 and some odd dollars," Popp said. "It lowered our interest and house payment down to $445." Over the course of the 30-year mortgage, Kathy and Raymond will save $55,800 in principal alone. They know their $70,000 home is not a mansion, but said Nancy treated them as if it were. "I mean, come on, we're talking $70,000," Kathy Popp said. "We're not talking about a $450,000 home. We're little people, but Nancy made us feel like this was a $450,000 home."

Published: Fri, 25 Apr 2014 01:26:33 GMT

Russell Wilson files for divorce

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and his wife, Ashton have filed for divorce. The couple married in January of 2012, but in a statement released by the Seahawks Wednesday afternoon, Wilson says "I have made the difficult decision to file for divorce". "Clearly, decisions like these don't come easy. Ashton and I respectfully ask for prayers, understanding and privacy during this difficult time. Moving forward, I will have no further comment on this personal matter." They were married in Richmond, Virginia in January of 2012 just a few months before Wilson was drafted in the third round by Seattle.

Published: Wed, 23 Apr 2014 21:52:21 GMT

Police: Teen arrested after striking 2 vehicles, fleeing

A teenage driver was arrested Wednesday night after striking two vehicles and trying to flee police, according to a release from Madison police. An officer watching traffic on Hammersley Road at around 9:30 p.m. said a vehicle sped past and struck another vehicle as the officer started following it. The vehicle continued and struck a parked car on Loreen Drive. The officer said the 17-year-old driver climbed through the window and fled before being taken into custody. The driver and his 18-year-old passenger suffered non-life-threatening injuries. The driver was arrested on suspicion of eluding and second-offense operating a vehicle while intoxicated causing injury. Crime map

Published: Thu, 24 Apr 2014 13:04:46 GMT

Man honors veterans, their families with hand-crafted flag cases

An American flag flies from a pole in front of his home. From the garage you can hear the hum of saws and woodworking equipment. Inside that garage David Wagner is honoring the flag and veterans. Crafted from oak, ash, hickory and glass, Wagner builds flag cases that he gives to the families of deceased veterans. He works with the director of a funeral home in Janesville to identify the families of veterans. While Wagner does his work quietly and in the background, he does send a message to each family along with the flag case. “I always put a little note in there. It just says, 'Out of respect for the veterans that have served our country.' And that’s why I’ve done it,” Wagner said. He pays for all of the wood, supplies and equipment used to make the flag cases out of his own pocket. What he does receive are many, many thank-you notes, cards and letters from families that have received the flag cases. “Some have said that their husbands enjoyed doing woodworking, and so it meant something a little bit more,” Wagner said. The 78-year-old is a veteran who served in an artillery unit with the U.S. Army. “When I compare what I did with what some of the other veterans have done, a couple of years ago we had the chance to go to France and we stood on the beaches of Normandy and looked out over the English Channel. and you saw the pictures of what had happened there,” Wagner said. “You really respect and often wonder if I could have done that. I don’t know if I could have done that.” What Wagner does do is honor Wisconsin veterans and their families by remembering their service and sacrifice.

Published: Fri, 25 Apr 2014 02:03:36 GMT

Craigslist buyer dupes woman out of $360 camera, police say

Police say a Madison woman was duped in an in-person transaction for a purchase agreement made on Craigslist last week.

Published: Thu, 24 Apr 2014 15:45:18 GMT

American Family Children?s Hospital expands NICU

An expansion at a Madison hospital will better serve the youngest members of families in the community. The American Family Children’s Hospital has continued to evolve as a regional referral center for sick kids and babies. Now, the new floor space allows for infants to get complex surgical and medical care on-site instead of being taken to other hospital intensive care units. Doctors also plan to better collaborate with community hospitals so children can return there once they’re stable to recover and grow. “They will refer babies here that need surgery, and once the child is stable, they’ll be referred back to their community hospital NICUs to feed and to grow,” said Jeff Poltawsky, with American Family Children’s Hospital. The American Family Children’s Hospital has been in its new space for seven years, and in the community since 1920.

Published: Fri, 25 Apr 2014 00:13:42 GMT

Gov. Walker named to ?most influential people? list

Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is singing the praises of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in Time magazine's list of the 100 most influential people of 2014. Both Christie and Walker are considering 2016 presidential runs, making Christie's endorsement of Walker all the more interesting. But it's also not unprecedented. Christie is chairman of the Republican Governors Association and has previously spoken highly of Walker as he faces re-election this fall. Christie's three paragraph item on Walker cites his fight over collective bargaining and his successful defeat of a recall election in 2012 as signs of Walker's leadership. “For me, it’s one of those where it’s less about a speech or comment that I made, and more about the reforms that we did. It’s an honor I share with so many people across the state who helped us achieve the great reforms that we’ve done over the last few years,” Walker said. Walker is pictured leaning against a Harley-Davidson motorcycle with the state Capitol in the background in the article titled "The Heartland's Republican Hopeful." In 2011, Walker wrote a piece for U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan when he made the list.

Published: Thu, 24 Apr 2014 23:41:53 GMT

Cool, rainy weather leads to late planting

A long winter has turned into a late spring, and that's not good news for planting. Farmers and gardeners are looking for a stretch of good weather in order to plant flowers, vegetables and cash crops. Scott Stoddard, the nursery manager at Jung's Garden Center in Fitchburg, said it is the latest start to a growing season he's seen in almost a decade. The store has delayed deliveries of many annuals because of the cold and is storing those they have gotten in a greenhouse. Luckily, the cold isn't freezing out business. "Sales are way up from last year, I think as a result of the long, cold, dreary winter," Stoddard said. "People are very excited to get working in their yards." Farmer Mitch Breunig, of Mystic Valley Dairy Farm in Roxbury, said he got oats and alfalfa in this week but is waiting on warm and dry weather to put in corn. "It seems like when the calendar turns to April 20, everybody gets nervous about planting corn," Breunig said. 'You know it's OK to start then, but the optimal date to plant corn is the last three to four days in April until about May 7." UW Extension experts said if farmers are planting after that date, they could see their total corn yields drop slightly in the fall. If they can't plant by mid-May, it would be more dire. But Breunig said their Roxbury ground has seen everything from winterkill to drought, and his plan is the one farmers have been relying on for centuries. "It's not an emergency at this point," Breunig said. "We just sort of need to be patient and let Mother Nature do her thing." Breunig said he got a new 12-row planter that will help him get planting done in half the time it took before, but it will still take a few days to get his 500 acres of corn planted. As for the forecast, seven-day projections show more cool and rainy weather.

Published: Fri, 25 Apr 2014 02:03:13 GMT

Neighbors, supporters walk with targeted Stoughton family

Dozens came out to support a Stoughton couple who said they received a threatening letter last week. "Nobody should be treated this way," Sharon Sutfin said, as she waited for the walk to begin. Sutfin heard that her neighbors, Harry and Hester Hale, checked their mail to find a letter postmarked from Madison and addressed to their 18-year-old son. According to the family, they opened it to find an image of a lynching with their son's face on one of the bodies. Sutfin said her sons have been victims of racist bullying, so she felt like she understood what the Hales were going through. "I was really upset. Why would somebody want to do this to their family?" Sutfin said. Wednesday night's event started in Criddle Park, where neighbors and others gathered together before walking a few blocks to the Hale’s home where that letter was delivered. Hester Hale said she still hasn't slept well, she has lost weight, and she is still afraid to go to places alone. She hopes events like the one they organized Wednesday will help find the person responsible for the letter. "They're supporting us, and doing this would open a person's eyes to let them know, no this is not a joke. It's not funny at all," Hester Hale said. Stoughton Mayor Donna Olson was among those walking with the Hales. She reiterated what city officials said last week to the crowd, stressing that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated in their community. "Stoughton is a community for all, and we want everybody in Stoughton to feel comfortable and safe in their own home," Olson said. Stoughton police said the letter is still being processed at a crime lab and officers continue to follow any leads that come in. Police believe the incident was isolated and haven't seen anything similar to it happen in the community. Hester Hale said the amount of support people in Stoughton have shown her family does let her know there are still good people around. "I want to get out of this something to know, like I said, my babies is OK and we can go on with our life, and we can put this behind us," Hester Hale said.

Published: Thu, 24 Apr 2014 18:44:25 GMT

Wis.-based B-cycle picked to provide bikes for Philadelphia bike share

A long-planned bicycle sharing program in Philadelphia is moving forward. City officials on Wednesday announced that Bicycle Transit Systems has been chosen to plan and operate the system and B-cycle has been picked to provide the bicycles, stations and technology platform. The bike share is slated to roll out in spring 2015. Bicycle Transit Systems is a Philadelphia-based business that has created and currently runs bike share programs in Boston, Chicago and Washington D.C. B-cycle is a Wisconsin-based company that grew out of the Trek bicycle manufacturer and serves 30 other cities in North America and South America. It will supply Philadelphia with approximately 1,800 bikes and 185 docking stations where the bicycles can be rented.

Published: Thu, 24 Apr 2014 21:04:17 GMT

Police: Smoking in bathroom causes school fire

Police say a student smoking in a bathroom caused a fire that resulted in an estimated $5 million in smoke damage at Oconto High School. After reviewing surveillance video and interviewing students and staff members, Oconto police have identified as 16-year-old student as a person of interest. Firefighters interviewed the student, who said he left class early and went to the bathroom, where he smoked a home-rolled cigarette. Police believe the cigarette was used too close to a toilet paper dispenser, causing an accidental fire. No one else used the bathroom after the boy. The April 16 fire forced the building to be evacuated. Students returned to class Monday at Oconto Middle School. WLUK-TV reports the boy is being referred to the Oconto County Department of Human Services.

Published: Thu, 24 Apr 2014 19:39:48 GMT

City to hold State Street, Library Mall preconstruction meeting

Residents and students are invited to a preconstruction meeting about the reconstruction of the 700 and 800 blocks of State Street and Library Mall May 19, according to a release. The reconstruction will create a public space at the intersection of State Street and East Campus Mall, officials said. The meeting will start at 10 a.m. with a short presentation of the final design and planned construction staging, according to the release. Construction is anticipated to last through the summer and into the fall. State Street and Library mall will stay open to pedestrian traffic through the project, officials said. Access to buildings will be maintained, but short-term closures are possible to complete utility construction and paving. Staff from city of Madison engineering, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the design team and the project’s contractor will be available after the presentation to answer questions, according to the release. Anyone who would like more information can contact city of Madison engineering or call Chris Petykowski at 608-267-8678.

Published: Thu, 24 Apr 2014 20:48:18 GMT

Edgerton high schooler wins car through safety program

An Edgerton High School senior is the winner of a new car Thursday as part of a campaign to keep teens safe on the road.

Published: Thu, 24 Apr 2014 18:22:39 GMT

FDA backs off animal feed rule affecting brewers

The federal government is backing off proposed regulations that brewers say would add to their costs without improving the safety of grain used to feed livestock. Many beer makers sell or give grain leftover from the brewing process to farmers, who use it as feed for dairy cows and other animals. The grain would be affected by new food safety rules being developed under the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act. U.S. Food and Drug Administration spokesman Dr. Dan McChesney says livestock feed is generally safe, but the agency wants to ensure brewers' grain is handled properly during the transfer from breweries to farms. Brewers have worried the rule would add costs for testing, training and paperwork. McChesney says the agency will take another look at the rule and clarify it.

Published: Thu, 24 Apr 2014 19:45:54 GMT

Former Wisconsin man charged in Florida tax ring

A former Wisconsin man who served more than 10 years in a Florida prison for a homicide he didn't commit is in trouble again. The Daily Tribune Media reported that Chad R. Heins is accused of being involved in income tax conspiracy in Florida. He faces federal charges of theft and conspiracy to defraud the government. The 39-year-old is originally from Nekoosa. He was convicted in the 1994 death of his sister-in-law and served more than a decade in Florida prison. The Wisconsin-based Innocence Project was able to arrange DNA testing that identified another suspect, and Heins was released in 2007. Now he and seven others are accused as part of an alleged ring to file false tax returns. Online court records didn't list a defense attorney for him.

Published: Thu, 24 Apr 2014 15:23:05 GMT

6 students cited for Nerf gun 'wars'

Police have issued disorderly conduct citations to six high school seniors in Wausau for a toy Nerf gun battle. Some residents of Wausau called police when they saw the young people pointing a gun at a car Tuesday night. But, it was only a toy Nerf gun that shoots foam bullets. Police Capt. Ben Bliven told WAOW-TV a number of people were frightened by the plastic Nerf guns, so officers had to respond appropriately. One parent who saw the Nerf gun battle, Scott Hansen, said police went too far in issuing disorderly conduct citations. Wausau West High School officials have also placed some students on athletic probation. School spokesman Jeff Lindell said the Nerf gun game comes up from time to time and keeps evolving.

Published: Thu, 24 Apr 2014 11:51:02 GMT