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Winter storm possible this weekend

A large and powerful winter storm is poised to affect southern Wisconsin this weekend. The track of this storm has wandered quite a bit in previous days, but it will almost certainly bring some snow to southern Wisconsin. As the storm approaches Saturday, skies will become mostly cloudy, but temperatures will be relatively mild, with highs in the lower 30s. The snow will spread into the area Saturday night, and conditions will become quite windy simultaneously. This will lead to very poor travel conditions on Sunday, especially in the morning. The current track of the storm takes it through northern Illinois, which keeps Wisconsin on the cold side of the system and is close enough to produce 2 to 6 inches of snow accumulation from Saturday night through Sunday, with the highest amounts near the Wisconsin/Illinois border. However, since this system has repeatedly shifted its track north and south, there is some uncertainty as to where exactly it will end up. If it shifts north, the snow totals will be higher, and if it shifts south, they will be lower. Cold air will move in behind the system, and wind chills will be as cold as -15 degrees by Monday morning. Another chance of lighter snow will move in on Tuesday, with amounts staying under 2 inches.

Published: Fri, 30 Jan 2015 21:23:27 GMT

Man found injured in Madison parking lot, police say

Police said a man was found injured outside off a west Madison roadway Saturday morning. Madison police Lt. Tim Strassman said police responded to a report of an injured man in a parking lot on the 4600 block of Verona Road near AutoZone. The man was found outside and was conscious and alert, Strassman said. He was transported for treatment, but his condition and the nature of his injuries were not confirmed shortly before noon. Strassman said it wasn't clear if the man had suffered a gunshot wound, stab wound or other injury. Police were on the scene Saturday afternoon investigating. Strassman said a person was detained on the bike trail near the scene about 30 minutes after the original call, but it wasn't clear if it was a suspect related to the injured man case.

Published: Sat, 31 Jan 2015 18:31:48 GMT

Arena man highlights danger of Highway 14

A four-car pile-up outside Cross Plains Friday morning sends another reminder about a stretch of state Highway 14 that with a deadly history. The stretch has been home to at least 15 accidents over the past year, according to Elise Schaffer, a spokesperson for Dane County Sheriff's office. Of those 15, 12 have happened at the intersection of 14 and Stagecoach Road. "Highway 14 is just a high traffic area, especially in the morning when people are trying to get to work," Schaffer said. The state Department of Transportation has scheduled construction there to put in a new median and left-turn lanes, a $1.5 million project that will begin this June. But Chris Dorman, an Arena resident, says the solution starts with the drivers themselves. "People drive unreasonably fast [on that road]," Dorman says. "I'll go 60 miles per hour, and I have people tailgating me like I'm going 40." Dorman has his own reason for fear of drivers on that stretch of Highway 14. In 2012, he lost his 37-year-old wife, Shelly, along a curve. Shelly was speeding and she ended up crashing," he remembers. "She wasn't wearing her seatbelt, so she got ejected from the vehicle and died." Their 14-month-old daughter, Brooklynn, was in the backseat and made it out with just scratches. Dorman says she's a daily reminder to buckle up and pay attention to the road.  "I've got a beautiful daughter who's living with me right now because she was in her car seat - and I have a dead wife who's not raising her with me because she was not wearing her seatbelt," Dorman says. Dorman has set up a Facebook page, "Buckle up for Brooklynn," to document her life before and after the crash - and he's hoping the page will inspire others to do just that. "I just want people to take a second to realize what we're missing out on because of an accident that could've been avoided," he says.

Published: Sat, 31 Jan 2015 18:45:47 GMT

Hero officer pulls baby from hospital debris

Heroes are often made suddenly, when tragedy strikes out of nowhere. It did Thursday, when a natural gas explosion flattened a maternity hospital in Mexico City. It was dawn, and Police Officer Mauro Enrique Vera Suarez was in the middle of suiting up for work. The shock wave jolted his station like an earthquake. It swung the doors and windows. Suarez and his colleagues went outside."They told us there was an explosion," he told CNN affiliate FOROtv. Only half equipped, he jumped straight into his squad car. "We left as we were," he said. And rushed to the site marked by broad billows of smoke and dust towering over the city. Leaky gas hose The hose of a propane-butane truck had burst, while it made a delivery to the Cuajimalpa Maternal Hospital. Combustible gas had hissed out into the neighborhood. Residents had already called firefighters to alert them to the leak minutes before the gas ignited, and the hospital had already begun evacuating. But the exposition hit them in the middle of it. More than 100 people were still in the building. Officer Suarez arrived to find the hospital for newborns and their mothers leveled to crumbled concrete and twisted steel. People stained in blood were screaming for help. Under a piece of metal He and the other officers went straight into the wreckage looking for injured survivors. He turned over pieces of the collapsed roof to see if victims were under them. "I saw a sheet that was moving very slightly," he said. "Picking it up, I saw that the baby was face down with its head and knees in the rubble." The baby did not appear to be terribly injured, Suarez told FOROtv. "He had small wounds. He had scrapes. What I did was just wrap him up and pick him up and leave running." A snap, a tweet Holding the baby in his left arm, Suarez signaled with his right hand to colleagues, directing them to go inside to help more injured people. "My first feeling was to do the work any human being would do -- to take out the injured," he told CNN. "Everything else you block out. " At that moment, someone snapped a photo of him, as he scurried over jumbled pieces of debris. Suarez handed the baby to paramedics, grabbed a stretcher and ran back to search for more victims. "The only thing on my mind was to do the human thing," he said when asked if he thought about his own children. "At that moment you don't remember if you have family, a mother, a father, children or a wife. You concentrate on helping. I wasn't the only one to go in there. My colleagues also rescued victims." A public safety official sent it out via Twitter with the message: "'I would like to know what happened with the baby. Our work is to save lives,'" says Mauro after rescuing a baby from the explosion." FOROtv asked Suarez about the tweet. "Yes, I would like to know that he is ok, the baby," he said, choking up. Painful announcement In the evening, Mexico City's health secretary Armando Ahued spoke to reporters about the tragedy. A nurse died, he said, as well as two babies. Dozens were injured, about a third of them children. Reporters asked him about the newborn in the tweeted photo. The baby was one of the two who didn't make it. "It was a baby that had .... a very serious fracture in its head, and unfortunately died," Ahued said. "It's very sad news," Suarez told CNNMexico. He has two grown children himself. He sent a message to the baby's parents. "I will be with them in their pain."

Published: Fri, 30 Jan 2015 19:14:13 GMT

State prosecutes first case under new human trafficking law

The state has prosecuted its first case under a new human trafficking law passed last year. Lindy Gill of Madison pleaded guilty Thursday to two counts of human trafficking and one count of receiving compensation from the earnings of a commercial sex act. Gill was arrested in June after being accused of coercing four women into prostitution. "They were indebted to him, had to do everything for him and were not free to leave," Madison Police Detective Maya Krajcinovic said. Krajcinovic said it's the first case prosecuted under the state's new human trafficking law, which went into effect last April. the new law looks less at proving a sex act by a prostitute and more at how the sex worker was being victimized. "Human trafficking is generally not about one act but about how they are manipulated, forced, defrauded or coerced throughout their whole day," Krajcinovic said. In Gill's case, the victims said he was forcing them into being escorts and posting ads for them on Backpage.com. Three of the women were addicted to heroin, and Gill threatened to withhold drugs or kick them out if they didn't turn tricks. One woman had a daughter and told investigators that Gill threatened to take her away. Krajcinovic calls human trafficking "the new drug of Madison" and says this first prosecution is an important step. "I think it's an epidemic happening here in Madison," Krajcinovic said. "I think we need to send a message to the community and pimps that are doing this that it is not OK." Attorney General Brad Schimel, whose department worked on the case, also spotlighted the prosecution. "Human trafficking cases are incredibly difficult to investigate and prove, and I am very proud of the law enforcement officers and prosecutors involved in bringing justice for these victims," Schimel said in a statement. "I hope that the positive results in this case will encourage other victims of human trafficking to seek help.” Rep. Amy Loudenbeck, R-Clinton, who proposed the bill, said Friday that it was important that the law was helpful to prosecutors. She's also introduced a bill that would create posters providing information on help for human trafficking. That legislation will get a hearing next week.  Gill will face sentencing in Dane County Court, but a date has not yet been set. 

Published: Sat, 31 Jan 2015 01:28:03 GMT

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

UW research team tracks, studies wildlife in city

January and February are part of the mating season for coyotes and foxes, which is good news for UW-Madison professor David Drake and his research team. "If we can learn more about the animal and try to proactively manage these animals and the interactions between them, domestic dogs, and humans hopefully we can head off conflicts to the point we can peacefully coexist," said Drake, UW-Madison associate professor of forest and wildlife ecology. Drake and his students humanely trap the animals, run tests and fit them with tracking devices. They hope through the research to learn more about the animals' traveling patterns, diseases they carry, interactions with other animals and most importantly including humans. "These animals are moving into these areas where people are living," Drake said. "If that habituation continues and the animals continue to lose their fear of humans, in extreme cases these animals can start becoming aggressive." Wisconsin DNR warns residents if they do come in contact with a coyote or fox to not feed the animals and stay at a safe distance. "You don't want to encourage any contact with the animals. For the most part if you see a coyote you would act around them just like you would a strange dog," said Andy Paulios, wildlife biologist at Wisconsin's Department of Natural Resources. Middleton police said they have had several reports of sightings of foxes and coyotes in the city. In each case, there has been no human interaction. Police encourage people to take precautions, but say not to be alarmed. "The nature preserve is there for people to observe and see the animals and they are among the animals that you are going to see and they will wander up in the yards," said Sgt. Donald Mueller of Middleton police. For Drake it's those sightings he hopes, will help spread understanding about the animals. "It's fun to give people practical knowledge that they can use in their everyday life. To improve their quality of life but also enjoy the wildlife around them," Drake said. The public can participate in watching the research group track the animals by arranging a time to join them by emailing at uwurbancanidproject@gmail.com or you can find the UW Urban Canid Project on Facebook.

Published: Sat, 31 Jan 2015 18:13:29 GMT

Driver strikes hay bale in roadway, killed in head-on crash

Police said a Fennimore man was pronounced dead at the scene of of a wreck in Grant County early Thursday, according to a release. The Grant County Sheriff's Office said deputies responded to a report of a crash on Highway 61 and Circle Road in Lancaster at 6:30 a.m. According to the report, 60-year-old Donald J. Martin, of Bagley, was driving a Ford F-350 truck pulling a goose-neck trailer loaded with round bales of hay. When Martin turned south on Highway 61 from Circle Road, two hay bales fell off the trailer and into the southbound lane where the Honda Civic driven by 48-year-old Robert A. Kuhn, of Fennimore, was traveling. Kuhn struck a bale then traveled into the northbound lane, colliding head-on with a GMC Sierra driven by 42-year-old Nathan Harris of Lancaster, the sheriff's office said. The coroner pronounced Kuhn dead at the scene, according to the report. Harris was taken to Grant Regional Health Center, then transferred to a hospital in Madison, according to the report. The sheriff's office said Martin's truck was not struck in the collision, and therefore not damaged. Martin left the area, but was located later. The hay load was not secured, according to the report. The crash was still under investigation Thursday afternoon.

Published: Thu, 29 Jan 2015 21:30:44 GMT

Feds allege Watertown insurance agent ran $10M Ponzi scheme

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is alleging a Watertown insurance agent ran a $10 million Ponzi scheme out of his agency. The SEC filed a securities fraud lawsuit this week against 69-year-old Loren Holzhueter and one of his companies. A federal judge froze Holzhueter's assets in response. The lawsuit alleges at least 122 investors were told "a wide array of lies" by Holzhueter. The SEC says Holzhueter told some investors their funds would be kept in a special investment account at ISC Inc., an insurance brokerage he owns. The SEC alleges that investor funds were intermingled with other ISC revenue. Holzhueter's attorney, Stephen Kravit, tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the money given to Holzhueter were loans and not investments. Kravit denies that Holzhueter was running a Ponzi scheme.

Published: Fri, 30 Jan 2015 00:10:53 GMT

Walker calls DC "68 miles surrounded by reality"

In a speech in Washington, D.C., Friday morning, Gov. Scott Walker took a spin on a historic political line that will be familiar to many Madisonians. "For a lot of folks here in our nation's capital in Washington it's kind of a dome," Walker said. "In fact, I like to call it 68 square miles surrounded by reality." Walker spoke to the American Action Forum in D.C. Friday as he continues to build infrastructure to explore a run for president in 2016. He used his speech to promote his idea that the best ideas are coming from the states rather than the nation's capital. “What I see in the states and from people in this country outside of Washington is a craving for something new, something fresh, something dynamic, instead of the top-down, government-knows-best approach that we’ve seen in Washington,” Walker said. The line Walker used harkens back to a now notorious quote from former Republican Gov. Lee Sherman Dreyfus, who declared Madison "30 square miles surrounded by reality" while running for governor in 1978. Since then, Madison Mayor Paul Soglin proposed to make the updated geographical area version, "77 square miles surrounded by reality" the city's motto, which failed to be approved by the Madison Common Council in 2013. The sentiment has also been adopted by the Capital Times, who's weekly print supplement is called "77 Square," as well as local columnist Doug Moe, whose book of columns is entitled "Surrounded by Reality."

Published: Fri, 30 Jan 2015 22:24:12 GMT

Adams County garage burns, no injuries

A fire destroyed a detached garage Friday morning in the township of Jackson. According to the Adams County Sheriff's Office, the fire, which was reported at 4:46 a.m., consumed the garage on Ash Street. No one was injured. The Adams County Sheriff's Office asks anyone with information on the fire to contact law enforcement. Tipsters can remain anonymous at Adams County Crime Stoppers by texting tips to 274637 with the keyword "ADAMS" or at 1-877-524-5846. Those with information may be eligible for up to $1,000 in rewards.

Published: Sat, 31 Jan 2015 18:41:27 GMT

Wisconsin team works to defend snow sculpting championship

A Wisconsin snow sculpting team that won the last two national championships is trying to defend its trophy in Lake Geneva. The U.S. National Snow Sculpting Championship began Wednesday, with judging set for Saturday along Geneva Lake. David Andrews, Jason Anhorn and Steve Bateman make up one of the Wisconsin teams. They are following up their last two wins with a sculpture of two connected trees this year. Andrews has been part of seven championship teams altogether. The 15 teams from 10 states receive a cylinder snow block 8 feet in diameter and 9 feet high. They can use saws, axes, files, scaffolding, shovels and other homemade implements. They will be judged on creativity, technique and message. The winner also gets an invite to an international snow sculpting competition.

Published: Sat, 31 Jan 2015 00:31:18 GMT

Police: 4-year-old Milwaukee boy accidentally shot uncle

Police say a 4-year-old Milwaukee boy accidentally shot his uncle in the stomach after finding a gun on the floor. Capt. Jason Smith tells the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the shooting happened late Monday. He says the uncle told police he was going to a gun range, and that the firearm was on the floor of the house when the child picked it up. The investigation is continuing.

Published: Fri, 30 Jan 2015 21:27:13 GMT

Janesville man faces child pornography charges

A federal child pornography charge has been filed against a Janesville man after FBI investigators were seen at his residence Friday morning. According to a release from U.S. Attorney John W. Vaudreuil's office Friday, Matthew R. Phillips, 36, was arrested after agents executed a federal search warrant. Phillips made his initial appearance in the U.S. District Court in Madison Friday afternoon and was detained in custody. According to the complaint, Phillips persuaded a minor to engage in sexually explicit conduct that was sent via a cellphone. If convicted, Phillips faces a minimum of 15 years and a maximum of 30 years in federal prison.

Published: Fri, 30 Jan 2015 23:37:39 GMT

Arena man highlights danger of Highway 14

A four-car pile-up outside Cross Plains Friday morning sends another reminder about a stretch of state Highway 14 that with a deadly history. The stretch has been home to at least 15 accidents over the past year, according to Elise Schaffer, a spokesperson for Dane County Sheriff's office. Of those 15, 12 have happened at the intersection of 14 and Stagecoach Road. "Highway 14 is just a high traffic area, especially in the morning when people are trying to get to work," Schaffer said. The state Department of Transportation has scheduled construction there to put in a new median and left-turn lanes, a $1.5 million project that will begin this June. But Chris Dorman, an Arena resident, says the solution starts with the drivers themselves. "People drive unreasonably fast [on that road]," Dorman says. "I'll go 60 miles per hour, and I have people tailgating me like I'm going 40." Dorman has his own reason for fear of drivers on that stretch of Highway 14. In 2012, he lost his 37-year-old wife, Shelly, along a curve. Shelly was speeding and she ended up crashing," he remembers. "She wasn't wearing her seatbelt, so she got ejected from the vehicle and died." Their 14-month-old daughter, Brooklynn, was in the backseat and made it out with just scratches. Dorman says she's a daily reminder to buckle up and pay attention to the road.  "I've got a beautiful daughter who's living with me right now because she was in her car seat - and I have a dead wife who's not raising her with me because she was not wearing her seatbelt," Dorman says. Dorman has set up a Facebook page, "Buckle up for Brooklynn," to document her life before and after the crash - and he's hoping the page will inspire others to do just that. "I just want people to take a second to realize what we're missing out on because of an accident that could've been avoided," he says.

Published: Sat, 31 Jan 2015 18:45:47 GMT

Columbus superintendent finalist for job in Ferguson, MO

The Columbus School District superintendent is a finalist for a superintendent job in Ferguson, Missouri, according to a report from KSDK-TV. Bryan Davis is one of two candidates for the job of superintendent for the Ferguson-Florissant School District. The other candidate is s superintendent in Plymouth, North Carolina. Davis is serving his fifth year as superintendent in Columbus, and previously he worked as an associate principal and a high school principal in Green Bay. He has a doctorate in urban education from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, a master's degree in educational administration from UW-Green Bay, and a bachelor's degree in business education from UW–Whitewater. Ferguson’s previous superintendent resigned in March 2014.

Published: Fri, 30 Jan 2015 15:14:47 GMT

Report: FBI investigation at Janesville duplex

FBI agents and Illinois police officers were seen coming and going from a Janesville duplex Friday morning, according to a report from the Janesville Gazette. The duplex is located at 4410 Woodgate Drive. The agents had left the scene before 12:30 p.m. A statement from the FBI said the agency was involved in a multi-agency federal search warrant in Janesville, and the investigation poses no danger to the public. A neighbor told the Gazette she saw the FBI agents approach the duplex around 9 a.m. with guns drawn, and later, she saw a woman in handcuffs. The agents' clothing identified them as being with HSI, apparently Homeland Security Investigations, and FBI CETF, or Child Exploitation Task Force, according to the neighbor. The neighbor told the Gazette the residents in the duplex moved in last summer, but she didn't know anything more about them.

Published: Fri, 30 Jan 2015 23:17:30 GMT

Winter weather closings, announcements

We have a continuously updated list of area cancellations, closures and cold emergencies issued due to weather. Visit Channel3000.com/weather/closings for school closures. BELOIT: Snow emergency declared from 11 p.m. Saturday through 1 a.m. Monday, parking restricted to designated areas, visit Beloit website for info. MADISON: No closures. SUN PRAIRIE: No parking will be permitted on city streets beginning at 12:01 a.m. Sunday and continuing through 7 a.m. Monday during the city's snow emergency. STOUGHTON: Snow emergency begins midnight Sunday and continues through midnight Wednesday unless canceled. Parking will be even/odd.

Published: Sat, 31 Jan 2015 18:17:48 GMT

Cardiac incident victim crashes semi into building

A man who suffered a cardiac incident crashed his semitractor into a building and died Thursday afternoon, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies were called to the Valero energy property at N5355 Junction Rd. just east of Highway 26 at 3:18 p.m. for a report of a vehicle versus building crash. Deputies said the semi tanker was driven off a private road on the property, through a chain link fence and struck the building. Investigators said the driver, James Tracy, 52, of Kieler, had a cardiac incident that caused him to lose control of the truck. He was pronounced dead at the scene. No one in the building was injured.

Published: Fri, 30 Jan 2015 20:33:20 GMT

Child in convenience store during robbery

Madison police said a father acted quickly to protect his 9-year-old son when the convenience store they were in was robbed Thursday night. Police said the robber entered Kelley’s Market at 33 Junction Ct. at about 8:15 p.m., demanded cash from the till and fled with the money. The 47-year-old dad quickly moved his son to a different part of the store and used his body to shield the boy when he saw the robber pull out a handgun, according to police. Officers used police dogs but were unable to find the robber. The boy didn’t see the gun and thought his dad had just forgotten to get something from the cooler, according to police. The robber is described as black, in his early 20s, 5 feet 10 inches tall, 150 to 160 pounds with an average build.

Published: Fri, 30 Jan 2015 16:46:28 GMT