Bookmark and Share

rss logo Top Madison Area Local News Stories

Source: Local News

Stoughton family allegedly receives lynching picture

A mailbox mystery has one Stoughton family worried. “My heart started pounding and the first thing I could say was, 'Get upstairs, call the police and don’t touch it anymore,'” Hester Hale said. Hale and her husband said they don’t feel safe anymore. Wednesday, the couple got what they thought was a letter, but said instead, it was a picture of a lynching. “And it had people around the bottom and it said, 'This is what you’re going to get next,'” Harry Hale said. The digital drawing was postmarked from Madison. It was in a white envelope addressed to Harry’s oldest son, Javon, who is 18-years-old. It didn’t have a return address and was folded three times. Harry said what’s more disturbing is Javon’s face was drawn onto the victim. “He doesn’t bother anybody and he’s really quiet,” Harry Hale said. Javon is a Madison College student and said he has never been threatened. But now, his family said they and Javon’s seven other siblings feel unsafe in the normally quiet Stoughton neighborhood. “It’s an awesome community,” Harry Hale said. “We’re not blaming them for it, but we just hope they (police) can get to the bottom of it for us.” The Hale family handed the letter over to Stoughton police and filed a report, but the department declined News 3’s interview request Thursday. The family said they’re speaking out to stop a hate crime from happening to anyone else. “We want to be safe,” Hester Hale said. “Not just our family, but everyone should feel safe.” News 3 filed a request to see the police report, but it could be Friday before that is granted. The department would only say the incident is being investigated.

Published: Fri, 18 Apr 2014 02:11:57 GMT

Kittens accidentally packed in box, shipped

Two kittens are safe after they were found inside a box that was shipped from Los Angeles to a Cox Communications office near San Diego, Calif. A Cox employee discovered the kittens when he opened a box that contained fiberglass equipment, KGTV reports. The newborns were curled up in the corner of the box with their umbilical cords still attached. It's not known how the kittens got into the box in the first place, or how they were able to survive the ride in the truck without injury. "Mouse" and "Wifi" are now receiving round-the-clock care at the San Diego Humane Society where they will stay until they are able to be put up for adoption.

Published: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 18:04:33 GMT

Baby gorilla dies at the Milwaukee County Zoo

A baby gorilla born less than a month ago at the Milwaukee County Zoo has died. The gorilla, named Kassiu, was born March 19 to 13-year-old mother Naku and 27-year-old father Cassius. PHOTOS: 5-week-old baby gorilla unexpectedly dies at zoo In a statement Thursday, the officials said zookeepers reported the baby and mother appeared normal Wednesday morning. But by the afternoon, Kassiu appeared weak and stopped holding onto her mother, as newborn gorillas do. The zoo's medical staff examined the baby and gave her fluids, glucose and antibiotics. A neonatologist and pediatrician were also called in, but Kassiu died Wednesday evening. Zoo officials say the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine will perform a complete necropsy, or animal autopsy. Preliminary results are expected in a few days but a complete report might take several months. 5-week-old baby gorilla unexpectedly dies

Published: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 17:44:42 GMT

Man allegedly bites woman during disturbance over bar tab

A 24-year-old woman was allegedly bitten by a man who was trying to run from a downtown business without paying his bar tab, Madison police said. Police responded to reports of a disturbance around 1:15 a.m. April 10 in the 100 block of King Street, officials said. Bouncers had Terrell Burns, 22, of Madison, detained in the establishment. When Burns went to pay his bar tab and his credit card was declined, he offered to leave other forms of identification and return with payment later, according to the release. Staff were worried he wouldn’t return so they started looking for him. Burns panicked and started running away from staff members, officials said. A female employee told police Burns ran into her, and she tried to hold him until she felt him biting her. Other staff members detained Burns until police arrived. Burns was arrested on tentative charges of battery and on a parole violation. Crime map

Published: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 19:59:51 GMT

Milwaukee company recalls more than 5,700 pounds of salami

A Milwaukee company is recalling more than 5,700 pounds of salami products for misbranding and because the products were produced without being federally inspected, according to a United States Department of Agriculture release. The products being recalled incorrectly have the Cooperative Interstate Shipment program version of the USDA Mark of Inspection, which requires federal acceptance into the program, officials said. The products being recalled from Bolzano Artisan Meats were produced between Sept. 30, 2013 and March 15, 2014, and include batch numbers 1208 and 1214, according to the release. No illnesses have been reported in connection to the recalled products, officials said.

Published: Fri, 18 Apr 2014 02:30:56 GMT

Man accused of killing blind wife over nagging

A 76-year-old Milwaukee County man has told investigators he shot his blind wife of 56 years because she'd been nagging him for three weeks. Prosecutors charged Jack Lang of Oak Creek with first-degree intentional homicide Thursday. Authorities say Lang called 911 on Wednesday to say he'd just shot his wife in the face. Police found June Lang dead near the bed. Jack Lang told investigators she nagged him and wouldn't shut up, and even though he loved her he'd had enough. He says she criticized him for not being able to help as much with housework. He says he got his .22 caliber gun and warned her he was holding it inches from her head but she didn't believe him. Online court records didn't immediately list a defense attorney.

Published: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 22:02:30 GMT

Walker upset porn-viewing teacher keeping license; District releases statement

Gov. Scott Walker disagrees with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction's decision not to revoke the license of a teacher who viewed pornographic emails at work. Walker spokeswoman Laurel Patrick said the governor believes DPI does have the legal authority to revoke his license and it should do that. DPI announced Thursday it will not revoke the license of Andrew Harris, a Middleton teacher accused of receiving and sharing explicit emails while on the job. Harris was a seventh-grade teacher at Glacier Creek Middle School until he was terminated in 2010 after being accused of receiving and sharing explicit emails while on the job. Arbitrators ruled the school district wrongly fired Harris and he should be reinstated. He returned to the classroom in January. Walker asked Wisconsin state Superintendent Tony Evers to start proceedings to revoke Harris’ license saying Harris’ behavior meets the definition of immoral conduct cited in state statutes. A DPI investigation of Harris started in May 2010. A letter from DPI’s director of education information services released Wednesday states Harris’ accused misconduct occurred before a change in state law in 2011 that redefined immoral conduct. “While Andrew Harris’s conduct was highly inappropriate for an educator, it does not meet the legal definition of immoral conduct contained in the 2008-09 law,” the letter states. “Specifically, the Department’s investigation confirmed the school district’s public statements that Andrew Harris’s conduct did not involve children in any manner.” The letter states that the Middleton-Cross Plains School District has spent about $1 million on costs and legal fees in the case. A statement from the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District said "The MCPASD Board of Education took a stand against viewing pornography in school and requested a review of this case four years ago. Our state superintendent clearly doesn't believe viewing pornography in school over a long period of time justifies license revocation. Thankfully, the legislature clarified this law to make certain that no other school district will have to deal with a similar case again. Our school district is abiding by the ruling of the arbitrator, and will provide the best possible environment for our students and our employees." A group of parents picketed outside Kromrey Middle School against the decision to allow Harris back into the school.

Published: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 21:26:00 GMT

Rising food prices might mean higher bills for Easter dinners

Brenda Jones-Nierman doesn’t need data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to know food prices have increased in the last 12 months. She can tell by looking at grocery receipts. “Sometimes I find an old receipt and I’ll look back and say, 'Oh my gosh,'” Jones-Nierman said. “The regular things that you buy, you just notice that they are going up in price.” According to numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, food prices have risen 1.7 percent in the last 12 months. Food purchased at grocery stores and made at home increased 1.4 percent, while food purchased from a restaurant increased 2.3 percent. The numbers are not a surprise to the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation. “There’s some big trends at work here, and we’re seeing it in our own study of food prices,” said Casey Langan, spokesperson for the WFBF. “We’re seeing big movement in items like meat, milk and eggs. Overall food prices have been pretty stagnant the last couple of years, but it is in these protein areas where there is such strong demand that we’re seeing upward pressure on the price.” Langan said there is no one factor causing the increases. He said the lingering impact of a multiyear drought is causing beef prices to increase. He said the number of beef cattle in this country right now is at a 60-year low. The rise in egg prices is a result of increased demand by foreign markets, especially Mexico. That demand is driving the price up. By the time a product arrives in grocery stores, a variety of outside influences have impacted the price. “There are lots of factors that enter into price increases,” said Brandon Scholz, president and CEO of the Wisconsin Grocers Association. “When the product ends up at the grocery store it has been through a long trip from the field to the fork, as they say. From the field to the store, grocers have to account for, in their pricing, transportation costs, the costs of goods from the manufacturer or the grower or the producer.” Scholz said grocery stores operate on very thin profit margins and rely on return shoppers and volume of sales to survive. “If a price increase is going to chase a customer away, you bet it scares grocers. That’s why they work to keep those groceries as affordable as possible,” Scholz said. The USDA has released food price projections for 2014, and beef and eggs are again forecast to see above-average increases. Those two commodities are projected to increase between 3 and 4 percent in 2014. Most other commodities are projected to increase between 2.5 and 3.5 percent.

Published: Fri, 18 Apr 2014 01:54:39 GMT

2 Madison businesses make top 101 cupcakes in nation

Two Madison bakeries have made the 101 Best Cupcakes in America list, according to a release. The Daily Meal released the rankings Thursday with nationally-known and mom-and-pop shops both making the list. Cupcakes-A-Go-Go in Madison is ranked 20th in the nation and Lucy Lou’s Cupcakes in Mazomanie is ranked 87th. Other Wisconsin bakeries making the list include Miss Julia’s Bakeshop in Brookfield at No. 44 and Classy Girl Cupcakes in Milwaukee at No. 34. The top five cupcakes places, according to the Daily Meal, are Fate Cakes in Columbus, Ohio; CamiCakes Cupcakes in Atlanta, Ga.; One Sweet Slice in Sandy, Utah; Pinkitzel Cupcakes and Candy in Oklahoma City, Okla.; and Pink Cake Box in Denville, N.J.

Published: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 20:29:16 GMT

Pharmacy owner faces federal charges

An Oshkosh pharmacy owner charged with selling muscle relaxants and pain relievers on the Internet has agreed to plead guilty in federal court. Prosecutors said Charles G. Schultz signed a contract with a website that distributes the drugs nationwide to customers without prescriptions. Oshkosh Northwestern Media reported Wednesday that Schultz made more than $235,000 from the practice since 2006. Court documents show Schultz has agreed to plead guilty to charges of distributing controlled substances and defrauding the government. A hearing on the deal is set for April 28. Drugs were sold through an online retailer called RX Limited, also known as AlphaNet-Trading. Court documents said Schultz received two payments from the site's bank in Hong Kong. Schultz owned and operated pharmacies in Winnebago and Green counties.

Published: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 16:00:36 GMT

WBA offers reward for information on bank robbery

A reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who robbed a Home Savings Bank Feb. 18, according to a release. The Wisconsin Bankers Association is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information about the robbery, officials said. The robbery occurred at the Home Savings Bank at 7701 Mineral Point Road, according to the release. A black semiautomatic handgun was seen during the robbery. The robber is described as a white man approximately 5 feet 10 inches tall to 6 feet tall with a medium-heavy build and a distinct walk, officials said. He was wearing an olive green jacket with black patches on the shoulder and sides, as well as a black vertical stripe on the hood. “This reward is offered to provide another tool for law enforcement. Bank robbers are dangerous individuals who put the public and bank employees at risk,” WBA President and CEO Rose Oswald Poels said in the release. “WBA and its members are committed to actions that bring these individuals to justice and deliver the message that robberies are not going to be tolerated.” Anyone with information concerning the robbery is asked to contact 608-255-2345 and reference Madison Police Department case 14-51388.

Published: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 22:58:13 GMT

Free seed movement starts on UW campus

A new movement is underway on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus to ensure the sharing of seeds. Founders of the movement distributed the first seed packs for 29 different varieties of vegetables at a launch event Thursday. The Open Source Seed Initiative was created to “free the seed,” organizers said. It’s a movement to ensure some seeds never get patented or put under restrictions so they stay freely available for everyone to grow and share. “That’s the way agriculture went for years, not be legally bound by how they use them,” said Irwin Goldman, professor of horticulture at UW-Madison. The Open Source Seed Initiative was developed at UW-Madison. The pledge to keep the seeds free for all people to grow is printed on every packet.

Published: Fri, 18 Apr 2014 01:02:38 GMT

DOT gives parents booklet to help teach kids safe driving

A new tool provided by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation will help parents teach kids with driver’s permits or graduated driver’s licenses to become safe and law-abiding drivers. Arif Ahmad stood at the DMV waiting to see if his teenage daughter passed her driving test Thursday. He’s confident he taught her the rules of the road, but admits he doesn’t know all of them himself. “There were a few times where I would not know the latest routes or what is the rule here,” Ahmad said. Now, every time a teenager is handed their driver’s permit in the state of Wisconsin, parents like Ahmad will get a booklet and maybe some peace of mind. “Parent involvement and practice are really key to making our teens safe drivers out there. Teens are at real risk out there mostly because of that lack of experience,” Driver Qualification Chief Allison Lebwohl said. The Parents Supervised Driving Program is a step-by-step road map designed to help parents help their kids complete the 30 hours of behind-the-wheel time needed to get their license. “Everything from the most basic things that they would do in the driveway, learning the vehicle and the safety feature of that vehicle,” Lebwohl said. “Learning those basic operational skills and learning those longer-term, more sophisticated skills that are key to keeping those kids safe out there on the road.” Lebwohl said the booklets are just another way parents can work together to educate teens and create safe drivers. For Ahmad, his driving tips clearly worked because his daughter passed on her first try. Parents can also log their student’s driving in real-time with the new Road Ready App, a component of the Parents Supervised Driving Program.

Published: Fri, 18 Apr 2014 01:54:55 GMT

Overdoses prompt warning about strong heroin

Janesville police are issuing a warning about stronger-than-normal heroin that might be circulating after two overdoses on Wednesday. Police said the two overdoses were reported within hours of each other, and the patients survived. They believe there might be a stronger batch of heroin being distributed. Users cannot tell how potent the heroin is by looking at it, according to police. They said users should know the heroin could be deadly and seek treatment for their addiction.

Published: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 20:56:12 GMT

Citizens take away keys of alleged drunken driver

A Madison man was arrested on Madison’s east side for his fifth drunken driving offense, officials said. Police responded to the 2600 block of South Stoughton Road around 2:20 p.m. on April 10 for reports of an intoxicated driver, according to a release. Witnesses told police Paul Borman, 49, parked his vehicle in an odd way, and reported that his vehicle was blocking the entry and exit of other vehicles attempting to access a commercial parking lot. Borman was seen getting out of his vehicle, staggering and stumbling forward, according to the release. Witnesses thought alcohol might be involved so they took his keys to stop him from driving. Police said they could smell alcohol more than 5 feet away from Borman when they were talking with him. Some alcohol cans were found inside Borman’s vehicle and he was taken into custody, according to the release. He was arrested on tentative charges of his fifth-offense operating while intoxicated. Crime map

Published: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 19:48:27 GMT

Zoo to host fun, free Earth Day event

The Henry Vilas Zoo will be celebrating Earth Day on Saturday with fun, free, family-friendly events geared toward educating everyone about the importance of biodiversity, according to a release. Children will have the opportunity to learn about biodiversity with a free MG&E Earth Day Fun Book, organizers said. The book includes information on the saolas, a species similar to an antelope. The saolas was only recently discovered, and are critically endangered due to poaching. Children will also be able to protect biodiversity in their own backyard by picking up a free tree seedling to plant at home, courtesy of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. “The Henry Vilas Zoo is a leader in environmental education and conservation,” Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said in the release. “We hope visitors will join the zoo this Saturday and learn how they can help in their own way through free, family-friendly Earth Day events.” The zoo will also sell art to highlight the threat that poaching poses to animals and their habitats, according to the release. “Catching Hope” is a poaching snare recovery project that repurposes snares into hand-crafted art. The snares have been collected from the Annamite Mountains of Laos and Vietnam to protect the wildlife in the region. Earth Day events, activities at zoo:Distribution of 1,250 saplings – courtesy of Wisconsin DNR, available while supplies last Emerald Ash Borer beetle information – courtesy of the Wisconsin DNRKids' Tree Climb – courtesy of the Dane County Regional Arborist GroupSolar Energy Trailer courtesy of MG&EEarth Day Fun Books – courtesy of MG&E, available while supplies lastFace Painting - proceeds will support wild saola conservationRe-purposed poaching snare for saleFree Kids’ Crafts Education AnimalsHenry the Lion Zoo Mascot The event is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, organizers said. The zoo will stay open after the event. The animal buildings will stay open until 4 p.m. and zoo grounds will stay open until 5 p.m.

Published: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 21:33:28 GMT

Justice Department IDs ousted child porn investigators

The Wisconsin Justice Department has released the names of two investigators who lost their jobs after they let child pornography cases languish for months. Agency officials identified the investigators on Wednesday as Milwaukee Special Agent-In-Charge Willie Brantley and former Milwaukee Special Agent Anna King. Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has said they were responsible for delays in cases that allowed one suspected child pornography distributor time to allegedly molest an 11-year-old boy and weakened a case against another. The agents left the agency on March 19. DOJ officials aren't saying whether they were fired or resigned. A message left at a possible residential listing for Brantley wasn't immediately returned. Four possible numbers for King in the Milwaukee area were all disconnected.

Published: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 21:42:12 GMT

Oconto High fire causes $5M damage

A fire at Oconto High School has caused an estimated $5 million in smoke damage to the school. Students have been out of school since Wednesday morning when a fire broke out in a boys' bathroom. Classes are also canceled Thursday and Friday is a scheduled day off. WLUK-TV reports when classes resume Monday, they will be held at Oconto Middle School. District officials say there are some empty rooms at the middle school, but plans to accommodate the 300 students and 42 staff members are still being developed. The move to the middle school is expected to last three weeks. The fire department continues to investigate whether the fire was set.

Published: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 22:46:19 GMT

Walker refuses to commit to serving full term

Gov. Scott Walker is once again refusing to commit to serving a full four-year term if he is re-elected this fall. Walker on Wednesday was asked if he would commit to serving the full term and he said, "I'm committed to running for governor." Walker is considering running for president in 2016, a race that would come midway through a second term should he win in November. Democrat Mary Burke is challenging Walker. Walker says he intends to focus his campaign on what he plans on doing in his next term. When asked again if he plans to serve out a second term, Walker said, "I want to be governor and that's the only thing I've been focused on."

Published: Wed, 16 Apr 2014 18:44:18 GMT

Governor declares another propane emergency

Gov. Scott Walker has declared another propane emergency. Midwestern states have been grappling with a propane shortage spurred by the cold winter, a temporary pipeline closure and heavy propane demand for drying grain last fall. Walker declared an energy emergency in October that lifted hour restrictions on propane delivery drivers. In January he issued another emergency declaration allowing the state to lift road weight limits for propane trucks. That same month the federal government lifted hour restrictions for propane delivery drivers across the Midwest. That declaration expired in mid-March. Walker issued a new executive order on Thursday declaring another energy emergency. The order lifts weight limits and hour restrictions through April 26. The order says propane users are still struggling to fill their tanks as cold weather lingers.

Published: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 20:55:30 GMT