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New information found in 20-year-old cold case

An effort to find new leads in a 20-year-old death investigation has yielded new information for investigators. The Rock County Coroner’s Office said it has conducted a new round of interviews with witnesses in the case of a teenage boy whose skeletal remains were found near Turtle Creek in 1995. The boy is believed to have died in 1994. The teen has not been identified. On Oct. 16, 1994, residents along Turtle Creek reported seeing a young man, who seemed intoxicated, running and stumbling in the river. The body of a young man wearing similar clothes was found on Nov. 26, 1995, near where the teen was seen in 1994. Investigators said they learned from new interviews conducted Oct. 16 that the teen was calling out the name Mary, which was not previously reported. They also interviewed the husband of one of the witnesses whose testimony was not recorded before. A device was also placed at the site the body was found to gather data that will be used to determine the rate of decomposition the body would sustain over a year. Historical data and research on body decomposition will be used to determine if the body found in 1995 could be the body of the teen seen in the area in 1994. The Smithsonian Institution recently assisted the Rock County Coroner’s office by conducting what’s called "stable isotope analysis" on a piece of bone fragment from the remains. The testing looks for chemical components in bone that come from the water a person drinks. That chemical makeup is matched with the chemical signature of drinking water in other areas of North America to help identify where the boy was from. The test results show the boy was most likely from Wisconsin, Minnesota or Michigan. Officials said the results validate suspicions that the teen is from the area or the region. Investigators eliminated more than 59 potential matches to the body using DNA, dental records and other testing.

Published: Wed, 22 Oct 2014 20:24:17 GMT

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

Bees attack 25 middle school kids

A swarm of bees stung 25 6th-grade students at Highland Middle School in Fort Worth. "We had several students that were stung from one to 12 times," said Heath Stone, Operations Manager for MedStar. At about 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, the 6th graders were enjoying a game of soccer until they stepped on an irrigation valve box where the bees were nesting underground. That set the bees a buzzin'. "I was just running and I guess the bees saw me and just stung me behind the ear and on my leg," said Isaac Armenariz about being stung multiple times. At first, the students thought the bees were Africanized, tests are still being done to rule that out. But just the thought alarmed parents whose kids were stung. "I don't want to see anybody or any child with anaphylactic shock, so it's got me worried," said Rob Choate. Twenty-one kids got check-ups from school nurses and were released to their parents to ice off the sting. Four others were transported to Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth. As for the bees, well, animal control and exterminator teams were swarming on site to make sure the bees were removed from the area.

Published: Wed, 22 Oct 2014 14:58:53 GMT

Police ask help to ID man in armed robbery surveillance photo

Police asked for the public’s help Wednesday identifying a man from a surveillance image of a convenience store robbery last month. The 7-Eleven at 2703 W. Beltline Highway was robbed by an armed man Sept. 5 shortly after 5 a.m., police said in an earlier news release. Madison police shared a photo of a man -- who appeared to be wearing white and black shorts, a dark T-shirt and a red hat -- standing in the doorway of the 7-Eleven with an arm raised pointing what looks like a handgun. His face was covered with a type of fabric or cloth. A police dog was brought to the scene to track the robber but no one was found. The man is described as black, 6 feet 2 inches tall, with a medium build. Police asked anyone with information on the identity of the robber to contact Madison Area Crime Stoppers at 608-266-6014.

Published: Wed, 22 Oct 2014 17:26:13 GMT

Clouds might hinder view of partial solar eclipse in southern Wisconsin

A partial solar eclipse will be visible in the sky in southern Wisconsin Thursday afternoon and evening, if we're lucky. The moon will move in between the sun and the Earth beginning at 4:33 p.m., casting a shadow on the Earth as it blocks some of the sun's light. It will reach its maximum coverage at 5:41 p.m. when it will cover roughly 60% of the sun's disk. The eclipse will still be ongoing as the sun sets just after 6 p.m. Showers will be moving through the area during the day on Thursday, which means quite a bit of cloud cover, according to News 3 meteorologist Bob Lesh. The showers will likely have passed most of the area by the time the eclipse starts, but the clouds will linger. That means we have to hope for a few holes in the clouds in order to catch a glimpse of the eclipse. If there are some breaks in the clouds, they are likely to be on the western horizon, which is where the sun will be during the eclipse. Protect your eyes While enjoying the view, protect your eyes, NASA says: "Don't stare. Even at maximum eclipse, a sliver of sun peeking out from behind the Moon can still cause pain and eye damage. Direct viewing should only be attempted with the aid of a safe solar filter." There are some old tricks to viewing indirectly, like punching a hole in cardboard and projecting the light seeping through it onto a surface away from the sun. Or let a tree do the work for you. "Overlapping leaves create a myriad of natural little pinhole cameras, each one casting an image of the crescent-sun onto the ground beneath the canopy," NASA says. If you miss this one, the next solar eclipse over North America will occur in about three years -- and it will be a more dramatic and rarer total eclipse.

Published: Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:45:25 GMT

Palins describe brawl in police recordings

Bristol Palin describes being dragged through the grass and called a series of obscenities during a massive brawl last month in recordings of Anchorage police interviews that CNN obtained through a public records request. She said she jumped into a fight after "some old lady" pushed her sister, Willow Palin, because "oh f---in' hell no, no one's gonna touch my sister." When she tried to find the woman, though, she said a man who others identified as Korey Klingenmeyer, the owner of the house where the party took place, knocked her down. "A guy comes out of nowhere and pushes me on the ground, takes me by my feet in my dress -- in my thong dress in front of everybody -- (and says) 'Come on you c---, get the f--- out of here. Come on you s---, get the f--- out of here," she said. No charges were filed as a result of the September brawl. Other people interviewed by police described the Palins as instigators in a brawl that also reportedly included Track Palin and his father, Todd, fighting several men. They said Bristol Palin punched Klingenmeyer several times before he restrained her. Klingenmeyer said he'd approached Todd Palin to say that "your daughter's out of line" and that he should get the situation under control. That didn't happen. "I told 'em all to get the hell out of here and go home," he said. He said the altercation with Bristol Palin started after she insisted she was going to beat another woman up. "I said 'this is my house, we're not having this,'" Klingenmeyer said. "She freakin' goes, 'I'll kick your a--.'" He said Bristol Palin punched him several times, and then he grabbed her fist, made a motion that isn't described verbally, and then she "fell down." Sarah Palin can apparently be heard in the background during some of the interviews. At one point, she complained that her children were being "made to feel like the bad guys." She also criticizes Klingenmeyer, saying: "What would he be doin' pushin' girls around, though?" Matthew McKenna, whose birthday was the reason for the party, told police that people had gotten "drunk and stupid" -- and that he had video of the altercation, but wouldn't share it. "I know everyone here, and it's just an unfortunate deal," he said.

Published: Wed, 22 Oct 2014 13:22:52 GMT

Road reopened after police incident in Middleton

Police have reopened a road in Middleton after a response to suicidal person that ended peacefully. Motorists were asked to avoid the 7100 block of Maywood Avenue Wednesday afternoon. Residents in the area were asked to stay inside and away from windows.  An all clear was given at about 3:50 p.m.

Published: Wed, 22 Oct 2014 21:16:09 GMT

3 teens killed in Shawano County crash

Shawano County sheriff's authorities have identified the three teens killed in a highway crash and a fourth who was injured. All four were in a car that crossed the center line on Highway 22 in the Town of Belle Plaine Tuesday evening and was struck by an oncoming SUV. The teens who died in the crash are 15-year-old Paige Brunette, of Bonduel; 17-year-old Cody Borsche, of Shawano and 18-year-old Tyler Welch, of Shawano. Capt. Thomas Tuma said the driver of the car, 17-year-old Ryan Swadner, of Clintonville, survived the crash and is hospitalized in the Fox Valley. Tuma says the accident remains under investigation. Administrators say extra counselors have been brought in at Bonduel High School, where Burnette was a sophomore, and at Shawano High where the other teens went to school.

Published: Wed, 22 Oct 2014 17:02:49 GMT

Former drug task force supervisor sentenced

A judge has sentenced a former Jefferson County drug task force supervisor to eight months in jail for stealing from the team's undercover buy fund. A jury found Timothy Madson guilty of misconduct in office in July. According to the criminal complaint and a state Department of Justice news release, Madson wrote more than $20,000 in checks to himself from the buy fund between 2006 and 2011, claiming he was reimbursing himself for expenses that turned out to be bogus. Waukesha County Circuit Judge Lloyd Carter on Wednesday ordered Madson to serve 18 months' probation with a condition that he spend 240 days in jail. Carter also ordered Madson to pay the task force $10,000 and pay $5,000 in fines.

Published: Wed, 22 Oct 2014 18:56:05 GMT

Walker hasn't applied for preschool grant

Gov. Scott Walker's administration has not applied for $60 million in preschool development grants from the federal government, a move decried as irresponsible by Democrats. The deadline for states to apply for the $250 million in grants from the U.S. departments of Education and Health and Human Services is Friday. Gov. Scott Walker's spokeswoman Laurel Patrick did not say in a prepared statement Wednesday whether the governor would seek the money. But emails obtained by The Associated Press show a Walker adviser earlier this month indicated the grants would not be sought. The message to another policy analyst with the state Department of Public Instruction was sent on the same day that Democratic members of Congress sent Walker a letter urging him to apply for the money.

Published: Wed, 22 Oct 2014 21:33:51 GMT

Obama heading to Wisconsin in rare stumping trip

President Barack Obama is stopping in Wisconsin next week to help Democrat Mary Burke in her tight race to unseat Republican Gov. Scott Walker, marking a rare campaign-trail stop for the president. Burke's campaign says Obama will join Burke in Milwaukee on Tuesday. Many Democrats have distanced themselves from Obama ahead of the November election. But he remains more popular in Wisconsin than in most states. A Marquette University Law School poll last week showed that 51 percent of likely voters had a favorable view of Obama, compared with 48 percent who had an unfavorable one. The same poll showed Burke and Walker in a dead heat for the governor's office. First lady Michelle Obama has twice campaigned for Burke. Former President Bill Clinton is expected Friday.

Published: Wed, 22 Oct 2014 20:45:25 GMT

Spring commencement to stay at Camp Randall

University of Wisconsin-Madison commencement will continue in Camp Randall, the university said Wednesday. In May 2014, for the first time in more than two decades, UW-Madison graduates gathered at the Badgers football stadium for the official graduation ceremony. UW-Madison called the May ceremony a success and said spring commencement activities will stay in the stadium and not return to previous smaller ceremonies by area of study that were held at the Kohl Center for the last 25 years. Graduates did not walk across the stage in the Camp Randall ceremony this year, but instead took part in another UW tradition. The university played House of Pain's "Jump Around," a song played at Badgers football games that invites the crowd to bounce between third and fourth quarters. The next spring commencement is scheduled May 16 at noon at Camp Randall. The university said doctoral and professional students will have a separate ceremony in the Kohl Center on May 15 at 5:30 p.m.

Published: Wed, 22 Oct 2014 18:44:47 GMT

Two people injured in west side fire

A Madison firefighter and another person were injured Tuesday night after a major blaze destroyed a home on the city's southwest side. Madison emergency crews responded to reports of a structure fire around 6 p.m. at 7030 Parker Hill Drive. The fire department said home owners heard a loud bang and were able to escape the fire safely. When firefighters arrived, they found a structure where fire was coming out from all four sides, and was causing siding to melt on neighboring houses. Madison Fire Chief Steven Davis said the house sustained extensive smoke and flame damage. “There might’ve been some type of explosion. We are trying to figure out if that’s the case,” Davis said.“It’s a pretty big fire. We’re pretty fortunate no one was injured, and we’re fortunate we had a pretty good response time.” PHOTOS Fire officials estimate the loss at $300,000. Officials said the homeowners do have insurance.

Published: Wed, 22 Oct 2014 13:07:28 GMT

2 injured in Sauk County crash identified

Two people who were flown to a hospital after a crash on Highway 33 in Sauk County Tuesday afternoon are identified. The Sauk County Sheriff’s Office responded to reports of a two-car crash on Highway 33 west of County Road V in the town of LaValle, according to a release. According to traffic information from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Highway 33 was closed in both directions at County Road V from 2-3:30 p.m. Investigators said Nathan Flick, 37, of Reedsburg was driving east on Highway 33 when he crossed the center line and hit a westbound vehicle, driven by Ralph F. Leverenz, 63, of Fort Collins, Colorado. Both drivers were seriously injured and both were airlifted to UW Hospital by Med Flight, officials said. Both were wearing seat belts. The crash remains under investigation.

Published: Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:03:06 GMT

Democrats file lawsuit seeking Schimel videos

Wisconsin Democrats have filed a lawsuit seeking videos of prosecutor training sessions involving Republican attorney general candidate Brad Schimel. Their lawsuit Tuesday said a state Democratic Party researcher made an open records request with the state Justice Department seeking the videos on Sept. 15. The party said Schimel may have made inappropriate remarks at the presentations. The agency denied the request on Monday, saying the videos include detailed discussion of cases that could compromise victim privacy and reveal law enforcement strategies. In a statement, Schimel said releasing the videos would expose law enforcement's playbook and put the public at risk. A Madison judge on Wednesday scheduled a hearing on the request for Oct. 30.

Published: Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:43:26 GMT

Woman gets deal in exchange for testimony in alleged contract killing

Wisconsin prosecutors have agreed to drop a homicide charge against a woman accused in a 2007 slaying if she testifies against her two co-defendants. Rosie Campbell of Minnesota was originally charged as a party to the killing of Lara Plamann following her confession last year. The 40-year-old woman pleaded no contest to theft and party to criminal damage to property in exchange for testimony against Dianna and Kandi Siveny. Post-Crescent Media reported Campbell told police Dianna Siveny offered her $5,000 to kill Plamann, Siveny's domestic partner. Court documents show Campbell backed out and instead witnessed Kandi Siveny carry out the Greenville shooting. The theft and damage charges against Campbell are in regard to a separate incident before Plamann's death. She vandalized a car and stole a stereo belonging to a woman who had previously dated Plamann.

Published: Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:58:21 GMT

Appeals court reinstates Neenah teachers' lawsuit

A Wisconsin appeals court judge has reinstated a class-action lawsuit filed by more than 250 Neenah teachers seeking to recover more than $61 million in post-retirement benefits. The Second District Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that a Winnebago County judge wrongly dismissed the lawsuit last year. That judge had said only claims filed by people who included itemized lists of the relief they sought would be considered. Of the 261 teachers named in the lawsuit, only two had filed the required paperwork. The lower court judge dismissed the other 259 claims. But the appeals court says that reasoning was incorrect and overturned the ruling. The court did not rule on the merits of the case, which now goes back to Winnebago County Circuit Court.

Published: Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:27:27 GMT

Unemployment down in Wisconsin cities, counties

The unemployment rate fell in almost every Wisconsin city and county in September. The state Department of Workforce Development reported Wednesday that unemployment dropped in 31 of the 32 largest cities in September. Greenfield's 5 percent unemployment rate was unchanged from August. Racine again had the highest unemployment rate at 8.8 percent, down from 9.6 percent in August and 11.3 percent in July. Unemployment fell in 70 of the state's 72 counties as well. Monroe County's rate climbed from 4.6 percent in August to 4.7 percent in September. Vilas County's rate increased from 5.7 percent in August to 5.9 percent last month. Menominee County had the highest unemployment rate at 10.5 percent, down from 15.4 in August. The state's overall unemployment rate in September was 5.5 percent.

Published: Wed, 22 Oct 2014 18:54:49 GMT

Study: Hottest, coldest places in Dane County 10 miles away

A new study is documenting the hottest and coldest places in Dane County. The study, by researchers at the University of Wisconsin - Madison is one of the first of its kind. Over the past three years, researchers have collected temperature data from 150 locations across Dane County. The most recent data has found the hottest place is in downtown Madison on the isthmus. Arguably most surprising about the data is that the coldest place is just about 10 miles away, outside the city limits, and is nearly 10 degrees cooler. "We're honestly surprised at how big the differences were," graduate researcher Jason Schatz said. "For such a small area, that's within 5 or 10 miles, you can see a huge range of climates." What makes the downtown area so much hotter than outside the city is its buildings, Schatz said. "Where the buildings are most densely built and tallest, it's generally hottest," he said. "You have the highest concentration of pavement and brick [there.] Pavement tends to be a lot thicker, and it can just hold more heat." That compares to open, vegetated spaces where temperatures are coolest in the county. "If you think about a patch of grass, a blade of grass is extremely thin, it doesn’t store or absorb a lot of heat and it ends up cooling off a lot more quickly," Schatz said. The information isn't just interesting; it can also provide some practical use. "You can think about human health during extremely hot or extremely cold periods, you can think about energy use, like how much it costs to heat and cool buildings," Schatz said. Data collection from all 150 locations is ongoing, and Schatz said that information will be used for more studies, including how different temperatures across Dane County compare to human health in those areas. Schatz added the information could also be useful when considering where Dane County may develop more urban areas and how that could affect the climate.

Published: Wed, 22 Oct 2014 12:10:27 GMT

Vice chancellor, registrar struck by car

Two University of Wisconsin-La Crosse administrators are recovering from injuries suffered when they were struck by a car. Chancellor Joe Gow says the university's vice chancellor of administration and finance, Bob Hetzel, and registrar Christine Bakkum were walking to work Tuesday when they were hit. They were taken to a local hospital. Gow says Bakkum was treated and released, but Hetzel's injuries are more severe, including broken bones and the possibility of surgery. The chancellor told the La Crosse Tribune witnesses say Hetzel saw the car coming toward them and pushed Bakkum out of the way. ___ Information from: La Crosse Tribune, http://www.lacrossetribune.com

Published: Wed, 22 Oct 2014 15:25:56 GMT