Community

Sat
19
Oct
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Tips for Combatting Flu this Season

DANE COUNTY–Flu season is now in full swing, and the Public Health of Madison and Dane County (PHMDC) urges anyone six months or older to get a flu shot to help prevent the spread of the prolific virus.

Sarah Mattes, communications supervisor for PHMDC, said flu season typically begins in October and continues through spring. She said now it the best time to get the shot, but anytime throughout the season can prevent the spread of illness. “It takes about two weeks to get full protection after the flu vaccine is given, so getting the vaccine in fall is best,” she explained.

She added that it is particularly important for those in high risk groups to get the vaccine. This includes young children, pregnant women, those over 65, people with medical conditions like asthma and heart disease and medical care providers.

Sat
19
Oct
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MAGN Group Wants Questions Answered

Editor’s Note: The following story is the second in a two part series regarding the formation of an opposition group to the possible expansion of the Middleton Municipal Airport. The group has filed two open records requests, the first in June and a second in September. The records requested last month have not yet been released by the City of Middleton.

MIDDLETON–While some City of Middleton officials say they haven’t committed to a longer runway at Middleton Municipal-Morey Field, expansion opponents wonder if the master plan is currently being developed in order to pave the way for it.

In a January 2019 email from Mark Opitz, city planning and zoning administrator, to Greg Stern, of Mead & Hunt, which is drafting the master plan, Opitz wrote, “As I understand the scope of your services, the outcome of the master plan is to justify the improvements to the airport.”

Sat
19
Oct
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St. Luke’s Lutheran Church Celebrating 125 Years

MIDDLETON–Back in 1894, St. Luke’s Lutheran Church paid $25/month in rent to house its congregation at a small, wooden building that was a Presbyterian Church. Rev. Ernest F. Scherbel was the first pastor of the church and during his tenure, the group ended up purchasing the structure located at Old Sauk and Pleasant View Roads.

Longtime church member Bill Sclinsog said, “They bought the wooden church for $500 and were there until 1900.” 

Then known as the St. Luke’s Evangelische Lutherische Gemeinde Church, it’s 26 charter members had no way of knowing that 125 years later the congregation would still be going strong. In 1924 it had grown and built a new, red brick church on the location that the current church stands, 7337 Hubbard Ave. The current church built in 1994 on the same location. 

Wed
16
Oct
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Saeman Wins National Teaching Award

WASHINGTON DC–Sauk Trails Elementary teacher Rebecca Saeman is a recipient of a Presidential Teaching Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST), the White House announced on Oct. 15. Four awards are given to teachers in each state and US territory.

Saeman is a mathematics and reading intervention teacher. She worked as a math specialist at Park and Northside starting in 2008, where she worked until 2010. She then worked at both Northside and Sauk Trail. Since 2012, she has been solely at Sauk Trail. She was also a finalist for the award in 2018.

Teachers are nominated for the award by their state’s department of education. The award is given to K-12 teachers along with $10,000 from the National Science Foundation. 

Established in 1983, PAEMST is the highest award given by the US Government to K-12 teachers of mathematics and science, including computer science. Since its inception, more than 4,400 awards have been distributed. 

Thu
10
Oct
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Aldachach Not Competent to Stand Trial

MADISON–A former Middleton High School student accused last year of sexually assaulting a coed was found not competent to stand trial Friday by Dane County judge.

Circuit Judge Susan Crawford suspended criminal proceedings against Mohammad K. Aldachach, 19, and ordered him to undergo outpatient treatment to restore his competency.

Assistant District Attorney William Brown and Aldachach’s attorney, Mark Eisenberg, each told Crawford that they agreed with conclusion of Craig Schoenecker, M.D., a court-appointed psychiatrist. Schoenecker interviewed the former MHS senior and found that Aldachach couldn’t assist with his defense against charges of second-degree sexual assault of a child.

Aldachach answered, “Yes,” when Crawford asked him if he agreed with the doctor’s assessment of his competency.

Competency reports are confidential.

Thu
10
Oct
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MAGN Asks: What’s Going On?

Editor’s Note: The following story is the first in a two part series regarding the formation of an opposition group to the possible expansion of the Middleton Municipal Airport. The group has filed two open records requests, the first in June and a second in September. 

MIDDLETON–“What’s going on?” was how an opponent of airport expansion characterized why she became involved in the Middleton Area Good Neighbors.

Area residents concerned about the possibility of Middleton’s airport becoming too noisy and busy to live close to formed MAGN this summer as the city began developing its first airport master plan.

Pam Krill, an attorney with Godfrey and Kahn, S.C., which represents the approximate 250 MAGN members, said the group has two goals.

Fri
04
Oct
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Sunflower Days Future Uncertain After 2019 Event Drains Funds

TOWN OF MIDDLETON–After exhausting a three-year accumulation of room tax revenue on the 2019 Sunflower Days, the town of Middleton’s Tourism Commission wanted to see financial projections before committing to hosting the event in 2020.

The town spent $167,643 on the 10-day celebration of sunflower blossoms after taking over the event from the Friends of Pope Farm Conservancy. Expenses came in about $6,000 under budget, Town Administrator Greg DiMiceli said on Sept. 24.

The town used approximately $121,000 in revenue collected during the past three years from a tax on rooms rented at the Quality Inn on Seybold Rd. Ticket sales and sponsorships contributed more revenue but there’s still about $45,000 to “back fill” to break even, DiMiceli said.

Thu
26
Sep
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Airport Master Plan Process Slows in Wake of Faulty Data

MIDDLETON–A raucous response to faulty data supporting a longer runway at a July meeting of Airport Master Plan Advisory Committee has consultants and city staff considering the next move.

In July, Greg Stern, of Mead & Hunt, the airport master plan study’s project manager, showed a slide indicating 84 percent of respondents to a survey of potential users of the Middleton Municipal Airport living in surrounding states preferred a 5,000 to 5,500, foot long runway. Thirty-six percent said the existing 4,000-foot-long runway was adequate.

The audience’s response to that finding and committee members wanting to examine more aspects of the impact from the possible expansion of the airport caused the committee to postpone scheduling of the next meeting.

Thu
26
Sep
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Fire Rips Through Cowboy Jack's

MADISON–The Madison Fire Department was called to an early morning blaze on Sept. 18 at Cowboy Jack’s, located on John Q. Hammons Dr. Calls were received at the Middleton Fire Company, which was also dispatched, but did not assist because Madison was on the scene. The restaurant lies on the border of Madison and Middleton.

Madison firefighters responded at 3:29 a.m. and fought the fire until about 7:15 in the morning when the last fire company left. 

“We were out there all day because of the investigation, and we had a couple of hot spots, so firefighters were called back to put them out,” said Cynthia Schuster, Public Information Officer for the Madison Fire Department. 

No determination has been made on the cause of the fire, but officials were hoping to have some answers by the end of the week. 

“It looks like a total loss, but ultimately that lies in the hands of the insurance company,” Schuster said.

Thu
26
Sep
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Thieves Target Glacier Ridge Neighborhood

CROSS PLAINS–A string of burglaries in the Glacier Ridge subdivision during the early morning hours of Sept. 16 are the latest in a rash of burglaries and car thefts that have plagued Dane and surrounding counties for more than two years. 

“There were two homes entered and both had the door leading from the garage into the house unlocked. There were also several vehicles entered throughout the neighborhood. Again the vehicles which were entered were also unlocked,” said Cross Plains Police Chief Tom Janssen. 

In one of the break-ins, thieves used a garage door open they found in an unlocked car to gain access to the home. 

“We continue to warn residents to lock vehicle doors and all windows and doors which lead into the house,” Janssen reminded.

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