Community

Wed
08
Jul
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SRO to Remain at Glacier Creek

CROSS PLAINS–Despite a strong demand from several residents to remove a police officer from Glacier Creek Middle School, the Cross Plains Village Board voted unanimously to renew the school resource police officer contract for another year at their June 30 meeting.

Parents, a Middleton High School teacher and a Fitchburg police detective, with a child in Middleton schools; all said the presence of a police officer has a “negative impact,” particularly on the most vulnerable students.

“The benefits of having a (School Resource Officer) are strongly outweighed by the negative repercussions on students particularly students of color. In this day and age, we need to be careful about the role the SRO plays in the education environment,” said Andrew Hartman, a teacher at Middleton High School (MHS).

Having an officer in school leads to criminalizing behavior typically associated with adolescence, Hartman added.

Wed
08
Jul
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Council Rejects Agreement with District for SROs

MIDDLETON–The Middleton City Council rejected the intergovernmental agreement with the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District to provide school resource officers (SRO) for the 2020-21 school year at Middleton High School (MHS) and Kromrey Middle School.

The agreement which was approved at the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District (MCPASD) Board of Education June 22 meeting came under scrutiny from district social workers and staff, alumni, parents and a district formed committee established to address racial equity in student and staff interactions when it was passed in the board’s consent agenda without discussion.

Under the agreement the city provides two officers for MHS and Kromrey and the district reimburses the city for 50 percent of the actual wages, fringe benefits, overtime and related officer compensation incurred over a 10 month period for each SRO. The city’s 2020 budget indicates the district paid the city $87,076.

Tue
07
Jul
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Dane County to Require Face Coverings

DANE COUNTY–Effective July 13, at 8 a.m., Public Health Madison & Dane County (PHMDC) is issuing Emergency Order #8, which requires that everyone age five and older wear a face covering or mask when in in any enclosed building where other people, except for members of the person’s own household or living unit, could be present. This requirement applies to all of Dane County. 

“Public health research now shows that face coverings are critical to slowing the spread of COVID-19. Given the current number of COVID-19 infections in our county, we need to all be wearing face coverings every time we leave the house,” said Janel Heinrich, Director of Public Health Madison & Dane County.

Mon
06
Jul
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Gun Store Burglarized in Deerfield

TOWN OF DEERFIELD–The Dane County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a burglary at Smitty’s Guns, located at 575 London Road in the town of Deerfield.

Deputies responded to an alarm at the business at 7:14 a.m. on July 5. The burglars had forced entry to the store and stole over 30 firearms. A red Toyota Corolla believed to be connected to the crime was found abandoned, but still running, in the ditch on Highway 73. The Toyota was determined to have been stolen from the City of Madison overnight. A second vehicle, a black sedan, is also believed to be involved. Both cars were captured on video in the area.

Deputies have been contacting residents along London Road to find any witnesses and/or collect video from home surveillance systems or video doorbell devices. Anyone with information or possible video evidence related to this burglary is asked to call the Dane County tip line at 608-284-6900.

Thu
02
Jul
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City Hall to Remain Closed

MIDDLETON–An email sent out by Middleton City Administrator Mike Davis on Tuesday afternoon, informed the public of changes to the City Hall reopening plan. City Hall was scheduled to one with limited access on July 6, but Davis said due to safety concerns.

“Due to the latest increase in COVID-19 cases in Dane County, I have decided that City Hall will not open on July 6 as planned and will remain closed to the public indefinitely. This decision is made out of concern for both the public and city employees’ health and well-being.  City Hall staff continue to work, so if someone needs to schedule an appointment, we are available by e-mail, phone and Zoom. If absolutely necessary we can schedule a meeting in person too,” Davis said in the email.

Thu
02
Jul
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NNO Canceled

MIDDLETON–The 2020 National Night Out (NNO) event that was to be held in Middleton on August 6 has been canceled due to concerns about safely hosting the event during the COVID-9 pandemic. 

The annual event features food, emergency vehicles and a chance for citizens to get out and meet members of the police department EMS and fire department.

“The cancellation is very unfortunate because it is our largest community policing event throughout the year and has always had excellent attendance.  It allowed a significant portion of our staff to get out and have contact with a large number of community members during a family-friendly event,” said Middleton Police Department Captain Jeremy Geiszler. 

The event dates back to the early 2000s, and many communities across the country hold a variety of events to connect citizens and local law enforcement and emergency agencies.

Thu
02
Jul
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Plan Commission Approves Building Plan for Cross Lutheran Church in Bishops Bay

MIDDLETON–The Middleton Plan Commission approved an amendment to the building plan for a neighborhood within Bishops Bay to make room for Cross Lutheran Church. The church, which has been holding service in the Bishops Bay clubhouse since 2016, has struggled to find a site for construction within Middleton that provides a municipal sewer connection. 

Bishops Bay developer T. Wall Enterprises representative Taylor Brengel said the revised building plan relocates 13 residential lots to the Town of Westport making room for Cross Lutheran Church and School. 

City Planner and Zoning Administrator Mark Opitz explained that the plan commission reviewed the proposal for the church site last fall and was supportive. He noted the Westport Town Board approved the amendment relocating the 13 lots. 

Wed
01
Jul
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PHMDC Drafts New Order Further Restricting Bars and Restaurants

MADISON–Public Health of Madison and Dane County (PHMDC) has issued a new health order, effective July 1. The order limits gathering in bars and restaurants. A recent outbreak of COVID-19 has largely been tracked back to bars and restaurants, many on State Street and near UW-Madison campus, and prompted the order.

The order restricts restaurants to a 25 percent indoor capacity, excluding employees, with tables placed six feet apart. They may also offer outdoor seating with the same six foot distancing between tables.

Bars are limited to alcohol only on site and only outdoor seating with a six foot spacing. Bars can serve food to go. Customers must remain seated at all times.

Both bars and restaurants are limited to tables of six or less, all from the same household. Restaurants and bars are asked to encourage take-out and delivery.

Sat
27
Jun
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Middleton Sport Bowl Owners Sentenced to Six Months Each

MADISON–Owners of the Middleton Sport Bowl (MSB) were each sentenced Friday in federal court to six months in prison for not paying income taxes on cash skimmed from video gambling machines at their University Avenue business.

Dudley Hellenbrand, 67, and Cherie Hellenbrand, 45, both of Middleton, told an undercover IRS agent posing as a prospective buyer of the Sports Bowl in late 2017, that the five video gambling machines could provide $175,000 a year in untaxed income, according to Assistant US Attorney Daniel Graber.

The couple was charged with evading taxes from 2010-17 during which the unreported income from the machines totaled $746,009 and created a federal tax loss of $268,852. Adding the loss to the state of Wisconsin increased the amount to $350,191, which the couple repaid before sentencing.

In asking for a sentence of a year and a day for the Hellenbrands, Graber wrote the court:

Fri
26
Jun
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City Looks to Form New Equity Team in Wake of Floyd Death

MIDDLETON–After the death of George Floyd on May 25 in Minneapolis, Luke Fuszard wanted to address inequity in the City of Middleton. Fuszard, Middleton City Council District 5 Alder, drafted a resolution regarding his concerns. 

“I wrote it with City Administrator Mike Davis and Alder Robert Burck with input from Mary Beth Paulisse (Director of Curriculum, Assessment an 4k at Middleton Cross Plains Area School District[MCPASD]),” Fuszard said.

The resolution expressed the sorrow of city leaders and employees at Floyd’s death, called for unity, working to identify and eliminate systemic racism, evaluate and identify issues in procedures systems and policies and, reformulating the Middleton Equity Team (MET). The former equity team became defunct in 2019, and Fuszard said he feels the time is right to take up the problem of racism and racial bias in the community.

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