Community

Thu
18
Jun
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Ethics Board Dismisses Complaint Against Opitz

MIDDLETON–The City of Middleton’s Ethics Board last week dismissed a five-count complaint brought against Mark Opitz, city planner and zoning administrator, by an opponent of airport expansion stemming from ongoing issues with the Middleton Municipal Airport-Morey Field.

The complaint filed on Dec. 20, 2019 was the first the approximately year-old board ever considered.

It alleged that Opitz:

• Lacked transparency and or truthfulness regarding developing a survey of potential airport users;

• Accepted gifts in the form travel at reduced fares from owners of Capital Flight, an airport-based ,private business;

• Misused the city’s listserv email system to advance his pro-airport expansion agenda;

• Shared information with Capital Flight owners which he withheld from the airport manager;

• Had an angry, intimidating conservation with the complainant, Leslie Hayner, after a Middleton Common Council meeting.

Thu
18
Jun
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Middleton Police Chief Discusses Department Policies

MIDDLETON–Middleton Police Chief Troy Hellenbrand knows that the city is removed of some of the policing challenges of larger cities, and he also know that policies can change and should. The Middleton Police Department has worked in the past few years to assess and improve policies, continue officer training, increase community outreach and better serve the public.

Recently calls for defunding the police have rung out nationwide, in the wake of the killing of George Floyd. The incident of officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck in the street for more than nine minutes while other officers stood by and watched, was videotaped by a 17-year old bystander and set off a series of protests around the country and world. 

Hellenbrand said he was mortified by the death of George Floyd.

Fri
12
Jun
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Forward Dane Moves to Phase II Monday

Virus still present and infectious in communities; residents urged to take precautions

DANE COUNTY-As a result of meeting criteria outlined in Forward Dane, Public Health Madison & Dane County is issuing an order to move Dane County to Phase 2. Order #5 is effective as of 8:00am on June 15, 2020.

Fri
12
Jun
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Captain Bill's Closes

MIDDLETON–A long time Middleton restaurant has closed its door for good. Captain Bill’s, on the shores of Lake Mendota, will not reopen said Jack von Rutenberg in a press release last week. He cited the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason for closing the business, and will now focus on the other businesses owned by his family’s company von Rutenberg Ventures (VRV).

“Perhaps the biggest, and permanent, change related to Covid-19 is that the company has decided to, upon reopening later this month, consolidate and limit operations only to the town of Westport. Four of the five VRV businesses are located in this town at the northern tip of Lake Mendota. Captain Bill’s, located in Middleton, will not reopen,” the press release read.

Von Rutenberg, his brother Bill and his parents Betty and Bill Sr. Captain Bill’s on Nov. 22, 1993. Jack’s brother, Robert, joined the business in 2000.

Fri
12
Jun
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GNF Canceled

MIDDLETON–It is with heavy hearts that the Board of Trustees of the Middleton Good Neighbor Festival announces the cancellation of the 57th Annual Good Neighbor Festival (GNF) on August 28-30. Organizers worked diligently to find a way to preserve this cherished community tradition, but decided that it simply was not responsible to plan an in-person event that could increase the risk of transmission of COVID-19.

The festival trustees plan to hold virtual events during August, both as an opportunity to celebrate the community, and to support the non-profit missions of the organizations that present the festival. The festival plans to select Good Neighbor Award participants, and to recognize and support the community in many other ways that will be announced in coming weeks.

Fri
12
Jun
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US 14 Resurfacing Begins Monday

DANE COUNTY–Starting June 15, crews will begin resurfacing the existing pavement on US 14 between Westview Court in Cross Plains and Pinehurst Drive near Middleton. Crews will also widen shoulders where necessary and install new beam guard.

Highway 14 will remain open to traffic with nighttime flagging operations between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. Motorists are advised to plan ahead, anticipate delays and allow extra time if traveling in this area.

The work operations are weather dependent and subject to change.

The $3.8 million project is anticipated to be completed in early August.

For more information regarding traffic impacts in Wisconsin’s Southwest Region:

Follow us on Twitter: @WisDOTsouthwest. Check the construction projects website: https://projects.511wi.gov/region/southwest/.

Sat
06
Jun
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Students, Seniors Connect Through Bridge Volunteering

MIDDLETON–When Bridge Volunteering opened last fall, the goal was to connect Middleton High School students with volunteering opportunities. One of the connections was with the Middleton Senior Center, and now during the COVID-19 pandemic, those opportunities continue.

Students have been working with clients of the center through the Phone Buddy program, as well as completing gardening tasks.

“Bridge Volunteering started the ‘buddy’ program with the Middleton Senior Center. The seniors were sent a newsletter asking if they would like a ‘check in’ call from a Middleton high school student once a week,” said Shaney Andler, Director at Bridge. Students were then paired with a “buddy.”

Sat
06
Jun
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Iowa Utilities Board Aprroves ATC-CHC Line

DES MOINES IA–Following six years of public involvement and regulatory review, during which citizen groups and government agencies in the Driftless Area voiced nearly unanimous opposition to the proposal, ITC Midwest and Dairyland Power Cooperative have received approval for the Cardinal-Hickory Creek (CHC) Transmission Line Project from the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB). 

In a written decision, the three IUB members unanimously approved the franchise for the 14-mile Iowa transmission line segment, which will be constructed from the Hickory Creek substation near New Vienna in Dubuque County,  northward to Clayton County in Iowa, and then cross the Mississippi River near Cassville, and continue through the Driftless Area on its way to Middleton.

Thu
04
Jun
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Update:Mazomanie Teen Reported Missing

Update: CJ was found safe in Black Earth.

Original story:

MAZOMANIE–The Dane County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s assistance in locating 17-year-old Clarence Floyd of Mazomanie. Clarence was reported missing by his family early this morning.

Clarence, who goes by CJ, left his home in Mazomanie on the night of June 3 and has not returned. The Sheriff’s Office has information that he was seen at HWY 78/CTH Y at about 6 p.m. Wednesday evening and then at HWY 14/CTH KP at approximately 8 p.m.

CJ is 5’6”-5’7” tall and approximately 120-130 lbs. He has black hair with blonde tips (not red as in the photo). He left home wearing a dark gray Star Wars t-shirt, black shorts and New Balance tennis shoes.

If you see CJ or have information on his whereabouts, please call 911.

Thu
28
May
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Wisconsin State Fair Canceled

WEST ALLIS–For several months the Wisconsin State Fair Park Board of Directors and staff have been working tirelessly analyzing all facets of the annual event, in hopes of being able to provide the Wisconsin State Fair experience that Fairgoers have come to know and love over the past 169 years.

On May 26, the board voted unanimously to authorize Chairman Yingling to make the determination on whether events currently scheduled at State Fair Park, including the 2020 Wisconsin State Fair, are to be canceled, after extensive input from each board member and Kathleen O’Leary, Executive Director/CEO. On May 28, Yingling announced that for the safety of fairgoers, staff, vendors, entertainers, exhibitors, sponsors, suppliers and the broader community, the 2020 Wisconsin State Fair has been canceled.

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