Community

Wed
05
Feb
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Breaking Barriers

One could focus bitterly on the loss: Caliph Muab-El bounced around Wisconsin’s prison facilities nearly half his life. Or one could focus, as the soft-spoken, eloquent 32-year-old minister does, on the good he can do now.

Yet, the way to the now has been fraught with danger, hardship, and much self-work. When he was nine, his parents moved the family from Chicago to Milwaukee, mistakenly believing they would “escape the infestation of violence, drugs, gangs, and crime,” Muab-El explained.

Ironically, Milwaukee turned out to be worse. The low-income housing available “was so concentrated it made the infestation more intense.” At the same time, his father was not always residing with the family and his mother held down three jobs. As eldest, the responsibility of caring for his siblings fell on Muab-El.

Wed
22
Jan
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Indomitable Molly Millar

As can so often happen with volunteering, a need arises and someone steps into the void. Then stays. For go-getter Molly Millar, a name once synonymous with Middleton Girl Scouting, make that “needs.” Millar, now 80, has spent her spare time during the previous half-century as a Scout leader, AFS host, and foster parent. To this day, she foster mothers children in emergency situations.

“There’s so many kids that don’t have anybody,” Millar stated. “I love talking to kids, and [foster] kids really need it. Another very good reason, I do boys mostly because I work well with them, I can put tools into their hands and do outdoor things with them that they don’t otherwise get.”

Indeed, Millar’s love of the outdoors is a common denominator in many of her lifelong pursuits. Instilled during her youth by her Scoutmaster father on their land in the country, Millar was allowed to tag along with the boys in his troop.

Thu
02
Jan
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A Look Back At 2013 In Middleton

TIF FOR ACS BUILDING

The Middleton Common Council on Jan. 15 approved The Carey Group’s request for $400,000 in developer-financed Tax Increment Financing (TIF). The deal is designed to attract Affiliated Construction Services (ACS) to a yet-to-be-built facility in the Good Neighbor City.

The Madison-based developer’s formal request for TIF, dated Jan. 2, said The Carey Group Real Estate Services, LLC is pursuing a 40,000 square foot build-to-suit development for ACS on Lot 19 within the Middleton Corporate Center. (The parcel is on the northwest corner of Nursery Drive and Deming Way.)

“In an effort to provide ACS with favorable economic terms and a level playing field relative to the competition, we are seeking city assistance through developer-funded TIF financing,” wrote developer Timothy Carey in a letter to city planner Eileen Kelley.

Thu
05
Dec
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Saturday Art Fair Will Benefit MOM Food Pantry

Scott Draves, a nationally known pottery artist, is working to help families in need in Dane County by joining the Creating for Causes benefit for Middleton Outreach Ministry (MOM). 

Draves will be selling his work and donating to MOM at the art fair in the food pantry on Saturday from 1 to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

His pots are treasured by arts and crafts pottery collectors around the country. Draves will be joined by 39 other artists who are creating, donating and collecting donations for the MOM programs.

“The arts and crafts movement was all about changing how people worked and lived through good design, so it makes sense to use my skill to help change the world for people who are hungry, need food, clothing and shelter,” Draves commented. “I am happy to lend my name, and talent to MOM’s efforts to make the world a better place for families in need.”

Wed
06
Nov
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One Woman's Decision To Fund a Public Park

Lucille Taylor had long intended to leave the bulk of her estate to the City of Middleton for the creation of a new park. There was only one problem: the spry 82 year old – who mows her own lawn, shovels her own snow, and has been known to leap in and out of the cab of a large pickup truck when the need arises – appears to be a daunting foe for the grim reaper.

So Taylor, in a spare moment between volunteering at the senior center, weeding the community garden at city hall, and walking or biking throughout the Good Neighbor City, recently decided people would rather have their park sooner than later. She decided to give the city $100,000 to get the ball rolling.

When city administrator Mike Davis told Taylor she was on the verge of becoming something of a local celebrity, she responded with typical aplomb: “I thought I was just a plain old lady.”

Thu
31
Oct
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Field Day At Bock Forest

The Middleton Public Lands Department is sponsoring the fifth annual Forestry Field Day on Saturday, November 2 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at John C. Bock Community Forest.

Orchid Heights Park provides parking and wagon rides to the activities. The 19-acre parcel is in its fifth year of restoration to oak savanna, oak woodland, and prairie ecosystems.

The forestry field day is a free public event featuring demonstrations of horse logging, arborist skills (tree climbing and pruning), wood milling, timber stand improvement, and free horse-drawn wagon rides. These demonstrations will highlight how foresters select, harvest, and process trees in a responsible, environmentally sustainable manner. There will also be talks given on wildlife of the area, restoration methods, and historic land use.

Thu
24
Oct
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Secret Society Thrives in the Information Age

Wellington Amaral, Jeff Breunig and John Ertl are sitting in a small but comfortable room not far from Middleton High School. There are chairs, a low couch, and a couple portraits of George Washington on the wall. Sacrificial goats, satanic rituals and clandestine strings that control the world’s power structure are all conspicuously absent.

They are Masons, and they say being in the world’s most famous “secret society” is a little tricky in the digital age.

“We’re on Facebook and everything,” Breunig explains. “We’re not exactly a secret.”

The organization’s website even features an interactive “lodge finder,” as well as listing the names of high ranking members. No secret handshake or password is required to peruse the site.

The inner workings of the twice monthly meetings held at Middleton Ionic Lodge No. 180 are a bit of a secret, at least to non-Masons, but local members say their brotherhood is based on fairly simple, open principles.

Sun
20
Oct
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Middleton Man Charged With Having Child Porn

A Middleton man who worked at a local elementary school until last month was charged Tuesday with six counts of possessing child pornography on his home computer.

63-year-old Todd Anderson, a librarian and media specialist who retired Sept. 13 after 22 years working for the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District, was in possession of graphic sexual images of children as young one or two years of age, according to the complaint filed in Dane County Circuit Court.

School district officials and police said no pornography was discovered on Anderson’s work computer.

Thu
17
Oct
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Free Car Winterization For Seniors

The Middleton Police Department has once again teamed up with Middleton Ford and the Middleton Senior Center to conduct a car winterization program for senior citizens.  This free event will be held at Middleton Ford, 7520 Century Avenue in Middleton, on Saturday, October 19th from 9:00am to 1:00pm.

This program is targeted towards adults age 60 and older, but no one will be turned away if they are in need of service.  Persons should contact the Middleton Senior Center at 608-831-2373 to make an appointment.

Police Officers will check the exterior of the vehicle making sure that the horn, turn signals, headlights, brake lights, tail lights and back-up lights are all working properly.  Middleton Ford service technicians will then inspect the vehicle fluid levels, belts, battery, tire pressure, tire wear, wipers and any other problems they may note. 

Wed
25
Sep
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Environmental Icon

Landscape architect, countless award-winner, professor, author, visionary, innovator and Sports Illustrated person-of-note: these are just a few of the hats Phil Lewis has worn, and still does.

For over half a century he’s been a force in Wisconsin, and across the planet, for environmental protection and stewardship.

“As a kid, you want to see your dad in Sports Illustrated – Dad did that in 1967,” quipped Lewis’ son, Andy, himself a former member of the Middleton City Council.

At that time, SI published an in-depth article featuring Lewis entitled, “How To Stop The Pillage of America.” It explained Wisconsin’s forward-thinking statewide recreational planning effort, Lewis said.

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