Community

Wed
28
Aug
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Local Pot Dealer Gets 6.5 Years

 

A former philosophy students who moved his large-scale marijuana business to Middleton after being arrested in Madison was sentenced Thursday in federal court to 6.5 years in prison.

Nicholas Bokas, 33, had been arrested in the spring of 2012 after police searched his E Mifflin Ave. apartment and recovered 97 pounds of marijuana, 188 one-pound baggies that contained marijuana residue and $4,700 in cash.

While police were conducting the search two individuals showed up each carrying large amounts of cash presumably to pay off drug debts, said District Judge Barbara Crabb.

Instead of getting out of the marijuana business, Bokas move to a Century Ave. residence and continued selling until he was arrested during a controlled buy on Feb. 19.

At the time, Bokas was on probation for a Dodge County drug conviction.

Bokas had been selling up to 10 pounds of marijuana a week for $3,400 a pound, according to a complaint filed in court.

Wed
28
Aug
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The Accidental Activist

After graduating 6th from the bottom of his high school class, Robert Jambois didn’t think a professional career was in the cards.

The now-lauded attorney spent his late-teens to early-twenties working at gas stations and picking up other manual labor jobs. Until one day, a brush with injustice landed Jambois in the midst of a small claims case.

“When I quit a job building motors, the guy I was working for kept an engine,” stated Jambois. Furious about this wrongdoing, Jambois channeled his frustration into legal action. He pursued a lawsuit against his former employer in order to both recover the stolen item and prove a moral point.

“I lost,” Jambois said with a humble laugh, “because I sued him individually instead of targeting the corporation.” The lawyer representing his old boss approached the young Jambois after the trial and offered him a bit of guidance.

Wed
21
Aug
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More Than A Game

The aroma of hot dogs smothered in ketchup and mustard was on the air Saturday morning. A large, boisterous crowd filled the bleachers and chattered between bursts of applause. Five-year-old Cole Truitt wore a perpetual grin as he played around on the PA system, confidently predicted victory for the firefighters’ team, threw out a heater for a first pitch, and generally wore out any adult who tried to keep up with him.

In many ways it was just a fun summertime baseball game at Firefighter’s Park in the City of Middleton. In other ways it was not; this was the second annual Battle of the Badges, raising awareness and funds to help families impacted by childhood cancer. Everyone there - including police, firefighters,  medics, volunteers and fans - was rallying around Truitt, who was diagnosed in November with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

Wed
14
Aug
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Standing United Against Gun Violence

 

Dane County citizens who say they are alarmed by gun violence joined with the Sikh Society of Wisconsin in Middleton on Sunday of last week to commemorate the six worshipers who lost their lives one year ago to a white supremacist who opened fire at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek.

The Sikh Society in Middleton, 6970 Century Ave., invited people of all faiths to join in remembering the victims in a service at its temple beginning at 1 p.m. and lasting approximately half an hour.  The service was followed by a two-mile walk along Century Avenue, continuing on to Allen Boulevard to University Avenue and St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church parking lot.  

“One deranged individual will not destroy the Sikh resolve to face every adversity with courage and peaceful means,” said Harry Brar, president of the Middleton temple. 

Wed
14
Aug
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Healing Continues In Sikh Community

Upon entering the Sikh temple in Middleton, a visitor quickly learns at least a few of the basics of the faith. 

For instance, the importance of covering one’s hair to show respect, and the requirement that visitors take off their shoes when they enter.

There is also the overall sense of generosity and kindness, which is demonstrated through the large meal that is served and offered to anyone who wishes to attend on Sundays, or through the eager willingness to help those who ask for it. 

Sikhism is a monotheistic faith that promotes an honest lifestyle, sharing, meditation and selfless service among its basic beliefs.  Sikhism also upholds the idea that all humans are equal in the eyes of God regardless of gender or caste, and lists three duties as being sacred: praying, giving and working. 

Wed
14
Aug
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Another Sex Offender Will Live In The Town Of Middleton

 

For the third time in three years a state agency will house a convicted sex offender at a West Mineral Point Road residence in the Town of Middleton.

Kenneth Adams, 69, who has seven prior convictions for sex offenses dating to 1963, will reside within about a week at 7214 W. Mineral Pt. Rd., a house the state leases for $1,500 a month.

Jason Cram, manager for the Department of Health Service’s supervised release program,  officials from the Department of Corrections, and the Dane County Sheriff’s Office held a community notification meeting on Tuesday of last week at the Middleton Town Hall. 

In sharp contrast to the meeting for a different sex offender in June 2010, when 100 residents packed town hall with some seeking to reverse his release, less than 20 attended the meeting Tuesday.

Fri
02
Aug
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Middleton Resident Is Zoo's First Ever Female Director

Ronda Schwetz, Henry Vilas Zoo director, has had a lifelong affinity for Madison’s popular menagerie. Growing up in McFarland, now residing in the Town of Middleton, she remembers well the exact location where her dream job at the free zoo was born.

“I was by the rhinos – the exact same ones we have today, in fact – when I first thought, ‘I want to do this some day,’” she recalled. The 43-year-old is the first female director in the 102-year-old zoo’s history. She took charge of the facility in June of 2012.

She held her first position at this zoo in 1991, as an intern while at UW-Stevens Point, in a program that continues today. After graduating in 1992 with a double major – psychology and biology- and a minor in Captive Wildlife Management, Schwetz moved to Chippewa Falls. Her stint at the Irvine Park Zoo lasted several years, gaining her valuable hands-on knowledge.

Thu
01
Aug
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Town Meeting On Sex Offender Release

 

The Dane County Sheriff’s Office is encouraging citizens in the Town of Middleton to attend a Community Notification meeting regarding the release of Kenneth Adams.

A core team evaluates and makes decisions on the level of notification to the community for the release of sex offenders under Wisconsin Statutes 301.45 and 301.46.  The Core Team will be holding a Community Notification meeting on Tuesday, August 6, at 6:30 p.m.  The meeting will be held at the Middleton Town Hall, located at 7555 W. Old Sauk Rd.  The Core Team will offer information about the Community Notification Law and the release of Kenneth Adams.

Wed
24
Jul
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With some municipalities opting to begin blanket redactions, the City of Middleton attempts to preserve public access

New confusion about an old federal law is forcing local governments to choose between the right to privacy and the public’s right to information. Further muddying the waters is the fact that cities, villages and towns know they run the risk of getting sued either way.

Many government agencies in Wisconsin have begun blacking out names and addresses from what had previously been public police reports in response to a new interpretation of the Driver’s Privacy Protection Act (DPPA).

Government decision-makers essentially have two choices. They can continue releasing names to the public and risk lawsuits from individuals who claim their right to privacy has been violated, or they can redact the information and face lawsuits from newspapers and other government watchdog groups that believe the information must be turned over under state open records law.

Wed
10
Jul
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Battle Of The Badges Returns

It was simple coin toss, but its meaning was so much more.

On Tuesday morning last week around 9 a.m.,  Middleton Fire Chief Aaron Harris and Middleton Police Chief Brad Keil flipped a special Middleton Police Department coin to decide who will be the home team at the second annual Battle of the Badges in August. 
 
The charity softball game between the two departments will raise awareness and funds to help families affected by childhood cancer.  This year they will play for five-year-old Cole Truitt, who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia on Nov. 6. The fire department won Tuesday’s toss and will be the home team in 2013.
 
The Battle of the Badges was originally inspired by James Helmuth, who died earlier this year. 
 

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