Community

Mon
11
Mar
MTT News Desk's picture

Crime Rate Dropped in 2012; Heroin Continues to 'Plague' City

The local crime rate hit its lowest point in more than a decade last year, with the Middleton Police Department (MIPD) reporting an FBI index of 2,754 crimes per 100,000 citizens.

However, chief of police Brad Keil said offenses linked to heroin continue to “plague” the Good Neighbor City.

Middleton’s crime rate in 2012 was lower than those of Madison, the United States, and Dane County, respectively. It was slightly higher than the State of Wisconsin’s rate of 2,695.

The local violent crime rate remained lower than those of Madison, Dane County, Wisconsin, and the United States.

“We are very fortunate to experience a crime rate that is
 typically lower than National, State, and Dane County rates of crime,” wrote Keil in his introduction to the annual MIPD report. “Unfortunately, the use of heroin, and crimes being committed by 
users of heroin, continues to plague our community.”

Mon
11
Mar
MTT News Desk's picture

MOM's New Day

Middleton Outreach Ministry (MOM) has a new face to go along with its new home on Parmenter Street. It just so happens to be an affable, local face that is already familiar to countless people throughout the community.

On the eve of last week’s move from MOM’s outdated Hubbard Avenue offices to a new facility at 3502 Parmenter Street, Al Ripp, the charitable organization’s new executive director, was reclining in a chair in an office stripped almost bare. Boxes were piled high, and volunteers were taking a break from carrying items up and down the creaky wooden steps of the old MOM offices.

Through the window, large flakes of snow were gently swaying in the breeze as they make their way down to Hubbard Avenue.

Fri
08
Mar
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Local Man Accused of Sexually Assaulting Teen Runaway

A Middleton man who worked at a local church stands accused of repeatedly sexually assaulting a male 14-year-old runaway, according to a criminal complaint filed in circuit court last week.

James A. “Alex” Gillespie, age 48, made his initial appearance in Dane County Court Thursday on charges of Sexual Assault of a Child.  He faces two counts, each of which could carry 40 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.

The victim is a boy who went missing from his Beloit home in October of 2012.

Police allege Gillespie performed oral sex on the teen on multiple occasions, in Gillespie’s Century Avenue residence, when the victim was intoxicated. The first sexual encounter occurred shortly before Christmas of 2012, and the last took place shortly after the holiday, according to investigators.

Thu
07
Mar
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Police Unveil Anonymous Tip Texting

The Middleton Police Department (MIPD) is launching tip411, an Internet based tool that enables the public to text anonymous tips to police. It also lets police respond back, creating a two way anonymous “chat.”



Reserved exclusively for Public Safety purposes and powered by CitizenObserver, a St. Paul, MN company, tip411 puts a powerful new crime fighting tool into the hands of our community for all ages and demographics.



“We’re proud to be part of a national program that benefits over 1,000 communities around the country,” said MIPD Capt. Charles Foulke. “This new capability will help our citizens play an active role in keeping neighborhoods safer, it will engage a younger demographic in the process and it will save our agency time and resources.”



Anyone with a cell phone can now send an anonymous tip to the Middleton Police Department by texting the word “MIDDLETON,” followed by the tip information to 847411 (tip411). 

Thu
28
Feb
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Former Church Music Director Charged with Sexual Assault of a Child

James A. “Alex” Gillespie, age 48 of Middleton, made his  Initial Appearance in Dane County Court today on charges of Sexual Assault of a Child.  Middleton Police said the victim is a 14-year old boy who had been missing from his Beloit home since October of 2012. He had been living with Mount Horeb Police officer Dennis Jenks, on Raymond Road in Madison until contacted by Middleton detectives on February 13, 2013.

Middleton Detectives notified Madison Police of the relationship between the victim and Jenks and then developed probable cause to charge Gillespie. Gillespie is alleged to have assaulted the victim in his Century Avenue residence.

The investigation of Gillespie began in December of 2012 and continues. Gillespie is a former music director at St. Luke’s Church in Middleton. Anyone who has information concerning Gillespie is asked to contact the Middleton Police Department.

Wed
20
Feb
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Tom Wopat Show Canceled

The Friends of the Middleton Performing Arts Center regret that the Tom Wopat show on April 6 is canceled.

Wopat has taken the opportunity to perform in a new play opening this spring and the Friends issued a statement saying they wish him well in his return to Broadway. 

"We are not able to reschedule the show and will therefore be refunding all tickets sold," said Kathy Holt. "We hope that this has not inconvenienced our patrons."

The Friends are currently working on the 2013-14, 10th anniversary season and look forward to an exciting concert series.  Visit www.friendspac.org and the Friends' Facebook page in late summer for details.

 

Wed
20
Feb
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Middleton Community Orchestra Presents Winter Concert on February 27

The Middleton Community Orchestra (MCO) will present its Winter Concert on Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 7:30 p.m. at the Middleton Performing Arts Center. As the show nears, MCO co-founders Larry Bevic and Mindy Taranto recently took a few moments to reflect on the burgeoning community orchestra.

Wed
13
Feb
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Mixed Blood Theatre Brings Daughters of Africa to Library

Daughters of Africa, performed by the Twin Cities’ Mixed Blood Theatre, will be at the Middleton Public Library Monday at 7 p.m. Daughters of Africa is a music-driven history of African American women from slave ship survivors to stars of the silver screen.  Fueled by the songs of Lena Horne, Aretha Franklin, Queen Latifah and many others, the performance vividly commemorates both the famous and the overlooked. 

This free, 45-minute performance is for school-age children, families and adults.  Audience members will have the opportunity to engage the performers after the show in reflection and questions.

This program is funded in part by Beyond the Page, with assistance from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Madison Community Foundation. For more information or to register for this program, email mid@scls.lib.wi.us or call 827-7403.

Wed
13
Feb
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Neighbor Cool Under Pressure When Apartment Fire Breaks Out

They don’t call Middleton the Good Neighbor City for nothing.

Shortly before 10 p.m. Tuesday, a resident on the second floor of an apartment building in the Forest Harbor complex at 2070 Allen Boulevard noticed thick black smoke spewing from a neighbor’s living quarters. Hector Guerra dashed toward the apartment, grabbed a fire extinguisher, and took aim at flames that caused an estimated $55,000 to $60,000 in damage and left several families temporarily homeless.

The 16-unit building is located near Allen Boulevard’s intersection with University Avenue. One person was transported to an area hospital for smoke inhalation.

Brad Subera, a battalion chief with the Middleton Fire Department, said the blaze began atop an electric stove. “The resident turned on the knobs, then decided not to cook and went to take a nap,” he said. “There were some household goods on the stove and they caught fire.”

Wed
30
Jan
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Middleton Players Announce Auditions for 'Les Mis'

Middleton Players Theatre is proud to announce the area’s premiere community theater production of “Les Miserables,” directed by Matt Starika-Jolivet and Thomas Kasdorf, with performance dates from July 5-13 at the Middleton Performing Arts Center. This full-scale version will offer roles for up to 50 local performers ages 8-adult, as well as backstage crew and pit orchestra opportunities. All roles are available for casting. Children’s roles (young Cosette, young Eponine and Gavroche) will be double cast.

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