Community

Wed
10
Apr
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All Four Living Mayors Gather For City Birthday

Current Mayor Kurt Sonnentag was joined by former mayors Doug Zwank, Judy Karofsky, and Dan Ramsey at Tuesday evening's kickoff of the City of Middleton's 50th Birthday. Special events surrounding Middleton's 50 years of city status (it was a village until 1963) will take place throughout the remainder of 2013.

Tuesday's kickoff at Fire Station No. 1 on University Avenue included free cake and live music provided by the Madison Brass Band. At the same time, 
a collection of local history, brought together by the Middleton Area Historical Society, was unveiled at the Museum at the Depot on Parmenter Street.

Tue
09
Apr
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Man Goes Berserk on Beltline Highway

A violent road rage incident interrupted Tuesday morning’s local commute, causing a lengthy delay for many drivers.

According to Capt. Noel Kakuske, of the Middleton Police Department, rush hour traffic into Middleton and Madison was affected when Theodore Malchert, age 41 of Poynette, became enraged and assaulted another motorist with his vehicle and his fists, then used a windshield wiper to shatter another motorist’s window.

The incident occurred on the eastbound Beltline Highway, between Parmenter Street and Airport Road.

Reports claim Malchert followed the other driver, cut in front of him, and deliberately struck the front quarter panel of the vehicle. The collision caused the other driver to lose control and spin out on the highway, coming to rest facing the opposite direction of eastbound traffic.

Thu
04
Apr
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Gator In The Pheasant Branch Creek

Editor's note: The following is one of four essays, all of which are featured in this week's print edition of the Times-Tribune, celebrating Middleton's 50 years as a city.

Middleton has been named one of Money magazine’s “Best Places to Live.”  You’ll get no argument from those of us lucky enough to grow up here in the 1950s and ‘60s.  The setting for many of our idyllic memories is a place called “the creek.”  (Today it is known as the Pheasant Branch Conservancy.  Back then, it was simply “the creek.”) 

To an outsider, it was a mundane patch of woods.  To us, it was as exotic as the Amazon, teeming with raccoons, snakes, lizards, turtles, and, in the summer of 1969, an alligator.

Mon
01
Apr
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A Mother's Love and the Audacity to Cope

Local Author Katherine Perreth Pens Book About The Many Highs And Lows That Followed Her Son Ben's Brain Hemorrhage

Middleton Times-Tribune: First things first - How did you come up with the book’s title?        

Katherine Perreth: Some folks misread the title, and thus believe the book to be about hope. For me, Making Lemonade With Ben: The Audacity To Cope is about what happens after hope has evaporated, poof! What do you do then? But MLWB is much more than chapter and verse on what happened to my firstborn, Ben, after I found him in a coma. It’s what happened to the entire family.

MTT: That’s a lot of ground to cover. Where does the narrative take you?

Thu
28
Mar
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Rare Owl Seen Hanging Out at Middleton Brewery; DNR Explains Why

While many Middletonians suspected the city's newest resident had moved here for the great beer produced at Capital Brewery, there might be another reason for all the great grey owl sightings on Terrace Avenue.

This year’s long winter is having an impact on owls in Wisconsin, including three species of rare owls that have come down from the boreal forest north of the U.S. border.

According to a statement issued by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, every few years small rodent populations crash. The decline forces owls to move south in search of food. 

That's exactly what happened this year and because of it, Wisconsin is becoming a temporary home to three species not normally seen here: the northern hawk owl, the great grey owl and the boreal owl.

Wed
27
Mar
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Boy Who Inspired 'Battle of the Badges' Dies

James  Helmuth, the 10-year-old boy who inspired local first responders to create a charity softball game, lost his battle with cancer on Saturday, surrounded by his family, Lisa, Jeff and Jack.

Helmuth was honored during the 1st annual "Battle of the Badges" charity softball game in the summer of 2012. A statement posted on the MIPD website said Middleton Police, Fire & EMS Departments will continue to hold the charity softball games each summer to benefit local charities, such as the Badger Childhood Cancer Network.

Helmuth loved to watch and play basketball and football and loved karate and swimming. He had many friends, including a special place in his heart for Bella, Buddy, and Sparkle - the family dog and two cats. 

Services will take place Saturday, April 6 at 11 a.m. at St. Luke's Church, 7337 Hubbard Avenue in Middleton.

Tue
19
Mar
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Man Charged With Running Prostitution Business Out of Middleton Apartment

A man called “Slim” ran a small but lucrative prostitution ring out of a Middleton apartment in late 2011 and early 2012, using heroin addiction, frequent beatings and a handgun named “Lucille” to control those around him, according to court documents.

Criminal complaints filed in Dane County Circuit Court late last month allege Alvin “Slim” Siller oversaw one prostitute’s every move, only allowing her to eat once per day, usually off of the dollar menu at McDonald’s. He stands accused of beating the woman so severely on one occasion that he broke her dentures.

Siller faces an array of charges, including Human Tracking, Pandering/Pimping, Battery, Strangulation, Negligent Handling of a Weapon, Possession of a Firearm by a Felon, and Child Enticement. He faces multiple counts of several offenses.

Mon
11
Mar
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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
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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.

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