Community

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.

Wed
23
Jan
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Cancer Support Clubhouse Backtracks on Name Change

A cancer support organization in Middleton has abandoned plans to change its name. In a statement issued Wednesday, Gilda’s Club Madison, which announced late last year it would change its name to Cancer Support Community Southwest Wisconsin in January, said it is retaining the Gilda’s Club name.

“Many of you have noticed that our website, Facebook page and signs did not change in January,” said a Gilda’s Club message sent via email to supporters and members of the media. “Since mid-December, the Gilda’s Club Madison board of directors has been working with our national Cancer Support Community board regarding the name change.”

Wed
23
Jan
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City Works to Make Pleasant View a Hub For Winter Recreation

Pleasant View Golf Course’s clubhouse is now open every Sunday as a warming house for skiers and snowshoers.

According to the Middleton Tourism Department, the public can cruise into the clubhouse every Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., stash their equipment on conveniently located storage racks, refuel with pizza and snacks, warm up with hot chocolate and coffee or relax with a cold beer.  In addition to food, the clubhouse offers panoramic views of Lake Mendota, Middleton and Madison. Opening weekend alone, more than 100 people stopped off to rest, defrost and fill up.

Pleasant View Golf Course, owned and operated by the City of Middleton, includes cross-country ski trail loops ranging from 0.5 to 2.3 miles long. 

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