Local

Fri
27
Jan
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Town Will Continue to Meet Virtually

TOWN OF MIDDLETON–Despite the threat of being infected with the COVID-19 virus falling to the low stage in Dane County, all town meetings will continue to be held via Zoom until at least the April 4 spring election, the Town of Middleton Board decided last week.

Continuing to hold virtual meetings is prudent, said Board Supervisor David Bryce.

“If we can have these meetings without risk of being exposed, I’ll agree with that,” he said, but the country is entering the season when COVID-19 cases have been most numerous.

In urging that meetings remain virtual; Town Chair Cynthia Richson said the newest virus strain is the most antibody resistant to date.

The Park Commission expressed interest in resuming in-person meetings again, said Town Clerk Barbara Roesslein, who added that the latest vaccines aren’t as effective against the new coronavirus variant.

Fri
27
Jan
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Mail Issues Resolved for Middleton Hills Residents

MIDDLETON–Complaints that Middleton Hills residents had in September about the United States Postal Service (USPS) ending package delivery to their homes have been resolved to their satisfaction, residents report.

Middleton Hills neighbors always had to pick up letters at a rented mailroom adjacent to the Prairie Café but, they enjoyed home delivery of packages.

That changed last year amid staffing shortages and the volume of packages growing due to the popularity of online shopping.

In September, residents of the 430-home subdivision met and said they had enough. Boxes overwhelmed the shortage capacity of the mailroom shelving resulting in packages piled on the floor in an unsorted fashion.

They noted that UPS and FedEx still made home delivery of packages.

Don Knorr, of the MHNA (Middleton Hills Neighborhood Association), proposed meeting with postal officials to expand the rented mailroom’s package capacity 

Fri
27
Jan
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City Council Approves Energy Efficiency Program Agreement, Defers Petition for Airport Improvements

MIDDLETON–The Middleton Common Council approved an agreement with Elevate Energy for an energy efficiency navigator program and deferred a resolution petitioning the Wisconsin Department of Transportation for funding airport improvements.

The agreement with Elevate Energy authorizes the nonprofit organization to manage the city’s first residential energy efficiency navigator program. The program aims to assist landlords in making efficiency upgrades to existing properties to lower energy costs for tenants in areas of the city where the average income is 50 percent or less than the area median income.

Wed
25
Jan
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The Roman Candle Pizza Closing its Final Location in Middleton

The Roman Candle Pizza restaurant owner Brewer Stouffer says, “I am hanging up my apron.” Serving pizza in the Madison area for 18 years and for a time at four different locations, Stouffer says the business was hit with the perfect storm of challenges that led him to make the tough decision to walk away. 

The Roman Candle Pizza will close its last remaining location in Middleton on Feb. 4. The restaurant once had locations on Monroe Street and Williamson Street in Madison and in Fitchburg. Stouffer says the business, like many others, has been impacted by several factors related to the COVID-19 pandemic and rapid changes in technology and consumer trends. 

“It was a perfect storm for a lot of local businesses, you had the labor crisis that pre-existed COVID, then you had food costs go up exponentially in some cases, and then you had people’s dining habits change,” Stouffer says.

Fri
20
Jan
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Extra FoodShare Benefits to End in February, Pantries Already Overwhelmed

UNITED STATES–The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023, passed by Congress in late December, ends a federal program that has been providing additional benefits to households enrolled in Wisconsin’s FoodShare program. FoodShare households have been receiving the maximum amount for their household size or $95, whichever is more. In recent months, an average of approximately $80 million has been distributed monthly to help almost 400,000 households across our state struggling to afford food. This also indirectly supports Wisconsinites involved in food production and retail like farmers, truckers, and grocers. February 2023 will be the last month families will receive the extra benefits. Regular FoodShare benefits will continue.

Fri
20
Jan
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Plan Commission Approves Petition to DOT for Airport Improvements

MIDDLETON–The City of Middleton Plan Commission approved a resolution recommending the common council petition the Wisconsin Secretary of Transportation for airport improvement aid. The financial assistance would be used for design engineering and reconstruction of the primary runway and taxiway.

The Wisconsin Bureau of Aeronautics requires airport sponsors to submit a petition identifying potential projects seeking state or federal funding assistance. In October 2022, the airport commission recommended adding to the petition that the city previously filed in January 2022 to include design engineering and reconstruction of the primary runway and taxiway. None of the projects would expand the footprint or the capacity of the airport and the city is not obligated to proceed with any of the projects.

Fri
20
Jan
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Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Results In

MIDDLETON–The Middleton Police Department (MIPD) is making progress towards safer roads to start the new year. MIPD just wrapped up participation in the statewide and national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over holiday campaign. Officers made five OWI arrests between Dec. 16, 2022 and New Year’s Day.

While the focus of the initiative was to eliminate impaired driving, officers also issued citations and made arrests during traffic stops for the following:

• Fifteen speeding violations

• Three operating after revocation or suspension violations

• One safety belt violation

• One drug arrest

• One felony arrest

“This enforcement campaign allowed us to spread the word to the community that impaired driving is never acceptable,” Sergeant Jessica Quamme said. “Although this campaign is over, it is an essential message that continues throughout the year. Always plan for a safe ride home to save lives on the roads.”

Fri
20
Jan
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MIPD Searching for Mail Thieves

MIDDLETON–The Middleton Police Department (MIPD) obtained this image from surveillance video from the overnight hours of Jan. 15 at a local business in the industrial park. The passenger in this vehicle got out and took mail from the mailbox and left. He is described as a white male wearing a North Face jacket and shorts.

If you recognize this vehicle or know anything about this crime, please contact Middleton Police at 608-824-7300 or Madison Area Crime Stoppers at 608-266-6014 or on the web at p3tips.com. Please mention MIPD case # MI23000939.

The MIPD has seen an increase of mail being taken from businesses in the industrial park. It appears suspects are looking for checks to steal, forge and cash. We would like to remind business owners to follow some of these tips to help protect themselves:

• Promptly pick up mail

• Deposit mail close to pick up time

Sat
14
Jan
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January Christmas Tree and Storm Brush Collection

MIDDLETON–In January, unscheduled collection of holiday trees will be made as crew time and weather permit. The city will not guarantee the pick-up of trees or limbs put on the curb after 7 a.m. on Jan. 17. Branches from recent wind damage that are stacked at the curb will also be collected during this time, if not snow covered or frozen to the ground. 

Sat
14
Jan
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Uncompetitive State Senate Race Draws Near Record Campaign Funds: Hesselbein First Woman to Represent District 27

Uncompetitive State Senate Race Draws Near Record Campaign Funds: Hesselbein First Woman to Represent District 27

By Peter Cameron, The Badger Project

WISCONSIN–The race for the 27th State Senate District saw more than $217,000 in campaign funds raised, the second-highest total in history.

State Rep. Dianne Hesselbein, a Democrat from Middleton, brought in more than $124,000 compared to the $93,000 by her Republican challenger, Robert Relph of Cross Plains, according to Follow the Money, an organization which tracks campaign contributions.

And for the first time in history, the district will have a woman representing it in the state Senate.

Hesselbein easily defeated Relph, earning about 68 percent of the more than 96,000 votes cast in the left-leaning district.

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