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City Works To Restore Lakeview Fishing Pond

A city employee is spearheading an ambitious plan to transform the pond at Lakeview Park from a morass of overgrown weeds into a sustainable fishery. And he wants to do it without using any tax dollars.

Kurt Breunig, a Middleton Public Lands Department worker, is focusing on making the three-acre fishing hole particularly accessible and welcoming for young anglers and disabled individuals.

In a sense, the project began several decades ago, when a young Breunig began experiencing the great outdoors with his father.

“I’ve been fishing with him since I was five years old, and not just once or twice a year but all the time,” he recalled. “We’d go to Governor Dodge [State Park], and I remember always stopping for ice cream on the way home.”

Years later, Breunig still enjoys fishing with his father, who now uses a wheelchair.

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High School To Host Relay For Life

Looking for a feel-good story after the tragic events in Boston this week?

Middleton High School, 2100 Bristol St., will host Relay for Life Saturday and Sunday. MHS will be the first high school in Dane County to put on a Relay for Life event.

Relay for Life will begin Saturday at 6 p.m. and conclude Sunday at 6 a.m. Due to the predicted cold weather, all activities will take place in the MHS Field House, Concourse and Main Gym. Nearly 320 students have signed up to participate and as of Thursday $31,891 has been raised.

An Opening Ceremony will begin at 6 p.m., followed by Survivor and Caregivers laps. Among those participating will be the Lisa and Jeff Helmuth. Their youngest son, James, a fifth-grader at Elm Lawn Elementary School, died on March 23 after a 13-month battle with a rare and unusual form of cancer.

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May 5 Flag Football Game Will Benefit Alzheimer’s Association

Middleton High School and the Alzheimer’s Association are teaming up next month.

A Blondes vs. Brunettes flag football game will be held on Sunday, May 5 at noon at  Breitenbach Stadium.  Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the stadium the day of the game. MHS DECA is helping promote the event and student volunteers will work the game along with members of the school’s Key Club.

The two teams are divided based on the age-old rivalry between blondes and brunettes, while increasing awareness of Alzheimer’s disease among a new generation. If you’re wondering, redheads are free agents and will be permitted to play for the team of their choice. Funds raised will benefit the care, support, advocacy and research efforts of the Alzheimer’s Association. 

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Savage Beauty

Falconer David Zilker, accompanied by a female red-tailed hawk named “Miss Genoa,” gave an educational presentation to the Friends of Pheasant Branch on Thursday, March 21.

Middletonians packed into Clark Street Community School, where Zilker spoke about the ancient art of hunting with birds of prey, as well as explaining the important environmental role these stunning predators play. Zilker is director of the Wisconsin Falconers Association-Southwest Region.

Citizens can join the Friends of Pheasant Branch Conservancy for free Conservancy Day programs on the third Thursday of every month. RSVPs are appreciated by organizers, and should be sent to Colleen at 608-767-2394 or education@pheasantbranch.org.

All programs are family friendly, unless otherwise noted below:


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Dead Of The Night Is Comedic Horror Romp

One day, as Robert Love watched the opening sequence in a hit video game for which he’s written the script, he realized his aesthetic sensibilities would have prompted him to choreograph some of the action differently.

An enthusiastic adherent to the “learn by doing” philosophy, Love, a writer and voiceover director at Raven Software in Middleton, figured he’s try getting behind a camera, and he started making short films.

Fast-forward to March 24 of this year, when Love’s debut feature film, “Dead of the Night,” premiered before a sold out crowd at Sundance Cinemas in Madison.

“This was a three-year project. It’s probably good I didn’t know from the start how much work it would be, or I might not have done it,” he says, pausing to correct himself with a grin. “I definitely still would have done it.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.


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