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Board looks into whether new 911 system causes radio failures

The Dane County 911 Advisory Board decided at a meeting Wednesday afternoon to hold a special meeting to discuss concerns about first responder radios failing. A growing number of Dane County first responders say the radios they use to call for help are not working. Blue Mounds Police Chief Andy Rose is going as far as saying there will be deadly consequences if the issues with the radios are not fixed. The Dane County 911 Board decided Wednesday to hold a special meeting to discuss whether the county’s new emergency communications system, DaneCom, is causing the problems. But at a Wednesday night meeting with citizens Dane County 911 Director John Dejung said there’s another delay and DaneCom will likely take six more months before it will launch. That’s why he also said the county is now negotiating with the system’s operator to refund their money. Radio communication is $18 million of DaneCom’s budget. And as more and more Dane County officers are reporting radio failures that are happening in the line of duty, the 911 board plans on specifically looking at whether DaneCom’s new antennas are interfering with older radios. During Wednesday afternoon’s 911 board meeting, Dejung said the county tested the system after concerns were raised by police in Stoughton, Mount Horeb and Blue Mounds. In Blue Mounds Rose's radio failed while he was holding a suspect at gunpoint. When the topic turned to emergency radio failures at the Wednesday night meeting, Dejung blamed that most recent Blue Mounds incident on maintenance. “I think the big concern out there by the chief, by the folks is you’ve got this new thing on the block, this DaneCom thing. That must be the problem. We now know this maintenance thing was going on,” Dejung said. Dejung told members at the afternoon meeting that during the test, they made the new DaneCom signal as strong as possible, but it did not disrupt radio signals. But various police chiefs told Dejung that to them it seems the radio failures are becoming more frequent as DaneCom adds new radio frequencies. Dejung said the reported radio failures are his No. 1 priority, and that he is committed to quickly finding a solution. “There are some problems. Some of them might be problems that have occurred for years and years, and we’re just more sensitive to it now and trying to be responsive to it,” Dejung said. Before the board’s special meeting on Sept. 30, the technical committee will meet Friday and try to document the incidents. The committee chair has requested a full report of the incidents be submitted by Wednesday.

Published: Thu, 18 Sep 2014 03:19:34 GMT

Labor official says Walker unsafe in ladder in hole ad

Gov. Scott Walker's opponents have been trying to dig up dirt on him for years, and now they think they've unearthed a nugget. One labor official is criticizing a recent Walker ad -- not for its content but because he says Walker is setting an unsafe example. The ad shows Walker standing in a 6-foot hole. As he touts his Republican record he climbs a ladder to symbolize progress. But the president of the United Steelworkers Local 2006 said Walker is setting a dangerous example. Jeff Kaminiski said Walker isn't wearing safety gear, and the hole is deep enough that the dirt walls should be shored up to prevent a collapse. Walker's campaign didn't immediately return a message late Tuesday. Labor officials are supporting Walker's challenger, Democrat Mary Burke.

Published: Wed, 17 Sep 2014 17:00:26 GMT

Severed head falls out of neighbor's trash bag

A Memphis man who went to police after he saw a severed head in a man's backyard says it's an image he can't forget. On Saturday, police found the severed head and a body at a home in the 3800 block of Dunn Avenue and arrested the man who lives there. Michael Wilson, Jr., is now facing charges of second-degree murder and abuse of a corpse. Lacedric Ruffin said he went to Wilson's home on Dunn to pick up some scrap metal Wilson said he could have. While he was loading items on to his truck, he noticed Wilson pull a large black bag out of a garbage can and try to place it in a metal bucket. Ruffin said the bag started ripping, and a head fell out of it. "I'm like, man, what the hell you got going on, bro? He said something like he didn't mean to kill him. I said, kill who brother? I don't want to know who that is, I don't want to know. You don't got to tell me," Ruffin said. He said Wilson told him there were also two hands inside the garbage bag. He thinks Wilson was planning on putting the severed head on the back of his truck along with everything else. "If that bag hadn't busted, I would have had a head going to the junk yard," said Ruffin. Ruffin, who is on parole, said his fingerprints were on everything in Wilson's backyard and he went straight to police to let them know he had nothing to do with what was going on at Wilson's house. Wilson is being held on $2 million bond.

Published: Wed, 17 Sep 2014 15:06:06 GMT


Published: Tue, 10 May 2011 13:51:57 GMT

Lottery ticket sold in Middleton worth $118K

Wisconsin lottery officials said a ticket sold in Middleton Tuesday night is worth $118,000. The ticket was sold at the PDQ at 7508 Century Avenue and matched all five winning numbers, officials said. The winning numbers were 11, 18, 21, 25 and 29. The ticket holder has 180 days to claim the prize at the lottery’s Madison or Milwaukee offices, or by mail, according to the release. The Badger 5 is a $1 daily lotto game with jackpots that start at $10,000, and goes up a minimum of $1,000 a day until a winning ticket is sold. Players win the rolling jackpot by matching their five numbers to the five winning numbers drawn each night. The odds of winning the Badger 5 jackpot are approximately 1 in 170,000.

Published: Wed, 17 Sep 2014 21:01:06 GMT

Man upset about postage due faces disorderly conduct charge

A Grant County man was arrested Wednesday after yelling at a postal carrier and throwing a coffee mug, officials said. A rural Bloomington postal carrier arrived at 49-year-old Darrel Mish's home at 9044 Krogman Lane in the town of Beetown to deliver two packages, according to a release. Mish got upset at the postal carrier when he was told there was postage due on the two packages, officials said. Mish yelled and swore at the postal carrier, then threw a coffee mug and cellphone at a vehicle. According to the release, Mish paid the postage due on one of the packages, but not on the second package. Mish then punched the second package, causing damage to the package and the item inside, officials said. He then opened the back door of the postal carrier’s vehicle and threw the package inside. Mish was arrested on a tentative disorderly conduct charge.

Published: Wed, 17 Sep 2014 21:56:40 GMT

DOT: Beltline lane shift expected to last until 2016

Long-term lane shifts will start Thursday morning on the westbound Beltline between Verona Road and Whitney Way, according to a Wisconsin Department of Transportation release. Starting Thursday, all westbound Beltline traffic will be shifted to the outside lanes, officials said. The lane shift will last until the spring of 2016. A similar traffic shift will start Saturday morning on the eastbound Beltline between Whitney Way and Verona Road, according to the release. The eastbound lane shift is expected to last until spring 2015. Nightly lane closures will be scheduled in the area of the lane shifts, and preliminary work will start on the Beltline median in the area, according to the release. Officials said traffic shifts will be weather-dependent, and are subject to change.

Published: Wed, 17 Sep 2014 20:30:32 GMT

Man claiming to have weapon robs east side gas station

Madison police are looking for a man who robbed a gas station on Madison’s east side Wednesday night. Around 7 p.m. police were called to the Capitol Petro at 2702 E. Washington Ave. for reports of a man who implied he had a gun during a robbery. The man left with an undisclosed amount of money, police said. The robber is described as white, 5 feet 8 inches to 6 feet tall and 40 or 50 years old with a medium build.

Published: Thu, 18 Sep 2014 02:34:22 GMT

Man pleads in dismemberment slaying

A Wisconsin man has pleaded no contest to a homicide charge after being found competent to stand trial on charges of fatally shooting and dismembering a Minnesota man. Twenty-eight-year-old Kou Thao of Wausau pleaded no contest Wednesday to second-degree intentional homicide in the death of 58-year-old Tong Pao Hang, of St. Paul, Minnesota. Thao pleaded guilty to hiding a corpse and possession of a firearm by a felon. He was accused of shooting and dismembering the victim and taking the body parts to Milwaukee in the spring of 2013. Earlier this year a Marathon County judge ruled Thao was mentally capable of assisting with his own defense. Online court records indicate Thao agreed in court Wednesday that he was competent to proceed. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 21, 2015.

Published: Thu, 18 Sep 2014 00:26:17 GMT

Janesville police fight war on drugs with neighborhood plan

Police in Janesville are trying to fight drug issues in the area after several complaints from community members this summer. In a new approach to fight the war on drugs the Janesville Police Department has put together an eight-step plan to help make residents feel secure. "I'm not a person that scares easily, but they have come for me," said 4th Ward committee spokesperson Burndette Erickson. The 4th Ward in Janesville is a place where children play, but it's also a place of growing concern for some residents in the area. Erickson has lived in the same house in the 4th Ward for 29 years, but he said this summer has brought more crime to the area than he has seen in years. "Drug dealers would lay on my lawn and sell drugs this summer," Erickson said. "I can't be safe if the rest of my neighbors aren't safe. Many of us realize that even if we feel safe for today, the drug dealers close in on us." Over the past five years the police department has put more time and resources into patrolling the area of the fourth ward than any other neighborhood in the city. Now, they are looking to increase security in the targeted areas of Court to Racine streets and Center Avenue to the Rock River, but they are asking for citizens help. "One common theme I was hearing as I spoke to the neighbors is they were seeing these things occurring but they weren't calling us. As we build those partnerships and build that capacity with the citizens, I think we will get more calls," Janesville Chief of Police David Moore said. Moore said the department has not seen a major increase in crime in the area, however he acknowledged instances of people standing in the street and blocking traffic in June and July. Police increased officer presence with $6,000 worth of overtime. However, with growing safety concerns the department has come up with a plan that in large part targets landlords and holds them responsible for renting to drug dealers. "We can keep sending police officers down there for decades to address these issues as they come up, if you truly want to solve it, change the housing conditions, the tenants and that will have a most lasting effect," Moore said. Landlords' names will now be made public through press releases if their property has been identified as a drug house twice in a year. Moore said the department will also supply property owners and tenants with warning letters. The department is also asking residents to leave their porch lights on during the night. Police are also looking to form community partnerships and increase patrols from one officer to one sergeant and four officers spanning all three shifts to help deal with chronic nuisance problems. It’s the lasting effect residents like Erickson have been hoping for. "We want it to be stopped permanently," he said. "When these landlords continue to bring the drug dears to destroy our quality of life, it is survival and we will continue to fight and we do not intend to lose."

Published: Thu, 18 Sep 2014 01:34:39 GMT

Competency evaluation ordered in teen stabbing

A competency evaluation has been ordered for a 13-year-old Racine boy accused of stabbing and injuring an 11-year-old girl last week. A Journal Times of Racine report says public defender Katie Gutowski requested the evaluation Wednesday. She declined to comment on what prompted her request. A court commissioner agreed to order the evaluation. The boy is charged as an adult with attempted first-degree intentional homicide. Prosecutors say he stabbed the girl several times with a pocketknife. Young offenders can try to have their cases moved to juvenile court, where the penalties are less severe and the treatment options are more age-specific. Gutowski didn't immediately return an email asking whether she's considering that option. The Associated Press isn't naming the boy as long as there's a chance his case will be moved to juvenile court.

Published: Thu, 18 Sep 2014 00:29:10 GMT

1 person killed in recycling truck accident

Outagamie County sheriff's authorities say one person has died in a recycling truck accident. The sheriff's department got a call about 6:30 a.m. Wednesday from a citizen in Freedom who saw a person pinned in the mechanism in the back of the recycling truck. Sheriff's deputies are investigating.

Published: Wed, 17 Sep 2014 14:53:45 GMT

Police: La Follette student injured during scuffle with officer

A 17-year-old La Follette High School student suspected of theft was injured while struggling with a police officer, according to a release from Madison police. Officers were called to the school at 11:50 a.m. Wednesday when the officer and the student crashed into an office window resulting in cuts. The student was treated at a hospital and arrested on suspicion of theft and resisting arrest.

Published: Wed, 17 Sep 2014 18:56:36 GMT

Reality Check: Hole ads both have holes

Two new ads for governor have a brand-new star that isn't one of the candidates. It's a great big hole in the ground. "It's a lot easier to dig a hole than to get out of one," Gov. Scott Walker says while standing in a deep trench. "The policies my opponent supports got us in a pretty big hole, raised our taxes, left a massive deficit and cost Wisconsin 133,000 jobs." News 3 finds this needs clarification. The governor is blaming his opponent, Mary Burke for two things -- a state budget and a national recession. As a cabinet secretary in the Department of Commerce, it's unlikely she was directly responsible for either. Doyle's budget while she was secretary, and that she vocally supported, did raise taxes and fees by $1.8 billion in 2007. By the end of 2010, Wisconsin was facing a $3.6 billion deficit, but that deficit and loss of jobs has been at least partially attributed to a nationwide economic slowdown. "Our reforms got us out of the hole," Walker continues, while climbing a ladder. "We cut taxes, eliminated the deficit and created over 100,000 jobs." News 3 finds this also needs clarification. First, every governor is required by state law to eliminate the deficit and balance the budget, which Walker did. His most recent budget cut both income and property taxes and the state has created more than 102,000 jobs since 2010, although not the 250,000 Walker promised in his last campaign. While Walker ends his ad on a ladder outside the hole, Mary Burke argues in her latest ad that the state is still in it. "Hold on, it was Gov. Walker who got us here," an announcer says in the Burke response ad. "His tax breaks for the wealthy helped create a $1.8 billion deficit." News 3 finds this is misleading, in part because that deficit is projected and not actual. Numbers released this month by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau say the state could face a $1.8 billion shortfall by mid-2015. In that time, Walker could cut state spending, revenues could go up or the legislature could pass a budget repair bill eliminating that deficit. Did tax breaks for the "wealthy" cause this problem? Income tax revenues are down so far this year but Walker offered the tax cuts to all income taxpayers, not just one bracket. Who got the most? Forty-four percent of the total tax cut went to those making $100,000 or more, but people making $10,000-$30,000 got the highest percentage of their tax bill cut. Walker also cut some taxes for businesses in the state. Over four years the impact is estimated at $610 million. While we're looking at that hole, some state steelworkers have filed a complaint with OSHA about whether Walker shot that ad safely, saying he wasn't wearing proper gear and the hole wasn't shored up. An OSHA official told the Wisconsin State Journal they aren't in the business of "retroactively citing someone for something that no longer exists." If you have an idea for a Reality Check, send it to us at

Published: Thu, 18 Sep 2014 00:59:03 GMT

Madison teen charged with passing counterfeit checks

A Madison woman was charged with two counts of passing a counterfeited check with the intent to defraud, according to a release from the office of U.S. Attorney John Vaudreuil. The indictment alleges that on March 26 Markisha M. Teague, 19, cashed a U.S. Treasury check on which the original payee’s name had been replaced with the name Markisha Mynyanna Teague, and the original amount of $1,106 had been replaced with the amount $5,663.76. The indictment also alleges that on April 1 she cashed a check on which the original payee’s name had been replaced with the name Markiesha M. Teague, and the original amount of $1,099 had been replaced with the amount of $5,696.78. If convicted, Teague faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison on each count.

Published: Wed, 17 Sep 2014 22:13:24 GMT

Officials ID woman killed in Dodge Co. crash

One person was killed and seven others were injured in a five-car chain reaction crash in Rubicon. The Dodge County Sheriff's Office responded to the crash on Highway 60 near County Road P just after 6 p.m. Tuesday.  A preliminary investigation found several vehicles were going east on Highway 60 and had stopped due to a traffic backup near County Road P, according to a release. A pickup truck failed to stop and rear ended another vehicle, setting off a chain reaction involving five vehicles. A total of 12 people were involved. Seven people were injured and transported to Hartford and Summit hospitals for treatment. Cheryl M. Notz, 69, of Warren, Missouri, was killed in the crash. The seven people injured in the crash were a 25-year-old man from Mayville, a 26-year-old woman from Iron Ridge, a 56-year-old woman from Hartford, an 84-year-old man from Hustisford, an 81-year-old woman from Hustisford, a 35-year-old woman from West Bend, and a 85-year-old man from Missouri. The crash remains under investigation.

Published: Wed, 17 Sep 2014 22:34:29 GMT

Police release surveillance footage of Saturday morning battery

Madison police are looking for help identifying several persons of interest seen in surveillance footage of a battery incident Saturday. A man was hospitalized after he was knocked unconscious in a fight early Saturday morning, police said. A 24-year-old was walking with a friend when he began arguing with several men on the 400 block of West Mifflin Street at 3:30 a.m., Madison police said. The argument turned into a physical fight and the 24-year-old was knocked unconscious, police said. The men were between 18-23 years old. Police said there were several men involved in the fight, though it wasn't clear how many. The attackers were traveling in a Chevy Suburban, which is also visible in the surveillance footage. Police ask anyone with information on the incident to contact the Madison Area Crime Stoppers at 608-266-6014. Surveillance video Surveillance video 2

Published: Wed, 17 Sep 2014 19:43:28 GMT

Officials look for info on dog bite incident near Sun Prairie

Department of Public Health officials are looking for information regarding a dog that bit a woman near Sun Prairie Tuesday. The incident happened around 6:30 p.m. on a path near Town Hall Drive while the woman was jogging, officials said. The dog is described as resembling a Doberman, and was being walked on a leash along with a second white, fluffy dog by a woman in her 50s, according to a release. Officials ask anyone with information on the incident to call 608-255-2345 and ask for the animal services officer.

Published: Wed, 17 Sep 2014 22:16:37 GMT

Drivers experience delays due to trains

More rail traffic in Wisconsin is leading to more blocked railroad crossings, a trend that is affecting drivers across the state. The Reporter Media reports that a Canadian National train blocked Highway 175 south of Fond du Lac earlier this month, creating problems for both law enforcement and drivers. Law enforcement in Winnebago County frequently hears about trains blocking intersections, and Wisconsin Railroad Commissioner Jeff Plale says there are similar complaints from Kenosha to Superior. Plale says there are more trains on the system than at any time in the past decade. He says the increased traffic is due partly to the state's proximity to Chicago. Rail carriers are busy moving crude oil from the Dakotas to refineries across the county and sand used in hydraulic fracturing.

Published: Wed, 17 Sep 2014 20:03:53 GMT

Sheriff's captain accidentally shoots self

A Marathon County sheriff's captain is recovering after accidentally shooting himself in the hand at a police shooting range. Sheriff's department officials say Capt. Greg Bean was cleaning his handgun when the accident happened Tuesday in the Town of Mosinee. WAOW-TV reports Bean was taken to Aspirus Wausau Hospital. Authorities say Bean is alert, talking and is expected to be OK.

Published: Tue, 16 Sep 2014 21:42:46 GMT