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Police: Man breaks into Verona church, threatens to set it on fire

Verona police said one man has been arrested after he broke into a church on the city's south side late Thursday night and threatened to set the building on fire. The incident started just after 11 p.m. at St. James Lutheran Church in the 400 block of South Main Street in Verona. According to police, officers were dispatched to the church following an intrusion alarm. When police arrived, they found a broken window and thought someone might have been trying to commit a burglary inside the church. Police said the man inside the church at the time called 911, reported he had a gun and was going to start shooting and set the church on fire. The Dane County Sheriff’s Office – Tactical Response Team and Hostage Negotiation Team were called to the church to assist, according to the police department. Police said the man inside surrendered peacefully about 3 ½ hours later. Police said he was transported to a local hospital for what appeared to be pre-existing injuries. Police continue to work on positively identifying the man and determine his motive for breaking into the church.

Published: Fri, 28 Nov 2014 13:22:46 GMT

Wedding ring lost in bowling alley found 8 years later

A lost wedding ring was found underneath the gutters of Verona's old Wildcat Lanes by a volunteer cleaning up what is now the Sugar River United Methodist Church. The ring belonged to Justin Blair and had been missing for eight years. One night with his bowling league Blair threw his first ball; at the same time, he felt his ring go off. His wife Becky got an unexpected phone call. "He called me from bowling league and said he was going to be late coming home because he had lost his wedding ring off his finger," Becky remembered. Justin called on dozens of other bowlers to help with the search, but by the end of the night they came up with nothing. "I was upset," said Becky. The couple returned the next day to search, but found nothing. Over the course of the next eight years, the pair stayed in touch with the bowling alley. Justin checked pawn shops across Dane County. At one stop in Monona, a worker at a pawn shop told him chances were the ring was found, melted and sold because the price of gold was high at the time. "At the point I figured it was gone," said Justin. At one point, Becky and Justin were on their way to a tattoo parlor to get an inked version of the ring. Justin opted for a cheap replacement ring. Then in 2014 Becky heard a church would replace the old Wildcat Lanes. Figuring the lanes would be torn up, she asked the church for help. The Blair's knew it was a shot in the dark, but months later they heard the news they had been hoping for. "Her phone beeped, she had just gotten an email and she just started laughing. She said, "I'll be danged they found that ring," recalled Justin. When they arrived at the church to pick up the ring, parishioners were thrilled and began taking pictures of the couple. "I was surprised how clean it was when I saw it in person. It had just been sitting there doing nothing," Justin said. The Blairs had the ring re-sized immediately, and since then it has not left Justin's finger. Since the ring first went missing, the Blair's had a son, James, and are now expecting their second child. 

Published: Fri, 28 Nov 2014 01:49:37 GMT

Lines, brawls mark Black Friday 2014

Black Friday is here. And so are the long lines and brawls that go with it.

Published: Fri, 28 Nov 2014 17:14:12 GMT

3 for 3 : Three viewer questions answered by News 3

Recently we asked our viewers on social media to ask us some good questions or tell us what they’d like to see covered in the news. Some of you asked some really thoughtful and tough questions. This week we attempted to answer three of your inquiries. Here goes nothing. QUESTION 1: Linda asked, “What’s the average water bill for two people or for a family of four in our viewing area?” ANSWER: We called Madison Water Utility and they said the average bill for two people can range from $41.75 to $53 a month.  For a four-person home, you’re looking at $66 to $80.  That bill also includes storm water, so if you’re renting, your bill could be less than the figures mentioned. QUESTION 2: Michael asked, “Why are the Madison Scouts and Bugle Corps now based out of Indianapolis instead of Madison?” ANSWER: We spoke with the executive director of the scouts, and he told us the group is still based in Madison.  However, in 2010, the group needed to find a more centralized location since its members come from all over the country.  The group meets once a month for rehearsal in Indianapolis because it needed an airport that would be more accommodating and less prone to weather cancellations. QUESTION 3: Jennifer said she wanted “gift ideas for the ‘penny pinching’ parent.” ANSWER: This one was a little tough because we weren’t sure if the family likes to craft, try things on Pinterest or what their interests may be.  However, we asked two of the nation’s popular and professional smart shopper bloggers. Jenny Martin from gave us a few tips on how to get the best out of Black Friday shopping -- she says most stores will now offer the same deals online. And she urges people to use price matching at stores like Target, Walmart and Toys R Us to save the most money. Tracie Fobes from encourages shoppers to take a buddy if they decide to brave the crowds and split the shopping list in half.  For her, it’s all about strategy.

Published: Fri, 28 Nov 2014 19:52:35 GMT

Fans buzzing over new 'Star Wars' trailer

"Star Wars" fans are buzzing over the trailer for the latest installment of the epic sci-fi franchise. The film, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," is directed by J.J. Abrams. It's set for release in December 2015.

Published: Fri, 28 Nov 2014 17:04:32 GMT


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

Idaho Police: Wisconsin man had 47 pounds of pot

A Wisconsin man has been jailed in Idaho after police say a traffic stop led to the discovery of 47.1 pounds of marijuana and $2,452 in cash. Idaho State Police say 56-year-old Peter Laurenzano of Milwaukee was eastbound on Interstate 86 in southeastern Idaho on Wednesday afternoon when he was stopped and taken into custody. Laurenzano on Friday remained in the Bannock County Jail facing charges of felony trafficking and possession of drug paraphernalia. Police said the marijuana is worth about $144,000.

Published: Fri, 28 Nov 2014 17:55:42 GMT

Suspected drunken driving crash leaves 1 dead

Authorities are holding a 29-year-old driver in a suspected drunken driving crash that left a passenger dead in Milwaukee. The single-vehicle crash happened around 2:15 a.m. Thursday. Police say an SUV was northbound on North 91st Street when it left the roadway, hit the median, and struck a light pole and two trees before rolling over. The 30-year-old passenger was partially ejected from the vehicle. She died at the scene. Her name was not immediately released. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported the driver faces preliminary charges of homicide by the intoxicated use of a motor vehicle and operating after revocation, causing a death. Police say he had a revoked license and a prior conviction for drunken driving.

Published: Fri, 28 Nov 2014 17:55:34 GMT

Mystery body found in 1982 remains unidentified

Authorities have produced a new reconstructive photo in hopes of finally identifying a woman whose body was found in the Milwaukee River more than 32 years ago. An off-duty Wauwatosa firefighter was checking his boat docked along the Milwaukee River on March 16, 1982, when he saw a woman's body wedged between two metal barrels attached to a floating pier in the river. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported investigators at the Milwaukee County medical examiner's office hope the new photo will help identify her. Jane Doe 1982 is estimated to have been 15 to 25 years old, although investigator Michael Simley says she could have been as old as 35. She was in the river as long as three months. He says she has to be missed by someone. ___ Information from: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,

Published: Fri, 28 Nov 2014 15:37:14 GMT

Robber tells clerk to kneel, wait 5 mins. before calling police

A dry cleaning store was robbed Wednesday evening in Middleton, police said. Middleton police responded to a report of an armed robbery at Klinke Cleaners on North Gammon Road at 5:45 p.m. A man entered the store, confronted the clerk and displayed a handgun that was tucked into the waistband of his pants, according to the report. He demanded all the money from the cash drawer, then asked for the money in the drive-up window cash drawer. The robber ordered the clerk to kneel on the floor and wait five minutes before calling police, according to the report. The robber fled with an unknown amount of cash in an unknown direction. Middleton and Madison officers and a K-9 unit assisted at the scene. The robber was described as black, about 6 feet tall wearing a knee-length wool coat with a scarf over his face. The clerk was not injured in the robbery, police said. Police asked anyone with information regarding the robbery to contact Middleton police by calling or texting 608-824-7300.

Published: Thu, 27 Nov 2014 16:19:05 GMT

PHOTOS: Edgewater opens outdoor rink

Ribbon was cut Friday on an outdoor skating rink at the Edgewater Hotel.

Published: Fri, 28 Nov 2014 17:03:12 GMT

Police: Women scream, yell, throw flower pots during disturbance

A Madison woman will be cited for disorderly conduct for her involvement in a fight with another woman on the east side early Wednesday morning, police said. Madison police were sent to the 5000 block of Camden Road just before 1 a.m. for reports of a disturbance possibly involving a gun, according to a release. Officers arrived and said the gun may have been taken from the scene, officials said. Officers on the way to the scene found a blue vehicle a short distance away that matched the description of a potential suspect vehicle, according to the release. Police spoke with Daviette Dykinga, 32, of Madison, who said she was inside the Camden Road apartment, officials said. Dykinga said she was abruptly woken up and told she needed to leave immediately by the 48-year-old female resident. Dykinga told police she tried to leave, but discovered that her keys and money had been taken from her purse. Dykinga got into an argument with the 48-year-old woman, during which shirt collars were grabbed and a television and table were knocked over, according to the release. Several people told police Dykinga was screaming and yelling expletives as the 48-year-old continued to tell her to leave. Officers at the scene found several flower pots and plants that had been thrown down the stairwell landing at the residences, authorities said. Dykinga eventually left, kicking several walls on her way out, according to the release. Dykinga will be cited for disorderly conduct, police said. After talking with Rory McDowell, 38, of Madison, during the incident, police discovered numerous warrants for his arrest, and he was taken into custody on those charges. McDowell was wanted on charges of criminal damage to property, disorderly conduct and unlawful use of a telephone. Police said no weapon was found during the investigation.

Published: Wed, 26 Nov 2014 23:44:19 GMT

Cooking oil, holiday lights can be recycled

Madison residents can recycle cooking oil used on Thanksgiving and holiday lights and extension cords that might be coming out of storage in the coming weeks. Residents who want to recycle cooking oil are asked to take the oil to collection tanks at one of two drop-off sites at 1501 W. Badger Rd. and 4602 Sycamore Ave. It should not be taken to waste oil sites. The oil can be turned into fuel for cars and trucks. Old or broken holiday lights can also be taken to the drop-off sites and be put into special containers. The bulbs should be removed from strings of lights with the large bulbs. Bulbs do not need to be removed from strings of mini lights. The drop-off sites are closed Friday but will be open this weekend from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. The sites will be open seven days a week from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday evenings until 8 p.m. through Sunday Dec. 7. After Dec. 7, the sites are open winter hours, which are Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. until 3 p.m.

Published: Fri, 28 Nov 2014 17:49:59 GMT

Hundreds line up for Black Friday beer

Some people wait outside in the cold overnight for cheap TVs or computers. People in Wisconsin do it for beer. A few people stood overnight outside Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee but most people arrived early Friday to get a shot at the limited edition Imperial Stout Aged in Bourbon Barrels. The brewery only had 5,000 22-ounce bottles and they were gone within 3½ hours. Brewery spokesman Matt Krajnak estimated around 800 people were in line by the time the doors opened at 8 a.m., when it was snowing and about 15 degrees. Owner Russ Klisch says Black Friday is their biggest day of the year. They also had a DJ, breakfast and of course — tap beer. This is the fourth year the brewery has had Black Friday beers.

Published: Fri, 28 Nov 2014 19:09:19 GMT

Single-vehicle crash leads to 3rd OWI charge

A single-vehicle crash in the town of Decatur Monday afternoon led to a third drunken-driving charge for an Illinois man, officials said. The Green County Sheriff's Department said 33-year-old Benjamin W. Houghton, of Freeport, Illinois, was driving north on County Road OK at 1:08 p.m. when the vehicle went off the road, into the ditch and collided with the embankment. Houghton was taken to the Monroe Clinic ER for possible injuries, according to the report. The vehicle sustained minor front-end damage and was towed, the sheriff's department said. Houghton was arrested on suspicion of third-offense operating a vehicle while intoxicated, operating a vehicle without an ignition interlock device, open intoxicants, criminal operating after revocation and expired registration, according to the report. He was also arrested on a Rock County warrant for failure to appear in an OWI third-offense causing injury. The Green County Sheriff's Department said it wasn't known whether Houghton was wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash or whether he had insurance. The air bag did not deploy.

Published: Thu, 27 Nov 2014 22:45:40 GMT

Police hope picture will help ID owner of found property

Janesville police say some found property may be identifiable based on a photo found with the item, according to a news alert. A Janesville resident found property in a Janesville neighborhood on the north side, officials said. The owner of the property is unknown, but a photo associated with the property may reveal the owners identity. Officials ask anyone who recognizes anyone in the picture to contact Lt. Terry Sheridan at 608-755-3100.

Published: Thu, 27 Nov 2014 01:46:47 GMT

Madison police question benefits of body cameras

As a growing number of police departments nationwide equip officers with body-worn cameras, Madison police issued a report questioning some benefits of the devices are whether they're worth the nearly $1 million estimated price tag. The department plans to present the report to the Madison City Council on Tuesday, the Wisconsin State Journal reported. Capt. Kristen Roman, who prepared the report, said it examines the pros, cons and costs of body cameras, but that officers aren't taking a position on whether to support their use or not. Some Madison officers will start wearing body cameras in 2016, as part of a pilot program. The report notes that studies have shown that departments using the cameras have seen fewer citizen complaints, but it also says more research is needed to see if the cameras actually bolster trust in officers. The report refers to a study by the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs, saying the "perceived benefits of body-worn video are largely that — perceived." "It is too soon to fully understand the impact that their use has or may have on the relationship between officers and members of the community," the report states. The report ultimately asks: "Whether or not what we gain from implementing a (camera) program as a department and a community is worth the extraordinary financial cost of doing so." Police estimate that the department will have to spend $955,447 to implement a citywide body camera program. That includes about $468,000 to buy the cameras, as well as $247,000 for data storage and $240,000 to hire three employees to manage records. Issues of privacy and public data are also concerns. "It is a complex issue, and there are no easy solutions or technological fixes to what, in the end, is a matter of trust," the report said. Alderman Scott Resnick, who introduced resolutions that prompted the report and the pilot program, called the study "a first step to kick off the process of implementing body cameras." He said he understood the department's skepticism, but said many other departments have used the cameras and "real-world examples" show they are worth it. He also said the cameras' cost represents a small part of the department's budget.

Published: Fri, 28 Nov 2014 13:19:40 GMT

1 man dies in house fire near Superior

One man has died in a house fire near Superior in northwestern Wisconsin. It happened around 1:30 a.m. Thursday in the Town of Superior. Crews arrived to find the lower floor of the two-story house engulfed. The Douglas County Sheriff's Office says several family members were able to escape, but 28-year-old Zebulun Downey did not. WDIO-TV reported he was last seen in the basement trying to put the fire out. The sheriff's office said the fire spread so quickly that the entire structure collapsed in about 15 minutes, but crews remained on the scene until mid-afternoon to recover the body.

Published: Fri, 28 Nov 2014 13:26:30 GMT

Badgers rally, top Georgetown 68-65 in Bahamas

Duje Dukan thought he had created a turnover with a held ball. The referees said he was guilty of a foul instead. It's a play that won't make highlight reels, won't get pointed to in any boxscore. But it sparked No. 2 Wisconsin into finding a way to survive its first test this season. Sam Dekker scored 17 points, Nigel Hayes' acrobatic tip-in with 20 seconds left capped his 15-point day, and Wisconsin overcame a nine-point second-half deficit to beat upset-minded Georgetown 68-65 on Thursday in the Battle 4 Atlantis semifinals. "I have bruises," Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan said. "And I was watching." The Badgers hadn't trailed in the second half this season, but found themselves down 53-44 with 11:36 left. A 22-6 run put Wisconsin (5-0) up for good, and the Badgers could finally exhale when D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera's 3-pointer rimmed out as time expired. Smith-Rivera, who was 5 for 5 from beyond the arc until the game's final shot, led all scorers with 29 for Georgetown (4-1). "It was a fairly good look," Smith-Rivera said. "I knew they were going to trap me coming off the screen, so I kind of wanted to take them away and come back and get a better look at the basket. But it didn't go down." Wisconsin will face Oklahoma in Friday's title game. Georgetown, which got 10 points from Joshua Smith, will play Butler in an all-Big East matchup for third place. "These first two games have felt like Big East games, to be honest with you," Georgetown coach John Thompson III said. "So why not make it official tomorrow?" Bronson Koenig tied a career best with 14 points for Wisconsin, which survived despite a six-point, 1-for-8 shooting day from standout center Frank Kaminsky. Dukan was called for a foul with 7:25 left, arguing it to no avail. He took his frustration out on the Hoyas instead. Dukan scored all eight of his points in the next 80 seconds, turning a four-point deficit into a two-point Wisconsin lead with 6:04 left and the Badgers didn't trail again. He also dove for a loose ball after Kaminsky missed a free throw, and on that extended possession Koenig made a jumper for a 62-59 lead with 4:27 left. "That kind of was the trigger point for me," Dukan said. "Got me amped up." Georgetown's players didn't get back to their hotel rooms until around 1 a.m. Friday, thanks to the Hoyas needing overtime to beat No. 18 Florida 66-65 in the quarterfinals. Less than 15 hours later, they tipped off against the Badgers. Rest might be overrated: The Hoyas made their first six shots. Midway through the second half, Georgetown was at 61 percent shooting for the game, but the Hoyas missed eight of their final 10 shots. For the game, Wisconsin had nine assists and 14 turnovers, while Georgetown had seven assists and 15 turnovers. "That's how hard we were playing each other," Ryan said. TIP-INS Georgetown: The Hoyas were playing Wisconsin for the first time since Dec. 28, 1982, the season after Georgetown lost to Michael Jordan and North Carolina in the NCAA title game. ... Georgetown was just 1 for 2 from the foul line in the first half, while Wisconsin was 13 for 18. Wisconsin: Among the musical selections blaring during Wisconsin games at Atlantis: The march "On, Wisconsin!" and "Jump Around," traditionally played before fourth quarters of football games at Camp Randall Stadium. ... G Josh Gasser started his 110th game. Syracuse's Rakeem Christmas (114) is the only active Division I player with more starts than Gasser. KAMINSKY'S DAY It was the 34th time in Kaminsky's career that he took at least eight shots from the floor. He had never shot worse than 30 percent in any of those games, until Thursday. LOST CONTROL Georgetown trailed 35-34 at the half, despite Wisconsin being ahead for only 56 seconds in the first 20 minutes. For the game, the Hoyas trailed for just 9:04. UP NEXT Georgetown: Faces Butler in Friday's third-place game. Wisconsin: Faces Oklahoma in Friday's championship game.

Published: Fri, 28 Nov 2014 01:56:52 GMT

Gophers, Badgers meet for axe, Big Ten West title

For once, elusive running back Melvin Gordon got stuck in a crowd on the field. It happened at Minnesota on Nov. 23, 2013, a 20-7 victory for Wisconsin. The Badgers won their 10th straight in the not-so-friendly Big Ten rivalry. Some pushing and shoving ensued after Wisconsin claimed Paul Bunyan's Axe for another year. Expect another chippy affair Saturday when No. 22 Minnesota (8-3, 5-2) and No. 14 Wisconsin (9-2, 6-1) meet again — and not just for that old-fashioned trophy. The winner claims the Big Ten West crown and a berth in next week's league title game against East Division champion Ohio State. "It's a rivalry game, neither of us like each other. ... Let's not try to sugarcoat it," said Gordon, the Badgers' Heisman Trophy candidate. Tensions reached a new level after the Badgers' victory last year in Minneapolis. Wisconsin went over to ceremoniously "chop" down the goal post in front of the Minnesota student section. That's where memories start to get a little blurry, depending on who you talk to. The Gophers encircled the goal post and denied access to the Badgers. Minnesota players apparently were in the middle of a postgame group song. The scene got tense, though it never escalated beyond the short shoving match. "I was in the mix," Gordon said this week with a wide grin. He didn't elaborate. Minnesota receiver K.J. Maye said the encounter was misinterpreted by some as the Gophers wanting to fight the Badgers. "But it wasn't nothing like that," Maye said. "We took the loss like men, and we went back to the locker room and moved on." A year later, they're actually doing quite well. Minnesota has cracked The Associated Press poll for the first time in more than six years. Its confidence is sky-high after rallying from a 14-point deficit last week to beat Nebraska in Lincoln. Some things to watch when the schools wrap up the regular season on Saturday: LAST RUN: Gordon is playing it coy, though it would be a shocker if the junior decided to return to Wisconsin next season. That means the Minnesota game is likely his last appearance at Camp Randall Stadium. Gordon won't be introduced with the 18 players to be honored in Senior Day ceremonies, though expect the star running back to get a hero's farewell anyway, win or lose. HEISMAN HOPES: Another clutch performance in a big game would stuff Gordon's already jam-packed Heisman resume. The nation's leading rusher at 191.7 yards per game is currently tied with former Badgers back Ron Dayne for the Big Ten single-season rushing record of 2,109 yards. "If it was all over today and we were sitting here talking about Melvin Gordon, it's been a tremendous ride and one I will never forget that I was able to be around the kid and be part of his life for two years," coach Gary Andersen said this week. TRAINER'S ROOM: Andersen said he's preparing as if Minnesota will have its own star running back in David Cobb, though coach Jerry Kill said at midweek that Cobb was "very questionable" after pulling his left hamstring in the Nebraska game. Berkley Edwards is next in line, though he had a concussion against Nebraska. Donnell Kirkwood and Rodrick Williams could also get carries. But they can't match the production of Cobb, a 1,400-yard rusher with 12 touchdowns. MINNESOTA MILESTONES: The Gophers are looking to win six Big Ten games for the first time since 1973 and win all big three trophy games (Wisconsin/Iowa/Michigan) in the same season for the first time since 1967. A program once perceived as one of the Big Ten's perennial down-on-its-luck teams is a victory away from playing for a conference championship. AXE TO GRIND: Wisconsin said it was instituting a new policy for the postgame axe celebration to try to avoid a confrontation similar to the one last year at Minnesota. Instead of being situated on the sideline in the second half, the axe will be placed near the goal post closest to the locker room for the winning team. This allows the losing team to get off the field. "I'm more worried about our game," Kill said. "We hadn't beat them in, what, 10 years? There's supposed to be a rivalry, so you have to win to make it a rivalry." ___ AP Sports Writer Dave Campbell in Minneapolis contributed to this report. ___ Follow Genaro Armas at

Published: Fri, 28 Nov 2014 13:36:19 GMT