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New information found in 20-year-old cold case

An effort to find new leads in a 20-year-old death investigation has yielded new information for investigators. The Rock County Coroner’s Office said it has conducted a new round of interviews with witnesses in the case of a teenage boy whose skeletal remains were found near Turtle Creek in 1995. The boy is believed to have died in 1994. The teen has not been identified. On Oct. 16, 1994, residents along Turtle Creek reported seeing a young man, who seemed intoxicated, running and stumbling in the river. The body of a young man wearing similar clothes was found on Nov. 26, 1995, near where the teen was seen in 1994. Investigators said they learned from new interviews conducted Oct. 16 that the teen was calling out the name Mary, which was not previously reported. They also interviewed the husband of one of the witnesses whose testimony was not recorded before. A device was also placed at the site the body was found to gather data that will be used to determine the rate of decomposition the body would sustain over a year. Historical data and research on body decomposition will be used to determine if the body found in 1995 could be the body of the teen seen in the area in 1994. The Smithsonian Institution recently assisted the Rock County Coroner’s office by conducting what’s called "stable isotope analysis" on a piece of bone fragment from the remains. The testing looks for chemical components in bone that come from the water a person drinks. That chemical makeup is matched with the chemical signature of drinking water in other areas of North America to help identify where the boy was from. The test results show the boy was most likely from Wisconsin, Minnesota or Michigan. Officials said the results validate suspicions that the teen is from the area or the region. Investigators eliminated more than 59 potential matches to the body using DNA, dental records and other testing.

Published: Wed, 22 Oct 2014 20:24:17 GMT

Bees attack 25 middle school kids

A swarm of bees stung 25 6th-grade students at Highland Middle School in Fort Worth. "We had several students that were stung from one to 12 times," said Heath Stone, Operations Manager for MedStar. At about 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, the 6th graders were enjoying a game of soccer until they stepped on an irrigation valve box where the bees were nesting underground. That set the bees a buzzin'. "I was just running and I guess the bees saw me and just stung me behind the ear and on my leg," said Isaac Armenariz about being stung multiple times. At first, the students thought the bees were Africanized, tests are still being done to rule that out. But just the thought alarmed parents whose kids were stung. "I don't want to see anybody or any child with anaphylactic shock, so it's got me worried," said Rob Choate. Twenty-one kids got check-ups from school nurses and were released to their parents to ice off the sting. Four others were transported to Cook Children's Medical Center in Fort Worth. As for the bees, well, animal control and exterminator teams were swarming on site to make sure the bees were removed from the area.

Published: Wed, 22 Oct 2014 14:58:53 GMT

Police ask help to ID man in armed robbery surveillance photo

Police asked for the public’s help Wednesday identifying a man from a surveillance image of a convenience store robbery last month. The 7-Eleven at 2703 W. Beltline Highway was robbed by an armed man Sept. 5 shortly after 5 a.m., police said in an earlier news release. Madison police shared a photo of a man -- who appeared to be wearing white and black shorts, a dark T-shirt and a red hat -- standing in the doorway of the 7-Eleven with an arm raised pointing what looks like a handgun. His face was covered with a type of fabric or cloth. A police dog was brought to the scene to track the robber but no one was found. The man is described as black, 6 feet 2 inches tall, with a medium build. Police asked anyone with information on the identity of the robber to contact Madison Area Crime Stoppers at 608-266-6014.

Published: Wed, 22 Oct 2014 17:26:13 GMT

Clouds might hinder view of partial solar eclipse in southern Wisconsin

A partial solar eclipse will be visible in the sky in southern Wisconsin Thursday afternoon and evening, if we're lucky. The moon will move in between the sun and the Earth beginning at 4:33 p.m., casting a shadow on the Earth as it blocks some of the sun's light. It will reach its maximum coverage at 5:41 p.m. when it will cover roughly 60% of the sun's disk. The eclipse will still be ongoing as the sun sets just after 6 p.m. Showers will be moving through the area during the day on Thursday, which means quite a bit of cloud cover, according to News 3 meteorologist Bob Lesh. The showers will likely have passed most of the area by the time the eclipse starts, but the clouds will linger. That means we have to hope for a few holes in the clouds in order to catch a glimpse of the eclipse. If there are some breaks in the clouds, they are likely to be on the western horizon, which is where the sun will be during the eclipse. Protect your eyes While enjoying the view, protect your eyes, NASA says: "Don't stare. Even at maximum eclipse, a sliver of sun peeking out from behind the Moon can still cause pain and eye damage. Direct viewing should only be attempted with the aid of a safe solar filter." There are some old tricks to viewing indirectly, like punching a hole in cardboard and projecting the light seeping through it onto a surface away from the sun. Or let a tree do the work for you. "Overlapping leaves create a myriad of natural little pinhole cameras, each one casting an image of the crescent-sun onto the ground beneath the canopy," NASA says. If you miss this one, the next solar eclipse over North America will occur in about three years -- and it will be a more dramatic and rarer total eclipse.

Published: Wed, 22 Oct 2014 19:45:25 GMT

Task force will research ways to protect Madison?s honeybees

A task force will research the problem of Colony Collapse Disorder, which directly affects honeybees and other pollinators, in the Madison area, according to a release. The Madison Common Council adopted a resolution earlier this month directing the Madison Food Policy Council to lead the task force, which will be composed mainly of city staff, officials said. The task force will provide recommendations to departments and the common council on local solutions to protect pollinators. Madison’s Pollinator Protection Taskforce will monitor the progress of the federal task force, use best practices to inform its work and review relevant recommendations from the federal government, according to the release. “Pollinator loss is a significant issue that threatens our food and agriculture systems,” Madison Mayor Paul Soglin said in the release. “While we appreciate the leadership of the administration, we must look at local options to promote the health of some of our six-legged hardest workers.” City departments that will be part of the task force include parks, engineers, planning and public health, according to the release. It will be led by a small group of members of the Madison Food Policy Council. The task force will review each relevant department’s current practices, best practices from other communities and make recommendations to improve the health and habitat of pollinators on city and private land, officials said. The task force will explore possible changes, like limiting certain pesticides, increasing pollinator-friendly plantings on city land and recommendations from property and homeowners. Task force recommendations are due to the mayor and common council by Aug. 15, 2015.

Published: Thu, 23 Oct 2014 02:19:26 GMT

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

Deputy married inmate he?s accused of sexually assaulting

A former Dane County deputy has married the inmate he’s accused of sexually assaulting. Jeff Hilgers was in court Wednesday on charges of second-degree sexual assault for starting a relationship with an inmate when she was out on electronic monitoring. The criminal complaint said Hilgers was the deputy assigned to the Dane County Jail unit where a 43-year-old Madison woman was an inmate. The woman was released from jail but was on an electronic monitoring program when she and Hilgers allegedly began a sexual relationship after seeing each other in a grocery store. The woman was an inmate during six weeks of the alleged relationship. Hilgers is also charged with eight counts of possessing child porn. During the investigation, officers found images of child pornography on computers in Hilgers' home, according to a criminal complaint. There were 44 files that reportedly contained child pornography. Hilgers resigned before an administrative hearing scheduled for Aug. 14, 2013, Dane County officials said. His preliminary hearing was continued until next month.

Published: Thu, 23 Oct 2014 02:21:21 GMT

Officials investigate claims in body-burning letter

It's been almost a year since 18-year-old Aprina Paul's death. As her family plans an anniversary to celebrate her life, the man convicted of burning her body is claiming in a letter to the family that he is innocent. "At this point it doesn't seem to be legitimate, his claims," said Capt. Todd Christiansen, Rock County Sheriff's Department. Christiansen said this is not the first time Nathan Middleton has tried to claim his innocence. However, it is the first time Paul's family has been contacted by him. The sheriff's department said it wants to make sure Paul's family knows the right person was convicted. "We were familiar with who he is naming in that letter (as the killer)," Christiansen said. "We've been in contact with him and there was no physical evidence at the time to link the him with the house where Aprina's remains were found." A four-page letter was sent to Alice Larrue, Aprina Paul's mother, despite a court order to not contact the family. The letter claims that a man Middleton  knows is responsible for Paul's death. The letter was sent from the Columbia County Correctional Facility, where Middleton is currently serving a 22 1/2 year sentence in prison for hiding and mutilating Aprina Paul's corpse. Christiansen said while the department has had no contact with Middleton to investigate the claims of the letter, the writing and inmate number matched previous letters that he has sent while in prison. However, with several counties involved in the case, Christiansen said it is unclear which department will have jurisdiction. "The DA's office would have to determine if they have jurisdiction to file those contempt charges. It came from a Rock County Court, but the letter was not mailed or received in Rock County. I'm not sure what will happen after that," Christiansen said. Christiansen said an investigation report will be sent to the Rock County District Attorney David O'Leary. O'Leary told News 3 he will not make a comment regarding the case until he has reviewed the sheriff's department's report.

Published: Thu, 23 Oct 2014 01:23:05 GMT

Road reopened after police incident in Middleton

Police have reopened a road in Middleton after a response to suicidal person that ended peacefully. Motorists were asked to avoid the 7100 block of Maywood Avenue Wednesday afternoon. Residents in the area were asked to stay inside and away from windows.  An all clear was given at about 3:50 p.m.

Published: Wed, 22 Oct 2014 21:16:09 GMT

Mengelt roadside memorial allowed to stay until June

A roadside memorial for Maureen Mengelt, who was killed by a drunken driver, will be allowed to stay in its current location in Sun Prairie, according to Kevin Mengelt, Maureen Mengelt’s husband. Kevin Mengelt said he worked with the WisDOT to allow the memorial to stay in its current location until June 1. Maureen Mengelt was killed last year while running near the intersection of Highway 19 and the exit ramp to Highway 151. She was struck and killed by a hit-and-run drunken driver. The roadside memorial was placed near the spot where she died this past summer. It was paid for through donations from businesses and individuals in the community. Prior to constructing the memorial, Jon Freund, the mayor of Sun Prairie, said the city let the Wisconsin DOT know about the project. The land where the memorial sits is owned by the DOT. An anonymous complaint resulted in an order from the WisDOT in September for the removal of the memorial. Almost 5,000 members of the community signed an online petition calling for the memorial to remain. Kevin Mengelt said the plaque will probably be moved before the June 1 deadline to Orfan Park near a bench and some trees that have been put in the park in honor of Maureen. “I was frustrated at times, but I think the resolution will allow us to see it in place for some time, and then try to move it to a location that will incorporate a run and hopefully keep strong memories for my wife around,” Kevin Mengelt said. Mengelt said an anonymous donor has come forward to cover the cost of moving the memorial.

Published: Thu, 23 Oct 2014 03:34:58 GMT

DOT: Lane closures will delay Beltline traffic

Wisconsin Department of Transportation officials said drivers should expect delays Thursday morning on the eastbound Beltline, according to a release. One lane will be closed near Fish Hatchery Road from 9-11 a.m., officials said. The closure is to facilitate maintenance work. Officials urge drivers to slow down and use caution in work zones.

Published: Wed, 22 Oct 2014 23:11:23 GMT

Dane County leaders develop Ebola response plan

While Dane County Emergency Management leaders emphasize there is an extremely small chance Ebola will hit the area, they are developing a written plan for anyone who could be a first point of contact with anyone who has the virus. “How do we work together with hospitals, EMS districts, fire, law enforcement? How does everyone get on the same page at the same time?" DCEM spokesperson J. McLelland said. Along with increasing Ebola response preparedness, medical professionals are asking their patients if they have visited West Africa during routine doctor visits and even while donating blood. A joint statement, which includes the American Red Cross, explains that while Ebola has never been transmitted through a blood transfusion, their screening process includes looking at someone's temperature since fever is a primary Ebola symptom. If the patient’s temperature is more than 99.5 degrees, their blood donation is automatically stopped. While there is not an Ebola blood screening test, the Red Cross and other agencies say donating blood is safe and no one should hesitate giving or receiving it.

Published: Thu, 23 Oct 2014 03:14:54 GMT

3 teens killed in Shawano County crash

Shawano County sheriff's authorities have identified the three teens killed in a highway crash and a fourth who was injured. All four were in a car that crossed the center line on Highway 22 in the Town of Belle Plaine Tuesday evening and was struck by an oncoming SUV. The teens who died in the crash are 15-year-old Paige Brunette, of Bonduel; 17-year-old Cody Borsche, of Shawano and 18-year-old Tyler Welch, of Shawano. Capt. Thomas Tuma said the driver of the car, 17-year-old Ryan Swadner, of Clintonville, survived the crash and is hospitalized in the Fox Valley. Tuma says the accident remains under investigation. Administrators say extra counselors have been brought in at Bonduel High School, where Burnette was a sophomore, and at Shawano High where the other teens went to school.

Published: Wed, 22 Oct 2014 17:02:49 GMT

Dems fault Walker for not seeking preschool grant

Gov. Scott Walker's administration has not applied for up to $60 million in preschool development grants from the federal government, a move Democrats decried as irresponsible. The deadline for states to apply for as much as $250 million from the U.S. departments of Education and Health and Human Services is Friday. Gov. Scott Walker's spokeswoman Laurel Patrick did not say in a prepared statement Wednesday whether the governor would seek the money. But emails obtained by The Associated Press show a Walker adviser indicated earlier this month indicated the grant would not be sought. The adviser said it would be difficult to seek a new grant while administering a different one already in hand.

Published: Wed, 22 Oct 2014 23:13:15 GMT

Reality Check: Group makes questionable claims against Schimel

A third-party group did some deep digging in case files to run an attack ad against Republican attorney general candidate Brad Schimel. The TV spot features pictures of children and the back of a shadowy figure before it launches into claims that Schimel mishandled sex crimes against children. If you jump to the end of the ad, you'll see it's paid for by the Committee for Justice and Fairness, which is the state arm of a Washington, D.C.,-based super PAC. Look at their campaign finance filings and you'll see they've gotten big donations from AFSCME, the union that represents Wisconsin state employees, and $1.3 million from the Democratic Attorneys General Association. "Brad Schimel has a history of letting child predators go free," the ad says. News 3 finds this is misleading. From purely a legal standpoint, a judge decides whether an offender gets jail time or is allowed to go free. District attorneys decide what charges are filed and how they're prosecuted. That's what the ad deals with next. "He repeatedly cut deals in child pornography cases, dismissed charges, let sex offenders avoid prison," the ad says. News 3 finds what's being said in the ad needs clarification, but words on the screen that say Schimel "did not prosecute" a case is false. Schimel agreed to plea deals in the six cases that are shown on the screen during the ad. He did not decline prosecution of any of them. Because of plea deals, the cases didn't go to trial, and as part of those deals some charges were dismissed in exchange for guilty pleas. In 2011, Richard Betow of Green Bay was charged with a felony for using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime, a class C felony that could draw a max of 40 years in prison. He pleaded no contest to that charge as part of a plea deal with Schimel's office and was sentenced by a judge to three years in prison and seven years of extended supervision. In 2012, Donald McDowell of Oswego, Illinois, was charged with possession of child porn, child enticement and sexual assault of a child for a total of four felonies. As part of a plea deal, McDowell pleaded guilty to the greatest felony charge and the other three charges were dismissed and "read-in" at sentencing. A judge sentenced him to three years in prison with five years of extended supervision. In 2010, James VanSlyke of Waukesha was charged with two counts of possession of child pornography. He pleaded guilty to one of those charges and the other was dismissed. He was sentenced by a judge to two years in prison and one year extended supervision. There were two cases where sex offenders were not sent to prison. In one, Donald Slusar of Oconomowoc, was found by federal agents in 2006 to have child pornography on his computer. Six years later, the case was brought to Schimel's office and after a plea deal, a judge sentenced him to 90 days in jail and nine years of probation. In another case, Ned Clesceri of Des Plaines, Illinois, was convicted of sexually assaulting his two nieces when they were children. The then-49-year-old man was accused of the crimes 32 years after the incidents. Schimel prosecuted the case and a judge sentenced Clesceri to eight years of probation. Schimel said he requested both of those sentences in "very unusual" cases in part because of time delays. In the second case, he said the family requested no prison time. Schimel said he stands by the sentences in both cases. "Schimel even cut a deal with no jail time for a man who sexually assaulted a child," the ad says. News 3 finds this is false. The case here is another where a plea deal was cut. Nineteen-year-old Nicholas Miller was charged with fourth-degree sexual assault, sex with a child over 16 and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. As part of the deal, Miller pleaded guilty to two charges and was sentenced to six months in jail and three years of probation. He then broke probation and served another year in jail. The Committee for Justice and Fairness notified stations late Wednesday they would be pulling this version of the ad and replacing it with a new one. The new version uses the same audio claim at the end, but references a new case. News 3 finds that claim needs clarification. Eighteen-year-old Troy Tindall left school during the day with a 14-year-old in November of 2006 and was found having sex with her. He was sentenced to 90 days in the day-reporting program and five years of probation. But that wasn't by Schimel's request. Schimel said he requested "lengthy supervision and significant confinement" in the case, although not a specific number of days or years. A judge decided on the final sentence. If you have an idea for a Reality Check, send it to us at realitycheck@channel3000.com.

Published: Thu, 23 Oct 2014 01:28:20 GMT

Small, white, shaggy dog bites man on west side

A dog bit a man on Madison’s west side Tuesday afternoon, according to a release from the Department of Public Health. The dog bit the man around 5 p.m. in the 1100 block of Merrill Springs Road, officials said. The man was jogging when the incident happened. The dog is described as small, white and shaggy, according to the release. Officials ask anyone with information on the incident to call 255-2345 and ask for the animal services officer.

Published: Wed, 22 Oct 2014 22:39:24 GMT

Former drug task force supervisor sentenced

A judge has sentenced a former Jefferson County drug task force supervisor to eight months in jail for stealing from the team's undercover buy fund. A jury found Timothy Madson guilty of misconduct in office in July. According to the criminal complaint and a state Department of Justice news release, Madson wrote more than $20,000 in checks to himself from the buy fund between 2006 and 2011, claiming he was reimbursing himself for expenses that turned out to be bogus. Waukesha County Circuit Judge Lloyd Carter on Wednesday ordered Madson to serve 18 months' probation with a condition that he spend 240 days in jail. Carter also ordered Madson to pay the task force $10,000 and pay $5,000 in fines.

Published: Wed, 22 Oct 2014 18:56:05 GMT

Fired officer cites Ferguson protests as stressor

A Milwaukee police officer fired after shooting a man in a downtown park says he has debilitating mental health issues tied to the incident and later protests in Ferguson, Missouri, where another officer shot a man. In both cases, the officers were white and the men who died were black. Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn fired Officer Christopher Manney on Oct. 15, saying he instigated the fight that led to the shooting by doing a patdown that wasn't necessary. Manney has appealed his firing. He also applied for duty disability. His application was released Wednesday in response to an open records request. In it, he blames his inability to sleep and think clearly on the shootings in Milwaukee and Ferguson and the negative media attention that followed.

Published: Wed, 22 Oct 2014 22:44:06 GMT

Obama heading to Wisconsin in rare stumping trip

President Barack Obama is stopping in Wisconsin next week to help Democrat Mary Burke in her tight race to unseat Republican Gov. Scott Walker, marking a rare campaign-trail stop for the president. Burke's campaign says Obama will join Burke in Milwaukee on Tuesday. Many Democrats have distanced themselves from Obama ahead of the November election. But he remains more popular in Wisconsin than in most states. A Marquette University Law School poll last week showed that 51 percent of likely voters had a favorable view of Obama, compared with 48 percent who had an unfavorable one. The same poll showed Burke and Walker in a dead heat for the governor's office. First lady Michelle Obama has twice campaigned for Burke. Former President Bill Clinton is expected Friday.

Published: Wed, 22 Oct 2014 20:45:25 GMT

Spring commencement to stay at Camp Randall

University of Wisconsin-Madison commencement will continue in Camp Randall, the university said Wednesday. In May 2014, for the first time in more than two decades, UW-Madison graduates gathered at the Badgers football stadium for the official graduation ceremony. UW-Madison called the May ceremony a success and said spring commencement activities will stay in the stadium and not return to previous smaller ceremonies by area of study that were held at the Kohl Center for the last 25 years. Graduates did not walk across the stage in the Camp Randall ceremony this year, but instead took part in another UW tradition. The university played House of Pain's "Jump Around," a song played at Badgers football games that invites the crowd to bounce between third and fourth quarters. The next spring commencement is scheduled May 16 at noon at Camp Randall. The university said doctoral and professional students will have a separate ceremony in the Kohl Center on May 15 at 5:30 p.m.

Published: Wed, 22 Oct 2014 18:44:47 GMT