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Driver dead in raceway accident

A Sprint Series driver died Saturday night while warming up before an event at the Beaver Dam Raceway. The Beaver Dam Fire Department confirmed to News 3 that a fatal incident occurred during the evening races at the track. Fire officials say they received a call around 6:11 p.m. of an accident.  Beaver Dam Police Chief John Kreuzinger said the driver is a 47-year-old from Brookfield, Wisconsin. His name is not being released pending notification of family.  Beaver Dam Racetrack Manager, Carolyn Mueller said the driver who died has been racing for years. She said he was part of the second group of cars warming up. She said during the warm-up, the driver's car hit another driver's car, then hit a wall. Mueller confirms the other driver was not seriously injured. Chief Kreuzinger said the car flipped before hitting the wall. He said there were 10 other cars on the track at the time of the crash. According to the Beaver Dam Raceway and Bumper to Bumper IRA Outlaw Sprint Series web pages, a series of Sprint Car races were scheduled for Saturday night.  A voicemail recording at the raceway now says any events have been cancelled. We reached an IRA official by phone who said she could not comment on the incident at this time. Mueller said fans were sent home and given an option of a refund for their tickets, but many chose to donate to the driver's family, instead.

Published: Sun, 21 Sep 2014 03:41:21 GMT

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

Gordon, No. 19 Badgers trample Bowling Green

Melvin Gordon rushed for career highs of 253 yards and five touchdowns, and No. 19 Wisconsin ran for a Big Ten-record 644 yards to trample Bowling Green for a 68-17 victory Saturday. Gordon had 179 yards and four scores by halftime alone before dashing for a 69-yard touchdown on his first carry of the second half. He silenced any doubters worried about his 38-yard outing the previous game. The Badgers (2-1) forced two turnovers on back-to-back possessions by the Falcons (2-2) in the first half to break open a close game. Gordon capitalized each time with scores before closing the half with a 21-yard touchdown run for the highlight reel. The team rushing total was the most in the Big Ten's modern era, dating back to 1946.

Published: Sat, 20 Sep 2014 20:05:34 GMT

Same woman first in line for iPhone 6 as last year's iPhone 5S launch

People lined up outside stores like AT&T, Best Buy and Apple around Madison, waiting to get their hands on a new iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus. The phones were made available in stores Friday. Edna Miller was first in line at AT&T on the city's west side. She arrived at 9 p.m. Thursday. "Because I want to leave right away. I want to be done. I don't know, maybe because I just want to be first in line," said Miller, laughing when asked why she stayed overnight. This was Miller's second time being first in line for the newest iPhone at this location. She started the line last year when the iPhone 5S hit stores. Employees underwent multiple practice sessions to prepare for this day. Many stores opened early at 8 a.m. A spokesperson with AT&T said this year's enhancements include size, a faster processing chip and improved HD camera are some of the reasons why consumers were anxious to purchase the new smartphones. When the store opened its doors Miller walked straight to an employee she worked with before. Her eyes were set on an iPhone 6 Plus with 128 GB. She said she needs a phone that will hold all the pictures and videos of her grandson Nathan. Workers allowed groups of seven in one at a time. It took roughly 20 minutes to get Miller set up. Phone in hand, Miller was ecstatic to be the first in and out of the store. The new phones are the biggest and fastest Apple has ever made. Apple said they pre-sold a record four million iPhones last week.

Published: Sat, 20 Sep 2014 22:46:45 GMT

Man reportedly slumped over wheel suspected of 5th OWI

Rock County authorities said a driver who was found slumped over the wheel in a Newville gas station parking lot has been arrested on suspicion of fifth-offense drunken driving. The sheriff's office said someone reported the driver on Saturday about 12:30 a.m. Deputies who roused 48-year-old Michael L. Drought said he smelled of alcohol. Authorities said the Janesville man performed poorly on field-sobriety tests. He was arrested on a tentative charge of fifth-offense operating while intoxicated, and taken to the Rock County Jail. He's scheduled to make an initial appearance in court Monday.

Published: Sat, 20 Sep 2014 16:08:58 GMT

Police: Sub store employee attacked, robbed

Police said a sub store employee was attacked and robbed of cash in downtown Madison Saturday morning. The Madison Police Department said a 27-year-old Cousin's Subs employee was walking on the 100 block of East Main Street at about 9:30 a.m. when a man grabbed her and kneed her in the stomach. The attacker stole a bank bag containing Cousin's Subs' cash, though police did not indicate how much money was taken. The robber fled on foot toward the Capitol, according to the report. Police described the robber as dark-skinned, with some facial hair and an average build. He was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt and light-colored blue jeans. The Cousin's employee did not need medical attention, police said.

Published: Sat, 20 Sep 2014 16:57:23 GMT

Police find cocaine, pound of pot, arrest 5

Police arrested five men after officers seized drugs, including more than a pound of pot at a Janesville home Saturday morning. The Janesville Police Department said officers responded to a report of people breaking into cars on the 3100 block of Vold Court at about 5 a.m. The caller told police one person ran away when confronted. An officer arriving in the area attempted to contact two men outside and the men ran. During the foot chase, the two men ran into an apartment on Vold Court and the officer followed, according to the report. Backup officers arrived and the two fleeing men were taken into custody. Police said narcotics and drug paraphernalia were in plain view inside the apartment. Officers obtained a search warrant and seized several articles of drug paraphernalia, 498.6 grams of THC and 8.8 grams of cocaine. Police arrested 21-year-old Brody Laws on suspicion of possession of drug paraphernalia, maintaining a drug trafficking place, possession with intent to deliver THC and possession with intent to deliver cocaine. Haden Simon, 20, was arrested on suspicion of possession of drug paraphernalia, maintaining a drug trafficking place and possession with intent to deliver THC. Ryan Johnson, 22, was arrested on suspicion of possession of drug paraphernalia. Oswaldo Jose-Ramirez, 20, was also arrested and charged with resisting arrest and 18-year-old Oscar Ramirez was arrested and charged with resisting arrest and underage drinking, according to the report.  Police did not provide a booking photo of Oscar Ramirez. All the men arrested are from Janesville, the report noted.

Published: Sat, 20 Sep 2014 22:29:11 GMT

UW-Madison ranks second in Playboy party school list

Year after year, the University of Wisconsin pops up in college rankings across the country – but the latest one may not be the college’s proudest moment. Playboy magazine ranked UW-Madison as the second top part school in the nation, following the University of Pennsylvania. The label isn’t one the UW Police Department is too interested in. "We don't pay a lot of attention to it,” said UWPD spokesperson Marc Lovicott. “What we do pay attention to is our students.” Regardless of the ranking, UWPD is working harder this semester to crack down on student drinking. This year, officers have launched a targeted alcohol enforcement effort. As a result, they've seen an increase in the number of alcohol citations. "We want Badgers to own their own Wisconsin experience and be good Badgers,” Lovicott said. “Nobody wants to end up in detox, and nobody wants to end up in a hospital." The goal isn't to spoil anyone's fun, especially on Game Day - but with stepped up patrols, officers are hoping to keep more kids out of detox, and maybe knock Wisconsin down a little lower on that party list. "We want people to have a good time and enjoy Badger games like today, but they've got to do so safely, and they've got to be responsible about it."  UWPD says despite the ranking, the issue of student drinking at UW-Madison appears to be comparable to years past so far this school year. 

Published: Sat, 20 Sep 2014 20:57:43 GMT

Man accused of fondling cancer patient in hospital

A Whitehall man is accused of fondling a terminally ill cancer patient while she was sedated in her hospital bed. The La Crosse Tribune reported that the woman asked him to bring her some clothes and personal items, and he decided to stay the night. The man was sleeping on a couch, and the woman fell asleep after taking oxycodone and trazodone. She said she awoke to find him touching her inappropriately. A police report quotes the man as telling investigators the woman was making sounds that made him think she wanted him to touch her. He also said he was changing the woman's' sanitary pad at her request, and he conceded it might have been more appropriate to have a nurse do that. He's due in court Friday.

Published: Sat, 20 Sep 2014 22:26:54 GMT

Former police officer who robbed bank gets 9 years

A former Mukwonago police officer who robbed a bank in 2010 while he was still on the force was sentenced this week to nine years in federal prison. Alvin J. Brook, 44, had walked into an M&I Bank, ordered the three employees into the vault area and pointed his department-issued Glock handgun at their heads, prosecutors said. He made off with $54,000. The robbery went unsolved until last year when authorities, acting on a tip, were able to match a crime-scene fingerprint to him, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. Brook had pleaded guilty to bank robbery and use of a gun during a robbery. Assistant U.S. Attorney Margaret Honrath asked that he be sentenced to 10 years in prison. Brook's defense attorney, Franklyn Gimbel, argued for a sentence of seven years and one month, noting Brook's steady employment and his counseling and family support. Before sentencing, Brook apologized to the traumatized bank tellers, as well as to his family and former colleagues. He said grief over his divorce drove him to abuse painkillers, which led him to commit the crime. But U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman noted that few bank robbers with drug issues earn as much as Brooks did as a police officer. Adelman acknowledged Brook's positive attributes but said he was imposing a sentence closer to prosecutors' recommendations because of the severe impact of the crime. One man told the judge that his wife, the bank's supervisor that day, still suffers from emotional trauma inflicted when Brook pointed a gun at her head and threated to kill her if she didn't open the vault. Witnesses told investigators the suspect appeared to have military training, and he also had some sort of walkie-talkie or scanner in his pocket, over which the victims heard "police chatter." Honrath noted that the crime affected the public's trust and regard of the Mukwonago Police Department, where Brook served for 21 years. Brook was named officer of the year in 2002 and served as a student resource officer at Mukwonago High School.

Published: Sat, 20 Sep 2014 22:52:25 GMT

Hit-and-run causes gas leak, police say

Police said a vehicle may have cut a gas main in Janesville Saturday causing traffic to be diverted due to a gas leak. The Janesville Police Department said at about 2:15 p.m., officers and the fire department responded to a report of a natural gas leak at the intersection of Beloit Avenue and Palmer Drive. According to the report, investigators believe a gray utility trailer may have come disconnected from a vehicle and severed the gas main to a nearby water utility building. Police said the trailer likely had gray wooden slats along the side. Police said traffic was rerouted around the area as a precaution until the gas was shut off. In an alert at 4 p.m., police said the area is safe and traffic has returned to normal. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Rock County Communications at 757-2244 or Crimestoppers 756-3636.

Published: Sat, 20 Sep 2014 22:06:43 GMT

Petition drive launched to save Maureen Mengelt memorial

One anonymous complaint has resulted in an order from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation for the removal of a memorial to Maureen Mengelt.  More than 2,900 members of the community are hoping their voice are heard through an online petition calling for the memorial to remain. The petition was launched by Megan Mengelt, Maureen Mengelt’s daughter.  The website has collected more than 2,900 signatures in a short period of time.  The petition is in response to the DOT’s ruling that the memorial must be removed.  The memorial, which was paid for through donations from businesses and individuals in Sun Prairie, is built on land owned by the DOT.  It is a few yards away from the intersection of Highway 19 and the 151 exit ramp where Maureen Mengelt was killed by a drunk driver in a hit-and-run crash. Kevin Mengelt, Maureen's husband, tells WISC-TV that DOT Secretary Mark Gottlieb has requested a meeting with the family to discuss the future of the memorial. According to Jon Freund, mayor of Sun Prairie, the memorial was built with the full knowledge and support of city government. “The city was very involved and in fact a couple of our building inspectors actually volunteered time to help lay the concrete here on their own time,” says Freund. He says the city communicated their plans to construct the memorial with DOT in advance of the construction.  “There was certainly discussion with the DOT before we actually placed this here, and made sure there weren’t any safety concerns and certainly there are not,” says Freund. DOT ordered the removal of the memorial after receiving an anonymous complaint about it.  Ordering the removal of the memorial is in accordance with state statute and DOT guidelines.   The state requires that roadside memorials be removed if they create a safety concern, fall into disrepair or are the subject of public complaint. The DOT is allowing the memorial to Maureen Mengelt to remain in its current location pending a decision by the city of Sun Prairie on its future.  The city is exploring the possibility of moving the memorial to a park in Sun Prairie. “It will remain a part of Sun Prairie in some way.  We hope it is here at the current location.  It is a few feet from where Maureen Mengelt was tragically killed, so we very much hope it is here,” says Freund.

Published: Sat, 20 Sep 2014 01:54:55 GMT

Dane Co. Exe. Office: State system causing first responder radio failures

A radio frequency of the state’s WISCOM emergency communication system, combined with a new state radio procedure put in place this summer, appears to have caused the radio failures some first responders across Dane County have been reporting, according to a memo by Dane County 911 Director John Dejung. During Wednesday afternoon's 911 Board meeting, it was revealed Stoughton, Mount Horeb and Blue Mounds’ police departments had experienced repeated radio interference since earlier this summer. In Blue Mounds, Chief Andy Rose's radio failed while he was holding a suspect at gunpoint. The Town of Madison Fire Department also reported problems. In the memo, Dejung detailed the state frequency was being broadcast from a Blue Mounds State Park tower. After discussion with the county, Dane County Executive Chief of Staff Josh Wescott said Thursday the state immediately shut down the frequency described as a channel primarily used by law enforcement across Dane County. State officials said there are numerous repeaters on the tower and the shutdown of the frequency poses no public safety risk. At the 911 board meeting, members voted to have a special meeting Sept. 30 to look into if the county’s new emergency communication system DaneCom played a role in the failures. County officials said the new findings prove DaneCom did not play a role in the failures.

Published: Fri, 19 Sep 2014 21:06:44 GMT

Portable toilets, vehicles damaged in overnight fire

Two vehicles were damaged and portable toilets were destroyed in an overnight fire on a University of Wisconsin-Madison parking lot, police said. UW-Madison police said officers responded to a report of a vehicle on fire at about 4 a.m. Police said someone lit a portable toilet on fire in Lot 51 on North Mills Street. The fire quickly spread to another portable toilet and a nearby vehicle. The vehicle was badly damaged and another nearby UW fleet vehicle sustained heat damage due to the fire. The Madison Fire Department quickly extinguished the fire. Police said the city of Madison responded to a trash can on fire at about 3 a.m. two blocks from the North Mills Street fire. It wasn't clear if the two incidents were related.  UWPD asked anyone with information on the fire to call 608-264-2677.

Published: Sat, 20 Sep 2014 20:32:30 GMT

Dane County Clerk won?t use redesigned ballots

Newly designed election ballots won’t be used in Dane County because the county clerk believes they are too confusing. Scott McDonell told News 3 that he's already ordered ballots printed with the old design. "We had no problem with the old ballot style," McDonell said in an interview Friday. "It looked good and seemed intuitive to us. The new one was kind of a washout with a lot of white on it. At least that was the strong opinion of our staff that has designed our ballot for the last 20 years." McDonell said the ballots that will be used in Dane County have been approved by the Government Accountability Board, although he said he was given direction from GAB staff "preferring a different style." "Our take was that the GAB board can order a different style under statutes, but that the style we used is just fine," said McDonell. GAB Director Kevin Kennedy said that because of litigation they are limited in what they can say about Dane County's decision, but described Dane County's ballot as "pretty sharp." Earlier this week a group of Republican lawmakers filed a lawsuit in Waukesha County Circuit Court arguing that the forms are confusing and make it difficult for voters to differentiate between different offices and clearly separate candidates who are running. McDonell said that he didn't agree with the substance of that lawsuit necessarily, but that "the differences are at the margin here." The complaint comes after the state's chief elections official, Kevin Kennedy, on Tuesday dismissed concerns raised by the state Republican Party about the ballot, saying it wasn't practical or necessary to redesign it. The lawsuit seeks a court order to block the Government Accountability Board from prescribing the ballots and from stopping counties from using other ballots that don't conform to the model. McDonell said he agreed with Kennedy that at this point it would be expensive and prohibitive to order new ballots to be printed.

Published: Sat, 20 Sep 2014 01:49:47 GMT

Mengelt family files civil suit against convicted drunken driver

A family has filed a civil suit against Bruce Burnside, a man convicted of hitting and killing Maureen Mengelt. Kevin Mengelt, Maureen Mengelt's husband, tells WISC-TV his family is facing tens of thousands of dollars in medical and funeral expenses. Mengelt was killed in April 2013 while jogging in Sun Prairie. Burnside was sentenced to 10 years in prison for her death. The civil lawsuit is against Burnside and his insurance company. The suit seeks to recover those expenses.

Published: Fri, 19 Sep 2014 23:00:47 GMT

1 killed, 1 injured in fiery crash

Two people were flown by Med Flight to UW Hospital after a two-vehicle crash that caused a semitrailer to catch fire Thursday night, officials said. Grant County sheriff’s deputies were sent to Highway 133 about half a mile north of Clauer Lane in Potosi for reports of a two-vehicle crash around 5:30 p.m., according to a release. A news release has confirmed that Carlos Martinez, 44, of Aurora, Illinois, and Liza Johnson, 17, of Potosi, Wisconsin, were involved in the crash. Martinez was driving the semitruck that caught on fire. He was transported to Grant Regional Health Center and later taken by Med Flight to UW-Madison Hospital where he was later pronounced dead. Johnson was driving a red 2004 Chevy Monte Carlo and crossed the center line into the southbound lane, causing the crash. She was extricated from the vehicle by the Potosi Fire Department. She remains in stable condition. The crash is still under investigation.

Published: Fri, 19 Sep 2014 20:32:38 GMT

Woman shot in hand during gun struggle, police say

A woman suffered a gunshot wound to her hand during a struggle with an armed man early Saturday, police said.  Madison police said a caller reported hearing a woman crying followed by a gunshot, arguing and screaming at a residence on the 2100 block of University Avenue at 3:19 a.m. A 20-year-old woman told police a 20-year-old Madison man was intoxicated and armed with a rifle and threatening to kill himself. Police Sgt. Ann Lehner said the man and woman knew each other. At some point the two struggled for the rifle and the man fired the gun while the woman's right hand was over the muzzle, according to the report. The woman was treated at a local hospital for a non-life-threatening gunshot wound, police said. Jeffrey C. Zhou was arrested on suspicion of second-degree recklessly endangering safety and taken to Dane County Jail. Lehner said alcohol is believed to be a factor in the incident.

Published: Sat, 20 Sep 2014 23:25:01 GMT

Packers purchase strip mall near Lambeau

The Green Bay Packers franchise is gobbling up more land around Lambeau Field. Brown County real estate records show the business entity created by the Packers, Green Bay Development, has purchased a strip shopping center for $725,000. The team plans to develop land west of Lambeau Field to generate non-football revenue. So far, the Packers' only development is the Cabela's outdoor sporting goods store near the Highway 41 interchange. Press-Gazette Media said the team now owns about 62 acres near Lambeau Field. The land is assessed at about $45 million. In addition to the land west of the stadium, the Packers own property south of Lambeau where it razed about a dozen houses.

Published: Sat, 20 Sep 2014 15:45:28 GMT

Racine man, 35, convicted in fatal 2006 beating

A Racine man has been convicted in a 2006 beating that was so severe the victim lapsed into a coma for 18 months before he died. The Journal Times of Racine reported that a jury deliberated for less than four hours Friday before convicting 35-year-old Dale M. Patterson. He was found guilty of first-degree reckless homicide. He faces up to 40 years in prison when he's sentenced Dec. 12. Prosecutors said Patterson attacked 42-year-old Michael P. Griffith outside a bar. Patterson allegedly body-slammed him, punched him in the face five times and kicked him in the head while he lay prone. Defense attorney Mark Nielsen tried to point out inconsistencies in witnesses' stories. He said one witness was cooperating with prosecutors only to get an unrelated federal conviction reduced.

Published: Sat, 20 Sep 2014 16:14:21 GMT