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Madison college students create algae-removal system

A system that clears up surface-level algae by slurping it away and depositing it into a dumpster will make its debut this summer in Madison lakes.

Engineering students at Madison Area Technical College designed and developed the system to address algae blooms that have caused beach closures in recent years. The Wisconsin State Journal reported that that the group of about 25 students were hired by the local nonprofit Clean Lakes Alliance and given a $5,000 budget.

The students plan to hold the algae-removal system's trial run late next month at Warner Park Beach on Lake Mendota's north shore.

If the method is successful, it will be expanded to other beaches in future years.

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Man suspected in three robberies arrested following pursuit

A Madison man faces numerous charges following a series of robberies Tuesday night and Wednesday morning around the city.

The incidents started with a robbery at a PDQ on North Stoughton Road just before 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to police.

Police said two other robberies happened at a Hy-Vee on Whitney Way and a Walgreens on the corner of Stoughton and E. Washington about an hour later. Police said in each case, a man entered a store and stole money out of the cash register after it opened. In one of the incidents, a cashier was able to get a vehicle description and a plate number and pass it on to police.

Soon after the incident at Walgreens, Capitol Police spotted a vehicle matching that description headed eastbound on East Washington Avenue. Madison police joined the pursuit and followed the car to Tenney Park.

Police said the man stopped the car and fled on foot, where he was caught by Madison police officers.

First read of Madison Public Market plan met with praise

About 60 public market enthusiasts appeared to like the city’s $9 million-$15 million idea to turn the East Johnson city garage into an indoor public market that would include selling prepared foods, local produce and arts and crafts.

“A lot still needs to be worked out on these operational questions. Like how many days a week is the public market open,” Madison project manager Dan Kennelly said. “Things like hours of operation. And days of the week. And months of the year. How does this place really become the epicenter of the food system in southern Wisconsin.”

Public members viewing the draft business plan Tuesday at the Goodman Community Center gave their input by working in small groups to fill out worksheets.

Work-release inmate missing from custody

A work-release Dane County inmate was declared missing from custody Tuesday evening, officials said.

The Dane County Sheriff's Office said 25-year-old Thomas D. Brooks, of Madison, was released from the Ferris Center on Rimrock Road at 5:52 a.m. to volunteer as part of his Huber sentence. He did not return as scheduled and is declared absent without leave, or AWOL.

Brooks is 5 feet 11 inches and weighs 145 pounds. He was last seen wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, black undershirt, dark gray pants and black boots.

The sheriff's office said Brooks is serving a sentence for strangulation, battery, violation of a domestic no contact order and resisting or obstructing.

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Armed teens steal pot during home invasion, police say

Three teenagers stole cellphones and marijuana from three other teens during a targeted home invasion Sunday night, according to a release from Madison police.

Police said two 17-year-old girls and an 18-year-old man were socializing at an apartment in the 1600 block of Fordem Avenue when the three robbers entered, two of them armed with handguns.

A short time later police stopped a SUV witnesses had connected to the robbery.
Police said a handgun was found inside the SUV, and a teen had several bullets in his pockets.

A 16-year-old was arrested on suspicion of party to a crime of armed robbery and taken to the Juvenile Reception Center.

Detectives said more arrests are likely.

Mallards ready to open 2015 season

The Madison Mallards open the 2015 Northwoods League season Tuesday night at Warner Park against Kalamazoo.

Manager Donnie Scott begins his third season with the Mallards. After winning the Northwoods League Championship in 2013, the Mallards finished in the middle of the pack last season.

Scott says he's ready to get to work and get back to that championship level.

"I know I can't wait for this thing to get started," Scott said. " I want to get out the gate. I mean I'd like to put a pretty good run together  right off the bat, try to win the first half.  And once they get comfortable with things, things really seem to start clicking."