Our network

Police investigate sexual assaults near schools

Two Madison students were groped in separate incidents Monday morning, but Madison police said they believe the same person might be involved.

Police said a couple of East High School students spotted a man following them near North Fourth Street and Johnson Street around 8:05 a.m. as they walked to school. As they sped up, he grabbed one by the buttocks in a parking lot behind the school, according to police.

The man was described as being possibly Asian, 20 to 30 years old, 5 feet 6 inches tall and clean shaven, with a thin build. He was wearing baggy clothing, including a dark hooded jacket with some type of orange design on it.

At 8:40 a.m. near Sherman Middle School, students were in physical education class running around the block when a man got out of a silver compact car near Ruskin and Boyd streets and touched one girl's buttocks.

Community Sponsors

Beautiful and unique accessories, jewelry, and gifts.
Are you interested in promoting your business to local customers?
Better Ideas, Better Training, Better People

Brat Fest adds zero waste initiative to 2015 event

The 2015 Brat Fest will not only feature the traditional brats, brews and bands, but the organizers are implementing a zero waste initiative this year, according to a release.

Brat Fest organizers said they plan on improving their current recycling program and will also be composting during the event, with the goal of reducing the amount of garbage in an effort to protect the environment.

“The zero-waste movement is all about creating waste management procedures with the ultimate goal that everything be recycled, reused or composted, with as little as possible remaining for disposal, the release said.

According to the release, Brat Fest organizers are proactively working with food vendors to choose compostable supplies so that more of the trash generated will be diverted from the landfill.

There will also be volunteers to help event-goers know which containers to put their waste into, organizers said.

Plan for public market projects $22 million economic impact

A document released Friday outlines how a Madison public market might operate and the impact it could have on the city.

The first draft explains the potential capital costs, operating plan, mix of vendors, rent structures, economic impacts, and long-term oversight of the market. It also includes various options for creating the market space at the fleet services garage at First and Johnson streets.

Cost options range in from $9.4 million to $13.4 million depending on which options are selected.

The design options include indoor and outdoor spaces for various types of businesses. The plan includes options for transportation and parking at the market and spaces for events and exhibits.

Former Madison police chief: 'Stop the killing'

Echoing a recent blog entry, former Madison Police chief turned Episcopal Priest David Couper made a passionate recommendation for stopping police shootings.

"The issue of race is not going to go away. We’ve got so much work to do," Couper said. "There are some specific things I think citizens can do, working with police to improve things."

During his Edgewood College "New Police for a New Era" speech, Couper emphasized the decades-old community policing philosophy he used as chief, which he now believes should be a national standard.

In what he calls a "Prescription for Police to Change," Cooper said:

Community Sponsors

Are you interested in promoting your business to local customers?
Beautiful and unique accessories, jewelry, and gifts.
Better Ideas, Better Training, Better People

$300K grant to help MMSD open 4 full-service schools

The Madison Metropolitan School District received a three-year, $300,000 grant to support community planning and implementation for four full-service schools, according to a release.

Full-service schools integrate community services into schools sties and work to connect students and families with needed services to make schools hubs of support, officials said.

"Full-service schools take our support for children and families in Madison to a new level. Many of our families still struggle with access to community services, but by integrating coordinated services where our children and families are every day, we will be better able to support families and our students," Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham said in the release. "We are thrilled that thanks to the Madison Community Foundation, we’ll be able to work together to make full service schools a reality in Madison."

Baby orangutan born at Vilas zoo

Madison's zoo family just got a little bigger.

A healthy female Bornean orangutan was born two weeks ago at Henry vilas Zoo to first-time parents Kawan and Datu.

The baby was named Keju, which is Malay for "cheese," according to Dane County officials.

Keju is important to the national effort to maintain a population of the endangered species through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Orangutan Species Survival Plan. Orangutans are found only on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, and are the only great ape found in Asia. Bornean orangutans are endangered and Sumatran orangutans are critically endangered with less than 6,000 individuals left in Sumatra, Henry Vilas Zoo said.

"We are excited to have Keju as part of our zoo family," Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said in a news release. "No matter where she goes in life, her name is a reminder that she is a true Wisconsinite. We take great pride in the work we do to protect endangered species."

Water utility: Several businesses receive similar scam call

Madison Water Utility officials said several businesses have received scam calls that a business dependent on water never wants to hear.

"When you have a laundromat you need water. When you have a restaurant, you need water, a hotel you need water and to have that threat of it being cut off right away I think is a scary thing," said Amy Barrilleaux, Madison Water Utility public information officer.

Four businesses so far this week have been threatened over the phone by a man posing as a Madison Water Utility employee.

The man reportedly says the business will have its water turned off immediately if it doesn't pay a fee. One business owner said the man demanded a payment of $1,400.

So far, a laundromat, a hotel and a restaurant have received a similar phone call, but MWU utility officials said that is a call they would never make to their customers.