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Janesville could pay $75K to teacher accused of being drunk on field trip

The Janesville City Council is scheduled to decide whether to approve a $75,000 settlement with a former teacher who was accused of being drunk on a school field trip. A report from the Janesville Police Department said former fourth-grade teacher Maria Caya drank alcohol before chaperoning students on a field trip to a bowling alley in 2013, and she passed out in the bathroom. Caya’s attorney, Christopher Stawski, originally filed a $5.5 million lawsuit against the city, alleging the police department improperly released her hospital-provided blood alcohol test results, which allegedly caused damage to her by way of emotional distress; other psychological injuries; and damage to her reputation, humiliation and embarrassment, as well as other damages. In a memo, Janesville City Attorney Wald Klimczyk recommended the city settle the claim for $75,000 without any admission of liability. The Janesville City Council will vote on whether to approve the settlement at its Monday, Oct. 24 meeting. Council member Paul Williams said if the settlement is not approved, it could go to court and cost a lot more  money. Caya was a fourth-grade teacher at Washington Elementary School at the time of the incident. School officials said she was one of eight district employees on the field trip, along with several parents. Police said they talked to all of the teachers also on the field trip and found there was nothing to indicate the students on the field trip to the bowling alley were neglected. The Janesville Police Department said Caya would not face any criminal charges. She resigned from her job a month after the incident. After resigning, she received more than $18,000 from the district for unpaid sick leave.

Published: Fri, 21 Oct 2016 17:15:24 GMT

Man arrested after allegedly torching Trump sign

When Kevin Leighty went outside to get the newspaper Friday morning, there was something different about his front lawn. "My husband came out to get the paper and noticed our sign was completely gone," his wife, Jane Leighty, said. The sign that was gone -- burned to its frame -- had been one showing support for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Platteville police began investigating the incident, and came up with a suspect: the couple's tenant, who police say admitted to burning the sign. The couple shared surveillance video with News 3 that they say shows the college-aged man lighting the sign on fire while wearing nothing but his underwear. Leighty said the man tried to light the sign using a lighter, but when that didn't work he used a torch. Despite the fact that the video's time stamp shows the sign on fire at 12:50 a.m., the Leightys didn't know about the incident until the morning. "Car after car goes by with the sign blazing and there are people walking on the sidewalk that we can see. Two of them actually stopped, came over and sort of fist-bumped him, and nobody thought to call the cops when a guy's out here barefoot and burning a sign," Leighty said. Charges against the man have been referred to the Grant County District Attorney's Office, Platteville police Lt. Mike Haas said. Police did not release the man's name as of Friday evening.  Leighty said the man did show some regret for the incident. "He actually came over this morning and apologized, because the police caught him and he had a torch by his bed and so he confessed to it, and he came and apologized, head down, and was pretty sorry that he did it," she said. "He said he didn't really remember a lot of it, that he had been doing a little imbibing." But the couple still plans to press charges. "This behavior's not acceptable on either side," Leighty said.

Published: Sat, 22 Oct 2016 03:42:08 GMT

Family: Dog who survived beating passes away with foster family

Misty, the dog who survived after she was found beaten and near death in a Columbia County lot earlier this year, has passed away, according to a post to social media. The Facebook page maintained by Brenda, Misty’s foster mom, said Friday afternoon that Misty was surrounded by the family and her veterinarian when she died. On Jan. 22, Misty was found with head injuries near the French Creek Wildlife Area in a camping bag in a DNR parking lot. Officials called the case "disturbing" and said she had been left for dead. She was cared for by Michael Cooper, who the family says was also by her side when she died. The post saying Misty had died, which is written in first person as if Misty is speaking, said she had nine months of a "beautiful life" since she was found injured in January. "You are with me always and your love has lifted me to this place. Good night my friends," the post said. In January, Misty's former owner, Terri L. Benson, of Pardeeville, admitted to hitting her in the head with a hammer. Benson reportedly told officials she couldn't afford to euthanize Misty, so she hit her and thought she'd died. Benson faces a felony charge of mistreatment of an animal and disorderly conduct. A motion hearing in the case against Benson is Tuesday morning at the Columbia County Courthouse.

Published: Fri, 21 Oct 2016 23:13:16 GMT

Woman suing over doggie boot camp death

Owner says a local dog trainer had her dog killed and lied about it for two weeks, sending updates about her dog's training.

Published: Fri, 21 Oct 2016 12:22:41 GMT

GA teen loses leg after teacher 'body slam,' lawyer says

A 13-year-old boy had to have his right leg amputated after a contractor at a Columbus, Georgia, school "body slammed" him repeatedly, an attorney for the boy's family said. Montravious Thomas was injured in September after an employee at Edgewood Student Services Center "body slammed" him three times when Thomas tried to leave the classroom to call his mother, family attorney Renee Tucker told CNN on Thursday. Tucker says after the incident took place, officials at the school failed to provide Thomas with adequate medical care. At one point, school officials told the teenager an ambulance was on its way, but then told him he would have to ride the bus home and made him attempt to walk to the bus, the lawyer said. When it was clear Thomas could not walk to the bus, Tucker said, the same contractor who disciplined him "threw him over the shoulder and carried him to the bus." Thomas' mother took him to the emergency room that night and he was later airlifted to an Atlanta hospital, Tucker said. School district cites safety issues The Muscogee County School District says the contractor involved in the incident, Bryant Mosley, was a contract worker and is no longer providing services to the school district. Mosley holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and a masters in clinical mental health counseling, the system said. "Mr. Mosley is specifically trained in MindSet curriculum, a system of preventing and managing aggressive behavior, and Georgia restraint requirements. It is our understanding that there were issues concerning the safety of the child and others in the room, which called for the use of restraint per state guidance," the district said in a statement. In a Friday update to its original statement, the school system said, "Witnesses indicate that the child was up and walking and not in distress following the administered restraint." The school system said it made multiple attempts to contact the parent by phone on September 12, the day of the incident, but was unsuccessful. Edgewood Student Services Center is a school for students who have been temporarily removed from their current school because of behavioral problems or for breaking behavioral rules. An attorney for the company employing Mosley -- Mentoring and Behavioral Sciences -- released a statement to CNN saying, "We are certainly very concerned for Montravious and our hearts go out to him. He and his family are in our thoughts as prayers." The attorney, Robert Poydasheff Jr., said in the statement that he had advised the company "not to comment or speculate on the matter until we have completed our investigation. "There is very little information to work from," Poydasheff added. An attorney representing Mosley individually said he would not comment on the case. Student was face-down on floor, attorney says Tucker said at one point, Thomas was face-down on the floor, with Mosley's weight on top of him. She said if Thomas had received adequate medical care shortly after the incident, his leg could possibly could have been saved. He's expected to remain at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston for at least 30 more days and he'll need extensive occupational and physical therapy in the coming months, Tucker said. Doctors performed several surgeries to try to restore the blood flow to Thomas' right leg before having to perform the amputation, the attorney said. School district to conduct review The school district says it is conducting a "thorough review of the incident to determine all of the facts and to make any necessary recommendations because the safety of all students and all employees is priority." The Muscogee County School District statement says: "Physical restraint is allowed in Georgia public schools and educational programs in those situations in which the student is an immediate danger to himself or others and the student is not responsive to less intensive behavioral interventions including verbal directives or other de-escalation techniques." The teen's attorney claims the method Mosley used is not part of the Georgia restraint guidance. The incident happened on Thomas' first day at Edgewood, Tucker said. He'd been required to attend the alternative school for four days after having an issue with another student at his home school, she explained, adding that his family says he was not known for being violent or having outbursts at school nor had he ever been restrained by a teacher in the past. Tucker has filed a request under Georgia's open records law to obtain any video that may exist of the restraint and Thomas' attempt to walk to the school bus, as well as his school records, but has not yet received any response. The attorney said that while no charges or lawsuits have been filed yet, the family plans to move ahead with a civil suit in the near future.

Published: Fri, 21 Oct 2016 22:03:30 GMT

3rd victim claims attack by man suspected of sex assault, police say

A third woman has told Madison police she was sexually assaulted by a Madison man arrested on sexual assault charges. Alec R. Cook, 20, was arrested Monday on tentative charges of two counts that include second-degree sexual assault, strangulation, battery and false imprisonment, according to a release. Cook was initially accused of attacking a 20-year-old woman around 11:30 p.m. Oct. 12 in his apartment in the 500 block of North Henry Street. After the arrest, two 20-year-old women contacted police and said Cook also sexually assaulted them. The second woman said Cook sexually assaulted her in a downtown apartment in February. "I saw the news story and was empowered by another girl being able to tell what happened to her that I thought I could now finally tell," she told a detective. In the second case, Cook was arrested on suspicion of two counts of second-degree sexual assault and third-degree sexual assault. A third woman came forward Friday, telling police Cook assaulted her in 2015. Detectives are recommending Cook face additional charges of second-degree sexual assault and false imprisonment, Madison police said in a news release. In a news release Friday afternoon, University of Wisconsin-Madison dean of students Lori Berquam said Cook has been suspended from the school. "Based on the severity of the allegations and the potential impact on the campus community, the university is disclosing that this students is under emergency suspension from the institution," Berquam said in the release. Police ask anyone with information on the incident to call the Madison Area Crime Stoppers at 608-266-6014.

Published: Fri, 21 Oct 2016 23:18:19 GMT


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

Lifesaving dog now faces his own battle

When you’re around Jacquelyn Garofano, laughter is something you’ll hear often, but 10 years ago, that laughter was almost gone. Garofano, who struggled with depression, decided a pet would help improve her spirits. “I just needed something to pull me back into life,” she said. So she turned to the internet, and, after a quick search, found Pudgy, a half-beagle, half-Pomeranian puppy. "He was described as being funny in their description and I just thought 'Well, I have to meet this dog' because he looks so cute, and they just described his personality so well," Garofano said. But what was supposed to be a fun companion turned out to be so much more. When Garofano’s mother died a few years ago, Pudgy was her light. "He decided that was going to be his job, was to help me,” she said. "He came and he just sat on my lap and he kind of leaned against me and he licked my face and he takes his paw and he pulls his arm almost like he's hugging you. It was so unusual because I had never seen a dog act like that." Time and time again, the loving gestures from the little round dog pulled Garofano out of her sadness. This time, though, it’s Pudgy who needs help. Pudgy was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, a condition only open-heart surgery can fix. If all goes well, the 10-year-old Pudgy could have a normal life expectancy. Garofano is determined to get Pudgy the surgery, saving the life that saved hers. She turned to crowd-funding site GoFundMe to raise money for the surgery. So far, she has raised more than $1,200. “Honestly, I don’t know if I’d be here without him,” she said. “I can’t let him go, you know, I owe it to him.”

Published: Sat, 22 Oct 2016 03:24:44 GMT

Beloit students learning construction skills while helping kids read

Students at Beloit Memorial High School are using their skills to help kids read. Students in a construction class are making parts for 25 "Little Free Libraries" that will be put together and placed around the city. The libraries, which can be found worldwide, contain free books for people to read. Visitors can also donate books of their own. The students' goal is to put the libraries in neighborhoods around Beloit to help improve literacy. "The way I see it, this is the perfect marriage of 21st-century worker preparation and civic missions of schools kind of coming together to help us with, sort of, this idea of improving our community, and reaching out to people in, maybe, neighborhoods where literacy is an issue, and we're trying to reach out," teacher Lyman Elliott said. After the construction students make the parts, other school groups will assemble the libraries and fill them with children's books. The libraries are expected to be put up this spring.

Published: Sat, 22 Oct 2016 01:59:47 GMT

Wisconsin officer facing felony charge from March shooting

Authorities say a Brown Deer police officer is facing a felony charge for allegedly shooting and injuring an unarmed man after removing him from a bus. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports Officer Devon Kraemer has been charged with aggravated battery with use of a dangerous weapon. Authorities say Kraemer shot 26-year-old Manuel Burnley in March while he was face down on the ground. He was hospitalized and lost part of a lung. Burnley is black, while the two officers involved are white. Kraemer told officials she fired at Burnley because she feared for the safety of her and her partner. Authorities say an expert retained by prosecutors found that Kraemer's use of deadly force isn't consistent with generally accepted use of force standards in Wisconsin or across the nation.

Published: Fri, 21 Oct 2016 23:43:13 GMT

Voted early but changed your mind? You can get a do-over

So you’ve taken the time to request an absentee ballot by mail, or submit one in person prior to the election.  But something happens — an October surprise — and you want a do-over.  Turns out you can get one. Wisconsin law has a provision that allows you to “spoil” your ballot and ask for a new one — including if you’ve already voted absentee. “It is possible to do that,” Reid Magney, spokesman for the Wisconsin Elections Commission, said.  “If you voted, for example, early in the clerk’s office, you can go back to the clerk’s office and ask them or say you want to vote again or to spoil your original ballot.” The clerk would then find the ballot you submitted, void it, and issue you a new ballot.  But Magney admits, it isn’t easy. “Yes, it's technically possible to do it, but getting this close to the election, it can be a bit of a hassle,” Magney said. “It’s not something very many people do.” You can also “spoil” your ballot on Election Day.  “If you go to the polling place and they give you a ballot and you realize 'I voted for the wrong person' or you made some other mistake, you can say 'I’d like another ballot.' And you can get up to three ballots,” Magney said.

Published: Fri, 21 Oct 2016 23:16:53 GMT

2 face charge in potential human trafficking case in Madison

Officers rescued a woman and arrested two people this week in Madison in a possible human trafficking case, officials said. The Madison Police Department said police were alerted at about 3:40 p.m. Tuesday to a person needing help on the 6200 block of University Avenue. Police described the case Friday as a "potential human trafficking case" and said detectives freed the woman from "the conditions she was surviving under." According to the report, using information gathered after a search warrant Thursday, police arrested 55-year-old Anthony Wise and 29-year-old Kamesha Bailey on suspicion of keeping a place of prostitution. The investigation is ongoing, police said.

Published: Fri, 21 Oct 2016 23:24:40 GMT

Chelsea Clinton to campaign in Wisconsin Tuesday

Chelsea Clinton will visit Madison Tuesday as part of a statewide trip to promote early voting, officials with the Hillary Clinton campaign said Friday. Clinton, the daughter of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton, will make stops in Madison, La Crosse and Stevens Point to promote her mother's campaign and urge Wisconsin voters to cast their ballots early. More information will be provided closer to the events, according to a campaign website.

Published: Fri, 21 Oct 2016 22:55:20 GMT

Local clerks refute 'rigged election' claims

Local clerks are trying to reassure voters of the integrity of the election after concerns this year over voter fraud and "rigged elections." In a small town like Cambridge where the library, community center and clerk's office are a one-stop shop, Clerk Lisa Moen's office doesn't have the hustle and bustle of election season seen in Madison. But she still gets questions about ballot integrity. "I've had people question, 'After I vote, do you send it to the county?' [and I say] 'Nope, we keep it here and it's safe,'" Moen said. Down the road in Deerfield, Clerk Elizabeth McCredie said she knows by name most of the people who come in to vote. "They know the faces they're seeing and who they're working with and they know the poll workers that are working down there," McCredie said. "They know that everybody is here to do our best to make sure things are done properly." In Wisconsin it is local, not state officials or even county clerks, who hand-process lists for absentee ballots, monitor ballot numbers on election day and keep voting equipment under seal. The clerks News 3 spoke to were a bit baffled about the "rigged elections" claims. "I'm not sure how they're thinking this, and maybe it's other states--the way their rules and regulations are," McCredie said.  "I think Wisconsin has things pretty well laid out on what they have to do in order to be able to vote." "We never seen any proof that there's anything wrong with the way elections are run," Moen said. "I think we have a strong system and no need to worry here." Both clerks said they haven't heard direct concerns in their office about fraud, but are hoping reassurance about the results in Wisconsin spreads across the state. The state Elections Commission has also posted a "commitment to election integrity" on its website saying there has been no documented "widespread, organized or systemic cases" of voter fraud and assuring that "all reasonable and practical steps are being taken" to maintain election integrity.

Published: Sat, 22 Oct 2016 00:50:21 GMT

Former federal prison worker pleads guilty to smuggling

A former employee at the federal prison in Oxford has pleaded guilty to smuggling marijuana into the facility. Federal prosecutors announced Stacy Lenorud of Mauston entered the plea on Friday. She also pleaded guilty to conspiring with others to bring tobacco, pornography and other prohibited items into the prison. As part of her plea she acknowledged having sex with an inmate. Lenorud faces up to 5 1/2 years in prison when she's sentenced Feb. 16. Her attorney didn't immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Published: Fri, 21 Oct 2016 22:49:09 GMT

Dane County budget includes improvements to Schumacher Farm County Park

Around $200,000 in improvements could be coming to a county park as part of Dane County Executive Joe Parisi's 2017 budget proposal, according to a news release. Parisi Friday announced the improvements to the Center for Rural Heritage at Schumacher Farm County Park near Waunakee, which will include accessible walkways for people with disabilities, visitor parking lots and improvements to storm water infiltration areas. “Schumacher Farm County Park is a wonderful place to visit,” Parisi said in the release. “I am happy to be able to improve access for the facility and partner with the Friends of Schumacher Farm County Park to update the facility.” In his 2015 county budget, Parisi allocated $200,000 for construction of restrooms, flooring and heating inside the center. Both projects are expected to begin construction next year.

Published: Fri, 21 Oct 2016 20:02:15 GMT

Wisconsin State Patrol hires new superintendent

The Wisconsin State Patrol has hired a new leader. Department of Transportation Secretary Mark Gottlieb announced Friday that JD Lind will take over as patrol superintendent on Oct. 31. Lind has worked for the State Patrol since 1994, serving in a variety of roles in the patrol's northwest, north-central and southwest regional posts. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel last year and to colonel last month. He replaces Stephen Fitzgerald, who retired in July after nearly 50 years in law enforcement. Fitzgerald is the father of state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and former Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald.

Published: Fri, 21 Oct 2016 21:53:01 GMT

Police respond to shots fired on Allied Drive

Madison police responded to a report of shots fired on Allied Drive on the city's southwest side Friday morning, according to a news release. Multiple callers reported hearing gunshots in the 2200 block of Allied Drive around 11:35 a.m., police said. Police, including SWAT officers, responded to the area, but didn't find any victims, damage or shell casings, the release said. Police blocked traffic in the area while they investigated, but they have since reopened the area, the release said.

Published: Fri, 21 Oct 2016 19:26:24 GMT

Police: Man who shot at Madison cop faces attempted 1st-degree homicide charge

A Madison man is accused of attempted first-degree homicide in connection with shots fired at a police officer earlier this month, police said. The Madison Police Department said 21-year-old Cornelius Britton shot at an officer multiple times on the morning of Oct. 6. Police said Britton was firing multiple rounds while concealing himself behind the corner of an apartment building on the 5800 block of Russett Road. Police said Britton was taken into custody later that night after a foot chase on Raymond Road. Officers said they recovered a handgun. Detectives said they've placed Britton at the scene of five crimes starting on Sept. 12, when he allegedly threatened to kill a relative. Four days later, on Sept. 16, Britton and another person reportedly stole cellphones from the Best Buy on East Springs Drive, according to a news release. Britton's accomplice reportedly punched a store security guard. On Oct. 4, Britton shot at two men who were in a car near Britta Parkway. Police recommended a first-degree recklessly endangering safety charge in the drug-related shooting. The next night, Oct. 5, Britton stole jewelry at gunpoint from a man on Raymond Road, police said. The following morning was when Britton is accused of shooting at police. Detectives believed Britton's allegedly violent behavior escalated over about three weeks leading up to the Russett Road incident.

Published: Sat, 22 Oct 2016 01:27:04 GMT

Car semi-truck crash closes Highway 19 more than 6 hours

A car semi-truck crash closed part of Highway 19 Friday morning for six hours. The report of a semi-truck on fire came in at 3:20 a.m. Friday about 2 miles west of Waunakee in the town of Springfield. According to the Dane County Sheriff's Department, the initial investigation indicated a car was going eastbound on Highway 19 west of Kingsley Road when it crossed the centerline and collided with a westbound semi. The driver of the car, a 48-year-old man from Waunakee, was initially pinned in his vehicle and taken to UW Med Flight with life threatening injuries. The truck driver got out safely and was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Highway 19 reopened at 9:58 a.m.

Published: Fri, 21 Oct 2016 15:02:42 GMT