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Drive-by shooting believed to be random, investigators say

Law enforcement is looking for information from witnesses who might have information about a vehicle involved in a drive-by shooting that was later involved in an officer-involved shooting on Interstate 39/90. The string of incidents is believed to have started when West Allis police were called early Sunday morning for a report of a man forcibly entering two apartments. Police said they found a 42-year-old man with a gunshot wound who later died.  Police determined that a person of interest in the shooting was at Epikos Church on West Greenfield Avenue, and that the person had made threatening statements regarding a member of the church. Police responded to the church and no one was injured. At a news conference Monday, the Sauk County Sheriff’s Office said a woman was shot in the neck Sunday afternoon as she and her husband and children were traveling back to their home in Illinois from Wisconsin Dells. Investigators said her family’s vehicle was passing a Chevrolet Blazer when someone in the Blazer rolled windows down and fired three shots. One of the shots struck the woman in the neck. The other two shots also struck the family's vehicle. Investigators said they believe the shooting was a random act, but the investigation is ongoing. A DEA spokesman confirmed to News 3 that the man driving the vehicle from Illinois was a DEA agent, but declined further comment out of respect for the agent.  The woman who was shot in Sauk County was initially taken by EMS to St. Clare Hospital and was then sent to UW Hospital via Med Flight. She's described as being in very critical condition. A family friend confirmed to WBBM in Chicago that the woman, Tracy Czackowski, is on life support. St. Clare Hospital officials told News 3 the hospital was locked down for 30 minutes. Services were not interrupted. Investigators said the suspect involved in the Sauk County drive-by shooting is the person responsible for the homicide that occurred Sunday morning in West Allis. Numerous law enforcement agencies were later involved in a vehicle pursuit on eastbound I-94 in Columbia and Dane counties. At approximately 3:20 p.m., as the Blazer entered Dane County, road spikes were deployed and the vehicle was disabled. A 20-year-old suspect then exited the vehicle and was walking toward officers with a revolver, according to deputies. The man continued to walk toward police despite commands to stop when he was shot. The suspect’s brothers, ages 30 and 34, were also in the Blazer. They were taken to the Dane County Jail. The suspect was taken to UW Hospital. Officials said another gun was found in the Blazer. The two Columbia County Sheriff’s deputies who shot the suspect are on leave pending an investigation. All lanes of the interstate near DeForest were closed Sunday afternoon because of the incident, according to a Department of Transportation release. Tonya LaSarge was one her way home when she found herself driving behind both the suspect and victim's cars eastbound on I-90/94 near Wisconsin Dells right before the drive- by shooting. "The suspects' car was in the middle and he was shooting and within two minutes there was a cop car behind me, it was that fast," she said. LaSarge said she didn't see the actual shooting but immediately saw the cars in front of her swerve out the way. LaSarge was one of the many drivers who were stuck in the two and a half hours of traffic, but said it wasn't until she got home that she was able to process what happened. "You don't even think about it. I didn't even think about it until I got home. It took a long time until it really sat in but when I got home I definitely had a bit of a breakdown and realized that it's pretty close to something tragic happening," LaSarge said. Investigators with the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation are assisting the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, Dane County Sheriff’s Office, Sauk County Sheriff’s Office, Wisconsin State Patrol and the West Allis Police Department.

Published: Tue, 03 May 2016 02:37:54 GMT

Reports: Ikea considers opening 1st Wisconsin store

Ikea is considering opening its first Wisconsin store in Oak Creek, according to the Milwaukee Biz Times. The retailer would reportedly anchor a large mixed-use development on land owned by Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co., on West Drexel Avenue on Interstate 94, according to the Biz Times. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting the new store is a "done deal." According to the Journal Sentinel, an announcement is scheduled for Thursday morning at the Oak Creek City Hall, but it is not clear what the announcement is about.

Published: Mon, 02 May 2016 21:35:02 GMT

Video: Man witnesses shooting on interstate

A man who witnessed the law enforcement shooting of a suspect on the interstate near DeForest on Sunday posted this video. 

Published: Mon, 02 May 2016 19:29:36 GMT

Badgers to host 2 Big Ten football match-ups under the lights

The Wisconsin Badgers will play two night games at Camp Randall Stadium in October, both against Big Ten rivals. The Badgers will play Ohio State at 7 p.m. Oct 15 and Nebraska at 6 p.m. Oct. 29. Both games will air on an ESPN network to be determined. These will be the first nighttime conference games at Camp Randall in five years. The last time Wisconsin played a prime time game at home, they scored a 48-17 win over Nebraska in the Huskers' first-ever Big Ten game. The Badgers are 12-4 all-time in night games at Camp Randall, including a mark of 6-3 against Big Ten opponents. Kickoff times for the remainder of Wisconsin's schedule have yet to be announced.

Published: Mon, 02 May 2016 15:45:13 GMT

Lawsuit says Starbucks' iced drinks have too much ice

A Starbucks customer from Chicago has filed a $5 million lawsuit against the coffee chain, accusing it of using too much ice in its cold drinks. The suit, filed by Stacy Pincus, claims that while Starbucks advertises its cold drinks by fluid ounce, the numbers are only accurate when ice is added to a drink. "Starbucks is advertising the size of its Cold Drink cups on its menu, rather than the amount of fluid a customer will receive when they purchase a Cold Drink -- and deceiving its customers in the process," the suit says. A Venti cold drink, for example, is advertised as having 24 fluid ounces, but only includes 14 ounces of the actual liquid, the lawsuit claims. The rest is ice. Jamie Riley, a spokesperson for Starbucks, said the company is aware of Pincus' claim and believes it is without merit. "Our customers understand and expect that ice is an essential component of any 'iced' beverage. If a customer is not satisfied with their beverage preparation, we will gladly remake it," she said. The suit lists says claims could exceed $5 million. The action recalls an infamous lawsuit filed by a McDonald's customer who was burned by hot coffee purchased at a drive thru in 1992. The suit, which was successful, argued the coffee was unreasonably hot.

Published: Mon, 02 May 2016 20:02:20 GMT

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Published: Wed, 03 Feb 2016 13:00:21 GMT

News 3 Investigates who's behind the wheel of Wisconsin limousines

A little more than a month after a tragic limousine crash near Chicago killed a Monona woman and seriously injured two others, federal investigators said the driver shouldn't have been driving and the company didn't have any insurance. News 3 looked into what consumers need to know before booking a limo and how to ensure the company driving you for some of life's biggest events is safe and reputable. Wisconsin State Patrol officials said there has been an increase in recent years of limo companies flying under the radar. Sgt. Mark Abrahamson, of the Motor Carrier Enforcement Investigation Unit, said the limo crash near Chicago in March immediately got his attention. "When I did see the news footage of that crash, obviously my heart dropped," Abrahamson said. The Illinois State Police said the limo was carrying six passengers when it overturned on the highway near O'Hare airport. The limo driver reported being blinded by the sun. Terri Schmidt of Monona, a successful businesswoman, was killed in the crash and two other passengers were seriously injured. "I had to ask myself, 'Did I do everything that I can, did the state do everything it can to try to educate individuals and educate the carriers on safety?" Abrahamson said. Lyons Limousine, the company carrying the group from Madison to O'Hare, didn't have insurance or even an active corporate filing with the state. The driver, 20-year-old Aaron Nash, had a driving record that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said should have kept him off the road. The FMCSA issued an "Imminent Hazard" order for Lyons in April. Abrahamson said the company was still operating because it was never reported or observed violating a law. "Had we had some intervention, just some intervention whether it be a roadside inspection, a complaint or other knowledge this individual was operating in that manner and we would have intervened," Abrahamson said. Limo companies, or so-called "passenger carriers," must meet a number of requirements. Operators need "motor carrier authority" to cross state lines and "passenger carrier authority" to drive within Wisconsin borders. Operators are also required to carry a minimum amount of commercial insurance, $1.5 million for vehicles carrying less than 16 passengers and $5 million for vehicles above 16 passengers. All companies are given a federal DOT number, which is searchable online at SAFER web and on an app called SAFER bus. Results show whether a company is allowed to drive across state lines and whether it's had any safety or maintenance violations. The site can be a resource for a company's history, but the trouble is that it doesn't show whether a company can operate in Wisconsin. Take Abracadabra Limousine out of Albany. Its SUV limo took a group of Columbus students to the Capitol Square last year for prom. When they got to the square, the students in the back reported the vehicle getting hot, and ultimately the engine started on fire, with smoke that could be seen for miles. After an investigation by the FMCSA, on SAFER web the company is listed as "out of service" after some $30,000 in fines for safety violations. But Abrahamson confirms the company still has authority to drive in Wisconsin. "In the state of Wisconsin, the company does have the minimum insurance requirements for our state and they do have our intrastate operating authority called PC authority," Abrahamson said. "So if they have those items, we allow them to continue to operate unless they eventually evince certain unsafe practices or unsafe operation." How could you as a consumer confirm that? News 3 finds that you can't. There is no database or place to search companies in Wisconsin that have authority to carry passengers solely for intrastate trips. Gallant Knight Limousine owner Larry Epstein said in 20 years of operation, he's found consumers don't ask many questions when booking their limo. "I'll have people say to me, 'I've never done this before' when they call and I say, 'We'll help you through it,'" Epstein said. Epstein suggests running that DOT number on SAFER Web, but also ask how long a company has been in business, how old their vehicles are and ask to see their proof of insurance. Consumers can also ask who the driver will be and check their driving record in circuit court records. The State Patrol recommends checking reviews on Facebook or the Better Business Bureau. But you may be asking why you need to do all this work. The federal government requires compliance reviews, so why is the state not doing the same finding any violators? "The way that they come to our attention is through a complaint or an accident or roadside activity," Abrahamson said. Until a few months ago, the DOT didn't have the authority to do proactive policing of passenger carriers. Wisconsin Act 135 was signed by Gov. Scott Walker in February, giving the State Patrol more control over the regulation of in-state carriers. "Without that oversight, many of them felt like they didn't have to comply until someone knocks on their door and requires them to comply," Abrahamson said. "And that tool now is in place and we can be proactive." Until that effort ramps up, though, the best way to stay safe may be to ask questions and do research. News 3 spoke to the owner of Abracadabra Limousine Monday. He said he's taken steps to remedy his safety issues and is in the process of re-applying for federal motor carrier authority. Lyons Limousine owners did not respond to our request for comment.

Published: Tue, 03 May 2016 02:24:55 GMT

1 of 3 witnesses to west side homicide taken into custody, police say

One of the three men Madison police were looking to talk with about a pub shooting that left a man dead on Madison's west side earlier this month has been taken into custody. Madison police said they were looking for William D. Flowers, 25, of Fitchburg, Billy N. Richmond, 35, of Fitchburg, and Travis G. Smith Jr., 28, of Madison, as part of the investigation into the murder of 30-year-old Martez Moore shortly after 1 a.m. on April 19. Madison police said Richmond was taken into custody Monday afternoon in the 600 block of Badger Road on charges unrelated to the O'Grady's murder. Smith and Flowers are still at large, officials said. Police are still investigating the incident that took place outside O'Grady's Pub and Grille on Mineral Point Road. Koval said police have wanted to interview Flowers, Richmond and Smith, but had been unable to find them. He said they are considered material witnesses but are not suspects in the murder. The three men also have multiple outstanding warrants against them and have been wanted by the department outside the Moore homicide investigation. But police believe the three men can provide police needed insight as they investigate the case. Koval said no one is in custody, and very few people who witnessed the incident are willing to talk about what happened. He said police are urging anyone who has information about the incident, or who knows where Smith and Flowers are, to call the department or Crime Stoppers. Anyone with information should call Madison police at 608-255-2345 or Madison Area Crime Stoppers at 608-266-6014.

Published: Mon, 02 May 2016 21:17:08 GMT

'Box of blood' found in Madison street

A box of human blood found on a Madison street turned out to be blood donated to the Red Cross. Madison police said an officer was flagged down Sunday afternoon after a 68-year-old Stoughton man spotted a box in the middle of Zeirer Road. He said it was marked “human blood.” The officer determined that the box belonged to the Red Cross. He was told to deliver the donated blood to the Red Cross’s offices on Sheboygan Avenue. A lab technician told the officer that the Red Cross had just received blood from a satellite location and was expecting six boxes, but got only five. Officials believe that the driver likely loaded five boxes and inadvertently left one on the car. The box was not struck by a car or truck and was undamaged.

Published: Mon, 02 May 2016 21:49:41 GMT

Man pulled over for wrong vehicle registration faces drunken driving charge

A Stoughton man faces his sixth drunken driving charge after being stopped for having registration on his vehicle that belonged to a different vehicle, according to a release. When Larry J. Hendrickson, 53, was stopped around 11:30 p.m. Saturday, officers said he appeared to be impaired. Hendrickson was arrested on a tentative charge of sixth-offense operating while intoxicated.

Published: Mon, 02 May 2016 21:13:49 GMT

UW-Madison Faculty Senate say no confidence in leaders

Faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have overwhelmingly supported a no-confidence vote in UW System President Ray Cross and the UW Board of Regents. Monday's voice vote came in the university's Faculty Senate, which has 220 senators representing more than 2,200 staff members. Supporters of the measure say System leaders should have fought harder against $250 million in GOP-led funding cuts over two years. They were also angered by a budget provision that weakened job protections. Cross said in a statement that he disagreed with the resolution and would continue to fight for the UW System. Regents President Regina Miller said the board has "total confidence" in Cross. She said changes in tenure and layoff policies were "very reasonable and fair" and comparable to other schools.

Published: Tue, 03 May 2016 01:10:18 GMT

Expansion doubles number of students driver’s license program can help

A program that helps teens who otherwise might not be able to get a driver’s license is expanding to all Madison high schools. Dane County Executive Joe Parisi and Madison Metropolitan School District Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham announced an expansion of the Access to Opportunity initiative, which was launched last year. The pilot phase included students at East and Memorial high schools, but all high schools will be included with the expansion, officials said. “I am thrilled that through partnership we were able to expand this program to all Madison high schools,” Parisi said in the release. “Because of this initiative more kids will obtain their driver’s license and have doors opened to them they wouldn’t have without it.” M3 Insurance, Findorff Construction, the United Way of Dane County and MG&E’s investment in the initiative helped to make this expansion possible, according to the release. "The ability to obtain a driver's license is a major barrier to employment, and I want to thank the County Executive for helping us remove that barrier for more of our students. We are proud to partner on this program,” Cheatham said. Applications for the program are being accepted through Friday, according to the release. Scholarship recipients will be admitted into and have the fees waived to the Driver’s Education Summer Scholars Program, which will save them $400. The will be 100 total spots, 25 per school, available through this year’s program, which is double the amount of spots in last year’s program, officials said.

Published: Mon, 02 May 2016 23:13:47 GMT

Man accused of injuring 6-month-old, police say

A 21-year-old Madison man caused significant injuries to a baby who was taken to a hospital Saturday morning, according to a release from Madison police. Police said Phillip C. Kasuboske is the boyfriend of the child’s mother and was caring for the boy inside the woman’s Kent Lane apartment. He was arrested on suspicion of second-degree reckless endangerment. The 6-month-old victim is expected to survive.

Published: Mon, 02 May 2016 16:32:18 GMT

High school graduation rates up by 3.7 percent in Janesville

Janesville’s high school graduation rate has gone up by almost 4 percentage points thanks to several district initiatives, according to a release. The 2014-15 graduation rate was 89.8 percent, which is an increase of 3.7 percentage points, officials said. The state graduate rate is 88.4 percent, according to the release. “We are very pleased with the positive improvement in our graduation rate, and I congratulate everyone associated with this effort,” Janesville Superintendent Dr. Karen Schulte said in the release. “We always stress the importance of a high school education for all students, and we will look for ways to keep this positive trend going.” Graduation rates for Hispanic and black students in Janesville also exceed the state graduation rate, according to the release. Officials said there are several initiatives in the district that drive efforts to ensure all students are on track to graduate from high school and are well prepared for a career or college.

Published: Mon, 02 May 2016 22:49:34 GMT

1 arrested after jogger attacked

Janesville police said they found a woman beaten and missing items when they found her on North Main Street. Police said the jogger is a woman, 23, from Vancouver, British Columbia. Officers found the suspect, 15, hiding behind a local business. Police said the suspect admitted to attacking the woman. The victim has been treated and released from the hospital.

Published: Mon, 02 May 2016 12:29:28 GMT

Trapped toddler uses key fob to unlock doors

A toddler trapped inside a locked car Sunday was able to unlock the car after firefighters used a rod to get a car fob into the child’s hands. Madison firefighters were called to the 2400 block of Regent Street at 12:57 p.m. on a report of a child accidentally locked inside a vehicle. Firefighters said the 2-year-old was not in distress when they arrived. They were unable to open the car, but were able to get a rod inside and use it to grab the car keys and hand them to the child. “The child did what kids sometimes do -- and what firefighters hoped the child would do: Took the key fob and began to push its buttons,” the report said. “Wammo!” wrote the fire lieutenant at the scene. “The doors opened!” Firefighters were done at the scene at 1:02 p.m.

Published: Mon, 02 May 2016 15:06:17 GMT

Green County officials investigate fatal fire

The state fire marshal is investigating a fatal fire in the town of York, according to a release from Green County sheriff's officials. The New Glarus Fire Department was sent to a residential structure fire at N8515 Badger Road near Blanchardville around 4 a.m., officials said. Crews said the structure was fully engulfed and the roof had collapsed when they arrived. The body of a 37-year-old man was found inside the home, according to the release. The state fire marshal and Green County coroner are investigating the fire.

Published: Mon, 02 May 2016 01:03:44 GMT

Man robbed by three people who pushed him against car

Madison police are looking for three men who jumped out of a car on the city’s west side early Monday morning and robbed a man walking to a friend’s house. The incident happened on Britta Parkway just after midnight Monday. According to police, the man was walking down the street when a black Dodge Charger approached and three men got out of the car and confronted him. Police said the men pushed the victim against the car and went through his pockets, taking an undisclosed amount of cash. The victim wasn’t hit by the men, but may have aggravated a pre-existing injury during the incident. Police said they are looking for three black men, all in their mid-20s with stocky builds wearing blue jeans. Two of the men were wearing white T-shirts, while the third man was wearing a black T-shirt. If you have any information about the incident, you are asked to call Madison police.

Published: Mon, 02 May 2016 14:40:44 GMT

2 arrested in Janesville heroin investigation

JANESVILLE, Wis. - Two Janesville residents are under arrest for heroin-related charges, according to the Janesville Police Department. The city's Street Crimes Unit (JPD SCU) found evidence of distribution of heroin, and heroin after execution of a search warrant at Brett Larson's residence in the 1700 block of Alden Road Sunday.  Larson, 26, faces a number of heroin-related charges, along with three counts of maintaining a drug vehicle and one count of maintaining a drug house. He also has a probation violation. Ashley M. Little, 21, faces one heroin-related charge and one count of maintaining a drug house. Both Larson and Little are at the Rock County Jail.

Published: Mon, 02 May 2016 04:42:58 GMT