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Missing 14-year-old last seen Friday

The Adams County Sheriff’s Office is asking for help in finding a missing 14-year-old who was last seen on Friday. Ryan J. Johnston is described as white, 5 feet 1 inch tall, weighing 110 pounds with a slim build. He was last seen Friday at about 2 p.m. He might be in Waushara County or the Oxford area. Anyone with information about Johnston’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Adams County Sheriff’s Office at 608-339-3304 or 877-885-9977 or contact your local law enforcement agency.

Published: Mon, 29 Aug 2016 13:03:40 GMT

UW-Madison is top party school in US

University of Wisconsin-Madison leaders are chafing under a state-imposed tuition freeze and the football team didn't crack the Top 25 preseason rankings. But no school in the country throws a better party, according to the Princeton Review's 2017 edition of "The Best 381 Colleges." Here's a look at how it decides which is No. 1, as well as other notable "best of" rankings, such as best financial aid and most beautiful campus: ___ WHAT'S THE PRINCETON REVIEW AND HOW DID IT PUT TOGETHER THESE RANKINGS? The Princeton Review is a New York-based tutoring, test prep and college admission services company that publishes a book every year ranking colleges in 62 categories. This year's edition is based on an online survey of 143,000 students at colleges selected by an editorial board. ___ HOW DID UW-MADISON EARN THE TOP PARTY SCHOOL RANKING? The survey asked students about alcohol and drug use on campus, the popularity of Greek life and the number of hours they study each day outside of class. UW-Madison is famous for its parties, especially Halloween and an end-of-year block party. Every home football game is preceded by hours of off-site drinking. It was last named No. 1 party school in the 2005 survey. Princeton Review senior vice president and publisher Rob Franek noted that the school has ranked among the Top 20 party schools in 22 surveys over the last 25 years. "You won't find a more friendly place to be as attendees share brats, offer up beers, and join in singing some of our most memorable chants — all before the game even begins," one unnamed student said in the survey. ___ WHAT OTHER SCHOOLS GET THEIR PARTY ON? West Virginia University in Morgantown came in second, followed by the University of Illinois' flagship campus in Urbana-Champaign, which was ranked No. 1 last year. Two Pennsylvania schools — Lehigh University and Bucknell University — filled out the top five listing. ___ DID UW-MADISON EARN ANY OTHER TOP RANKINGS? Yes, "Best Health Services" and "Lots of Beer." It was also fourth in friendliness toward transgender, gay and bisexual people. __ WHO WON OTHER CATEGORIES? For students who don't care to drink, Brigham Young University is the place to be. The private school that's affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints took top honors in the "Stone-Cold Sober Schools" category for the 19th straight year. Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, has the best financial aid. The University of Massachusetts-Amherst has the best campus food, Washington University in St. Louis the best dorms and Penn State University the best athletic facilities. If you're looking for a picturesque campus, head to Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, which was named most beautiful. If you want the best teachers, you'll find them at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. West Point is tops in the "Students Study the Most" and "Most Accessible Professors" categories.

Published: Mon, 29 Aug 2016 14:38:13 GMT

Woman nearly dies after slip 'n slide accident

A Michigan woman is recovering from a traumatic brain injury after falling on a popular summer toy.

Published: Mon, 29 Aug 2016 17:45:07 GMT

Postcards are snapshot of Hoffman House history

Fred Hoffman opened one of Madison’s first self-service groceries but it failed during the Depression. What followed was World War II and eight of his nine sons—all but the youngest, Tom—joining the fight. His son Sylvester, better known as Bud, died in combat. The seven returning brothers—Fran, Bob, Cy, Jerry, Chuck, Cos and Walt—were determined to keep the family together and honor their father’s name. Together they launched the Hoffman House, an upscale, modern supper club at 514 E. Wilson Street (the site of the Essen Haus today). This was but the beginning for brothers who dreamed big. By 1949, the restaurant’s sauces and salad dressings were so popular locally that the Hoffmans began bottling them. Dean Foods bought this operation in 1965 and Bay Valley Foods still markets its tartar and cocktail sauces today. In 1952, the downtown building underwent a major renovation, adding a new Paul Bunyan-themed dining room set off with knotty pine walls and murals of the legendary lumberjack. Another whimsical addition was the candy-striped Gay ’90s lounge. Waitresses wore costumes and bartenders red jackets and they all knew my dad liked a pickled onion in his cocktail. This is the Hoffman House I remember and love. It’s where my parents often took out-of-town guests and I insisted I celebrate my birthday. I always had the grilled trout. Given a net, I would snare one of the live fish swimming in a stream that flowed through the Paul Bunyan Room. (Even then I was suspicious at how quickly my catch returned, ready to eat.) While most boys my age collected baseball trading cards, I hoarded menus and the one from here was special. In 1953, a bucolic summer home in Lake Delton became a beautiful supper club named Ishnala, a seasonal outpost for the original Madison enterprise. A second Hoffman House in Rockford, Illinois, followed in 1958. By the mid-60s, the Wilson Street location had closed, replaced by a dinner theatre, and new Hoffman Houses were constructed on our city’s east and west sides. The brand would eventually grow to include 11 outlets in Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan, mostly connected to motels just off the freeway. Food processor Green Giant bought the chain in 1976. As the Hoffman House grew ever larger, it became so much smaller for me. Gone was the old place on Wilson Street that possessed so much magic for me growing up. All that truly remains is Ishnala, to this day miraculously unchanged, perched on its sylvan pedestal high above aptly named Mirror Lake, filled with rustic and venerable things. Every year I ritually return to sit at the horseshoe-shaped bar and sip a satin-smooth martini. The long-departed nine brothers stare down at me from their fading hand-tinted photographs. As the sun sets into the lake, I once again gaze out the window as twilight embraces night. The divine view gradually morphs into my own reflection. Or is it a ghost, returned to remind me that nothing lasts forever? The only vestiges that remain today of the once mighty Hoffman House domain are three independently owned restaurants: Hoffman House Rockford 550 E. State St., Rockford, Illinois 815-397-5800 Ishnala S2011 Ishnala Rd., Lake Delton 608-253-1771 Under the same management as the Hoffman House Rockford Hoffman House Wausau 2901 Hummingbird Rd., Wausau 715-842-1656

Published: Fri, 26 Aug 2016 05:00:00 GMT

10-year-old girl killed in gruesome murder, mother arrested

Candles, flowers and stuffed animals mark the memorial for a 10-year-old girl, who New Mexico police said was brutally murdered. Three people arrested in the case include her own mother. Victoria Martens had just started fourth grade at an Albuquerque elementary school and celebrated her 10th birthday Tuesday. On Wednesday, she was killed in what police described as a "horrific" crime. Friends and family honored the victim during a vigil Thursday, with one person saying Victoria Martens will always be remembered by her smile. On Sunday, a birthday party is planned in honor of the little girl. A Facebook page titled Princess Victoria's Heavenly Birthday is asking people to show up at an Albuquerque park wearing purple -- Victoria's favorite color. So far, more than 2,000 people say they are attending. Albuquerque Police identified the suspects in her killing as Victoria's mother, Michelle Martens, her mother's boyfriend, Fabian Gonzales and Gonzales' cousin, Jessica Kelley. According to a criminal complaint obtained by CNN, officers arrived to discover two adults with minor injuries and saw a third adult attempt to flee the family apartment by jumping off a balcony. When police entered the apartment, it was filled with smoke and they discovered the body of Victoria Martens partially wrapped in a burning blanket, inside a bath tub, police say. According to the complaint, the child had no pulse, her left leg was almost completely cut off and both arms were missing. She was pronounced dead at the scene. The child's mother, Michelle Martens, told police the young girl was given methamphetamine "to calm her down" and that Fabian Gonzales had sex with her, according to the complaint. Martens told police Gonzales choked her daughter to death. Gonzales denied any involvement in the killing, telling police it was Kelley, who he identified as his cousin, who stabbed and dismembered the young girl. Kelley was recently released from prison and was staying with Martens at the time of the slaying, Martens told police. CNN affiliate KOAT says both Kelley and Gonzales have extensive criminal records. The mother apparently had a traffic citation in the past, according to the affiliate. Martens was charged in court Thursday with kidnapping and child abuse resulting in death. Gonzales faces the same charges as well as child rape. Kelley, who had been hospitalized with foot injury, appeared in court Saturday. She was charged with kidnapping, child abuse resulting in death and child rape. During Kelley's court appearance, Judge Chris Schultz said "the crimes ... display a depth of depravity that is unfathomable to me." All three suspects are being held on $1 million bond. Attorney Tom Clark, who told CNN he represents Gonzales, said he would meet with his client next week. Attorneys representing Michelle Martens and Jessica Kelley did not return calls from CNN.

Published: Sun, 28 Aug 2016 09:09:11 GMT


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

Lightning strike kills 300 reindeer in Norway

More than 300 reindeer have been killed by a single lightning strike at a Norwegian national park. Pictures released by the Norwegian Environment Agency on Sunday show 323 carcasses scattered across a small, isolated area in Hardangervidda National Park. The plateau-like park in south-central Norway is home to Europe's largest herds of wild reindeer, according to its website. Embed One of the agency's inspectors discovered the dead animals over the weekend after a storm passed through. Wild animals are occasionally struck by lightning, but the agency has never seen so many killed at once, spokesperson Kjartan Knutsen told CNN. "We have never experienced such numbers before. This is very large," Knutsen said. He said the wild reindeer were huddled together because of heavy weather on Friday, when the strike occurred. "That's why it's possible for the lightning to kill so many," he said. Humans rarely visit the remote area. The dead reindeer were found by one of the agency's inspectors because Norway is in the midst of its annual wild reindeer hunting season. Knutsen said five reindeer were still alive when the inspector came across the scene, but they had to be euthanized. He said the agency has now begun taking samples from the dead animals as part of a health survey. "We know they were killed by lightning, but this testing is for science," he said. The dead reindeer were still on site Monday. While the agency usually does not remove animals when they die in the wild, it is currently considering other options because of the large numbers, Knutsen said. It's not the first time a large herd of animals have been killed by lightning. In 2005, 68 cows were killed in Australia by a single bolt.

Published: Mon, 29 Aug 2016 16:58:57 GMT

Man crashes SUV, dies

A 66-year-old Monticello man was killed Sunday when he was ejected from his SUV after he lost control on a county road, according to a release from the Green County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies were called at 9:14 p.m. to the N9000 block of County Road J, South of Highway 39 in the town of York on a report of a crash. A passing motorist found a SUV in the west ditch and provided CPR to the driver. Investigators said the SUV was traveling south on County Road J when the SUV’s tires struck the gravel shoulder while rounding a curve, causing the driver to swerve and overcorrect. The SUV rolled off the road and into the ditch coming to rest on its wheels. The driver was the only person in the SUV. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Deputies said there is no evidence of any other vehicle, weather or alcohol contributing to the crash. The identity of the driver is being withheld pending notification of family members. The New Glarus Fire Department, New Glarus EMS and Green County EMS assisted at the scene.

Published: Mon, 29 Aug 2016 15:26:31 GMT

Prosecutor downgrades charge in interstate shooting case

Prosecutors have downgraded the most serious charge against a Wisconsin man accused of killing an Illinois woman in an interstate drive-by shooting. Zachary Hays faced first-degree intentional homicide and reckless endangerment charges in Sauk County in connection with the May 1 incident that left Tracy Czaczkowski dead. District Attorney Kevin Calkins on Monday downgraded the intentional homicide count to first-degree reckless homicide, saying during a hearing that the charge is more consistent with what he's learning about Hays' mental state. Hays pleaded not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect to all four counts. Hays also faces charges in Milwaukee for allegedly killing his neighbor hours before he took to the road. A psychiatrist's report in that case found Hays could be suffering from schizophrenia or another mental disorder.

Published: Mon, 29 Aug 2016 16:18:37 GMT

Police free 2 children locked in vehicle

Police officers in Mauston freed two kids locked in a vehicle on a hot day by smashing out a window, according to a release from Mauston police. Officers were called at 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 17 to a parking lot in the area of Stonefield Circle on a report of two children locked inside a vehicle. Officers said the mother was the one who called for help. They said she wasn’t able to get her children out. Police said it was 82 degrees outside and the children were sweating heavily inside the vehicle. The officers got permission from the mother to break a window. As one of the officers distracted the children, the window was broken and the children were freed. The children were looked over, taken into a cool house and given water. Police said the children appeared to be in great spirits and acting normal.

Published: Mon, 29 Aug 2016 16:03:02 GMT

UW officials cool to top party school ranking

Officials at the University of Wisconsin aren't all that happy that the flagship Madison campus wound up first on a list of the nation's top party schools. The ranking Monday comes from the Princeton Review, a New York-based tutoring and test prep company that surveys thousands of students and rates colleges in a number of categories each year. A statement from the school made no mention of the ranking, instead calling alcohol use on campus a "pressing public health concern" that hurts academic achievement and makes schools less safe. They noted that incoming students go through mandatory programs educating them about the dangers of alcohol. The school also notes that many students drink moderately or not at all.

Published: Mon, 29 Aug 2016 17:45:26 GMT

Man used stolen ID to buy cellphones at mall, police say

A Chicago man was using a stolen identification to buy cellphones at West Towne Mall, according to a release from Madison police. Officers were called Friday night to U.S. Cellular at West Towne Mall when an employee noticed that the same man had been at her kiosk two weeks ago and attempted to buy a cellphone by taking out store credit. She told officers she believed his ID was fake or altered. Robert D. Robinson, 34, was found at Best Buy near West Towne Mall also trying to buy a cellphone, police said. Officers said Robinson had four phones in his pockets. An officer contacted the man whose identity was being used. The 35-year-old man lives in a Chicago suburb and had no idea his identity had been compromised. Robinson was arrested on suspicion of unauthorized use of a personal ID or documents and resisting or obstructing an officer.

Published: Mon, 29 Aug 2016 17:06:30 GMT

Abortions in Wisconsin drop for sixth straight year

The number of abortions performed in Wisconsin has dropped for the sixth straight year. That's according to the latest annual report on induced abortions released by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services on Monday. The report shows that there were 5,660 abortions in the state last year compared with 5,800 abortions in 2014. That's a drop of 140 abortions, a 2.4 percent decline. Abortions have been steadily declining in the state since 2009. Of the 5,660 abortions last year, 214 were performed on minors. Seventy nine percent were surgical, while 21 percent were chemically induced. The report is being issued a week after Planned Parenthood said it was permanently closing its abortion clinic in Appleton. That leaves only Madison and Milwaukee as cities with Planned Parenthood clinics that offer abortions.

Published: Mon, 29 Aug 2016 16:32:10 GMT

Motorcyclist ejected, flown to hospital

A Blanchardville man was flown to a hospital after he was ejected during a crash, according to a release from the Green County Sheriff’s Office. Deputies were called at 5:54 p.m. Sunday to the N5800 block of Wildlife Road in the town of Adams on a report of a motorcycle crash with injuries. Investigators said Rick L. Busch, 50, of Blanchardville, was traveling south when he failed to negotiate a curve and was ejected. Busch was wearing eye protection, but no helmet. He was flown to a hospital by Med Flight. Busch was cited for having no insurance.

Published: Mon, 29 Aug 2016 12:48:15 GMT

Authorities say death of woman in Bellevue is a homicide

Brown County sheriff's officials say a woman found dead in Bellevue is the victim of a homicide. During a news conference Monday, Chief Deputy Delain said 52-year-old Suzette Langlois had been fatally shot. Deputies were called to Bellevue shortly before 2 a.m. Monday on a report of shooting. Delain says the fatal shooting is not a random act, but that no one is in custody. The State Crime Lab is helping process the scene along Manitowoc Road.

Published: Mon, 29 Aug 2016 16:23:38 GMT

Milwaukee Brewers sued by New Jersey woman

A New Jersey woman who was hit by a baseball during batting practice before a Brewers game in 2014 has now sued the team. Dana Morelli, 47, of Glendora, New Jersey, claims the Brewers and their insurance company were negligent because they didn't provide an adequate barrier. She said they also didn't give fans proper warning about the danger of foul balls. Morelli suffered multiple injuries when a ball hit her below the eye. The lawsuit was filed in Milwaukee County Circuit Court earlier this month. The Milwaukee Brewers declined to comment, saying they do not discuss pending litigation. Morelli is seeking an unspecified amount in damages.

Published: Mon, 29 Aug 2016 12:02:14 GMT

Walker declares emergency for 3 western Wisconsin counties

Gov. Scott Walker has issued emergency declarations for three western Wisconsin counties hit hard by storms and flooding earlier this month. Walker on Monday signed the order declaring disasters in Eau Claire, Buffalo and Trempealeau counties. The orders will help free up government money to help with the recovery effort. Severe thunderstorms and floods hit the area when five to eight inches of rain fell in the evening and overnight on Aug. 10. The state has already asked the federal government to help pay for an estimated $1.8 million in federal highways in the three counties. The flooding led to road closures, but all state highways were reopened by Aug. 16.

Published: Mon, 29 Aug 2016 16:22:56 GMT

Man arrested in connection with jogger attack, police say

A man was arrested on suspicion of attacking a jogger who suffered facial injuries after he was assaulted on Madison's east side Tuesday night, police say. Madison police said a 26-year-old Madison man was out for a run at 8:50 p.m. on the 2000 block of Winnebago Street when he was punched in the face by a stranger. The man told police he was on his normal exercise route when he encountered the other man. The jogger suffered a possible broken nose and swollen eye. The injured man told police his assailant didn't say anything, didn't try to rob him and fled across the street after the assault. Police said they arrested Tyler C. Smith, 33, of Madison on suspicion of substantial battery.

Published: Mon, 29 Aug 2016 15:10:07 GMT

Robert Redford makes fundraising plea for Feingold

Hollywood movie star Robert Redford is asking for money to support Democratic Wisconsin Senate candidate Russ Feingold. The fundraising plea Monday comes on the same day that an independent political action committee backing Johnson called Let America Work was to announce a new ad buy. Feingold was also set to deliver a speech at the biennial convention of the AFL-CIO of Wisconsin. Feingold's campaign sent a fundraising email signed by Redford asking for donations as low as $3 to support him in the race against Republican Sen. Ron Johnson. Redford writes that he's been observing the political season with "disbelief and deep concern for America" but Feingold needs support because he stands up for economic justice and working people.

Published: Mon, 29 Aug 2016 13:36:20 GMT

State paid $9.7M in bonuses, payments in fiscal 2016

The state of Wisconsin paid an estimated $9.7 million in one-time bonuses or various pay increases for state workers in fiscal year 2016. An analysis by the Wisconsin State Journal found the payments went to 4,638 workers, roughly 15 percent of the state's workforce. The newspaper analyzed merit-based bonuses, as well as payments that were meant to retain employees or make their salaries equitable to their peers. The amount is more than double what was given out in fiscal year 2015, when Gov. Scott Walker suspended payments to balance the budget. That year, the state issued about $3.7 million in special raises or bonuses. The majority of the payments went to workers in the departments of Transportation, Corrections and Natural Resources.

Published: Sun, 28 Aug 2016 16:27:46 GMT