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Police: Milwaukee teen beaten, burned over video game system

Prosecutors say a 21-year-old Milwaukee man beat a 15-year-old boy with a hammer, stabbed him in the neck and burned his body over a stolen video game system.

Police arrested Malik Terrell in Chicago on Monday after discovering the burnt remains of Dennis King in an abandoned Milwaukee house Sunday. King's family reported him missing since May 11.

Prosecutors say Terrell and his two younger siblings thought a friend of King's stole their video game system, so Terrell brought King to their house to question him. Investigators say Terrell and one of his siblings started beating King before Terrell attacked him with a hammer and stabbed him in the neck.

Terrell is charged with first-degree murder. He doesn't have a listed attorney. His siblings haven't been charged.


Published on 22 May 2018 | 7:09 pm

Utility proposes gas pipeline near Wisconsin Foxconn site

An electric utility company is asking for regulatory approval to construct a $196 million gas pipeline near the Foxconn Technology Group manufacturing complex in southeastern Wisconsin.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that We Energies filed documents last week with the Wisconsin Public Service Commission seeking approval for the nearly 50-mile pipeline.

Company spokeswoman Amy Jahns says the pipeline was planned before the Foxconn project, but the company has accelerated its timeline. The utility says the pipeline will "increase the quantity and reliability of natural gas service."

There are two different routes proposed for the project, though both would start in La Grange and end just west of the Foxconn site in Mount Pleasant. The northern route would cost $196 million while the southern option would cost $187 million.


Published on 22 May 2018 | 3:49 pm

Man acting strangely at disturbance call found with baggie of meth, police say

An Adams man was arrested last week when deputies were called to a disturbance and determined he was under the influence of methamphetamine, according to a Facebook post.

Deputies were sent to an address in Adams for reports of a disorderly man, officials said.

Callers said 32-year-old Michael Pieper was acting strangely and they believed he was on meth, according to the post.

Pieper left the residence just before deputies arrived, but they found him at another residence in Adams a short while later, officials said. Deputies found a baggie of suspected meth and took Pieper into custody.

Pieper faces a tentative charge of possession of meth.


Published on 22 May 2018 | 3:13 pm

Investigators seek to ID Walmart theft suspect

Investigators in Rock County are looking for help in a retail theft case, according to a news release.

The Janesville Police Department said Tuesday it is seeking the public's assistance in identifying a person believed to be involved in a recent theft from Walmart on Deerfield Drive in Janesville.

Police shared a surveillance image of a young black man wearing a Chicago Blackhawks T-shirt.

Anyone with information about the crime is asked to contact police at 608-755-3100, or Janesville Area Crime Stoppers at 608-756-3636. Tipsters can also download the "P3 tips" app in the Apple or Google Play stores to share information with police anonymously.


Published on 22 May 2018 | 2:35 pm

Supreme Court sides with Ho-Chunk, protects burial sites

The state Supreme Court says a concrete company can't dig up burial sites.

Wingra Redi-Mix wants to excavate burial mounds within its quarry near McFarland. The mounds are on the Wisconsin Historical Society's burial sites catalog, which means Wingra needs a permit. The state Division of Hearings and Appeals denied the company's request for one, prompting a legal battle with the state and the Ho-Chunk Nation.

The 4th District Court of Appeals last summer upheld the DHA decision. The state Supreme Court upheld the appellate court Tuesday. The court's ruling said Justice Daniel Kelly withdrew from the case but offered no analysis and didn't say how the remaining justices voted.

Justice Shirley Abrahamson wrote that the court was divided 3-3 and chastised the other justices for not being transparent.


Published on 22 May 2018 | 1:45 pm

Man shot in head on Madison's south side dies, police say

A man who was clinging to life after being shot in the head last week on Madison's south side has died, Madison police said Tuesday morning.

News 3 spoke to the family of Rayshawn Jackson last week, who identified Jackson as the man who was shot on Waunona Woods Court Wednesday night.

Jackson's family told News 3 doctors at UW Hospital had declared him brain dead Thursday.

Officials said Antonio R. Gentry, 36, of Madison, was arrested and is on a parole hold after the shooting. The shooting is now being investigated as a first-degree intentional homicide case, Madison police said.

Officials said they found Gentry at an apartment complex on the 6700 block of Bridge Road. He was attempting to barricade himself in when police found him. He had a superficial cut on his hand, and was transported to the hospital for emergency medical treatment.

The two men had a conflict and the shooting was not random, according to police.


Published on 22 May 2018 | 1:41 pm

New allegations released against retired Fort Atkinson priest

A retired priest in residence at Our Lady Queen of Peace in Madison is facing more allegations since being charged with felony sexual assault last week.

According to a release Monday from the Diocese of Madison, William A. Nolan, 64, is being accused of sexual misconduct toward an adult male in 2009, two years after retiring from priesthood in 2007.

Diocese officials said during an initial investigation in 2009, the victim denied the allegations after someone else reported it.

However, the victim filed a complaint with the Janesville Police Department in 2015 but Channel 3000 has yet to confirm the details.

After Nolan was accused of sexually assaulting an altar boy more than 100 times during his time as the priest of St. Joseph Church in Fort Atkinson, the victim changed his stance.

The Madison Dioceses is working with the Ft. Atkinson and Janesville Police Departments to investigate the new allegation.

{"url":"https://twitter.com/RoseSchmidtTV/status/997633503226458112","author_name":"Rose Schmidt","author_url":"https://twitter.com/RoseSchmidtTV","html":"lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\"gt;lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"gt;These women from Fort Atkinson knew Father Nolan well when he served as their priest at St. Joseph's. One woman told lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/hashtag/news3?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"gt;#news3lt;/agt; "A lot of people can't sleep at night" since hearing Nolan has been accused of sexually assaulting a teenage boy more than 100 times. lt;a href=\"https://t.co/Dd2yT34kMx\"gt;pic.twitter.com/Dd2yT34kMxlt;/agt;lt;/pgt;-- Rose Schmidt (@RoseSchmidtTV) lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/RoseSchmidtTV/status/997633503226458112?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"gt;May 19, 2018lt;/agt;lt;/blockquotegt;\nlt;script async src=\"https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js\" charset=\"utf-8\"gt;lt;/scriptgt;\n","width":550,"height":null,"type":"rich","cache_age":"3153600000","provider_name":"Twitter","provider_url":"https://twitter.com","version":"1.0"}

On May 17, Nolan was charged in Jefferson County court with six felony counts of second-sexual assault of a child under 16 years old.

The judge ordered a $50,000 signature bond.

{"url":"https://twitter.com/RoseSchmidtTV/status/997184033233821696","author_name":"Rose Schmidt","author_url":"https://twitter.com/RoseSchmidtTV","html":"lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\"gt;lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"gt;Nolan gets $50,000 signature bond. lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/hashtag/news3?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"gt;#news3lt;/agt; lt;a href=\"https://t.co/xLffE8edXD\"gt;pic.twitter.com/xLffE8edXDlt;/agt;lt;/pgt;-- Rose Schmidt (@RoseSchmidtTV) lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/RoseSchmidtTV/status/997184033233821696?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"gt;May 17, 2018lt;/agt;lt;/blockquotegt;\nlt;script async src=\"https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js\" charset=\"utf-8\"gt;lt;/scriptgt;\n","width":550,"height":null,"type":"rich","cache_age":"3153600000","provider_name":"Twitter","provider_url":"https://twitter.com","version":"1.0"}

According to the criminal complaint, more than 100 assaults took place between February 2006 and the summer of 2010, when the boy was 13 to 17 years old.

That victim, now 25, reported the alleged incidents to police in April.

He told police he was a student of St. Joseph Catholic School in Fort Atkinson and an altar boy for the church when the alleged incidents took place.

In a statement to parishioners Thursday, Our Lady Queen of Peace Pastor Ken Fiedler addressed the charges, saying parish leaders are "following the proceedings as they are made known and will work at the direction of the Diocese of Madison in resolution of this matter."

The Diocese of Madison has placed Nolan on administrative leave, which means Nolan is excluded "from any exercise of priestly ministry while the matter is pending." The diocese said it has begun its own process of investigating allegations, and the diocesan Sexual Abuse Review Board is also involved.

Nolan served as priest at St. Joseph in Fort Atkinson from 2002 to 2007.

He is due back in Jefferson County court on June 5.


Published on 22 May 2018 | 12:55 pm

Parents say special education is in crisis, address MMSD

A group of parents to special education students voiced their concerns at Monday night's school board meeting.

Joanne Juhnke said she and other parents are starting a public conversation that has been happening behind the scenes with teachers and staff at multiple Madison schools.

"There are many pieces of special education and education for students with disabilities in general that's in a place of crisis in the Madison School District. It's something that's been building for a long time," said Juhnke.

Parents shared experiences about segregated settings, lack of curriculum, lack of funding and staff and inappropriate discipline.

Juhnke said her daughter Miriam and other special education students are often separated from the rest of the school during class and lunch, especially in middle and high school.

"The achievement gap is just extreme. And one of the best ways to address that is for students with disabilities to be educated with their typically developing peers. Unfortunately, the district has been careening in the opposite direction," said Juhnke.

{"url":"https://twitter.com/AmandaQTV/status/998765592206368773","author_name":"Amanda Quintana","author_url":"https://twitter.com/AmandaQTV","html":"lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\"gt;lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"gt;Former lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/MMSDschools?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"gt;@MMSDschoolslt;/agt; board member Anna Moffit addressed the board as a mother of a special needs child tonight. She and other parents say the lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/hashtag/specialeducation?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"gt;#specialeducationlt;/agt; program secludes their children and lacks a curriculum & trained teachers. lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/hashtag/news3?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"gt;#news3lt;/agt; lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/hashtag/madison?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"gt;#madisonlt;/agt; lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/hashtag/specialneeds?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"gt;#specialneedslt;/agt; lt;a href=\"https://t.co/bYgDrLGCQD\"gt;pic.twitter.com/bYgDrLGCQDlt;/agt;lt;/pgt;-- Amanda Quintana (@AmandaQTV) lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/AmandaQTV/status/998765592206368773?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"gt;May 22, 2018lt;/agt;lt;/blockquotegt;\nlt;script async src=\"https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js\" charset=\"utf-8\"gt;lt;/scriptgt;\n","width":550,"height":null,"type":"rich","cache_age":"3153600000","provider_name":"Twitter","provider_url":"https://twitter.com","version":"1.0"}

Juhnke has been advocating for her daughter at Thomas Jefferson Middle School, but hasn't made much progress. She said Monday's meeting was an opportunity for multiple parent to share their experiences about the same issues.

"My son is the shape of a square. All the other kids are circles," said mother Margaret Rubio. "I'm sick and tired of cutting my son's corners to make him fit. I'm not going to kill his spirit."

Rubio said school staff are not trained to handle her son Joshua's needs.

She said her son struggles with obsessive compulsive disorder, Tourrette syndrome and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder so he reacts with anger when school staff upset him.

"For our kids we just want what everybody else gets -- an education," said Rubio.

Suzanne Buchko was able to get her 9th-grade daughter out of a segregated classroom at Madison West High School where she said she was not learning, but she knows other students won't get the same opportunity.

"Some kids are not as easily accommodated. For some kids it is going to take more than sharing an aid in a class, but that doesn't mean that they shouldn't be included," said Buchko.

After the meeting the Madison School District released the following response:

"We're grateful to parents who voiced their concerns and always take those experiences into account in decision making. Special education is a critical part of our work and we will work with families to always improve how we serve every child. IEP teams are comprised of parents and school staff and together these teams make decisions on behalf of children. We continue to support IEP team decisions to ensure that placements meet the goals as specified in each child's IEP." ]]>

Published on 22 May 2018 | 12:00 pm

How to have meaningful conversations with your kids

Talking to children about their feelings is much easier said than done. Even the most loving parents can struggle to communicate and connect with their kids. But regular conversations about mental health should be something every family strives for. Here are three tips to help you out from SSM Health therapist Britt Coolman.

Timing means something

In general, children are most open to talk when they have had some time to decompress and are in a fairly calm mood. Many kids struggle with talking about things right after school because they haven't had time to process the events of the day yet.

{"url":"https://twitter.com/ssmhealthwi/status/997244139971497985","author_name":"SSM Health Wisconsin","author_url":"https://twitter.com/ssmhealthwi","html":"lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\"gt;lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"gt;With the unfortunate rise in recent violence in lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/hashtag/Madison?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"gt;#Madisonlt;/agt;, how do you talk to kids and help them cope? SSM Health therapist Britt Coolman spoke with lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/news3madalyn?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"gt;@news3madalynlt;/agt; today. Hear from her on lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/WISCTV_News3?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"gt;@WISCTV_News3lt;/agt; at 6pm. lt;a href=\"https://t.co/Qw5LUguG9X\"gt;pic.twitter.com/Qw5LUguG9Xlt;/agt;lt;/pgt;— SSM Health Wisconsin (@ssmhealthwi) lt;a href=\"https://twitter.com/ssmhealthwi/status/997244139971497985?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"gt;May 17, 2018lt;/agt;lt;/blockquotegt;\nlt;script async src=\"https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js\" charset=\"utf-8\"gt;lt;/scriptgt;\n","width":550,"height":null,"type":"rich","cache_age":"3153600000","provider_name":"Twitter","provider_url":"https://twitter.com","version":"1.0"}

This is why parents and caregivers often say they receive one-word answers from kids about how their day went at school. Given some time, they will typically come back to being able to talk about their day and let you know what's on their mind.

Use open-ended questions

Open-ended questions are a great way to start a conversation. In general, if you're wanting to have a conversation about a tough topic, it's helpful to start with a neutral statement of the problem.

Stick to the facts and try not to focus on the behavior of the child. For example, you could say, "I've noticed that something's been up with going to school recently, can you fill me in?" That might be more effective than, "Why have you been so grumpy about going to school recently?"

Give your full attention

Children want to feel validated, so showing them your full attention during conversations is important. You can do this by:

Adopting a curious mindset rather than jumping to conclusions or trying to fix things too soon Reflecting back what you hear your child saying and asking follow-up questions Waiting until your child feels that you really understand their perspective before sharing your views or providing any suggestions

Even if you don't agree with your child on the topic you're discussing, it's crucial for them to feel heard and know that you are on their side.


Published on 22 May 2018 | 12:00 pm

'Ministry of presence': How chaplains are helping wellness of police officers in Wisconsin

As second shift begins at the Sun Prairie Police Department, officers gather around a table in a conference room and greet each other as they start their day. They talk about their kids and sports, what the weather is like and whether they enjoy a rainy day.

Then the listening begins.

"Call initially came in as someone screaming and then just hung up and they said quote 'please hurry,'" Sgt. Brandon Lingle reads from dispatch call logs.

Officers listen intently through what's called "roll call," a rundown of incidents that have happened during the day and what might be ahead.

But look around the table at roll call and you'll notice a different kind of uniform also about to hit the streets-- two people in black polo shirts marked "chaplain" in capital letters.

On this day, pastor Jenny Arneson is joining Lingle on patrol.

"How long have you been in policing?" she asks him as they head out of the parking lot.

"I've been with Sun Prairie for 10 years and I got promoted about four years ago," Lingle tells her.

Lingle's job as a shift supervisor in Sun Prairie is to support his officers.

"It sounds cheesy but I really enjoy helping people," Lingle said.

Arneson's primary job as a police chaplain is just to listen.

"We have access to counselors, and those guys and gals are really good," Lingle said. "But when you guys come on a ride along with us or are there when dramatic events happen so we get to build a relationship with you."

Arneson is one of six police chaplains currently volunteering in Sun Prairie, part of a program that Lt. Kevin Konopacki said he realized he needed to start after an incident in 2015.

"The city had a rather horrific homicide where we had a foster son behead his foster mother with a sword and you can imagine the trauma of that type of call," Konopacki said.

That homicide involving Matthew Skalitzky led Konopacki to investigate the idea of furthering officer wellness.

He then had his own experience where he had to respond to the death of a 4-month-old baby.

"The mom came out, she was devastated, traumatized, she collapsed to her knees in the driveway and was screaming '
Why Jesus, why? Why? Why?'" Konopacki said. "I came up to her and gave her a hug and tried to comfort and console her but I'll tell you I felt completely out of my element to try to help."

Konopacki then began reaching out to clergy in his community, trying to start a volunteer chaplain program.

That same situation has been repeating itself across the state, culminating in a first-of-its-kind training program by the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

Attorney General Brad Schimel said he first realized the need for the program when his wife got on board with a run for AG in part because of his own stress as a local district attorney.

"I was less talkative at home, less interactive and she recognized it was affecting me," Schimel said. "She got me thinking, and when I became attorney general I did feel a difference."

Schimel says his office has been encouraging local police to have employee assistance programs in place, but the chaplain program aims to provide an additional wellness opportunity to officers.

"We're trying to address with our wellness initiatives is to make it OK to ask for help, to ask to talk about something and to say this is getting to me," Schimel said. "There's a stigma in admitting that something is getting to you that you're not strong and you can't handle everything particularly when you look at people in law enforcement."

DOJ started the training late last year, requiring chaplains to attend multiple sessions for the certification.

Chaplain George Papachristou, a former Milwauke police officer, has helped head up the effort.

"We were exposed to a lot of ugly things and we just had to process it and put it in your head and move on, put it in your head and move on," Papachristou said.

The aim of the training is to give chaplains the tools they need to learn and understand police work and the role they would play in a department.

One session, led by pastor John Putnam trains chaplains of all faiths in how to deal with a crisis.

"We had to tell a mother that her 4-year-old baby was killed in a car accident," Putnam tells the chaplains in the training.

Chaplains in the Waukesha Technical College auditorium listened raptly in April as Putnam shared many stories from his years as a police chaplain in various parts of Wisconsin.

"You may realize this or not, but you are God's representative to them in their crisis," Putnam said.

While God may be central to the lives and professions of some clergy, it is not central to the job of a chaplain.

"Ask them 'Can I pray for you, would it be OK if I can pray with you?'" Putnam tells the chaplains in the training. "Very rarely will someone say 'No, I'm not interested.' But if they do, absolutely, that's it. You don't pray for them."

Rev. Mike Tess and Arneson, who are both chaplains in Sun Prairie, say the lines are clear that their role is as a "ministry of presence." They're in the car with officers, at a crisis scene, or at roll call to listen and not evangelize.

"This isn't about growing your church. This isn't about your own personal profession. This is about being of service to the officers, their families and the community at large," Tess said. "You are a soft place to fall for the officers and for the community that you're serving."

Lingle says it's important that officers have that resource.

"Unfortunately we have a front seat view to human tragedy," Lingle said. "No matter what it is, somebody is having a bad day we're going to be there. And it wears on you, personally and emotionally."

Lingle says he may understand the benefit of chaplains better than some officers because of his own background.

"I spent a lot of time with my chaplain when I was in Iraq and a lot of us did," Lingle said.

Lingle said he's called on the department chaplains to help in recent months.

"I've called twice, once for a suicide that was mostly for the family but for the officers too, and for a fire that we had that was pretty traumatic for families," Lingle said.

Konopacki said that outcome is exactly what he envisioned when he started the program.

"For me, if I know they're out there, even if it's helping one police officer or a member of our community then it's a positive thing," Konopacki said.

And to listen in on the conversations Lingle has in the patrol car with chaplains, it's easier to hear the impact it is having.

"Instead of just showing up with a stranger being like talk to me about your feelings, this person has always been there," Lingle said.

Sun Prairie's chaplains are among more than 100 police and religious organizations who have already started training as part of the DOJ program.


Published on 22 May 2018 | 11:57 am

Police: Suspect in suspicious death found, arrested within 14 hours

The Town of Beloit Police Department is thanking Clinton and Janesville police for their help tracking down a suspect after a body was found behind an elementary school over the weekend.

Town of Beloit Police Chief Ronald Northrop said the outside agencies played a vital role in finding and arresting the suspect, 26-year-old Corey Sandoval of New Mexico.

"It wouldn't have happened without the cooperation with the other agencies that were involved with this investigation," Northrop said.

A teacher and maintenance person called police around 9:30 a.m. Saturday for a man down behind Townview Elementary School, according to Northrop. When officers arrived, he said, they could tell the man was dead.

"There was no indication at the scene that a struggle had taken place," Northrop said. "The positioning of the body, that would indicate that the body was placed there."

The Rock County Medical Examiner's Office identified the man on Monday as 29-year-old Dustin Grice. According to the news release, "no evidence of suspicious inflicted trauma was disclosed at the autopsy."

While reviewing surveillance video, police identified a vehicle that pulled onto school property around 6 p.m. Friday.

"(The video was) very vital," Northrop said. "It actually gave us a good description of the vehicle, which actually played out as far as where officers in Clinton were familiar with the vehicle."

Ultimately, Janesville police found the vehicle and officers arrested Sandoval.

"I think that it's very important for the family to find out as far as what transpired, and closure is something I know all law enforcement agencies want to do for families," Northrop said. "I think within this 14-hour period, we've done that."

During the investigation, police said they figured out Grice and Sandoval were acquaintances who met in Beloit before Grice was found dead at the school.

"The Rock County Sheriff's Office is working with us ... for followup investigation, along with the district attorney's office," Northrop said.

He said the Town of Beloit Police Department has not had contact with Sandoval before but did have prior contact with Grice. Police believe Grice's death is drug-related, but they're waiting for the medical examiner's office to do more testing before they can be sure.

The Rock County Jail said Sandoval was booked and released on Sunday. The Rock County District Attorney's Office said he was scheduled to be in court on June 12 at 10 a.m. Police said he's facing one charge of duty to aid victim.

UPDATE: Rock County Medical Examiner identifies victim as 29-year-old Dustin Grice from Beloit. Autopsy shows no signs of "suspicious inflicted trauma" #news3 pic.twitter.com/JVQfFYl7D9-- Jenna Middaugh (@JennaMiddaugh) May 21, 2018 ]]>

Published on 22 May 2018 | 3:11 am

Madison Water Utility faces $6 million cash deficit

The Madison Water Utility is $6 million in debt and needs a loan from the city of Madison reserve fund in order to pay its bills. That loan will eventually be repaid with interest by ratepayers at roughly 25 cents per year for every year the loan is outstanding.

"The teachable moment is to budget more conservatively," said Tom Heikkinen, the general manager of Madison Water. "We don't expect it to happen again. We'll take a closer look, obviously at our cash, but it's just a situation we have right now."

According to Heikkinen, the budget shortfall exists because the utility overestimated its 2017 revenue during the budgeting process, not because it overspent. He said the reasons the utility took in less revenue include the closing of the Oscar Mayer plant, a wet summer, increased property taxes from the city and the Public Service Commission's delay of the utility's request for a rate hike.

Also, the fact that Madison Water uses a legacy accounting system as it tries to segue to the citywide accounting system could have led to figures being inserted in the wrong places.

"I was surprised," Heikkinen said of when his finance team gave him the deficit news after it closed the books on the 2017 budget last month. "I wasn't surprised we had a tough year. I knew revenues were down, but the magnitude surprised me."

The board president was surprised as well when she found out. Lauren Cnare said, when she first joined the Water Utility Board in the middle of the last decade, there was also a deficit that required the city to loan the utility money to meet its obligations. She has met with Madison Mayor Paul Soglin about this deficit and expects Heikkinen and his staff to dramatically scale back the utility's budget requests for the next two to three years.

"We know, when we look at the budget, that I don't think the board will have much of an appetite for any non-necessary capital spending," Cnare said. "There won't be any new water towers being painted."

.@MadWaterUtility went from surplus to deficit in 3 mos. Find out why and what you'll pay to fix it @WISCTV_News3 at 6 and @channel_3000 pic.twitter.com/5v0x5Sa2R2-- Adam Schrager (@aschrager) May 21, 2018

Utility officials will present a plan to raise roughly $2 million by selling seven properties the utility owns. They plan to keep the utility's current level of service while canceling any nonessential spending.

"I don't think we can continue business as usual," Cnare said. "We're going to have some lean years. We're going to have some very lean years."

Cnare said her board colleagues are trying to figure out how they missed the signs of this shortfall and if there were questions they should have asked throughout the year. She will propose future training for her fellow board members to better understand budgeting and to learn the right questions to ask during financial conversations. Heikkinen said that, going forward, he expects to get monthly economic snapshots from the utility's finance department instead of the quarterly reports he currently receives.

Board documents show a $692,010.17 cash fund surplus at the end of 2016.

For the rest of the year, that cash flow would operate in a deficit that ranged from $9 million to more than $12 million before late bill payers at the end of the year brought the eventual deficit to the currently reported $6 million.

In June, an independent auditor highlighted a problem with the utility's financial reporting, writing in a letter to the Water Utility Board, "At this time, the utility does not have internal controls in place that allow for the presentation of materially correct year-end financial statements." The auditor also wrote that there was "a reasonable possibility that a material misstatement of the entity's financial statements will not be prevented, or detected and corrected, on a timely basis."

That auditor gave similar feedback and articulated similar concerns during its report to the Water Utility Board for the previous year.

The Water Utility Board meets at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the utility's headquarters on Olin Avenue.


Published on 22 May 2018 | 3:09 am

Man who sexually assaulted UW student to be placed in Fitchburg apartment

A Madison man who spent years in prison for sexually assaulting a University of Wisconsin-Madison student in an apartment building stairwell will be moving to Fitchburg.

Paul Aud, 44, was convicted of attempted second-degree sexual assault and substantial battery of a 20-year-old victim who was a stranger to him, according to the Wisconsin Department of Corrections Sex Offender Registry.

He followed the victim into the building, beat her and pulled her down the stairs in 2006, officers said.

In 2007, Aud was also arrested for "lewd and lascivious" behavior. The charge for this incident was included in the 2006 sentencing.

Aud will reside at 5931 Seminole Centre Court No. 206, according to the news release.

The Fitchburg Police Department said it will be holding a notification meeting to discuss the placement of Aud on Wednesday. The meeting will be at Fitchburg Fire Station No. 2 starting at 5 p.m.


Published on 22 May 2018 | 12:38 am

Residents see floating bogs on Lake Koshkonong

Residents of Fort Atkinson have reported some unusual sightings in Lake Koshkonong.

Bogs, pieces of marsh that detach and drift away, were found floating across the lake Saturday. The bogs are made of cattails, plants and dirt. Residents Tony Prisk and Jim Furley shared drone video and pictures with News 3.

With several weeks of rainy weather, water levels of Lake Koshkonong and the Rock River are higher than normal, residents said. In addition to flooded roads and sunken piers, the rising water caused pieces of marsh to disconnect and float into the center of the lake.

One business owner said it's surreal to watch a landmass just drift by.

"It looks like somebody's front yard floating across the lake. It's a little weird. I'm sure the animals don't exactly know what to think," said Jim Bowers, the owner of the Island Bar and Grill. The business is located near flooded areas, but hasn't closed because of it.

Multiple residents said the bogs don't last long. Eventually, they are pushed to shore and broken down by waves.


Published on 21 May 2018 | 11:57 pm

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