Community

Fri
20
Mar
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City Declares State of Emergency, Calls for Election Delay

MIDDLETON–The City of Middleton Common Council declared a state of emergency in response to the Covid-19 outbreak with measures including closing public buildings and some services and conducting virtual meetings. The council is also called on Governor Tony Evers to delay the April 7 election.

City election staff are concerned the election will be impacted by the Governor’s orders not to gather in groups larger than ten and social distancing. 

City administrator Mike Davis said he can’t imagine how the election will be conducted. He noted that there has been a surge in absentee ballots that are overwhelming staff. 

“Lining people up in public places where we are already banning ten people from gathering is just somewhat ridiculous,” Davis said. 

Council president Dan Ramsey called the idea asinine.

Sun
15
Mar
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County, Local Cities Restrict Gatherings, Close Schools

DANE COUNTY–Schools in Dane County are officially closed, restaurants have been told to limit capacity and gatherings restricted to 50 or less as of Sunday afternoon.

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi, Janel Heinrich, Director of Public Health Madison & Dane County and Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway held a press conference to inform the public about the new restrictions, designed to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The school closure took effect immediately and students will be out until at least April 6. 

The ban on gatherings of 50 or more is indefinite. The following businesses are exempt from the gathering ban: 

• Childcare facilities

• Homeless shelters and day centers

• Libraries

• Office spaces

• Grocery stores

• Hotels and motels

Fri
13
Mar
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Alliant Offers to Help Customers Affected by COVID-19

WISCONSIN–On Friday afternoon, Alliant Energy Chairman, President and CEO John Larsen, shared the following message about the company's preparations in regard to safeguarding employees and customers from the coronavirus (COVID-19): 

To our valued customers,

We understand the concern and uncertainty you may be experiencing surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19). At Alliant Energy, safety is a core value. I want to assure you that the health and well-being of our customers, employees and communities is our top priority. Protecting our workforce ensures we can continue serving our customers and provide the reliable service you count on. 

Fri
13
Mar
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Evers Orders Schools Closed

MADISON­-Gov. Tony Evers today directed Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm to issue an agency order mandating the statewide closure of all K-12 schools, public and private, as part of the state’s efforts to respond to and contain the spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin.

The mandated closure will begin on March 18, in order to give school districts ample time to make plans for kids, families, educators, and staff. School districts, particularly those in counties with reported cases of COVID-19, may choose to close earlier than Wednesday. The anticipated reopening date is April 6, 2020; however, the reopening date is subject to change pending further information.

Fri
13
Mar
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Evers Orders Schools Closed

MADISON­-Gov. Tony Evers today directed Department of Health Services (DHS) Secretary-designee Andrea Palm to issue an agency order mandating the statewide closure of all K-12 schools, public and private, as part of the state’s efforts to respond to and contain the spread of COVID-19 in Wisconsin.

The mandated closure will begin on March 18, in order to give school districts ample time to make plans for kids, families, educators, and staff. School districts, particularly those in counties with reported cases of COVID-19, may choose to close earlier than Wednesday. The anticipated reopening date is April 6, 2020; however, the reopening date is subject to change pending further information.

Fri
13
Mar
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Suspect Arrested in Armed Robbery

MIDDLETON–A Cross Plains man was arrested on March 9 in connection with an armed robbery that took place at Smoothie King on Deming Way just before 6 p.m. on Feb. 27. 

Christopher N. Montinguise was taken into custody after police received tips that the man may be involved in the robbery. 

On the day of the robbery, the Middleton Police Department shared surveillance video with the public in hopes of catching the man. A follow up investigation led police to Montinguise.

A handgun was displayed during the robbery. There were no injuries reported and the suspect left the business on foot with an undisclosed amount of money.

Fri
13
Mar
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Cancellations, Precautions Take Place in Wake of Increased COVID-19 Cases

DANE COUNTY–Cancellations have been taking place around the county, and a Cross Plains school closed for cleaning after a parent learned they were exposed to COVID-19. 

In addition, Gov. Tony Evers declared a public health emergency on March 12, in response to new cases of COVID-19, directing the Department of Health Services (DHS) to use all the resources necessary to respond to and contain the outbreak. Just this week, Wisconsin has had seven new cases and Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota have also seen increased cases. With these new cases there needs to be extensive contact tracing to contain the spread of COVID-19. Wisconsin also has 37 residents returning to the state from a Princess Cruise Ship who may have been exposed and need to be in monitored self quarantine for 14 days.

Also on Thursday, the Cross Plains Chamber of Commerce postponed their annual meeting planned for March 19. A new date has not been set for the event. 

Sat
07
Mar
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Town Looks at Smaller Sunflower Days Event

TOWN OF MIDDLETON–After losing nearly $20,000 hosting Sunflower Days last year and having only an estimated $8,811 available this year, the Town of Middleton’s Tourism Commission is looking to stage an event smaller than the annual nine-day celebration of blossoming sunflowers.

Last year, the Town of Middleton contracted with Race Days Events, Inc. to manage the festival that grew too large for the Friends of Pope Farm Conversancy to continue managing at Pope Farm Conservancy.

The event generated $48,056 in revenue from the first-ever $4 admission fee, 5k run entry fees, donations and sponsorships, but spent $167,643 on shuttle buses, labor, equipment, Race Days’ management contract, website and media expenses.

Sat
07
Mar
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Bates Sentenced for Selling Crack

MADISON–A Middleton man who was described as a small time but persistent drug dealer was sentenced Tuesday in federal court to five and a half years in prison for selling crack cocaine.

Cameron A. Bates, 31, has accumulated two convictions for cocaine delivery, three for THC possession and substantial battery in the past 14 years. He was on probation for cocaine distribution when he sold crack cocaine five times to undercover law enforcement in July and August last year.

Bates’ prior drug convictions qualified him as a Career Offender under the advisory sentencing guidelines which elevated his sentencing guideline of 12.5 and 18 years in prison.

However, District Judge William Conley used his discretion and didn’t apply the Career Offender status to Bates, saying his prior record didn’t justify amplifying his sentence, and allowed Conley to impose a sentence of five and a half years.

Sat
07
Mar
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Aldachach Charged With Bail Jumping, Plea & Sentencing Delayed

MADISON–A former Middleton High School student will go to trial on charges that he allegedly sexually assaulted a 14 year old coed in 2018.

Mohammad K. Aldachach, 20 was scheduled to enter a guilty plea Feb. 28 and be sentenced, but that was pulled off Circuit Judge Susan Crawford’s calendar after Aldachach was charged with two counts of felony bail jumping on Feb. 24.

According to the criminal complaint:

At 12:13 a.m. on Feb. 23, Middleton police officer Thomas Francis was following a vehicle with dealer registration plates in the vicinity of University Avenue and Park Street. Francis followed the vehicle for about a mile during which he detected a strong and persistent odor of marijuana emanating the vehicle he was following. The vehicle failed to come to a complete stop at Park and Maywood streets an again at Park Street and Donna Drive

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