Community

Sun
27
Oct
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Airport Chairman Expressed Safety Concerns in Email to City

 

MIDDLETON–The chairman of the Middleton Airport Commission, an experienced pilot, said in an email last May, that he wouldn’t train at the city’s airport due to the mix of piston and faster moving turbine driven aircraft.

In an email to City Planning and Zoning Administrator Mark Opitz, John Hallick raised safety concerns involving the Middleton airport which he characterized as “one of the densest airport environments around.”

After flying with Airport Manager Richard Morey for about four hours, Hallick wrote that he told Morey that he “wouldn’t train at C29 (Morey Field). He understood why.”

“We have students and on-field pilots locked into mindless orbits around the field. Some of the aircraft are tail draggers for back country. They like to fly the grass strip. Sometimes they even land off the designated landing areas on the side of the runway (which I don’t think is legal.) 

Sun
27
Oct
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MHS Students Segregated for Star Test

MIDDLETON–A Middleton High School (MHS) employee was placed on leave last week after allegations that students had been segregated by race to take the standardized Star Literacy and Math Test, which is administered Oct. 14-24.

Middleton Cross Palins Area School District (MCPASD) Director of Communications Perry Hibner said, “STAR testing takes place between Oct. 14-25. MHS was trying to get some of the students who have poor attendance during advisory when STAR-testing can be administered to come to all-school resource on Wednesday afternoon from 2:15 to 3:40 to take the testing. That was the intent.”

Initially only 10-15 students were scheduled to take the test during this time, but a larger number was added. Students were informed of the change through the district’s online scheduling program. Not all students went to the library.

Hibner went on to say that all of the students asked to come to all-school resource were black, Latino and mixed race. 

Sat
19
Oct
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Tips for Combatting Flu this Season

DANE COUNTY–Flu season is now in full swing, and the Public Health of Madison and Dane County (PHMDC) urges anyone six months or older to get a flu shot to help prevent the spread of the prolific virus.

Sarah Mattes, communications supervisor for PHMDC, said flu season typically begins in October and continues through spring. She said now it the best time to get the shot, but anytime throughout the season can prevent the spread of illness. “It takes about two weeks to get full protection after the flu vaccine is given, so getting the vaccine in fall is best,” she explained.

She added that it is particularly important for those in high risk groups to get the vaccine. This includes young children, pregnant women, those over 65, people with medical conditions like asthma and heart disease and medical care providers.

Sat
19
Oct
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MAGN Group Wants Questions Answered

Editor’s Note: The following story is the second in a two part series regarding the formation of an opposition group to the possible expansion of the Middleton Municipal Airport. The group has filed two open records requests, the first in June and a second in September. The records requested last month have not yet been released by the City of Middleton.

MIDDLETON–While some City of Middleton officials say they haven’t committed to a longer runway at Middleton Municipal-Morey Field, expansion opponents wonder if the master plan is currently being developed in order to pave the way for it.

In a January 2019 email from Mark Opitz, city planning and zoning administrator, to Greg Stern, of Mead & Hunt, which is drafting the master plan, Opitz wrote, “As I understand the scope of your services, the outcome of the master plan is to justify the improvements to the airport.”

Sat
19
Oct
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St. Luke’s Lutheran Church Celebrating 125 Years

MIDDLETON–Back in 1894, St. Luke’s Lutheran Church paid $25/month in rent to house its congregation at a small, wooden building that was a Presbyterian Church. Rev. Ernest F. Scherbel was the first pastor of the church and during his tenure, the group ended up purchasing the structure located at Old Sauk and Pleasant View Roads.

Longtime church member Bill Sclinsog said, “They bought the wooden church for $500 and were there until 1900.” 

Then known as the St. Luke’s Evangelische Lutherische Gemeinde Church, it’s 26 charter members had no way of knowing that 125 years later the congregation would still be going strong. In 1924 it had grown and built a new, red brick church on the location that the current church stands, 7337 Hubbard Ave. The current church built in 1994 on the same location. 

Wed
16
Oct
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Saeman Wins National Teaching Award

WASHINGTON DC–Sauk Trails Elementary teacher Rebecca Saeman is a recipient of a Presidential Teaching Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST), the White House announced on Oct. 15. Four awards are given to teachers in each state and US territory.

Saeman is a mathematics and reading intervention teacher. She worked as a math specialist at Park and Northside starting in 2008, where she worked until 2010. She then worked at both Northside and Sauk Trail. Since 2012, she has been solely at Sauk Trail. She was also a finalist for the award in 2018.

Teachers are nominated for the award by their state’s department of education. The award is given to K-12 teachers along with $10,000 from the National Science Foundation. 

Established in 1983, PAEMST is the highest award given by the US Government to K-12 teachers of mathematics and science, including computer science. Since its inception, more than 4,400 awards have been distributed. 

Thu
10
Oct
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Aldachach Not Competent to Stand Trial

MADISON–A former Middleton High School student accused last year of sexually assaulting a coed was found not competent to stand trial Friday by Dane County judge.

Circuit Judge Susan Crawford suspended criminal proceedings against Mohammad K. Aldachach, 19, and ordered him to undergo outpatient treatment to restore his competency.

Assistant District Attorney William Brown and Aldachach’s attorney, Mark Eisenberg, each told Crawford that they agreed with conclusion of Craig Schoenecker, M.D., a court-appointed psychiatrist. Schoenecker interviewed the former MHS senior and found that Aldachach couldn’t assist with his defense against charges of second-degree sexual assault of a child.

Aldachach answered, “Yes,” when Crawford asked him if he agreed with the doctor’s assessment of his competency.

Competency reports are confidential.

Thu
10
Oct
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MAGN Asks: What’s Going On?

Editor’s Note: The following story is the first in a two part series regarding the formation of an opposition group to the possible expansion of the Middleton Municipal Airport. The group has filed two open records requests, the first in June and a second in September. 

MIDDLETON–“What’s going on?” was how an opponent of airport expansion characterized why she became involved in the Middleton Area Good Neighbors.

Area residents concerned about the possibility of Middleton’s airport becoming too noisy and busy to live close to formed MAGN this summer as the city began developing its first airport master plan.

Pam Krill, an attorney with Godfrey and Kahn, S.C., which represents the approximate 250 MAGN members, said the group has two goals.

Fri
04
Oct
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Sunflower Days Future Uncertain After 2019 Event Drains Funds

TOWN OF MIDDLETON–After exhausting a three-year accumulation of room tax revenue on the 2019 Sunflower Days, the town of Middleton’s Tourism Commission wanted to see financial projections before committing to hosting the event in 2020.

The town spent $167,643 on the 10-day celebration of sunflower blossoms after taking over the event from the Friends of Pope Farm Conservancy. Expenses came in about $6,000 under budget, Town Administrator Greg DiMiceli said on Sept. 24.

The town used approximately $121,000 in revenue collected during the past three years from a tax on rooms rented at the Quality Inn on Seybold Rd. Ticket sales and sponsorships contributed more revenue but there’s still about $45,000 to “back fill” to break even, DiMiceli said.

Thu
26
Sep
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Airport Master Plan Process Slows in Wake of Faulty Data

MIDDLETON–A raucous response to faulty data supporting a longer runway at a July meeting of Airport Master Plan Advisory Committee has consultants and city staff considering the next move.

In July, Greg Stern, of Mead & Hunt, the airport master plan study’s project manager, showed a slide indicating 84 percent of respondents to a survey of potential users of the Middleton Municipal Airport living in surrounding states preferred a 5,000 to 5,500, foot long runway. Thirty-six percent said the existing 4,000-foot-long runway was adequate.

The audience’s response to that finding and committee members wanting to examine more aspects of the impact from the possible expansion of the airport caused the committee to postpone scheduling of the next meeting.

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