County

Fri
25
Nov
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Santa to Drive Through Cross Plains

CROSS PLAINS–The Cross Plains Optimist Club will welcome Santa, who will tour the village on Dec. 3 from 9-9:30 a.m., courtesy of the Cross Plains Berry Fire Department and Police Chief Tony Ruesga.

Drive-through goodie bags will be distributed at American Legion Hall from 10-11 a.m. Follow the traffic pattern clockwise around the block in front of the American Legion building, where Santa and his elves will be waiting. Pull up and request the number of bags you would like.

The Optimist Club is also working with various groups to collect non-perishable food items, which will be delivered to those in need. Santa and his elves will be accepting food and cash donations when you pick up your goodie bag.

In addition to the Optimists, the event is sponsored by the Cross Plains Lions, American Legion and local businesses.

Mon
07
Nov
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Village to Hire Part-Time Officer

CROSS PLAINS–The Village of Cross Plains should have 24/7 police coverage but that currently isn’t financially feasible, Police Chief Tony Ruesga Jr. told the village board Monday.

The village has four officers, a lieutenant detective, an administrative assistant and the chief, and provides 16 hours of coverage a day. After hours calls for service are routed to the Dane County Sheriff’s Office which has a precinct station in the Town of Middleton.

The police department even strains to meet its 16 hours of coverage as the chief said that he has recently worked two consecutive 16-hour days to fill open shifts.

“An hour and quarter after getting off work, there’s a call about someone having a psychotic episode. The sheriff’s deputies couldn’t respond in time, but the ambulance did. We should have been there, too,” Ruesga said.

Mon
07
Nov
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DNR Seeking Public Comment for Environmental Review of Cross Plains Safe Drinking Water Loan Program Project

DNR Seeking Public Comment for Environmental Review of Cross Plains Safe Drinking Water Loan Program Project

MADISON–The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced the village of Cross Plains is an applicant for funding through the Safe Drinking Water Loan Program (SDWLP) to improve its public drinking water system. This project includes the replacement of watermains and sanitary sewers along a portion of West Brewery Road in the village of Cross Plains.

Activities related to this project are minor actions under Chapter NR 150, Wis. Admin. Code, for which no environmental analysis is required; however, following the Safe Drinking Water Loan Program federal requirement 40 C.F.R. §35.3580, an environmental review must be conducted before funding this project.

Fri
14
Oct
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Flex Lane Improves Travel Times

MADISON–Preliminary data shows the Flex Lane is significantly improving travel times on Madison’s Beltline (US 12/18) in Dane County. The Flex Lane opened in July as one solution to help ease backups and improve traffic flow on one of Wisconsin’s busiest highways.

Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) Secretary Craig Thompson, Dane County Sheriff Kalvin Barrett, Madison Region Economic Partnership President and CEO Jason Fields and a few Beltline drivers join WisDOT’s latest “Transportation Connects Us” to discuss how the Beltline improvements are benefitting drivers, alleviating congestion and how an improved Beltline can aid economic development throughout Dane County.

Fri
07
Oct
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Parisi Announces Proposed 2023 County Budget

DANE COUNTY-On Oct 3, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi introduced his 2023 budget proposal at Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin, where he laid out Dane County’s plans to prioritize investments in life’s basic needs, housing, mental health supports, restorative justice, conservation initiatives, addressing climate change, and more. The $834 million dollar spending plan builds on successful county initiatives while exploring new opportunities to make a substantive difference for individuals and families in the Dane County community.

Tue
06
Sep
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Dates Set for 2023 Dane County Department Budget Request Public Hearings

DANE COUNTY–The Dane County Board of Supervisors will be holding two public hearings to hear the budget requests from the individual departments in the County. The hearings will be held on Sept. 14 and Sept. 21 at 6 p.m. with half of the departments presenting their budget requests at one meeting, and the other half at the other meeting.

The hearings are held annually prior to County Executive Parisi releasing his proposed budget.

The hearings will be held in a hybrid format with the option to attend and register to speak both virtually and in person. Information to connect virtually will be available on top of the agendas which will be posted the Friday prior to the hearing date and available here: https://dane.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx.

Mon
29
Aug
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Cross Plains Needs a Crossing Guard

CROSS PLAINS–Cross Plains police will staff the school crossing on Church Street for the next few weeks but after that Police Chief Tony Ruesga asked the village board Monday to find other help.

Efforts to hire a crossing guard last year weren’t successful and a police officer filled in, but Ruesga said that’s not feasible given the department’s staffing constraints.

“Emergency calls can take us away from the street crossing…Parents depend on someone being there…but the police can’t handle it anymore,” Ruesga said.

The Middleton Cross Plains Area School District has posted the position and it’s been publicized on social media but no takers yet for the job that pays $12 an hour.

“I don’t think it’s about the money…even at $20 an hour,” said Village President Jay Lengfeld. 

The job requires a half hour’s work in the morning and again in the afternoon, five days a week.

Fri
05
Aug
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Town Tries to Stay on Top of Brush Pile Burden

TOWN OF MIDDLETON–Roadside brush chipping, a popular service offered by the Town of Middleton has again grown to where it needs to be trimmed back, town staff requested Monday.

“It’s an ongoing battle. It was getting better...but we’re asking for a new policy,” Scott Ballweg, crew leader told the town board.

The town’s chipping service is not geared for residents who want their land cleared or entire trees removed. Instead, it’s aimed at brush piles that can be chipped in 15 minutes. 

Ballweg sees the burden growing as the town grows, however, the town’s crew remains at four full-time and two part-time employees.

“A lot of people are getting mad,” he said. “There’s confusion about what they can bring out (to the road) and what they can’t. Some people insist that since they have more acres, they should be able to pile up more stuff,” Ballweg said.

Fri
05
Aug
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Blankenheim Sentenced in Child Pornography Case

MADISON–A Cross Plains man who viewed child pornography on the Internet for several years, was sentenced last week in federal court to seven years in prison to be followed by 12 years of supervised release for sharing it.

Jake Blankenheim, 48, had pled guilty to distributing child pornography in April.

According to court documents:

Blankenheim used the Gigatribe computer software, more commonly used in Eastern Europe, to share photos and videos, including child pornography, with others.

He began communicating with a Swiss undercover agent who “rebuked” Blankenheim in August 2019 for looking for child pornography but not sharing any.

Soon, Blankenheim sent six images that the Swiss undercover agent transmitted to the FBI alleging that were child pornography.

Mon
01
Aug
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Cross Plains Village Board Votes to Buy One Property, Sell Another

CROSS PLAINS–The Cross Plains Village Board of Trustees voted to move forward with the option to purchase property at 1601 Bourbon Rd. with the purpose of placing the police department next the Cross Plains-Berry Fire Department. 

The purchase price of the property is $390,000 and a recent appraisal came back at $395,000. The real estate was also subject to two studies, an environmental phase I study and a wetland delineation study. Both came back favorable contributing to the board’s decision to approve the purchase option. 

When asked his opinion on the property, Cross Plains Police chief Tony Ruesga said, “Do I think it’s a good spot? Yes.” He added that many towns have their emergency services located next to one another. 

Trustees shared that they had received positive feedback about the move when they are in public. Letters of support have also been received. 

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