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Inmate found unresponsive early Saturday died, officials say

Officials are investigating the death of an inmate at the Rock County Jail early Saturday. The Rock County Sheriff's Office said a correctional officer was conducting a security check in the Jail Medical Unit at 6:46 a.m. when 45-year-old Sheri L. Parker was discovered unresponsive. The officer immediately radioed for assistance from the jail nurse, supervisor, and additional correctional officers. Staff also called 911 Janesville Fire Department paramedics responded to the jail to take over advanced life-saving efforts, which were unsuccessful. Commander Erik Chellevold said Parker was in the medical unit Friday and had discomfort. She was taken to the hospital, cleared and returned to the jail's medical unit. Parker is from Janesville, a news release said. Medical examiner staff are working with Rock County detectives to investigate the death, which will be reviewed by the Wisconsin Department of Corrections Office of Detention Facilities, the release said. An autopsy is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Sunday in Madison.

Published: Sat, 30 Apr 2016 18:39:54 GMT

Another Watt heads to the NFL

Derek Watt is joining his big brother J.J. in the NFL. Derek was taken by the San Diego Chargers in the sixth round of this year's draft. Derek played fullback at Wisconsin, but at his pro day workout he said he'd play any position on the field, as long as he got a chance to make a team. Derek joins former Badger teammate Melvin Gordon in the San Diego backfield.

Published: Sat, 30 Apr 2016 22:20:44 GMT

2 toddlers found tied, chained in Texas backyard

Around midnight Thursday, deputies went to a house near San Antonio after somebody called to report hearing a child crying in a backyard, according to a Friday news release from the Bexar County Sheriff's Office. The deputies knocked on the front door, got no answer, and went around back, using a ladder to look over the fence, James Keith, spokesman for the sheriff's office, told CNN affiliate KABB. They saw two toddlers in a state that Keith struggled to describe. A 2-year-old boy was "chained to the ground as if he was a dog," he said. "There was no slack in the chain. His pants were down. You could tell he'd been here for a while. And then a short distance away, a 3-year-old girl who was tied to a door with a dog leash who was just exhausted." The deputies moved quickly to release the two youngsters, but their work was not finished. Inside the house, they discovered six children ranging in age from 10 months to 13 years, the release said. There were no adults on site to care for them. "To describe this as disturbing is an understatement," Keith said. "It makes you wonder what somebody's thinking. How could they do this?" Mother of six of the children charged Early Friday morning, the parents of the six children who were inside returned to the house, the sheriff's office said. The mother, Porucha Phillips, 34 was believed to be responsible for caring for the two toddlers, authorities said. She was charged with injury to a child by omission with serious bodily injury and Injury to a child by omission with bodily injury and is being held in the Bexar County Jail. Deputies haven't said they're searching for the parents of the toddlers found in the backyard. Child Protective Services was called in. The toddlers were taken to the the Children's Hospital of San Antonio and are recovering, though the girl is in intensive care, Keith said. CPS said one of them has a fractured right arm and wrist and the other has superficial injuries including abrasions and scarring, CNN affiliate KSAT reported. Six children have been cleared for foster care. Child Protective Services said it had no prior involvement with the family, KSAT said. Authorities are investigating a report that a day care might have been operating out of the home, KSAT reported. 'When we heard of it, it was bad' Neighbors and authorities said they were horrified by the conditions the children were found in. "When we heard of it, it was bad," Christina Rivera, who lives nearby, told KSAT. "It was shocking. Especially something happening across the street and we didn't even know about it or see it." Keith said he was glad somebody thought to call the sheriff's office. He encouraged anybody who ever suspects child abuse to do the same. "We are grateful that this person was brave enough to call us and that our deputies were able to respond when they did," he said to KSAT. "I don't even want to think about how this could have happened, how this could have played out, had our deputies not gotten there when they did."

Published: Sat, 30 Apr 2016 02:33:53 GMT

PHOTOS: 27 tons of documents destroyed during BBB Shredfest 2016

The free BBB Shredfest event Saturday offered anyone with documents containing personal information to shred up to three bags. Destroying documents is one way to protect one's identity and thwart fraudsters. More than 1,600 cars stopped by two Madison locations from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, and 27 tons of documents were shredded, a Better Business Bureau representative said. The sites were at SVA Certified Public Accountants, 1221 John Q Hammons Dr. and Warner Park, 2930 N. Sherman Ave.

Published: Sat, 30 Apr 2016 22:15:34 GMT

Subsequent crash seriously injures 1 in drunken driving incident, police say

One person was seriously injured after being struck in a second crash moments after exiting the vehicle that was just involved in a crash, police said. The Madison Police Department said officers responded to a report of a crash with injuries involving four vehicles at 2:10 a.m. Saturday. A vehicle traveling north on Oak Street near East Washington Avenue caused a collision with two other vehicles, resulting in a minor injury, according to the report. When occupants from the original accident exited their vehicles, several people were injured when another vehicle struck one of the damaged vehicles, sending it into them. One of the people struck in the subsequent crash was taken to a hospital with serious injuries, police said. Two drivers were arrested on suspicion of operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Police are investigating the incident.

Published: Sat, 30 Apr 2016 21:59:56 GMT


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

WATCH: Bucky bomb!

MADISON, Wis.--Coach Greg Gard was live from the Nicholas-Johnson Pavilion on campus Friday when Bucky saw his chance to video bomb the Badgers men's basketball coach!

Published: Sat, 30 Apr 2016 21:02:36 GMT

29-year-old shot leaving funeral at Milwaukee church

Milwaukee police said a man was shot and wounded after a fight broke out after a funeral. Police said the shooting happened around 1:30 p.m. Saturday as mourners were leaving Greater Mt. Sinai Church of God in Christ in north Milwaukee. Authorities said a 29-year-old man from Milwaukee suffered a non-life-threatening injury. He is being treated at a hospital. Police are trying to identify any suspects. The shooting remains under investigation.

Published: Sat, 30 Apr 2016 22:11:01 GMT

Stoughton Pick 'n Save to honor former co-worker with library

Pick 'n Save in Stoughton will honor its former co-worker, Caroline Nosal, with a Little Free Library Saturday evening.  Nosal was killed on Feb. 2 while working at the company's Metro Market Madison store. According to a news release, the free library will be stocked with books that were part of Nosal's collection. Attendees are welcome to bring any books they would like to contribute to the library. A dedication ceremony will be held April 30 at 6 p.m. in front of the Stoughton Pick 'n Save located at 1750 U.W. 51 Stoughton, Wisconsin.

Published: Sat, 30 Apr 2016 21:48:51 GMT

Laremy Tunsil case points to the perils of social media

When hackers put a video that shows football player Laremy Tunsil apparently smoking marijuana from a gas mask equipped with a bong, it illustrated the power of social media.  The post was quickly picked up by NFL teams considering drafting the offensive lineman from Ole Miss. As a result, the player that some considered a possible first pick overall fell all the way to the 13th pick in the first round to the Miami Dolphins. Falling that far will likely cost him at least $8 million in salary. “When you live your life out loud on social media, it can come back to haunt you,” says Katy Culver, an associate professor in University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Journalism. “Also, it is not just what you choose to put on social media, but every time someone captures a video of you, every time there’s an exchange on Snapchat that can live on forever.” Tunsil admits that the video is of him but says it was shot several years ago. “I think this case absolutely points to the power of social media.  I think it also points to how traditional media pick up on these social controversies and elevate their impact,” says Culver. While the post on social media hurt Tunsil financially, ill-advised social media posts can be damaging to anyone. “I’ve got a buddy that didn’t get a job, because they found stuff on his Twitter account about doing some illicit drugs and stuff.  It really does come back to bite you,” said Joshua Tabbert, a UW-Madison student.

Published: Sat, 30 Apr 2016 00:17:39 GMT

PHOTOS: Thousands take part in 34th annual CrazyLegs 2016

The 34th annual CrazyLegs Classic 8K Run and 2-mile Walk Saturday raised money for UW Athletics. As of Friday night, 13,000 people had signed up to participate, and organizers expected more to register Saturday morning before the race begins in waves at 11 a.m. WINNERS: Pat Jenkins, 24, of Cambridge, is the top finisher in the men's category. UW law student Jessa Hackman, 24, of Madison, is the top female finisher.

Published: Sat, 30 Apr 2016 18:56:55 GMT

Boaters urged to use caution during Rock River Bridge's construction

With one week away from fishing season, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation is warning boaters to slow down during construction of the Rock River Bridge. "We talk about it for interstate drivers traveling through the work zones, this is a work zone behind us the same applies for boaters that they take that extra time," said Steven Theisen, WisDOT project communication manager. Crews are working on replacing the Rock River Bridge near Edgerton. The three-year project is a part of the I 39/90 expansion project that extends 45 miles from the Illinois state line to Madison. The DOT warns boaters should take all the same precautions as drivers in a work zone. "You're working next to heavy equipment, they are moving materials off the shore into the waterway, moving that equipment is dangerous. They (construction crews) want to make sure that the traveling public, in this case the boating public is safe as well," he said. Boaters using this stretch of the river will encounter buoys placed in the river to safely navigate through the work zone. Periodically, the buoys will be relocated as construction progresses. "It's easy to gawk and look at the different construction work that's going on and we want to make sure that they obey the boating laws and focus on the waterway," Theisen said. The river will stay open during construction, which is good news for business owners along the water. "It's the heart of our business, we have to get as many people on this waterway as possible," said the owner of Rock River Marina, Dale Nastala. Nastala owns shops on both sides of the bridges and  relies on being able to travel through the construction area. "It's really important for that for keeping the boat traffic here -- that's one of the main things that happen for revenue that we need," he said. Safety signs and brochures are at every boat launch along Lake Koshkonong and the Rock River . In addition, brochures can be found at some bait and tackle shops in the Edgerton area, and can also be viewed on the I-39/90 project website,, under 2016 activities on the home page. For Nastala he hopes the construction won't scare away customers "If they live here or have a cabin here, they will get off and get here but it's the people, the new people that want to come and see anchor and stuff they can't get off, we are a little afraid that they might go somewhere else," he said. No matter who you are, if you're on the river this summer it's all about patience. "Just slow down if there is someone else coming from the opposite direction, just making sure that you are patient going through there," Theisen said. The interstate widening and Rock River Bridge replacement project is scheduled to be completed in early fall 2018. These combined projects cost $48.4 million.

Published: Sat, 30 Apr 2016 15:03:00 GMT

Badgers star Schobert heads to Cleveland

Wisconsin linebacker Joe Schobert didn't have to wait long on the third day of the NFL Draft. The Cleveland Browns took Schobert with the first pick of the fourth round (99th overall). Schobert led the Badgers in tackles for loss (19.5) and sacks (9.5), and he finished second on the team with 79 tackles. He was named first team all-American by the Football Writers' Association and was also named Big Ten Linebacker of the Year in 2015.

Published: Sat, 30 Apr 2016 17:47:12 GMT

JPD seeks man who pulled gun at bar

Police asked for help in identifying a man who flashed a gun at a Janesville bar, according to a release. The Janesville Police Department said it's trying to identify an armed man at Sneakers Sports Bar in Janesville on Sunday. The man had been removed from the bar on two occasions for disturbing other patrons, according to a report. He returned a third time, approached a group of patrons and said "he had something" for them. He pulled out a silver semi-automatic handgun. Police said the man displayed the gun but didn't point it at anyone. The man was described as black, between 5 feet 7 inches and 5 feet 8 inches tall. He is in his 20s. Police shared two images of the man from surveillance video. Police said another armed man was inside the bar earlier with an unknown white man who was 6 feet tall and in his late 20s. He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and black pants. The armed man was last seen running from the bar to a 1990s silver four-door vehicle. Anyone with information on his identity is asked to call the Janesville Police Department at 608-757-2244 or Janesville Area Crime Stoppers at 608-756-3636. Police said tips can also be texted to 274637 JACS+message.

Published: Fri, 29 Apr 2016 19:03:39 GMT

1 of Domes in Milwaukee reopens following repairs

The Show Dome at the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory in Milwaukee has reopened after undergoing repairs. The Journal Sentinel reported that Friday was the reopening of the Show Dome, which is part of the Milwaukee landmark commonly known as the Domes. Admission was free, and the Show Dome has 25 different flowering plants. The Domes were closed in February after a piece of debris fell inside one of the three structures in late January. There's now a mesh lining in the Show Dome to catch any debris that breaks off, with repairs at the Show Dome estimated to cost $263,000. Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, who greeted visitors Friday, said the Tropical Dome will get worked on next. The Tropical and Desert domes will also get mesh lining, and are expected to be open again by late summer.

Published: Sat, 30 Apr 2016 16:06:08 GMT

Police: Man fatally stabbed during street fight in Milwaukee

Milwaukee police said a 39-year-old man was fatally stabbed during a street fight. The fight happened at 1:30 a.m. Saturday. Police said the victim, who was from Milwaukee, was involved in a fight with up to 10 other people in the street. Police say the man was stabbed during the fight. He was able to flee but died of his injuries despite life-saving efforts by the Milwaukee Fire Department. Authorities continue their investigation.

Published: Sat, 30 Apr 2016 15:47:51 GMT

Homeless man attacked, knocked unconscious, police say

A homeless man sleeping outside the Wisconsin Veterans Museum in downtown Madison was attacked early Friday and knocked unconscious, according to a release from Madison police. Police said the 51-year-old was taken to a hospital with significant head injuries, including bleeding inside his skull and a fractured orbital bone. The victim told police his attacker also victimized, to a lesser degree, others sleeping near him. He said he believed he was punched about 20 times, and said that at one point the stranger asked him to empty his pockets, which he did not do. The attacker is described as black, in his 20s, 5 feet 1 inch tall, weighing 160 pounds and wearing dark clothing.

Published: Fri, 29 Apr 2016 14:45:29 GMT

Retired priest accused of exposing himself

A retired priest is charged in Brown County with exposing himself to a child. The 78-year-old priest, Richard Lee Thomas, is facing four felony charges of exposing himself. The Diocese of Green Bay says Father Thomas has been restricted from performing any public ministry while the case is ongoing. A preliminary hearing is scheduled in Brown County Circuit Court on May 9. Thomas did not immediately return a call for comment. Court records do no list a defense attorney.

Published: Fri, 29 Apr 2016 15:05:52 GMT

Doctor: Training helps doctors ensure opioid medications used properly

The Food and Drug Administration is reconsidering whether doctors who prescribe opioid pain medications like OxyContin should be required to take safety training courses. Opioid painkillers are often blamed for the heroin abuse epidemic in Wisconsin and throughout the country. "We know that the root cause of heroin use in Wisconsin, it starts with prescription narcotic painkillers," Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel said. "Eighty percent of the people abusing heroin got addicted to painkillers first. So we're working to dispel the myth that people have, that if a doctor prescribes it, it's completely safe and it can't possibly be addictive. It can." According to the Associated Press, a panel of FDA advisers intend to review risk-management plans put in place nearly four years ago to reduce misuse and abuse of painkillers. Pharmaceutical companies fund voluntary training for physicians on safely prescribing the medications. Many experts, however, feel that the measures don't go far enough, and that training should be mandatory. Dr. Mandira Mehra, a board-certified interventional pain management physician at Dean Clinic, said she went through training on prescribing opioid medications as part of her board-certification process. "For a go to courses, (then) you have to take an exam that's standardized across the country," Mehra said. "The training lets us really take every precaution from day one." Mehra said most doctors who prescribe opioids aren't board-certified pain management physicians. "Any practitioner that actually has a medical license or degree can actually prescribe opiate medications or controlled substances," Mehra said. "But that doesn't mean that everyone's received the same amount of training." Mehra said there are plenty of legitimate reasons why a doctor whose specialty isn't in pain management would prescribe an opioid painkiller, like a cancer specialist treating a patient's cancer pain, or an orthopedic doctor treating post-surgery pain. "Let's say I'm a cancer doctor, and I have hundreds of patients on opiate medications," Mehra said. "What if I'm not taking this training in time? What if these patients don't get the help they deserve? These medications are good if used correctly and safely." But, Mehra said, training helps doctors ensure opioid medications are being prescribed and used properly. "You need a little bit of training and finesse, because opiate medications are wonderful," Mehra said. "They dull those receptors, so you may feel the absence of pain or less pain, but they of course come with a lot of negative consequences, too, and that's where the safety profile becomes very important." Mehra said the trouble isn't with opioid medications themselves, but when people don't take them as prescribed. That may mean taking too much medication or taking someone else's painkillers. "The answer here is not being against opiate medications," Mehra said. "The answer is proper training, taking these medications as prescribed." Mehra said officials will need to strike a balance between trying to prevent opioid addiction and ensuring patients who need opioid pain medications still have access to them. "It's going to be a very tough balance between implementing legislation but not taking away the right to write for these medications," Mehra said. "So the patients that are getting relief and are able to function don't lose that opportunity." The FDA plans to ask safety experts about changing the agency's risk plans Tuesday.

Published: Sat, 30 Apr 2016 00:23:10 GMT

Firefighters, eatery to host fundraiser for injured Middleton girls

Firefighters and a Middleton eatery are working together to raise funds to help the girls who were struck by a truck as they walked home from school last week. The Middleton Fire Department and Pasqual’s Restaurants will host a community event on May 15 for 13-year-old Ari Meyer and 12-year-old Hayley Krause, who were injured in a hit-and-run accident on Century Avenue on April 21. The event will feature live music, fire station tours, food and children's activities, according to a news release. It will be jointly hosted by Middleton Fire Company No. 1 and Pasqual’s at the fire station at 7600 University Ave. in Middleton from 4 to 7 p.m. Pasqual’s will provide food and margaritas at the fire station while firefighters will be on hand to offer tours of Middleton’s flagship station and the fire trucks. Plans for kids activities and live music are in the works, organizers said. Pasqual’s owner, Benjamin Roberts, is a Middleton resident and said he wanted to do something positive for the community. “This is my neighborhood, my kids’ neighborhood," Roberts said. "It just made us all want...make sure the girls know we are here supporting them." Middleton Fire Chief Aaron Harris said the incident was especially close to the department; Hayley Krause's father Timothy Krause is a lieutenant at the fire department. "This incident really hit home for us and this event is a chance to not only help raise funds for the girls’ recovery, but also help our community heal and move forward together," Harris said in the news release. Donations for the girls’ recovery fund, the "Standing Strong Trust Fund," at River Valley Bank in Middleton, will be accepted throughout the day. Fire department T-shirts will be available for sale, with proceeds donated to the fund. An individual donation of $8 or family donation of $30 is encouraged, organizers said. Police said 30-year-old Ross Cotter-Brown, of Edgerton, the man driving the truck that struck the girls, faces multiple charges in connection with the incident including fourth-offense operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated with a prior offense within five years. The fire department also held a fundraising event Sunday at the fire station, and GoFundMe pages were previously established for each girl.

Published: Fri, 29 Apr 2016 23:21:58 GMT