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Elm Lawn Elementary class wins national writing contest

 Elm Lawn Elementary class wins national writing contest

Karen Close's fourth-grade class at Elm Lawn Elementary has been named the winner of the Mrs. P Be-A-Famous Writer Contest.

Students found out they had won on Thursday morning. Superintendent Don Johnson, Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services George Mavroulis and Elm Lawn principal Robert Schell were also in the classroom when the announcement was made.

The winning story, "The Magic Baseball Poster," was written by Daniel Kim with help from Owen Sheehan. The story was picked over four other finalists for the national award.

"I was shocked. I didn't think our story would stand up. It's a great honor,'' Kim said on Thursday.

"It's crazy to think so many stories were submitted throughout the entire United States and that we won,'' Sheehan said.

Kim said he decided on the topic after reading a book about Jackie Robinson. Sheehan said he is a big baseball fan so he was thrilled to help out.

Burglars targeting homes in rural Dane County

Burglars targeting homes in rural Dane County

Burglars are targeting homes in rural areas of western Dane County, according to a release from the Dane County Sheriff's Office.

Three burglaries were reported Wednesday night and one on Tuesday night. The burglars forced their way into homes and took jewelry, precious coins, electronics, cash and firearms, authorities said.

Witnesses told deputies that the burglars might be knocking on doors of homes first to see if anyone is there. If someone answers the door, they ask for directions to a nearby town and then leave.

The burglaries occurred in the towns of Dane, Middleton, Cross Plains and Oregon.

Deputies are asking residents to immediately report anything suspicious by calling 911. They're hoping to get a vehicle description or license plate information. Businesses are asked to watch for and question customers who consistently sell large amounts of coins or jewelry.

US 14 reopened west of Middleton after traffic crash

A crash Thursday night west of Middleton closed U.S. Highway 14 until Friday morning.

U.S. 14 was closed in both directions between 11 p.m. Thursday and 8 a.m Friday after a truck crashed into an electrical pole.

Workers from MG & E and Alliant Energy worked through the night to try and fix the pole.

The State Patrol opened a detour route during the closure.

Firefighters fight fire, explosions in garage

Firefighters battled a fire and explosions in cold temperatures in the town of Springfield on Wednesday morning.

Firefighters were called to 7419 Riles Rd. at about 6:30 a.m. for a report of a structure fire.

Middleton Fire Chief Aaron Harris said the fire was in an unattached garage. He said that when they arrived, they saw explosions caused by fuel tanks, air bags and other fuel cans.

The Dane County Sheriff's Office said the structure was used to store several vehicles, tools and other equipment.

Cold made it hard to use equipment and water was freezing. Additional crews were brought in to assist.

Harris said crews can stay warm with protective gear, but with flowing water equipment is bound to freeze up.

"Our rehab team is on scene to make sure our firefighters are being taken care of; rotating them in and out as much as possible," Harris said.

No one was injured.

Dane Buy Local comes to Fitchburg, Middleton

Dane Buy Local comes to Fitchburg, Middleton

Dane Buy Local is expanding to Fitchburg and the city of Middleton in January.

Dane Buy Local is a nonprofit program that is dedicated to creating a sustainable and local economy. It was founded in 2004 and now has more than 800 members. The groups says it is the biggest buy local organization in the country on a city/county-wide scale.

“We are very pleased to see the support from a growing number of area municipalities around Dane County," said Dane Buy Local Executive Director Colin Murray. "This is a sign from our city and county leaders of support for all locally owned businesses."

Dane County was the first government to join the organization and it was followed by the city of Monona last year.

Fitchburg's mayor says joining the nonprofit will help the city's local businesses.

You can learn more about Dane Buy Local here.

Power outage hits Cross Plains middle school

Power outage hits Cross Plains middle school

Glacier Creek Middle School in Cross Plains has been without power since 9 a.m.

Middleton-Cross Plains school district spokesman Perry Hibner said a tripped breaker in the school's generator resulted in the power outage.

Officials let parents pick up their children at school and take them home for the day. Students that remained were taken to Kromrey Middle School in Middleton.

Students who ride the bus home from Glacier Creek were taken home via bus, but they may have arrived a little later than usual. Students who normally walk home were released from Kromrey 15 minutes early and taken back to Glacier Creek.

Officials expect to have a normal day of class on Tuesday, but if not, more communications will be sent to Glacier Creek parents Monday night.

Middleton officer injured in rear-end crash

A Middleton police officer was injured when a squad car was struck during a crash investigation Monday morning.

Middleton police said officers were investigating a crash on Highway 12 at University Avenue at 8:25 a.m. when a vehicle struck one of two squad cars at the scene. An officer was in the squad car that was struck. Both squad cars had emergency lights activated when the crash happened, police said.

The officer suffered minor injuries. No one else was injured.

The driver who struck the squad car was cited for driving too fast for conditions.
Police remind motorists to slow down when you see emergency vehicles in the road.