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Middleton schools nominated for federal conservation, health accolade

The Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District officially learned on Tuesday that it had been nominated for the Green Ribbon Award, which is given annually by the U.S. Department of Education.

The award is given annually to schools and districts showing a commitment to conservation and to the health of students and staff.

Besides the district, three schools in the state -- Columbus Elementary-Discovery Charter School, Lake Mills Elementary School and Colby Elementary School -- were nominated for the award by State Superintendent Tony Evers.

Two district schools have already received the Green Ribbon Schools award. Park Elementary won a year ago, while MHS won in 2012.

Police investigate string of burglaries

Police investigate string of burglaries

Middleton police thanked the public for its help identifying a man from a photograph Wednesday and said the department's investigation is ongoing.

On Wednesday morning, Middleton police provided a photo and asked for help identifying the man pictured. Police said officers were seeking the man in connection with multiple burglaries in the city.

The Middleton Police Department said it responded to reports of three residential burglaries in the 2100 block of Gateway Street North from March 4 through Monday.

Police said investigators said the man pictured was a person of interest who was believed to be in the area around the time of one of the burglaries.

On Thursday morning, police said the man was identified and the investigation continues.

'Just Bakery' gives people a second chance

If baking is a science, Madison Urban Ministry's Just Bakery program may be a formula for employment.

"I feel that what I do now is probably the most significant thing I've done in my life job-wise," said program instructor David Shrankler.

Schrankler says he finds purpose in teaching food safety and life skills in the basement of Lakeview Lutheran Church. He said he does everything he can to try to help students find their skills, abilities and self-worth.

Schrankler can relate to his students. After serving time for a felony, he became homeless and struggled to find a job.

When he recalled his experience job-hunting, Schrankler said he would disclose his situation, get an interview and sometimes a job offer, but the process always stopped short at corporate offices.

County approves additional funding to increase emergency radio coverage

County approves additional funding to increase emergency radio coverage

The Dane County Board of Supervisors approved an additional $3.75 million in funding Thursday to increase radio coverage in rural areas and inside large buildings, according to a release.

The allocation was approved as part of a larger resolution approving the issuing of bonds to pay for commitments already approved in the 2015 capital budget, officials said. The new funding is in addition to the $3 million already dedicated to improvements in the DaneCom radio system.

News 3 reported in December that parts of DaneCom would be taken offline at the beginning of 2015 to determine if the county’s new emergency communication system was causing emergency radio problems.

Middleton man may be responsible for multiple incidents, police say

A man Middleton police believe was involved in multiple residential burglaries was arrested Sunday, according to a release.

Middleton police said residents reported that someone entered a home in the 7300 block of Hubbard Avenue on March 2 and had taken several items.

The Middleton Police Department received several calls Sunday morning about a suspicious person, including one where a man was inside a garage, according to the release. Officers found the man leaving the area, and police said he had property from the Hubbard Avenue burglary.

Dylan J. McGinnity, 26, of Middleton, was arrested on a tentative burglary charge. Police believe he may be responsible for additional suspicious incidents in Middleton, and the investigation is ongoing.

Police ask anyone who has seen McGinnity at or near their residence to call or text the Middleton Police Department at 608-824-7300.

Middleton man accused of hiding assets during bankruptcy

A Middleton man is accused of failing to disclose all of his assets when filing for bankruptcy, according to a release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

A federal grand jury returned a five-count indictment charging Paul R. Graves, 59, with bankruptcy fraud. The indictment was returned on March 4 and was unsealed Tuesday.

Prosecutors said Graves disclaimed an inheritance worth $800,000 in 2009, but despite the disclaimer he retained the money.

The indictment said that from February 2009 through August 2012, Graves and his wife devised a scheme to defraud creditors of their estate in bankruptcy. Graves and his wife owned and operated Mauston Home Center LLC, a hardware business in Mauston, for which they personally owed more than $500,000 to creditors of the business, according to the release.

Middleton team uses Twitter to get Taylor Swift to message sick teammate

The Middleton freshman basketball team is hoping a Twitter campaign will soon have singer Taylor Swift sending their teammate battling bone cancer a spirit lifting message.

“We wanted to get Taylor Swift involved because we knew that Jackson liked her,” teammate and friend Casey McKean said.  “He actually called her a goddess.”

After being diagnosed with osteosarcoma 15-year-old Jackson Pagel had the leave the team.

“He was a really good player. I think he had a chance of making JV.  When he got taken out of it, it was just so sad.  Because he was one of the best players in the grade,” McKean said.  “He (Jackson) first felt it when he was playing soccer in his leg. But it turned out to be a tumor. And then they got it checked out. And they told him he couldn’t play basketball anymore.  So we started this team. Team J Pagel.”