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Officials explain Middleton Street road construction delay

Officials explain Middleton Street road construction delay

Several delays caused by rains earlier in the season and a design flaw discovered during construction have delayed construction on Middleton Street, according to a release.

Officials said during construction it was discovered that a storm sewer control valve was not included in the design and the contractor had to special order a manhole to accommodate the new valve.

The manhole is expected to be delivered by early next week, according to the release.

The road will continue to be accessible to vehicles and until asphalt is put down the contractor will water the gravel as needed to help control dust, according to the release.

Officials said they understand the delay is frustrating and want to thank residents for their patience through the completion of the project.

Below is a tentative schedule for completion of the project:

Middleton officials make parking enforcement a priority for visitors, shoppers

Middleton officials make parking enforcement a priority for visitors, shoppers

Middleton officials make parking enforcement a priority to provide visitors and customers with parking for downtown businesses, according to a release.

A parking study commissioned by the Middleton City Council indicated the lack of enforcement was the primary reason for the lack of parking at peak times in the downtown area, according to the release.

Mike Davis, Middleton city administrator and director of community development, said the follow-up may help the city avoid putting in a parking ramp with annual maintenance costs.

Officials said the primary goal is to provide visitors and customers with available parking to patronize downtown businesses and to seek city services without having to drive out of the way.

Good turnover in parking is key to that goal, officials said. They hope downtown business owners and employees will seek more remote parking.

Volunteers battle heat for fundraiser

Volunteers are battling the heat and elements in a fundraising event for the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County.

CEO Michael Johnson is sweating it out spending up to 48 hours on the roof of a semitrailer in the Metcalfe?s Market parking lot trying to raise $350,000.

Johnson and some of his friends from around the area are pedaling in place on the roof of the truck. The final push comes ahead of a big bike ride event Sunday.

?I?m trying to let people know about the Boys and Girls Club and the need that they have,? said Tim Metcalfe, of Metcalfe?s Market.

For video on this story, visit the video section.

Name of victim in Cross Plains suspected carbon monoxide death

A man died Saturday after authorities were called for a reported gas leak, according to a release.

Ralph Runk, 74, of Cross Plains, died in his residence in the 2700 block of Pleasant View Lane around 6 p.m., according to the release.

Preliminary autopsy results indicate Runk died of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the release.

Madison Gas & Electric shut off the gas at the single-family home. The company reported the situation was stabilized at around 7:30 p.m.

Meeting scheduled to discuss changes to Hwy 12, Co. Hwy K intersection

A public meeting is scheduled Wednesday to discuss changes being made to the U.S. Highway 12 and County Highway K intersection, according to a release.

The meeting is scheduled for 5-7 p.m. at the town of Springfield Hall at 6157 County P, according to the release.

Wisconsin Department of Transportation representatives will be available to discuss the proposed improvement on an individual basis, according to the release.

The project proposes adding a left-turn lane to County Highway K and installing new signals at the intersection, according to the release.

Construction is currently scheduled for 2015, according to the release.

Officials encourage the public to attend the meeting, provide input and ask questions about the project.

If anyone is unable to attend the meeting, officials suggest contacting Amy Coughlin at 608-245-5358 or can mail written comments to Amy Coughlin at 2101 Wright St., Madison, WI 53704, according to the release.

Man pleads no contest to child sex assault charges

A Middleton man who is a former church music director has pleaded no contest to two counts of sexual assault of a child.

James A. "Alex" Gillespie, 48, of Middleton, appeared in Dane County Circuit Court Friday to enter the plea. A pre-sentencing investigation was ordered.

Middleton police said the victim, a 14-year-old boy, is the victim in another local sexual assault case involving a Mount Horeb police lieutenant living in Madison.

The boy's late nights at Gillespie's condo in the 5500 block of Century Avenue prompted neighbors to grow suspicious.

"They're concerned about young men, boys, in his apartment late at night, coming and going, and they expressed those concerns to us," said Capt. Charles Foulke, of the Middleton Police Department.

The criminal complaint said the victim told police, "Yeah, we did something." He went on to tell detectives that Gillespie performed oral sex on him on several occasions, according to the complaint.

Looking out for blue-green algae on Madison lakes

The blue-green algae doesn?t seem as aggressive on Madison lakes, but that doesn?t mean Public Health Madison and Dane County isn?t keeping a close eye on blooms.

Water from city and county beaches? is tested at least once a week. Lucas Treutel was in charge of collecting those samples Wednesday.

Some shores have been shut down to swimmers because of high bacteria levels, but Treutel has not seen much blue-green algae yet this season.

?It's been pretty mild this summer,? Treutel said.

Werner Beach was shut down for a large bloom earlier this week, but was reopened once the algae left that part of the lake.

With or without the department shutting down the beaches, Treutel said its hard to miss the potentially toxic algae. If the blue tint doesn?t tip swimmers off and turn them away, the odor usually does.

?Just getting a whiff of it,? Treutel said, ?you wouldn't want to go on that beach.?