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Parisi creates new Dane County Climate Change Action Council

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced Wednesday that he is convening a new council to ensure county government is better prepared for weather extremes brought on by global climate change.

Parisi said the effort is the first of its kind for a county in Wisconsin.

"Images of parched farm fields, flooded homes, wind damaged properties and cars stranded in deep snow drifts are becoming too common to ignore the reality that super storms and other weather extremes are the new norm," Parisi said in a news release.

Parisi's new Dane County Climate Change Action Council will include Charles Tubbs, the county's emergency management director and a national instructor on preparedness for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, along with other key county managers whose operations might be affected by weather extremes resulting from climate change.

3 workers cited in alcohol compliance operation

3 workers cited in alcohol compliance operation

Police say majority of workers comply with underage checks  

The Middleton Police Department has released the results of a round of alcohol compliance checks conducted in March.

The round of checks showed a compliance rate of 85 percent, with three out of 35 checks serving alcohol to minors, according to the report. Middleton Police Department said the purpose of the alcohol compliance checks was to determine the degree to which licensed establishments complied with laws relating to the sale of alcoholic beverages to underage buyers.  

All licensed Middleton establishments were notified by letter that compliance checks would be conducted, police said. Middleton officers said an 18-year-old volunteer was used to complete the checks and no attempts were made to misrepresent the volunteers’ age or to distract the employee.

Middleton PD launches anonymous tip-texting program

Middleton PD launches anonymous tip-texting program

The Middleton Police Department is launching tip411, a tool that enables the public to text message anonymous tips to police.

The service is powered by CitizenObserver, a technology company that removes the identification of the tipsters who wish to contact police anonymously.

The tool also lets police respond back, creating a two-way anonymous text chat.

Cell phone users can send a tip to the Middleton Police Department by texting the word MIDDLETON followed by the tip information to 847411 (tip411).

In a news release, Middleton Police Chief Brad Keil applauded the program and said it is a way the department can reach out to a younger demographic.

More snow for Southern Wis. through Tuesday night

Winter weather affects area with inches of accumulation  

For school, business and other closings in the community, visit the Channel3000.com snow coverage.

Closures are updated as we receive them:

Some school districts out of budgeted snow days

Some school districts have used all their budgeted snow days, and a number of schools will likely be closed again Tuesday due to another snowstorm.

Area school districts said students will have to make some of the days up, even if it means coming in on a weekend.

DeForest is one of the districts in the area that has run out of planned-for snow days. The DeForest School District has canceled school three times so far this winter and brought students in late another three times.

"We have to make sure we're in compliance with (the Department of Public Instruction) and the expectations for numbers of minutes kids are in schools at each of the levels, so you're always trying to balance how to make sure you can accommodate those days," said Jon Bales, DeForest superintendent.

State law requires schools to schedule 180 days, and five of those days can be used for parent-teacher conferences or inclement weather.

Bargaining law changes bring $600K to Middleton co.

A newspaper report showed a Middleton labor consultant has signed nearly $600,000 in contracts because of changes to collective bargaining for state workers in 2011.

The lack of public sector unions created a void that allowed counties and cities to set their own pay scales without bargaining and to compare wages to the private sector.

According to a review by Gannett Wisconsin Media, Charlie Carlson and his five-person Carlson Dettmann Consulting firm have completed at least 12 compensation studies around the state since Act 10 became law.

He's cornered the state market, having been hired by 42 of Wisconsin's 72 counties. He charges about $50,000 per study.

Walker enjoys being in mix for presidential run

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker said he enjoys being mentioned as a potential Republican candidate for president in 2016 because that means he's doing a good job as governor.

Walker was asked whether he intends to run for president following his Thursday speech at the annual Wisconsin Newspaper Association/Association Press convention.

Walker said if he's doing a "really crappy job" then he wouldn't be talked about on the national stage. But he said if he does a good job, he will continue to be talked about.

When pressed if he will run or not, Walker dodged the question as he usually does by saying he worked too hard winning election as governor in 2010 and again in last year's recall election to give it up.

"I like being governor," Walker said.