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County joins efforts to help youth vulnerable to sex trafficking

Funds, coordination key topics in conversation on ending the crime    

Dane County is taking steps to raise awareness on the issue of human sex trafficking.

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said Thursday that the county is focused on coordinated education efforts and resources for homeless and runaway youth.

The 2013 county budget includes $30,000 to replace recently eliminated federal funds that support outreach services to homeless and runaway youth, a group that youth advocates cautioned are susceptible to trafficking.

"At the very base, this problem exists because there's a demand for people to buy sex," Parisi said. "People need to realize if they're going to go out and purchase someone's body to use, that is not a victimless crime."

Middleton police warn of mail thefts from mailboxes

The Middleton Police Department said it has received several recent reports of theft of mail from mailboxes.

Police said the theft of mail from residential mailboxes is an increasing problem. Criminals use this as a means to obtain a person's identity information and to steal checks and other items of value, police said.

Middleton police gave the following tips to reduce or minimize the problem:

Middleton police alert residents to increase in home burglaries

The Middleton Police Department said it has responded to an increase of residential burglaries within the last few weeks.

The majority of these burglaries have involved people forcibly entering a residence during late afternoon to the early evening hours. Police said the burglaries have happened around 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Police said the burglars have mostly been stealing electronics and jewelry.

Detective Troy Hellenbrand said Wednesday that four homes have been burglarized in the Stonefield neighborhood, with two homes being burglarized within the past couple of days.

Free community open skate

Free community open skate

If you have always wanted to try ice skating or just want to get out and move, Middleton Youth Hockey is hosting an afternoon at the rink.

The event will be held on Sunday Dec. 30 from 1:00-2:15.  Skaters of all ages are welcome.

Experienced skaters will be on hand to help the beginners.  There will also be skater props (small walkers) for kids who may be skating for the first time.

The event will be held at Capitol Ice Arena, 2616 Pleasant View Road in Middleton.

If you have any questions, please visit our website or our Facebook page or call (608) 695-1536.

Snowstorm closes much of Madison area - Continued news coverage

Snowstorm closes much of Madison area - Continued news coverage

CHANNEL3000.COM HAS YOUR COMMUNITY WINTER-WEATHER NEWS

Madison-area community closures, advisories will be updated
throughout the strong winter storm affecting much of Southern Wisconsin.

3 injured in head-on crash involving suspected drunken, wrong-way driver

The Madison Police Department said a Middleton man was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving during the Wednesday night snow storm.

Police said Griffin Lowmaster hit a car head on when he was driving the wrong way on the snow-covered Beltline at about 11:30 p.m.

Lowmaster, 24, was driving eastbound in the westbound lanes of the Beltline between Verona Road and Seminole Highway when he struck a car carrying three Madison women -- two 21-year-olds and one 22-year-old -- according to the report.

Police said a preliminary breath-alcohol test measured .15, nearly twice the legal limit for driving. Upon his arrest Lowmaster told police he ?could have killed someone? and ?I don?t know what I was thinking.?

Lowmaster was charged on suspicion of drunken driving causing injury and three counts of second-degree recklessly endangering safety.

Area school districts respond to Connecticut massacre

The mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut is sparking serious conversations in schools between teachers, parents, administrators and students.

Districts sent out a number of letters to parents and internal notes to staff over the weekend. Some staff members even met in person on their days off to talk over how to handle the first day back after Friday's tragedy.

"I think we hold our elementary schools very close to our hearts," said Jeannette Deloya, a Madison Metropolitan School District social worker program support worker.

The district put out a letter to Madison parents -- both online and in a hard copy -- offering advice and stressing safety measures in schools.