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Middleton teacher?s reinstatement moves forward

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The pending reinstatement of a former teacher will cost the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District almost $1 million in legal fees and back pay.

In a special meeting Monday night, it was released that the district will owe Andrew Harris almost $200,000 in back pay.� That?s on top of more than $625,000 the district has spent to fight for its decision to fire Harris back in 2010.

Harris was a middle school science teacher at Glacier Creek Middle School until he was accused of sending and receiving explicit emails on the job.

Last week, the state supreme court refused to hear the case.� The arbitrators ruled it inappropriate to terminate Harris, and said he should be reinstated to his position and receive back pay.

Board discusses how to rehire teacher accused of sending explicit emails

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The Middleton-Cross Plains School Board will meet Monday night to discuss the procedure for rehiring a man accused of sending and receiving racy emails on the job.

The middle school teacher was originally fired for allegedly exchanging explicit emails through his work account.

The school board will meet Monday night to figure out how he will return to the district; something the district has already spent $625,000 fighting.

Andrew Harris was a seventh-grade science teacher at Glacier Creek Middle School.

He will be offered a job or an equivalent position with the district, in addition to back pay, after the State Supreme Court refused to take up the case last week.

Based on the judge?s orders, Harris could be back in the school by this month.

4-wheeler gets stuck in the ice on Lake Mendota

An ice fisherman learned about the danger of pressure cracks while driving his four-wheeler on the ice Monday morning.

Dane County sheriff's deputies responded to a report of a four-wheeler stuck on the ice just before 7 a.m. Monday.

When officers arrived, they found the back end of a four-wheeler in the water after it fell in on a pressure crack in the ice.

No one was hurt, but the ice fisherman will need to have a friend tow the vehicle off the ice.

Deputies warn ice fishermen to be aware of pressure cracks as they go out on the ice this winter.

?It?s constantly getting thicker and constantly getting thinner. You have areas where you have current, you have natural springs -- all of those work to erode the ice. By its very nature, you can?t tell how much ice you?re actually on until you drill a hole and look,? Dane County Deputy Sheriff Mica Weber said.

Middleton schools: No cellphones during high school tests

Students at Middleton High School will no longer have access to their cellphones during test times.

The new policy follows allegations of widespread cheating. Teachers will collect all electronic devices from students before tests are distributed and won't return them until tests are collected.

Middleton-Cross Plains School District spokesman Perry Hibner tells the State Journal (http://bit.ly/1ifZysw ) math and science teachers are also creating more than one version of a test to discourage cheating.

The policy comes after allegations that students cheated on a December calculus test. All calculus students were required to retake the exam. Hibner says scores on the second exams were 3 percent lower overall than the first test.

School administrators received anonymous letters alleging students were sharing or selling cellphone photos of the test questions.

Memorial tops Middleton 55-50 in Big 8 boys basketball

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The Madison Memorial boys basketball team beat Middleton 55-50 Friday night in a Big 8 boys conference basketball game.

The Spartans remain in first place and are now 10-1 in conference. They lost to Middleton in the second game of the season.

The Cardinals fell to 5-6 in conference.

Middleton freshman CJ Fermanich's three-pointer ties the game in the third, and the Cardinals took the lead into the fourth.

But the Spartans pull away, Daurince Fountain and Darall Willis had highlight worthy dunks.

Madison man charged with 4th OWI

A man found stumbling along the side of a town of Middleton road Thursday evening is facing his fourth charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, according to the Dane County Sheriff's Department.

The incident happened just after 8:30 p.m. near the intersection of U.S. Highway 14 and Wayside Road in the town of Middleton.

According to sheriff's officials, a Dane County deputy made contact with Dany Cadena-Fernandez, 30, of Madison, as he walked along the highway. Deputies said they could smell an odor of intoxicants on Cadena-Fernandez and found his vehicle on the road a short distance away.

Sheriff's officials said deputies confirmed that Cadena-Fernandez had been operating this vehicle. He was arrested after a field sobriety test was conducted, according to the sheriff's department.

Teacher accused of looking at explicit emails could return to work

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The Wisconsin Supreme Court has declined to take on the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District appeal of a teacher who was reinstated after he was accused of viewing explicit emails at work.

The district wanted the high court to overturn an arbitrator's decision to give Glacier Creek Middle School science teacher Andrew Harris his job back and reduce the suspensions given to two other teachers.

The three were part of a grievance the teachers union filed on behalf of seven school district employees who were accused of viewing or sharing pornography or sexually inappropriate images, jokes or videos in the fall of 2009.

The court remitted the case to the appeals court Tuesday.

In a statement Wednesday, the district said it was disappointed in the court's refusal of the case.