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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.

Multiple seats on city council, school board open

There will be a few contested local races on the April 1 ballot, according to papers filed by last week's spring electoin deadline.

State offices to be elected include Court of Appeals Districts 1, 2 and 4 and Circuit Court.

Various local government seats are up for re-election, including those on city, town, village and school boards... Read More

Sun Prairie boys defeat Middleton, 59-52

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The Sun Prairie Cardinals boys basketball team held off a late surge by Middleton to win their Big Eight conference game in Sun Prairie Thursday night, 59-52.

Sun Prairie had a 11-point lead after three quarters, but Middleton rallied and when Demond Hill scored, the lead was down to 52-50.

Middleton got the ball back, but Malik Robinson's steal and basket opened the lead to 54-50 and Nick Noskowiak's three-point play sealed the win for Sun Prairie.

Robinson led all scorers with 13 while J.T. Ruffin added 12 and Noskowiak 10 for Sun Prairie.

Hill and Luke Shafer each had 10 to pace the Middleton offense.

Woman attacked when getting out of car, officials say

Woman attacked when getting out of car, officials say

A Middleton woman was attacked after getting out of her vehicle early Thursday morning, according to a release.

Middleton police responded to a report of a disturbance where a woman said she was physically attacked in the 7200 block of Fortune Drive, police said.

The woman told police she thought she was followed in her vehicle by a man who was driving a silver four-door vehicle, according to the release. She said she was able to get away from the man soon after he attacked her.

The attacker is described as an African American man approximately 6 feet tall, and he was wearing a black jacket and gloves.

Officials ask anyone with information about the incident to call or text the Middleton Police Department at 608-824-7300.

2 area teachers receive Presidential Award of Excellence

Two area teachers were named 2012 recipients of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, according to a Department of Instruction release.

Cathy Fernan of Milton and Kathy Hiteman of Middleton are among 102 kindergarten through sixth-grade teachers nationwide who were notified of the award in mid-December, according to the release. Both teachers will receive $10,000 from the National Science Foundation and will be invited to Washington, D.C., to attend an awards ceremony.

?The dedication of these teachers is worth celebrating,? State Superintendent Tony Evers said in the release. ?Both started their careers as elementary school teachers and now work with sixth-graders in the middle school environment where they inspire young minds in mathematics and science.?

Evers nominated Fernan and Hiteman for the award in July 2012.

Schools may be affected by next week?s cold weather

The Madison area is bracing itself for dangerously cold temperatures, and just as kids return from winter break, they might be getting more days off early next week due to the bitter cold.

Monday and Tuesday might see record lows -- lows the area hasn?t seen since a similar two-day stretch in Feb. 1996.

Public health officials are reminding people to be aware of the conditions and for schools, this is going to force them to make some decisions.

Don Johnson, superintendent of the Middleton-Cross Plains School District, said they always hope to make a decision by 6 a.m. Temperatures of 25 below zero and wind chill factors of 35 below zero generally cancel or delay school.

Johnson said ultimately, parents have the final say on whether their student goes to school.

Man strangles, batters woman he met online, police say

Man strangles, batters woman he met online, police say

Police said a man attacked a woman he'd met online at her north side Madison home earlier this week.

The Madison Police Department said a woman in her 40s invited a man she recently met online through Adult Friend Finder to her home in the Aberg Avenue area Monday.

Police said Robert Palen, 38, of Middleton, visited the woman's apartment early in the morning. Madison police spokesman Joel DeSpain said the victim told police she had never met Palen in person before Monday, but they had sent texts and online messages back and forth. 

Palen attacked the woman and strangled her, according to the report. Following the assault, the woman fled her apartment and called for help. 

Police said Palen left the woman's home before police arrived and was arrested Monday night at his home in Middleton. 

DeSpain said police did not release Palen's arrest booking photo Thursday afternoon because the investigation was ongoing.