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Court papers: Sleepy driver veered off road multiple times before hitting, killing biker

The man charged with killing a bicyclist in the town of Westport 18 months ago told deputies he worked the night shift and fell asleep at the wheel often.

The criminal complaint filed Wednesday in Dane County said 23-year-old Timothy Grulke, of Waunakee, was regularly tired after working overnight at a casino, as he had the evening before 37-year-old Carrie Pete, of Madison, was killed while biking on Highway M on Oct. 9, 2012.

Grulke told a deputy at the scene that he "nodded off" four or five times prior to hitting Pete's bike at about 11:38 a.m., according to the complaint. Grulke had worked from 9:30 p.m.-6 a.m., then drove to the gym to workout, but left at about 11:15 a.m. because he became sleepy. He was on his way to get crickets for his lizard when the crash occurred.

A witness also told deputies he saw Grulke's Dodge pickup truck veer off the roadway four or five times before the crash with the bike.

City to flush water mains, hydrants

The City of Middleton said it plans to flush water mains and hydrants beginning April 27.

The flush is common practice for the department and is done twice a year, in the spring and the fall. The practice tests the system and ensures water quality.

In a public notice last Tuesday, the city's water utility said residents can expect to see a slight discoloration of water during the week as it clears out water mains.

The city said the flush does not affect the potability of water and it is safe to drink.

The flush ends May 9. 

Meetings scheduled to discuss Beltline, Hwy. 16/60, Hwy. 14 construction

Meetings scheduled to discuss Beltline, Hwy. 16/60, Hwy. 14 construction

Several Wisconsin Department of Transportation meetings are scheduled in the upcoming weeks to talk about proposed changes and construction projects to local roadways.

Public meeting for Interstate 39/90, Beltline interchange

A public involvement meeting to discuss updated design plans and gather public input on the proposed improvements of the Interstate 39/90 and Beltline interchange is scheduled for Thursday, according to a WisDOT release.

As part of the Interstate 39/90 expansion project, the Beltline interchange will be reconstructed to address safety and congestion concerns, along with the deteriorating and outdated infrastructure, officials said.

The meeting will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the McFarland High School Cafeteria at 5101 Farwell St., according to the release. A formal presentation will be held at 6 p.m.

Public meeting for Highway 16/60 reconstruction in Columbus

Advisory to run water to prevent pipe freezes canceled

Advisory to run water to prevent pipe freezes canceled

Three months after an initial advisory warning residents run water to prevent freezing pipes, the city it is canceling the warning. 

Middleton posted a statement online Thursday saying it was safe to turn the taps off. 

Recent warmer weather has helped thaw the ground from the long winter, reducing the risk of frozen lateral pipes. 

The Middleton Water Utility asked residents on Feb. 11 to monitor water temperatures and run a pencil-sized stream of water to prevent freezes.

Madison Metro pitches west side route changes

Madison Metro is looking for feedback on its proposed changes to routes in southwest Madison, Middleton and Fitchburg.

Madison Metro spokesperson Nick Rusch said the adjustments this year aren?t as sweeping as they have been in years past. The changes are part of an annual reallocation of services to better serve riders.

?If people don't mention it to us or we don't see a lot of ridership on it, that's what we try to do is try to adjust things with the lowest ridership on it,? Rusch said.

One of the original proposals to eliminate service to the Nobel Drive loop and Gilson Street/Olin Avenue loop has already been reversed, Rusch said. He said even before a public hearing Wednesday night, Madison Metro had received numerous comments pushing to maintain those routes.

Walker might use new program to complete college degree

Walker might use new program to complete college degree

The governor is considering using a newly launched educational program to complete his college degree.

Gov. Scott Walker spoke to students at Elm Lawn Elementary School in Middleton Wednesday morning.

Walker left Marquette University 34 credits short of graduating so he could start working at the Red Cross 24 years ago. He studied mostly political science while he was there.

Walker said he?s looking at the new flex-degree options to get the degree, and said this conversation is about a bigger picture.

?What we?re really trying to get at is reduce the amount of time and money that it takes, but still have it be competency based,? Walker said. "The whole idea with the flex option is that it?s not just an online alternative classroom that could be an option, but part of it is just competency based testing, so that if someone?s got a base of knowledge they could prove that and earn credit for it.?

Gas leak briefly closes part of University Ave.

Part of University Avenue was closed west of Park Street in Middleton for about an hour Wednesday morning due to a gas leak, officials said. 

An alert from the city of Middleton at 10:36 a.m. said University Avenue and Bristol Street were shut down due to a natural gas leak. Officials asked motorists to use alternative routes. 

The Middleton Police Department said at 11:27 a.m. that University Avenue was reopened.