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John Roach: The curse of Nail's Tales

By John Roach

Fall is calling.

In Madison and Wisconsin it will begin with a shot of drama for Badger fans when our football homeboys take on LSU in their season opener.

Interestingly the big game will take place at the neutral site of Houston, Texas, at NRG Stadium.

This will be a wonderful showcase for Coach Gary Andersen's squad, and if things go well, it will make an early case for Melvin Gordon's claim to the Heisman Trophy. It also allows the football Badgers to pick up on the national stage where Bo's basketball Badgers left us in the spring.

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UWPD: Graffiti vandals cause $1.5K in damage to Picnic Point

University of Wisconsin-Madison police said taggers have caused more than $1,500 in damage to Picnic Point.

UWPD was contacted by campus staff on Wednesday about graffiti at Picnic Point, according to a release.

Officers said there are multiple tags sprayed on one of the fire pits.

Damage is estimated to be more than $1,500.

Police believe the tagging happened sometime between Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday afternoon.

Officials ask anyone with information or anyone who saw anything suspicious in the Picnic Point area during that time to call UWPD at 608-264-COPS.

Police: Man seen taking backpack from car, cutting cords

Police: Man seen taking backpack from car, cutting cords

Police said a man was arrested on suspicion of theft after a witness saw him take a backpack from a downtown man's car Thursday morning.

Madison police said a 20-year-old man left his car unlocked for a couple minutes at 9:40 a.m. on the 100 block of of North Bassett Street. As the man ran inside his residence, another man entered the car and took the man' s backpack, which contained a laptop.

A neighbor saw the alleged crime and called police, according to a release. The witness told police the thief had cut the power cord off a window air conditioner after taking the backpack.

The witness gave police a description of the suspected thief and said he was on a bicycle pulling a bike trailer.

Officers saw 60-year-old Ray A. Wallace of Madison on North Frances Street, the report said. Wallace was bent over a utility box where wires were exposed. Police said officers found the stolen backpack in Wallace's bike trailer along with numerous electrical cords.

Theft of smartphone by passing cyclist prompts property security reminder

Theft of smartphone by passing cyclist prompts property security reminder

A bicyclist grabbed a woman's cell phone from her hand as she stood in downtown Madison Wednesday night, according to a release. The reported theft prompted Madison police to remind residents to be aware of their surroundings to prevent similar thefts.

Police said a 34-year-old Sun Prairie woman was looking down at her iPhone while standing on Wisconsin Avenue and East Dayton Street at 8:44 p.m. A young bicyclist pedaling past the woman grabbed the phone from her hand.

Madison police spokesman Joel DeSpain said citizens should be cautious of losing touch with their surroundings when using small, expensive electronics.

"One veteran MPD sergeant likes to compare holding an iPhone ... to clutching a stack of $100 bills in your hand," DeSpain said. "You would not nonchalantly walk around holding those -- or leave them sitting somewhere -- and similar precautions are advised for protecting pricey electronics."

Committee chooses East Washington Ave. location for public market

After some passionate arguments for each option, Madison?s Local Food Committee unanimously recommended the city start a public market on the east side.

In a vote Tuesday night, committee members passed a resolution asking the council to move forward with the public market planning process on the site at East Washington Avenue and First Street.

Alder Marsha Rummel said market development would likely start with the city-owned fleet service garage behind the shopping center that faces East Washington Avenue.

?We spent 10 years planning, talking about food and all of the other synergies of the Capitol east district,? Rummel said. ?And it does take a long time to get these things in place so something like this then seems obvious.?

Two Madison homes visited by burglar

According to a police report, a downtown Madison resident was awakened early Sunday morning as a burglar reached into her home through a window screen he cut.

The victim had left a window cracked for fresh air, and grabbed onto the criminal's arm. The intruder pulled his arm back and fled from the home. He was reported as being white; around 5 feet 6 inches tall with a slender build.

A short time later the same morning, another building resident returned home to find his unit burglarized. Electronics and money were among items taken. He told police that he had left a door unlocked. A police dog arrived to track the burglar, but no suspect was found.

Protesting pirates demand change from local company

Pirate costumes are not what you would expect to see at a protest, but it's something Texas protest organizer Andrew Dobbs hopes will help get a message across.

"We want people to have fun with it always, but we also hope that people know even down in Texas we are working to make sure that Madison-area companies are held accountable," Dobbs said.

Over two dozen environmental protesters from Texas and Madison came together to bring a message to Spectrum Brands. The company is a sponsor of Madison's Clean Lakes Festival and the parent company of Rayovac, a Middleton-based battery company.

"Rayovac admits themselves overseas that throwing batteries in the trash is harmful to the environment and a waste of resources. Over here they tell people to throw their batteries in the trash. We want them to be consistent," he said.

It's a message other protesters want the Clean Lakes Alliance to support.