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Police: Man steals tip jar to buy more heroin

Police: Man steals tip jar to buy more heroin

A Waukesha man took a tip jar from the counter of a food cart on Wednesday afternoon in order buy more heroin, according to the Madison Police Department.

Police said the man shot heroin just before 3 p.m. and 20 minutes later determined he needed more of the drug.

To pay for it it, the man identified as Dustin D. Skinner, grabbed the tip jar off of the Banzo food cart, which was set-up in the Library Mall, police said.

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Man faces fourth OWI, drug charges after being found asleep behind wheel

Man faces fourth OWI, drug charges after being found asleep behind wheel

A man faces multiple charges after he was found sleeping behind the wheel at a red light on North Bassett Street.

Police said Tom Schwersinske was found by a concerned driver on Tuesday afternoon. Police said the witness was behind the van that Schwersinske was driving. When he got out of his car he saw that Schwersinske's eyes were rolled back into his head, but that he was breathing.

Homeless man attacked on downtown street bench

Downtown officers have detained a person of interest after a 60-year-old homeless man was attacked while sleeping on a State Street bench early Tuesday morning.

Madison police said the victim sustained cuts to his wrists, face and neck that required numerous sutures to close.

It is not known what type of weapon was involved, police said.

The victim told police that he is acquainted with the man who has been detained. Police said the incident is believed to be an isolated incident.

The motive for the attack is under investigation, officials said.

Madison school officials debut new achievement gap plan

Officials with the Madison Metropolitan School District are revealing new recommendations on how to close the achievement gap in city schools.

Superintendent Dan Nerad said the new plan, which includes a focus on improving literacy, the expansion of AVID/TOPS programs to middle schools, a mentor academy to help students find role models in the community and other measures, will cost less.

The original plan cost about $105 million over five years. The revised plan's price tag is $55.6 million over the same time period, administrators said. The lower cost is attributed to several initiatives being pushed back, such as extending the school day.

"If we're going to make a difference, we're going to need to invest," Nerad said. "On the other hand, as we started working through the final plan, we realized that we also need to balance this with the needs of the community going forward, and it needs to be a sustainable plan."

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Radiothon raises half million for sick kids

Radiothon raises half million for sick kids

Listeners of Tracy and Mike in the Morning on 96.3 Star Country radio in Madison pledged $528,507 for American Family Children’s Hospital in the eighth annual Champions for Kids Radiothon. 

Officials said that eclipses last year’s Radiothon which raised $506,238.

The three-day, 39-hour radio broadcast hosted by Tracy Dixon and Mike Heller of Clear Channel Radio station 96.3 Star Country ended Friday night with the announcement of the grand total. 

Former and current patients, some of the most seriously ill children, and their families told their personal stories during the Radiothon.

For more information on American Family Children’s Hospital, go to www.uwhealthkids.org.

Madison School District to hold meeting on achievement gap

The Madison Metropolitan School District is making revised recommendations to its plan to close the district's achievement gap.

MMSD officials, city representatives, the Chamber of Commerse and the United Way will all be at a meeting Monday discussing the importance of community collaboration.

The meeting begins at 11 a.m. at the Doyle Administration Building.



Washburn telescope's optics get 130-year checkup, cleaning

Washburn telescope's optics get 130-year checkup, cleaning

Bit by bit over the last two decades, the University of Wisconsin-Madison's iconic Washburn Observatory has been restored to its original sheen.

The dome was refurbished in the 1990s and the building itself was restored and updated in 2009. And this week, a final but crucial touch up -- the cleaning and refurbishment of the glass lenses and the brass cell that holds them in the 240-inch-long telescope tube -- was completed with the help of John Augustine, an antique instrument specialist from Parkman, Ohio.

"There aren't too many guys who do this kind of thing," explains Jim Lattis, director of UW-Madison's Space Place and the official custodian of the observatory and its antique refracting telescope.