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County joins efforts to help youth vulnerable to sex trafficking

Funds, coordination key topics in conversation on ending the crime    

Dane County is taking steps to raise awareness on the issue of human sex trafficking.

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said Thursday that the county is focused on coordinated education efforts and resources for homeless and runaway youth.

The 2013 county budget includes $30,000 to replace recently eliminated federal funds that support outreach services to homeless and runaway youth, a group that youth advocates cautioned are susceptible to trafficking.

"At the very base, this problem exists because there's a demand for people to buy sex," Parisi said. "People need to realize if they're going to go out and purchase someone's body to use, that is not a victimless crime."

Tracking software reunites Sun Prairie man with stolen phone

Police: iPhone stolen while victim chatted at bar    

Police are crediting smartphone tracking software and a suspect description from a bartender with solving a theft case.

Madison police said a 36-year-old Sun Prairie man had his iPhone stolen while he was at a bar. He didn't see who took it, but police said the bartender got a good description of the thief who was only in the bar for a couple minutes.

The victim was able to use a friend's phone to track the location of his own phone and was able to trace it to South Broom Street near John Nolen Drive, according to police.

Officers said they spotted a suspect in the 100 block of West Main Street.

The victim told police he could activate an alarm on the phone and he activated it when police moved in.

Madison police looking for traffic violations

Madison police looking for traffic violations


Madison police will be paying special attention to traffic enforcement in specific areas of the city this week.

Special patrols will be placed in the following areas:

Tuesday at 4900 E. Washington Ave. (Speed enforcement - 55 mph zone) 
Wednesday at 1800 Fish Hatchery Rd. (Speed enforcement - 30 mph zone) 
Thursday at 4600 Commercial Ave. (Speed enforcement 35 mph zone)

Madison police said they rely on the cooperation of the public to be aware of and to follow all traffic laws, whether as a pedestrian, bicyclist or motorist.

Motorists are reminded to drive safely and to buckle seatbelts. 

Police enforce DNA sample submissions in Dane County sweep

Police enforce DNA sample submissions in Dane County sweep

Area police officers went door to door Tuesday as part of Dane County’s first DNA-sample enforcement mission. Officers from the Madison, Fitchburg, Sun Prairie, Middleton and deputies from Dane County Sheriff’s Department joined forces to conduct the Dane County DNA sweep.

About 30 law enforcement officers made attempts to contact individuals who were required by law to submit a DNA sample but had not. The Dane County Sheriff’s Department said there were 93 people listed in noncompliance.

The Office of Justice Assistance estimated that between 100 and 120 individuals living in Dane County are required to submit a DNA sample to the Wisconsin DNA Databank on a quarterly basis. Everyone on the list is first sent a letter in an attempt to get voluntary compliance. In many cases, additional attempts were necessary; follow-up letters were sent via certified mail from the Dane County District Attorney’s Office.

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.

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.

Fight breaks out downtown over rap song lyrics

Fight breaks out downtown over rap song lyrics

Witnesses told police two men who had just met on the street got into an argument over lyrics while in the midst of free-style rap battle early Sunday morning.

Police the argument led to a fight between six people, each rapper and two of their friends.

One vocalist, who was visiting Madison from New Jersey, was punched in the face and knocked out, police said.

He was treated at an area hospital, police said.

The man who faces possible battery charges is described as a white man, about 6 feet tall with a slender build. He was wearing a white jersey-type shirt with blue, red and white stripes and a hat, police said.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Madison Area Crime Stoppers at 608-266-6014.