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Near ODs lead to attempted homicide charges for suspected dealer

A Fitchburg man was arrested Tuesday on charges of attempted reckless homicide in connection with two near-overdose incidents, officials said.

The Madison Police Department said 21-year-old Jason D. Russell delivered heroin to two people who nearly died from taking the drug.

When Russell was arrested in Monona Tuesday morning, he had a loaded handgun, heroin and marijuana in his possession, police said.

The arrest was a result of a Dane County Narcotics Task Force investigation.

Police said Russell was tentatively charged with two counts of attempted reckless homicide, delivery of heroin, felony bail jumping, possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, a probation violation and being felon in possession of a firearm.

Police said detectives continue to follow additional leads that may result in additional charges in the case.

Former convenience store clerk charged with trying to rob store

Madison police said a 21-year-old Madison man allegedly went into a convenience store where he used to work Tuesday night and threatened to shoot a clerk if he didn’t give him any money.

The incident happened at the 7-Eleven in the 1400 block of Regent Street about 10:15 p.m.

According to police, Jeremiah Wooten was a former employee of the 7-Eleven. Police said Wooten handed the clerk a note which threatened violence. Police said the clerk gave Wooten some money and Wooten left the store.

Shortly after Wooten left, Madison police saw a man who matched his description. Police said they arrested Wooten, and he confessed to the armed robbery and gave the money back.

Madison first in nation to pass ordinance protecting atheists

As the current common council met for the last time Tuesday, members unanimously voted to make discriminating against atheism, and others who do not believe in God, illegal.

"This is important because I believe it is only fair that if we protect religion, in all its varieties, we should also protect non-religion from discrimination. It's only fair," ordinance sponsor District 18 Alderwoman Anita Weier said.

The vote amends the city's equal opportunity ordinance, adding atheism as a protected class in the areas of employment, housing and public accommodations.    

"There are many categories that are protected," Weier said. "And it did occur to me that if religion was then perhaps the opposite should be"

UW graduate student, and former Atheists Humanists and Agnostics president Chris Calvey was among the five atheists speaking in favor of the proposals.

Robinson's mom calls 911 weeks before Willy Street incident

Weeks before Tony Robinson was shot and killed by Madison police officer Matthew Kenny, concerns over Robinson's emotional state led his mother to call 911.

John Cates, the family's attorney, said while Robinson did not have a history of depression, his mother, Andrea Irwin, was worried about his emotional state.

"He thought that he had really ruined his life," Cates said.

The incident happened on January 11, about eight weeks before he was shot on Williamson Street.

"His mother was trying to calm him down and tell him in essence, 'You are young, you have plenty of life ahead of you, you can get through this,'" Cates said.

Badgers fans invited to send-off event at Kohl Center

Badgers fans are invited to a pep rally at the Kohl Center Wednesday to send the team off to the Final Four in Indianapolis.

The men’s basketball team will depart for the Final Four after the send-off event at 5:30 p.m. at the Kohl Center, according to a release.

Gates will open at 5 p.m. with a brief program featuring head coach Bo Ryan and the team starting at 5:30 p.m., organizers said. Admission is free.

Christ Presbyterian Church invites public to international cooking and game night

Christ Presbyterian Church invites public to international cooking and game night

Christ Presbyterian Church is hosting their monthly international cooking and game night Saturday.

According to the church, the free event invites people from all over the world to use the church's kitchen for cooking, sharing recipes and eating together.

Cooking will begin at 3 p.m., and dinner will follow at 6 p.m. 

Operating hours, access to CCB to change in April

Next month, operating hours and access to the City-County Building in Madison will change.

The City-County Liaison Committee decided that starting April 18, the building will be open to the public from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the Wilson Street entrance, previously open 24 hours, seven days a week, will only be open to people with access cards by the end of April.

“It’s going to be a secured building, so the employees will have security access, and we’re told ‘Don’t let people in who aren’t supposed to be in,’ and I think it will cut down on a lot of the problems we’re having,” City-County Building employee Kelly McConnell said. “We still have problems during the day that need to be addressed, but this is a good start.”

The changes were not in response to any specific event, officials said. The changes are part of an ongoing security review.