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52-year-old UW bar gets 4-month makeover

52-year-old UW bar gets 4-month makeover

After four months of restoration, a bar inside the Memorial Union will reopen Monday. 

Der Stiftskeller, originally opened in 1962, has had its murals restored, pool tables moved in and the serving bar reborn out of a Terrace tree, those managing the the University of Wisconsin-Madison project said Wednesday at a sneak preview of the restaurant. 

In addition to its interior upgrades, the Stiftskeller will add a second window serving the Terrace. 

Murals first painted in 1978 were restored, recreated, or in the case of the "Battle of Beer and Wine" painting, relocated from the west wall to the south wall, the UW-Madison said. 

The renovations are part of phase one of the university's Memorial Union Reinvestment project, which kicked off in the summer of 2012.

Der Stiftskeller shares the bar with neighbor pub Der Rathskeller.

911 dispatch debate: Safe or slow?

There?s some math that goes into dispatching emergency crews after someone dials 911 and reaches a Dane County dispatcher.

John Dejung, 911 dispatch center director, said any caller is asked a minimum of seven questions so dispatch knows what to tell first responders.

Dejung said it takes an average of two to two and a half minutes from the time someone picks up an emergency call to the time crews are told to respond to a situation.

?The fact is we do need to take the time to ask the right questions to make sure the responders are safe and the callers are safe and we have an effective response going on,? Dejung said.

Dane County?s 911 Dispatch Center is one of seven dispatch centers in the world with triple accreditation from the International Academies Of Emergency Dispatch. Dejung said that means operators are trained to ask certain questions in a certain order to make sure the response goes smoothly.

Committee makes recommendation on new downtown hotel

The Judge Doyle Square Committee unanimously chose the JDS Development proposal to recommend to the common council.

The company proposing the development is made up of the Hammes Company of Madison and Majestic Realty out of Los Angeles.

The plan includes a municipal building makeover and a hotel near the Monona Terrace. The committee also approved a set of nine guidelines for the project involving the number of rooms, parking and fitting in with the look of the Monona Terrace.

There has been a lot of back and forth about the proposed project. The biggest concerns have been how long the construction would take and the amount of money it would take to build.

The project will cost at least $160 million and will use TIF funds.

The common council will vote on the proposal in late February or early March. If approved, developers and the city will begin negotiations.

Armed robbery prompts WiscAlert to students

An armed robbery downtown prompted University of Wisconsin-Madison police to issue a WiscAlert to students Sunday night, according to a release.

Police responded to a residence in the 400 block of West Mifflin Street around 7:10 p.m. for reports of an armed robbery, officials said.

The three men demanded the victims? cellphones and wallet, and told them to get in a closet before fleeing on foot, according to the release. One of the robbers had a handgun.

Police were able to track the cellphones to an area nearby where they were both found and returned to the residents, officials said. A K-9 track was set up but officers were not able to locate the robbers.

UW police issued a WiscAlert to students living in the area, but it was later lifted, according to the release. The residents were not injured in the incident.

Crime map

3 men rob victims at home, prompt campus alert

Three men entered a home near the University of Wisconsin campus and robbed the two people inside, prompting campus police to issue an alert to students.

Police were called to the 400 block of West Mifflin Street at 7:10 p.m. on Sunday for a report of a robbery.

The victims, a 20-year-old man and 22-year-old woman, told police the three men entered the home through an unlocked door and demanded the victims? phones and wallet and ordered them into a closet before fleeing on foot. One of the men was armed with a handgun, according to the victims.

Officers tracked the victim?s phones to an area nearby where the robbers had discarded them. A K-9 was called to assist in a search of the area.

An alert was issued to UW students living in the area and was later lifted.

Fire damages Porchlight apartment

Fire damaged an apartment at a Madison emergency shelter Sunday afternoon.

Firefighters were called to Porchlight, Inc. at 306 North Brooks Street at 2:26 p.m. for a report of a fire. Firefighters reported seeing smoke coming from the top floor of the 4-story building when they arrived.

Firefighters used a thermal imaging camera to help them find the fire. The fire was knocked down within minutes.

A disabled occupant was carried down four flights of stairs and treated at the scene. All other occupants escaped safely.

Damage is estimated at $15,000 to the building and $5,000 to the contents. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Madison woman's nonprofit helps sexual abuse survivors cope

By Maggie Ginsberg-Schutz

Her earliest years are spotty, like inkblots splattered on what looks like an exquisite picture. But, without warning, shards of memory can slice the canvas at any given moment. The way the hot afternoon sun looked as it cut through the blinds when Lilada Gee woke from her nap that day, a tiny six-year-old girl, lying on top of her abuser's erect penis. The paralyzing, toxic fear creeping through her veins as the venom of responsibility first pierced her. As right then and there, from that moment on, his outrageous crime became her burden to bear.

"Immediately, shame filled me. Fright filled me," recalls Lilada. "So when he swore me to secrecy, I was good with it. Because I wanted to pretend like it never happened."