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Official: Madison woman hangs up on 'largest scam we've ever seen'

Official: Madison woman hangs up on 'largest scam we've ever seen'

An east Madison woman saved herself from a scam that federal officials called the largest scam of its kind by hanging up the phone Wednesday.

Madison police said a 75-year-old woman who lives on Spicebush Lane received a call from a person claiming to be "IRS Officer Frank Martin" at 9:28 a.m.

The caller told the woman she owed $4,388 in unpaid taxes, but the woman didn't buy it, police said. She told the caller he could contact her through the mail and hung up. She then reported the call to police.

The federal Internal Revenue Service warned citizens earlier this year to be wary of callers claiming to represent the IRS.

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Police looking for east side vandals

Madison police are seeking the public?s help in identifying the vandals responsible for a rash of graffiti on the city?s east side.

Police said several residents in the Galileo Drive area east of the interstate reported finding homes and vehicles with paint dumped or sprayed on them. About a dozen cases were reported.

Similar damage was found on homes and vehicles on streets off North Thompson Drive just west of the interstate.

Anyone with information on the identity of the vandals is asked to call Madison Area Crime Stoppers at 608-266-6014.

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City budget commits funds to create affordable housing

Madison's 2015 Executive Capital Budget will have funds committed to addressing the issue of not having affordable housing in the city.

Between 3,000 and 4,000 people are served by the shelter system in Madison annually, according to a release from city officials. Lack of affordable housing has been made worse by low vacancies in the rental market, new landlord-tenant laws and a tightened lending market.

"Housing is essential to creating a safe community," Madison Mayor Paul Soglin said.

The primary goal for the Affordable Housing Strategy is to support the development of approximately 750 additional units of affordable rental housing by committing over $20 million over the next five years to a new Affordable Housing Fund, officials said.

Police: 5 kids on board speeding SUV, 2 unrestrained

Five children under the age of 4 were on board a SUV caught going 70 mph on Cottage Grove Road Tuesday night, according to a report from Madison police.

Police said the driver, Sholonda T. Jones, 22, told officers she needed to break the 35 mph speed limit because the engine was smoking and she needed to get coolant quickly before the SUV blew up. An officer opened the hood and found no problems.

The officer said there were three children in the backseat and two more in the cargo area that also contained a bottle of transmission fluid, a shard of glass and a bottle of prescription drugs.

Jones was arrested on suspicion of second-degree reckless endangerment, felony bail jumping and operating while revoked.

The children were put in the custody of a trusted adult.

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Monday garbage, recycling pickup delayed due to holiday

Crews will not be picking up garbage or recycling in the city of Madison Monday due to the Labor Day holiday, according to a release.

Residents who have their garbage and recycling picked up on Mondays will have their material collected on Tuesday next week, officials said. All other garbage and recycling pickup will happen on normally scheduled days.

"Because of the double collection on Tuesday, it is important that residents have their material out by 7 a.m. to ensure collection," Madison Recycling Coordinator George Dreckmann said in the release.

Because of the holiday, the street's division's large-item pick-up service may run a day late.

The city of Madison drop-off sites will be open Saturday and Sunday, but will not be open on Monday, according to the release.

Voice coach scammed by fake Parisian

Voice coach scammed by fake Parisian

A Madison voice coach was scammed out of more than $1,600 by a woman claiming to be from Paris and looking for voice lessons for her son.

The 29-year-old woman told police she was contacted in July by email from a woman claiming she was in Paris and looking for someone to give voice lessons to her son who would soon be coming to stay in Madison.

The woman said she got a check from the woman for $1,980 and was told to take out $360 for the first month's voice lessons. She was then supposed to buy more than $1,600 worth of Green Dot cards at a pharmacy, photograph the cards, including the numbers on them, and send them back to the woman.

The victim was told the arrival of the woman's son would be delayed by an illness, but he never turned up.

On Aug. 11, the victim's credit union told her the deposited check was no good.

Speeder flees police, crashes in cul-de-sac, police say

Speeder flees police, crashes in cul-de-sac, police say

A man who drove his van at 80 mph on East Washington Avenue and refused to stop for police crashed after turning into a cul-de-sac, according to a release from Madison police.

An officer attempted to stop the van driven by Antonio R. Gentry, 32, late Saturday night, and estimated the van was going about 80 mph in a 35 mph zone.

Police said the van turned from Portage Road onto Village Lane and crashed into a wrought-iron arbor between two homes when the road ended.

Gentry ran and was tackled while trying to climb a 7-foot fence, police said.

Gentry was arrested on suspicion of fleeing an officer, criminal damage to property, resisting an officer and on a probation hold. He was cited on suspicion of operating after revocation, imprudent speed and having no insurance.

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