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Knoxville's police review committee could be model for Madison

Knoxville's police review committee could be model for Madison

When a police officer fires shots in Knoxville, Tenn., police investigate but, unlike in Madison, the people have the power of review.

It started 18 years ago when, just like in Madison in recent months, police shootings divided the Knoxville community.

After Madison police cleared an officer who shot and killed Paul Heenan in November, some in Madison are asking why the city doesn't have independent oversight of police shootings.

Knoxville has a lot in common with Madison -- a major university, a bustling downtown and an engaged police department.

In her fifth-floor office in Knoxville's city-county building, Avice Reid gets several copies of the police department's internal investigation reviews a month.

Reid, who doesn't wear a badge, is the executive director of Knoxville's Police Advisory Review Committee and can do everything from interviewing officers to watching squad car dash cams

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Madison police plan special speed enforcement

Madison police plan special speed enforcement

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 200 S. Whitney Way (Speed enforcement - 30 mph zone)

  • Wednesday at 1400 E Johnson St. (Speed enforcement - 25 mph zone)
  • Thursday at 1500 Wright St. (Speed enforcement 25 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 seat belts.

Two arrested after parking lot mugging

Two men were arrested after a man told police he was mugged in a restaurant parking lot Friday night.

Madison police said they were called to Hooters, at 2639 East Springs Drive, at 9:20 p.m. when a 52-year-old Chicago man reported bring jumped by two men he had earlier met inside the restaurant.

The victim told police he was punched several times and knocked to the pavement. He said his wallet and money were gone after a man ran through his pockets.

Police said the victim?s statements led them to arrest Naaman D. Dorenzo, 27, of Madison and Randy T. Norfleet, 26, of Sun Prairie. Both were arrested on suspicion of robbery and battery.

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Olbrich expansion project seeks public input

Olbrich expansion project seeks public input

Olbrich Gardens to host redevelopment meetings

Olbrich Botanical Gardens will host a series of meetings for public input on a development plan for new buildings.

Olbrich is working with HGA, an architectural firm, to evaluate building needs. Final recommendations may include additions and renovations, a news release said.

An upcoming meeting on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. on pre-design planning is the second in a series of planning forums.

Three more meetings will be held through May 20.

The planning process will begin with a declaration of guiding principles. Schematic design input forums will follow.

Olbrich said it will maintain up-to-date information on meeting notes on its website.

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City holds public forum for proposed park 'splash pad'

Madison officials will hold a public meeting this week to discuss a proposal for a Reindahl Park "splash pad" project.

Madison Parks will hold the meeting to hear public input Tuesday at 6:30 at Sandburg Elementary School. A splash pad is a aquatic play area that has no standing water, making it safe for public use without need for lifeguards.

The splash pad at Reindahl Park would include more than 2,500 square feet of interactive water toys like fountains and spray toys, according to a Madison Parks statement. The facility would be free and open to the public during the summer months beginning in 2014.

The proposed splash pad is one of several developments Reindahl Park will see in the next five years, including new landscaping and additions to the athletic facility, the statement said.

Police name mother of toddler killed in traffic incident

Madison police said the mother of a 1 � year old girl who died following a car-pedestrian crash on East Washington Avenue early Thursday morning is 31-year-old Raya M. Hansen.

Police said the incident happened in the 3700 block of East Washington Avenue around 3:30 a.m. Thursday.

According to police, Hansen and the girl, who was in a wheelchair that was being used as a stroller, were on the sidewalk on East Washington Avenue near Mendota Street when the wheelchair rolled down the embankment and into the street.

Hansen told police she was out getting fresh air and was going to Walgreen's when she left the wheelchair unattended for a short time as she retraced her path looking for a baby bottle. She said she heard a crash and said it appeared the wheelchair rolled down a driveway and into the street.

Hansen has no permanent address and had been staying at a nearby motel. She was taken into custody on a probation hold, according to police.

Nature center to host Steampunk event

Costume event to raise funds for center's programs   

The Aldo Leopold Nature Center is hosting a costume-themed fundraiser at its Monona location.

"Full Steam Ahead," is a Steampunk-themed costume party intended to raise funds for the organization’s educational programs.

Local music and interactive displays will be featured at the event. A costume contest will also prize top-dressed participants.

Local beer, wine and appetizers will be available.

Steampunk attire is encouraged and will be sold at the door. Admission is $25 on the day of the event and $20 for advance registration.

For more information and to register, visit www.naturenet.com/alnc.