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Man charged with OWI after hit-and-run, chase

Madison police said a man was taken into custody following a short chase that started when he allegedly hit another car at a busy east side intersection early Friday morning.

Officers were sent to a report of a hit-and-run at the corner of East Washington Avenue and Stoughton Road. Police said the driver of the car, Sheldon Lien, 53, of Madison then took off and was followed by a witness.

Police said Lien kept driving onto North Thompson Drive, where he collided with another vehicle. Police said an alert police officer saw the vehicle driving at a high rate of speed without headlights on North Thompson and tried to pull Lien over.

Police said Lien refused to stop, which led to a short pursuit until one of Lien?s tires deflated. Lien resisted arrest, according to police, and was eventually taken into custody on numerous charges, including eluding police, resisting an officer, hit and run and his third offense of operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

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Task force will research ways to protect Madison's honeybees

A task force will research the problem of Colony Collapse Disorder, which directly affects honeybees and other pollinators, in the Madison area, according to a release.

The Madison Common Council adopted a resolution earlier this month directing the Madison Food Policy Council to lead the task force, which will be composed mainly of city staff, officials said. The task force will provide recommendations to departments and the common council on local solutions to protect pollinators.

Madison?s Pollinator Protection Task Force will monitor the progress of the federal task force, use best practices to inform its work and review relevant recommendations from the federal government, according to the release.

Boy says stranger offered him a ride

A 12-year-old Madison boy told police a stranger tried to entice him to get into his car Wednesday afternoon.

The boy said he was walking along Milwaukee Street near Swanson Road at about 5:30 p.m when the stranger stopped his car across the street from him. The man offered the boy a ride, said he had money and that he knew the boy?s father.

The boy said he ignored the man, and the man drove away.

The stranger is described as white, in his 30s with a slender build, scruffy beard, shoulder length brown hair and glasses. He was driving an older sedan the boy described as ?beat up,? possibly a tan Crown Victoria.

Teal pumpkins make trick-or-treating safer

It is a familiar scene on Halloween trick-or-treaters excitedly waiting to find out what treats are behind the door.

However, for kids like Nadia LaFond, who lives on Madison's east side and can't wait to dress up as Glinda from "The Wizard of Oz," the thrill can be squashed by her severe allergies to peanuts and tree nuts.

"I'll get hives and I'll have to go to the hospital because i get an allergy attack," said Nadia.

"It's something that we think about every day," said the 6 year old's mother Lori LaFond.

Nadia has learned how to manage her allergies, but on top of being cautious when consuming candy she and her mother even touching packaged candy can be risky.

When Lori heard about the Teal Pumpkin Project. she and her daughter didn't hesitate to take part and decked out the teal.

The Food Allergy Research and Education group, or FARE, has been encouraging the campaign.

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Madison water customers could see rate increase, conservation incentives

Madison Water Utility is asking the Public Service Commission for a rate increase and changes to its rate structure to incentivize users to conserve water.

The utility wants to increase revenue by 30 percent by increasing rates, on an annualized basis, 7.5 percent per year for each of the four years since the last rate increase. The utility has not decided how the increase will be distributed among residential, multi-family, commercial, industrial and public authority customers.

General manager Tom Heikkinen said the increase is needed to replace aging water mains, improve water quality and make a payment in lieu of taxes to the city.

This is the first rate increase requested in four years, according to the utility.

If approved, Madison Water Utility will be the largest water utility in Wisconsin to offer a conservation rate for residential customers.

If approved, the new rates would go into effect in the spring of 2015 at the earliest.

1 injured in second-floor apartment fire

One person was transported to the hospital after a fire broke out in an apartment kitchen on Mifflin Street on Sunday morning, according to a release.

A neighbor called 911 around 7:30 a.m. saying the resident of 2418 E. Mifflin St. ran across the street and told him her kitchen was on fire after she was cooking on the stove, officials said.

City of Madison crews extinguished the fire in the second-floor apartment, according to the release.

The second-floor apartment suffered extensive fire damage and the first-floor apartment suffered water damage, officials said. Damage is estimated at $30,000 for the structure and $10,000 for the contents.

The resident of the first-floor apartment was not home at the time of the fire, according to the release. The resident of the second-floor apartment was transported with non-life-threatening injuries. A cat from the second-floor apartment was taken to an emergency vet clinic for treatment.

Madison debuts online water tracking tool

A new online tool is helping Madison residents keep better track of their water usage.

Madison is the first city in the state to launch an online tool that allows residents to check their monthly, daily and even hourly water use. The tool lets you compare month-to-month usage and set up email notifications to warn you of higher-than-normal usage, among other services.

"What we're talking about for us is really the ultimate conservation tool when it comes to water conservation," says Amy Barrilleaux, spokesperson for the Madison Water Utility.

Prior to the online option, residents could only track their usage by checking their monthly water bill or constantly comparing the water meter before and after use.

"This is just night and day from having to go into the basement and look at your meter to see how much water you're using every day," Barrilleaux said.

The goal is to help conserve water and dollars for Madison's residents.