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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.

Police investigate gunfire on city’s northeast side

Police investigate gunfire on city’s northeast side

A quiet northeast side neighborhood was disturbed by gunfire Sunday night, according to Madison police.

The incident happened in the 100 block of West Village Green Lane, near the corner of Hayes Road, just after 9 p.m., according to Madison police.

Police said witnesses saw a man armed with a handgun shooting the weapon into the air. Police said the man then got into a car and left the scene.

Officers who arrived found empty shell casings in the area, but didn’t locate anyone injured or any property damage.

3 displaced in kitchen fire in 8-unit apartment building

Three people were displaced by a fire that damaged their apartment on Madison’s east side Saturday morning.

Crews were sent to 802 Vernon Ave. for reports of a working structure fire around 11 a.m., officials said. Firefighters saw smoke coming from a first-floor window when they arrived.

According to a release, crews found heavy black smoke in an apartment, used thermal imaging cameras to find the fire, and extinguished the fire with a small amount of water and foam.

Crews used fans to help remove smoke from the hallway of the eight-unit apartment building, officials said. Most of the smoke and fire damage was limited to the apartment where the fire originated.

No injuries were reported at the scene.

Investigators said the fire originated in the kitchen, but they are still investigating the cause of the fire.

Woman pinned, injured in rear end crash vs. semi, police say

An Oregon woman was injured after she rear ended a semitrailer on Highway 51 in Madison Saturday morning, police said.

The Madison Police Department said officers responded to a report of a crash with an injured person at 9:30 a.m. on Highway 51, or North Stoughton Road, at East Washington Avenue.

A vehicle headed north on the highway struck the rear of a semi that was stopped at the red light at East Washington Avenue, according to the report.

Iris Cooley, 62, was pinned in the vehicle and traffic on northbound Highway 51 was shut down for about 1.5 hours, officials said.

Dispatch confirmed Med Flight responded to the crash.

Cooley was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injures, police said. She was cited on suspicion of imprudent speed.

Police said alcohol was not a factor in the crash.

Madison considers future restrictions of tobacco, vaping businesses

The city of Madison is considering an ordinance that would restrict the future locations of stores that primarily sell tobacco products and vaping supplies and paraphernalia.

The ordinance is currently being looked at by the city planning commission, and as it is currently written would apply to businesses where 20 percent or more of its display area is for the sale of tobacco products, vaping supplies or paraphernalia.

Businesses falling into that category would be restricted from opening within 1,000 feet of schools, day care centers, health care facilities or residences. They would also be restricted from opening within 500 feet of other tobacco retailers.

Businesses falling into that category that are currently operating would be allowed to stay open and would be grandfathered in under the new ordinance. Those businesses could be sold to a new owner and continue to operate as long as there is not a 12-month gap in which they cease to do business.

Mayoral candidates debate racial disparity, crime, homelessness

Madison mayoral candidates Paul Soglin and Scott Resnick debated topics including racial disparity, crime, job creation and homelessness in Tuesday night’s debate hosted by WISC-TV3.

In the candidates’ only televised debate, fireworks erupted between Soglin and Resnick, with Soglin lecturing Resnick on his policy positions and using the term "lack of understanding" many times.

Resnick emphasized a new police station needs to be built and prioritizing a crackdown on gang activity, but Soglin said dollars spent on a new police station are unnecessary and money should go toward real racial disparity solutions like job creation.

Resnick said the key to dealing with racial disparity is spending $250,000 more on early childhood care, scholarships and city resources.

MPD: Several taken into custody may be connected to retail theft team

Several people were taken into custody Tuesday afternoon, and are believed to be part of a retail theft team, Madison police said.

Just after 3 p.m., Madison police officers were sent to the Target at 4301 Lien Road for a report of a retail theft, officials said.

During the investigation, a vehicle associated with the incident was found nearby, according to a release. Officers stopped the vehicle and took several people into custody.

Harry J. Hale, 21, of Madison, Chad R. Seltzner, 21, of Sun Prairie, Kristi M. Wolter, 20, of Madison, Deja L. C. Montgomery, 20, of Madison and Myra L. Pettibone, 29, of Sun Prairie were arrested on tentative charges of retail theft or party to a crime of retail theft.

Madison police said some of the suspects indicated they work as a retail theft team, and that they have been involved in repeated criminal acts targeting different retail stores.