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Drabek at sentencing: 'I need help'

Drabek at sentencing: 'I need help'

A judge has sentenced a Madison man convicted of sexually assaulting his starving stepsister and a 15-year-old girl to five years in prison and three years of extended supervision.

A jury convicted Joshua Drabek, 20, on two sexual assault charges and a child abuse count this month. He was sentenced Wednesday.

Drabek's now 17-year-old stepsister told police her father and her stepmother kept her locked in their basement for five years and starved her down to 68 pounds. She said her stepbrother tried to have sex with her when he was 13 and later forced her to perform oral sex on him.

Drabek pleaded guilty in July to another sexual assault charge after prosecutors accused him of having sex with a 15-year-old girl.

Assistant District Attorney Matthew Moeser asked for a 30-year prison sentence, which would have put Drabek in prison until he was 50. Judge Julie Genovese said that didn't make sense.

6-month construction project starts on I-39/90/94 at Hwy. 151

6-month construction project starts on I-39/90/94 at Hwy. 151

State traffic officials said motorists on the interstate on Madison's east side will be detoured as work begins next week on a 6-month overpass bridge deck project. 

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation said construction to replace bridge decks on I-39/90/94 overpasses of Highway 151 will begin the week of March 3. 

According to the DOT, three lanes of traffic in each direction will be maintained in the work zone during the daytime. Nighttime lane closures will also occur. The eastbound I-90 off-ramp to northbound Highway 151 and westbound I-90 to southbound Highway 151 ramps will be closed Monday through the end of May.

DETOURS

For westbound I-39 to southbound Highway 151 ramp closure:

City project would put Internet in low-income homes

The city of Madison is looking to put Internet connections into neighborhoods in need.

A $150,000 pilot program put into this year's city budget would put low-cost or free Internet into homes of Madison School District students on free and reduced lunch in one city neighborhood.

The idea is to address the "digital divide," or when low-income students fall behind in school because they don't have access to the Internet.

"The library and schools all have Internet access, but they close at a certain hour," Alder Scott Resnick said. "If students want to turn in their homework at 10 o'clock, you find that they end up at third places like McDonald's."

Goodman South Madison Library Manager Michael Spelman said their branch has the most patrons using the library for computers than anywhere else in the city. He said both adults and kids would use the stations and Wi-Fi longer if they could.

MPD adds new SUV squads to fleet

MPD adds new SUV squads to fleet

The Madison Police Department announced Monday it will be adding a new type of squad vehicle to its fleet of patrol vehicles.

According to a release, Ford stopped production on the recognizable Crown Victoria in 2012, so the department had to start exploring other alternatives for police vehicles.

The department purchased several sedan and SUV vehicles Ford outfitted for use as police vehicles after the Crown Victoria went out of production, according to the release.

Residents will start to notice more Ford Explorer SUVs as marked squad vehicles patrolling neighborhoods, due to positive reviews, officials said. Several SUVs have already been added, and there are plans for additional ones to be added this year.

The new SUV features the full police package and includes a fuel-efficient engine, all-wheel drive for winter and more storage. The SUVs will also use less fuel than the older sedans.

Men violently invade wrong east side home, police say

Men violently invade wrong east side home, police say

Madison police are continuing to investigate a 'violent home invasion' where two residents were assaulted by several men who forced entry into their home, officials said.

Two people believed to be involved in the incident were taken into custody Sunday, according to a release. The incident happened on a street near the 3200 block of East Washington around 6 a.m.

Police are not releasing the exact location in order to protect the 30-year-old man and woman who were attacked, officials said.

According to the release, several men forced entry into their home, demanded money and assaulted the residents.

Investigators believe the robbers meant to target another residence and hit this home by mistake.

Officers gathered information while in the neighborhood that led them to tentatively identify two suspects, officials said. Those two individuals are in custody on unrelated charges.

East side bank robbed

Madison police are looking for a man who robbed a bank on the city?s east side Friday afternoon.

Officers were called to the Wells Fargo Bank at 4302 East Towne Blvd. at 12:35 p.m. after a report of a robbery.

Witnesses didn?t see a gun, but a teller thought the robber might have had a weapon inside a bag.

The man fled on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash.

The robber is described as white, in his 30s, 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall with a thin build and scruffy beard. He was wearing a blue stocking cap, red sweatshirt and sunglasses.

Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or Madison Area Crime Stoppers at 608-266-6014.

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MWU: Freezing laterals continue to be issue despite warmer weather

Madison Water Utility officials would like to remind residents that warmer weather does not mean the risk of water laterals freezing is over.

The frost line in Madison remains at least 6 feet deep despite the warm weather, and is still causing problems throughout the city with water laterals, according to a release.

MWU has directed more than 400 people living in areas at high risk for freezing to continuously run their water until further notice, officials said.

According to the statement, if MWU has directed you to run your water, they are asking that you continue to do so even if it?s warm outside.

MWU officials said they will notify residents when the frost line has receded to a safe depth.

Since last Monday, MWU crews have thawed more than 100 frozen service laterals, and calls continue to come in, according to the release.