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City, taxi companies speak out against new ride-sharing services

The city and local cab companies are speaking out against new ride-sharing companies that Madison police and the city attorney are calling illegal taxi services.

New companies, Lyft and Uber, which launched in the last month, are ride sharing companies that allow customers to order a ride from drivers using a downloadable phone application. The drivers are then paid a fee based on how far the trip was.

To most, this sounds like an average cab company, but the difference is the drivers aren't licensed or vetted by the city.

"There are taxi cab regulations and as they've been interpreted by the Madison Police Department, they are not operating illegally," said Madison District 8 Alder Scott Resnick.

Man accused of stabbing girlfriend 29 times pleads guilty

A Madison man accused of stabbing his girlfriend Semilla Anderson 29 times pleaded guilty, Friday in court.

Eric Prunn, 40, is being charged with first-degree attempted intentional homicide after being arrested in September at an east side home.

Police said Prunn stabbed his girlfriend inside a home on Brigham Avenue.

Police said they found a woman in her early 30s with multiple stab wounds to her upper body inside the residence. Anderson was Prunn's live-in girlfriend at the time of the attack.

The judge has ordered a pre-sentencing investigation.

A sentencing date has not been set.

Retiring police chief to head WPS security

Retiring police chief to head WPS security

After a decade leading the Middleton police force, Chief Brad Keil will retire his public service hat later this month for a figurative one working in corporate security.

WPS Health Insurance said in a news release Thursday that Keil was hired as manager of corporate facilities security. He begins the job March 31.

Capt. Chuck Foulke, a 33-year veteran of the Middleton police force, said the department is sad to see Keil leave.

"I think in general his entire staff has mixed feelings (because) we’re professionally and personally sad to see him go, but (the WPS position is) a very good opportunity for him," Foulke said. "(Keil is) going out on top."

Foulke and Middleton Police Commission President Bev Jambois both pointed to the department's recent accreditation through the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Accreditation Group, a state policing standards credentialing authority, as one of Keil's many accomplishments as police leader. 

Police: Man punched woman in SUV, punctured tires

A Madison man was arrested on numerous charges after a domestic battery incident early Friday morning, according to a release from the Madison Police Department.

Police said Brent L. Benton, 30, punched a woman in the face multiple times while they traveled inside her SUV.

The woman told police Benton punctured two of her tires, possibly with a knife and later broke into her apartment in the 200 block of North Thompson Drive.

She said he began yelling and waving a handgun around.

Police were called and Benton was later found at his north side home and taken into custody.

Benton was arrested on suspicion of battery, felon in possession of a firearm, criminal damage to property, disorderly conduct while armed, carrying a concealed weapon, possession of marijuana and a parole violation.

Crime map

Madison man suspected of taking $200,000 from Little League

A Madison man misappropriated about $200,000 from an east side Little League group, according to a release from Madison police.

Police said they started working on the case in November 2012 when they received a complaint about the embezzlement of funds from the Kennedy Little League baseball organization.

Investigators said the fraudulent activity dates back to at least 2005.

The Little League?s former president, Stephen L. Verhage, 59, was arrested on suspicion of multiple counts of theft and fraudulent writings.

Parents and sponsors said it's sad, but it's not what Kennedy Little League is all about.

The fields at Kennedy Little League sit empty Tuesday, but soon they will be filled with kids running the bases.

"This does not affect baseball at all. This is such a wonderful game that we can go out and play and all we need is a field, and the business side of it doesn't matter if you are 10, 11, 12 years old," Brad Woodall said.

City announces recipients of healthy-food grants

The City of Madison Food Policy Council has named ten recipients for their inaugural SEED Grants. The small grants are designed to support newly emerging projects that support access to healthy food in the Madison community.

The 10 recipients responded to the Food Policy Council request to address one of the short-term programs, policies or actions outlined in the Healthy Food for All Children 10-year Plan. The plan was created by the United Way of Dane County, the Community Action Coalition of South Central Wisconsin and the Goodman Foundation.

?I really appreciate the work of members of the Food Policy Council who had the challenging job of making difficult decisions from twenty-six excellent proposals,? Mayor Paul Soglin said in the release. ?I would also like to thank all of the applicants and recipients for their commitment to increasing access to healthy, affordable food.

East side kitchen fire causes $5,000 damage

No one was injured early Tuesday morning after a kitchen fire caused approximately $5,000 in damage to a duplex on Madison's east side.

Firefighters were sent to a home in the 1300 block of South Thompson Drive just after midnight Tuesday.

When firefighters arrived, they found that a pan of oil caught fire on a stove top. A firefighter used a fire extinguisher to put out the blaze, while residents of the duplex evacuated the complex.

Firefighters made sure the fire was out and smoke was ventilated out of the home before leaving.�