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Madison's homeless struggle to stay warm

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The basement of Bethel Lutheran Church in downtown Madison was made even warmer Monday by the 105 people escaping the bitter cold.

Among those inside and grateful for some refuge from Mother Nature was the resident Shakespeare of the warming shelter.

"I do a lot of artwork, poems," Alan Durbin said.

Durbin got out of prison six years ago and hasn't been able to find a steady full-time job since his discharge. He spends every day of the season moving from one place to another, memorizing when different shelters are open.

"I've thought about going home back to Illinois or back someplace where it's warmer, but it costs money," Durbin said.

Madison police look for bank robber

Madison police are tracking a man who robbed an Associated Bank on the east side Monday afternoon, according to a release.

A man dressed in black passed a note to a clerk and fled with money from the Associated Bank at 4402 East Towne Blvd. around 1:15 p.m., officials said.

A police dog is being called to the scene.

The man is described as white in his 50s, 5 feet 10 inches tall with a slender build and a thin mustache. He was wearing all black clothing and black baseball hat.

Woman offers man ride, robs him, police say

A 49-year-old Madison man was robbed by a woman who offered to give him a ride to a hotel, according to police.

The victim told police he accepted a ride from the unknown woman Sunday night as he was walking back to a hotel at 4830 Hayes Rd. He said the woman followed him into the hotel and pulled a gun on him prior to entering his hotel room. He said she took all of his money.

The woman is described as black, about 25 years old, 5 feet 10 inches tall, with a larger build and weighing about 190 pounds. He had a nose piercing and hair worn in braids. She was possibly wearing a black leather jacket and blue jeans. She was driving a silver or gray SUV.

Crime map

Firefighters bust window to wake suspected drunken driver

Madison firefighters said they were forced to smash out a passenger side window of a car after police were unable to wake a suspected drunken driver stopped at a major intersection Saturday night.

Police responded to a report of a man slumped over behind the wheel of a car stopped in traffic at the intersection of East Washington Avenue and North Stoughton Road at about 4 a.m. on Saturday.

Police said they found the car running, the lights on and the driver?s foot on the brake.

The driver, David D. Dupree, 20, of DeForest, once conscious, told police he thought he had been pulled over.

DuPree received numerous citations, including operating while intoxicated.

Crime map

Gun-rights advocates oppose Madison bus ban

Gun-rights advocates are preparing a court challenge to a Madison policy that bans weapons on city buses.

Milwaukee-based Wisconsin Carry Inc. said it plans to file a lawsuit in the next few weeks challenging Metro Transit's policy banning "weapons of any kind." The group said the policy violates the state's concealed-carry law.

But city officials said they're confident the policy is legal. Metro spokesman Mick Rusch said it's in the best interest of passengers not to allow guns on buses.

The Wisconsin State Journal reported the city also bans guns in city buildings and Metro shelters.

Nik Clark is the president of Wisconsin Carry. He said the policy infringes on a person's right to carry if they rely on public transportation or live in a high-crime area.

East side fire injures 1, causes $20K in damage

East side fire injures 1, causes $20K in damage

One person was injured and another was rescued during an apartment fire on Madison's east side early Sunday morning, according to a release.

Crews responded to a report of a six-unit apartment fire at 3209 Ridgeway Avenue around 12:20 a.m., officials said. Smoke was visible in the hallway on the building's first floor when crews arrived.

Witnesses told crews the fire was in a lower-level apartment at the back of the building, according to the release.

Before crews could investigate the fire, they noticed a woman yelling for help on a second-floor balcony, officials said. Firefighters raised a ladder and rescued the woman, who did not sustain any injuries.

Firefighters entered the apartment and found heavy black smoke, according to the release. They found the occupant of the apartment and took him outside, where he was transported to UW Hospital.

Officials estimate the fire caused $20,000 in damage to the building and its contents.

College men develop new grocery app in Madison

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Sometimes the best inventions come from necessity. Twenty-year-old Wes Schroll is living proof of that.

He and his friend Tyler Kennedy are the founders of a new grocery app that promises to be the cheapest way to shop.

Schroll was finishing up his freshman year in Madison, and it was the first time he needed to buy groceries for himself. However, he found that shopping could be frustrating.

"I just thought it was really inefficient," said Schroll. "I thought especially the couponing was very flawed." He said he remembers going to a big-box store and the clerk actually giving him coupons for an item he just bought.

"It was frustrating because I easily would have bought a second pack of eggs," said Schroll. "So it kind of started right there."