OWI enforcement set for Saturday

The Stoughton Police Department will have a little extra help patrolling for potential drunken drivers this Saturday.

For the fourth time in three years, the Capital Area OWI Task Force grant will put additional officers on the roads from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. as part of a “high visibility” enforcement of OWI laws. Police will post large signs and keep a close eye on high traffic areas.

The patrol is coordinated locally by Sgt. Patrick Frisch, who told the Hub before the first patrol, in 2012, that the goal is not to catch drunken drivers, but to “change behavior.”


Stoughton man charged with homicide following overdose

A 25-year-old Stoughton man was charged Aug. 19 in the overdose death of a Madison man last fall.

Thomas J. Field allegedly sold heroin to a man and woman in Madison, according to a criminal complaint filed in Dane County Circuit Court. The man – 31-year-old Damon Dedrick – died the following day after injecting the drug at his Hoad Street apartment in Madison.


Smaller Wal-Mart, liquor license approved

Wal-Mart’s plan to reduce the size of its proposed Supercenter at Kettle Park West received Common Council approval last week, as did a license for the store to sell alcohol.

Those were some of the last hurdles for the company to cross before it can begin building a new 152,000-square-foot store at the 35-acre commercial center on the city’s west side, but they were not unanimous.

Four alders voted against Wal-Mart’s amended specific implementation plan – which includes fine details such as landscaping, architecture and parking – while six supported the proposal. Three of 10 alders at last week’s meeting voted against issuing the store a license to sell alcohol, saying they wouldn’t support the application unless the liquor sales area had a separate entrance, rather than the “store inside a store” concept that was ultimately approved.


Stoughton man charged with sex assault in Ohio

A Stoughton resident faces several sexual assault charges after the alleged rape of a young girl in Ohio.

Robert P. Maranger, 48, was arrested Aug. 7 at the Quality Inn and Suites in Butler Township, Ohio, according to arrest reports from the township police department.

Bail for Maranger has been set at $2 million, the Vandalia Drummer News reported.

Police were called to the hotel in the late afternoon on Aug. 7. Probable cause was found to arrest Maranger for the “sex offense against a juvenile under 10 years of age,” the paper reported.


Police, Sheriff conducting ‘Drive Sober,’ campaign through weekend

The Dane County Sheriff’s office and the Stoughton Police Department will put more officers on the road this weekend as part of the state-wide crackdown on drunken driving.

The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” initiative is a national campaign that runs from Aug. 21 until Sept. 7. Hundreds of law enforcement agencies throughout the state are receiving grants to deploy overtime employees. Sheriff’s deputies will be doing the increased patrols through Saturday night, Aug. 22.


Speeding, alcohol get Stoughton man jailed

A Stoughton man out on bail for a felony charge of attacking a police officers and his third OWI was arrested for felony bail jumping after being pulled over for speeding.

According to documents filed with the Dane County Circuit Court, Robert L. Crapp, 51, was pulled over Aug. 12 for driving 25 miles per hour over the speed limit on a motorcycle traveling southbound on U.S. Hwy. 51. Crapp did not stop until he reached his driveway, at which point he told the arresting officer he had two drinks at a nearby bar and that he was “probably screwed,” according to the complaint. 

A breath test measurement in the latest arrest found Crapp had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .071, below the legal limit but in violation of his bail.


Stoughton electric rates set to rise

Stoughton Utilities average electric customers will pay approximately $2.90 more monthly beginning next month as the Wisconsin Public Service Commission authorized the utility’s first rate bump in four years.

The increase consists of a $2.50 hike in the monthly meter charge, which rises from $7.50 to $10, is combined with an approximately 40-cent increase in the energy charge, according to the rate order issued Thursday. 

Average residential customers currently paying $86.79 monthly for 724 kilowatt hours of electricity will pay $89.29 when the new rates are implemented Sept. 1. 

SU finance and administration manager Kim Jennings said bills with the new rates will be mailed the first week of October.


Transit discussion planned for Aug. 20

Dane County is hosting a series of listening sessions regarding area-wide transit this month with the Stoughton area discussion slated for next week.

Members of the Dane County Board and the Dane County Transit Subcommittee are looking for input on how to plan for transit solutions, according to a news release from Sup. Carl T. Chenoweth (Dist. 35).

The Stoughton area session is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 20, at the E.D. Locke Library in McFarland.  

“The sessions will begin with a brief introduction of transit in the greater Madison area followed by moderated discussion to help us learn about your values and your vision as it relates to area-wide transit,” the release read. 


Public meeting planned for Aug. 26

After years of planning, public information sessions and meetings with property owners and government officials, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation will have another public meeting about U.S. Hwy. 51 between Stoughton and McFarland.

WisDOT officials announced the meeting – to be held from 5-8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 26 – earlier this month. The corridor study is looking at both long- and short-term improvements that will “address safety, congestion, and bicycle and pedestrian issues along the corridor and determine the associated impacts,” the department said in a news release. The meeting will be held at Stoughton High School, 600 Lincoln Avenue. A short presentation is scheduled for 6 p.m.


State park fees increase

People who want to enjoy Wisconsin’s state parks, forests, trails and recreation areas will now be paying more for that opportunity.

As part of the 2015-17 biennial state budget, camping fees for Wisconsin state parks, state forests, state trails, and state recreation areas have increased as of July 28. The legislation calls for the fee increases to go into effect as soon as changes can be made to the camping reservation system.

According to a release from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, camping rates will increase between $3 and $6 per night for residents and between $6 and $9 per night for non-residents. There is an increase in the per night charge for electrical service from $5 to $10.


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