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Fitchburg crews to start flushing water mains next week

Fitchburg crews to start flushing water mains next week

City of Fitchburg Water Utilities crews will be flushing water mains starting Monday, according to a release.

Crews will be flushing mains through April 17.

Due to the flushing, water may be temporarily discolored, officials said. Discoloration can be cleared by opening the cold water tap to full flow for a few minutes.

Officials also said residents should wait to do their laundry later in the evening when the water is clear to avoid damage to clothes.

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Prison guard properly fired after bullying colleague

A state hearing examiner says a prison guard who bullied a colleague who later committed suicide was properly fired.

The Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission examiner cites an internal investigation following the guard's death in which dozens of staffers were interviewed at Oakhill Correctional Institution.

The State Journal said examiner Stuart Levitan found Oakhill failed to investigate or properly respond to allegations of bullying and harassment among staff at the Fitchburg prison. Levitan found officers who transferred from a juvenile facility that was closed were targeted for harassment because their seniority gave them preferred status on scheduling and overtime.

A 52-year-old guard killed himself in March 2012 after what his wife, daughter and co-workers described as a pattern of bullying by fellow employees.

Officials discuss VASD referendum at library meeting

An informational meeting held at the Fitchburg Library Monday discussing Verona Area School District's referendum had attendees split. 

The referendum concerns proposed land purchases on the west and south sides of Verona that would be sites of future VASD schools, according to a Verona Press report.

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Steele pleads guilty; Trial to focus on mental state

A former deputy facing homicide charges for the death of his wife and sister-in-law is pleading guilty to the crime, but he maintains he was not legally responsible by reason of mental disease or defect.

Andrew Steele, 40, of Fitchburg, had previously pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in the killings of his wife, Ashlee Steele, 39, and her sister, Kacee Tollefsbol, 38, of Lake Elmo, Minnesota, at the Steeles' Fitchburg home Aug. 22.

The guilty plea to two counts of first-degree intentional homicide was made in court Friday.

The family of Ashlee and Kacee feel the plea from Andy Steele is a little step forward. They say there is still a long road ahead with the trial and hope justice will be served.

Steele had resigned from the Dane County Sheriff’s Office after a diagnosis of ALS. Steele appeared in court a wheelchair. He anticipates using a cane for his trial.

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City to vote for mayor, 6 contested alder seats April 7

Fitchburg voters will decide vote for mayor and six contested alder seats April 7. The election outcome could have plenty of near- and long-term consequences for the city's future, according a the Fitchburg Star report. 

The biggest race is the mayoral election, with incumbent Shawn Pfaff facing 10-year alder and longtime Fitchburg resident Steve Arnold, the Star reported. ... Read More

Cause of Fitchburg business fire still under investigation

More than 35 crews responded to a fire at a Fitchburg business Saturday night.

The fire broke out at Madison Prehung Doors and Finishing just before 8 p.m., officials said.

The family-owned business is on County Road B near County Road MM. Roads in the area were blocked off through the night.

The Fitchburg Fire Department still had a crew at the scene as of 8 a.m. Sunday morning, authorities said.

Officials said the biggest challenge they faced was that the business is located outside the urban service area, which means there's no municipal water supply and crews had to bring water with them.

Officials said no one was injured at the scene and the building was not occupied at the time of the fire. The metal building sustained some damage, and part of the building will have to be replaced, but a damage estimate was not available Sunday night.

Forum on Green and Complete Streets to take place April 9 in Fitchburg

The Fitchburg Resource Conversation Commission will host a forum on Green and Complete Streets April 7 to discuss green infrastructure efforts, according to the city of Fitchburg.

The forum is scheduled from 3 to 4:30 p.m at the Fitchburg Library. La Crosse assistant city engineer Bernard Lenz will speak about his city's attempts to add green practices to its Complete Streets process.