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Woman injured in morning crash that shut down Beltline

A woman was injured in a crash that shut down the westbound Beltline briefly Tuesday morning.

The Dane County Sheriff's Office said a vehicle crashed at about 7:52 a.m. between Verona Road and Whitney Way.

Madison police spokesman Joel DeSpain said a 22-year-old woman was driving west on the Beltline as traffic began to slow because of construction. The woman changed lanes to avoid rear-ending a vehicle but rear-ended car another driven by an 80-year-old woman, police said.

The 22-year-old woman?s vehicle also struck a concrete median barrier and the vehicle came to rest on its side, DeSpain said. There were construction workers on the other side of the median but they were not injured, police said.

The 22-year-old received minor injuries, DeSpain said. The 80-year-old driver was not injured.

The right lane opened at about 8:54 a.m. for traffic that was stuck after the Verona Road exit and all three lanes reopened at about 9:11 a.m.

Public health officials look for information on dog bite

Department of Public Health officials are looking for information on an incident where a dog bit a man Monday afternoon.

The man was riding a bike around 5:30 p.m. in the green space adjacent to Research Park Boulevard, officials said.

The dog is described as a black and gray German shepherd or similar-looking breed, and was not on a leash at the time of the incident, according to the release.

The dog was with two other dogs not on a leash: a gold-colored lab or retriever and a black dog, officials said. The dogs were with a white man in his 30s with dark hair.

Officials ask anyone with information on the incident to call police at 255-2345 and ask for the animal services officer.

Police provide sketch of suspected home burglar

Police released a sketch of a man who reportedly forced his way into a west Madison home Tuesday morning.

The Madison Police Department said a man and woman were in their home on the 2300 block of Aspen Road at 8:28 a.m. when a man shouldered his way through the front door. The man had rung the doorbell a couple of times before he forced entry.

Police said a 70-year-old man in the home was just getting to the door as it swung open and the man was face to face with the intruder. The man yelled at the burglar and the stranger ran off.

The intruder is described as black, between 20-30 years old, weighing 200 pounds, according to the report. He had a pudgy face, wore glasses and was possibly wearing a red and black jacket.

Police shared a sketch of the burglar and asked anyone with information on the man pictured or the incident to call Madison Area Crime Stoppers at 266-6014.

A 68-year-old woman was also home during the incident, police said.

Madison water customers could see rate increase, conservation incentives

Madison Water Utility is asking the Public Service Commission for a rate increase and changes to its rate structure to incentivize users to conserve water.

The utility wants to increase revenue by 30 percent by increasing rates, on an annualized basis, 7.5 percent per year for each of the four years since the last rate increase. The utility has not decided how the increase will be distributed among residential, multi-family, commercial, industrial and public authority customers.

General manager Tom Heikkinen said the increase is needed to replace aging water mains, improve water quality and make a payment in lieu of taxes to the city.

This is the first rate increase requested in four years, according to the utility.

If approved, Madison Water Utility will be the largest water utility in Wisconsin to offer a conservation rate for residential customers.

If approved, the new rates would go into effect in the spring of 2015 at the earliest.

21-year-old charged in connection to multiple burglaries

A 21-year-old Madison man has been charged with two counts of burglary and theft in connection to two home burglaries on the west side, according to a release.

Demetrius A. Bell has been charged with two counts of burglary and two counts of theft as a repeat offender, officials said.

Bell was the driver for two or three of his friends who broke into two homes and stole money, gaming systems and video games during late July and early August, according to a criminal complaint. Bell was convicted of burglary in Dane County in November 2013.

Bell pawned video games and a controller at two stores that buy and sell used video games and equipment, according to the criminal complaint. Officers said they also found multiple items reported missing during the burglaries in Bell?s residence while executing a search warrant.

Shots fired in west side neighborhood overnight

Madison police are investigating what led to a report of shots being fired in a west side neighborhood early Monday morning.

The report came from the 1800 block of Axel Avenue about 2:40 a.m. Monday.

When officers arrived, they determined that there were vehicles involved and that they left before officers arrived.

Police said there are no reported injuries, no known victims and no one has been arrested in the case.

Madison debuts online water tracking tool

A new online tool is helping Madison residents keep better track of their water usage.

Madison is the first city in the state to launch an online tool that allows residents to check their monthly, daily and even hourly water use. The tool lets you compare month-to-month usage and set up email notifications to warn you of higher-than-normal usage, among other services.

"What we're talking about for us is really the ultimate conservation tool when it comes to water conservation," says Amy Barrilleaux, spokesperson for the Madison Water Utility.

Prior to the online option, residents could only track their usage by checking their monthly water bill or constantly comparing the water meter before and after use.

"This is just night and day from having to go into the basement and look at your meter to see how much water you're using every day," Barrilleaux said.

The goal is to help conserve water and dollars for Madison's residents.