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Madison police question benefits of body cameras

As a growing number of police departments nationwide equip officers with body-worn cameras, Madison police are issuing a report that questions some benefits of the devices.

Police plan to present the report to the Madison City Council on Tuesday, the Wisconsin State Journal reported.

The report notes that studies have shown departments that use the cameras have seen fewer citizen complaints. But it also said more research is needed to see if the cameras actually bolster trust in officers.

Capt. Kristen Roman said the report examined the pros, cons and costs of body cameras. She said officers are not taking a position on whether to support their use or not.

Some Madison officers will start wearing body cameras in 2016 as part of a pilot program.

23 new Madison restaurants you'll love

Each year brings with it a swath of new eateries, and with new eateries comes excitement. We love what?s fresh and untested but also untainted. Sure, some are more hyped than others (we?re looking at you, Sujeo, Cento, Rare and the Edgewater), but even the low-key taco joints and quaint caf�s offer intrigue?maybe this is the place we?ve been waiting for. Whether it?s a go-to date night spot, an equal parts convenient and tasty takeout joint on the way home from work or the perfect neighborhood bar, the following twenty-three places offer something in the way of excitement, many for more reasons than one, and we couldn?t be happier to welcome them to town.

$ <$10
$$ $10?$15
$$$ $15?$25
$$$$ $25+
(price indicates cost of a dinner entr�e)

Water Utility Board delays rate increase decision

Wanting consultants to show greater detail on how a water rate increase would impact more Madison customers, the Madison Water Utility Board delayed a decision Tuesday on whether or not to send a requested rate increase to the Public Service Commission.

Water Utility officials said the increase is needed to pay for infrastructure improvements, like replacing water mains.

Based on the latest consultant presentation, if the current proposal is eventually approved, it would add about $40 per year, or $3.24 per month, to the average residential bill.

The proposal also includes what is called a conservation rate, recommending if residents use less than 6,000 gallons every month between June and September, their bills would be reduced by 20 percent.

However, for large water users, that would mean paying a much higher bill. Some board members equated that to a penalty fee.

Fire causes $80K in damage to auto service center

A west side auto service center sustained $80,000 in damage in an early-morning fire, according to a release.

Madison Fire Department crews responded to an early-morning fire at the Goodyear Auto Service Center at 437 Commerce Drive on Madison?s west side Tuesday, officials said.

Crews found the fire in the service bay of the shop, according to the release. One car was on first and other cars and the structure were at risk of starting on fire.

Firefighters were able to prevent the fire from spreading, but there was significant damage to the original vehicle and significant smoke damage throughout the service bay area, authorities said.

There was also a fire and heat damage to the automotive equipment in the service bay and smoke damage to two other vehicles parked inside the service bay, according to the release. Damage is estimated to be $80,000.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Organization takes on racial disparities in incarceration

Organization takes on racial disparities in incarceration

The Wisconsin Council on Children and Families' “Race to Equity” report indicates that Wisconsin, and particularly Dane County, may have the worst racial disparities in incarceration in the nation. MOSES, a Madison-based interfaith social justice organization, is working to fix that.

In fact, it may go even farther than that. Amy Pooler, a leader in MOSES, said, “Dane County has the worst racial disparities in incarceration rates of African American rates in the country, and that means in the world, because the U.S. already incarcerates more of its population than any other nation on Earth.”

Police arrest 4 in string of armed robberies

Police have arrested four people in connection to a recent string of robberies in Madison and Middleton.

Madison police said Tuesday that detectives from Madison and Middleton have charged Joshua E. Kahl, 29, of Madison, Matthew O. Roach, 23, of Madison, William L. Christian, 28, with no permanent address, and Anne E. Christian, 29, with no permanent address, with multiple robberies spanning Oct. 29 through Nov. 16.

Investigators said much of the money taken was used to buy drugs including heroin, according to the report.

Police said William Christian, Anne Christian and Kahl were accused of robbing the Tobacco Outlet Plus on East Washington Avenue Oct. 29.

William Christian reportedly robbed the PDQ on South Ridge Way in Middleton on Nov. 4.

Police try to connect pair to parking lot purse snatchings

Madison police are trying to connect a man and woman to a string of purse snatchings in grocery store parking lots.

Police were called to Hy-Vee at 3801 E. Washington Ave. at 1:15 p.m. Sunday after the driver of a maroon-colored SUV swerved into the direction of a car and stole a woman?s purse. A 10-year-old boy said he was nearly struck by the truck as the purse was yanked from his mother?s shoulder.

A security guard got a good description of the SUV and a suspect vehicle was pulled over a little more than an hour later near the intersection of Highway 51 and South Stoughton Road.

Troy A. Larson, 29, and Cassie M. Larson, 33, denied involvement in the purse snatching. Police said the woman?s purse was gone, but some of her property was found inside the SUV.

Troy Larson was arrested on suspicion of theft and identity theft. Cassie Larson was arrested on suspicion of identity theft.