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Former Madison police chief: 'Stop the killing'

Echoing a recent blog entry, former Madison Police chief turned Episcopal Priest David Couper made a passionate recommendation for stopping police shootings.

"The issue of race is not going to go away. We’ve got so much work to do," Couper said. "There are some specific things I think citizens can do, working with police to improve things."

During his Edgewood College "New Police for a New Era" speech, Couper emphasized the decades-old community policing philosophy he used as chief, which he now believes should be a national standard.

In what he calls a "Prescription for Police to Change," Cooper said:

$300K grant to help MMSD open 4 full-service schools

The Madison Metropolitan School District received a three-year, $300,000 grant to support community planning and implementation for four full-service schools, according to a release.

Full-service schools integrate community services into schools sties and work to connect students and families with needed services to make schools hubs of support, officials said.

"Full-service schools take our support for children and families in Madison to a new level. Many of our families still struggle with access to community services, but by integrating coordinated services where our children and families are every day, we will be better able to support families and our students," Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham said in the release. "We are thrilled that thanks to the Madison Community Foundation, we’ll be able to work together to make full service schools a reality in Madison."

Madison teen arrested for allegedly punching, kicking girl

Madison police said an 18-year old youth faces charges of disorderly conduct and child abuse after he attacked a 12-year-old girl who was in a fight with a 13-year-old girl outside a southwest side library.

The incident happened at 3 p.m. Tuesday in the 5700 block of Raymond Road outside the Meadowridge Library.

According to police, the 12-year-old was walking outside the library when she was attacked by a 13-year-old girl.

Police said a crowd gathered to watch the fight. Police said at some point, Romell Denton, 18, of Madison, went after the 12-year-old. A witness told police the victim ended up in a fetal position, crying as he delivered blows to her body and head.

Baby orangutan born at Vilas zoo

Madison's zoo family just got a little bigger.

A healthy female Bornean orangutan was born two weeks ago at Henry vilas Zoo to first-time parents Kawan and Datu.

The baby was named Keju, which is Malay for "cheese," according to Dane County officials.

Keju is important to the national effort to maintain a population of the endangered species through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Orangutan Species Survival Plan. Orangutans are found only on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, and are the only great ape found in Asia. Bornean orangutans are endangered and Sumatran orangutans are critically endangered with less than 6,000 individuals left in Sumatra, Henry Vilas Zoo said.

"We are excited to have Keju as part of our zoo family," Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said in a news release. "No matter where she goes in life, her name is a reminder that she is a true Wisconsinite. We take great pride in the work we do to protect endangered species."

Water utility: Several businesses receive similar scam call

Madison Water Utility officials said several businesses have received scam calls that a business dependent on water never wants to hear.

"When you have a laundromat you need water. When you have a restaurant, you need water, a hotel you need water and to have that threat of it being cut off right away I think is a scary thing," said Amy Barrilleaux, Madison Water Utility public information officer.

Four businesses so far this week have been threatened over the phone by a man posing as a Madison Water Utility employee.

The man reportedly says the business will have its water turned off immediately if it doesn't pay a fee. One business owner said the man demanded a payment of $1,400.

So far, a laundromat, a hotel and a restaurant have received a similar phone call, but MWU utility officials said that is a call they would never make to their customers.

Madison hospital posts ER wait times online

A Madison hospital has begun posting the wait times for its emergency room, according to a release.

Meriter spokeswoman Leah Huibregtse said the hospital's goal is to increase transparency and help patients make more informed decisions about their health care. ER wait times are  automatically updated every 15 minutes Meriter.com. As part of the initiative's kickoff, wait times are also posted on a digital billboard near the Beltline and Rimrock Road.

Meriter said its average wait time last year was 9 minutes.

Patients also spent significantly less time in the Meriter ER in all measured categories when compared to city, state and national averages, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.

Many factors can affect wait times, including the arrival of patients with trauma, life-threatening injuries or illness or those arriving by ambulance.

2 area students named Presidential Scholar finalists

Two area students are among nine semifinalists for the 2015 Presidential Scholars award, which is considered the nation’s highest honor for graduating high school seniors, according to a release.

“Students chosen for this program have shown exceptional academic scholarship and talent in the visual, creative and performing arts,” State Superintendent Tony Evers said in the release. “I congratulate them on being recognized for their hard work and thank the parents and teachers who supported this accomplishment.”

The Presidential Scholars program was established in 1964 to recognize and honor some of the nation’s most distinguished high school students, according to the release.

The state’s nine semifinalists, among 565 semifinalists for 2015, include Tanner R. Tanyeri of Middleton High School and Nathan B. Wang of James Madison Memorial High School in Madison.