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Man sought after hit-and-run crash

Janesville police are looking for a man they believe might have been involved in a hit-and-run crash early Thursday morning.

Officers were called to 1111 N. Sumac St. at 2:23 a.m. for a report of a suspicious vehicle and found an unoccupied vehicle with heavy damage and airbags deployed. The driver of the vehicle wasn?t there.

Officers said they looked for the registered owner and his known relatives but were unable to find him.

The registered owner of the vehicle is 28-year-old Michael L. Ranum, who?s described as 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighing 165 pounds with brown hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information about the hit-and-run or Ranum?s whereabouts is asked to call Janesville police at 608-757-2244.

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Police: Teen caught in tobacco shop burglary

A 16-year-old boy was arrested after the burglary of a tobacco shop, according to a release from Janesville police.

Officers were called to Smokers World II at 1905 Center Ave. Suite 3 at 1:40 a.m. Thursday for a burglar alarm. Police spotted someone leaving the area on foot who fled when officers tried to contact him.

The teen was caught after a short foot chase. Police said he had stolen property from the burglary.

The front door of the business was smashed by someone throwing an object through a window, according to the release.

The teen was arrested on suspicion of burglary, criminal damage to property, theft, resisting an officer, felony bail jumping, underage alcohol consumption and curfew violation.

Janesville woman facing 5th OWI

A Janesville woman who hit a parked car after being asked to stop by police is facing charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated for the fifth time, according to Janesville police.

The incident happened around 1 a.m. Wednesday in the 500 block of Milton Avenue in Janesville.

According to police, officers were sent to an apartment in that block for a report of a disturbance. When they got there, they saw a car was trying to leave the parking lot.

Officers asked the driver to stop the car and park it until they could determine whether the driver was involved in the reported disturbance. When the driver, Michelle Heerey, 45, of Janesville, tried to park the car, police said she struck an unoccupied parked vehicle.

Sheriff’s office adds patrols for homecoming weekend

The Rock County Sheriff’s Office will be adding additional patrol deputies to the roads during Homecoming this weekend, according to a release.

Deputies will be dedicated to patrolling roadways and areas that can be hazardous for young and inexperienced drivers, officials said. They will also be enforcing traffic and alcohol violations.

The leading cause of violent traffic deaths for teenagers is motor vehicle crashes, according to the release.

“It is our intent to be proactive in hopes of preventing any unfortunate events and to see that their homecoming night is safe and enjoyable,” the release said.

Rock County Sheriff Bob Spoden said he wants to encourage parents and guardians to talk with their teenagers about the importance of using seat belts, adhering to traffic laws and to reinforce safe driving habits.

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Janesville police fight war on drugs with neighborhood plan

Police in Janesville are trying to fight drug issues in the area after several complaints from community members this summer. In a new approach to fight the war on drugs the Janesville Police Department has put together an eight-step plan to help make residents feel secure.

"I'm not a person that scares easily, but they have come for me," said 4th Ward committee spokesperson Burndette Erickson.

The 4th Ward in Janesville is a place where children play, but it's also a place of growing concern for some residents in the area.

Erickson has lived in the same house in the 4th Ward for 29 years, but he said this summer has brought more crime to the area than he has seen in years.

"Drug dealers would lay on my lawn and sell drugs this summer," Erickson said. "I can't be safe if the rest of my neighbors aren't safe. Many of us realize that even if we feel safe for today, the drug dealers close in on us."

Republican drops Assembly bid amidst Twitter controversy

A Republican candidate for the state Assembly has dropped his campaign after remarks on Twitter he acknowledged were hurtful.

The Janesville Gazette reported that Jacob Dorsey told the paper he was ending his campaign against Rep. Deb Kolste, D-Janesville, in the 44th District.

Dorsey, 19, apologized last week for a comment on gay people he posted on Twitter in December. The Gazette reported Dorsey had acknowledged other inappropriate posts on social media sites, including derogatory terms for gay people and black people in videos on YouTube.

Scholarship program creates opportunities for students, teachers

For many students high school is a place of self-discovery, and for three former Janesville students those four years paved the way to their future career.

Nicole Washington, Daniel Jackson and Jared Fox are the first of three former students to be hired as teachers through the district's multicultural scholarship.

"No matter what life throws at you, you just stick to it. Set your eyes on the prize of what you want and you can do it," said Nicole Washington, teacher at Harrison Elementary School.

That?s the same message that pushed Washington to complete college and the same one she now teaches her students.

"I remember when I was growing up I never had an African American teacher and someone to relate to. So that was a good feeling, that I can be that face," Washington said.