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Man suspected of manufacturing child porn

A Beloit area man is suspected of sexual exploitation of a child after investigators searched his home this week.

The Rock County Sheriff’s Office said they received a report of suspicious activity at 12445 West Highway 81 in the town of Newark Wednesday. The person who called deputies also said the sexual assault of a child might have occurred at that address.

Deputies searched the home of David G. Wenzel, 57, Thursday and said they found evidence of drug use, and between 50-75 VCR tapes and several DVDs. Detectives said they found items suggesting that Wenzel was sexually interested in young children.

Wenzel began complaining of heart-related symptoms after being detained and was taken to a hospital, according to a news release. He was taken to the Sheriff’s Office after his release.

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Chemical spill shuts down interstate nearly 13 hours

One lane of westbound Interstate 39-90 in Janesville reopened at about 2:30 p.m. Friday after a nearly 13-hour closure because of a chemical spill earlier in the day.

More than a dozen people were evacuated from nearby homes as a precaution, officials said.

The Janesville Fire Department and the Madison Fire Department hazmat team responded to the spill, which happened after a crash involving two semi-trucks just before 2 a.m. Friday near mile marker 173.

One semi was parked on the shoulder, awaiting removal after an engine fire Thursday night. At 1:48 a.m. Friday, it was struck by a second semi coming from Rockford, Illinois, that was carrying what were described as swimming pool-type chemicals.

Janesville school board candidate fights hit-and-run ticket

Less than two weeks away from Election Day, a Janesville school board candidate is fighting a ticket she received for a hit-and-run violation earlier this month.

Carla Quirk reported to the Janesville Police Department that she thought her car had been involved in a hit-and-run while in a grocery store parking lot on March 1.

After reviewing camera footage, police said they didn’t find any evidence of her vehicle being hit. Instead police said they found evidence that led them to believe Quirk herself hit her neighbor’s car when leaving her house earlier that day.

"She said she didn't believe she hit the car, I suppose anything is possible if you are hearing impaired you might not be as aware of it, but there is no way that that kind of impact could've happened between these two vehicles," said Roger Merry, Quirk's attorney.

Beloit woman pleads guilty to intimidating a witness in connection with heroin investigation

Beloit woman pleads guilty to intimidating a witness in connection with heroin investigation

A Beloit woman pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiring to intimidate a witness in connection with a federal heroin investigation, according to a release from the Department of Justice.

The release said Tiana Williams, 25, will face a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison. She is scheduled for sentencing June 4.

According to the release, the prosecution established Christopher Evans, the subject of a federal grand jury investigation, assaulted a drug customer and was taken into custody on a probation violation. While in jail, Evans asked Williams to persuade the victim to change his testimony. 

The release said Williams drove to the victim's residence in September and attempted to meet with him to convince him to change his testimony.

The release said Williams admitted she was involved with Evans in a conspiracy to distribute heroin in Thursday's plea hearing. She will be sentenced as if convicted of drug conspiracy.

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Janesville preservationists work to save 145-year-old house

The central fire house in Janesville is one step closer to breaking ground, but before that happens, there is one house that still needs a new place to call home.

For months, historic preservationists have been trying to save what locals refer to as "the yellow house" on Milton Avenue from demolition.

The house is the last of 12 homes that have to go to make room for the new central fire station; the others have been demolished.

"It needs a home and nobody else was coming forward to save it," Janesville resident Fred Harmon said.

Although the 145-year-old house is worn down and needs over $100,000 worth of work done, Harmon's vision for its future is crystal clear.

"The beauty of the old houses, the craftsmanship that they are made with, the design -- it's just neat stuff," he said.

Harmon plans to save the home from its neighbors' fate by moving the house across the street onto a lot he is in the process of buying.

Crime map lets Janesville residents track police activity

Police in Janesville have started using new software to give residents more information about police activity and the community where they live.

WATCH News 3 Reporter Velena Jones' report on how Janesvillians can stay safe and informed using RAIDS Online, a free online crime map app for computers and smartphones. 

Janesville motorist suspected of 6th OWI

A man spotted driving erratically in Janesville was arrested on suspicion of sixth-offense operating while intoxicated, police said.

Janesville police said an officer spotted a vehicle traveling south on Center Avenue Tuesday that was weaving within its lane, varying speed for no reason and driving on the center line. Police said the car nearly struck a median then deviated from the left to the right lane and nearly struck a vehicle in the right lane.

Carlos L. Vance Sr., 45, admitted to drinking alcohol and submitted to field sobriety tests that showed that he was driving drunk, according to police. Vance had a revoked driver’s license and five previous alcohol-related convictions.