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Officials investigate claims in body-burning letter

It's been almost a year since 18-year-old Aprina Paul's death. As her family plans an anniversary to celebrate her life, the man convicted of burning her body is claiming in a letter to the family that he is innocent.

"At this point it doesn't seem to be legitimate, his claims," said Capt. Todd Christiansen, Rock County Sheriff's Department.

Christiansen said this is not the first time Nathan Middleton has tried to claim his innocence. However, it is the first time Paul's family has been contacted by him.

The sheriff's department said it wants to make sure Paul's family knows the right person was convicted.

"We were familiar with who he is naming in that letter (as the killer)," Christiansen said. "We've been in contact with him and there was no physical evidence at the time to link the him with the house where Aprina's remains were found."

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New information found in 20-year-old cold case

An effort to find new leads in a 20-year-old death investigation has yielded new information for investigators.

The Rock County Coroner?s Office said it has conducted a new round of interviews with witnesses in the case of a teenage boy whose skeletal remains were found near Turtle Creek in 1995. The boy is believed to have died in 1994. The teen has not been identified.

On Oct. 16, 1994, residents along Turtle Creek reported seeing a young man, who seemed intoxicated, running and stumbling in the river. The body of a young man wearing similar clothes was found on Nov. 26, 1995, near where the teen was seen in 1994.

Investigators said they learned from new interviews conducted Oct. 16 that the teen was calling out the name Mary, which was not previously reported. They also interviewed the husband of one of the witnesses whose testimony was not recorded before.

Jury awards $7M to family of DOT worker killed by Wis. woman

The family of a state Department of Transportation supervisor struck and killed on Route 8 near the Waterbury-Naugatuck line in 2012 has been awarded nearly $7.3 million in a wrongful death lawsuit.

The Connecticut Law Tribune reports that a Hartford Superior Court jury awarded damages Friday to the estate of Daniel DiNardi.

The 41-year-old father of two from Rocky Hill was struck by a tractor trailer on the right shoulder of Route 8 northbound on March 22, 2012, after parking his DOT truck, which had its emergency lights on.

The tractor-trailer driver, Gina Davies, of Janesville, Wisconsin, was sentenced to two years in prison last year for misconduct with a motor vehicle.

DiNardi's estate filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Davies and her employer, PTX Services of Plymouth, Wisconsin.

Breach possibility via free child monitoring software low, officials say

Rock County authorities have addressed concerns regarding computer privacy and a free program offered to parents to track kids online.

The Rock County Sheriff's Office said it offers an Internet monitoring software at no cost called Computer Cop to help parents protect kids from online sexual predators, cyber bullies and other inappropriate web use.

The sheriff's office said a civil liberty watchdog group called Electronic Frontier Foundation is concerned with the program's key-logging function, which the EFF purports leaves a user's privacy unprotected.

The sheriff's office said Friday morning that the potential of a "security breach is low," but it is a possibility.

Computer Cop users can disable the keystroke logging feature within the program to reduce the potential of a security breach, the department said in a news release.

The sheriff's office said it hasn't received complaints as of Friday about the program from area users.

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Stove fire displaces family of 3, officials say

A family was displaced by a stove fire that caused $14,000 in damage to a Janesville home Friday afternoon, according to a release.

The Janesville Fire Department responded to a report of a possible residential fire around 2:30 p.m. in the 300 block of South Washington Street, officials said.

When crews got to the home they saw heavy smoke coming from the front door and open windows, according to the release. The tenant told crews her stove was on fire.

Crews extinguished a fire that appeared to have started on the stove and then extended to nearby walls and cabinets, officials said.

Because of extensive smoke damage the woman and her two children were not able to stay in the home.

Investigators estimated the damage to be $8,000 for the property and $6,000 for the contents.

Budget cuts could lead to increase in stray cats on streets

There may be a lot more stray cats out on the streets of Janesville if the police department?s proposal is approved.

In an attempt to cut costs of the city?s general fund balance, city officials asked all departments to cut 10 percent of their overall budget costs.

The cuts came down to either decreasing the city?s firefighting staff or cutting the police department?s stray cat program.

?When I had to weigh that decision of if we are going to continue to police cats or if we are going to reduce firefighters in the city, frankly that is a no-brainer to me,? Janesville City Manager Mark Freitag said.

The humane society shelters more than 600 stray cats, but cutting the program would save about $70,000. The city council will meet on Oct. 27 to talk about the budget.

Advisory: Sex offender to move to Portland Avenue next week

Advisory: Sex offender to move to Portland Avenue next week

A registered sex offender is scheduled to move into the Beloit area, according to a notice Thursday.

The Beloit Police Department said 46-year-old Norman A. Stuhr is scheduled to move to the 1200 block of Portland Avenue Wednesday.

Stuhr was convicted of first-degree and third-degree sexual assault of a child in 1987 and 2006.

Police said he will be on GPS electronic monitoring while living on Portland Avenue. As part of his supervision conditions, Stuhr is not allowed to have contact with minors, go to taverns, bars or liquor stores, cannot consume alcohol or drugs and cannot take part in any activities in the community without prior approval from his supervising agent.

Beloit PD said Stuhr is not wanted by police at this time and the information the department is providing about his release and location is only intended to inform the public.