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Farm dryer fire damage estimated at $65K

A dryer fire at a Janesville farm caused an estimated $65,000 damage Friday morning, fire officials said.

The Janesville Fire Department said crews responded to a report of a corn dryer fire at 5343 E. County Road MM at 7:15 a.m.

The first units on the scene reported that flames were visible. Workers at the scene were removing corn from the dryer as crews applied water to the dryer as needed.

The fire department said once the corn was removed from the dryer, the platform was placed into operation and set up to the south of the dryer. Firefighters cut observation holes into the dryer and used the fire hose to extinguish hot spots inside the structure.

Officials said the corn was not salvageable. The estimated damage to the structure was $20,000. Damage to the contents was estimated at $45,000.

According to the report, the fire was caused by heat and moisture. Milton and Footville fire departments assisted Janesville on the call.

Indictment: Pair sold heroin, customer beaten

A Beloit man and woman face federal charges after being arrested for distributing heroin.

A grand jury indicted Charles A. Evans, 40, and Tiana L. Williams, 24, with participating in a conspiracy to possess and distribute heroin from May to September. They were arrested in Beloit on Thursday.

The indictment states that Evans and Williams stored heroin in Williams? home in Beloit and distributed heroin to drug customers in the Beloit area. Evans and Williams sometimes allowed customers to buy heroin on credit, and Evans used violence and the threat of violence to get payments, according to the indictment.

One customer suffered a broken jaw during an assault, according to prosecutors.

Janesville man charged with 11th OWI

Janesville Police said a� 48-year-old Janesville man is facing his 11th charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated after he was pulled over near downtown Janesville early Friday morning.

Police said Bradley Skelly was pulled over by an officer conducting a routine patrol near the corners of West Court Street and Center Avenue just after 12:30 a.m. Friday.

The officer stopped the car for a speeding violation and immediately noticed Skelly had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath, along with bloodshot eyes, according to police.

Police said Skelly failed field sobriety tests and was arrested. Police said Skelly also had a minor in the car at the time of the stop. Police said this is the 7th time Skelly has been arrested for an OWI with a passenger under the age of 16 in his car.

Skelly was also cited for having no insurance and speeding. Despite his 10 previous arrests, police said Skelly had a valid Wisconsin license.

District 15 candidates disagree on education system

Democrat Janis Ringhand and Republican Brian Fitzgerald will be on the ballot Tuesday fighting for the state Senate seat in the 15th District, which along with Rock County, also covers parts of Dane, Jefferson and Walworth counties.

As Tuesday?s election comes around the corner, Janis Ringhand was out knocking on doors Thursday.

Ringhand survived a three-way Democratic primary in August to get to this point, but it?s her experience in the State Assembly she hopes will help her cross the finish line.

?Knowing how to treat people and listening is really an important aspect of the job,? Ringhand said.

Her first goal, if elected, is to bring job growth to the area.

?Education is really key to bringing in the businesses that are willing to come here,? Ringhand said. ?We have a really strong work ethic. We just need to advance ourselves technologically to meet that challenge.?

Contractor accused of skipping employee retirement payments

A Janesville contractor is accused of lying about deducting funds from employees? paychecks for a retirement fund.

A federal grand jury indicted Christopher C. Fields, 41, on five counts of mail fraud.

Fields owns and operates a residential and commercial construction company named F.J. Lincoln that was working as a subcontractor on a federal project for City Row Townhouse Apartments in Madison.

The indictment states that from February 2010 through March 2012, Fields deducted $336,261 from his employees? wages but these deductions were never paid to the employees or deposited into the retirement plan.

If convicted, Fields faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison on each count.

Mother, grandmother arrested after child abduction scare

Police arrested the mother and grandmother of a 1-year-old who was found safe after a child abduction alert was issued Wednesday morning.

Janesville police said they were called to 107 Red Apple Dr. at 7:15 a.m. on a report of a child abduction. The victim told police he has sole custody of the child who was staying with the child?s mother overnight while he was at work. He told police the child and the child?s mother, Bianca McLaughlin, 27, of Janesville, were gone when he returned.

Police found McLaughlin and the child at another home in Janesville.
Police said McLaughlin?s mother lied to officers about her daughter?s whereabouts.

Bianca L. McLaughlin was arrested on suspicion of interference with child custody. Her mother, Linda L. McLaughlin, 52, of Janesville, was arrested on suspicion of obstructing an officer.

Woodman's sues Clorox for price discrimination

The Woodman's grocery store chain is suing Clorox Corp., alleging price discrimination.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court in Madison, Woodman's said Clorox will only make large packs of products available to warehouse clubs, including Costco and Sam's Club.

The Janesville-based Woodman's said that's a violation of federal law which prohibits anti-competitive practices, including price discrimination.

The State Journal reported the lawsuit said Clorox told Woodman's it was changing its marketing strategy and creating the "right assortment" of sizes and brands for different retailers based on their shoppers. Woodman's says that will hurt its ability to compete with the warehouse clubs.

Clorox said the lawsuit is without merit and plans to vigorously defend its practices.