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Rock County group receptive to Ryan's poverty plan

Rock County group receptive to Ryan's poverty plan

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan said he has a plan to reduce poverty across the country. He's calling for major changes to how the government helps low-income families, including giving states and local organizations more control.

Ryan spoke at the American Enterprise Institute Thursday morning on the subject, sharing his plan for a new opportunity grant.

The pilot program would consolidate 11 federal programs, including food stamps and housing subsidies, into one, then provide the grant to states to decide how to best use it locally. Ryan said a neutral third party would keep track of results.

"My thinking is, listen to the boots on the ground, the local leaders who are changing the status quo," Ryan told the crowd at AEI Thursday morning. "Let them try unique and innovative ideas with a proven track record, and then test the results."

Ryan said state agencies wouldn't be the only service providers; community organizations doing similar work could get more funding.

Bi-county task force to focus on Hwy. 26 during construction

Bi-county task force to focus on Hwy. 26 during construction

Two area counties have paired up to enforce traffic safety along a shared highway corridor. 

he Jefferson County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday that it had formed a two-county traffic safety task force with area agencies to focus on Highway 26 along with the Rock County Sheriff's Office, town of Milton and village of Johnson Creek police. 

Jefferson County Capt. Duane Scott said the task force, funded by grants, will patrol Highway 26 in Jefferson and Rock counties during construction in the summer months.

"As the (Highway) 26 construction has continued, we have seen an increase in crashes and speeding violations as the project has gone forward," Scott said. "The Bureau of Transportation Safety brought (multiple area) agencies together with some funding to see if we can make a difference this summer."

Dozens of Beloit residents without water for days

Dozens of Beloit residents without water for days

A city official said dozens of Beloit residents have been without water for more than a week due to problems caused by frozen pipes.

About 53 homes in the neighborhood near Copeland Avenue -- including Tremont Drive and Sheridan, Prairie and Summit avenues -- have not had running water for days, some going without service for 10 days, an official said. 

The city of Beloit said it was waiting for a de-icing device from a manufacturer in Canada to arrive to thaw frozen water in the pipes and restore service to residents. The Pulse Jet De-icer pipe-thawing tool has been backordered but is expected to arrive in Beloit Tuesday, an official told News 3. As soon as the de-icer arrives, work to thaw pipes will begin. 

Treasurer leaves Milton position to work for Sun Prairie

Members of the Sun Prairie City Council unanimously approved hiring a new administrative services director on Feb. 4.

Connie DeKemper will leave her position with Milton after two years as the city treasurer to oversee several Sun Prairie city departments, according to the Sun Prairie Star and Milton Courier. ... Read More

Beloit trash, recycling collection to follow holiday schedule

City of Beloit officials remind residents that trash and recycling collection will be following a holiday schedule the next two weeks.

Trash and recycling will be collected on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, according to a release. Collection crews will not be out on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day.

Collection will be delayed by one day starting Dec. 25 and also the following week starting Jan. 1, officials said.

The recycling drop-off center at 2351 Springbrook Ct. will be closed Dec. 28 through Jan. 4, according to the release.

For more information, call the city of Beloit Public Works Operations Division at 608-364-2929.

Warming shelters open in Beloit, Janesville

Warming shelters open in Beloit, Janesville

Rock County officials have announced two warming shelters will be open for people looking for shelter during the extreme weather conditions this week.

The American Red Cross and local organizations have opened shelters in Beloit and Janesville, according to a release.

The Beloit shelter is at St. John’s Lutheran Church at 1000 Bluff Street. It will be open until 9 a.m. Friday. The Janesville shelter is at Cargill United Methodist Church at 2000 Wesley Ave. It will be open until 7 a.m. Thursday.

The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Chill Advisory through Thursday at 6 a.m. for the area, according to the release. Temperatures are expected to fall between single digits and below zero with wind chills reading as cold as 25 below zero.

Donation to help police purchase cameras

Donation to help police purchase cameras

An area non-profit group's donation will help police purchase new technology for patrol officers, the department said. 

The Janesville Area Crime Stoppers donated $6,600 toward the purchase of body cameras for city of Janesville police.

Sgt. Brian Donohoue said the cameras will be worn by officers to capture live video as an incident occurs, to collect evidence and as a training tool. The new equipment will replace cameras that were not currently meeting the department’s needs, according to a news release.

The police department said it plans to have the new cameras in service in early 2014.