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Friday, December 26, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 36.0° F  Overcast
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17-year-old dies while playing "choking game," Head of UW Hospital's cancer pharmacy fired for stealing narcotics, Cardinal Bar to reopen as dance club

Wednesday, 7.8

Van Hendricks, 45, is nabbed by police after robbing an apartment on West Johnson Street. The occupant woke up and was able to get a good description, because Hendricks was so drunk he couldn't find the door. Real winner, this guy.

Gov. Jim Doyle taps three appointees to fill Dane County judge vacancies: Peter Anderson, an administrative law judge; Nick McNamera, a lawyer for a personal injury firm; and Amy Smith, a former county and state prosecutor who now works for the state prison system.

Thursday, 7.9

The Wisconsin State Journal, in an article on earwigs, paraphrases a source saying the bugs "only come out to feast on plants at night and hide from the sun during the day, which is often under mulch or sometimes in the house." The sun's in the house? No wonder it's so hot!

The UW Board of Regents hikes undergraduate tuition at the UW-Madison by 5.5%, to $8,300 for in-state residents. System President Kevin Reilly, whose post-furlough salary is $401,886, calls the hike "relatively modest."

Velma Fern Bell Hamilton, the first president of the Madison NAACP as well as the city's first black teacher, dies at age 99 in Atlanta, Ga. Hamilton lived most of her life in Madison and is the namesake of a Madison middle school.

Friday, 7.10

UW-Madison researcher Roch Kendrick, 46, of New Glarus, is killed when a large section of an oak tree falls on his car in the village of Oregon. A similar tree fatality occurred in 2005 on Monona Drive.

A 17-year-old senior-to-be at Columbus High School dies while playing a dangerous "choking game" meant to produce high-like feelings. His parents courageously call attention to the game, believed to cause hundreds of deaths each year.

Sunday, 7.12

Chonnell Drinker, 14, dies due to injuries sustained in a May 29 crash involving a stolen car, which killed another 14-year-old girl. The driver, a 16-year-old boy, was sentenced to a year at Ethan Allen and could face fresh charges; a 15-year-old who allegedly grabbed the steering wheel awaits trial.

Monday, 7.13

The state Department of Regulation and Licensing announces that Joseph Theisen, 56, the head of UW Hospital's cancer pharmacy, has surrendered his license and been fired from his $96,945 job for stealing narcotics and practicing while impaired. Paging Nurse Jackie....

A 70-lb. tortoise creates a prime photo-op by crawling onto the fairways at Cherokee Country Club. The animal, about 40 inches long, is believed to be an escaped pet.

Tuesday, 7.14

Isthmus, in an online story, reports that Ricardo Gonzalez is reacquiring and plans to reopen the Cardinal Bar as a dance club. Hooray!

Wednesday, 7.15

The Wisconsin Supreme Court rules 6-1 that public employees cannot enter collective bargaining agreements to keep their names secret, irrespective of the state's public records law. The lone dissenter is Shirley Abrahamson, an erstwhile friend of open government.

Compiled (mostly) from local media

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