Farmers Insurance names Madison the nation's most secure place to live, up from third place last year. The top ranking owes to the city's low violent crime and unemployment rates and long life expectancy.
Nathan Zander, 18, pleads no contest to driving drunk and under the influence of marijuana in a Sept. 27, 2009, crash that killed Mackenzie Reynolds and injured her boyfriend, Jeremy Kurt, both 28, on Highway 18-151. Zander faces up to 25 years in prison.
Police arrest 32-year-old Harmony H. Holman after she allegedly stole a DVD player from the Sears at West Towne Mall and used her car to hit an employee who was chasing her. Police said Holman, who is allegedly struggling with heroin addiction, told them, "This drug thing is out of control."
Jonathan Barry, Dane County executive from 1981 to 1987, joins an already crowded field by announcing he'll run again for the post. Other candidates are: former Madison Ald. Zach Brandon, County Board Chairman Scott McDonell, Rep. Joe Parisi (D-Madison) and Joe Wineke, former state Democratic party chairman.
A plea deal by former state Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen is accepted in Waukesha County, fining Jensen $5,000 and forbidding him from seeking public office again. Jensen had previously been convicted in Dane County for using Capitol staff to run campaigns and sentenced to 15 months, but that was overturned on appeal. Mike McCabe of Wisconsin Democracy Campaign calls the new deal "an absolutely outrageous miscarriage of justice."
Media report Rick Flowers, owner of the south-side tavern R Place, has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against Madison, claiming the city violated his constitutional rights in trying to shut down his bar.
Kathleen Falk resigns as Dane County executive, and County Board Chair Scott McDonell is sworn in as acting county executive. McDonell, who is campaigning for the post, plans to appoint Falk to serve until the April election.
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that Wisconsin's population increased 6% in the 2010 census, not enough for the state to add to its current eight U.S. House seats.
The Madison Water Utility says it will test the city's water for chromium-6, a carcinogenic metal that a national environmental group found in cities around the country, including here. Results are expected in early January.
The Monona Grove school board votes to close Maywood Elementary School next year because of a budget shortfall.
Paul Soglin, who's already served as Madison mayor longer than anyone else, formally announces he's running again for the post, joining a field of six others seeking to deny incumbent Dave Cieslewicz a third term. Soglin says he's "invigorated" by the chance to be mayor again, saying of his record: "What I've done is unmatched."
Compiled (in part) from local media