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Sun Prairie man aboard aircraft gone missing, officials say

Sun Prairie man aboard aircraft gone missing, officials say

A Sun Prairie man is among five people who disappeared along with a plane Sunday in Idaho, officials said.

A Brigham Young University-Idaho spokesman told KBOI-TV in Boise that Jonathan Norton, a BYU-Idaho student from Sun Prairie, was in a single-engine plane when it lost contact with air traffic controllers near a small mountain town called Yellow Pine.

Rescuers were searching a 4- to 5-mile area narrowed down through cell phone tower use records, the sheriff’s department in Valley County, Idaho, said.

The plane, flying from Oregon headed to Butte, Mont., was carrying Norton, his fiance Amber Smith, her father Dale, brother Daniel and sister-in-law Sheree. The plane was flown by Dale Smith, according to the Bureau of Homeland Security.

Authorities said a search aircraft detected a weak emergency locator transmitter signal Tuesday.

Dale Smith is a software maker based in Silicon Valley, Calif.

Stylist gets 'Manager of the Year' recognition

A Sun Prairie stylist has been recognized by her employer for exemplary work.

Nicole Zimmerman, manager of the Cost Cutters Hair Salon in Sun Prairie has been named one of three managers of the year among 50 salon managers in Southern Illinois and Northern Wisconsin, according to the Sun Prairie Star Wednesday.

Zimmerman received recognition during a banquet in Madison... Read More

Santa, parade, tree lighting kick off holidays downtown

Santa, parade, tree lighting kick off holidays downtown

The City of Sun Prairie will kick off the holiday season with a tree lighting, parade and visits with Santa this weekend.

The Historical Library and Museum will host activities Friday at 5:30 p.m., offering free cookies, hot apple cider, live music and a dance performance by Fusion Dance Academy, according to a Sun Prairie business association.

The Sun Prairie Business Improvement District said a fire truck parade is also scheduled Friday at 6 p.m. on Main Street between Kroncke Drive and Market Street.

Santa Claus will arrive on a fire truck to light the holiday tree at the museum at 6:15 p.m.

Saturday will also offer a chance for families to visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus at The Crosse House, 133 W. Main St., from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sun Prairie BID said children will get free treats from St. Nick and his wife.

Area coffee shops top local favorites poll

Area coffee shops top local favorites poll

A coffee shop in downtown Oregon earned the top spot as a local favorite in a News 3 viewer poll. Firefly Coffeehouse was revealed as the winner Friday morning and shops in Janesville, Baraboo, Sun Prairie and McFarland made the top five among viewers.

News 3 viewers voted on Facebook for their favorite coffee shops. The four other area businesses that topped the list after Firefly included:

Soldier gets Purple Heart after '07 injury

Soldier gets Purple Heart after '07 injury

A soldier with the Wisconsin Army National Guard has been awarded the Purple Heart for injuries he suffered in Iraq six years ago.

In 2007, Staff Sgt. Joshua W. Koch and other soldiers were returning from a mission when mortar shells exploded around them. Koch was treated for a concussion and returned to duty.

Other soldiers in the group who were also hurt received medals following the attack. But due to an administrative error, the Sun Prairie native never got one -- until last week.

Koch credits his fellow soldiers with the 147th Aviation Regiment for helping him finally get the medal. He told an auditorium full of family, friends and troops he was grateful for their help.

He says the award "means more than I can say in words."

Senior center earns accreditation milestone

Senior center earns accreditation milestone

The Colonial Club Senior Activity Center was accredited as a senior center by the Wisconsin Association of Senior Centers. The certification is the first time the organization has been recognized by WASC in its 44-year history, the center said.

In a statement on the center’s website, Jill Kranz, WASC accreditation committee chairwoman who also serves as director of the Middleton Senior Center, said earning accreditation highlights an organization's commitment to excellence in programs.

Colonial Club executive director Bob Power said the center was proud to have reached the milestone.

A special day for seniors is scheduled Oct. 17 to celebrate the achievement, the center said. Entertainment begins at 1:30 p.m. with a short program to follow. The public is invited to attend.

Trooper gets lifesaving award for burning vehicle rescue

Trooper gets lifesaving award for burning vehicle rescue

State patrol personnel from Sun Prairie, Janesville and Baraboo were three of 21 members of the Wisconsin State Patrol awarded Wednesday at the State Capitol in Madison for saving lives and other exemplary service.

State Patrol Superintendent Stephen Fitzgerald said the special awards were given to members of the state patrol demonstrated exceptional expertise and courage under stressful conditions.

The awardees were nominated by their fellow members of the state patrol for actions that went above and beyond normal duties over the last year.

Off-duty trooper pulls vehicle occupants from fire

Trooper Edward P. Witkiewicz of Sun Prairie responded to a collapsed building report on Aug. 30, 2012 in Johnson Creek. He found a victim inside with a severe head injury who was slipping in and out of consciousness and stabilized the victim's head and neck. He also cleared a path for firefighters to transport the victim.