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Town of Madison man charged with possessing child porn

A town of Madison man was charged with 10 counts of possessing child pornography.

Matthew Pfendler was arrested on Friday after agents from the Wisconsin Department of Justice searched his apartment on Pheasant Ridge Trail.

The Department of Justice said a hard drive inside Pfendler's home contained images consistent with child pornography.�When asked by special agents if he had any child pornography on his computer, Pfendler stated that there probably was, according to the complaint.

Madison police worked with the DOJ after�receiving�a tip from the FBI.

Pfendler will appear in court for a preliminary hearing July 24.

Common Council confirms Mickells as library director

The Madison Common Council has confirmed Gregory Mickells to be the new director of Madison?s public library system.

Mickells new five-year contract was approved by the Common Council at Tuesday night?s meeting.

Mickells has been the assistant library director for the library system in Lincoln, Neb. since 2007. Before that, he served as a library manager in Castle Rock, Colo. and held other library positions in Nebraska and Colorado since 1989.

Mickells has a masters degree in library science from Emporia State University.

Madison opens Monona Terrace as cooling center

Madison city leaders have again opened the Monona Terrace in downtown Madison as a cooling center.

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin said Monday that cots and water are being provided for people who stay there overnight to get relief from the heat.

The Monona Terrace Exhibition Hall will be open continuously as a cooling center until 8 a.m. Wednesday for public use. People should enter off of the bike path a lake level.

People can keep cool at several public buildings during the day, including the Warner Park Community Center and at Madison public library branches.

City officials are also asking residents not to water their lawns.

Traffic moving again on Westbound Beltline

Three lanes of the westbound Beltline were closed between Monona Dr. and South Towne Dr. Tuesday due to an accident just before 7:30 a.m.

Shawn Prebil of WTDY told News 3 three vehicles were involved in the accident, which stopped all westbound traffic.

Police crews immediately responded to the scene to get traffic moving again. Big backups resulted during the morning rush hour, but traffic began to move somewhat normally again by 8:30 a.m.

East Madison community center needs donations

The East Madison Community Center is looking for donations to help its 3rd Annual Back to School Supplies Extravaganza.

Organizers said they are collecting donations to help provide school supplies for students and their upcoming school year. Their goal is to help 300 Madison school students, including 75 high school students.

The distribution is scheduled from 2 to 5 p.m. on Aug. 25.

Organizers are looking for many different supplies: #2 pencils, glue sticks, erasers, scissors, paper, pens, rulers, crayons, binders, scientific calculators, dictionaries, thesauruses, pencil sharpeners, highlighters, staplers and mechanical pencils.

To find out more information or to donate, call the East Madison Community Center at 608-249-0861.

Outgoing Madison superintendent talks with WISC-TV

Dan Nerad, the departing Madison Metropolitan School District superintendent, talked with WISC-TV on Thursday about his four years leading the district, plus the greatest challenges going forward.

He cited the four-year-old kindergarten program, which he implemented, and tackling difficult budgets as his achievements. Nerad said on some issues, such as over the heightened debate over the district's minority achievement gap, there were shortcomings.

Nerad is scheduled to leave July 27 for the top job at the school district in Birmingham, Mich., a smaller and more affluent suburb of Detroit.

THEO KEITH, WISC-TV: Is there an issue or issues where you had your greatest success or shortcoming?

Utility says energy bills may not be as high as some expect

With that heat not looking to let up anytime soon, some residents might be wondering what the bill for their air conditioning is going to look like this month.

Madison Gas and Electric officials said the bill may not be as bad as some think, although it depends on a number of factors, including the size of one's house, the age of the air conditioner and how high it's running.

The power company almost set a record last week after the heat spiked into triple digits, missing the all-time record for energy use by 1 percent on Friday.

How does that translate to customers' bills? MG&E officials said that, on average, Madison homeowners spend about $110 to $120 a year on air conditioning in an average summer and it really only may cost $20 to $30 more than that with the increased temperatures.