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"Barabooms" startle and confuse neighbors

The typically quiet town of Baraboo got a loud surprise Wednesday night.� Police and neighbors are still trying to figure out what exactly caused the mystery sound.

Around 7 p.m. Wednesday, a number of neighbors called in with reports of a flash in the sky accompanied by a loud boom.�

Reports came from houses around Baraboo High School down to Fifth Avenue.

?Yet another reported incident of the ?Barabooms? as individuals have come to know it,?� said Lt. Rob Sinden with Baraboo Police.

Sinden says all of the evidence points to fireworks.� He says it is likely that one person or a group of people got their hands on commercial-level fireworks, which are much more powerful than what the normal consumer can purchase.

Sinden suspects anyone involved is simply putting on a show for attention.� He adds all of the reports convey virtually the same eyewitness account.

Authorities arrest suspected heroin dealer

Authorities have arrested a man suspected of dealing heroin and marijuana, the Columbia County Sheriff's Office said.

The Columbia County Sheriff's Office Drug Task Force and the Marquette County Sheriff's Office concluded a drug investigation leading to the arrest of Mitchell Evan Stanford, 22, on Sunday, according to a Columbia County Sheriff's Office news release.

Stanford, of Endeavor, was arrested on two counts of felony delivery of heroin, possession of drug paraphernalia, delivery of marijuana and possession of marijuana in a jail, according to the news release.

Sheriff's officials said Stanford was identified as a heroin source who was providing heroin to people in Portage and Wisconsin Dells.

During the arrest and subsequent search of Stanford, law enforcement found a heroin user kit, money, marijuana and other drug paraphernalia, authorities said.

Wis. state parks offer Halloween hayrides, hikes

Twelve state parks and forests across Wisconsin will offer hikes, hayrides and trick-or-treating in the spirit of Halloween beginning Friday.

Devil's Lake State Park in Baraboo, Wis., is offering a torch-lit hike, a bonfire and treats on Saturday from 6-9 p.m.

Governor Nelson State Park in Waunakee, Wis., has scheduled a hike and bonfire Oct. 26 and Stoughton?s Lake Kegonsa State Park will host a candlelight trek from 6-9 p.m. Saturday.

The DNR said the state park Halloween events are free, save for the hayrides offered in Friendship, Wis., at Roche-A-Cri State Park.

Many of the locales will also offer foodstuffs for purchase such as cider, hot cocoa, bake sale fundraiser items and other concessions. Vehicles entering the parks will be required to have current Wisconsin State Parks admission stickers.

Official warns of surge in car break-ins at Devil's Lake

A string of car break-ins at Devil's Lake State Park has the superintendent suspecting a repeat offender.

Park Superintendent Steve Schmelzer said about 20 cars broken into had items stolen over the course of the summer.

Someone broke into the vehicles by smashing windows. Most of the stolen property was purses and wallets, and victims told Schmelzer that whoever took those items was using credit cards and debit cards for purchases.

Schmelzer said purses discovered at Devil's Lake were linked to similar robberies at Mazo Beach and near Lake Delton.

"We put out signs in all of our outlying areas and also coming into the park, warning people that they should lock up their valuables and not leave their purse or laptop right inside their window so somebody could see that," Schmelzer said.

Dells hosts autumn festivals

Dells hosts autumn festivals


The Wisconsin Dells is celebrating fall with their Autumn Harvest Fest and Dells on Tap.

The weekend of Oct. 13 and 14 will include scarecrow stuffing, hayrides, and an arts and crafts marketplace.  The 15th annual Autumn Harvest Fest also includes pumpkin decorating, a petting zoo, and live entertainment.  The event runs 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.

Dells on Tap takes place Saturday at 1 p.m.  The event is open to attendees 21 and older and features more than 25 craft breweries.  Tickets cost $35 at the tent.

For more information about both events, visit wisdells.com.

Local resort features not-so-scary fun

Local resort features not-so-scary fun


The Great Wolf Lodge indoor waterpark resort will celebrate Howl-o-Ween starting Thursday.

The resort will host activities such as pumpkin painting and seasonal crafts in the Cub Club.  A costume parade, a nightly Trick-or-Treat trail with candy and goodies, and monster bash dance party, and Spooktacular story time will also take place.

The festivities will take place throughout October, with daily activities and treats throughout the lodge.

Great Wolf Lodge is located at 1400 Great Wolf Drive in the Wisconsin Dells.

Complaint: Baraboo woman plotted to kill lover's wife

A Baraboo woman accused of stalking and plotting to kill her lover's wife appeared in Columbia County Circuit Court on Monday.

Stephanie McMillen, 43, has been charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide and stalking.

Court documents said McMillen had an affair with a co-worker, and the worker's wife had filed a restraining order against McMillen.

A criminal complaint said that McMillen donned sunglasses, a wig and a bandanna and drove a rented vehicle to the victim's home on Sept. 10.

Using the ruse of a lost cat, McMillen tried to lure the victim to a pond in a wooded area near the back yard, but the victim felt scared, went home and called police, according to the complaint.