Thousands lose power after fires in Madison

Fires at two transmission substations in Wisconsin’s capital knocked out power to more than 11,000 customers on a sweltering day, shutting down government buildings, courtrooms and businesses, and prompting police to call in additional staff.

An explosion and fire at the Madison Gas and Electric main power center sent a plume of thick, black smoke over Madison’s east side about 7:40 a.m. Friday. A second fire at a substation near the University of Wisconsin-Madison prompted the evacuation of Ogg and Smith residence halls and the UW Safety Building. Shelter was available at the Kohl Center on campus.

Gov. Tony Evers (D) declared a state of emergency in Madison and surrounding Dane County. The state of emergency authorizes the activation of the National Guard and directs state agencies to provide assistance.

The State Capitol closed, as did the City-County building. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services sent employees home and directed the public to leave the building because of a lack of electricity. All state court system offices in downtown Madison also closed because of the outage. There were no reports of injuries.

— Associated Press


Former president of Peru denied bail

A U.S. judge on Friday denied bail for former Peruvian president Alejandro Toledo after prosecutors argued he was a flight risk and pointed out officials found a suitcase with $40,000 in cash during his arrest.

Magistrate Judge Thomas S. Hixson ordered Toledo, 73, held pending an extradition hearing scheduled for July 26.

U.S. Marshals detained Toledo at his Northern California home Tuesday on an extradition request.

The ex-president is wanted in his home country on accusations of taking $20 million in bribes from Brazilian construction company Odebrecht.

Toledo denies the charges.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Elise Lapunzina told Hixson the cash and the fact Toledo has ties to other counties made him a flight risk. She said his wife, former Peruvian first lady Eliane Karp, is from Israel, a country that does not have an extradition agreement with Peru.

Toledo was Peru’s president from 2001 to 2006. He had been a visiting scholar at Stanford University as recently as 2017. He earned a doctorate in education and two master’s degrees from the university.

— Associated Press

No more 'manholes'

in Berkeley, city rules

There will be no manholes in Berkeley, Calif. City workers will drop into “maintenance holes” instead.

Nothing will be man-made in the city, but “human-made,” and students at the University of California, Berkeley, will join “collegiate Greek system residences” rather than fraternities and sororities.

Berkeley leaders voted unanimously this week to replace about 40 gender-specific words in the city code with gender-neutral terms — an effort to be more inclusive that is drawing both praise and scorn.

That means “manpower” will become “human effort” or “workforce,” while masculine and feminine pronouns like “she,” ‘’her,” ‘’he” and “him” will be replaced by “they” and “them,” according to the measure approved Tuesday by the City Council.

The San Francisco Bay area city is known for its long history of progressive politics and “first of” ordinances.

— Associated Press