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Residents don't want trees sacrificed for rec path

March 30, 2012 1:38 p.m. | A petition signed by Tess Corners Drive residents upset about all the trees that will be cut down to make way for a recreational path was submitted to the Muskego City Hall on Thursday.

The residents want the city to either find a way to reduce the number of trees cut down for the eight-foot wide path or not build it.

Tess Corners Drive is slated to be reconstructed this year from Woods to Janesville roads and the path added as part of the project. The road project itself also will take trees.

Alderman won't be penalized for unlabeled campaign literature

March 30, 2012 12:57 p.m. | District 1 Alderman Daniel Sutton will not face any penalties from the Waukesha County District Attorney’s Office for failing to properly label his campaign literature.

Sutton was informed Wednesday of his fate after his opponent, former judge Richard Steinberg, filed a complaint stating Sutton failed to disclose who paid for campaign fliers and pamphlets.

Penalties up to a $500 fine were possible, but according to Sutton, he was told simply to be mindful of the rules. Sutton says he has already stamped the rest of his literature and will be in full compliance moving forward.

Semifinalists emerge in Battle of the Burbs bracket contest

March 29, 2012 2:20 p.m. | Four communities have advanced to the penultimate round of MyCommunityNOW's Battle of the Burbs bracket contest.

Top-seeded Wauwatosa handily defeated Franklin, 64-36, to earn a semifinal match up with No. 4 seed Waukesha. Waukesha earned its spot with a 52-48 victory over No. 2 Mequon-Thiensville.

Brookfield, a No. 1 seed, posted a 56-44 victory over Muskego and will face New Berlin in the semifinals. Second-seeded New Berlin advanced with a 63-37 rout of Shorewood.

Semifinal voting in the NCAA-style tournament continues for a week and pits suburbs against each other in a single-elimination showdown to determine the best community in the area.

Three lucky voters will win Visa gift cards and the winning community will receive a special proclamation from MyCommunityNOW and NOW Newspapers.

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Former alderwoman picked to fill Fiedler's term in Muskego

March 28, 2012 12:30 p.m. | Muskego's 7th Aldermanic District will get a new but a familiar face as its Common Council representative.

The council on Tuesday night appointed former alderwoman Eileen Madden to fill the year remaining on the term of Alderman Noah Fiedler, who will step down at the end of the week due to increased family and work commitments.

Ironically, Fiedler unseated Madden for 7th District alderman in 2007. She had served since 2000.

When Fiedler announced his resignation, the council opened the door for applications. It got three - Madden, Lawrence Jansen and Deborah Tomcyzk, each of which was asked to answer eight questions from aldermen.

After Jansen was eliminated in the first round of balloting, Madden and Deborah Tomczyk ended in a tie with three aldermen for each. (Fiedler, the seventh alderman on the council, did not vote or participate in the selection process.) Mayor Kathy Chiaverotti cast the tie-breaking vote.

City faces $1.25M budget gap

March 28, 2012 10:58 a.m. | The city is looking at a $1.25 million budget gap for 2013.

While the number is high, it's half the size of the budget gap the city faced as it received its early budget forecasts for this year.

"While the budget gap is significant, it is not insurmountable," John Ruggini, city finance director, told the Budget and Finance Committee on Tuesday.

However, closing budget gaps becomes more difficult each year one exists because the easier and most obvious options for closing a gap likely already have been implemented, he added.

Ruggini presented the first look at what it would cost to continue existing city services in 2013. He used 10 years of city financial data to forecast next year's budget picture and made the assumption that the national economy continues slow but consistent recovery through 2013 with interest rates remaining flat.

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Panel backs Oak Creek's purchase of 30 acres of lakefront land

March 28, 2012 10:39 a.m. | The Oak Creek Plan Commission last night recommended that the Common Council purchase 30 acres of lakefront land from Wispark LLC.

The council is expected to take up the acquisition April 2.

The panel unanimously agreed to recommend that the property, 9006 S. 5th Ave., be purchased from We Energies' real estate development arm for use as a public park. A purchase price was not disclosed.

That is in keeping with the city's lakefront development plan, which the commission adopted in January and which commits land for public use. Land to the west of the parcel is owned by Wispark and would ideally be home to a corporate owner, said Doug Seymour, director of community development.

"This is a strategic acquisition more than anything else," said Alderman Daniel Bukiewicz, a commission member. "This really plays into the master plan down there."

Shorewood administrators present proposed 2012-13 school district budget

March 27, 2012 11:28 p.m. | Shorewood administrators presented recommendations on the district's 2012-13 budget at a School Board meeting Tuesday. The proposed budget of more than $22 million calls for a number of reductions and additions that add up to a surplus of $167,416 that could be designated into the fund balance for future years.

Without touching the budget, district officials project a deficit of $429,947 - a figure reflecting a combination of factors, including increasing enrollment and declining income from the state.

Administrators have proposed a series of reductions and efficiencies totaling $933,735 that offset the deficit. The list includes savings incurred from health and dental insurance through a competitive bidding process and a few staffing reductions, some enrollment driven.

At the same time, administrators are requesting permission to add a number of new line items totaling $371,459 into the budget. New expenditures include a proposal to hire a development director at a $75,000 cost to assist with future fundraising initiatives. A number of staffing increases are also in the proposed budget.

The district also is planning to add five Open Enrollment seats, resulting in $35,087 in projected income.

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Brown Deer school calendar eliminates one early-release day

March 27, 2012 9:48 p.m. | The first day of school will be Sept. 4 in Brown Deer, but that wasn't a point of contention facing the School Board tonight.

Instead, when the board adopted the 2012-2013 calendar, it considered a comment from the public that was critical of regularly scheduled district in-service days.

Mark Ward told the board that as a private painting contractor he finds the early release days are difficult because of the need for child care in the afternoon. The district has early release, or half days, on the second and fourth Wednesdays of most months.

District Administrator Deb Kerr said the district will release Dean School students at 12:30 p.m. next year instead of the current 11:30 a.m. on early release days.

"We have had parents tell us they can leave work for 12:30 pick ups but not for 11:30," she said.

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Joe and Jennifer Bartolotta win library foundation's Leadership Award

March 27, 2012 6:20 p.m. | Joe Bartolotta, president and owner of The Bartolotta Restaurants, and his wife, Jennifer, have been named the 2012 Leadership Award recipients by the Wauwatosa Public Library Foundation.

Although most people are more familiar with Joe, the award also pays tribute to Jennifer, who works in the family business as director of strategic partnerships. Together, the couple founded the company's philanthropic arm, Care-a-lottas.

Jennifer is an executive board member for the Wisconsin Humane Society, TEMPO Milwaukee and Schools that Can Milwaukee. Joe sits on the boards of many local organizations and actively supports Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and St. Marcus School.

The duo will be honored with the Arthur B. Kohasky Leadership Award on April 19 during the Wauwatosa Public Library Leadership Luncheon at the Crowne Plaza. For tickets, call (414) 471-8487.

Author and Wisconsin native James Bradley will provide the keynote address during this 10th annual event, which celebrates the important role the library plays in the community. Bradley has written best-selling books "Flags of Our Fathers," "Flyboys" and "The Imperial Cruise." "Flags of Our Fathers" was released as a movie in 2007 and is a companion film to the Academy Award-nominated "Letters from Iwo Jima."

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Falls school district to send out 52 layoff notices

March 27, 2012 1:04 p.m. | Menomonee Falls - Fifty-two Menomonee Falls School District teachers will receive a preliminary layoff notice in early April, but officials estimate that fewer than the equivalent of eight full-time employees will actually be let go.

Those numbers are down from earlier estimates. The School Board originally anticipated issuing 60 to 70 preliminary layoff notices and the equivalent of seven and 12 full-time employees ultimately being laid off.

"Because we're in declining enrollment, our revenue limit decreases. Because we're in declining enrollment our need for staffing at the middle and high school decreases," Superintendent Patricia Greco said. "Part of the challenge is our revenues are going down because one of the criteria for our revenue limit is our student head count."

The district has to let teachers know if they are in danger of a layoff within a certain time frame, and that always happens before final enrollment and budget numbers are available. Therefore, the district tends to err on the side of sending out preliminary layoff notices to more people than will actually be affected, rather than sending out too few and running the risk of paying for teachers it can't afford or doesn't need.

There are multiple reasons the number of preliminary layoff notifications are significantly higher than the anticipated permanent layoffs.

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Brookfield OKs outdoor seating for Yo Mama Yogurt

March 27, 2012 11:57 a.m. | Frozen yogurt and a summer breeze are coming to the Ruby Isle shopping center.

Yo Mama Yogurt has taken the place of That Coffee Place, and on Monday, the city of Brookfield Plan Commission approved making the drive-through into an outdoor seating area.

The Common Council has already approved the code changes to accommodate the business change and the remodel began back in January for Yo Mama.

Rebecca and Scott Berger opened a Yo Mama Yogurt in Wauwatosa last summer with rousing success thanks to a hot summer. The Brookfield family is now opening a location in Brookfield, a plan that has been met with unanimous approval from Brookfield city officials, particularly Alderman Scott Berg.

Berg made a special trip to the commission meeting to support the plans, saying he'd been to the Wauwatosa store several times and the product "passed with flying colors." He also supported the idea of having outdoor seating, providing a place he said families and residents could come consistently and enjoy themselves.

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Nicolet School Board hires new assistant principal

March 26, 2012 11:38 p.m. | The Nicolet School Board on Monday approved the hiring of Mae Beard as an assistant principal beginning in the 2012-13 school year. Beard currently serves in the same capacity at Menomonee Falls High School.

Beard was one of seven finalists for the position and was interviewed by a cross-section of representatives, including administrators, teachers, other school staff, parents and students.

Beard will replace Jason Kestner, who is resigning from the district at the end of the school year.

Fuel surcharge to be considered in Glendale

March 26, 2012 8:04 p.m. | Glendale leaders will consider adding a fuel surcharge to tickets issued in the city should the cost of gasoline continue to rise.

The Common Council tonight resurrected a proposal dating back to the 2008budget discussions.

Both traffic tickets and other types of violations could be considered for the added surcharge.

Police Chief Tom Czarnyszka said he would provided statistics on the numbers and types of tickets issued in the city as well as the percentage of fees collected from the tickets. The information would help the council determine if the surcharge should be added to all tickets or traffic tickets only.

The city gets a federal tax credit each month for the fuel it purchases. That amounts to 18 cents per gallon. Mobil also provides the city with a 2 cent per gallon credit each month for each gallon purchased.

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Town of Waukesha loses voice in fight against Brookfield incorporation

March 26, 2012 5:26 p.m. | A Waukesha Circuit Court has ruled the town of Waukesha cannot continue to act as an intervening party in the Brookfield incorporation case, despite having residents potentially affected by the changes.

The court ruled that the town didn't have adequate documentation to show attorneys had legally approved the town's status as objectors to the incorporation.

According to attorneys for the town, a closed session meeting had been called to discuss the measure and by law all that was needed was to verbally approve the town's position. However, no minutes were approved showing the completion of that vote by the January court date, where such approval was necessary.

Town officials later ratified minutes affirming they had voted in time to show the court. The problem was that vote took place after the court's deadline and it was determined that was insufficient. That leaves the town, with perhaps the most directly affected community base, without a voice on the panel of communities objecting to this incorporation process.

Waukesha County Circuit Judge Donald J. Hassin Jr. has already ruled that the town of Brookfield's petition meets the legal standard, which is why the petitions and paperwork have been sent to the state for review.

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River Hills faces ballooning costs for Range Line Road bridge fix

March 21, 2012 10:00 p.m. | River Hills officials will go to Milwaukee County and ask for more money to rehabilitate the Range Line Road bridge after learning about higher than anticipated costs at its Village Board meeting tonight.

River Hills Village Engineer Mustafa Emir presented a sobering estimate of escalating costs for the rehabilitation of the Range Line Road bridge with construction costs to repair the bridge estimated at $173,000 in 2003. Since then, a series of contract amendments and changes to the bridge design have ballooned the estimate to $500,000 for a concrete bridge or to $870,000 for a bridge covered with stone, similar to its current appearance.

The plain concrete bridge has not been acceptable to trustees in past years. In May 2010 they asked Mike Carpenter of Westbrook Associates, the design engineering firm, to talk with the Department of Transportation on alternate plans that would incorporate stone into the design. In December 2010 then Village Manager Tom Tollaksen signed a third amendment to the original contract for the bridge that provided for natural stone on the bridge. By that point in time, the bridge had taken on historic significance in the view of the Department of Transportation and its rehabilitation became more expensive.

The village has a federal grant of up to $190,400 awarded in 2004. The community must pay a 20 percent share of the bridge cost, which would bring its budget up to $238,000 for the entire project.

Emir suggested the board ask Milwaukee County for more funding. The original grant is good for only 10 years, so if additional funding is not available, Emir said the Village Board could consider other options, such as applying for another grant in the 2015-2018 cycle.

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Pioneer Drive work might be easier to pay for on installment plan

March 21, 2012 5:22 p.m. | A Pioneer Drive resident objected to a plan to charge residents 8 percent interest if they pay on the installment plan for city road work and water main going past their homes.

Now, the city Finance Committee says it will consider lowering the rate.

Steve Mainus spoke last week at a hearing on the Pioneer Drive road project, which will be done this year. The Public Works Committee on Monday night sent his request for a lower interest rate to the Finance Committee.

But Mainus didn't get far with his other point, which was to not extend city water at all to those along the street. The water main is still coming through.

Some sewer laterals are adding to backup problems in Muskego

March 20, 2012 10:54 p.m. | Ten percent of sanitary sewer laterals in a pilot project area in Muskego have been found to contribute to sewer backups in nearby homes.

David Simpson, director of public works, said the pilot area is in the Independence Drive and Freedom Avenue neighborhood. The city inspected 70 laterals going from homes to the sanitary sewer in the street starting last November. It found seven needed fixing.

To help homeowners do that, the city is working toward tapping into grant money from the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District that would pay 100 percent of the repair cost plus the cost of restoring the yard after the laterals are dug up. The Common Council is expected to approve an agreement with the MMSD that would open the door for that on March 27. The program would be voluntary.

The Independence/Freedom area was chosen for the pilot program because it suffers from sanitary sewer backups due partly to rainwater getting into the sanitary system and overwhelming it, Simpson said. Thousands of dollars also have been spent on improving the sewer lift station in the area that has played a major role in the backups.

The city would like to help homeowners in other areas and will set priorities for its next inspections depending on the age of sewers and other factors, Simpson said.

Tosa considers two new local historic designations

March 20, 2012 10:52 p.m. | The city's Historic Preservation Commission has its sights on the Muellner Building and the Rockway/Brookside neighborhood for local historic designation.

The Muellner Building was built as a federal Works Progress Administration project in the 1930s with the intent of providing a community center for Wauwatosa. Significant financial contributions came from the Wauwatosa Curling Club and the American Legion.

Today, the Hart Park Senior Center and the curling club operate from the building. The city also rents out space there for parties, meetings and community events.

"It's a great piece of history," said Brian Faltinson, commission chairman.

The proposed designation as a historic place - expected to be before the Common Council for approval in May - means that the commission would review any design changes proposed for the building in the future.

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Coming soon: Trader Joe's

March 20, 2012 10:10 p.m. | Brookfield - The last piece of the puzzle has fallen into place for Trader Joe's.

The city of Brookfield Common Council voted Tuesday night to approve the construction of a 12,500 square foot specialty grocer building at Underwood Crossing, a shopping center located on the 12000 block of Bluemound Road.

All that's left is for the developer to obtain building permits and construction can begin on the store. This would be the third Trader Joe's in the state, on top of the Bayshore and Madison locations.

"It expands our shopping venues for Brookfield and surrounding residents," said Dan Ertl, director of community development for the city, in a phone interview before the meeting. "It creates economic activity on our West border, it creates jobs and adds a nationally-renowned retailer to what Brookfield can offer."

The Common Council approved the permit without discussion.

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DSW shopper arrested for previous store thefts

March 20, 2012 3:38 p.m. | A 54-year-old Milwaukee woman found out the hard way not to shop where she had been known to steal as police arrested her in the parking lot of DSW, 2265 N. Mayfair Rd. at 2:51 p.m. March 18.

According to the police report:

Store employees called police when the woman came to the store and bought a purse after she was recognized for stealing items on three other occasions last November and December. The value of the items stolen on Nov. 3, Dec. 2 and Dec. 23, totaled $742.75.

As police pulled up to question the woman in the parking lot, she exclaimed, "I did not steal (expletive)!"

The woman remained loudly confrontational, giving false ID information and then saying, "I'm going to return the (expletive) purse!"

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Milwaukee driver arrested for sixth OWI

March 20, 2012 2:52 p.m. | A 29-year-old Milwaukee woman was arrested for her sixth OWI offense for abusing prescription drugs after she was found slumped over her steering wheel in the 7200 block of W. Center St. at 5:17 p.m. March 17.

According to the police report:

A 911 caller alerted police and paramedics to the scene, where the woman was passed out in the car stopped at a 45-degree angle with the engine running.

The woman told police she had prescriptions for Alprazolam and Oxycodene for an existing pain condition. Though she told police she had taken one of each earlier in the day, they determined from the amount of pills in recently filled prescription bottles that the amount was higher.

She failed a field sobriety test. A blood draw was performed with results pending.

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Whitefish Bay officials continue review of proposed JCC modifications

March 19, 2012 11:04 p.m. | After fielding comments from nearly 30 residents Monday, the Whitefish Bay Village Board and Plan Commission voted to forward proposed modifications at the Karl Jewish Community Campus to the Architectural Review Commission. The appointed body will be reviewing the organization's fencing proposal.

JCC officials are requesting eight operational and structural changes at the campus, 6423 N. Santa Monica Blvd. The list includes proposed fencing on the back field of the property, increasing the number of permissible annual special events on the campus from 12 to 20 and requesting up to 30 events, including wedding receptions, be allowed to function until 1 a.m., as opposed to the current 11 p.m. cut off time.

Once the ARC has weighed in on JCC's fencing plans, the full proposal will go back to the Plan Commission for further deliberation and a recommendation to the Village Board.

"The village still has three more meetings before any final action can be taken," Village Attorney Chris Jaekels said, pointing to the procedures outlined in Whitefish Bay's code.

Residents expressed myriad opinions during Monday's discussion, which lasted several hours. Proponents praised JCC for the services it offered the community. But proponents expressed concerns about traffic, noise and light pollution in the midst of what is an otherwise residential area.

Village Board OKs Falls flower shop's zoning change to residential

March 19, 2012 10:14 p.m. | Could a flower shop be home sweet home for someone in Menomonee Falls?

Yes, based on what the Village Board members said on Monday.

Village Park Townhomes owner Brayton Devco asked the Village Board to amend its zoning to change a vacant flower shop to residential zoning. The original zoning allows for a residence on the second floor, but requires a commercial property on the first floor.

With President Randy Newman opposed, the board voted, 5-1, to adopt an ordinance amending the Village Park Townhomes Planned Infill Development Overlay Zoning District located between Appleton Avenue and Mill Street. Newman also voted against the amendment at the Dec. 6 Plan Commission meeting.

Brayton Devco wants to turn the shop into a residence.

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School Safety Zone established in Brown Deer

March 19, 2012 9:00 p.m. | The Brown Deer Village Board took the first step tonight to enhance pedestrian safety around its 42-acre school district campus following two car-pedestrian accidents on North 60th Street since the first of the year. Two students were injured in the accidents. Both were crossing in the crosswalks when struck. One student received minor injuries but the other student required hospitalization and surgeries.

The board approved a School Safety Zone which starts 300 feet from the campus property lines. Once signs indicating the safety zone are in place, higher fines for traffic violations will be in place. Tickets double in the safety zone, with a typical $114 speeding ticket costing an offender $228.

The board also reviewed a list of other improvements suggested by the Traffic and Public Safety Committee but at the suggestion of Trustee Bob Oates decided to hold a public information meeting on them. Oates, who lives in the subdivision across 60th Street from the district campus, said some of his neighbors want to know the plans and would like to have some input on them.

Trustee Terry Boschert said pedestrian safety-training program for students should be implemented as soon as possible. Parents and other residents would likely also be invited to the program.

Other recommendations include making Tower Avenue a one-way street east bound from North 61st to North 60th streets and eventually closing Tower, ending it in a cul-de-sac on the west at 60th Street.

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63rd Street home suffers basement fire

March 17, 2012 10:36 p.m. | The home at 2409 N. 63rd St. suffered severe smoke damage after a basement fire Saturday evening.

According to a statement released by Fire Chief Rob Ugaste:

The home's owner was home alone at the time of the fire and was able to get out of the house before fire crews arrived.

Firefighters encountered heavy smoke when the entered the home, and smoke could be seen coming from the second-story windows. However, they were able to contain the fire to the basement.

The home owner was taken to Froedert Hospital for evaluation.

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Police stop man for speeding, make pot bust

March 14, 2012 2:42 p.m. | A 21-year-old Franklin man was arrested for possession of marijuana with intent to sell after police allegedly found 94.48 grams of the drug and $2,200 in his vehicle March 5.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

The man was driving west on Burleigh and was stopped for speeding in the 12300 block about 1 a.m. March 5. A total of 64.99 grams of marijuana was found in a jar while the rest was stashed in four plastic bags. The cash was found in a sealed envelope.

Police said the value of the marijuana, could only be determined depending on the drug's quality which was not known at the time of the arrest.

Police also found a receipt in the car indicating that the man had been released Jan. 18 from Milwaukee County Jail, where he had been held after a drug possession arrest.

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Event planners may have to pay for police in Wauwatosa

March 14, 2012 1:18 p.m. | The Wauwatosa Police Department has spent more than $9,000 on overtime to oversee politically motivated gatherings in a year's time.

Police presence and crowd control were provided for events that supported Gov. Scott Walker, as well as those that pushed for his recall. In each case, no reimbursement was provided.

The Community Development Committee on Tuesday recommended changing an ordinance so the city can recoup similar costs in the future. The issue will go to the entire Common Council for a vote at 7 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.

The city requires organizers of parades, charity runs and other activities that take place on roadways to apply for a permit from the Police Department. Police Chief Barry Weber then determines staffing levels and overtime costs based on the area that will need patrolling and projected attendance.

The proposed changes would expand the rules to special events on public and private property.

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Grandma busted for drunken driving with toddler in car

March 14, 2012 8:19 a.m. | Grandmothers tend to conjure up thoughts of love and protection. Driving drunk with a 1-year-old grandson in the backseat is not part of that heart-warming image.

But that's what a 50-year-old Racine woman is accused of doing after she left Red Lobster on Mayfair Road last week.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

Carmen Taylor has been charged with misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct, driving with a revoked license and drunken driving with a child in the vehicle.

Restaurant management called police after Taylor allegedly got intoxicated and used obscenities with the waitstaff during her meal. They were worried as she put the little boy into the vehicle and got into the driver's seat at 3:42 p.m. March 5.

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Man accused of ignoring police warning and driving drunk anyway

March 14, 2012 6:32 a.m. | A 58-year-old Brookfield man apparently was so sure he was fine to drive that he got behind the wheel despite a warning from cops and the fact that a designated driver was on her way to pick him up.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

Staff at Mo's Irish Pub refused to continue serving the man and his friend after they became highly intoxicated and disruptive. As they got into a vehicle at 2:37 a.m. Saturday, bar employees called police.

Officers arrived before he had pulled out of the parking lot. To convince him he was too drunk to drive, he was given a breath test. His blood-alcohol content was 0.21.

The man called his wife, who said she'd be at the restaurant to pick him up in 10 minutes. Then he thanked police for the help and officers left.

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I & I pilot program set for part of Ville Du Parc

March 13, 2012 9:10 p.m. | The city is looking for volunteers in three areas of Ville Du Parc to participate in a pilot infiltration and inflow program.

Chuck Boehm of AECOM, a consultant working for the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, and Mark Lloyd, the deputy director of public works, discussed the pilot program tonight at a Mequon Common Council meeting.

Lloyd said about $138,000 of a $400,000 set aside by MMSD for the city for I & I studies would pay for the pilot program.

Private sanitary sewer laterals, which connect homes and businesses to the sanitary mains found in the street, would be televised and inspected for deficiencies. Older pipes can corrode or be infiltrated by tree roots, or joints can crack allowing clear water to enter the sanitary laterals.

I & I is a major cause of basement back ups, particularly during periods of heavy rain and run off. MMSD is funding I & I programs throughout the sewer system.

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Arrests made in Greendale High bomb scare

March 13, 2012 8:54 p.m. | After a joint investigation between the Greendale Police Department and the Greendale School District, several students were taken into custody today for a recent bomb threat at Greendale High School.

The investigation is ongoing, according to Greendale Police Chief Robert Malasuk.

The students will face the school district's usual and customary discipline process, up to and including expulsion. The students will not be allowed to return to Greendale High School until the situation is resolved.

Police and bomb-sniffing dogs searched Greendale High School on Tuesday morning for a bomb but found none, said Malasuk.

Police were called after a note written on the wall of a girl's bathroom was discovered at 1:15 p.m. Monday indicating that a bomb was going to go off Wednesday, Thursday or Friday.

Women use knife, bat in fight over a man

March 13, 2012 8:40 p.m. | Two women - one armed with a knife, the other with a bat - fought in the front yard of a Wauwatosa home Sunday.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

Two Milwaukee women, ages 21 and 26, showed up at a home in the 2300 block of 95th Street at 4 p.m. Sunday looking for a 22-year-old woman who lives in the home. While the mother tried to get them to leave, the Wauwatosa woman armed herself with a kitchen knife and headed into the yard.

She confronted the visitors - who had come to fight after an exchange of heated texts about a man - and told them to leave. The older woman grabbed an aluminum baseball bat from her vehicle and handed it to her friend. The friend struck the Wauwatosa woman in the head.

In response, the Wauwatosa woman lunged with the knife, cutting the 21-year-old woman's shirt and leaving marks on her chest.

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Drunken woman arrested for trespassing, spitting on officers

March 13, 2012 8:28 p.m. | A 30-year-old Milwaukee woman got drunk, broke into a Wauwatosa home and spit on officers who arrested her early Saturday morning.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

A resident of the 2300 block of North 72nd Street was watching over the home of his honeymooning neighbors when he noticed clothing, dog food and mail strewn across the lawn. When he went to check it out, he found a highly intoxicated woman screaming about someone being killed.

She left before police arrived, but officers found her stumbling along 69th Street at 2:30 a.m. March 10. She couldn't recall what had transpired that night and became belligerent. As an officer arrested her for trespassing, she tried to kick him in the groin. She spit on one officer's shirt and in the other's face. Then she proceeded to spit about 25 times around the prisoner compartment of the squad car.

In addition to trespassing, she was arrested for discharging bodily fluids on police officers.

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Men pepper-sprayed after jewelry deal in food court goes bad

March 13, 2012 5:48 p.m. | Two men got pepper-sprayed near the restrooms in the Mayfair food court after a jewelry sale went bad Saturday.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

Two Milwaukee men, ages 26 and 34, were waiting in line to buy food when they were approached by a 68-year-old Milwaukee man, who asked if they were interested in buying jewelry. They moved to the area outside the restrooms, where one of the potential buyers slipped on a ring.

When he didn't pay, an argument ensued and the seller started feeling threatened. He sprayed the men and took off.

When the seller was found, he was intoxicated. His criminal record showed 46 past arrests.

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Bomb threat leads to precautions at Greendale High School

March 13, 2012 3:16 p.m. | Police and bomb-sniffing dogs searched Greendale High School early Tuesday morning for a bomb but found none, said Greendale Police Chief Robert Malasuk.

However, Malasuk said the threat of a bomb remains under investigation. "There was nothing at the school at that time," he said. "The investigation is continuing."

Police were called after a note written on the wall of a girl's bathroom was discovered at 1:15 p.m. Monday indicating that a bomb was going to go off Wednesday, Thursday or Friday.

"It was vague enough to leave questions," he said. "We have to take it seriously."

The search was conducted early in the morning, before students arrive for classes or any activities. Malasuk said additional security measures were put in place, but he could not disclose what those measures were in the event the threat is real.

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Scout project lets you dedicate a North Avenue flag to a loved one

March 13, 2012 2:58 p.m. | The opportunity to honor military personnel and other members of the community made a new program involving the flags along North Avenue an attractive Eagle Scout project to Matt Barrett.

The sophomore at Wauwatosa West High School and member of Boy Scout Troop 111 has taken on a project that was the brainchild of the Kiwanis Club and former alderman Richard Bachman.

Community members are invited to buy a flag to dedicate to a veteran or other person, and the flag will be displayed on a light pole between 76th and 124th streets along North Avenue before being given to the purchaser as a keepsake.

To buy a flag, send a check for $100 to the Treasurer at City Hall, 7725 W. North Ave., along with your name and contact number. The money will be used to buy a gold flag post - instead of the traditional silver ones - and an American flag with the name of the person being honored on border, the Scout said. Ten dollars of each purchase will be donated to a veterans hospital or veterans charity.

"People can get them in memorial, honor of or in dedication to someone," Matt said. "They will fly for a time, (from) before Memorial Day to after Labor Day."

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Whitnall takes another look at planned scheduling changes

March 13, 2012 1:18 p.m. | The Whitnall School District's new plan to give teachers time to collaborate by adjusting school start and release times may get revamped.

District officials have considered letting elementary students out of school early on certain days and having school start late for middle and high school students some days. But that may depend on the results of a parent survey that the School Board approved Monday night.

Some parents have been vocal about the problems the plan, which is expected to take effect this fall, could pose for their family schedules ever since the board approved it in January.

Although school officials are developing programs for children who would have to stay in school on those early release days, some parents and even some School Board members said they wanted to know more about that before they could support the plan.

All those objections were voiced Monday, which spurred the board to suggest gathering parental input through a survey on the start and release times. The survey results should come back to the School Board in April.

Proposed changes to Brown Deer school campus move forward

March 13, 2012 12:00 p.m. | The Brown Deer Plan Commission on Monday favorably recommended extensive modifications to the school campus. Most of the work is being funded by the referendum approved last year.

Commissioners forwarded the site plan to the Building Board and Village Board. Both bodies meet Monday at 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., respectively. The site plan includes razing Dean Elementary School, converting the existing middle school into an elementary school and building an addition to the existing high school to accommodate middle school students.

During Monday's review, commissioners largely favored the school district's plans. Concerns about having middle and high school students in one building were raised. But District Administrator Deb Kerr said there will be a clear division between the two age groups. For example, middle and high schoolers will have staggered schedules and will be eating lunch in separate cafeterias.

A separate appointed body, the Beautification Committee, will be reviewing the district's extensive landscaping plans for the site at a later date. The proposal includes increasing the amount of green space throughout the 63-acre site.

Plan Commission gives green light to auto parts store

March 13, 2012 8:56 a.m. | An O'Reilly Auto Parts may not rank as the preferred business to fill the building that formerly housed Blockbuster in East Tosa from the neighborhood residents' standpoint. However, it's a better option than a vacant building, the Plan Commission decided Monday,

After nearly four hours of discussion, the commission unanimously recommended the city grant conditional use to operate the auto parts store at 61st Street and North Avenue.

"I don't think it fits the vision of the community," Commissioner John Albert said. "But it's clearly better than an empty building."

The commission's support came with a few conditions aimed at helping the business better fit the neighborhood. For instance, there was a desire to see more green space by possibly taking out a few of the 40-plus parking spots. Auto repair in the parking lot would be prohibited.

Other conditions suggested by city staff were dropped, namely requirements to put security cameras on site and share its parking lot with neighboring businesses.

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Brookfield gives preliminary approval to Trader Joe’s plans

March 13, 2012 6:41 a.m. | The third Trader Joe’s grocery store in the state is headed to Brookfield, having been approved last year as part of the Target development on Bluemound Road.

On Monday, the Brookfield Plan Commission approved the visuals of this sight plan for the project along with the aesthetics of the grocery store’s façade.

Alderman Gary Makhorn said that in his time as an elected official, getting a Trader Joe’s to Brookfield is one of the top 10 most asked about topics, up there with property taxes on the list.

The 12,500 square-foot grocery store will use most of the same materials as the Target in the Underwood Crossing development, including the same stone and a similar brick. Located in the northeast corner of the plot next to a retailer to be named later, the national upscale grocer will have a single entrance on the Bluemound Road side.

There will be 140 spots in the parking lot on the parcel, which will be separated, to some degree, by landscaping from the store to the west. City officials did admit that they were relaxing the long-standing policy of buildings being aesthetically accounted for on all four sides since a grove of trees will essentially hide the south side of the building.

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Falls School Board mulls tech upgrades

March 12, 2012 10:32 p.m. | Students and instructors in the Menomonee Falls School District may be greeted with a host of technological upgrades for the 2012-2013 school year.

Although it was not an action item at the School Board meeting Monday, the board discussed the positive changes that would result from allocating $750,000 from the fund balance for technology upgrades, primarily to the Internet speed. The board will officially vote March 26 whether or not to move forward with the improvement projects.

Improvements would most notably increase the Internet speed from 100 megs to 1,000 megs in the high school, North Middle School and certain areas of the elementary schools, such as the labs. The money in the fund balance that would be used has been saved over the years, said Jeff Gross, director of business services for the district.

Superintendent Patricia Greco said the speed of the Internet is one of the most common complaints she hears from instructors. Some say it takes 12 minutes to log into the computer system, which is considerable in a class that is under an hour long.

"When we're talking about instructional technology, having the backbone to that technology is critical," Greco said.

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Menomonee Falls School Board talks budget, layoffs

March 12, 2012 10:28 p.m. | Although approximately 60 preliminary layoff notices will be sent to teachers working for the Menomonee Falls School District, between seven to 12 full-time employees will actually be laid off in May.

It will still be a few weeks before the exact number of preliminary layoff letters will be known, said Christiane Standlee, director of human resources for the district, during the School Board meeting Monday. Receiving a letter notification of a preliminary layoff is not a final notice. The district first has to determine seniority before knowing who will retain their positions.

This can be difficult because of dual certifications. For example, an instructor certified to teach English could also be certified to teach kindergarten. This instructor may not have seniority in English, but may in kindergarten.

"There are a lot of criteria we have to look through," Standlee said.

Depending on certification, between seven to 12 full-time teachers will be laid off.

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Combined retail/residential building pitched for Town Center

March 12, 2012 8:56 p.m. | The third time might be the charm for the redevelopment of several properties in the Mequon Town Center.

Blair Williams, president of WiRED Properties, consulted with the Plan Commission tonight on a concept for the redevelopment of two houses owned by Shaffer Development at 11215 and 11229 N. Cedarburg Road and a vacant city-owned lot between the northernmost house and City Hall.

Beginning in 2007, Cindy Shaffer brought plans for the site to the commission but the economic downturn effectively stopped planning for the site.

The latest plan for the site would be a two-phased development with the first phase including the two houses and city land. The American Legion Post, 6006 W. Mequon Road, would be redeveloped in a second phase. That building is considered a historic building and would require permission from the Landmarks Commission before it could be razed.

Williams told the commission that the first phase could stand on its own. Under discussion is a mixed used, three and half story building that would face Cedarburg Road. Williams said between 8,000 to 11,000 square feet of first floor of the building would be dedicated to retail or office use, with 20 to 25 apartments on the upper floors.

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Get the skinny on Highway 100 road work at March 20 meeting

March 12, 2012 5:22 p.m. | People interested in learning about the plans to improve Mayfair Road between Walnut Road and Burleigh Street can attend a public information meeting March 20.

Representatives of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and consultants from Payne & Dolan will be available from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. March 20 in the Community Room on the lower level of the Mayfair North Tower, 2600 N. Mayfair Road, to talk about the project schedule and access to businesses during construction.

Project goals include creating a smoother riding surface, increasing the road's capacity, increasing the vertical clearance under the Highway 45 bridge and installation of new lighting, signs and pavement markings.

The project is scheduled to be finished by fall so all lanes of traffic will be open prior to the holiday shopping season, DOT officials said.

Child's death spurs leaders to evaluate safety of city's railroad crossings

March 12, 2012 4:23 p.m. | Changes meant to improve pedestrian and driver safety at State Street railroad crossings likely will begin with simple, inexpensive measures, but city officials foresee more substantial efforts in the coming years.

"The city must turn the recent tragedy into an opportunity to improve the safety of this city by making this area as safe as possible," City Administrator James Archambo said. "We can never make any place 100 percent safe, but we intend to do all that we can to move as close as possible to that goal."

He was referring to the death of Joey Kramer, the Longfellow Middle School student who was crossing 68th and State streets when he was hit by a train Feb. 27.

Wauwatosa, state and railroad officials got talks about State Street crossing safety rolling March 7. The meeting was attended by Wisconsin Railroad Commissioner Jeff Plale and his lead investigator, representatives from the Federal Railroad Administration and Canadian Pacific Railroad, staff from State Sen. Leah Vukmir's office and Wauwatosa department heads.

The state Office of the Railroad Commissioner called the meeting to consider safety upgrades for pedestrians and vehicles along the State Street corridor, from Harwood Avenue to 63rd Street.

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Ehley, Donegan square off in March 26 candidate forum

March 12, 2012 4:14 p.m. | Wauwatosa mayoral candidates Peter Donegan and Kathy Ehley will face off in a forum from 7 to 8:30 p.m. March 26 in the Civic Center Auditorium at City Hall.

Alderman Peter Donegan and Kathy Ehley, executive director of the Village Business Improvement District, will provide comments and answer questions about issues facing Wauwatosa. The audience will have a chance to pose questions to the candidates.

Wauwatosa NOW, the League of Women Voters of Milwaukee County and the Wauwatosa Chamber of Commerce will sponsor the forum. The league, a non-partisan civic organization, will provide the moderator and each sponsoring organization will provide questions for the candidates.

Medical College wins $10M to study bleeding disorder

March 12, 2012 4:12 p.m. | A $10 million grant will allow The Medical College of Wisconsin to study Von Willebrand disease, the most common hereditary bleeding disorder.

The money from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Program will be used to research genetic causes of low or abnormal von Willebrand factor, which is necessary for normal blood clotting, according to an MCW news release.

The disease, which affects men and women, is typically mild. But aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs can make the condition worse. The study will determine the clinical and genetic characteristics of a large number of patients as well as carriers of genes for various forms of the disease.

In addition, there are seven primary clinical centers - Milwaukee, Atlanta, Detroit, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Indianapolis and Iowa City - and more than 25 secondary clinical centers throughout the United States that recruit research subjects and send the samples to Wauwatosa for the specialized testing. More than 600 families have been recruited for this project.

Robert R. Montgomery, a professor of pediatrics at the Medical College, senior investigator at the Blood Research Institute and pediatric hematologist at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, is principal investigator for the grant.

Germantown boys defeat DePere, 57-45

March 10, 2012 4:24 p.m. |

The Germantown Warhawks boys are state-bound after defeating DePere, 57-45, in the sectional finals at Manitowoc Lincoln today.

 

Check back on this NOW website for the game story and photos.

Whitefish Bay’s 2012-13 school calendar set

March 09, 2012 3:48 p.m. |

The Whitefish Bay School Board on Wednesday approved the district’s 2012-13 calendar.

School will begin Sept. 4, following Labor Day, and will conclude June 14, 2013.

Winter break will run from Dec. 24 to Jan. 2; spring break has been slated from March 29 to April 5, 2013.

Parent-teacher conferences are Nov. 21 and March 11, 2013.

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Register through March 30 for Elmbrook summer school

March 09, 2012 10:54 a.m. | March is a critical time for students to enroll in the district's summer school that begins June 18.

Registration is by mail only and materials must be postmarked between March 10 and March 30.

This year's program for kindergarten through eighth grade runs through July 13 at Pilgrim Park Middle School, 1500 Pilgrim Parkway, Elm Grove. The high school program runs through July 20 at Brookfield East High School, 3305 N. Lilly Rd., Brookfield

Registration materials including brochures and forms specific to K-8 and high school are available to download at www.elmbrookschools.org.

Muskego district negotiates with Lakewood United teachers union

March 08, 2012 8:20 a.m. | The Muskego-Norway School Board is now negotiating teacher pay with the Lakewood United Educators, which recertified as a union and went on to win approval from a majority of teachers in the district.

Both are required under the state's new public employee bargaining rules. And negotiations are much different, too.

The maximum raise the board can give is tied to the consumer price index, which for approximately the last calendar year was up 1.64 percent, according to a recent determination by the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission. It looks like the CPI will be more than 3 percent this year, Superintendent Joe Schroeder said.

Under the state's Act 10 new rules, the negotiations cannot involve benefits or working conditions as they have in the past.

Two men wanted for armed robbery arrested in Wauwatosa

March 07, 2012 12:30 p.m. | Two men wanted for an armed robbery in Greenfield were nabbed driving through Wauwatosa last week.

According to police reports:

A Greenfield officer pulled over a vehicle that was riding on two flat tires at 9:49 p.m. Feb. 29. The driver, a 21-year-old Milwaukee man, had a red, swollen eye and said he had been robbed at gunpoint earlier that evening in an alley in the 3800 block of West Howard Avenue.

He had gone to his friend's home in that neighborhood to deliver drugs - Percocet pills and marijuana - to friends, a 22-year-old Greenfield man and a 23-year-old Milwaukee man. They all got into the victim's vehicle at which point the older man put a gun to his head and ordering him into the back of the vehicle. During the drive, the vehicle owner was struck with a pistol. Eventually, they ended up at the older man's Hawley Road home in Milwaukee and the victim was released.

He said he was driving erratically because he was so shaken and blew out the tires on a curb.

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City will collect its own recycling

March 07, 2012 11:24 a.m. | The Public Works Department anticipates saving the city about $120,000 by having its own crews handle curbside recycling collection during the second half of 2012.

The effort comes as Wauwatosa looks at changes to its entire solid waste stream within the next year, Public Works Director Bill Porter said.

On Tuesday, the Common Council approved using city labor and equipment to collect recycling from Wauwatosa homes. The city attorney also was authorized to negotiate a contract with Franklin-based St. John's Disposal to process the city's recyclables at its soon-to-open recycling plant in Norway, Wis.

For the past decade, Wauwatosa has contracted with Waste Management for its curbside recycling collection, hauling and processing. In a good economy, the city received significant rebates on the sale of the recycled materials.

The proposal from St. John's actually increases the revenue on materials per ton by $5 - a significant amount given that 2,623 tons were recycled last year.

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City seeks election poll workers

March 07, 2012 10:50 a.m. | Wauwatosa residents can perform civic service and get paid for their efforts. City Clerk Carla Ledesma is seeking people to work at the polls during elections.

The next election is set for April 3, and there are additional dates set for August and November.

Daylong shifts begin as early as 6:15 a.m. and may last until 9 p.m. For the service, residents are paid $100 per election day and $10 for attending a mandatory training session before an election, she said.

To be eligible, a pollworker must be a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years old and be able to work in a team atmosphere.

"Good handwriting, vision, hearing and attention to detail are a plus," Ledesma said. "This is an important civic activity. Poll workers are an important part of the conduct of open, accurate and fair elections."

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Homeowners to receive new carts as garbage service changes

March 07, 2012 12:30 a.m. | Wauwatosa is preparing for the switch to automated garbage collection by ordering more than 15,000 new garbage carts.

The Common Council on Tuesday authorized spending about $787,000 for new carts made in part from recycled materials, as well as the collection and disposal of the old carts.

"All the residents who don't want to keep their carts can rest assured they will be recycled," said Elizabeth Hilt, management analyst for the city's Public Works Department.

The new carts will fit the automated arm on the new garbage trucks, which should be delivered to the city in June. After a month of training, a driver will cover a route staying in the vehicle while the arm picks up carts, dumps their contents into the back of the truck and returns the empty carts curbside.

The new carts will hold the 96 gallons of waste as the existing garbage carts, Hilt said.

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Muskego board OKs sports equipment shed

March 06, 2012 10:24 p.m. | In coming weeks, anyone passing the Muskego High School football field and track will see a small building pop up.

It's an equipment shed that the school track team and Junior Warriors football chipped in to build. The Muskego-Norway School Board on Monday night gave its blessings to the structure that will stand at the northwest corner of the football field/track.

The athletic groups held fundraisers to get the money for the shed, which they hope will be finished in June. That will be in plenty of time for football season, but track season started this week.

Brookfield backtracks on dropping sirens, plans to fund changes

March 06, 2012 9:46 p.m. | The city of Brookfield backed off a plan to stop using sirens to alert residents of potentially dangerous storms and instead moved forward with funding changes to the system.

Mayor Steven Ponto caused a stir last week when he told a local radio station the city considered defunding the sirens used in storm warnings. Ponto said it would cost about $100,000 to update the systems in order to comply with an unfunded mandate from the federal government to move from wide band to narrow band frequency in using the sirens.

On Tuesday night, the Common Council had planned to move $150,000 in 2011 budget surplus money to a fund to help make structural improvements to the Dousman Stagecoach Inn. The Finance Committee met before the council meeting and the aldermen agreed that as long as an account was set up and funded, all $150,000 may not be necessary.

As a result, only $50,000 was approved and allocated by the Common Council, leaving $100,000 to pay for the siren system changes.

The surplus was transferred to the general fund and will still have to be allocated to fund the siren system changes. Ponto said the changes would be made this fall to comply with the federal rules mandating a change by 2013.

School calendar favors parents' preferences

March 06, 2012 9:34 p.m. | A 2012-23 school calendar that continues changes that started this year and bow to parent requests won approval from the Muskego-Norway School Board Monday night.

Parents wanted school to start after Labor Day, and that's what will happen this fall. School starts Sept. 4.

Winter break will start Dec. 24 and end Jan. 1, with school resuming Jan. 2. Spring break will be March 29 and end April 8, 2013.

The last day of school will be June 13, 2013.

The practice of scheduling teacher professional days, when only teachers go to school, and students get a three-day weekend, will continue, in accordance with parential preferences.

Old schools will finally get some maintenance

March 06, 2012 9:16 p.m. | Muskego's two oldest schools, where maintenance has been deferred, will get some catchup maintenance this year.

A school referendum that would have closed Muskego Elementary and Tess Corners Elementary failed last November. As a result, both schools will stay open for the foreseeable future, prompting the need for maintenance catchup. The only question is how much?

The Muskego-Norway School Board will decide that at its March 19 meeting at Lakeview Elementary School.

The projects would be unglamorous things like roof repair, tuckpointing and spot floor repairs. Although the schools also have heating problems, no HVAC work is proposed because that would involve some $3 million -more than school officials are willing to sink into them.

Overall, the schools in the district need $8.6 million of maintenance, officials estimate. Those projects will be prioritized and the board will approve whatever projects will fit into its $400,000 annual maintenance budget plus up to $2 million that could be taken out of fund balance over the next two years for more projects.

Medical College receives $1.9 million grant to study concussions

March 06, 2012 5:10 p.m. | The Medical College of Wisconsin will use a $1.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to study the most effective methods for screening for concussions.

Each year, 1.7 million people experience a concussion - also called a traumatic brain injury - resulting in 2,000 deaths and 275,000 hospitalizations. Concussions are especially prevalent among military forces, leading the U.S. Army to seek neurocognitive assessment tools.

A number of computerized tools have been developed to determine the severity and cognitive effects of concussions, but little data exists on the tools' reliability and validity.

Michael McCrea, director of brain injury research at the Medical College, is the primary investigator of the grant. He will compare four leading assessment tools to measure their reliability in detecting cognitive impairments in both athletes and civilians who have suffered concussions. Additionally, the tests will be evaluated for their value in detecting recovery time so standards for returning to duty post-concussion can be set.

Library hosts opening reception for Youth Art Month

March 06, 2012 1:16 p.m. | From grade school to high school, students of all ages through Menomonee Falls have brought their creativity to life in a variety of art forms.

Their works of art will be on display at the Menomonee Falls Public Library until the end of March. To celebrate Youth Art Month, the library is hosting an opening reception from 6:30-8 p.m. today at the library. The students art includes jewelry, clay pieces, ceramics, water colors, chalks, oil and an array of different artistic platforms.

"I think people would be astonished and proud of the kind of art that the students in the village are capable of," said Mari Schmidt, assistant director and business manager for the library. "It's truly incredible. It's everything from the whimsical to serious."

Schmidt said Youth Art Month wouldn't be possible without the help of Menomonee Falls teachers. During the reception today, there will also be an award show for the students.

Schmidt said the library walls are filled from top to bottom and it would take a few hours for a visitor to see everything.

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Four females face charges for stealing thousands of dollars in jeans

March 06, 2012 11:46 a.m. | Four females from Milwaukee responsible for stealing thousands of dollars of merchandise from a Mayfair Road clothing shop are expected to be charged with retail theft this week.

According to Wauwatosa Police Department reports:

A 17-year-old girl and three women, ages 18, 19 and 27, were arrested after they used wire snips to remove security tags from new and used designer jeans valued at $848 at Hollywood Threadz, 801 N. Mayfair Road, at 5:37 p.m. Feb. 24.

The women were familiar to police for shoplifting and trespassing at the mall. The 19-year-old and 27-year-old women were arrested for bail-jumping because they both had open retail theft cases.

They were also familiar to the store manager who had suspected them of several prior thefts. Because so many jeans had gone missing from the store's inventory, the manager reviewed security video and saw the girl and the 27-year-old woman taking jeans valued at $752 on Feb. 22.

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Fair trade and travel business moves to smaller Village space

March 06, 2012 11:30 a.m. | An art gallery has closed and the fair trade shop/travel business that shared its space on Underwood Avenue has moved into another Village business' space.

After a year in the building, Allen Gallery and Authentic Journeys have moved out of the old fire station building, 1430 Underwood Ave. The space formerly housed Underwood Gallery.

The fair trade and environmentally friendly items carried at Authentic Journeys will be sold at Arté, the paint-while-sipping-wine business that opened in December at Harwood Avenue. Lisa Allen, owner of Authentic Journeys, partnered with Karen Wilman Salituro to bring Arté to the Village.

"My efforts have been focused on Arté for the past couple of months as it is very time consuming to start up a new business and concept, but my intention is to continue to offer my travel planning services and fair trade products to the community in some capacity," Allen said.

She will operate the travel planning services as Authentic Journeys Travel.

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Interim chief to come from Sheriff's Department

March 06, 2012 10:10 a.m. | The Ozaukee County Sheriff's Department will provide an interim police chief for Thiensville following the retirement of current Chief Richard Preston on March 13.

The Village Board discussed an interim replacement in closed session last night and decided to contract with the Sheriff's Department. The interim chief will not be a candidate for the position, Village Manager Dianne Robertson said.

The village received 30 applications for the position and has narrowed the field to six applicants. Interviews with the Village Board will take place March 15 and 16.

The interim chief will likely fill the position for a month or two, she said. She will work out an hourly pay with the sheriff, Robertson said.

Resident threatened with vandalism if he doesn't display sign supporting Walker

March 06, 2012 8:58 a.m. | A Wauwatosa man received a letter in the mail last week threatening to break the windows on his home if he didn't put up a yard sign showing support for Gov. Scott Walker.

According to a Wauwatosa Police Department report:

The resident of Elm Spring Avenue had been featured a few weeks ago in a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article about damage to his Recall Walker yard sign. He believes the letter came in direct response, with it addressed to "crybaby."

He took the letter to police at 11:50 a.m. Wednesday.

"You look pompous now. You need a Stand for Walker sign in your front yard by next week," the letter read. "Then no more problems. Otherwise your windows go."

Germantown moves forward with land agreement with MMSD

March 06, 2012 8:04 a.m. | The village of Germantown took an intergovernmental land agreement a step further Monday night.

The Village Board voted unanimously to move forward with a cooperation agreement with Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District that will be used by MMSD for the purposes of park and flood management at an area known as Wilderness Park. MMSD is looking to purchase 153 acres from the village for a set price per acre. To do so, the village first has to purchase 24 acres from the owners of Blackstone Creek Golf Course, said village President Dean Wolter after the meeting. This land acquisition by the village would be used for the district's Greenseams flood management program that would ultimately protect 554 acres at the Menomonee River's headwater. MMSD would place a conservation restriction on the property deed that would prevent future development in the area.

The board unanimously voted Monday to move forward with a contract to acquire the 24 acres from Romano & Schmidt, the golf course owners.

Now, it is up to the MMSD policy and finance committee to vote on how to proceed in the land transfer that could either result in an easement for the village or be given back to the village with conservation protection and used as a park.

Proposed memorial at Buckley Park gets OK by Whitefish Bay Village Board

March 05, 2012 11:26 p.m. | After reviewing and deliberating the issue for three consecutive meetings, the Whitefish Bay Village Board on Monday voted, 5-1, to authorize a memorial at Buckley Park, 4998 N. Lake Drive.

Last month, the family of Geoffrey Farnsworth, a Whitefish Bay Middle School teacher and coach, requested approval to construct a so-called council ring at the park, 4998 N. Lake Drive. It will be comprised of a circular stone seating wall that is 18 inches high and 18 inches wide.

The issue drew scrutiny from some residents, with a mix of proponents and opponents stating their opinions to the board. Proponents stated the council ring would be a valued addition and could increase the viability of Buckley Park. Opponents, including some residents living near the park, stated concerns about a loss of green space.

Farnsworth died in July at age 40 of cancer. He and his family - wife, Kelley, and children Addison, Gavin and Grady - have been Whitefish Bay residents for a dozen years.

Man, 50, charged with trying to strangle 18-year-old woman

March 05, 2012 10:14 p.m. | A 50-year-old Milwaukee man is facing a felony charge for strangulation after he allegedly tried to choke a Wauwatosa teen in her home Wednesday morning.

According to a Wauwatosa Police Department report:

The 18-year-old woman was sitting in her home at 9:22 a.m., when her mother's ex-boyfriend, Jose Fonseca, walked in. She could see he was intoxicated and she told him to leave. He allegedly threatened her so she locked herself in the bathroom and called police.

For the next 15 minutes, she heard Fonseca come and go from the house. She smelled cigarette smoke, so she exited the bathroom to tell him smoking wasn't allowed in the house and to ask him to leave again.

He is accused of pushing her up against a wall and trying to choke her. Officers, who had been knocking on the front door, saw the altercation through the front window. They arrested Fonseca as he ran out of the house. He had a blood alcohol content of 0.16.

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There's still time to take survey on superintendent replacement

March 05, 2012 4:58 p.m. | Those in the Muskego-Norway School District have one more day to participate in the district's online survey to help in the search for someone to succeed Superintendent Joe Schroeder.

The survey participation deadline was extended to 5 p.m. Tuesday.

The district has hired the consulting firm of Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, which specializes in helping school boards fill superintendent positions. The survey will help the firm identify the characteristics people want in a new superintendent.

The survey can be accessed at: https://survey-admin.ecragroup.com/index.php?sid=44732&lang=en.

Schroeder will leave at the end of the school year. District officials hope to hire a replacement before his departure.

Mayfair Road repaving begins next week

March 03, 2012 12:44 p.m. | Repaving work will begin on Mayfair Road in Wauwatosa from Walnut Road to Burleigh Street early next week.

The $6.9 million road improvement project will be performed by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

In addition to repaving, left-turn lane bays will be extended, dangerous median openings will be eliminated and the southbound lanes will be lowered under the Highway 45 overpass to provide larger clearance for high vehicles.

Mayfair Road will remain open to traffic during construction with temporary lane shifts and changes to how businesses, driveways and cross-streets are accessed. Crews will work overnight to avoid major traffic disruptions.

Work is expected to be finished by fall.

West Allis school district won't give up New Berlin land

March 02, 2012 9:27 a.m. | Spurning a request by a New Berlin developer, the West Allis-West Milwaukee School District will not cede 4.5 acres to the New Berlin School District.

The developer had made the request so that the entire development under construction could be in one school district. But the WA-WM School Board decided the area in question is closer to an elementary school in West Allis than in New Berlin.

The fact that the West Allis district is landlocked so it needs to protect all its taxable property was another consideration in the board vote on Monday.

The 4.5 acres had been vacant until recently, when construction started on four apartment buildings.

One is in the New Berlin School District and the other three are in West Allis-West Milwaukee. Those four buildings are in addition to 14 buildings, all in New Berlin's district, that are already built in the same Stonegate Apartment complex.

Innovative ideas could mean bonus pay for Tosa employees

March 02, 2012 8:11 a.m. | City employees will have the opportunity to make a few extra bucks in the form of a one-time performance bonus this year.

The Employee Relations Committee this week supported a pilot program that encourages departments to come up with projects that make city operations more efficient, reduces the use of resources or enhances overall performance, said Anthony Brown, assistant to the city administrator.

An internal panel of city supervisors would approve projects and determine if the results warrant a pay reward. Tying the pay-off to an actual project provides a connection and impact to the city's performance, administrators said.

City Administrator James Archambo wants to get the process up and running within the next six weeks.

Some past projects that could've met the criteria include self-checkout stations at the library that reduced personnel; the wellness program that has led to lower healthcare costs; and automated timekeeping software that eliminated processing paper timecards.

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Greenfield will at least add some green with new trees

March 01, 2012 4:26 p.m. | Although the Greenfield Common Council is expected to approve a $56,735 tree planting contract Tuesday , not everyone who lost a street tree last year will get a new one.

"We stretch the money as far as we can," said Richard Sokol, director of neighborhood services, but $56,000 won't do the whole job. Trees are lost in some street work and sometimes just die.

The Board of Public Works this week recommended that the council award the tree-planting contract to the low bidder, Arthur Weiler Inc., Zion, Ill.

Greenfield will put concrete trash cans along certain roads

March 01, 2012 4:22 p.m. | Greenfield officials aren't saying that 76th Street between Holmes and Edgerton avenues is the messiest street in the city, but they have seen a lot of trash blowing around there.

Because that isn't the only place where litter blows in the breeze, Greenfield's Public Works Committee pinpointed 40 locations for concrete trash receptacles to be placed along all the city's major thoroughfares, including 27th and 76th streets, Layton and Forest Home avenues. Ten more will be plugged into places where there is additional need.

A Wausau firm is currently making the receptacles, which should be ready to hit the Greenfield streets in about a month.

So far, road projects are cheaper than expected in Greenfield

March 01, 2012 4:18 p.m. | Bids on the first of four batches of Greenfield road projects slated for 2012 came in 8 percent under expected, said Richard Sokol, the city's director of neighborhood services.

City officials are hoping that the other road projects bundled in the other three batches for bidding will show the same trend in the coming weeks. The total cost for all four batches is $4 million. Most of the work is in residential neighborhoods.

But, in a separate package, 124th Street, which is more heavily traveled, also is slated to be rebuilt this year from Grange Avenue to Cold Spring Road. That will be an inconvenience not only for through traffic, but for motorists using the ramp to Interstate 43.

The 124th Street project is not part of the other bidding packages because it's being done in cooperation with New Berlin and Hales Corners and with the help of a federal grant covering 80 percent of the cost.

West Allis school district won't give up New Berlin land

March 01, 2012 4:02 p.m. | Spurning a request by a New Berlin developer, the West Allis-West Milwaukee School District will not cede 4.5 acres to the New Berlin School District.

The developer had made the request so that the entire development under construction could be in one school district. But the WA-WM School Board decided the area in question is closer to an elementary school in West Allis than in New Berlin.

The fact that the West Allis district is landlocked so it needs to protect all its taxable property was another consideration in the board vote on Monday.

The 4.5 acres had been vacant until recently, when construction started on four apartment buildings. One is in the New Berlin School District and the other three are in West Allis-West Milwaukee. Those four buildings are in addition to 14 buildings, all in New Berlin's district, that are already built in the same Stonegate Apartment complex.

City plugs MMSD dollars into foundation drains

March 01, 2012 3:52 p.m. | To reduce the need to dump diluted raw sewage into Lake Michigan and into area rivers, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District is offering cash for homeowners to disconnect their foundation drains from sanitary sewers.

This week, Greenfield's Board of Public Works decided Greenfield residents should get a shot at some of that money.

To do that, the board recommended the city's first residential inflow and infiltration sanitary sewer reduction program. If approved by the Common Council on March 20 and by the MMSD, 75 percent of the $6,000 to $10,000 cost of disconnecting drains and switching over to sump pumps would be covered by the MMSD.

About 25 percent of Greenfield's homes have foundation drains connected to sanitary sewers because they were built before 1954, when the connections were legal, said Richard Sokol, director of neighborhood services.

But those connections make it more likely the MMSD will have to dump sewage into the lake and rivers. When it rains, rainwater floods into its sewage treatment plants, overwhelming them so dumping is the only option to prevent sewage backup into peoples' basements.

Some get help for frequent flooding

March 01, 2012 3:44 p.m. | While Greenfield residents who watch water pour into their backyards from the parking lot of the Greendale water tower will get help from the city, others living near 35th Street and Cold Spring Road and whose were flooded in 2008 will not.

The difference is that the 2008 flooding happened all over the city as a 100-year storm dumped huge amounts of rain onto the city. But the people around the Greendale water tower at about 57th and Upham Avenue have sopping yards all the time after a hard rain.

One house has suffered basement flooding for 20 years, with the father and his daughters even bailing the basement's four feet of water in one instance.

Greenfield's Board of Public Works reviewed how well the city's stormwater system worked or didn't work at 35th and Cold Spring in that 2008 storm and determined on Tuesday that the system did what it was designed to do.

In short, it wasn't designed to handle a severe storm that comes along only once in 100 years. Like the rest of the city, the stormwater system in that area is designed for a 10-year storm.

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