Judge lets charges stand in WFB overdose case

April 29, 2009 1:40 p.m. | A judge on Wednesday refused to dismiss one of the two felony charges filed against Richard Laughrin, one of the two men accused of leaving Madison Kiefer in a driveway shortly before she was pronounced dead.

Kiefer, a 15-year-old Whitefish Bay resident, was unresponsive at the time, and it was later determined that she died of a drug overdose.

Laughrin, a Shorewood resident who turned 59 Wednesday, is charged with child abandonment and child neglect. His lawyer, Patrick Flanagan, asked that the neglect charge be dismissed, but Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Jeffrey Conen refused.

Conen scheduled a trial for Oct. 5.

According to a criminal complaint, Richard Laughrin helped his son, Matthew Laughrin, take Kiefer from Matthew Laughrin's Whitefish Bay home March 1 and put her in the driveway of the home of a friend of Kiefer's who lives in Whitefish Bay.

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Metro Market plans earn Brookfield's approval

April 28, 2009 2:53 p.m. | Brookfield's Plan Commission Monday approved plans to convert the Pick 'n Save store at the Brownstones shopping center on Bluemound Road to a Metro Market, an upscale, specialty grocer that focuses on fresh, ready-to-eat food.

Roundy's and the developer of the center plan to add 10,000 square feet and a drive-through pharmacy to the Pick 'n Save store as the first phase of a large-scale redevelopment at the site, which also includes a T.G.I. Friday's restaurant and T.J. Maxx store.

The approval for the Metro Market allows Roundy's to raze a 15,000-square-foot free-standing building that previously housed a Blockbuster store.

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GHS students sent home after gas leak

April 28, 2009 1:50 p.m. | Greenfield High School students are being sent home early after a gas leak forced an evacuation of the school earlier today.

No one has been injured, district spokesman Stuart Wilke said. The early dismissal is simply a precautionary measure, he said.

Students who walk home were dismissed at 12:45 p.m. and students who ride a bus will be picked up at 1:30 p.m. at Mount Carmel Nursing Home.

Parents who wish to pick up their kids can do so at Mount Carmel, 5700 W. Layton Ave.

The school expects open tomorrow at the normal time of 7:10 a.m., Wilke said.

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Gas line break forces evacuation at Oak Creek Salvation Army center

April 28, 2009 12:00 p.m. | A Salvation Army service center has been evacuated in Oak Creek, where a service gas line in the area was struck and was leaking gas Tuesday morning.

Oak Creek firefighters and a We Energies crew remain on the scene at 8853 S. Howell Ave., where the gas leak was reported about 11:10 a.m.

We Energies spokesperson Brian Manthey said it is not yet known how the gas line was struck but fire officials note that there is construction on the site, where the Salvation Army is building an addition.

Manthey said crews have stopped the flow of gas. They are venting the gas and checking for natural gas readings in the building.

Oak Creek Battalion Chief Joe Pulvermacher said, "There is nothing right now that suggests that anybody's in harm's way."

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Suspects may be linked to more than 100 burglaries

April 27, 2009 5:06 p.m. | Police have arrested two men they believe are responsible for at least 112 car break-ins and garage burglaries in West Allis over the last two months.

The arrests happened after police responded to a car break-in about 5:50 a.m. Thursday. Officers soon spotted two men in the alley behind the 2100 block of South 67th Place who appeared to be in the middle of a garage burglary.

A chase ensued before police apprehended one of the men, a 19-year-old from Milwaukee. An officer later found the other man, also 19 from Milwaukee, hiding behind a garbage can, police Capt. Bill Kreuser said.

When officers searched their vehicle they discovered many items, such as stereos and global positioning systems believe to have been taken from cars earlier that morning, he said.

After an extensive interview at the police station, the suspects admitted breaking into many vehicles and garages over the past month, Kreuser said.

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Hitchhiker arrested over threats is charged

April 27, 2009 4:52 p.m. | Waukesha - A 20-year-old hitchhiker who authorities say claimed he had a gun and threatened to kill two men who picked him up was charged Monday with disorderly conduct, criminal damage to property and obstructing an officer.

Alexander S. MacDonald of Hales Corners was taken into custody about 2:30 p.m. Sunday outside the Best Western hotel in Brookfield, where the two men had stopped to drop off MacDonald, according to a criminal complaint.

MacDonald refused to get out of the 2002 Volkswagen Beetle, asked the men, ages 18 and 19, if they knew what a .380 was and threatened to kill them, the complaint filed in Waukesha County Circuit Court says.

The men, both of New Berlin, got out of the car and phoned police.

Numerous officers responded to the hotel in the 1000 block of S. Moorland Road, and parts of S. Moorland Road and Interstate 94 were closed for about 20 minutes during the incident, police said.

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Group sues to stop graduation ceremony at Elmbrook Church

April 22, 2009 2:46 p.m. | An advocacy group filed a federal lawsuit today to stop Brookfield high schools from holding graduation ceremonies at Elmbrook Church.

Superintendent Matt Gibson confirmed that the suit was filed in federal court in Milwaukee, but declined to comment.

"I'm going to withhold reaction for just a little while," he said.

The case was filed by Americans United for Separation of Church and State, an advocacy group based in Washington, D.C. According to a press release from the group, the suit was filed on behalf of a graduating senior, who wishes to remain anonymous.

Americans United sent a legal challenge to Elmbrook and three other districts on Feb. 11, arguing that holding a public ceremony in a religious setting is unfair to non-Christian community members. The group requested a formal response by Feb. 27.

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Goodwill delays plans to open $22 million jobs training center

April 21, 2009 4:26 p.m. | Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin is delaying construction of its $22.7 million Center for Work and Training proposed for Oak Creek.

The organization decided on Monday to instead focus its efforts on retail store development, which creates new jobs and generates revenue to support mission growth, spokeswoman Cheryl Lightholder said in an e-mail.

Construction was originally scheduled to begin this month, with the facility to be housed on 13.5 acres at 140 E. Rawson Ave. There is no timetable on when construction could start, but Lightholder said Goodwill will continue to monitor market conditions and financial performance.

Programs at Goodwill's location at 220 W. Vogel Ave. in Milwaukee would be moved to the Oak Creek facility when it is eventually built.

The center would include about 300 program participants, along with light manufacturing operations, vocational skill training in food service and business careers, employment support services, quality-of-life programs, senior services and case management.

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Attempted child abduction did not occur

April 20, 2009 5:20 p.m. | Brown Deer police say the attempted child abduction reported by a 10-year-old girl yesterday is a hoax.

The child, who was visiting a relative in the village, reported four men in a vehicle attempted to lure her into the truck near Brown Deer Middle School, 5757 W. Dean Road, telling her there was a puppy and a Wii game inside.

After looking at surveillance tape from the middle school, re-interviewing the victim and a witness in the case, Police Sgt. Jonathan Schmitz said today the incident did not occur. The child made up the story as she was playing with several other children. The girl and her cousin then reported it to a relative who called police.

Resident seeks OK to install windmills

April 20, 2009 4:15 p.m. | Monday night the Plan Commission will hold a public hearing for a request by a Hales Corners resident to install windmills on his property.

John Schluge is requesting a conditional use permit to install two windmills, one electrical the other wind-powered, on his property in the 5800 block of South 92nd Street.

Village Planner Dyann Benson said it is the first time such a request has been made of Hales Corners officials.

The commission meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at Village Hall, 5635 S. New Berlin Road.

Prostitute accused of leading police on a chase with tow truck stolen from john

April 20, 2009 2:58 p.m. | A 25-year-old woman who told police she works as a prostitute on the south side is accused of stealing a tow truck from one of her customers and leading police on a mile-long chase that ended after she drove the truck onto a bike path and then off the path down a 15-foot embankment.

According to Greenfield and South Milwaukee police:

Jacquelyn Robellar of Milwaukee, who said she is a prostitute who works on Lincoln Avenue, told police she was picked up by a man in a tow truck at 3:15 a.m. Wednesday to have sex in exchange for money. The two then went to the Hideaway Motel, 5105 S. 27th St. in Greenfield, where they began doing large amounts of cocaine and had sex.

She told police she had some type of seizure and the man then punched her in the face. However, the man told police he caught the woman trying to steal his wallet. The woman then ran out of the room and drove off in his tow truck toward South Milwaukee.

She stopped to ask for directions at Speedway, 3102 S. Chicago Ave., South Milwaukee, where she told a clerk that she had just stolen a truck. The clerk called police, who responded to the scene and then left to search for the truck.

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Police identify man killed in shootout

April 17, 2009 4:51 p.m. | UPDATE

Glendale Police say a bank robbery suspect fatally wounded in a shootout on April 16th, 2009 with Fox Point and River Hills Police officers has been identified as Joshua L. Black, a 21 year old Milwaukee resident. No further information on Black is available at this time.

Black fled the Cornerstone Community Bank in Fox Point after robbing it shortly after 10 a.m. yesterday. Police stopped the vehicle at Port Washington and Good Hope roads and, according to police, Black fired at officers who returned fire.

A woman who was driving the getaway car was taken into custody.

Felony battery case against Oak Creek alderman dismissed

April 17, 2009 12:40 p.m. | A felony aggravated battery charge against Oak Creek Ald. Michael E. Toman was dismissed Friday in large part so the victim's family may have a chance to recover civil damages from Toman's homeowner's insurance policy.

Martin Pietruszynski, 64, remains in a coma and is not expected to live a year as a result of an injury he sustained Dec. 19 after Toman pushed him outside the Oelschlaeger-Dallmann American Legion Post 434, 9327 S. Shepard Ave. in Oak Creek.

Steven Kohn, Toman's lawyer, maintained his client's innocence.

"I do not believe that this was a criminal act," Kohn said. "It is the strongest case I have had in 32 years practicing law."

Merrick Domnitz, a lawyer representing Pietruszynski's wife and family, said Pietruszynski's injuries have had a devastating impact on his family: His wife, Pauline, is homeless and living night to night with friends. And in a separate matter, the landlord of the building that housed Pietruszynski's business is seeking $200,000 for an unpaid lease.

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Bank robbery suspect killed in shootout with police in Glendale

April 16, 2009 12:03 p.m. | One of two suspects in a robbery of Cornerstone Bank, 8607 N. Port Washington Road, Fox Point, was shot and killed in Glendale after the pair fled south on North Port Washington Road this morning.

Glendale Police Public Information Officer Joel Dhein said a description of the fleeing car was broadcast to law enforcement agencies. A squad car from Fox Point and a squad car from River Hills stopped the vehicle at North Port Washington and West Good Hope Road, which is in Glendale. One of the suspects began shooting at officers who returned fire and shot the man.

A second suspect was taken into custody.

Dhein said officers from River Hills, Fox Point, Glendale, the Milwaukee County Sheriff's office and investigators from the Milwaukee County District Attorney's office are working at the two crime scenes.

Plans in works for former Kohl's Food site

April 16, 2009 10:28 a.m. | A developer is eyeing the abandoned Kohl's Food Store lot, but the specifics are unknown at this time.

Community Development Authority Chairwoman Sara Eberhardy said an outline of how the developer would finance the project was discussed during a closed session meeting Tuesday. Afterwards, the CDA convened in open session, and voted unanimously to approve the financial structure in concept, she said.

The identity of the developer has not been disclosed at this time.

The site at Plankinton and Kinnickinnic avenues is outside the city's tax-incremental finance district, but the project may be eligible for TIF funding because the state now allows TIF funds to be spent within a half-mile of a TIF district.

Tax-incremental financing, or TIF, is a mechanism that allows municipalities to borrow money to fund infrastructure improvements for an area that otherwise would be difficult to develop or redevelop. The increased property tax revenue from the improved land is then diverted from the tax roll to pay off the loan.

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City receives $75,000 grant for planning

April 15, 2009 2:39 p.m. | The city of West Allis will receive $75,000 in state grant money to cut the cost of its 2030 comprehensive plan in half.

City officials are in the process of developing the plan, which will serve as a roadmap of sorts in future decision making.

"All through 2009, the city will be providing extensive opportunities for people of all backgrounds and ages to imagine how they want the city to look in 2030 and beyond," said Steve Schaer, the city's planning and zoning manager.

After the Common Council earlier this year approved hiring a consultant, the cost of putting together a comprehensive plan would have cost the city $150,000.

The state mandates municipalities create a comprehensive plan every 20 years. Schaer said at least 15 recommendations from the plan currently in place have been put into action.

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Mayor's grant request rejected by council

April 15, 2009 1:06 p.m. | A federal Small Grants Project request stirred up some concern that Mayor Jack Chiovatero was looking to get a free trip to the mayor's conference in Hawaii.

But at the Common Council meeting Tuesday, Chiovatero said his $3,140 grant request was for membership in the U.S. Conference of Mayors group, not for him to go to the conference in Hawaii. He added the U.S. Conference of Mayors group is well worth the membership fee.

The way the grant application was written may have been unclear, he said. "I apologize for the confusion in the grant application," he said.

Still, the council took the Special Projects Commission's recommendation and denied the grant request.

The Small Grants Project program is supported by room tax funds from the city's hotels. A total of $40,000 was available this year for projects that promote tourism, economic development and projects that attract visitors to the city. The Special Projects Commission recommended four of the six grant requests.

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High school band to perform Friday at Mets' new stadium

April 15, 2009 1:06 p.m. | The Greendale High School marching band will perform the national anthem Friday at the New York Mets game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field in New York.

Citi Field just opened this week, replacing Shea Stadium. The game begins at 6:10 p.m.

A group of 106 band members are traveling on a student-funded trip to Cleveland, Washington, D.C., and New York over spring break. Led by band director Tom Reifenberg, the group captured its fourth consecutive Wisconsin School Music Association Class AA state marching band championship in October.

Police seek two women in theft of baby formula

April 14, 2009 7:22 p.m. | Greenfield police are looking for two Milwaukee women, ages 33 and 37, who are suspects in retail thefts involving a high volume of baby formula from Target stores in the Milwaukee area.

According to the Greenfield Police Department:

Target security at the Greenfield store, 4777 S. 27th St., reported the two women had taken a purse valued at $15 and five cans of baby formula valued at $72, at 6:21 p.m. Friday.

After taking the formula, the women fled on 27th Street in a 1989 gray four-door Chevrolet Corsica driven by a man. It appears the women may also be involved in similar thefts from Target stores in West Milwaukee and Menomonee Falls.

The investigation is still under way and no arrests have been made.

Man accused of using pot in assault

April 14, 2009 7:18 p.m. | A 20-year-old Franklin man was arrested for battery and violation of a restraining order after he allegedly hit an 18-year-old Milwaukee man several times with a kitchen pot.

According to the Greenfield Police Department:

The two men, along with a woman, were visiting together at a home in the 6400 block of West Norwich Avenue at about noon on Thursday when they got into a fight.

The 20-year-old man, the woman's ex-boyfriend, was asked to leave, but he refused to unless her new boyfriend left as well.

After hitting the 18-year-old with the pot, he fled on his bicycle, but was eventually picked up by police down the street.

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Man accused of shooting mom with AK-47 charged with felonies

April 14, 2009 5:10 p.m. | A 30-year-old Oak Creek man accused of shooting his mother with an AK-47 assault rifle and stabbing another woman is being charged with two felonies.

Frederick W. Bertrang was charged with one count of first-degree reckless injury by use of a dangerous weapon and one count of second-degree recklessly endangering safety by use of a dangerous weapon.

According to the criminal complaint released Tuesday by the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office:

Bertrang arrived at his home in the 8600 block of South Fenway Court at about 10:30 p.m. Thursday after coming home from a bar and got into an argument with his 47-year-old mother, Patricia Bertrang. He began screaming at her, and then slashed a knife toward her twice, striking her once in her left palm.

Jessica Brandt, the girlfriend of Frederick Bertrang's brother, was also in the house at the time, and said she heard Bertrang threaten to kill his mother. As Brandt was calling 911 from a bedroom, Bertrang broke down the door and then broke her phone.

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Man fights with police after consuming mushrooms

April 14, 2009 1:48 p.m. | A 19-year-old man apparently hallucinating from consuming illicit mushrooms fought with officers and injured a paramedic before he was arrested early April 8.

According to a police report:

The man in the 1500 block of South 60th Street "was acting odd" and vomiting from the mushrooms about 2 a.m., when police arrived and called for an ambulance.

As the paramedic was taking the man's blood pressure, he kicked a paramedic in the eye, forcing police to intervene. The man then began punching and kicking at officers.

Police eventually handcuffed him and took him to the ambulance before he again fought with officers, kicking and spitting at them.

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Gas leak forces brief evacuation of Franklin Harley plant

April 14, 2009 8:28 a.m. | Harley-Davidson employees at a plant in Franklin are returning to the facility after a gas leak forced them to evacuate Tuesday morning.

We Energies crews were called about 5:45 a.m. after reports that a forklift hit a gas line, We Energies spokesman Brian Manthey said.

A crew from the utility shut off the gas line, and workers evacuated while the building was vented. Manthey and Franklin police said they weren't aware of any injuries from the incident.

Opening day keeps Tosa police busy; 8 OWI arrests

April 13, 2009 6:56 p.m. | Wauwatosa police arrested eight drunken drivers Friday, most of whom were on their way home from opening day festivities at Miller Park.

Among those stopped was a 59-year-old West Bend man who was arrested for his sixth drunken-driving offense. He was seen crossing the divider line into oncoming traffic in the 7400 block of Wisconsin Avenue at 7:20 p.m. His vehicle struck a curb as he was pulling over.

He is being held at the Milwaukee County Criminal Justice Facility. He refused to submit to Breathalyzer tests, so the department is waiting results of a blood test submitted to a state crime lab before he can be brought up on charges.

Also nabbed was a 28-year-old man from St. Charles, Ill., who was arrested for his second drunken-driving offense after he drove through a flashing red light at 68th and State streets at 12:42 a.m. He got out of his vehicle and approached the squad car. The officer yelled numerous times for him to return to his car. But the man was confused and when he returned to his vehicle, he put his hands on the hood and spread his legs like he was waiting to be searched.

When he did get back in the vehicle, the female passenger got out and tried to approach the squad. After she was told to return to the car, she got out again and walked toward the squad one more time.

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Oak Creek students charged with obstructing an officer

April 12, 2009 11:54 a.m. | Two Oak Creek High School students were charged with lying to a police officer after one of them allegedly made an inappropriate comment to several elementary school students.

The students, a 17-year-old from Franklin and a 16-year-old from Milwaukee, were charged with obstructing an officer and disorderly conduct.

The 17-year-old was driving a SUV at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday with two friends when he approached a group of children who had just gotten off a school bus near S. 35th St. and S. Dory Dr. in Franklin.

The 16-year-old passenger asked the children if they wanted candy, though he later claimed it was a joke.

The incident was originally reported to Franklin Police as an attempted child enticement.

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Old Kohl's store to become Asian restaurant

April 09, 2009 2:20 p.m. | A long-time eyesore at 27th Street and Grange Avenue will finally be redeveloped.

The Greenfield Common Council put the final stamp of approval on an Asian-themed restaurant and grocery store to occupy the former Kohl's Food Store at 2750 W. Grange Ave.

Aldermen praised the business plans and the architectural design of Viet Hoa Supermarket and Imperial Buffet. Together, the two businesses will occupy 41,200 square feet.

The restaurant is set to open later this year, followed by the supermarket.

New Berlin man gets jail time in heroin case

April 09, 2009 1:52 p.m. | Waukesha - A 19-year-old man who is part of a father-son duo accused of dealing heroin was sentenced Thursday to 10 months in jail with work-release privileges.

Alexander P. Grubor of New Berlin avoided prison, but only because he has undergone treatment for his addiction, Waukesha County Circuit Judge Richard Congdon said.

Still, the judge had some harsh words for Grubor, who along with his father, Alexander D. Grubor, was accused of continuing to sell heroin even after the younger Grubor's friend died of a heroin overdose April 26 at the Grubors' home.

"You were selling a very addictive poison to the public. You were selling death. . . . I see every day where people are committing more crimes so they can pay people like you. I see every day people robbing people, beating them up so they can make money so they can pay it to people like you," Congdon said.

Alexander D. Grubor, 56, is charged with first-degree reckless homicide in connection with death of Scott F. Haase, 19, of New Berlin.

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Police say men tried to entice children

April 09, 2009 12:44 p.m. | Franklin police said there was an attempted child enticement incident that occurred at about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday near S. 35th Street and Dory Court. Police describe suspects as three to four black men between the ages of 20 and 30.

A passenger in a vehicle asked students from nearby Pleasant View Elementary School if they wanted gum and motioned for them to come to the car. The car was described as a silver sport utility vehicle or minivan. The students then ran to safety, shared the incident with parents and police were notified.

The incident is still under investigation.

School officials are encouraging parents you to warn children about the situation and to watch for the suspects and vehicle.

School district spokeswoman Tanya Ruder said staff members at Pleasant View are outside of buildings today during drop-off and pickup times. The bus company has been notified and the bus drivers, who always watch for suspicious behavior, will be watching more closely as students board and leave the buses. Also, squad cars will be patrolling the area.

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Package at Whitefish Bay school was harmless, police chief says

April 09, 2009 12:42 p.m. | A suspicious package discovered at Whitefish Bay High School Thursday morning turned out to be harmless, but police are trying to find the person who left the package and could seek charges, Whitefish Bay Police Chief Robert Jacobs said.

School officials canceled classes Thursday morning - the day before the start of spring break - after officers discovered the package on the front steps of the school's main entrance, which faces south at the corner of E. Fairmount and N. Wildwood avenues.

A woman called police after she walked her dog past the school and saw a person hiding in the bushes in front of the school around 6 a.m., Jacobs said.

When officers arrived, they didn't find the person, but they found a package the size of a shoebox, wrapped in gift wrap.

School officials decided to cancel classes, and bomb technicians from the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department arrived to examine the package. X-rays were inconclusive, Jacobs said, so the technicians blasted the package with what he thought was a water cannon.

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Board offers financial assistance to village business

April 07, 2009 4:50 p.m. | After 60 years in business, Harleys: The Store for Men will be relocating - with assistance from the village.

Owners Tim and Janet Ryan told the Shorewood Village Board on April 6 about their plans to downsize the 16,500-square-foot store at 4009 N. Oakland Ave.

The board voted to give the Ryans $183,300 to relocate to a new, 5,333-square-foot space within the Lakewood Building, 3575 N. Oakland Ave.

The funds will come from the village's Community Development Authority budget. Annually, CDA allocates funds for such efforts as façade improvements and, in the case of the Harleys' relocation, incentives to help businesses and developers.

Tim said increased rental costs and the need for less space as the retail environment has changed in the last six decades are some of the reasons for the move.

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Germantown, union settle three-year contract

April 07, 2009 1:04 p.m. | After more than six months of negotiations, including a day of mediation, the village and its technical and clerical union have settled a three-year contract.

The Germantown Village Board on April 6 approved an agreement that includes a 2 percent increase to the salaries and benefits of about 18 full-time technical and clerical employees in 2009.

As the three-year contract began Jan. 1, Village Administrator David Schornack said those employees will receive back pay.

Employees will receive 2.5-percent increases to their 2010 and 2011 compensation packages.

"I would say that negotiations went very well, but there were just a couple of things that took a little bit longer to negotiate," Schornack said.

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Man arrested in U.S. Bank robbery

April 07, 2009 9:54 a.m. | A 34-year-old Milwaukee man was arrested in connection with the robbery of the U.S. Bank at 4333 S. 27th Street, at 3:55 p.m. March 30.

According to Greenfield police:

The man walked in the bank and demanded money from the teller, implying that he had a gun.

The suspect was caught as he was walking from the bank. The money and a replica BB gun were recovered from the man

Greenfield man arrested for prowling in Hooters lot

April 07, 2009 9:42 a.m. | A 25-year-old Greenfield man was arrested in the Hooters parking lot, 7700 W. Layton Ave., at 11:04 p.m. March 31, after he was found to be prowling and possibly engaging in lewd and lascivious behavior.

According to Greenfield Police:

An officer observed the man in the vehicle near closing time. He was parked where he could see into the front of the Hooters building.

He didn't have a good explanation as to why he was there and the officer observed a small basket next to the man that contained a pair of binoculars and bathroom tissue.

He did not have a good explanation for the items that were found inside the car.

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Dud grenade in road brings bomb squad

April 06, 2009 12:16 p.m. | A grenade was found at North Chicago and Park avenues at 10:09 a.m. April 4, but a bomb squad determined it was not live.

According to the South Milwaukee police report:

A caller reported seeing a grenade in the road, so police diverted traffic and requested help from the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office bomb squad.

Bomb squad deputies determined the grenade was not live and recovered it.

Police canvassed the area near where the grenade was found, but there were no witnesses who saw the device get dropped there.

St. Francis brew pub opens

April 06, 2009 11:30 a.m. |  A brew pub serving a half-dozen of its own beers along with lunch, dinner and brunch opened at 11 a.m. Monday in St. Francis.

St. Francis Brewery & Restaurant, at S. Kinnickinnic and E. Howard avenues, is a $2 million project by owner Cupol Enterprises. The glassy, contemporary building was constructed on land sold for $1 by the city to promote development.

It will open at 11 a.m. daily, serving food until 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and until 10 p.m. the rest of the week. The bar is open later.

The menu offers appetizers, salads, sandwiches and entrees that include beer-braised beef and barbecue ribs with stout in the sauce. Entrees run from $10.95 to $24.95. The restaurant also will serve a Friday fish fry.

To view the menu and more about the brew pub, go to its Web site.

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Update: Medical Examiner's office says motorcycle crash victim is Caledonia man

April 05, 2009 10:36 a.m. | Oak Creek - A man who died after his motorcycle struck a deer was identified Sunday by the Milwaukee County medical examiner as Randall Kurer, 49, of Caledonia in Racine County.

The accident occurred about 7:45 p.m. Saturday in the 10100 block of S. 27th St., according to Oak Creek police.

Kurer was northbound on 27th St., the medical examiner said.

Investigators had indicated earlier Sunday that the victim was from Milwaukee.

Medical examiner says Kiefer died from overdose of two prescription drugs

April 03, 2009 4:06 p.m. | The Milwaukee County medical examiner confirmed Friday that Madison Kiefer died from an overdose of two prescription drugs, Suboxone and clonazepam.

The death of the 15-year-old Whitefish Bay High School freshman was classified as accidental. But the circumstances surrounding the two drugs make it likely that more criminal charges will be filed in Kiefer's death.

Kiefer, who had a history of drug abuse, was found dead March 1 at the Whitefish Bay home of a friend. She had spent part of that morning and the previous night at the Whitefish Bay home of Matthew Laughrin.

Within hours of Kiefer's death, police seized Suboxone, clonazepam and other drugs from Laughrin's home, court records show.

Suboxone is used to treat heroin addicts; clonazepam is prescribed for seizure and panic disorders.

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St. Luke Parish School to close at end of school year

April 03, 2009 3:30 p.m. | In the face of continually declining enrollment, St. Luke Parish School, 18000 W. Greenfield Ave., will close at the end of this school year, said parish pastor Rev. Kenneth Augustine.

Fewer than 70 students were enrolled for the 2009-10 school year, down from 239 seven years ago. Currently, 114 students attend the 4-year-old kindergarten through eighth-grade school. St. Luke School employs 16 staff and faculty.

Augustine said the area's "complexion" has changed since the school opened in 1960 - fewer young children now live here.

"We look back and we see that the pattern started a long time ago," he said of the enrollment slide. "... There's a break-off point where there's no longer a good educational experience for the child, and it's no longer possible for the parish to subsidize it."

Attempts to increase student numbers proved fruitless.

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DA's office declines Greenfield mayor's complaint

April 01, 2009 5:01 p.m. | Greenfield - The Milwaukee County district attorney's office refused Wednesday to investigate a complaint filed by Mayor Michael Neitzke alleging that his opponent in next Tuesday's election, former mayor Tim Seider, made several false campaign statements.

Neitzke e-mailed the complaint Tuesday night to Bruce Landgraf, an assistant Milwaukee County district attorney. In declining the case, Landgraf said in a letter that Seider's statements "are all squarely within the arena of political debate."

Neitzke, an attorney, alleged that the false statements included a claim that Neitzke approved a pay raise for himself. Neitzke submitted a document showing the raise was approved by the Common Council, with no vote from himself, and that the raise applies to whomever is elected next week.

Seider said all of his campaign statements are "backed up by city documents." He said Neitzke should spend more time determining how the city will deal with declining revenues rather than filing complaints with the district attorney.

Seider, an insurance executive, was mayor for 10 years before Neitzke defeated him in the 2005 election.

Council will discuss stronger pet ordinance

April 01, 2009 11:32 a.m. | South Milwaukee Common Council members will consider an ordinance that would specifically outlaw certain types of pets, including goats.

A draft of the ordinance was discussed by the members of the Legislation and Permits Committee last night, and an updated version will go before the council Wednesday, April 8.

Jackie Ove, public health administrator, said the ordinance is meant to serve as an A-to-Z list of pets that will not be allowed in South Milwaukee. This includes endangered species, wild animals and farm animals like livestock and poultry. Goats are also on the list.

South Milwaukee's Board of Health recently voted to uphold a Health Department order requiring a local family to remove their pet Nigerian dwarf goat from the city. An attorney for the family has questioned the city's actions, saying existing ordinances didn't specifically ban goats.

Animals that are currently allowed under the city's existing exotic pets ordinance - like tropical fish, lizards and parrots -– will still be permitted under the new ordinance, Ove said.

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