Paul Ryan photo gallery now online

April 28, 2011 3:04 p.m. | Congressman Paul Ryan made a stop in Franklin today to hold one of several listening sessions in the area and we've just added Peter Zuzga's photo gallery from the event.

The stop was one of four the Republican congressman made today. He is scheduled to hold more sessions tomorrow in Burlington, Union Grove, Sturtevant and Racine.

Go to photo gallery.

Darker Tosa streets save money, but generate complaints

April 27, 2011 11:47 a.m. | Wauwatosa's experiment in turning on streetlights in some neighborhoods for fewer hours has generated complaints from 82 residents in the last eight months, but the money-saving maneuver is deemed necessary - at least in some form - to keep the city within budget.

A discussion of the controversial measure resulted in no action from the Traffic and Safety Committee on Tuesday, but options for moving forward were floated. The issue likely will be back before the panel in two weeks.

The city could expand the program to more neighborhoods, and it could turn the lights on 15 minutes after sunset and 15 minutes before sunrise, rather than a full half hour. The financial savings would be less, but increasing the number of areas participating could balance that out, city staff members said.

Installing LED lights could reduce energy consumption by 30 to 60 percent, but there is a significant upfront charge for retrofitting equipment - payback would take more than 50 years to realize, Porter said.

He suggested that by dovetailing lighting upgrades with street reconstruction projects, the city could pay the "upcharge" of installing a more efficient streetlight vs. the traditional fixtures more practically.

» Read Full Article

Scammer targets Mayfair retailers

April 27, 2011 9:23 a.m. | A scam artist has been targeting retailers at Mayfair, and an employee at one business fell for his con.

According to Wauwatosa police reports:

Mall security alerted tenants April 19 that a man describing himself as Mark Stein was trying to dupe businesses out of money. At 7 p.m. the previous day he had called Trade Secret, a beauty supply shop, and asked for the manager by name.

The manager wasn't available, so the caller told the employee who answered that he was from the corporate office and was calling about a customer who had lost her wallet at the store. He said a wallet was turned in the prior week with $1,200 but the money was missing when the owner came to claim it. He went on to say surveillance footage showed an employee taking the money, and it needed to be replaced to avoid being sued by the rightful owner.

The man instructed her to gather all the money in the store, get in a taxi and meet a man described as the owner's fiancé at a McDonald's in Milwaukee. Because of the ongoing internal investigation, she was to tell no one of her activities.

» Read Full Article

Brookfield man indicted in payphone fraud case

April 27, 2011 7:42 a.m. | A federal grand jury has indicted a Brookfield man in an elaborate payphone scheme that netted more than $1 million over three years.

Jeff Frost faces 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted on counts of wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Frost and his business partner, Colin Nordstrom of Coon Valley, were both charged in the April 13 indictment.

According to the indictment:

Payphones owned by Frost, 53, and Nordstrom, 48, were programmed to autodial toll-free telephone numbers and to navigate automated menus long enough to collect a fee of nearly 50 cents from the holders of those phone numbers.

» Read Full Article

New Berlin superintendent hired by New York district

April 27, 2011 7:18 a.m. | Lewisboro, N.Y. - A Wisconsin school superintendent who supported his state's efforts to limit most public workers' collective bargaining rights has been hired to head a suburban New York school district.

Parents and teachers protested at the hearing to name New Berlin Superintendent Paul Kreutzer to head the Katonah-Lewisboro School District in Westchester County, N.Y.

On Tuesday night, the district board unanimously approved a five-year contract for Kreutzer. His yearly salary will be $245,000.

Kreutzer said he will represent "the democratic process as represented by the school board."

Vice President Mark Lipton said the school board wouldn't have offered the job to Kreutzer unless it was confident he'll support collective bargaining rights.

» Read Full Article

Video of naked neighbor results in arrest for lewd behavior in Wauwatosa

April 26, 2011 12:08 p.m. | A 63-year-old Wauwatosa man was arrested for lewd behavior after he was recorded repeatedly fondling himself while looking out his window last week.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

A female neighbor was paying bills about 3 p.m. April 19 when she looked out her window and noticed her neighbor in the 2600 block of North 66th Street standing in front of his window naked.

She thought it was a fluke and that he didn't realize he could be seen, but he started touching himself. He returned to the window twice more and continued masturbating.

After consulting her daughter to make sure her eyes weren't deceiving her, the woman called her Block Watch captain for advice. He brought a video camera to the woman's home. The neighbor returned to the window for a fourth time and was recorded for 12 minutes.

» Read Full Article

Six arrested for drunken driving in Brookfield this weekend

April 26, 2011 10:23 a.m. | Brookfield police officers stepped up drunken driving enforcement over the weekend and between Friday and Sunday evenings nabbed six drivers they say were impaired.

Capt. Phil Horter said the department "will continue to aggressively enforce violations related to operating an auto while intoxicated in an effort to keep the public safe from the threat of these impaired drivers."

The first arrest came at 9:20 p.m. Friday when a 48-year-Brookfield man crashed his car into a tree on Burleigh Place near Bradee Road, according to a news release issued today.

Police are awaiting results of a blood toxicology test in that case.

Another notable arrest came just after 5 p.m. Sunday when a civilian reported a suspected drunken driver on Interstate 94 at Barker Road.

» Read Full Article

City money not needed for Tosa pool project

April 26, 2011 8:09 a.m. | No city money is needed for the new Tosa pool, so the president of the Friends of Hoyt and Pool has asked that any consideration for funding be removed from tonight’s Budget and Finance Committee agenda.

Friends President Denise Lindberg said several aldermen had requested an update on the nonprofit group’s fundraising progress and ideas of how the city can contribute.

“Friends of Hoyt Park & Pool is fully funded by private donations for all necessary design and construction costs and for all equipment needed for opening the new Tosa Pool facility,” she wrote in a letter to Wauwatosa City Administrator James Archambo today. “In addition, per the terms of our 55-year lease with Milwaukee County, we have funds set aside to fully fund a $1 million operations endowment to cover any future unexpected operational costs not covered by normal revenues. Therefore, we do not need to receive any funds from the city of Wauwatosa, but certainly appreciate the alders’ interest regarding such support.”

The group already had raised $7.8 million of the initially anticipated $8 million price tag to construct a new pool and significantly renovate the pool house. Since submitting information to the city April 14 about aspects that still needed funding, an additional private $50,000 donation came in. Those dollars will allow the Friends to replace the roof on the old portion of the pool house and take care of miscellaneous extras such as restoring 16 lighting sconces in the Grand Hall.

Lindberg took issue with an article on that said the project was facing a shortfall, because she said it sent an incorrect message that the pool would open May 28 without amenities laid out in the original plan.

» Read Full Article

Details of train vs. forklift collision in Wauwatosa released

April 26, 2011 7:35 a.m. | That a forklift driver walked away with some arm and hip pain after his machinery was struck by a train last week becomes more unbelievable now that details of the incident have been released by the Wauwatosa Police Department.

According to the accident report:

The 54-year-old driver working for Kinateder Masonry was heading northbound on 70th Street toward State Street. When he saw a stoplight, he pulled the forklift forward and stopped on the railroad tracks just after 10 a.m. April 18. The forklift was carrying nearly 4,500 pounds of stone for the 70th Street bridge reconstruction.

Witnesses said the train sounded its horn continuously from 68th to 70th streets to try to clear the tracks.

The driver said he panicked when he heard the train horn and warning signals and saw the crossing gates come down behind him. He didn't want to back up into the gate so he made a U-turn and was able to turn far enough that the back tire of the forklift took most of the impact.

» Read Full Article

Teen's failure to recycle raises man's ire at Brookfield Square

April 25, 2011 3:35 p.m. | A Milwaukee man said he doesn't know what came over him when he grabbed a teenager's head and forced it toward a trash bin after she failed to recycle a bottle April 18, according to a city of Brookfield police report.

According to the report:

The 76-year-old man confronted a 13-year-old girl in the food court at Brookfield Square Mall after he saw her toss a glass bottle into a garbage can just before 1 p.m.

The girl told officers that the man grabbed the back of her head and forced her toward the trash can, telling her to dig it out so it could be recycled.

She also said he asked her where she went to school before leaving the food court.

» Read Full Article

Forklift driver escapes injury in Tosa train crash

April 18, 2011 11:34 a.m. | A forklift was struck by a train this morning at 70th and State streets, but its operator was able to maneuver himself enough to escape personal injury, according to the Wauwatosa Fire Department.

The man is part of the crew working on bridge reconstruction there. He was moving a pallet of concrete blocks when the forklift got stuck on the tracks. As the train approached, he was able to turn the forklift enough to get himself out of the train's path.

He suffered only minor injuries and declined an ambulance.

The scene is now clear and traffic is running smoothly.

Wauwatosa to reconsider union contracts

April 15, 2011 7:58 a.m. | Wauwatosa Common Council will take a new vote Tuesday on whether to ratify contracts with three employee unions. The move could reverse the city government's March decision to deny contracts and look to savings from Gov. Scott Walker's proposed state budget-repair bill.

A special meeting has been called for 6:30 p.m. at the request of five aldermen who signed a petition this week, Mayor Jill Didier said.

"They can force me to call a special meeting of the council," she said, explaining that a clause in the city's code allows for such action. "By ordinance I have to comply."

Those aldermen in order of the signatures on the petition are Linda Nikcevich, Don Birschel, Jeff Roznowski, Dennis McBride and Bobby Pantuso.

A month ago, the council voted not to ratify tentative agreements with the public works, dispatcher, clerical and fire unions. A crowd of about 100 people turned out, most urging city officials to wait until Gov. Scott Walker's proposed state budget-repair bill became law. Since then a Dane County judge has put a restraining order barring the law from being implemented.

» Read Full Article

Landisch out as Wauwatosa West boys basketball coach

April 14, 2011 7:00 a.m. | Wauwatosa West boys basketball coach Mike Landisch was officially told Wednesday by the administration that he will not have his contract renewed to coach next season.

» Read Full Article

Dye tests of sewers will turn Tosa creek green

April 13, 2011 12:45 p.m. | Washington Highlands residents should not panic when the Schoonmaker Creek, which runs through the neighborhood, turns green.

Like last year, the city has again hired consultants to test the sewer system for leaks by flooding it with water dyed green. Because the storm sewer is not enclosed at the end, residents may notice a trickle of green water discharging into the creek throughout the day, followed by heavy amounts similar to what occurs to during a rain storm at the end of each day.

"Schoonmaker Creek is going to look green for about two months," said Chris Stamborski, project manager with consultant R.A. Smith National. "It definitely gives everybody a little surprise if they are not prepared."

The water eventually dumps into the Menomonee River.

The dye is a nontoxic powder that becomes bright and easy to see when added to water expelled from fire hydrants and routed to the storm sewers, he said. Crews will be investigating adjacent sanitary sewers, looking for sources of dyed water entry into that system.

» Read Full Article

Nicolet's Green named NOW Girls Basketball Player of the Year

April 13, 2011 8:31 a.m. | Nicolet's Ashley Green was nearly unstoppable this season as she led the Knights to the school's first-ever state basketball championship and 26-2 overall mark.

She has been named the NOW All-Suburban Girls Basketball Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. She's joined on the team by teammates Gaby Bronson and Alex Cohen and coach Corey Wolf, who was named the All-Suburban Coach of the Year for the second time.

Visit's All-Suburban page for a closer look at the team, including player bios, photo galleries and more.

2010-11 NOW All-Suburban Girls Basketball Team

2010-11 NOW All-Suburban Boys Basketball Team

Man's female visitors cause Wauwatosa hotel to call police

April 12, 2011 10:42 a.m. | A 63-year-old man partying in a local hotel before moving out of state caused hotel management to suspect prostitution was occurring.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

Police were called to the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 10499 Innovation Drive, after an argument broke out in a guest room at 5 a.m. April 4. The man had rented a room and invited a woman he had met via a telephone personals service to visit him. The meeting led to a conflict about money and sex, with the man saying he hadn't hired a prostitute.

Hotel management again called police about 8 p.m. when the man escorted his third or fourth female companion into the hotel within a 20-hour period. They wanted him removed from the property because the business doesn't condone such behavior.

His companion was a 19-year-old woman from Zion, Ill. They also had met via the telephone party line. He said he had driven over the border and picked her up for a date, and he would be taking her home soon. A search of the woman's purse turned up 3.65 grams of marijuana, so she was arrested for drug possession.

» Read Full Article

24-hour Walmart grocery store wins Wauwatosa Plan Commission's support

April 12, 2011 10:04 a.m. | Mayor Jill Didier wanted to get one message clear: "I do not want a Walmart" in Wauwatosa, she said.

But a smaller neighborhood grocery store and pharmacy operated by the retail giant got her approval Monday night.

Walmart won unanimous support from the Plan Commission for its plans to open a 24-hour Neighborhood Market in a vacant building at 124th Street and Capitol Drive. The 65,000-square-foot facility previously housed Jewel-Osco. This time around, Walmart proposes using 38,000 square feet and splitting the remaining space among up to three tenants.

The commission approval is a recommendation that the Community Development Committee will take into account when it considers granting a conditional-use permit for the use.

Walmart would be prohibited from expanding into those other spaces and creating one of its traditional stores by language in the developer's agreement, said Debbie Tomczyk, an attorney for the project. Such an agreement is required by the city's ordinance - which Tomczyk actually helped create - regulating "big-box" retail.

» Read Full Article

St. Francis man finds live missile in bathroom wall

April 11, 2011 4:01 p.m. | A week after she and her husband found a live bomb from the Korean War era in a bathroom wall of their home, St. Francis resident Sally Ann Wittman says the discovery now seems almost unreal.

Wittman’s 70-year-old husband, William, was doing some remodeling on a portion of the bathroom wall on April 5. Wittman was pulling out old insulation when he felt something in the wall, his wife said.

“I heard him say, ‘Oh my God, what the heck is this?’” Sally Ann, 60, said. “I walked in, and he was standing there with this thing in his hands.”

The small green missile, measuring 20 inches long with a 5-inch explosive head and four tail fins, was handed to her by her husband, then she walked outside and placed it on the grass next to a detached garage before calling police.

As she waited for police to arrive, Sally Ann said she was doing dishes in the kitchen when she saw a St. Francis police officer approach her yard in the 2000 block of East Leroy Avenue with extreme caution. The officer advised the Wittmans in no uncertain terms to evacuate the house immediately, as well as people living in the surrounding neighborhood.

» Read Full Article

Cat call: Woman's cat dials 911

April 11, 2011 3:20 p.m. | Whitefish Bay police responded to a 911 call Friday night and the resident who answered the door was surprised to see them.

The woman, who lives in the 4800 block of North Cumberland Boulevard, said there was no emergency. Her cat stepped on the phone and dialed 911 at 11:45 p.m. April 8.

The Waukesha Surprise: a closer look at whether the 'missing' Brookfield vote adds up

April 08, 2011 10:18 a.m. | The Brookfield Bombshell -- the sudden appearance of thousands of decisive ballots in the state Supreme Court race – invites all sorts of obvious questions and suspicions about politics and incompetence.

But do the voting figures look “fishy” from a purely numerical standpoint? Are they implausible on their face based on what we know about the turnout history of Brookfield and Waukesha County compared with other places? 

Not at first glance.

In the post below, I looked at what the new numbers mean for Waukesha County’s overall turnout picture, and suggested that they actually bring the Waukesha County totals more closely into line with similar nearby counties.

In short, before the “adjustment,” Waukesha County was a big outlier. It showed by far the largest drop-off in turnout between the 2010 race for governor last fall and Tuesday’s judicial race (from about  63% to 37%, for a decline of 26 points). After the adjustment, the drop-off is still one of the biggest in the state (from 63% to 42%), but not freakishly so. The statewide drop-off in turnout rate was 16 points, from 50% to 34%.

» Read Full Article

Builder buys StoneFire Pizza in New Berlin

April 07, 2011 9:52 p.m. | StoneFire Pizza Co. in New Berlin will have its second grand opening under new owner Carl Tomich, a home builder who bought the bankrupt food-and-recreation center in March.

Tomich, owner of Westridge Builders Inc. in Waukesha, paid $2.8 million for the 40,000-square-foot children's fun emporium, which was built in 2006 for $12.5 million.

"We thought it was a great opportunity," Tomich said.

He plans to improve the food offering and update the array of games at StoneFire, which was designed by its original owner, David Church, as an upscale version of Chuck E. Cheese.

StoneFire, on S. Moorland Road next to the Marcus Ridge Cinema, has remained open throughout the Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding in federal court in Milwaukee. Church filed for bankruptcy after a foreclosure and eviction action by AnchorBank last spring.

» Read Full Article

Girls Greater Metro Conference indoor meet photo gallery now online

April 07, 2011 7:16 a.m. | We've just posted Peter Zuzga's photo gallery from the girls Greater Metro Conference indoor meet, which was yesterday at West Allis Central.

Brookfield Central emerged with a victory, compiling 160.5 points to 131.5 for Brookfield East.

Go to photo gallery.

Boys GMC indoor photo gallery

Germantown's Showalter named NOW Player of the Year

April 06, 2011 8:03 a.m. | Germantown's Zak Showalter raised his game this season, leading the Warhawks to a 24-2 mark and earning All-State honors.

He's also the 2010-11 NOW All-Suburban Boys Basketball Player of the Year. He is joined on the team, now in its 22nd season, by Whitefish Bay coach Kevin Lazovik and 10 more of the top high school basketball players in the area.

Visit's special page for a closer look at the team, including player bios, a photo gallery and more. The girls team will be announced next week.

2010-11 NOW All-Suburban Boys Basketball Team

Chiaverotti elected Muskego mayor

April 05, 2011 9:40 p.m. | Muskego - Kathy Chiaverotti was elected mayor Tuesday night, defeating Luke Hudock in the race to succeed Mayor John Johnson, who did not seek re-election.

Chiaverotti, a Waukesha County supervisor and former city alderwoman, had 63% of the vote while Hudock, owner of a pest control business, had 37%, unofficial totals show.

Chiaverotti is executive director of the Muskego Area Chamber of Commerce. It was her second bid to become the city's top elected official. She ran for mayor in 2002 but was eliminated in the primary.

30 bags of pot found in purse left at Mayfair

April 05, 2011 8:48 p.m. | A purse containing nearly 65 grams of marijuana was left at a cell phone retailer's kiosk at Mayfair Mall on Saturday afternoon.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

T-Mobile had been busy, so when an employee noticed about 2 p.m. that a purse was left on the counter, he didn't know who had left it behind. He opened the handbag to look for identification but only found makeup and pot.

The drugs had been divvied up into more than 30 plastic bags, a common practice for dealers. The employee turned the purse and its contents over to mall security, which in turn gave the marijuana to police.

Referee calls 'foul,' prompting bench-clearing melee

April 04, 2011 5:12 p.m. | Two men face battery charges after a soccer match erupted into a fistfight over a foul call at the Brookfield Indoor Soccer Complex on March 30.

According to the city of Brookfield police report:

A bench-clearing melee between two teams began after a referee made a controversial foul call just before 9:30 p.m.

Although order was quickly restored, five participants continued the scrum after the match was completed.

A state battery charge is pending against a 34-year-old Sussex man who punched another man in the mouth. A 23-year-old Franklin man could face the same charge for punching another man in the nose.

Brookfield Ashley store to open Friday

April 04, 2011 1:29 p.m. | The area's newest Ashley Furniture Homestore will open Friday, April 8,  at 16300 W. Blue Mound Rd., at the former site of Linens 'n Things.

The 30,000-square-foot showroom is the third Ashley store in the area. Other locations are on S. 27th St. in Franklin and near the Cabela's store in Richfield. The company also has stores in Kenosha, Madison and Middleton.  

Woman drowns after trying to aid dog in Menomonee Falls park

April 03, 2011 7:28 p.m. | A woman drowned while trying to rescue her dog, which fell through ice Sunday afternoon at a Menomonee Falls park

The 51-year-old woman was found by firefighters in 6 to 8 feet of water at Rivers Edge Park and taken to Community Memorial Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. The woman's dog was found dead on the ice and appeared to have died of hypothermia, according to Menomonee Falls police.

Authorities were called to the park at 2:20 p.m. Sunday. The woman's name was not released pending notification of her family.

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