Teens chased after impromptu episode of dancing with the cars

May 30, 2012 9:48 a.m. | Three teenage boys took dancing in the streets to a new level last week.

According to a Wauwatosa Police Department report:

The 14-, 15- and 16-year-old Milwaukee boys got their groove on in the city's busiest and most dangerous intersection - North Avenue and Mayfair Road - at 7:56 p.m. May 21.

They danced up to the vehicle of an off-duty Milwaukee police officer, who yelled at the trio to get out of traffic. The boys screamed back racial slurs, profanities and threats before heading to the Walgreens parking lot.

The officer followed and the boys ran past businesses on Mayfair Road and were eventually stopped across the street on Fisher Parkway.

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Police seek man they say led them on chase

May 30, 2012 9:34 a.m. | A warrant has been issued for a 32-year-old Milwaukee man police say led them on a car chase after an officer tried to pull him over for a seatbelt violation last week.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

Jeffrey Reimann was not wearing his seatbelt and an officer was working under a seatbelt enforcement grant through the Click It or Ticket program at 10:02 a.m. May 23.

He didn't immediately pull over. Instead he rolled through a stop sign at 92nd and Marion streets and paused briefly before taking off. He reached 60 mph and covered 1.2 miles before the pursuit was terminated.

A background check showed Reimann was wanted on warrants from Washington County for drug dealing so a temporary felony warrant was issued for his arrest. Wauwatosa police are also seeking a felony warrant for fleeing an officer.

Germantown School Board approves summer band program

May 30, 2012 8:35 a.m. | The summer band program will return this summer, which the Germantown School Board unanimously decided at a meeting Tuesday night.

About 50 people were in attendance to see what the board would decide after a heated debate at the May 19 school board meeting that left the question of whether the band program should be considered extracurricular or co-curricular unanswered. The summer program will return as a co-curricular offering with certain stipulations that clarify it as a summer class.

"It’s helping us clarify the program based on changes that have happened in terms of what is aidable and not," said Superintendent Sue Borden. "So, when we’re putting out publications, when we’re enrolling students, we’re all using the same language from the band instructors, to the principals and the district office."

The Wall of Sound Clinic is an extension of curriculum offered during first semester. Students in the Wall of Sound are the same students enrolled in Wind Symphony in the fall. Because of an unsafe decibel level in the high school band room when the students move from the outside to the inside in fall, the program has been limited to 100 students.

The board voted to implement prerequisites, eliminating auditions, in order for students to be in the summer program. Borden said those prerequisites still have to be decided, but will help determine the number of students.

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Menomonee Falls lays off eight public works employees

May 29, 2012 4:13 p.m. | The village of Menomonee Falls laid off eight, full-time public works employees last week in what the village says was preparation for shortfalls in the 2013 budget and fiscal year.

The layoffs of street and utility workers that occurred May 22 were a reduction-in-force and were due to declining revenues, said Village Manager Mark Fitzgerald.

Six workers were paid out of the general fund and two were utility employees. By the end of next week, the village is consolidating the public works facilities and closing down the office currently located on Water Street.

"By centralizing, eliminating facilities and ultimately centralizing management and supervision, we expect that we will be able to absorb issues and not reduce any service," Fitzgerald said.

Public works employees in the general fund are supported by the tax levy, which has limitations set by the revenue freeze and declining state revenues, Fitzgerald said. The utility workers were laid off due to the nongrowth economy and revenue losses in utilities. The two positions will be absorbed in the village and Fitzgerald said residents will not see or feel any changes as a result of the layoffs.

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Tosa wins another round of brownfields grant funding

May 29, 2012 1:22 p.m. | Wauwatosa received a $200,000 federal grant to help clean up contaminated properties, known as brownfields, to create opportunities for redevelopment within the city.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency grant dollars will be used to update the city's brownfields Geographic Information Systems database, perform environmental site assessments, prepare cleanup plans and target redevelopment corridors.

"Given the scarce grant funds available, the award is a vote of confidence from U.S. EPA that the city of Wauwatosa has successfully administered and expended its 2009 Brownfield Assessment Grants," Paulette Enders, city development director, said.

The EPA already has granted $400,000 to Wauwatosa. That money was used to test for contamination at sites including the former lumber mill/manufacturing facility at 69th and State streets, where PNC Bank is building a new branch, and at the long-vacant structure at 65th Street and North Avenue, which has been redeveloped into Home Solutions, a home maintenance and accessibility provider.

Wauwatosa was the only prior municipal grant recipient in Wisconsin that received assessment funding this round. There are a number of sites requiring assessment throughout the community, Enders said.

Hales Corners to dedicate veterans memorial Sunday

May 26, 2012 12:48 p.m. | Hales Corners - The village will dedicated its new veterans memorial at 2 p.m. Sunday, and residents are invited to take the opportunity to come and pay tribute to those who have died serving the country.

The memorial, five pillars set in a 50-foot-square plaza and shaped in a five-pointed star, is in Hales Corners Park, next to the library. Each pillar represents one of the five branches of the U.S. military: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.

A lighted U.S. flag flies in the center.

On Sunday, the flag will be raised for the first time, and guest speakers including Major Gen. Donald Dunbar will share their thoughts.

Food, beverages and music will be served up until 8 p.m.

Freeway closures begin next week

May 25, 2012 12:42 p.m. | As part of the Interstate 94 North-South Freeway project, crews will be paving the northbound lanes of I-94 from Rawson Avenue to the Mitchell Interchange next week, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation has announced.

The paving work will require overnight full freeway closures throughout the week and daytime traffic patterns changes. Drivers are advised to consider alternate routes during this period.

For information on these closures and the project schedule, visit Plan94.org or call the project hotline at (262) 548-8721.

Playground welcomed back to Hart Park

May 25, 2012 9:54 a.m. | Denise Manthey and her daughter Annika have already visited the Hart Park playground five times and it has been open only two days.

"The hour after the construction fence came down, we were here," she said.

At 1 1/2 , Annika is fearless, taking on the slide in the area for younger children, as well as the steeper slides included in the play equipment for ages 5 to 12.

Manthey and her children - she also has a second-grader who was in school Thursday afternoon - have eagerly awaited the playground opening. They live only two blocks from Hart Park and plan to spend a lot of time on the playground this summer, especially when the splash pad opens.

Manthey recalls the old play equipment farther west in the park that was removed years ago to allow for a flood mitigation project. Her older children, now 12 and 14, played there for a few years before it came down.

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State's first Art of Shaving to open at Mayfair

May 25, 2012 9:46 a.m. | So maybe a salon is too girlie for the guys. Men can find their own sanctuary at new shop coming to Mayfair this summer.

The Art of Shaving will open its first Wisconsin location at the Wauwatosa mall in July bringing high-end men's shaving products and a "barber spa" where a master barber will provide a professional shave.

The shop also offers haircuts and head shaves and beard and mustache trims. The signature services, a hair cut and 45-minute "Royal Shave," a sort of men's facial, costs $80.

Letting customer's know it's definitely a boy's club, the loyalty program is called "The Brotherhood."

Materials from East Tosa home salvaged for Habitat store

May 25, 2012 9:24 a.m. | New stainless steel appliances, light fixtures with the tags still on them and a beautifully etched glass pantry door - sounds like the selling points for an East Tosa home that was recently remodeled and put on the market. Instead, it's some of the list of items Habitat for Humanity has removed from a home just off 69th Street and North Avenue and taken to its ReStore to resell.

The house has been purchased by the city and will be razed to make room for more off-street parking to serve the commercial district.

It will be several months before the two-story home is demolished, said Joseph Kroll, special projects engineer for the city. All utilities need to be disconnected and there needs to be some environmental testing because of the neighboring Voline auto service station, he said.

Meanwhile, the Police and Fire departments have been taken advantage of the empty house.

Officers already worked on searching for suspects and clearing rooms in the case of a tactical situation. In a couple of weeks the Fire Department will work with new recruits on search and rescue and ladder skills at the house.

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Stefanski named acting police chief in Whitefish Bay

May 24, 2012 8:48 a.m. | The Whitefish Bay Police Commission last night named Lt. Ron Stefanski acting chief. Stefanski will assume his new duties on June 5. Chief Robert Jacobs last day is June 4. Jacobs is retiring.

Stefanski, 49, joined the department as a patrolman in September 1986, was promoted to sergeant in 1991 and to lieutenant in 2007.

He has a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from St. Mary's University in Minnesota.

The commission has culled a list of ten people from the 27 who applied for the chief's position and is in the process of conducting telephone interviews with them to further narrow the field.

Parkland lawsuit loses some steam, but hot issues remain

May 23, 2012 4:18 p.m. | Several claims made against Muskego and its Community Development Authority in a lawsuit brought by the partnership that owns the former Parkland Mall property were dismissed Tuesday by Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Lee Dreyfuss Jr.

But the most serious allegations - that the city conducted what amounted to taking the property - must still be decided. Dreyfuss will begin hearing those arguments June 21. Additional briefs will be filed after that before a decision is rendered.

The owners of the former mall property occupying about 10 acres on Janesville Road at Lannon Drive are suing the city for $46 million. The land is now vacant except for the remains of a failed tree farm.

Art Dyer is the most visible member of Parkland Venture LLC, which owns the property.

The claims that were dismissed were that the city tried to interfere and conspired to interfere with and harm his business, that misrepresentations were made over the years and that the owners have been defamed.

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Here's a news scoop: Idle Isle will have ice cream shop this summer

May 23, 2012 3:34 p.m. | Just about the time that families start heading to the beach at Muskego's Idle Isle, an ice cream shop will open for business.

For years, Muskego residents have been asking for an Idle Isle refreshment stand, but the city has been unable to find a vendor. Now the city has one.

On Tuesday night, the Common Council gave the go-ahead to a Muskego woman who wants to set up shop there.

Lake group delivers first donation in Muskego's nature preserve project

May 23, 2012 3:26 p.m. | The Little Muskego Lake Association Tuesday night presented $5,000 to Muskego to help with the purchase and development of the 103-acre Borst property.

The donation was the first of 10 such gifts to the city over the next 10 years fulfilling the association's earlier pledge of $50,000 toward the project. The city bought the property for more than $1.2 million in early spring.

The Borst property, located north of Field Drive and a quarter mile west of Hillendale Drive, will be turned into a nature preserve where people will be able to hike on trails and possibly even use it for bow hunting and trapping.

Because the property is part of the Little Muskego Lake watershed, the Little Muskego Lake Association wants to help preserve it, said association president Ken Fries.

"When there's construction and development around a lake, it can impact water quality," he said.

Church donation drive doesn't add up for police

May 23, 2012 1:48 p.m. | A man who was arrested for soliciting donations without a permit in January has again knocked on some doors in Wauwatosa, seeking donations for a church with an uncertain background.

According to a Wauwatosa Police Department report, the 61-year-old Milwaukee man was asking for money in the 100 block of North 86th Street to support Milwaukee Restoration Church at 7:37 p.m. May 11.

When confronted by police, the man acknowledged his prior arrest but said the head of the church, a 50-year-old Milwaukee man, had gotten permission from an employee at City Hall to solicit in Wauwatosa. He estimated he took in $1,000 per day.

He told police that his supervisor had driven him to Tosa and was working on his vehicle in the 500 block of Pleasant View Street. He, too, said he had gotten approval to solicit within the city but didn't have a permit.

Police discovered the church doesn't have a parent organization or higher church and it isn't listed as a nonprofit organization with the IRS. When questioned by police, the head of Milwaukee Restoration Church couldn't remember when he had been ordained as a pastor.

Council applicants sought for Werner seat

May 23, 2012 12:46 p.m. | The Muskego Common Council is seeking applicants to fill the unexpired term of Keith Werner, who resigned last week as District 4 alderman.

Whoever the council appoints will be expected to serve until April 2013, when the seat will again go before voters in a general election.

To be considered for appointment, interested District 4 residents should submit a résumé and letter of interest addressed to the Common Council and delivered to the City Clerk, City of Muskego, W182 S8200 Racine Ave., P. O. Box 749, Muskego, WI 53150 no later than 4 p.m. June 21.

On June 26 the Common Council will interview the candidates, who also will introduce themselves and have a chance to make closing statements before the council votes.

The winner will take his or her seat at the next regular council meeting.

Wendy's and Toppers plan to move in

May 23, 2012 12:42 p.m. | Two national fast food franchises will soon open restaurants in Wauwatosa.

Wendy's will hold its grand opening May 29 at 3140 N. 124th St., filling the vacancy left by Steak 'n Shake. It will provide jobs to more than 50 people.

In addition to the usual hamburgers, baked potatoes and Frosty shakes, this Wendy's location will allow diners to have their choice of more than 100 beverage options thanks to the Coca-Cola Freestyle technology. Likened to a modern soda fountain, users can add flavors to blend their sodas - making such concoctions as Raspberry Coke or Grape Sprite, for instance.

Meanwhile, Toppers Pizza came before the city's Design Review Board last week to talk about moving into the PNC Bank storefront at 68th and State streets. The bank is building a larger facility down the street.

More than $200,000 in thefts reported from Wauwatosa construction site

May 23, 2012 11:58 a.m. | Tools valued at nearly $10,000 were taken from a storage container that belonged to a contractor replacing the natural gas pipeline along Mayfair Road.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

The locked container in the 3000 block of North 112th Street was broken into between May 1 and May 14.

The theft follows others in the area, including the theft of $200,000 in steel pipes from the same lot in late April.

Police are watching to see if the items are sold as scrap metal.

Mother cited for kids' frequent truancy

May 23, 2012 11:20 a.m. | A Wauwatosa mom is looking at a ticket for contributing to the habitual truancy of her two children.

According to a police report:

Her 16-year-old son had missed numerous days of school at Wauwatosa West High School. Cognitively disabled, he struggles with school work when he doesn't attend class consistently.

His mother regularly called in medical excuses from vomiting to fevers. However, the boy said he wasn't sick and liked school.

A check of his 13-year-old sister's attendance at Whitman Middle School showed she had 53 unexcused absences.

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Pinelawn to observe Memorial Day

May 23, 2012 11:14 a.m. | The Southeast Wisconsin Young Marines are working with a local cemetery to pay tribute to veterans on Saturday.

A "Field of Honor" will be created at Pinelawn Memorial Park, 10700 W. Capitol Drive, starting at 1 p.m., to honor all the fallen heroes who have died since Sept. 11 in the war against Iraq and Afghanistan. Crosses will be personalized with the name of each serviceman and servicewoman.

The Young Marines is an education and service program for kids age 8 through high school age.

In addition, volunteers from the community are asked to join the cemetery staff in placing flags for all veterans laid to rest there, beginning at 9 a.m.

Arrested for drunken driving, man then accused of trying to burn cell mattress

May 23, 2012 11:08 a.m. | A 25-year-old Milwaukee man was charged in Milwaukee County Circuit Court with misdemeanor vandalism May 15 after he tried to set fire to a cell mattress at the Wauwatosa Police Department.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

Anthony Wal was arrested for drunken driving after making a wrong turn in the 300 block of North 68th Street at 2:24 a.m. May 13. He was taken to the hospital to have blood drawn so his blood-alcohol content could be determined. He repeatedly berated officers as well as a nurse at the hospital.

He continued to act disorderly so he was placed in a prisoner cell to sober up. Dispatchers watching Wal on television screens saw him use a lighter to try to burn a mattress at 5:10 a.m. May 13.

Teens arrested after string of vandalism acts

May 23, 2012 11:04 a.m. | Two 14-year-old boys were arrested for disorderly conduct following numerous incidents of vandalism and unruly behavior in their neighborhood.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

Residents in the 7300 block of Wellauer Drive complained of eggings, garbage cans being overturned, garbage cans being put atop vehicles, cars being scratched and landscape lights being smashed in the weeks prior to May 11.

Two neighbors estimate that nearly $3,000 damage was done to their property.

Alleged robbers armed with crutch and rod force way into home

May 23, 2012 11:00 a.m. | A couple was arrested for armed robbery after they reportedly forced their way into a home in the 4000 block of North 100th Street in Wauwatosa last week.

It was the couple's tools of choice allegedly used in the robbery - a closet hanging rod, a metal crutch, a brick and a claw hammer - that made the incident so unusual.

According to a Wauwatosa Police Department report:

The man who lived at the home called police to alert them people were trying to rob his girlfriend at 12:32 a.m. May 17.

He said a 23-year-old Milwaukee man known "as the neighborhood drug dealer," accompanied by a 23-year-old Milwaukee woman, showed up at the house yelling that he owed them money.

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Neighbor tracks car thief suspect until police arrive

May 23, 2012 10:38 a.m. | An 18-year-old Milwaukee man is facing vehicle theft and bail-jumping charges following a crash in front of a Derby Avenue residence in Wauwatosa last week.

Brandon I. Smith was apprehended by police early evening on May 17 after a neighbor, who witnessed an earlier crash involving another stolen vehicle, drove his own car to track the suspect and two other teens until police arrived.

According to Wauwatosa police:

The neighbor heard a crash and saw a Plymouth Acclaim burst through a fence, then strike a Ford Explorer in the 4700 block of North 100th Street. The driver and passenger abandoned the Plymouth - later found to be stolen from Milwaukee - and jumped into a Chrysler Concorde, also later identified as a stolen vehicle and allegedly driven by Smith.

The neighbor, driving his own car, followed the teens to nearby Madison Park. When he exited his vehicle to talk to them, they drove off, so he again got in his car to pursue the Chrysler until it jumped the curb in the 10900 block of West Derby Avenue at 6:45 p.m.

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Tennis courts at Brown Deer High closing tomorrow for upgrades

May 23, 2012 8:24 a.m. | Tennis courts at Brown Deer High School will be closed beginning tomorrow. The School District has hired a contractor who will prep, clean, level and resurface seven of the eight courts. The eighth court will be eliminated to make space for the new addition to the high school and a fire lane.

School officials expect the courts to reopen July 2.

Holiday party ends with sister ramming sibling's car

May 23, 2012 8:21 a.m. | So much for sisterly love.

A 31-year-old Waukesha woman was arrested for recklessly endangering the safety of not only her four children but also her sister, niece and nephew after she rammed her sibling's vehicle three times.

According to a Wauwatosa Police Department report:

The sisters had attended a Mother's Day family barbecue May 13 at Madison Park, 9800 Glendale Ave., where they quarreled about topics from the cake to money. By the end of the party, family members had to separate the ladies, who had started pushing each other.

Still unhappy with each other, the women took their children to their respective sports-utility vehicles to leave at about 8 p.m.

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Brown Deer School Board delays vote on OPEB transition plan

May 22, 2012 10:14 p.m. | Brown Deer School Board members delayed a decision on a OPEB transition plan tonight at their board meeting.

Director of Finance Emily Koczela presented a recommendation from a committee that has been studying other post employment benefits for teachers in the district. The benefits disappeared with the union contracts at the end of June 2011.

For the short term, through the 2011-2012 school year, the School Board guaranteed the same benefits that were available through the contracts while working through what, if any, post employment benefits the district would offer in the future.

In addition to post employment benefits offered by the district , teachers also receive a pension from the Wisconsin Retirement System.

In the past the district continued health insurance coverage for up to 10 years and provided a cash payout of five days per year for every year of service, as long as the teachers met the age and requirements for years of employment in the district. The cash payout averaged $40,000 per teacher and was paid over five years for a group of 11 teachers who retired in June 2011, Koczela said.

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Shorewood Plan Commission hears, reacts to plans for senior living facility

May 22, 2012 9:40 p.m. | Preliminary plans for a senior living facility are moving forward in Shorewood.

The Plan Commission on Tuesday heard a presentation from representatives of Illinois-based Pathway Senior Living. The company is proposing a 104-unit development at the site of the former Pig 'n Whistle and Riverbrook restaurants, 1111 E. Capital Drive.

According to details outlined in Pathway's plans, the development is to encompass 56 assisted living units and 48 units offering memory care services. There would be two connected buildings standing as high as four stories.

If plans proceed, the Pathway development would replace the ill-fated Sunrise Senior Living development proposed in 2008. Sunrise pulled out of the project as the economy soured.

With the preliminary meeting accomplished, Pathway officials are now tasked with drawing up finite plans that will be brought back to commissioners for further review at a later date.

Principal becomes assistant superintendent

May 22, 2012 10:36 a.m. | Muskego High School Principal Dennis Bussen was appointed assistant superintendent by the Muskego-Norway School Board on Monday.

Bussen, who has served as MHS principal since 2001, would fill the spot left by Kelly Thompson, who will become superintendent when Joe Schroeder leaves to become associate executive director of the Association of Wisconsin School Administrators on July 1. Her contract also was to be approved Monday. Her appointment was announced earlier.

The School Board will start finding a replacement for Bussen on Tuesday.

In a press release announcing Bussen's appointment, Thompson said, "Dr. Bussen is an exceptionally dedicated learning leader, who through his deliberate efforts has led the high school to achieve high marks in many areas of education including academics, fine arts, co-curricular activities and athletics."

Bussen also is quoted as saying, "I hope to continue to help every student to learn, grow and succeed from a district-level perspective in the role of assistant superintendent

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Meeting will discuss details of Tosa's Meinecke flood project

May 22, 2012 7:02 a.m. | Wauwatosa residents who have questions about the Meinecke Avenue flood mitigation project will have an opportunity to learn about the plan and potential impacts on the neighborhood during a public information meeting June 4.

The meeting comes in response to a block of homeowners who didn't receive special assessments notices alerting them of the project as well as resident who did get notice but thought the project was simply a street repaving.

Resident Christine Riley had circulated a petition for an evening public information meeting scheduled two weeks out so neighbors could make plans to attend. Additional signatures continue to come in, she said today.

She credits the city with putting project information online at Wauwatosa.net, under the Hot Topics section, and sending meeting notices to about 600 homes.

However, she remains concerned that the schedule to approve the contract bids doesn't give residents much time to digest the information and lobby city officials with their opinions. The Common Council is expected to vote on awarding the construction contract the following night, June 5.

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Falls subcontractors seek answers, payment from village

May 21, 2012 8:34 p.m. | Seven subcontractors who worked on the Radisson Hotel in Menomonee Falls sought answers from the Village Board on Monday night about funds they say have yet to be paid to them for their work on the project.

This is the second board meeting in a row subcontractors spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting asking for answers.

"We're hoping to implore the village to sit down with us in a forum," said General Manager Barry Bloom of Assured Power, a company that worked on the Radisson. "We're trying to get answers."

The village provided a $17.65 million loan to finance the hotel's development. Village Manager Mark Fitzgerald and the village attorney said they could not comment on the issue because they are in the middle of litigation. They would not say who the other party in the litigation is.

Bloom said he and the fellow subcontractors for the hotel project were told by village representatives that they could not discuss payment of retained funds because of the litigation. They are also unsure what the litigation entails.

City sets priorities in community health improvement

May 21, 2012 6:06 p.m. | Now that its community health assessment is complete, the Health Department has identified seven areas identified for improvement.

Those areas are: alcohol/other drug abuse, safety/injury prevention, mental health, physical activity/nutrition, environmental health/healthy homes, child development and communicable disease.

The department is looking to residents to review a plan draft online and provide feedback by May 31 at Wauwatosa.net/health.

The next step is to create a Community Health Improvement Program, which will come up with goals and strategies to improve those priority areas.

Wendy's and Toppers plan to move in

May 21, 2012 2:24 p.m. | Two national fast food franchises will soon open restaurants in Wauwatosa.

Wendy's will hold its grand opening May 29 at 3140 N. 124th St., filling the vacancy left by Steak 'n Shake. It will provide jobs to more than 50 people.

In addition to the usual hamburgers, baked potatoes and Frosty shakes, this Wendy's location will allow diners to have their choice of more than 100 beverage options thanks to the Coca-Cola Freestyle technology. Likened to a modern soda fountain, users can add flavors to blend their sodas - making such concoctions as Raspberry Coke or Grape Sprite, for instance.

Meanwhile, Toppers Pizza came before the city's Design Review Board last week to talk about moving into the PNC Bank storefront at 68th and State streets. The bank is building a larger facility down the street.

New Berlin's high schools remain in list of top 1,000

May 21, 2012 11:36 a.m. | Once again, both New Berlin high schools have been named to Newsweek's top 1,000 high schools in the country.

Eisenhower came in at 353 and West at 436.

The magazine determined that the top 1,000 were the most effective in turning out college-ready graduates based on graduation rate, percentage of students going to college, number of advanced level tests taken per student and average scores on those tests, average college entrance SAT/ACT scores and number of advanced placement or college level courses offered per student.

The top spot was grabbed by the Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Bowling Green, Ky.

City begins process of revamping sewer laterals

May 21, 2012 11:30 a.m. | With nearly all the property owners along 65th and Eagle streets in East Tosa signing waivers, the city is prepping to reline private sewer laterals in areas where leaks have been detected.

The Common Council on Tuesday awarded a contract for the $1 million project, which covers relining and testing laterals connected to nearly 125 homes on 65th Street between North Avenue and Clarke Street and on Eagle between 80th Street and Wauwatosa Avenue.

Work could begin in June and continue through the fall with a report of the results coming in early 2013, said Public Works Director Bill Porter.

The project is a pilot program that should help determine the effectiveness of relining private sewer laterals, which account for about 75 percent of the water leaking into the sanitary sewer system and contributing to overflows and basement backups.

This area was chosen for the trial because the amount of water entering the system following heavy rain violates Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District standards. A $500,000 MMSD grant is helping to pay for the tests.

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Muskego recall group drops effort against alderman who resigned

May 18, 2012 4:36 p.m. | The group Muskego for Ethical Government has now officially filed its intention to drop its recall petition against former Alderman Keith Werner, Sharon Mueller, director of finance and administration, said today.

Because Werner resigned last week, the Common Council can now go ahead with its usual appointment process to fill his position, she said. That could come as early as Tuesday night. Werner's term expires in April 2013.

Werner resigned, saying he wanted to spare the city the cost of a recall election. His original resignation date was June 2, which is after the recall filing deadline. If he had stuck to his original resignation date, the city would have had to hold a recall election, even though Werner had resigned, officials said.

Werner cited increased work commitments as the reason for his resignation.

New Berlin could decide on dispatch at Tuesday's meeting

May 18, 2012 3:54 p.m. | The New Berlin Common Council could make a decision as early as Tuesday on whether to have the Waukesha County Communications Center send New Berlin's police and firefighters to calls instead of continuing to have local dispatchers do it.

Switching dispatching is on the agenda for the 7 p.m. Committee of the Whole and its regular Common Council meeting for May 22.

Leading up to this, the Police Department has held a series of public information meetings to update residents on the pros and cons of switching to WCC.

Water on softball field could cost city more

May 18, 2012 11:58 a.m. | The city just spent thousands of dollars improving the infield of the Hart Park softball field. But water on the field after rain has left people wondering if the job was executed correctly.

Tom Ertel, Parks and Forestry Board president, checked out the field after rainfall May 9. He found two inches of water covering a 10-foot area.

Water on the field during the day forces the Wauwatosa Recreation Department - which is an operation of the School District, not the city - to cancel night softball leagues and disappoint players, Rick Beattie, recreation director, told the board Tuesday.

"When we play down here in the summer, it becomes an event and when we can't, it becomes a real negative," he said, adding the local restaurants and bars look forward to the team gatherings that follow games.

Players see the rain end and the sun come out hours before the 6:30 p.m. start time, then get alerted that the field is too wet to play on and they get frustrated, Beattie explained. Had Parks and Forestry staff removed the water, raked and sprayed the diamond with a drying agent, leagues would have operated as planned, he said.

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Tosa's Meinecke flood project could cost $2 million more than expected

May 17, 2012 7:11 a.m. | The price tag for Wauwatosa's largest public works project came in $2 million over budget.

Despite the disparity, the city's Board of Public Works recommended approving the low contractor bid of $14.4 million for the Meinecke Avenue flood mitigation project and sending it to the Budget and Finance Committee to find a way to bridge the funding gap.

The decision was made Monday among a room packed with residents, some pleading with the city and their neighbors to support the project in hopes of preventing the flooding that has caused extensive damage to their basement following heavy rains.

What project?

Others who were hearing about the project for the first time asked the city to hold up the process.

» Read Full Article

Review continues on Mandel's proposed luxury apartment development in Whitefish Bay

May 16, 2012 9:48 p.m. | A proposed luxury apartment development behind the Fox Bay Cinema building in Whitefish Bay is advancing, following a preliminary review by the village Plan Commission on Wednesday.

Commissioners held a pre-petition conference with The Mandel Group, the developer that is looking to build 103 upscale apartments at 302-334 E. Silver Spring Drive. The conference was a formality under village code and was an opportunity for commissioners to weigh in and determine whether the proposal was worth pursuing further.

Mandel executives emphasized that public parking would be an important part of the development if it moves forward. The existing 135 village-owned parking spaces would be replaced by the development. But it would include 132 covered spaces at street level that would be made available and retained under village ownership.

Alderman honored for role in local projects

May 15, 2012 6:32 p.m. | Dennis McBride, 4th District alderman for Wauwatosa and senior trial attorney with the Milwaukee office of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, has received the Citizenship Award as part of University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's 2012 Distinguished Alumni Awards.

His involvement in the Friends of Hoyt Park and Pool, the city Historic Preservation Commission and Wauwatosa High School Memorial Project played into the award, as did his advocacy for creation and development of UWM's Innovation Park.

He graduated from UWM with a bachelor's degree in journalism in 1976, before going on to get a master of public affairs degree from Princeton University, followed by a law degree from New York University.

Beaver Dam teacher tapped for Homestead administrative position

May 15, 2012 6:00 p.m. | School officials in the Mequon-Thiensville district are recommending Lori Keiser for the position of assistant principal at Homestead High School. Her appointment will be made official Monday when the School Board votes on it.

Keiser currently serves as a science teacher at Beaver Dam High School - a position she has held for seven years.

Fire starts when woman lights cigarette near oxygen hose

May 15, 2012 5:54 p.m. | A woman attempting to light a cigarette too close to her oxygen hose started her apartment on fire at the Lake Forest Apartments about 8 a.m. May 12, police said.

According to the Oak Creek police report:

Oak Creek police and firefighters responded to a 911 call reporting a fire in a resident's apartment in the 8500 block of South Chicago Road at 7:45 a.m. May 12.

The first officer on scene reported a 65-year-old woman sitting on the floor outside her apartment door. Due to heavy smoke and heat coming from inside the apartment, the officer carried the woman to safety.

Oak Creek firefighters doused the fire at 8:05 a.m., and residents were allowed to return to the building at 8:37 a.m.

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Teens arrested during prom-night party in Oak Creek hotel

May 15, 2012 5:44 p.m. | Two teens were arrested for possession of marijuana after police were called to the Days Inn to evict a group of teenagers who were having a prom celebration during the early hours of May 12, police report.

According to the Oak Creek police report:

A clerk called police at 3:15 a.m. to report a group of teens celebrating prom were being loud, setting off fire alarms and smoking marijuana at the Days Inn, 1201 W. College Ave.

Two teens, a 16-year-old boy and a 17-year-old boy, both of Milwaukee, were cited for possession of marijuana. The 16-year-old also received a citation for violation of curfew. A small amount of alcohol was destroyed by officers at the scene.

A total of 16 Milwaukee teens were escorted from the hotel by police.

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Hales Corners library announces summer hours

May 15, 2012 4:16 p.m. | The Hales Corners Public Library, 5885 S. 116th St., will be closed May 27 and May 28 in observance of Memorial Day.

Summer hours will begin May 29. During summer, the library will be open 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

The library will be closed on Sundays.

Thomas Rosandich named Oak Creek fire chief

May 15, 2012 2:34 p.m. | The Oak Creek Police and Fire Commission has appointed Thomas Rosandich the city's fire chief.

Rosandich comes to the position with more than 33 years with the Oak Creek Fire Department. He began as a paid-on-call firefighter in 1979 and progressed in his career to the ranks of full-time firefighter, lieutenant, and assistant fire chief. Most recently, he served as acting fire chief upon the retirement of the former fire chief, Brian Satula.

Jim Ruetz named Oak Creek's District 3 alderman

May 15, 2012 1:50 p.m. | The Oak Creek Common Council has appointed Jim Ruetz alderman of District 3.

Ruetz is no stranger to public service, as he has served on the city's Community Development Authority for nine years.

He holds a Master's of Business Administration from the University of Chicago and a bachelor's in geography-urban planning from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, as well as an associate's degree in ocean engineering from the University of Florida Institute of Technology.

Ruetz is the president and general manager of All Fasteners Inc./All Tool Sales Inc. in Racine.

He has lived in Oak Creek for 26 years and within District 3 for 14 years.

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Closed-circuit TVs will capture curling action

May 15, 2012 11:46 a.m. | The Wauwatosa Curling Club will install closed-circuit television so spectators will have a better view of the action happening on the ice during competitions.

The club received unanimous approval today from the city's Parks and Forestry Board to put cameras in the Tosa Room - used as the ice house from October through March - of the Muellner Building in Hart Park. Televisions will go on the wall above the viewing glass in the Firefly Room, better known as the Hart Park Senior Center meeting space.

"I think we're the only club that doesn't have them," club Secretary Tom Havas said.

The cameras give a birds-eye view of the playing field, allowing viewers to better determine the shot that lands closest to the bull's-eye and giving fans a better idea of how the competition is unfolding, Havas said.

"For a curling club, cameras over the ice house are the equivalent to me of having lights on the football field," he said.

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Werner vacates Muskego alderman seat sooner than expected

May 15, 2012 11:42 a.m. | Muskego Alderman Keith Werner resigned Monday, nearly three weeks earlier than was expected based on his previous statements.

In his official resignation letter this week, Werner said he was vacating the seat earlier to save the city the cost of a recall election, though that issue was uncertain for the moment. He had previously set June 2 as his resignation date, which would have come after the deadline for a recall petition that was expected to be filed by the group Muskego for Ethical Government.

MEG group members targeted Werner for recall effort because, among other things, they are unhappy that the 4th District alderman did not vote to put the controversial lake park proposal to a referendum. More than 3,400 people signed a petition asking for a referendum.

The deadline for filing the recall petition is the end of May. If Werner's resignation had been effective June 2, a recall election would have had to be held. With his resignation coming before the recall petition is filed, the way might be clear for the Common Council to appoint a successor, although that is unclear at this time.

City Clerk Sharon Mueller said she probably would know sometime today what is legally called for. The attorney the city hired to help it through the recall process is working with the state Government Accountability Board to determine whether an election is needed or if the council can appoint a successor. The council normally fills vacancies through appointment. Werner's term expires in April 2013.

Girl Scouts honor GE Healthcare

May 15, 2012 11:32 a.m. | GE Healthcare will be honored on today with Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast's first corporate leadership award.

The Lighting the Path Leadership Award was created this year to recognize a business that reflects the Girl Scouts mission to help people and model the importance of service for girls.

The award is being presented to GE Elfun, a society of employees and retirees, within GE that focuses on volunteerism and community service.

For the past 10 years, GE Elfun has organized service days at two Girl Scout camps in Southeastern Wisconsin. This year, about 200 volunteers worked at Silverbrook Program Center in West Bend and at Camp Winding Rivers in Neosho, preparing the camps for summer use.

GE Healthcare operates from the Milwaukee County Research Park in Wauwatosa.

Glendale-River Hills officials weigh their budgetary options

May 14, 2012 10:02 p.m. | School officials in the Glendale-River Hills district discussed the complexity of crafting a 2012-13 budget at a meeting Monday.

At the moment, the district has cash reserves in the fund balance hovering around 7.17 percent, and District Administrator Larry Smalley suggested increasing the amount to about 9.8 percent of the total budget in the upcoming school year.

School districts and municipalities with lower fund balances can be affected adversely with lower bond ratings which, in turn, can create difficulty borrowing money in the future. Cash reserves also are beneficial in the event of an unanticipated expense.

But the School Board and administrators are weighing other issues, including staff salary increases, health care contributions and other benefit costs. A proposal also is on the table to add a section in next year's fourth-grade class because of an anticipated swell in enrollment.

The district's budget building process will continue for several months. The board will act on a draft version of the budget in July, in advance of a public hearing in August.

Glendale to treat city-owned trees for emerald ash borer

May 14, 2012 8:36 p.m. | Glendale will join a growing list of communities who are treating municipally - owned ash trees for the emerald ash borer. The insect, which bores into ash trees and destroys their ability to circulate nutrients, was found in Newburg several years ago and more recently in southern Milwaukee County.

The Common Council tonight awarded a $21,000 contract to Wallace Tree Service, which will treat 240 ash trees. The preventative treatment is good for two years.

Muskego recall effort now limited to Werner's seat

May 14, 2012 3:18 p.m. | Muskego for Ethical Government has dropped its recall efforts against Mayor Kathy Chiaverotti and Alderwoman Neome Schaumberg but will file a recall petition against Alderman Keith Werner.

Debra Bolton, MEG treasurer, said in a press release that the group has the signatures needed to recall Werner and will file the petition shortly.

The release explains: "In an effort to balance the needs of those frustrated over not being heard with the needs of those tired of recalls, MEG will suspend its efforts to recall Mayor Kathy Chiaverotti and Ald. Neome Schaumberg. It is the sincere hope of Muskego for Ethical Government that these two officials have now received enough feedback from our citizens to eliminate the need to resume these recalls."

The group acknowledges that Werner has announced he intends to resign as of June 2, more than a week after the recall petition filing deadline. But in the release, MEG said the group wanted to follow through on a recall to give voters a chance to select a successor, which MEG felt was consistent with the initial intent of the recall.

New Berlin man charged with sexually assaulting his granddaughter

May 12, 2012 10:57 a.m. | A 53-year-old New Berlin man was charged with two counts of first degree sexual assault of a child, one count of second degree sexual assault of a child and 15 counts of possession of child pornography.

He was charged in Waukesha County Circuit Court on Wednesday with inappropriately touching his granddaughter since the age of 3. She is now 13.

All the charges are felonies.

NOW is not releasing the man's name to protect the identity of his granddaughter.

A preliminary hearing is set for June 15.

City awaits applicants for open council seat

May 11, 2012 6:46 p.m. | So far, there are no applicants to represent District 2 on the Wauwatosa Common Council following the resignation of Eric Meaux earlier this month.

Mayor Kathy Ehley has appointed an aldermanic selection committee, which will meet June 4 to interview candidates and recommend an appointment.

The appointment would be for about a year. The chosen candidate will be required to run for election in April 2013 to complete the remaining three years of the term.

Aldermen are paid $350 per month and benefits include Wisconsin Retirement System pension and life insurance. Regular weekly meeting attendance is expected.

To apply, residents must submit a letter of intent, including their full name and birthdate and a résumé to the Wauwatosa City Clerk, 7725 W. North Avenue, Wauwatosa, WI 53213.

Project costs, tree removal could slow sewer work along Meinecke Avenue

May 11, 2012 4:12 p.m. | Christine Riley was gardening in her yard a couple of weeks ago when she noticed a utility worker making marks in front of her property. Curious, she inquired about his assignment and was shocked to learn he was prepping for what is anticipated to be the city's largest public works project.

"How did I not know about this?" she said. "It's in front of my home."

The Meinecke Avenue flood mitigation project has been in the works for 15 years, since some homeowners in the neighborhood experienced flooding after heavy storms in the 1990s. It became a higher priority after floods in 2008-10. Since then Common Council lifted a borrowing cap and budgeted for the project that calls for improving sanitary and storm sewers, road pavements, sidewalks and street and traffic lighting.

"This project is intended to reduce the frequency and severity of basement backups and street flooding," City Engineer Bill Wehrley said, adding the area served is greater than the section that has experienced problems.

The project area extends from Meinecke Avenue from 80th to 90th streets, down 90th Street south to the Menomonee River Parkway and along the parkway from 90th Street to Swan Boulevard.

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Shorewood School Board announces top two finalists in superintendent search

May 11, 2012 3:58 p.m. | The Shorewood School Board today announced the two top finalists in its superintendent search.

The two candidates for superintendent are Kirk Juffer, Ph.D., the principal of Lake Bluff Elementary School and districtwide Gifted and Talented director in the Shorewood School District and Martin Lexmond, superintendent of the Kohler Public School District and principal of Kohler High School in Kohler, Wis.

Juffer has been principal at Lake Bluff for 21 years and was previously the director of instruction at Holmen School District in Holmen, Wis. Before that, he served the School District of Richland Center for three years as a special-education teacher.

Lexmond has been the superintendent and principal at Kohler Public Schools for two years. Before that, he was the director of curriculum and instruction as well as the director of the department of school innovation at Milwaukee Public Schools. Before those positions, he taught in Denver and was an assistant principal and teacher at Milwaukee Public Schools.

Based on interviews with the board, these two candidates clearly stood out as the best fit to the Shorewood District profile. Both exhibited strong communication skills, high intellectual acumen and flexibility.

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Tosa had even voter split and high turnout

May 10, 2012 2:08 p.m. | Wauwatosa saw a 45 percent voter turnout for the state recall primary election, with the city nearly split among the two political parties.

Just a bit more than 49 percent of the ballots had boxes marked for Republican candidates for governor. Nearly all of those were votes for Gov. Scott Walker.

Democrats received nearly 51 percent of the votes, with candidate Tom Barrett, currently Milwaukee's mayor, getting more than three times the support than former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk.

Walker and Barrett will face off again for the governor's seat on June 5.

Mequon tables request for funding repairs to leaking private sewer laterals

May 10, 2012 8:11 a.m. | Sensing a reluctance from residents living in the Ville du Parc area proposed for a private property infiltration and inflow study, Mark Lloyd, deputy director of Public Works, asked the Mequon Common Council on Wednesday for money to make repairs to private laterals.

The city is planning to spend $135,000 of a $779,725 allocated to the city from the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District to televise private laterals and investigate other sources of I and I.

Fifty houses would be part of the study, but Lloyd said residents are unwilling to volunteer because they fear either they will be forced to fix the laterals at their own expense or they will have to disclose any problem that is not repaired should they decide to sell.

Lloyd estimated that the cost of completely replacing all the laterals would be $400,000 although complete replacement is likely a worst-case scenario.

Alderman John Wirth said the city should not fund repairs for a group of residents without first developing a policy to deal with how it would fund similar repairs for other residents. Wirth believes MMSD will eventually mandate repairs of private sewer laterals and that the city should have a policy on the funding for repairs.

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Community meetings next week for Shorewood superintendent search

May 09, 2012 12:48 p.m. | The final two candidates for the next superintendent of the Shorewood School District will meet with staff and community members on May 15 and May 17.

On each day, four community meetings will be held. In most instances, residents and staff members are welcome to attend any of the sessions.

The meeting schedule on both days:

8:45 to 9:30 a.m. at Shorewood Intemediate School, 3830 N. Morris Blvd., Room 122

10:30 to 11:15 a.m. at the southwest entrance of Atwater Elementary School's Early Education Center, 2100 E. Capitol Drive

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Tosa considers allowing residents to raise chickens

May 09, 2012 12:02 p.m. | Wauwatosa residents feeling a bit peckish for some fresh eggs will have to wait until this fall to find out if they will be allowed to keep chickens on their properties.

While a formal vote wasn't taken Tuesday, members of the city's Community Development Community appeared split on whether allowing people to keep chickens is a move toward a more sustainable city or a possible health hazard and drain on city staff who would have to handle permitting and enforcement activities.

Alderman Bobby Pantuso suggested taking some time to learn how the city of Milwaukee has handled its ordinance that permitted chickens on residential properties about a year ago and the costs that have resulted.

"We need to tread lightly with this," he said, adding he wouldn't be opposed to exploring a trial for a limited number of households.

He already grows tomatoes, herbs and mushrooms at his home and the idea of some fresh eggs definitely started Pantuso's mouth watering. However, he worried about "irresponsible" chicken-keepers, like the Milwaukee residents who allowed their bird to escape and make its way across the Tosa border.

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Four students injured in Germantown bus crash

May 09, 2012 11:30 a.m. | Four elementary school students were transported to Community Memorial Hospital Wednesday morning after a school bus collided with a car on Mequon Road and Fond du Lac Avenue.

The driver of the school bus, as well as the driver of the car were both injured and transported to the hospital. Germantown Police Chief Peter Hoell said in a news release all of the injuries appeared to be nonlife-threatening. A fifth student, who sustained minor injuries, was turned over to a parent at the scene.

The accident occurred at 8:30 a.m. as the school bus carrying 21 students was en route to MacArthur Elementary School. The bus stopped for a stop sign, then proceeded into traffic, colliding with a car traveling eastbound on Mequon Road. Hoell said the accident was a result of the school bus failing to yield the right of way from a stop sign.

The students who did not report injuries were transported by another bus to MacArthur Elementary for a second medical assessment by Germantown EMS and to meet with parents.

Ambulances from Mequon, Menomonee Falls and Richfield assisted the Germantown Fire Department at the scene. The Germantown School District, Hoell said, was instrumental in the immediate notification to the parents of the students involved in the accident.

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CDA to tackle redevelopment of former fire station site

May 09, 2012 10:32 a.m. | The city's Community Development Authority may have its first assignment: overseeing redevelopment of the less than 1 acre parcel remaining of the former fire station property.

Former Mayor Jill Didier appointed seven members with expertise in areas such as real estate, corporate tax law and commercial banking to the CDA six months ago. Since then, the group has met several times, but hasn't had projects to work on, said Alderman Craig Wilson, vice chairman of the CDA.

"The members of the CDA are very encouraged to jump in on this and get their feet wet," he told the Community Development Committee on Tuesday.

The committee and the Common Council must approve transferring ownership of the parcel to the CDA. The council is expected to take up the matter Tuesday.

This goes against the original intent of the city to sell off that parcel for redevelopment. In better economic times, the estimated sale price came in at $300,000, Economic Development Director Paulette Enders said.

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Wine tasting, outdoor seating planned at Ruby Tap

May 09, 2012 10:04 a.m. | Taste before you buy will be the theme behind The Ruby Tap, a wine bar and shop that is expected to open in late June in the Village.

Brooke Boomer, who will own and operate the business with her sister, requested a liquor license from the city Tuesday.

"We wanted to make a place we'd like to go," she said. "We'll have wine-tasting machines, so you can try before you buy."

Thirty-two machines will give customers numerous choices. If that's not enough variety, another 40 wines will be available off tap for purchase.

The business will be located at 1341 Wauwatosa Ave., in the redeveloped former Drew's Variety Store building, next to Yo Mama frozen yogurt shop.

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Jimmy's Island Grill plans Reggae Sunsplash

May 09, 2012 9:58 a.m. | Jimmy's Island Grill and Iguana Bar in the Radisson, 2303 N. Mayfair Road, requested an extension of its liquor license so it can hold a new event, Reggae Sunsplash, on its property from 2 to 8 p.m. June 17.

The party is a way to kick off summer and celebrate Father's Day, said Michele Semrau, a catering manager for the hotel. Food, drinks and live music will be offered, with the action extending into a section of the parking lot.

The city's Legislation, Licensing and Communications Committee on Tuesday unanimously recommended approval. The request must go to the Board of Public Works on Monday for a permit to use the parking lot, then the full Common Council will vote before the party can start.

Tosa police chase down suspected armed robbers tied to two incidents

May 09, 2012 9:05 a.m. | Two Milwaukee youths suspected in back-to-back armed robberies were arrested Saturday night after fleeing police.

The two youths, ages 13 and 17, were allegedly involved in separate incidents within minutes of each other in the northeast corner of Wauwatosa.

According to the police reports:

In the first incident, a Wauwatosa officer responding to a call at 8:48 p.m. at No. 1 Chinese Restaurant, 6119 W. North Ave., talked to a Milwaukee couple who said they had been suddenly approached by two males who pointed a gun at them in a robbery attempt nearby. The couple had escaped by running into the restaurant, where staff responded to their screams for help by quickly locking the door once they were inside and then called police.

Three minutes later, a second similar incident reportedly took place on the southeast corner of North 65th Street and West Wright Street. There, a male victim said he had been approached by two males who pushed him down and placed the barrel of a handgun to the back of his skull while taking his wallet, cellphone and headphones.

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Man wants to bequeath property to Fox Point

May 09, 2012 3:48 a.m. | A Park Falls, Wis., man wants to bequeath personal property and other belongings to the village of Fox Point - a proposal elected officials were at least receptive to while discussing the issue Tuesday.

A decade ago, Kenneth Leindecker expressed a desire to be buried at Old Dutch Cemetery, a property near Doctor's Park along the lakefront, because other family members are buried at the site. Leindecker's wishes were approved by passage of a resolution.

By default, the historic cemetery is under the village's purview, and staff members maintain the site.

Through his attorney, Leindecker more recently expressed a desire to will the assets of a life insurance policy, historic documents and his 30-acre Park Falls property to Fox Point upon his death. The full value of all of Leindecker's assets are not known.

The board took no action during Tuesday's discussion, but staff members were directed to look into the issue further.

8*twelve hopes to capitalize on famous owners

May 08, 2012 8:48 p.m. | Wisconsin's two most famous athletes are teaming with one of Milwaukee's pre-eminent restaurateurs to bring some MVP style to the west side.

Milwaukee Brewer Ryan Braun and Green Bay Packer Aaron Rodgers will join forces with SURG restaurant group - owner of Umami Moto, Carnevor and Distil restaurants in Milwaukee - to open a family-friendly eatery named 8*twelve in Brookfield next month.

The restaurant will be located in the former Charro building, 17800 W. Bluemound Road in the city of Brookfield.

"Aaron and I are not only great friends, but we both have wholeheartedly made long-term commitments to the sports fans of Wisconsin," Braun said in a news release. "We wanted to give them a home base to celebrate their favorite teams and enjoy some great food and service."

8*twelve will serve American food cooked atop a wood-fire grill.

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Panel OKs idea of outdoor seating wine-and-painting studio

May 08, 2012 8:34 p.m. | Owners of Artè Wine and Painting Studio want to allow their customers to enjoy both elements of their Village shop outdoors until midnight.

On Monday, the Plan Commission, which last month put a hold on the request by Karen Wilman-Salituro and Lisa Allen to allow time for a more detailed site plan to be submitted, got an idea that could accommodate the proposal using public right of way.

Ten tables, providing seating for about 32 people, would be placed along the public sidewalk right next to the building, 7511 Harwood Ave., and in the grass and paved area around the tree across the sidewalk from the building.

The commission voted 4-0 in favor of granting a conditional-use permit for outdoor seating. Mayor Kathy Ehley, chairwoman of the commission, abstained from voting because she still holds the position of Village Business Improvement District executive director.

Commissioner Jody Lowe supported the request, but she questioned whether the seating was to support the drinking portion of the business more than the painting portion.

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Lifeguards will staff Atwater Beach

May 08, 2012 10:50 a.m. | Shorewood - Atwater Beach will have lifeguards this summer, courtesy of Milwaukee County. The Village Board voted Monday to authorize a budget of approximately $10,000 for nine weeks of lifeguard service.

The tentative start date is June 16 and the tentative end date of the service is Aug. 18. The village received two separate service options for lifeguard staffing from Milwaukee County, and ended up going with a compromise of work hours and cost. Lifeguards will be on duty from 11 a.m. through 4 p.m., seven days a week.

"There will be a large block of time where parents will know there's a lifeguard," Trustee Michael Maher said.

The original cost for the lifeguards was approximately $16,000, but the village has $6,000 left over from last year as a result of beach closings, bringing the total cost down.

Trustees and Friends of Atwater Beach members expressed interest in a later end date for the lifeguard service, which is currently set for Aug. 18 because a majority of lifeguards are college students who head back to campus mid-month.

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Two re-used sites involve incoming pet businesses

May 08, 2012 10:44 a.m. | Pets were on the mind, on agenda, of the Wauwatosa Planning Commission on Monday night, thanks to two independent proposals that would convert big-box and warehouse buildings to other uses.

Petco, a national pet supply chain, will move into one of the three additional tenant spaces within the Walmart Neighborhood Market development at 124th Street and Capitol Drive. Petco got approval from the Plan Commission to move into the 13,000-square-foot northernmost space, which is about a third of size of the Walmart grocery store that's expected to open in June.

In addition to selling pet supplies, Petco will offer animal grooming services and vaccination clinics staffed by licensed veterinarians. The store is expected to employ about 20 people.

There are two much smaller spaces that could be leased individually or combined. An address has been assigned for a Sprint store, city planner Tamara Szudy said.

Elsewhere on 124th Street, a former industrial warehouse building may get a pet-related business.

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Mequon approves changes to Concordia baseball stadium

May 08, 2012 10:31 a.m. | By a 4-3 vote the Mequon Plan Commission agreed last night to an amended building plan for the Concordia University baseball stadium, drawing sarcastic comments, "Thank you for standing up for the taxpayers," from several nearby residents who opposed the changes.

Eight to ten brick columns planned for the back of the main grandstand and entry area and concessions under that grandstand will no longer be part of the plan, at least for the foreseeable future.

Andrew Petzold, speaking on behalf of the university, downplayed the changes, saying that the university had added hundreds of thousands of dollars to upgrades to the building, including artificial turf and a choice to move from stadium seats and bleachers to all stadium seats.

Petzold said fundraising for the brick columns, Pillars of Faith, did not work out as anticipated.

"The goal was to get a sponsor for those," he said. When the sponsor was unable to make the expected $250,000 donation, the university decided to change the plan.

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Whitefish Bay park to be named after Craig Counsell

May 08, 2012 7:10 a.m. | Green space used by recently retired professional baseball player Craig Counsell during his formative years is being named in his honor.

The Whitefish Bay Village Board last night voted to name a site Craig Counsell Park. The venue, located along Lydell Avenue, has informally been referred to as Water Tower Park over the years.

Counsell, a Whitefish Bay native, played baseball at Water Tower and Cahill parks as a youth. He currently lives in the community with his wife, Michelle, and his four children.

Counsell made his Major League Baseball debut in 1995 with the Colorado Rockies and retired at the end of the 2011 season as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers - the team he played for throughout most of his career.

Brookfield Plan Commission approves controversial mosque project

May 08, 2012 6:58 a.m. | An eruption of hugs and tears met the Brookfield Plan Commission's unanimous approval of a new mosque on Pheasant Drive. Monday night, well over 100 people, residents and non-residents alike, came to the public hearing, mostly to show their support for the project which would bring a 13,000 square foot house of worship to Brookfield, the first of its kind.

Of the more than 80 people who spoke at the meeting, less than 10 offered any kind of opposition to the project, a stark contrast from a town hall-style meeting two weeks ago when arguments erupted over controversial issues surrounding the Muslim faith.

No such issues came up at this meeting, even among opponents, as the discourse was narrowed only to include building, traffic, and other code-related concerns.

"The issue tonight is a building, not a religion. It's a building," insisted Mayor Steven Ponto.

"If you want to talk about religion or you want to talk about the Brewers, please go outside of City Hall and do that."

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Life Church expansion moves forward with wetland rezone

May 07, 2012 11:10 p.m. | Life Church in Germantown hopes to one day seat 800 people.

To expand the church that is located at W164 N11325 Squire Drive, the Village of Germantown board of trustees first had to approve a conditional use permit and a rezone, which they did unanimously Monday night.

After receiving the necessary permits from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Army Corps of Engineers, Life Church was granted the rezone and removal of 9,261 square-feet from the Shoreland-Wetland Zoning District. The church has plans to fill two portions of the wetland area that is approximately 1,580 square-feet in size and located in the northwest corner of the property.

Jeff Retzlaff, planning and zoning administrator for the Village of Germantown, said as part of the conditional use permit, there will be mitigation areas adjacent to the wetlands that would provide the same flood protection for residents in the area. This includes enhancing and expanding the management pond.

Retzlaff said the filling of the wetlands would not significantly impact flood storage, groundwater recharge, shore land erosion, fish spawning or breeding grounds for other wildlife habitats. As part of the permit, a three-year monitoring program will be implemented on the area.

Germantown clerk resigns

May 07, 2012 10:24 p.m. | The Germantown Village Board of Trustees approved the resignation of Village Clerk Elizabeth Knaack Monday night.

Knaack is retiring from the position she has held since 2006. Her resignation will be effective July 12, however, her last day is June 29, said Village Administrator David Schornack.

The village will soon advertise for the position that pays between $59,711 and $67,531. Pay will be determined on the applicant's level of experience.

"This position is becoming more complex literally every day with all the election changes," Schornack said. "I want to try and get this position filled as quickly as we can."

The board of trustees has the official vote on who holds the position of village clerk.

Young People's Art Exhibit honors the best

May 07, 2012 6:52 p.m. | Artwork pieces created by two Wauwatosa School District students were chosen as Best in Show for the 2012 Young People's Art Exhibit.

Erin Schaut, Whitman Middle School, won Best of Show in the junior division; while Aaron Czarnecki, Wauwatosa East High School, took top honors for the senior division. Each student received $250.

The pieces will be on display during the Wisconsin State Fair in August.

Other district students will also have their work exhibited.

Also picked for top honors were East High School students Brad Lembrich, who won the Artist and Display Award for best drawing in the senior division for his charcoal self-portrait; and Michael Leffler, who received the Special Needs Artwork Award for his digital imagery piece.

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Menomonee Falls hires new principals

May 07, 2012 5:03 p.m. | The School District of Menomonee Falls will see two new faces come fall.

Corey Golla was selected as the principal of Menomonee Falls High School and Andy Farley was named assistant principal. Farley and Golla are both wrapping up their tenures at Brookfield East High School.

Golla has been the athletic and activities director for Brookfield East High School for the past eight years and served as associate principal. He has taught both middle and high school courses and has 16 years of experience in education. Golla received his master's degree in educational leadership from Marion College.

Golla has also received the Elmbrook School District Outstanding Employee award and is trained on Baldrige criteria for performance excellence in education, according to the Menomonee Falls School District.

Farley has been interim athletic and activities director and assistant principal at Brookfield East since February. He has taught high school social studies and coached boys' basketball for eight years. Farley has a master's degree in educational leadership from Marion University.

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Levek hired as Whitefish Bay Middle School principal

May 07, 2012 3:58 p.m. | Superintendent Mary Gavigan of the Whitefish Bay School District announced Monday Amy Levek will be the next principal at Whitefish Bay Middle School. Levek, the current associate principal at Whitefish Bay High School, assumes responsibilities at the middle school on July 1. Levek replaces Lisa Gies who announced her resignation earlier this year to take a faculty position at Cardinal Stritch University.

Levek earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from UW-Madison. Before serving as the associate principal at Whitefish Bay High School, she taught biology at Oak Creek High School.

"After a thorough review process, which included numerous listening sessions, screening of over 100 applicants, and multiple levels of interviews, we feel very confident that Amy Levek is the right person to lead our middle school and build upon our tradition of excellence," Gavigan said in the news release.

The School Board will act on Levek's contract on Wednesday.

Muskego Alderman Werner, subject of a recall effort, resigns

May 04, 2012 3:18 p.m. | Muskego Alderman Keith Werner, who is a subject of a recall effort, has resigned effective June 2.

In his resignation letter, he wrote, "During the course of the month of May, I will be taking on additional responsibilities with my full time employer which may reduce my availability to represent the constituents of District 4."

Mayor Kathy Chiaverotti, also a target of a recall effort, said Werner has been struggling for months to make Common Council meetings after his work schedule changed to evenings.

Werner was elected last year to a two-year term representing District 4, and it is unclear how the vacancy will be filled. Ordinarily, the council would appoint a successor. But the recall effort might change that, Chiaverotti said.

The recall effort is mainly over his voting with a majority of the council to not put a controversial proposal to create a park on Little Muskego Lake to a referendum. Such a referendum was called for in a petition signed by more than 3,400 residents.

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Mayor charges unfair tactics in recall effort

May 03, 2012 6:50 p.m. | Muskego Mayor Kathy Chiaverotti has issued a statement that she believes she is being misrepresented by the people circulating a recall petition against her.

"After being contacted by residents of Muskego, it has come to my attention that the recall group, Muskego for Ethical Government, is going door to door implying that I signed the Walker Recall Petition," she wrote. "Nothing could be further from the truth."

"This can be verified at http://www.putwisconsinfirst.com and you will not find my signature on the Walker Recall Petition," Chiaverotti wrote.

She went on to be critical of the group conducting the recall.

"It's time for the residents of Muskego to understand that this group will say whatever it takes to get their signatures for a recall and to imply that I signed the Walker Recall is absolutely ludicrous."

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West adds Sunday matinee performance of "Peter Pan"

May 02, 2012 9:46 a.m. | Wauwatosa West's production of "Peter Pan" has drawn so much interest from families with younger children, a Sunday matinee has been added to the schedule.

The Sunday performance will be at 2 p.m. in the school's theater, 11400 W. Center St.

The full schedule also includes a 7 p.m. performance on May 4 and 5.

Tickets are $5 for children 5 and under, $10 for students, $12.50 for seniors 62 and older and $15 for adults. They can be purchased online at www.seatyourself.biz/trojanplayers or in person at the box office which opens 30 minutes prior to each show.

For more information, call 414-773-3219 or visit www.facebook.com/trojanplayers.

Highway 100 widening would plow businesses under

May 01, 2012 9:50 p.m. | A state Department of Transportation plan to widen Highway 100 would result in dozens of businesses being lost in West Allis and tonight the Common Council decided to protest the plan.

Alderman Gary Barczak, chairman of the Public Works Committee, estimated the city would lose 50 businesses if the widening went through. At the very least $10 million in real estate would be gone and $500,000 in taxbase, estimated Peter Daniels, principal engineer.

"I think we're going to have a real fight," Daniels said, as the state Department of Transportation is determined to at least add 10 feet to the road for bike lanes.

The Common Council decided to send a strong protest to state transportation authorities. The city also will express its opposition to any widening to the city's state representatives and to the governor.

Assistant Superintendent Kelly Thompson to lead Muskego-Norway

May 01, 2012 5:28 p.m. | The Muskego-Norway School Board selected Assistant Superintendent Kelly Thompson as its new superintendent. Thompson succeeds Joe Schroeder who is resigning effective June 30 after five years of service to become associate executive director of the Association of Wisconsin School Administrators.

Thompson has served the district for 19 years in various roles including coordinator of pupil services, high school associate principal, and director of instruction before becoming assistant superintendent.

In a news release announcing the board's appointment, School Board President James Schaefer said: "Dr. Thompson's knowledge of our district, our goals and our initiatives make her uniquely qualified to carry the district forward.

"Her mission-driven approach to continuous improvement will help the Muskego-Norway Schools progress on our journey to being the district of choice in southeastern Wisconsin," Schaefer said.

In the news release, Schroeder called her a fabulous choice and said, "Dr. Kelly Thompson is an exceptionally dedicated and capable learning leader, who is also an individual of the highest personal integrity."

Candidates for Thiensville Village Board swell to 15

May 01, 2012 5:04 p.m. | Fifteen candidates have applied for a vacant position on the Thiensville Village Board created when Van Mobley was elected village president in the April election. The term on the board ends in April 2013.

The list includes two former trustees, Elmer C. Prenzlow, 506 Oakwood Drive, and Donald A. Molyneux, 326 Grand Ave. The other applicants are David A. Lange, 428 Alta Loma Drive; Andy Match, 505 Alta Loma Drive; Peter A. Giersch, 419 Alta Loma Drive; Michael Stephens IV, 120 Riverview Drive; John C. Cabaniss, 503 Riverview Drive; Kurt Braun, 610 Oakwood Drive; Judy Ziebell, 727 Riverview Drive; Aaron John Benson, 526 Rosedale Drive; Donald A. Cary, 404 Woodside Lane; M. "Randy" Pasternak, 524 Bel Aire Drive; Michael J. Dyer, 600 Bel Aire Drive; Todd Ruhkick, 408 Oakwood Drive; and Greg Steinbrenner, 211 S. Orchard St.

The board will interview all the candidates between 5:30 and 8:45 p.m. Thursday with the exception of Steinbrenner who cannot attend that night.

The interviews and any board deliberation are open to the public. The meeting is at Village Hall, 250 Elm St.

Dispatching meetings moves to New Berlin City Hall

May 01, 2012 4:30 p.m. | New Berlin's informational meetings on the pros and cons of switching police and fire dispatching to the Waukesha County Communications Center have been moved to the New Berlin City Hall, 3805 S. Casper Drive.

They had been scheduled for the Public Safety Building.

The meetings will be at 6 p.m. Thursdays, May 3 and 17. The half-hour presentation will be followed by a question and answer session.

Walk for Kaylen at 7 p.m. May 1

May 01, 2012 2:28 p.m. | The community is invited to take a walk in support of Kaylen Birk this evening, a 4K student at Lincoln Elementary who has been diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor.

The walk starts at 7 p.m. at the The Little Red Store situated adjacent to the parking lot under the Harmonee Bridge. Participants will walk along the parkway to the Hoyt Park bridge and back.

For more information about the walk, call 414-467-8011.

Organizers call the event an opportunity to "provide strength and support" to the Birk family.

Kaylen Birk is in the process of receiving treatment through the week for six weeks at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

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