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Motorcyclist identified in fatal St. Francis wreck

June 29, 2009 2:44 p.m. | Authorities identified a motorcycle rider who was killed early Monday when he wrecked and was thrown from his motorcycle in St. Francis.

The motorcyclist, Joseph P. Cahala, 22, of Cudahy, apparently lost control while riding northbound in the 4200 block of S. Lake Drive, according to a news release from the St. Francis Police Department.

Officers were called to the scene of the wreck at 1:48 a.m. Initial reports indicate no other vehicles were involved in the wreck.

City flooded by angry residents

June 26, 2009 1:02 p.m. | Hundreds of people upset about the latest round of local flooding filled the council chambers at City Hall Thursday night for a town hall meeting that was heated at times and had far more questions than answers.

Residents aired their personal flood stories for nearly 2½ hours to city officials, who were criticized throughout the meeting.

The meeting revealed many different kinds of flooding problems - from sanitary sewer backups to stormwater runoff - in neighborhoods throughout the city.

Mayor Dan Devine said because of the situation's complexity, the city has to look at each resident's case individually to pinpoint exactly how to prevent their properties from flooding again.

Residents filled out a form documenting their flooding problems, which the city will examine to try and get some answers on went wrong.

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'Debt' confrontation leads to gun and theft arrests

June 26, 2009 12:52 p.m. | Three people were arrested after a resident drew a gun in the 1400 block of South 92nd Street Monday night.

According to a police report:

A 23-year-old man and a 25-year-old woman showed up at an apartment about 6 p.m. to collect a "debt" from a man and woman, both 20 years old.

A physical confrontation between the two men transpired in the hallway before the 20-year-old man pulled out a revolver and pointed it at the other man.

The altercation continued inside the apartment before the 23-year-old man and 25-year-old woman stole three purses and tried to flee.

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Village reverses train horn ban for Fourth of July

June 23, 2009 4:14 p.m. | Hoping to prevent another holiday tragedy, Elm Grove is suspending its train horn ban for the Fourth of July.

The village expects an increase in vehicle and pedestrian traffic that day due to Fourth of July festivities.

The action comes on the heels of a train-van collision at the Juneau Boulevard crossing before the Memorial Day parade. Two people were seriously injured in that incident.

"It will be night when people are departing (Village Park)," Assistant Police Chief Gus Moulas said of the July 4 fireworks. "It will add some warning when the train approaches near the Juneau crossing specifically, but we are lifting the ban for all three crossings."

Railroad working with village

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Teens arrested for forging $20 bills

June 23, 2009 10:27 a.m. | Three Brookfield teens have been arrested on felony counts of forgery after they passed counterfeit bills at a grocery store in Brookfield and a fast-food restaurant in Wauwatosa.

Police said two of the teens, both 19, used fake $20 bills to make separate purchases at Pick ’n Save, 17295 W. Capitol Drive, on June 16. A cashier thought the purchases were suspicious and examined the bills, which had the same serial number. The cashier then determined the bills were fake by using a counterfeit detector pen.

An employee at the store recognized the two men and police made contact with them. They admitted to printing up the counterfeit money.

A third 19-year-old man later was arrested for forgery after police learned he had purchased the paper the bills were printed on and had driven the other two men to the grocery store.

Wauwatosa police said the suspects used fake bills from the same source at Burger King, 3880 N. 124th St., the same day.

Robbers target candy store

June 22, 2009 2:50 p.m. | Two men robbed a candy store in the Towne Center shopping complex last week.

According to a police report:

At about 10:30 a.m. June 16, the men entered Quality Candy, 6761 W. Greenfield Ave., and demanded money, then fled east on Greenfield Avenue in a vehicle described as silver with a dent on the driver's side near the headlamp.

One of the suspects who may have been armed with a gun was described as black, 6 feet tall, thin build, and in his late teens or early 20s. He was wearing a blue baseball cap and a dark-colored jacket.

The second suspect was black, in his 20s, and about 5 feet 10 inches tall. He was wearing camouflage and a white medical mask.

New Berlin mayor seeking furloughs for city employees

June 19, 2009 2:02 p.m. | New Berlin — Mayor Jack F. Chiovatero will ask the Common Council on Tuesday night to approve two days of unpaid furloughs for employees to offset a revenue shortfall.

The furloughs on July 6 and Sept. 4 would save about $51,100, Chiovatero said Friday.

Because of the economic recession, revenue this year is projected to be down about $650,000, Chiovatero said.

That has prompted the city to take steps to reduce spending to avoid a deficit.

The city already has cut spending by about $300,000 and needs the mandatory furloughs and other measures to reduce spending by another $350,000.

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West band supporters rally against cutting directors' hours

June 19, 2009 10:28 a.m. | About 20 Wauwatosa West High School band students and their parents gathered last night to again speak out against a district staffing decision that will cut the band director's hours by 30 percent this fall.

Student Alex Steiner spoke alongside his father, arguing that the band program will suffer if director Richard Smith's position is cut to part time. "The quality of our band will likely decrease significantly," he said.

Parent Donna Pfaff has been spearheading a grass-roots effort via e-mail to rally supporters against the decision. Pfaff said parents and students will attend Monday's School Board meeting to assert their opposition to the plan and to show that they "aren't going away." They've also scheduled a meeting with Superintendent Phil Ertl Tuesday.

"The only way we're going to be heard by the administration is if we go to Mr. Ertl himself," Pfaff said.

Because of declining band enrollment, district administrators plan have Smith spend just 70 percent of his time at West. The remainder of his hours would be spent teaching music at Whitman Middle School and Madison Elementary School.

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East doesn’t renew winning soccer coach’s contract

June 18, 2009 1:39 p.m. |  Bill ArmstrongFor the second time in three months, Brookfield East High School has lost a veteran coach with an impressive winning record.

Girls soccer coach Bill Armstrong did not have his contract renewed on Tuesday, which finishes his 19-year career as the Lady Spartans' coach.

Armstrong's team was 14-4-4 this season, finishing second in the Greater Metro Conference (6-1) behind two-time state champion Divine Savior Holy Angels (7-0).

The team had a 32-6-8 record over the past two seasons, losing to DSHA in the state semifinals in overtime (3-2) last year. Over the past five years, the team had an 88-12-10 record under Armstrong's leadership - a winning percentage of .800.

Armstrong said Athletic Director Corey Golla told him that he believed the team had underperformed and had a sub-par season, and that it was a "good time to do something." Golla also said he needed a coach who could better monitor and control the squad's off-field behavior, according to Armstrong.

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No signs of foul play found in Shorewood teen's death

June 17, 2009 8:20 p.m. | Investigators found no signs of foul play but are awaiting results of toxicology tests to determine the cause of death of a 17-year-old boy found in his Shorewood home last week, according to a news release from the Shorewood Police Department.

Alex J. Wajer was found June 10 in his home in the 1500 block of E. Marion St., according to the release.

The Milwaukee County medical examiner's office determined that Wajer suffered from pulmonary edema and congestion in the lungs, but a final cause of death has not been determined, the release says.

Shorewood police have placed a nondisclosure on Wajer's medical examiner's report, which prohibits the medical examiner's office from releasing the report.

Teens accused of multiple thefts from cars

June 17, 2009 3:02 p.m. | City of Brookfield police this morning arrested three Milwaukee teens suspected of committing several thefts from cars in recent days.

According to a statement from the Police Department:

Several thefts from cars, most of which were unlocked, were reported on the city's north side during the last week. Third-shift officers patrolling the area early this morning spotted a suspicious vehicle parked near Calhoun and Lisbon roads.

Officers watched the vehicle and pulled it over when it left the area. Inside the car, they found electronics and coins that recently had been stolen from vehicles in Brookfield and the surrounding area.

The three youths - two 16-year-olds and a 19-year-old - were arrested about 4:30 a.m. today, and after questioning, officers determined the three were responsible for numerous thefts from vehicles and some burglaries in Brookfield, Menomonee Falls and Milwaukee.

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Disaster drill continues for local hospitals, public safety staff

June 17, 2009 7:19 a.m. | First responders in hazardous material suits worked alongside U.S. military personnel and hospital officials at area hospitals Tuesday and will continue the operation Wednesday as part of a community disaster drill.

That's why visitors to local hospitals might see military personnel, vehicles and tents Wednesday. Some people trying to get to Froedtert Hospital during the day Wednesday will face a detour.

Ten area hospitals are participating in the drill, according to Froedtert officials. Officials are trying to get the word out so that the exercise, dubbed "Red Dragon," doesn't spark concern that a real disaster is happening.

The drill, which will simulate a dirty bomb explosion at a sporting event, is designed to determine whether area emergency workers are prepared to respond to mass casualty events that require decontamination. It also will assess the military's ability to support local civilian authorities in case of such an emergency. One hundred mock victims will be sent to participating hospitals, and military personnel will set up decontamination camps on hospital grounds.

This is expected to be the largest such drill in the country this year, according to a news release from Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, with the participation of 3,000 military personnel, representatives of federal agencies including FEMA and the FBI, and local firefighting and police authorities. The exercise is the culmination of yearlong military training in disaster management focused on responding to a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear incident. Army reservists from throughout the country are expected to participate.

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Firefighters on the hot seat for spotty attendance records

June 17, 2009 6:40 a.m. | Three Mequon firefighters could lose their jobs after failing to meet the minimum requirements for attendance at training sessions and responding to fire calls.

City rules require firefighters to participate in at least 75 percent of the department’s training activities and to respond to at least 20 percent of the fire calls in each half a year.

But the three veteran firefighters fell far short of that requirement last year, Fire Chief David Bialk said in disciplinary charges filed with the Police and Fire Commission.

One firefighter, 24-year veteran Robert Schepp, responded to just 6 percent of the fire calls in the first half of last year. Another, Stacy Cooke, showed up for just 8 percent of the calls in that same time period, while 23-year veteran Gregory Holz, responded to 10 percent.

The commission will begin disciplinary hearings for Schepp and Holz on July 1. A hearing date for Cooke has not been set.

Police officer involved in Memorial Day rescue released from hospital

June 16, 2009 9:22 a.m. | Officer John Krahn of the Elm Grove Police Department has been released from Froedtert Hospital, nearly three weeks after he was injured in a train-van collision.

Krahn was released Friday afternoon, Assistant Chief of the Elm Grove Police Department Gus Moulas said.

"He's been (at home) since, resting, and has physical therapy daily," he said.

Krahn was performing routine parade traffic control on Memorial Day when he ran to help Monica Ensely-Partenfelder and her 2-year-old son who were in their minivan that became stuck on the railroad tracks.

With a 94-car freight train heading toward them, Krahn was able to pull Ensely-Partenfelder from the minivan. Her husband Scott Partenfelder, who was in a nearby vehicle, ran back to help free his son.

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Can of pop explodes, burns three teens

June 15, 2009 5:00 p.m. | Three 14-year-old girls suffered minor injuries at a graduation party this weekend after a can of soda exploded.

The girls, of Elm Grove and Brookfield, were at the graduation party in the 18900 block of Still Point Trail about 8:30 p.m. Saturday when a guest threw a soda can into a fire pit. The can exploded, spraying hot soda onto the girls and causing minor burns.

The girls were taken to Elmbrook Memorial Hospital, where they were treated and released.

Police not impressed with bare naked men's performance

June 15, 2009 1:22 p.m. | A driver saw way more than he wanted to while traveling down 92nd Street early Monday morning.

The driver called police about 1:30 a.m. to report four naked men parading around on 92nd Street just south of Greenfield Avenue.

Police caught two of the nude men and cited them for disorderly conduct, according to a police report. One of the men, 36, told officers he was intoxicated and trying out for a new band, police said.

The other man, whose age was unknown, was also cited for obstructing police after he gave an officer a fake name.

Wauwatosa East, West graduation photos posted

June 15, 2009 11:45 a.m. | We've just posted photos of the Wauwatosa East and West graduation ceremonies, which were held Saturday.

Vandalism prompts Germantown police to issue crime alert

June 12, 2009 12:36 p.m. | The Germantown Police Department is investigating several reports of vandalism to vehicles, garages and mailboxes. These incidents are occurring between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., and are not targeted to any specific area of the village.

Many of the vehicles and garages have been spray-painted. The mailboxes have been smashed. No suspect information is available.

The department today issued a crime alert asking for residents to be aware of any suspicious people or vehicles, and for neighbors to watch each other's properties while they are away.

Residents also are encouraged to contact the department to report any suspicious activity while it is occurring.

Call the department at (262) 253-7780 or 911 in case of an emergency.

Man charged with supplying heroin in Fox Point overdose

June 09, 2009 3:18 p.m. | A 28-year-old Milwaukee man has been charged with supplying the heroin that killed a Fox Point man in a 2006 overdose.

Isaac Joseph Sprotte faces a charge of first-degree reckless homicide, delivery of drugs, as party to a crime. If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to 40 years in prison.

According to a criminal complaint filed last month, Sprotte obtained heroin for James B. Buley, 23, the night before he was found dead by his mother at her Fox Point home on Dec. 28, 2006.

A confidential informant told police about Sprotte and Buley in January 2009, according to the complaint.

Buley was a recovering addict who was home for a two-week visit from Nashville, Tenn., when he died, the complaint states.

Mequon teen charged in heroin case

June 09, 2009 2:58 p.m. | Port Washington – A Mequon teenager has been charged with selling heroin to a Mequon police informant last week.

Alla Subbotina, 19, the informant and an undercover Mequon police officer posing as the informant's brother on Thursday drove to Milwaukee and purchased eight foil packets of heroin, each weighing a tenth of a gram, for $200, according to a criminal complaint.

When they returned to Mequon, their car was pulled over by another Mequon police officer, and Subbotina was arrested.

Subbotina is charged with trafficking in heroin and could be imprisoned for 12 1/2 years if convicted. She also faces two counts of felony bail jumping, for which she could be imprisoned up to 12 additional years.

Subbotina was charged with disorderly conduct June 2 and with burglary May 27. She was released on bail in both cases with a condition of bail being that she not commit any new crimes.

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Couple charged in gas station robberies

June 09, 2009 12:48 p.m. | A 26-year-old man has been charged with armed robbery and his 28-year-old girlfriend for armed robbery-party to crime after a holdup of a BP gas station, 5926 W. Beloit Road, on Thursday.

Dustin M. Przybylski and Lori P. Mudrock, both of West Allis, were also charged in connection with gas station robberies in Milwaukee and Wauwatosa last week.

According to a police report:

Przybylski wore a blue bandanna over his face, showed a knife and ordered the BP clerk to open the register and give him money about 7:15 a.m.

As the clerk opened the register, Przybylski grabbed money and fled into the alley behind the business. He got into a white vehicle where police say Mudrock was waiting in the driver's seat.

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Greenfield to consider open carry measure

June 09, 2009 12:40 p.m. | Greenfield – Following South Milwaukee, Greenfield will consider an ordinance that would allow police to ticket people who openly carry a gun into businesses that post signs prohibiting open carry.

Ald. Linda Lubotsky said Tuesday that she will propose an ordinance, patterned after one being considered in South Milwaukee, on Monday.

Businesses have the right under state law to prohibit open carry, but South Milwaukee and Greenfield don't have ordinances allowing police to write tickets to violators.

Last week, the South Milwaukee Common Council unanimously supported its ordinance, which needs two more readings before it would be adopted. The minimum proposed fine is $2,500, and the maximum is $10,000.

Plan to save farmhouse divides panel

June 09, 2009 10:28 a.m. | The city of Brookfield Plan Commission on Monday set the stage for a potentially divisive debate later this summer about a new plan for the Stonewood Village shopping center that would preserve an 1865 farmhouse on the site.

Developer 4S has worked with the city over the last several months to come up with a site plan for long-term redevelopment at the shopping center on Capitol Drive. Representatives unveiled a new plan Monday that reroutes a drive lane to the south of the farmhouse, which 4S originally had planned to demolish or move.

But the Plan Commission was forced to deny the new plan since the traffic aisle does not meet zoning code standards, sending 4S to the Board of Appeals to apply for a variance.

Board vote slated for July

The Board of Appeals, an independent panel that rules on variances to the city's building and zoning codes, will consider the issue next month.

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After six-hour standoff, man surrenders to Cudahy police

June 06, 2009 1:50 p.m. | A 52-year-old Cudahy man surrendered Saturday morning after a six-hour standoff that forced the evacuation of an apartment building in that Milwaukee County suburb.

Cudahy Police were called to the complex in the 2700 block of E. Adams Court on a report of a fight and were told that the man fired shots into the car of a 46-year-old woman and her 20-year-old son, then fled into one of the apartment buildings. Police tried unsuccessfully to talk the man out before its tactical unit moved in.

The man's building was evacuated; residents in the remaining nine buildings were told to either leave or stay in their apartments. And the man surrendered without incident around 10 a.m.

After legal battle, Brookfield East graduation held without incident

June 06, 2009 1:38 p.m. | Brookfield - A public high school graduation for Brookfield East students happened without incident on Saturday, days after a federal judge allowed the district to hold the ceremony in a church.

U.S. District Judge Charles Clevert issued a ruling Tuesday to a lawsuit brought by Americans United for Separation of Church and State. The Washington, D.C., group had argued that the setting violated students' and parents' constitutional rights by creating an atmosphere that makes non-Christians uncomfortable.

The Elmbrook School District will also use Elmbrook Church for Brookfield Central's graduation on Sunday.

School district officials have used the 3,200-seat church for convenience and comfort in recent years, but plan to move the ceremonies back on campus next year.

Armed robber hits convenience store, then heads to George Webb

June 05, 2009 6:16 p.m. | A 26-year-old West Allis man accused of robbing a convenience store and then grabbing a bite to eat at a nearby George Webb was arrested Thursday, Wauwatosa police said.

According to a Wauwatosa Police Department report:

The clerk was preparing for to close the Open Pantry Citgo, 11216 W. Blue Mound Road, at 10:51 p.m. Tuesday, when a man wearing a bright orange ski mask and camouflage clothing entered the store carrying a switchblade knife.

The robber demanded money, so the clerk handed him some cash and he fled. A customer was able to get to get the robber's license plate number.

After leaving the gas station, the robber went to a nearby George Webb to eat, and to dispose of the mask and knife. He allegedly told officers he needed money to support his heroin habit.

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Pranksters will be allowed at graduation ceremony

June 05, 2009 5:51 p.m. | All six Brookfield East High School seniors who were arrested and suspended Wednesday for a senior prank will be allowed to participate in their graduation ceremony Saturday.

Nate Hoaglund, one of the students arrested, confirmed that Elmbrook School District sent letters to the students saying they will be allowed to participate in commencement activities.

However, valedictorian Alexander Holiday will not be permitted to address his classmates, as originally planned.

Hoaglund said administrators want to avoid any kind of scene at graduation, but also don't want to put Holiday "in the spotlight" after what happened.

The students, including the class valedictorian and salutatorian, were arrested early Wednesday after assembling a wooden swing set on the roof of Brookfield East High School. When their senior prank was discovered by overnight construction workers, authorities were called and the six 18-year-old boys were given $300 disorderly conduct citations.

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New water park opens Saturday at Lincoln Park

June 05, 2009 10:58 a.m. | The new David F. Schulz Aquatic Center, a county-run water park, opens Saturday at Lincoln Park. For a story and photo gallery of the new facility, check out MilwaukeeMoms.com.

Police cite Menomonee Falls trustee over bar incident

June 04, 2009 4:28 p.m. | Menomonee Falls - Police issued two citations Thursday against Menomonee Falls Village Trustee Michael K. McDonald alleging that he was in a bar after hours and obstructed an investigation by hiding in the bar, Chief Anna Ruzinski said.

McDonald, 58, declined to comment other than to say he gave the citations to his attorney.

His attorney, Michael Lauer, said McDonald has been cooperative with the investigation.

"He regrets events which have occurred and is hopeful in resolving this matter shortly," Lauer said.

According to police, officers were called to Su Casa Mexican Grill at N81-W15094 Appleton Ave. at 2:10 a.m. May 29, for a person too intoxicated to drive.

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Falls officials considering ordinance on regulating wind energy systems

June 02, 2009 3:06 p.m. | In these tough economic times, residents are looking for ways to cut costs, including energy.

In an attempt to be ahead of the trend, village of Menomonee Falls trustees reviewed a proposed ordinance regulating wind energy systems.

While the proposal ordinance would allow the systems in two agricultural zoning districts, two residents asked for accommodations for residential areas.

However, two other residents spoke against allowing the systems because of possible interference with television reception and noise.

Director of Community Development Matthew Carran said part of the problem with drafting the ordinance is finding a balance between the two sides. He also said village staff looked at other municipal ordinances in the state, but fewer than 10 communities have regulations for the systems.

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Village Board OKs Woodman's store

June 01, 2009 11:30 p.m. | The Village Board tonight rolled out the red carpet for Woodman's Markets.

After a public hearing, the board voted, 5-1, to rezone the property at the corner of Leon Road and 124th Street to allow the construction of 238,000-square-foot grocery store, a two-bay car wash and a gas station with convenience store and oil and lubrication shop.

Trustee Sharon Ellis voted against the rezoning.

"I was thrilled to hear Woodman's was coming to Menomonee Falls," she said. "I'm not thrilled with this location."

Her preference for the store would have been a commercial/retail area of the village. The site is in a light industrial district. The rezoning added a commercial overlay district.

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Homestead track sectional photos now online

June 01, 2009 10:34 a.m. | We've just posted NOW photojournalist C.T. Kruger's photos from Friday's WIAA Division 1 Homestead track and field sectional. Athletes from Germantown, Homestead, Menomonee Falls, Nicolet and Whitefish Bay are featured.

Whitnall graduation photos now online

June 01, 2009 9:58 a.m. | We've just posted Dave Haberkorn's photos from Sunday's graduation at Whitnall High School.

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