Woman who used feeding tube to drink dies at home

June 29, 2010 6:10 p.m. | A Wauwatosa woman who had used a feeding tube to drink alcohol and was arrested earlier this month for her third drunken driving offense died last week, likely of alcohol-related causes, police say.

According to police:

The 47-year-old woman was pronounced dead at her home in the 200 block of 111th Street about 7 p.m. June 22. Her father found her unresponsive in her bedroom. After pouring water over her head to get her to wake up and calling several relatives for advice, he decided to call paramedics.

She had been battling throat cancer for four years and had her voice box removed. She had a feeding tube inserted to get nourishment.

However, she told Wauwatosa police when she was arrested on June 11 that she had used the tube to ingest alcohol and she described herself an alcoholic. She was stopped after she was seen driving on the wrong side of the street and pulling into lot of a liquor store.

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Family gathers at site of fatal structure collapse

June 29, 2010 2:41 p.m. | Dawn Kellner sat on a curb Tuesday morning just a few feet from the parking garage where her 15-year-old son died last week, her sister's arm draped across her shoulders.

Kellner had not gone to the garage since her son, Jared, was killed Thursday by a 13 1/2 -ton concrete slab that fell from the structure's façade while he was walking to Summerfest with a friend and his friend's parents.

The pain of her visit was etched on her tear-streaked face a few moments after she walked away from the garage, when she talked with reporters about her son.

"I wanted you to know the person that Jared was, so it was very important to me that we came here today," Kellner said while several relatives stood at her side.

Jared Kellner "always wished the world was a kinder place," his mother said. "Today I'm just asking that people take time out to honor the memory of Jared by just being a little bit nicer today, and a little bit more accepting of everybody else, because that would make his dream come true."

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CiCi's promotion had them lining up for free pizza

June 28, 2010 4:36 p.m. | West Allis — Give them free pizza, and they will come.

An estimated 250 people were lined up outside CiCi's Pizza Buffet, 2927 S. 108th St., when the doors opened at 11 a.m. Monday, owner Paul Tate said. They were there to take advantage of a standard CiCi's opening offer: The first 100 through the door received a free monthly buffet for a year.

The devotees - the first of which began arriving about noon Sunday armed with tents, sleeping bags and lawn chairs - received a card good for a free buffet once per month, Tate said.

They spent the next 24 hours playing cards and games, getting tans and reading books, Tate said.

Jacob Pflugradt was one of the first people in line Sunday afternoon. He said he came after the invitation of a friend, and the group passed the time talking and playing football.

» Read Full Article

Want to win Summerfest tickets? Head over to Twitter

June 24, 2010 10:20 a.m. | It's the opening day of Summerfest, and it's also your chance to win some free Summerfest tickets.

All you need to do is follow @MyCommunityNOW on Twitter and tweet the following: "Follow @MyCommunityNOW and RT this for a chance to win a pair of #Summerfest tickets."

We will be giving away a total of five pairs of tickets in two random drawings. The first drawing will be held at noon tomorrow. The second drawing will be held at noon on Wednesday. You have to tweet the message only once to be entered in both drawings.

Winners will be contacted on Twitter and will need to pick the tickets up at our office in Waukesha.

Muskego ammo cache safely destroyed

June 17, 2010 3:20 p.m. | Muskego - A cache of gunpowder, ammunition and military-like shells discovered Wednesday evening by several children exploring abandoned outbuildings in the S9500 block of Parker Drive in Muskego has been safely destroyed with the help of the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Bomb Squad, Muskego Police Capt. John La Tour said Thursday.

A 14-year-old boy and several of his friends found what they described as "tank shells" about 20 inches tall about 5:35 p.m. Wednesday in one of the buildings, La Tour said.

The boys left without touching the shells and told their parents about what they found.

Parents called police, who secured the area and called the bomb squad.

Among the items discovered were several kegs of black powder, .50 caliber ammunition, shotgun shells and the three military-like shells, which turned out to be inert, La Tour said.

» Read Full Article

2 face federal sex-trafficking charges

June 16, 2010 4:10 p.m. | A man and woman appeared in court Wednesday on charges of picking up a 14-year-old Milwaukee girl off the street and having her perform sex acts with men at a hotel near the airport - the third such federal child sex trafficking case filed in Wisconsin in the past 18 months.

Amani Booker, 34, and Holly Arnold, 23, each face a minimum of 15 years and up to life in prison if convicted. They were ordered held without bail by U.S. Magistrate Judge Patricia Gorence on Wednesday. Arnold wept at the hearing.

Booker and Arnold found the girl walking on W. North Ave. on May 21, according to the criminal complaint. Pulling up in a Cadillac, Booker promised the girl she could make a lot of money. When she told him she was 14, he said, "I can work with that," according to the complaint.

"Quite simply, (Booker) found her walking down the street," Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Wall said. "The allegations, if true, are particularly egregious."

Wall is prosecuting the two other child sex trafficking cases out of federal court in Milwaukee.

» Read Full Article

Judge releases boy in 'ninja' attack

June 15, 2010 12:42 p.m. | A 16-year-old River Hills boy charged with dressing like a ninja and attacking teenager with a machete in a wooded area behind Nicolet High School will be allowed to go home, a judge ruled today.

The suspect has been held first in secure detention and more recently in a secure shelter following the incident April 27.

The victim of the attack, a 14-year-old Bayside boy, and three other boys went into the woods seeking a person dressed like a ninja who allegedly had confronted two girls who were in the woods the previous day.

The victim was briefly separated from his companion when there was a confrontation between him and the suspect, who was clearing brush on a private property. The boy required 20 stitches to close a wound over his eye.

Children's Court Judge Frederick Rosa on today released the boy to the custody of his parents, warning him that any violation of restrictions placed on his release would result in his return to secure detention.

» Read Full Article

Newsweek says East, Central among the best schools

June 15, 2010 12:30 p.m. | Brookfield's two public high schools have again made Newsweek's list of the nation's best high schools.

Brookfield Central High School was ranked 378th by the magazine, and Brookfield East was listed 850th. Last year, Central was 315th, and East was 855th.

Newsweek ranked the top 1,600 public high schools by using a formula that takes the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and/or Cambridge tests given in a year and divides it by the number of seniors who graduate in June.

Only 6 percent of the public high schools in the country qualify for the list.

This is the fourth year in a row that both schools were ranked in the top 1,000.

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14-year-old takes school bus for a joy ride

June 14, 2010 7:58 p.m. | A 14-year-old boy who was suspended from school last week decided to steal a bus and take it for a joy ride to Mayfair Mall.

According to Wauwatosa police:

After having been suspended from school on June 8, the Milwaukee teen went for a walk and saw a school bus parked with its engine running near 90th Street and Capitol Drive. The driver had gotten out of the vehicle to help a special-needs student to his front door.

Wrestling with his conscience, the boy walked past the bus numerous times and debated whether to get inside. The falling rain helped him make up his mind, however, and he jumped into the driver's seat and drove away.

The first stop was his grandmother's house near 45th Street and Concordia Avenue, where he parked the vehicle for a few hours. Then he took the bus to Mayfair Mall, where he was seen driving recklessly and not obeying stop signs.

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Man found guilty of shooting Wauwatosa officer

June 14, 2010 4:03 p.m. | Prosecutors introduced ballistics evidence, cell phone records, DNA, uniquely folded currency, and even a precocious 8-year-old witness in the case of a Wauwatosa restaurant robbery, home burglary and attempted homicide of a police officer.

But it was the simple footprints in the snow that led to Michael Dengsavang and helped a jury convict him of all three crimes Monday.

Officer Abby Pavlik was shot in the abdomen as she drove up to investigate a burglary at the Normandy Village apartments the night of Dec. 13, a burglary prosecutors say was done by the same men who robbed the Happy Wok restaurant moments earlier.

Someone fired five shots from 15 or 20 feet away into the hood and driver's door of Pavlik's squad car.

"No question whoever's shooting at her at this point is trying to kill her," Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney Mark Williams said in closing arguments Monday, the sixth day of trial.

» Read Full Article

High school graduation photo galleries now online

June 14, 2010 11:39 a.m. | Members of the Class of 2010 at area high schools took their final bows during graduation ceremonies this weekend and NOW photographers were there capturing images of the happy graduates, their families and teachers.

Click on the links below to go to each individual gallery.

Homestead, Germantown softball photo gallery now online

June 14, 2010 9:08 a.m. | A state berth was on the line when North Shore Conference rivals Homestead and Germantown faced off Friday in a sectional final softball game and we've just posted a photo gallery from the contest.

Homestead posted a 6-0 victory over the Warhawks, the third time they have defeated the team this season. The Highlanders will take on Wilmot Union in a quarterfinal game Thursday at Goodman Diamond in Madison.

Go to NOW photojournalist Peter Zuzga's photo gallery.

Homestead, Brookfield East photo gallery now online

June 14, 2010 8:28 a.m. | Top-seeded Brookfield East and No. 2 Homestead faced off in a soccer sectional final Saturday with a state berth on the line and NOW's Peter Zuzga captured all the action from the contest in this photo gallery.

Homestead's Kate Wirthlin scored a goal in the game's fourth minute and that held up as the Highlanders won, 1-0, and advanced to this week's state finals at Uihlein Park in Milwaukee. Homestead plays Waukesha West at noon on Thursday in the quarterfinal round.

Go to NOW photojournalist Peter Zuzga's photo gallery.

Man accused of sexually assaulting daughter

June 07, 2010 3:46 p.m. | A 39-year-old Greenfield man could face up to 80 years in prison if he is convicted on charges that he sexually assaulted his now 14-year-old daughter on at least two occasions when she was between 4 and 10 years old.

According to a criminal complaint filed Friday in Waukesha County Circuit Court:

The daughter estimated her father forced her to perform oral sex about 50 times over the six-year period. The locations of the incidents varied, with at least one taking place at the girl's grandparents' home in the city of Brookfield and at least one at Wirth Park in the city of Brookfield.

After his arrest, the man told police the actual number of sexual encounters probably was closer to 60 or 70. He said other incidents happened in West Allis, Greendale and Greenfield.

The man told police that the incidents were "rather embarrassing" and "totally wrong." He said the incidents started out as a game but progressed from there.

» Read Full Article

Two enter pleas in Happy Wok robbery

June 07, 2010 3:00 p.m. | Two of three men charged with trying to kill a Wauwatosa police officer who was investigating a December armed robbery at the Happy Wok restaurant have pleaded guilty to lesser charges as a trial was set to begin.

Michael S. Dengsavang, 28, Paul M. Phonisay, 30, and Thongsavahn Rodthong, 27, were all charged with attempted homicide, party to a crime, in the shooting of Abby Pavlik, who was ambushed in her patrol car. Pavlik, who was wearing a protective vest, was shot once in the abdomen and survived.

The men also were charged with burglary. Rodthong and Dengsavang were charged with armed robbery as well.

The trial for all three men was set to begin Monday, but Rodthong instead pleaded guilty to the armed robbery and burglary charges. Phonisay also entered guilty pleas to robbery charges. Their sentencings were set for July 23.

Jury selection was under way Monday afternoon for a trial for Dengsavang, near whom police had recovered a handgun that fired the shots into Pavlik's patrol car.

» Read Full Article

Police seek man who exposed himself to youngsters

June 07, 2010 2:18 p.m. |  Artist's sketch of suspectCity of Brookfield police are seeking a man who exposed himself to two girls in a neighborhood on the city's southwest side Friday.

According to police:

Two young girls were riding their bikes in the 19300 block of Rivendell Drive about 5:30 p.m. when the man pulled up alongside them, made a lewd comment and began masturbating.

The man then fled east on Rivendell Drive and then south on Brookfield Road.

The suspect is described as a white man about 20 years old, with a thin build and dark, spiked hair. Police also said the man's lower lip was pierced.

» Read Full Article

Crash on Highway 41 injures 4 in Menomonee Falls

June 06, 2010 10:50 a.m. | A driver and three passengers were injured late Saturday when their car overturned on Highway 41 near County Line Road, Menomonee Falls police reported Sunday.

Lt. Kevin Von Bonk said the driver crossed through traffic lanes in an attempt to reach the exit for Highway Q and the car rolled over. All four victims were taken to area hospitals.

Fate of apartment plan may be determined this week

June 06, 2010 9:32 a.m. | Two key meetings are scheduled for this week that could determine whether plans for a controversial apartment complex at the City Center will move forward.

On Monday, the New Berlin Plan Commission will reconsider its approval of the project that calls for 72 units of so-called workforce housing. The original plan was approved was by a 4-3 vote, but Mayor Jack Chiovatero, who initially voted for the development, said he has reconsidered.

That meeting, at New Berlin City Hall, 3805 S. Casper Drive, will start with a 5:30 p.m. with a closed session. The public meeting will follow.

On Tuesday, the Common Council plans  It plans to discuss the development as well a request for a 90-day moratorium on considering any building in the City Center.

The Common Council will meet following the 7 p.m. committee of the whole meeting.

Man charged with ID theft after Best Buy purchase

June 04, 2010 5:02 p.m. | A Chicago man is facing two felony charges for making nearly $4,000 in fraudulent purchases at the Best Buy in Brookfield this week.

Michael T. Becton, 24, was charged Tuesday in Waukesha County Circuit Court with identity theft/financial gain and fraudulent use of a credit card - both felonies - as well as a misdemeanor charge of obstructing an officer.

According to the criminal complaint:

Becton went to Best Buy, 19555 W. Bluemound Road, on Monday evening and told an employee he wanted to buy two desktop computers and two photo printers.

While an employee was ringing up the purchase, Becton said he wanted to purchase two, $50 prepaid wireless phone cards as well, bringing the total bill to $3,973.

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Judge rejects Avey's mercy killing claim, imposes life sentence

June 04, 2010 2:52 p.m. | West Bend — A Washington County judge Friday forcefully rejected convicted murderer Charles A. Avey's last minute story that his stepson Cody Reetz asked to be killed so that he wouldn't face further sexual assaults by an alleged abuser Avey did not name in court.

In a statement read to Washington County Circuit Judge James Muehlbauer at Friday's sentencing, Avey described his strangling of 14-year-old Cody as a mercy killing and repeatedly said Cody wanted to die.

"Cody is in a much better place," Avey said of the Grafton boy's death.

Muehlbauer told Avey that his "attempts to put some spin" on the horrible facts of the murder did not make sense.

"For you to claim this was a mercy killing, and for you to say he is better off, is one final insult to Cody's family," Muehlbauer said.

» Read Full Article

State tennis photo gallery now online

June 04, 2010 7:58 a.m. | The state individual tennis tournament began yesterday at Madison's Nielsen Tennis Stadium and NOW's Peter Zuzga was there capturing the action, as seen in this photo gallery, which features more than 15 images.

The tournament continues through Saturday, with championship matches set for around 11:30 a.m. The team state tournament is Friday and Saturday, June 11-12.

Go to NOW photojournalist Peter Zuzga's photo gallery.

Danny Gokey photo gallery now online

June 03, 2010 6:53 a.m. | American Idol finalist and Milwaukee native Danny Gokey made an appearance at an eyewear shop in Elm Grove yesterday and was warmly welcomed by a throng of adoring fans.

NOW's Peter Zuzga was there as well and created this photo gallery of young and old alike welcoming one of their favorite singers to town.

3 arrested, one sought in robbery, chase

June 03, 2010 6:22 a.m. | Three suspects have been arrested and a fourth is being sought after a hotel robbery in Milwaukee led to a police chase that ended with a crash in Franklin.

The incident started early this morning at the Plaza Motel on the 8000 block of South 27th St., where, Franklin Police Chief Rick Oliva tells WTMJ, the suspects robbed and assaulted a couple outside the hotel. They then led Milwaukee and Franklin police on a chase that ended on 76th St. in Franklin.

WTMJ has the full story.

City honors officer shot in robbery investigation

June 02, 2010 10:14 a.m. | Officer Abby Pavlik and other Police Department personnel involved in a Dec. 13 armed robbery investigation accepted accolades from their chief, the Common Council and community Tuesday.

Police Chief Barry Weber welcomed back Pavlik, who had been shot in the stomach during the incident. She came back in April on light duty and began her patrol duties four weeks ago. She received the department's medal of honor and purple heart.

Weber also presented various awards to more than 40 other police personnel involved in the incident ranging from dispatchers to detectives.

The trial for the men involved in the incident starts Monday. Milwaukee residents Thongsavahn Rodthong, 27, Michael Dengsavang, 28, and Paul Phonisay, 30, face homicide and burglary charges. Rodthong and Dengsavang also face armed robbery charges.

They are accused of holding up Happy Wok, 2332 N. 124th St., then breaking into the restaurant's owners' nearby apartment and shooting Pavlik through the window of her squad car about 10:30 p.m. Dec. 13.

City won't use eminent domain to acquire farmland

June 01, 2010 7:28 p.m. | The Common Council has halted discussions on whether to use eminent domain to acquire a 94-year-old man's farm at 10523 S. Howell Ave.

The council Tuesday night voted unanimously to discontinue the process to determine whether the property is blighted under Wisconsin law. Declaring the property blighted would have paved the way for the city to use its powers of eminent domain on the 25-acre property.

Mayor Dick Bolender last week asked aldermen to stop discussions after it had become apparent a mutual agreement between the city and family of Earl Giefer family was not forthcoming.

A public hearing scheduled for Wednesday before the Community Development Authority has been canceled.

Discussions between the city and Giefer's attorney have been ongoing since 2008. Giefer's niece, Edna Adams, said the farm has been in the family since the 1800s and that family members have no interest in selling.

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West Allis smoking lounge seeks alcohol permit

June 01, 2010 6:36 p.m. | West Allis - Another smoking lounge is seeking permission to serve alcohol.

Smoker's Pub, which is in the Oak Ridge Square shopping center at 10708 W. Oklahoma Ave., is asking the Common Council tonight for permission to serve beer.

Last month, the Greenfield Common Council overrode Mayor Michael Neitzke's veto and gave permission to Cigarette Mart, 6229 S. 27th St., to operate a bar.

That proposal is different in that the smoking lounge would move into a different space in the shopping center and would operate a bar next door.

A statewide smoking ban, which applies to taverns, workplaces and many other facilities, takes effect July 5. A loophole in the law, however, could allow some bar owners to allow smoking indoors.

Arrests made after car break-ins

June 01, 2010 2:58 p.m. | Oak Creek police have suspects in hand after a spate of car break-ins throughout the city, but there may be more to the story.

Authorities have confirmed two arrests, though information about the suspects is limited. No charges have been filed and aren't expected until June 25 at the earliest, Police Chief Thomas Bauer said.

One reason, he said, is that the investigation may uncover more thefts beyond car break-ins. He didn't want to specify what those incidents involve until detectives have more time to gather information.

"A substantial investigation has yet to occur, but we believe we have the suspects in the rash of car break-ins," he said Tuesday.

Information uncovered thus far in the investigation has been referred to the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office, which will decide if charges should be filed.

» Read Full Article

Greenfield cops help nab driver who was going wrong way

June 01, 2010 12:31 p.m. | Greenfield police officers helped arrest a 21-year-old Milwaukee man who was driving the wrong way on Interstate 94 early Sunday.

According to the state Department of Transportation:

The Wisconsin State Patrol tried to stop a pickup truck traveling east in the westbound lanes of I-94 about 4:20 a.m.

The driver continued driving east in the Zoo Interchange, striking the median wall and possibly a silver vehicle.

Two Greenfield police officers boxed in the vehicle and forced the driver to stop on Interstate 894 near Beloit Road.

» Read Full Article

Woman arrested fifth time for drunken driving

June 01, 2010 12:30 p.m. | City of Brookfield police last week arrested a 57-year-old Manitowoc woman for her fifth drunken drunk driving offense.

According to police:

An officer saw the woman's vehicle traveling east on Bluemound Road about 2:20 a.m. Thursday. The vehicle had a defective headlight.

The woman then turned south onto Moorland Road, where the officer saw the vehicle deviating from its designated lane. The officer was able to pull the woman over in the parking lot of the Brookfield Sheraton, 375 S. Moorland Road.

The woman said she was lost and trying to find her way home.

» Read Full Article

Power failure affects 1,500; closes middle school

June 01, 2010 8:06 a.m. | Today's TMJ4 is reporting that 1,500 customers have lose their power in the North Shore area, an outage that has forced the closing of Whitefish Bay Middle School for all of Tuesday.

The outage is centered and around Whitefish Bay, but Brian Manthey of We Energies says most customers should have their power restored by 8:45 a.m.

Go to TMJ4 story.

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