Children's Theatre presents "Little Red Riding Hood"

July 30, 2012 8:06 p.m. | Fans of "Little Red Riding Hood" can see a free performance of the timeless classic presented by the Children's Theatre of Wauwatosa this week at two local schools.

One performance will be held at 10:15 a.m. July 31 at Eisenhower School, 11600 W. Center St.

The other performance will be held at 7 p.m. Aug. 2 at Longfellow Middle School, 7600 W. North Ave.

The performances are being offered as part of the playground program sponsored by the Wauwatosa Recreation Department.

Man arrested after accidentally shooting through apartment wall while naked

July 30, 2012 4:37 p.m. | Apparently, practice doesn't make perfect as a 53-year-old Bayside man found out after accidentally shooting through the wall of his apartment in Bayside.

According to a Bayside police report:

The man was arrested for a misdemeanor charge of endangering safety by negligent use of a dangerous weapon after discharging a firearm inside his apartment which went through his wall into the next apartment in the 9100 block of North White Oak Lane at 4:20 p.m. July 22.

The man said he was sitting naked on his living room floor practicing loading and unloading his .45 caliber gun and pulling the trigger to "improve his muscle memory." He thought the gun was empty when he aimed at a picture on the wall in front of him and the gun discharged. His wife was sitting just six feet away from that picture. The bullet went through the wall into the next apartment where it hit a vase, skipped off the ceiling and ended up in another vase. That resident was within a few feet of the flying bullet.

The man said he felt "horrible and embarrassed."

Golf cart taken for joy ride totaled

July 30, 2012 1:32 p.m. | An unknown suspect(s) had more than 18-holes in mind when he or she stole a golf cart from a golf course and ended up totaling the vehicle in nearby Sussex.

According to a Menomonee Falls police report:

The golf cart was stolen from Silver Spring Country Club, N56 W21318 Silver Spring Drive, Menomonee Falls, between 9:30 p.m. July 25 and 6 a.m. July 26.

The unknown suspect(s) broke the cable that was used to secure the cart, then drove it around the golf course and tipped it over in a bunker, breaking off the top of the cart.

A Waukesha County deputy found the cart under the railroad bridge on Waukesha Avenue south of Linda Drive in Sussex, where it appeared to have been driven off the bridge. The cart sustained extensive damage and was a complete loss.

New Berlin lifts burning ban

July 27, 2012 3:06 p.m. | New Berlin Fire Chief Lloyd Bertram has lifted the temporary burn ban that has been in place for the past several weeks because of the dry conditions.

The recent rains as well as more rain in the forecasts have significantly reduced the threat, he said in announcing the action.

The city's burning regulations remain in effect, he emphasized.

Heidi Hernandez named Wauwatosa Catholic School principal

July 27, 2012 2:44 p.m. | Wauwatosa Catholic School has hired a new principal to guide its accreditation goals and growing enrollment.

Heidi Hernandez has taken over the helm of the 3-year-old kindergarten through eighth-grade school, which was created in September 2011 when St. Bernard and St. Pius X parishes combined their education programs.

Hernandez was an instructional supervisor in the Catholic schools through Nonpublic Educational Services, a Massachusetts-based company that provides tutoring services for more than 15,000 students around the world. She also brings experience as a literacy coach and teacher in the Milwaukee Public School System.

Hernandez has earned two master's degrees: one in curriculum and instruction from Marian University, Fond du Lac, and a second in administrative and instructional leadership from Alverno College.

A search committee chose Hernandez because she proved an "open-minded person of faith who is a good listener and whose love of children is evident," according to a news release announcing her hiring issued by the parishes today.

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Menomonee Falls lifts burn ban

July 27, 2012 2:42 p.m. | The burn ban in the Village of Menomonee Falls has been lifted due to days of successive rainfall this week.

Residents are asked to follow normal outdoor burning regulations.

The Menomonee Falls Fire Department monitors conditions closely, gathering information from both the weather service and the state to determine how much moisture is in the ground.

"It's also our best judgment," said Assistant Fire Chief Richard Burgess.

Burgess urges village residents to continue using extreme caution because although the burn ban is lifted, there are still dry areas that exist throughout the area.

» Read Full Article

Oak Creek burning ban lifted

July 27, 2012 1:30 p.m. | The city of Oak Creek lifted its open burning ban today.

Recommendations and regulations still apply for people who wish to conduct controlled burning within the city, a city notice states.

Controlled burning permits can be requested through the Oak Creek Dispatch Center by calling (414) 762-8200, Option 0.

Those who adhere to the recommended burning guidelines may be allowed to burn in outdoor fireplaces, fire pits and burn barrels.

However, the Fire and/or Police departments retain the right to investigate any type of outdoor burning. If a nuisance call is received, and is directly related to the burn, all fires will be required to be completely extinguished.

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Cross-dressing thief faces 40 years for Tosa bank robbery

July 27, 2012 11:33 a.m. | A man dressed as a woman allegedly robbed Tri City Bank, 10859 W. Bluemound Road, on July 13, and he is now facing a felony charge that could bring a maximum penalty of $100,000 or 40 years imprisonment.

According to a criminal complaint:

Michael Ricardo Leviston, 57, from Hilbert, is accused of walking into the bank and handing a teller a note, then stating "I have a gun" and "Give me money."

As she started to remove money from a drawer, he allegedly told the teller that he was going to shoot her.

He walked out of the bank with a bag filled with $6,615.

» Read Full Article

Swimming water quality? There's an app for that

July 27, 2012 11:28 a.m. | An app released by Milwaukee Riverkeeper makes it easy to find a safe beach for swimming.

The Swim Guide uses water quality monitoring data from government authorities. Green marks indicate acceptable water quality, while red marks show where it is unsafe. It also enables users to get directions, view photos and report pollution immediately to Milwaukee Riverkeeper.

Milwaukee Riverkeeper wants to protect beachgoers from getting sick, and raise public awareness about pollution threatening our rights to swimmable waters.

The technology was developed by Lake Ontario Waterkeeper and is now managed by Milwaukee Riverkeeper and other member groups of the Waterkeeper Alliance, a network of 200 water protection groups worldwide.

The app can be downloaded at

Ronald McDonald House plans to double its size

July 27, 2012 11:26 a.m. | The Ronald McDonald House on Thursday received approval from the Milwaukee County Board to purchase 3.5 acres of land that will allow for doubling the size of the facility that houses families of seriously ill or injured children.

The house, 8948 Watertown Plank Road, has been operating at full capacity for more than four years. A larger property will provide space to add 75 guest rooms and remodel and expand common facilities.

The land being purchased adjoins the four acres the house sits on, which is leased from the county.

Burn ban lifted in Muskego

July 26, 2012 9:04 p.m. | Muskego Mayor Kathy Chiaverotti has lifted the burn ban in the city, upon the recommendation of the fire chief.

"The much needed rain has provided relief to drought conditions," Chiaverotti said in making the announcement. "I want to thank the residents of Muskego for complying with the ban for the safety of all."

Fallen tree knocks out power to home

July 26, 2012 5:20 p.m. | A tree fell in a yard knocking out power to a home and causing damage to the water line at Portland Avenue and Kavanaugh Place following the storms that came through Wauwatosa last night.

The tree didn't fall on the property itself, but the water line damage caused basement water damage, said Assistant Fire Chief James Case.

The Fire Department was dispatched to the property at 2:14 a.m.

DJs rezoning OK, Plan Commission to iron out disagreements

July 25, 2012 1:20 p.m. | The Muskego Common Council on Tuesday approved a controversial rezoning needed for DJs Pub & Grill to rebuild after its building at W18040 Janesville Road is demolished in the Janesville Road widening.

The property had been zoned for single-family homes and DJs, which has been in business for 90 years, was a legal but nonconforming use. While it could operate under that zoning, it couldn't rebuild.

The new zoning allows the commercial and residential development that Dan Hewitt who has owned DJs for 30 years plans.

Controversy arose because those plans call for the business to be twice as big as it is. Hewitt wants to expand from the current 1,800 square feet to 3,600 square feet.

While some neighbors want DJs to go away entirely, others are fine with it being rebuilt the same size as it is. They worry that a larger bar/restaurant with a bigger parking lot would result in them being disturbed late at night by patrons coming and going.

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No injuries reported in Glendale garage fire

July 25, 2012 11:18 a.m. | Glendale - Firefighters responded to a garage fire at 7425 North Berwyn Avenue at approximately 4 a.m. this morning, extinguishing a fire which caused an estimated $90,000 in damages and no injuries to occupants of the building.

According to a North Shore Fire Department news release, the Bayside Communications Center received the first call around 4 a.m. from an alarm monitoring agency. While responders were on the way to the scene, two more calls came in and the response was upgraded to bring more equipment and personnel.

Firefighters arrived to find a fire in the attached garage of the community based residential facility, and called for additional support. The fire was extinguished quickly, limiting the exposure of the living area of the facility, though smoke damage was reportedly extensive throughout.

One firefighter was treated for a minor injury at the scene. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.

Bel Air Cantina slated to open on North Avenue in Wauwatosa

July 25, 2012 9:18 a.m. | Bel Air Cantina may soon be celebrating Taco Tuesdays and serving up "Cali-Mexican" cuisine and flights of tequila in the building that last served as the Aqua Terra fish store, 6817 W. North Ave.

The Wauwatosa Economic Development Corp. unanimously voted Tuesday to give owners of Bel Air Cantina $150,000, which will be used toward acquiring the 5,700-square-foot building in East Tosa.

The WEDC has nearly $347,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant funds to allocate through spring in an effort to spur development and job creation. Bel Air Cantina - which was one of three applicants requesting funding - was named the panel's top priority because it would create at least 25 full-time equivalent jobs, fill a vacant building and only asked for 11 percent of the estimated $1.3 million project cost.

"We've wanted to do something in Wauwatosa for some time," owner Scott Johnson said. "This is a great building on a great strip."

Building up North Ave.

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Group hosts discussion on Eschweiler demolition prospect

July 24, 2012 5:40 p.m. | A group interested in preserving the land and history of the County Grounds will hold a community discussion about the future of the historic Eschweiler Buildings on Wednesday at the Wauwatosa Public Library.

The County Grounds Coalition - environmental groups including Milwaukee Riverkeeper and The Park People of Milwaukee County and historical organizations such as the Wisconsin Trust for Historical Preservation that banded together in 2010 - have been unhappy with the residential portion of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Innovation Park development.

Mandel Group's latest proposal to the city's Historic Preservation Commission called for eliminating all but the administration building and constructing new housing units around it. UWM is relying on the sale of the property to Mandel Group to make a payment to Milwaukee County for the entire Innovation Park property.

The coalition invites community members to talk at 6:30 p.m. about the value of the Eschweiler Buildings and explore ways to achieve a better outcome.

"Throughout the 18 months Mandel has been planning the residential portion of the development, there was never any indication they needed to demolish any of the buildings," said Barb Agnew, coalition member and chairwoman of the Friends of the Monarch Trail. "So when they came with the latest plan, I felt we should discuss any realistic and possible alternatives and solutions to save them."

Man cited for role in oily mess

July 24, 2012 5:28 p.m. | A 63-year-old man was cited driving a vehicle with an unsecured load after a drum of oil fell off his trailer at 60th Street and Grange Avenue on July 14.

According to the Greendale police report:

The man was towing a trailer behind a van on 60th Street when the 100-gallon drum fell, spilling oil all over the roadway shortly after 5:30 p.m. July 14.

Four Greendale Fire Department units responded to the spill, along with one unit from the Greenfield Fire Department and the Franklin Hazmat team. The Wisconsin Department of Emergency Management also got involved with the cleanup, and the Department of Natural Resources was notified after officials discovered some of the oil leaked into a nearby creek.

The driver was cited also cited because his trailer did not have brakelights.

Theater-goer banned from cinema after 'Dark Knight' disturbance

July 24, 2012 4:24 p.m. | Viewers of "The Dark Knight Rises" at South Shore Cinemas on Friday night took notice when a fellow movie-goer started acting strangely during an evening showing the Batman film.

Witnesses said the man walked near emergency exits and in the aisles as the film played, and they reported his actions to security personnel who asked the man to leave, according to an Oak Creek police log entry.

Just the day before, in Aurora, Colo., a man watching "Dark Knight Rises" got up before the show started and exited through an emergency exit, only to re-enter with the gun he used to shoot dozens of movie watchers, killing 12.

According to the Oak Creek police log:

Several theater-goers told cinema employees that the man was walking around, stretching in the aisles and walking near the emergency exits while the movie was running.

» Read Full Article

Franklin teens flee after driver threatens them with gun

July 24, 2012 2:35 p.m. | Franklin police are seeking two people who allegedly threatened three boys and pointed a gun at them while they were walking on the evening of July 21.

According to the Franklin police report:

Three 13-year-old boys were walking in the 8500 block of West Puetz Road just before 8:30 p.m. when two males in a red, four-door Dodge Neon slowed down and pulled up next to them. The driver asked the boys, "Do you go to Franklin?"

After one of the boys responded, the driver asked, "You ever been shot at?"

As the vehicle started to slowly pull away, the driver reached his right hand over his shoulder and pointed what was perceived to be a black, semi-automatic handgun at the three teens. The car then continued eastbound on Puetz Road.

» Read Full Article

Police seeking suspects in strong-arm robbery

July 24, 2012 1:54 p.m. | Greendale police are seeking three men who stole a purse from a woman in the Southridge Mall parking lot July 12.

According to the Greendale police report:

The woman told officers that three masked men jumped out of a dark green minivan and stole her purse while she was walking outside the food court at Southridge Mall, 5300 S. 76th St., shortly after 10 p.m. July 12. The men jumped back into the van and sped away.

The van was recovered in West Allis and was later reported as stolen. Police are investigating.

Woman eludes capture after attempting to steal from Walgreens

July 24, 2012 1:52 p.m. | Police are seeking a woman who fled while a manager was attempting to detain her for shoplifting at Walgreens, 6210 W. Loomis Road, at 7:50 p.m. July 19.

The suspect, described in the Greendale police report as a white female between 16 and 24 years old with her hair pulled back in a ponytail and wearing white pants, a blue tank top and a white headband, fought with the manager after he tried to detain her and fled into a wooded area behind the store.

The female left her purse and car keys at the scene, but no identification was found in the purse.

Elmbrook loses appeal of graduation lawsuit

July 24, 2012 1:27 p.m. | The Elmbrook School District violated the Constitutional guarantee of separation of church and state by holding past graduation ceremonies at Elmbrook Church, a federal appeals court ruled Monday.

Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the group that filed the lawsuit in 2009 on behalf of nine anonymous plaintiffs, hailed the decision as an important victory for personal liberty in this country.

“This decision upholds the separation of church and state, it upholds the Constitution,” said attorney Alex Luchenitser, associate legal director for AU. “It ensures the students in Wisconsin will not be forced to enter an intensely religious environment as the price of attending their own high school graduation, a seminal event in their lives.”

Some of the plaintiffs have claims for monetary damages due to the emotional suffering that occurred as a result of the district’s choice of graduation venue, Luchenitser said, adding that his next step is to talk with those families and the school district’s legal counsel to see if a settlement can be reached. If not, a district court will review the claims and make a determination.

Luchenitser said the financial gains were not the prime motivators for the plaintiffs. 

» Read Full Article

Elmbrook School District 'disappointed' by court ruling

July 24, 2012 1:18 p.m. | The Elmbrook School District issued a statement today about a federal appeals court ruling that it violated the Constitution by holding past graduation ceremonies at Elmbrook Church.

Superintendent Mark Hansen said in the statement that while the district is "disappointed" with the ruling, Elmbrook "will continue to use the field house in the future. There is no further need for graduation ceremonies to be held at Elmbrook Church."

Hansen also noted the district is working with legal counsel to determine the next steps in resolving the case.

"Our primary focus as a district has always been to spend our time and resources on educating our students," he said.

Tosa to borrow $12.4 million for 2012 capital projects

July 24, 2012 1:13 p.m. | The city will borrow $12.4 million to pay for capital improvement projects that will be undertaken in 2012.

The money will pay for sewer projects, street paving, bridge repairs, building improvements and business district infrastructure. The debt will be paid back over 10 years, city Finance Director John Ruggini said.

The Common Council has authorized city staff to put the bond sales out to bid with the hopes of getting an interest rate of about 2.25 percent. Bids are expected to be opened Aug. 7, at which time the council will need to vote to finalize the process.

The city is taking on more infrastructure projects, necessitating an increase in borrowing in coming years. In the past there was a spending cap of $3.5 million, but that has been lifted.

Even after some of the major projects are completed, it's unlikely the need to borrow will return to earlier lows. A certain amount of money - reaching a plateau at about $8 million per year come 2022 - will be necessary to maintain the infrastructure.

» Read Full Article

West Allis man pepper-sprayed by security during birthday party at Hart Park

July 24, 2012 1:12 p.m. | A 35-year-old West Allis man was pepper-sprayed by security guards and arrested for disorderly conduct by police because he got unruly at a birthday party at Hart Park.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

A private security firm had been hired to watch over a quinceanara, a 15th birthday celebration in the Hispanic community, to which 200 guests had been invited. It took place in the Muellner Building in Hart Park. The birthday girl's family members had given guards a few rules to enforce, such as not allowing kids to leave the building without a chaperon after 10 p.m.

A few minutes before 10 p.m., a couple of kids wanted to go outside. One guard said OK if they were back inside by the deadline, while another told them they couldn't leave and got physically aggressive with the kids, they said.

The kids were pulled into a room for questioning by guards when the West Allis man - the boyfriend of the birthday girl's mother - came to see what was going on. He said he felt responsible for the children at the party; however, he got loud and refused to leave after numerous requests by the guards. He was pepper-sprayed by a guard.

» Read Full Article

Tosa teen robbed, assaulted while walking to friend's house

July 24, 2012 12:41 p.m. | A 17-year-old Wauwatosa boy was robbed and assaulted while walking at 61st Street and Wisconsin Avenue early Saturday morning, police said.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

The boy was walking to a friend's house at 12:41 a.m. Saturday when two men approached him. One man asked how much money he had. The boy pulled out a $1 bill and handed it over.

The second man punched the boy in the jaw, knocking him to the ground. The boy got up and ran up a steep hill, losing a shoe along the way. The robbers chased him, tripping him on the sidewalk. The boy said he made numerous attempts to get up but they kept pushing him down. At some point, he lost his shirt and second shoe.

Eventually the boy got free and ran to his friend's house.

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Officer shoots charging pitbull during search of alleged drug house

July 24, 2012 12:04 p.m. | Two men are facing charges in circuit court and a dog was put down after being shot in the face during the search of an alleged drug house in the 10700 block of West Keefe Avenue on Thursday morning.

According to Wauwatosa police reports:

The Wauwatosa Police Department's Special Response Team, made up of more than a dozen officers, executed a search warrant at 5:11 a.m. July 19. A woman with three dogs at her feet answered the door.

One of the dogs, a pitbull, was barking and growling. It charged at an officer, which caused him to fear for his safety and shoot the dog when it got within four feet of him. The dog yelped and ran to a bedroom, where it stayed until a representative from the Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission arrived.

The dog had a significant gunshot wound to the head and face, said David Flagler, executive director of MADACC, in an interview.

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Teacher resignations could be larger problem than expected in Greenfield

July 24, 2012 9:26 a.m. | Greenfield School Board member Cathy Walsh on Monday said that 16 teachers either resigned or retired at the end of the school year, which she said presents a more serious picture of staff turnover than the School Board was led to believe.

The administration had provided the board with resignation and retirement numbers for all staff. Those numbers showed no inordinate exodus. But Walsh said she separated teachers out and found 16 had left, compared with the six or seven that she found had been the more normal turnover over the last nine years.

Superintendent Conrad Farner said that he had not broken the numbers down by employee groups, but would do so and report back to the School Board.

Even if the 16 is confirmed, Board member Pam Sierzchulski urged the board not to jump to conclusions. The dramatic changes brought about by Act 10 to public employee pay and benefits caused last year to be a "bump" year. She urged waiting to see what the next year brings.

While board member Russell Spahn agreed that Act 10 could have triggered more retirements, it doesn't explain the resignations.

Fox Point-Bayside district sets referendum wheels in motion

July 24, 2012 9:23 a.m. | Fox Point - In an effort to combat past and potential reductions to the district's revenue limit, the Fox Point-Bayside School Board set plans in motion Monday night which could ultimately bring a referendum to voters next spring to supplement the district's operational budget.

The proposed referendum would aim to provide between $500,000 and $600,000 annually to the district over a 10 year period, though School Board members advised the higher figure.

Fox Point-Bayside has seen an approximate $662,000 decrease in its revenue limit since the 2010-2011 school year, and has used its fund balance to cover operational costs. Officials said that, without the referendum money, the fund balance will run out and the district would have to reduce staffing or services to balance the budget.

"The education we provide will change dramatically if we don't find another source of revenue," said School Board President Michael Weiss.

Having received preliminary approval from the School Board, district administrative staff will return with a fleshed out referendum proposal for the board at its August meeting.

Anonymous donor gives $10,000 to Greenfield football program

July 24, 2012 9:15 a.m. | A donor who wishes to remain anonymous has given $10,000 to the Greenfield High School football program.

Administrators are checking the Title 9 fairness requirements such as for girls athletics and other sports.

"It's really a hard area," said Superintendent Conrad Farner. The donation will definitely free up funds for other programs, he said.

"We'll make sure there's equity," he said.

Board to make decision-making more open

July 24, 2012 12:48 a.m. | It soon will be much easier to follow Greenfield School Board decision-making because most of the same information board members receive to make its decisions will be online for the public to examine, also.

The School Board decided Monday to post background information on the district website so that residents can be better informed about decisions the board is making.

Only information that must by law be kept confidential will be withheld, Superintendent Conrad Farner said after the meeting.

Bullying, drugs a problem, survey says

July 24, 2012 12:18 a.m. | Greenfield High School has a significant problem with bullying and with students being approached by sellers of marijuana and hard drugs, a student risk survey says.

"This one really jumps out," Principal Paul Thusius said of the students' answers to the question of whether they had been bullied at school in the past year. A much higher percent answered in the affirmative than the average of students in 18 other Wisconsin school districts taking the same survey, he said.

"We will definitely focus on this next year," Thusius said.

In fact, the school has been preparing for months to make a push in the coming school year to curb bullying. The new efforts will be on top of initiatives that were started last year, he said.

Another problem area to which the survey pointed is the availability of illegal drugs. Again, a higher percentage of Greenfield High School students said they had been approached by drug sellers than students who answered the same question in the 18 other districts.

New board member might be familiar face

July 23, 2012 11:48 p.m. | On Aug. 6, the Greenfield School Board members will choose someone to serve on the board and it could be someone with whom they are familiar.

Of the three candidates who said they were interested in the job, one is former School Board member Richard Moze who lost this spring in a bid for re-election and another is Paul Palama who has run twice for the board. Rounding out the list of candidates is Brandon Rosner.

The School Board will interview all three and then pick one to serve until April 2013 when the term of David Richlen expires. Richlen resigned because his family is moving to Franklin.

The School Board received three responses after opening the door to anyone who wants to be considered to fill the vacancy to send in a resume.

The board will ask each candidate the same four questions and then vote with signed ballots so that their choices will be public record.

Budget with levy increase cleared for annual meeting

July 23, 2012 11:26 p.m. | A $49 million preliminary budget for the upcoming 2012-13 school year that calls for a 0.74 percent levy increase got the go-ahead from the Greenfield School Board on Monday for presentation to residents at the Sept. 10 annual meeting.

The proposed levy is more than $25 million.

Although the proposed budget contains money to continue the recreation offerings the district has been trying, there is some feeling on the School Board that those programs should be dropped. They didn't turn out to be the money-makers that school officials had hoped they would be. In fact, they are costing money for taxpayers, said School Board member Cathy Walsh.

The board will talk more about keeping those recreation programs. Many of them duplicate programs the city already offers through the Greenfield recreation department.

First day of school for St. Francis schools set for Sept. 1

July 23, 2012 3:56 p.m. | The first student day for the St. Francis Public Schools is Tuesday, Sept. 4.

The following are the scheduled student registration dates and times:

9 a.m. to noon, Aug. 6, St. Francis High School gymnasium; freshman (grade nine), registration and pictures

noon to 6 p.m., Aug. 7, SFHS gymnasium; grades 10 through 12, registration and picturesnoon to 6 p.m., Aug. 14, Deer Creek Gymnasium Building, all students in grades K4 to eightFamilies will be required to complete student/family data forms and pay school fees.

The 2012-13 student registration fees are as follows: grades K4/K5, $30; grades one to three, $55; grades four to eight, $60; grades nine to 12, $75; $175 max per family within district.

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Wauwatosa Cemetery Chapel could become local historic site

July 23, 2012 2:36 p.m. | The Wauwatosa Cemetery Board would like to see the chapel on the property designated as a local historic site.

The board submitted a nomination application and a hearing was held earlier this month to consider the chapel's significance.

"(The commission) considered the history and current appearance of the building and voted unanimously to recommend local designation because of its role in Wauwatosa history and as a fine example of architecture," said Brian Faltinson, city Historic Preservation Commission chairman.

The chapel was built in 1852 as the First Baptist Church. In 1888 the congregation moved to a new building and Frederick Underwood - son of minister Enoch Underwood - purchased the church, according to nomination papers filed by the cemetery board. It became an armory until the Wisconsin Light Guard disbanded in 1914.

At that time, the church was moved to the cemetery and received renovations to make it a chapel with a Greek Revival-style portico. The chapel is an example of the changing funeral practices of the early 20th century, when people moved wake services from homes to a cemetery chapel.

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Washington County Fair fireworks canceled

July 23, 2012 2:10 p.m. | The Washington County Fair fireworks show that was slated to go off at dusk Tuesday was canceled due to drought conditions.

"With the existing drought conditions and an unlikely chance of rain, we just don't want to take any chances to start the fair off with catastrophe," said Fair Manager Sandy Lang.

The fair continues until Sunday. Events includes the crowning of the Fairest of the Fair, Battle of the Bands and BOTS IQ. REO Speedwagon headlines the event with a performance at 7 p.m. Thursday.

For a complete schedule of events, visit

Hales Corners pool open from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. today

July 23, 2012 1:58 p.m. | Milwaukee County Parks has extended today's hours of operation for all of its outdoor deep-well pools, including Hales Corners Pool, due to the day's extreme heat. All deep-well pools will have evening hours from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

The other deep-well pools are: Grobschmidt, Holler, Jackson, McCarty, Pelican Cove, Sheridan, Washington and Wilson.

Cool Waters at Greenfield Park and David F. Schulz Aquatic Park at Lincoln Park will be open until 8 p.m.

Village Playhouse needs actors for 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof'

July 23, 2012 10:34 a.m. | Talented actors are needed to bring Tennessee Williams' play "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" to life with The Village Playhouse of Wauwatosa.

Auditions will be held at 7 p.m. today, July 23, and tomorrow, July 24, at Divine World Lutheran Church, 5505 W. Lloyd St., Milwaukee. Actors will read from a script.

The play tells the story of a southern family arguing over the patriarch's land and money on his birthday.

Performances will be held beginning Sept. 28 at Christ King Church, kicking of the playhouse's season. Upcoming shows are "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" in December and "39 Steps" in April.

The playhouse is a nonprofit group run by volunteers. For information call (414) 447-0431.

State baseball photo gallery updated

July 20, 2012 9:39 p.m. | MyCommunityNOW has just updated its photo gallery of today's WIAA state summer baseball finals in Mequon with images from the championship game between Oak Creek and Germantown.

Oak Creek rallied from four runs down to win, 5-4.

Germantown defeated Waukesha West, 3-2, in the first semifinal. Oak Creek downed Sheboygan Falls, 10-0, in the second game.

Go to photo gallery.

Chili'n on the Avenue returns to East Tosa on Saturday

July 20, 2012 2:50 p.m. | The East Tosa Alliance wants to help people chill out and enjoy summer by offering food, music and a chili cook-off Saturday.

Chili'n on the Avenue returns for the third year, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, in an effort to showcase the commercial district, foster bonds between neighbors and raise money to promote shopping and dining along North Avenue.

To allow for the festival's growth, the stretch where it will be held has expanded this year, said Rachel Schickowski, event marketing chairwoman. Activities will span North Avenue from 68th Street to Lefeber Avenue.

There will be children's activities, vendors and a chili contest. Paul Cebar and Tomorrow Sound will headline the street festival with a performance at 3:30 p.m.

A number of cooks will prepare their chili recipes and judges will determine the tastiest creation. Members of the public can make up their own minds by buying small bowls and sampling for themselves.

Bel Air Cantina looks to open in East Tosa

July 20, 2012 2:30 p.m. | East Tosa may become the site of an oasis for Mexican food lovers.

Bel Air Cantina - the popular restaurant already has a location on Milwaukee's East Side - could be celebrating Taco Tuesdays and serving up "Cali-Mexican" cuisine and flights of tequila in the building that last served as the Aqua Terra fish store, 6817 W. North Ave.

The city, through its Wauwatosa Economic Development Corp., has nearly $347,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds to allocate through spring, 2013, in an effort to spur development and job creation. Bel Air Cantina is one of three applicants requesting funding, which will be discussed by the WEDC on Tuesday.

Bel Air Cantina is seeking $150,000 to help buy the building, which would then be completely remodeled inside and out. The project would cost a total of about $1.4 million for the business, according to a report by the city's Development Department.

Restaurant owners Leslie Montemurro and Scott Johnson also are behind other Milwaukee-area hotspots such as Balzac, Palomino, Hi-Hat Lounge and Fuel.

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Portion of Swan Blvd. closed for 10 days, starting Monday

July 20, 2012 11:16 a.m. | A portion of Swan Boulevard will be closed for about 10 days beginning Monday to accommodate sewer and water main installation.

Traffic will be prohibited from using northbound Swan Boulevard between the Highway 45 entrance ramp and Menomonee River Parkway. Crews will work on the Meinecke Avenue Neighborhood flood mitigation project, installing pipes through the intersection of Swan and the parkway, Public Works Director Bill Porter said.

Southbound traffic on Swan Boulevard may be closed for a short duration as the contractor stages the construction. Vehicles accessing Hoyt and Hansen parks will be able to turn in both directions during the closure.

Mount Mary, Medical College offer dual-degree program in public health

July 20, 2012 11:04 a.m. | Two local colleges are teaming up to over a dual-degree program that would allow students to receive Bachelor and Master of Public Health degrees within five years.

Mount Mary College will allow students in their junior year to apply to the Medical College of Wisconsin's Master of Public Health program beginning spring 2013. If accepted, students will enroll in up to five master's courses during their senior year. The agreement between the two schools waives the Graduate Record Exam and application fees.

The dual-degree program was created to prepare graduates for professions in a rapidly changing health care environment, while letting motivated students complete their educations faster, according to a news release announcing the partnership.

Little League homerun derby, raffle to benefit Litwicki family

July 20, 2012 10:56 a.m. | The Greenfield Little League has announced that proceeds from its annual raffle and homerun derby will go to the Margaret Litwicki Memorial Fund, set up for the three children of Litwicki, who was stabbed to death late Friday or early Saturday.

One of the children, an 8-year-old boy, plays in the Little League's rookie division. The other children are ages 11 and 6; all three live in Greenfield.

Normally, the proceeds from the raffle and fundraiser go to the Little League, said Jeff Brunner, league vice president. The league also will make a separate donation.

The public is invited to the fundraiser to be held from 5:45 to 8:30 p.m. July 25 at Kulwicki Park, 10771 W. Cold Spring Road., Greenfield. The raffle will include about $400 worth of jewelry donated by Kesslers Diamonds, $300 worth of refinishing work donated by Greg's Refinishing - which specializes in antique furniture - and travel gift certificates.

Tickets will be sold at the park, and the drawing will be at 8 p.m.

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Blood donors to get free State Fair ticket

July 20, 2012 10:54 a.m. | The BloodCenter of Wisconsin sees a slump in donations each summer. To pump up the supply, the Wauwatosa-based facility is offering a free ticket to Wisconsin State Fair to every person who donates blood now through Aug. 11.

In Wauwatosa, people can give blood at the donor center at 8733 Watertown Plank Road. Make an appointment by calling (877) 232-4376 and mention the word "summer" or enter summer in the comment box of the confirmation page when registering online at

The BloodCenter must see at least 800 donors each day to meet the needs of the hospitals it serves. During the summer months, donations drop because of summer travel and fewer school and community blood drives.

Donors should bring a photo ID that includes their birth date to show donors are 17 or older, or 16 with parental permission.

Lightning strike ignites Shorewood duplex

July 19, 2012 10:46 a.m. | Shorewood - Firefighters and police were dispatched to 3602 N Murray Avenue around 8:44 p.m. last night, quelling an attic fire which caused an estimated $300,000 in damage, according to a media release.

Fire investigators have concluded that the likely cause of the fire was a lightning strike from the severe storm system in the area at the time of the call. First responders found smoke coming from the roof and eaves of the duplex and upgraded the call to bring in additional companies, which fought the fire from two ladder trucks.

Fire, smoke, and water damage to the attic and third floor of the duplex is reportedly extensive.

Two firefighters were taken to a local hospital for treatment of minor injuries, and have since been released. No civilian injuries were reported.

West Allis hospital stands tall in magazine's rankings

July 18, 2012 4:32 p.m. | Aurora West Allis Medical Center ranked third in the Milwaukee metro area and sixth in Wisconsin in the U.S. News & World Report magazine rankings of hospitals nationwide.

This is the 23rd year the magazine has done the ranking.

Covering 94 metro areas in the U.S., the regional hospital rankings complement the national rankings by including hospitals with solid performance nearly at the level of nationally ranked institutions.

The regional rankings are aimed primarily at people who don't need the special expertise found only at a nationally ranked Best Hospitals or who may not want to travel long distances for medical care. The U.S. News metro rankings give many such patients and their families more options of hospitals within their communities and in their health insurance networks.

The rankings were published by U.S. News in collaboration with RTI International, a research organization based in Research Triangle Park, N.C. Highlights of the 2012-13 rankings will appear in the U.S. News Best Hospitals 2013 guidebook, to go on sale in August.

Falls police need help finding cigarette thief

July 18, 2012 1:46 p.m. | The Menomonee Falls Police Department is asking the public for help in identifying an unknown male suspect who took two cartons of cigarettes last week.

At 8:15 p.m. July 11, a 34- to 35-year-old man, between 6 feet to 6-foot-3 inches tall and 215 to 230 pounds, asked for two cartons of Newport 100 cigarettes at 8:15 p.m. at BP Falls Amoco, N71 W13161 Appleton Ave. When the clerk set the cartons on the counter, the suspect took the items and sped off in a newer model silver Dodge pickup truck.

Pictures of the suspect and vehicle can be viewed online here.

Anyone who knows the suspect, should call (262) 532-8700 or email the police tip line at

Tosa officials agree safety, not politics, should be focus in managing large events

July 18, 2012 11:53 a.m. | A rally in support of Gov. Scott Walker held at Hart Park early this year has since caused a lot of debate within the city about how it was handled.

More than six months after it was held, the discussion continues. However, the city should be focusing its concern on communication and safety, not politics, Wauwatosa officials said Tuesday.

"It's not about free speech," Police Chief Barry Weber said. "I keep a copy of the Constitution on my desk. I don't care who it gets rented to, my only issue is overtime costs."

The Police Department incurred several thousand dollars in expenses to have officers on hand. That's money that was not required to be reimbursed by event organizers.

Since then the Common Council has changed it permit ordinance so the police can review special events and determine what kind of police presence will be needed and what that would cost. Applicants would be charged up front for the police service, as has been the case for parades and walk/runs that have occurred on city streets.

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Robber gets pharmicist to stay late, but scam fails

July 18, 2012 10:33 a.m. | A man attempted to rob a Wauwatosa pharmacy of prescription painkillers Sunday afternoon.

According to a Wauwatosa Police Department report:

A man perused magazines, then asked for a pharmacist for an allergy medicine recommendation at Swan Serve U Pharmacy, 9130 North Ave. He said he left his money at his home nearby and asked if the pharmacist would stay at the store for a few minutes beyond the 3 p.m. closing time so he could return with the money.

When the customer returned at 3:15 p.m., he handed the pharmacist a note claiming he had a gun and demanding oxycodone.

The pharmacist didn't see a weapon so he yelled at the man to get out. The robber took a magazine and allergy medicine and took off.

Wauwatosa power line hearing moved to November

July 18, 2012 10:14 a.m. | A public hearing on where to place a power line in Wauwatosa has been postponed by the state Public Service Commission.

Tosa residents and intervening parties, including the city and a local group called People Friendly Power, will likely get their chance to speak to the commission about the Western Milwaukee County Electric Reliability Project in late November, rather than mid-September.

The change gives the city more time to look into alternative routes and question American Transmission Company on the routes ATC has proposed, City Attorney Alan Kesner said Tuesday.

"The sense of urgency that we felt three weeks ago has diminished to some extent," Kesner said.

The postponement came as a result of unfinished land negotiations between We Energies and Milwaukee County.

Accomplice armed with tire iron aids shoplifter's escape

July 18, 2012 10:12 a.m. | A grocery store security guard who was trying to stop a shoplifter was threatened by an accomplice armed with a tire iron last week.

According to a Wauwatosa Police Department report:

A woman recognized for taking baby formula from area stores showed up at Pick 'n Save, 6950 W. State St., on July 9. She had concealed items but had dropped them before leaving. Security warned her not to return and police weren't called.

The following day, the same woman entered the store at 8:34 a.m. This time she was interested in energy drinks. The guard tried to detain her in the vestibule, having to physically restrain her at one point.

She called out to a man in the parking lot, who pulled his vehicle up to the entrance. He got out of the car and approached with a tire iron raised in an attack position.

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Motorist cited after eating marijuana during traffic stop

July 18, 2012 8:20 a.m. | A 22-year-old Greenfield man who ate approximately one gram of marijuana in an effort to hide it from police during a traffic stop ended up receiving a citation anyway.

According to Oak Creek police:

Officers pulled the man over for an unsafe lane deviation in the 2600 block of West Sycamore Avenue at 2:30 a.m. Sunday. While giving the man a written warning, the officer observed that the driver seemed somewhat "out of it," and noticed his heart was beating rapidly, his breathing was fast and his words were shaky.

The officer then asked the suspect to exit his car in order to speak to him. While exiting, the driver turned away from the officer and appeared to conceal something in his waistband. A body search was executed and a purple glass pipe with charred residue fell out of the suspect's shorts and onto the ground.

During the search the officer also noticed the suspect had several small pieces of plant material on his tongue. The suspect then admitted to the officer that he ate approximately one gram of marijuana during the traffic stop in an attempt to hide it from police.

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Man cited after taking knife into Denny's kitchen to complain about gravy

July 18, 2012 8:11 a.m. | A 51-year-old California man was cited for disorderly conduct after he took a knife into a restaurant kitchen to complain about the way his gravy was prepared.

According to the Oak Creek police report:

A witness observed the suspect holding a five- or six-inch knife behind his back while walking towards the kitchen area at Denny's Restaurant, 9650 S. 20th St., shortly before 3:30 a.m. Sunday. The suspect entered the kitchen and walked into the cook line, where he started to complain about the way his gravy was made.

When an employee asked the suspect to leave, he told her to call the police. The employee then stated she noticed the man had a knife in his right pocket.

Police pulled the suspect's vehicle over near South 39th Street and West Ryan Road in Franklin, where they found a black and silver knife in the front passenger side of his car.

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Church wins rezoning to make Walmart home

July 17, 2012 10:28 p.m. | After a public hearing, the Greenfield Common Council on Tuesday approved a rezoning that would enable the Ridge Community Church to move into the soon-to-be vacant Walmart store at 4500 S. 108th St.

The congregation wants to buy the Walmart and make 60,000 square feet of it into a church and lease out the remaining 50,000 square feet.

Alderman Tom Pietrowski cast the only vote against the rezoning. saying the property is too valuable to take part of it off the property tax rolls.

The pastor promised to voluntarily give a payment in lieu of taxes to make up for the city's loss of tax revenue. But that only maintains funding for the city, not the schools or other property taxing units.

At the hearing, church members said the presence of the church would build business in the area and the city would benefit from the active church in other ways.

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Man charged in Greenfield murder

July 17, 2012 1:32 p.m. | A Greenfield man was charged today with first-degree intentional homicide in the stabbing death of a woman in the 4400 block of West Morgan Avenue on Saturday.

According to the complaint filed by the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office, Christopher R. Gish, 38, said he was angry with the victim, Margaret Litwicki, for threatening to take their children away. The two lived together.

The victim suffered numerous stab wounds to the neck, head and extremities, according to the complaint.

No injuries reported in Shorewood basement fire

July 17, 2012 9:50 a.m. | Shorewood - Police and firefighters responded to a basement fire at 4502 N Wildwood Avenue in Shorewood around 5 a.m., reporting approximately $5,000 in damage and no injuries, according to a North Shore Fire Department media release.

Shorewood police arrived at the property to find fire and heavy smoke in the basement. Once firefighters arrived and confirmed that everyone had been evacuated, the fire was quickly contained and extinguished.

The apparent cause of the fire was the inadvertent mixing of chemicals which had been stored under the basement stairs.

Flasher gets boot from Southridge

July 17, 2012 9:30 a.m. | An odd choice of clothing and a return to the scene of the alleged crime resulted in an arrest for lewd and lascivious behavior in Greendale last week.

According to the police report

A male juvenile was arrested for lewd and lascivious behavior at Southridge Mall, 5300 S. 76th St., shortly before 9 a.m. July 12.

The suspect, who was allegedly wearing a short blue halter-style woman’s dress and cowboy boots, followed a woman into the bathroom at Macy’s and exposed his genitals to her at 2:20 p.m. July 10.

The suspect returned to the mall wearing the same clothing on July 12, where he was arrested by police.

Shorewood fireworks may fly in September

July 17, 2012 8:58 a.m. | Shorewood - The fireworks show postponed at Shorewood's Fourth of July celebration may highlight a community picnic at Atwater Park on Sept. 1.

The Shorewood Foundation -which originally funded the show - along with other local organizations like the Shorewood Men's Club, Friends of Atwater Beach, and Shorewood Seed Foundation have expressed interest in co-hosting the community picnic to accompany the rescheduled fireworks.

Village Manager Chris Swartz told the Village Board Monday that between overtime for police and firefighters and the cost of a band, the event could run somewhere between $800 and $1,500. Cancelling the fireworks outright would incur a $4,100 cancellation fee, though Swartz said it hasn't been worked out who would pay that yet.

Trustees were wary that the Village might need to postpone the fireworks again on September 1 if the dry conditions don't let up.

"I would hate to schedule it and unscheduled it," said Trustee Michael Maher.

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Future's not bright for Bayshore sunglass thieves

July 16, 2012 3:12 p.m. | The lure of high-priced sunglasses proved tough to resist last week as three incidents of shoplifting occurred at a Bayshore Town Center store.

In the first, a 24-year-old Mercer, Wis., man was arrested for theft of three pairs of sunglasses valued at $435 from Sunglass Hut, 490 W. Northshore Drive, at 11 a.m. July 10 in Glendale.

The man left the store but was identified because he had purchased a pair of glasses and filled out a warranty card. He was ordered into the station where he admitted taking the glasses saying he did because he had a pair stolen a few days before.

A few hours later, at 7 p.m., an 18-year-old Milwaukee man was arrested for theft of one pair of $150 glasses. He ran from the mall and across a street. When stopped, he said he ran because he thought the police "were going to rob him." Then he said he ran because he was "out for a jog to cool off."

And at 8:40 p.m., a man took three pairs of sunglasses valued at $550 but police were not notified. An officer reported the theft during a follow-up.

Town of Brookfield imposes lawn sprinkling ban

July 13, 2012 2:52 p.m. | The Town of Brookfield has announced a lawn sprinkling ban for all properties effective immediately and until further notice.

The ban applies to watering of lawns and washing of cars, with the exception of commercial carwashes that recycle the water.

Property owners may water flower beds and shrubs from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. based on address. Even numbered properties may be watered on even numbered days and odd numbered properties may be watered on odd numbered days based on the 6 p.m. start time.

Property owners who have newly installed lawns may obtain a temporary permit from the Sanitary District.

For more information, call 262-798-8631.

Franklin water utility applies for rate increase

July 13, 2012 2:16 p.m. | The Franklin Municipal Water Utility has filed an application to increase water rates by 3.2 percent.

If the new rate goes through as expected on Sept. 2, the average residential customer with a quarterly usage of 12,000 gallons of water will rise from the current $64.14 to $66.21.

The application to the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin was made "to reduce the existing deficiency in present rates."

The utility noted that the rate-change request is being made under Wisconsin Statute 196.193. Rates granted under the statute do not require a public hearing.

Water rates come under five different customer classifications including average and large residential, commercial, public authority and industrial.

Pub owner's rebuilding plans meet with resistance in Muskego

July 13, 2012 9:33 a.m. | Whether there will be a new DJs Pub & Grill after the current establishment is demolished as part of a road-widening project is still in question.

The owner of the business that has stood alongside Janesville Road for 90 years wants to rebuild, but some city officials and others aren't entirely comfortable with his plans, as presented.

According to the plans of owner Dan Hewitt, DJs would more than double in size and serve as more of a restaurant than a bar. The development would also have residential units - he originally wanted eight, but the Plan Commission recommended capping them at four.

To enable the project, Hewitt has asked the Muskego Common Council to rezone the property from residential to downtown revival district.

But, on a 4-2 vote Tuesday night, the council turned him down. There were too many unanswered questions, some aldermen and residents said.

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Bay School Board OKs alterations, clarifications to employee handbooks

July 11, 2012 9:22 p.m. | Whitefish Bay - The Whitefish Bay School Board approved a handful of additions and clarifications to its employee handbooks tonight.

Under previous collective bargaining agreements, the district would layoff employees it couldn't afford. Now, using employee handbooks in place of bargaining, the district non-renews teacher contracts it can't afford.

When collective bargaining was in place, a nonrenewal had a negative connotation and was associated with poor performance, though that isn't the case today, said Director of Human Resources Mark Kapocius.

The School Board approved an addition to the teacher handbook outlining grounds for nonrenewal for economic reasons, so that teachers non-renewed as a result of budget or enrollment constraints wouldn't be viewed negatively.

"We wanted to make it clear that it's for economic reasons and not performance reasons," said Kapocius.

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Muskego senior taxi service again gets funding

July 11, 2012 4:56 p.m. | Once again, Muskego's senior taxi service will be able to finish the year in the black with the help of $5,000 from the city on top of thousands of dollars from local businesses and community groups and a subsidy by Waukesha County.

On Tuesday, Muskego approved the $5,000 contribution from funds left over from tax incremental finance districts that have met their goals and are now closed.

While the city has provided funding from closed TIFs almost every year since 2008, Alderman Dan Soltysiak called for the city to set up a separate fund that could be budgeted to meet such expenses if groups that provide community services get into a bind. By the time they come to the city they would likely find that every city dollar is already spoken for, he said.

That suggestion will be discussed soon during budget development for next year.

Muskego plan now makes no mention of lake park

July 11, 2012 4:54 p.m. | With the extremely controversial proposal to establish a park on Little Muskego Lake now dead, the Muskego Common Council on Tuesday wiped mention of establishing a park from the city's Comprehensive Plan for the year 2020.

One of the justifications for a park on the lake was that the 2020 plan suggested that it be explored, if properties became available. The 4-2 council vote did not accept the Plan Commission recommendation to leave the park idea in the plan.

Despite that decision, the potential for a park on the lake isn't completely lost in city documents. It's mentioned in the city's new marketing plan and possibly in other city planning documents.

Muskego makes a 911 call of its own in dispatch fight

July 11, 2012 3:26 p.m. | Tired of 18 months of doors being slammed in its face, the Muskego Common Council on Tuesday approved an ordinance requiring all 911 emergency cellphone calls originating in Muskego to go to the Muskego dispatch center.

Currently, landline 911 calls go to local dispatchers, but cellphone 911 calls are answered by dispatchers at the Waukesha County Communications Center, which transfers them to Muskego. The city wants to answer all locally originated 911 to speed up response time that can be critical in medical situations.

However, the WCC officials maintain that they do a better job and refuse to agree to the switchover.

The city appealed to the Wisconsin Public Service Commission that said the two dispatch centers should work it out. But WCC has been unwilling to meet with Muskego, said Muskego Police Chief Paul Geiszler.

So, Muskego simply passed an ordinance ordering the switchover. Companies that have cellphone towers in Muskego will be notified. Geiszler said the company officials he has already contacted say they are perfectly happy to switch, if they are ordered to do so.

Germantown issues lawn watering ban

July 11, 2012 11:11 a.m. | Due to dry conditions and a depleting water supply, the Germantown Department of Public Works has declared a lawn watering ban for all customers in the village.

The ban will continue indefinitely. The Department of Public Works is asking all residents to discontinue watering their lawns; however, the use of water for trees, gardens or car washing is still permitted. The department is also requesting residents on private wells voluntarily restrict lawn watering to conserve water resources that may be shared by neighbors.

Director of Public Works Dan Ludwig said currently there are not any fines for those who do not follow the ban; however, that will be the next course of action if necessary.

"I'm hoping we have enough citizens that honor this request so we don't have to do any enforcement," Ludwig said. "We know it's a very harsh time right now and lawns are suffering, especially for people with new lawns, but we're asking for the sacrifice now so we don't have to go to harsher measures."

The Village of Germantown Water System runs on groundwater. The wells are currently running 18 hours every day. For 11 hours of that, the wells are running in deficit, meaning the pumps can't keep the levels in the water tanks at a normal elevation. The groundwater that feeds the pumps is also depleting because the pumps are running so often.

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Brown Deer farmers market has new location

July 11, 2012 11:06 a.m. | Brown Deer - The Brown Deer farmers market has taken up a new location at 8900 N. Deerbrook Trail.

The market is open from 9 a.m. through 6 p.m. each Wednesday through mid to late October.

College plans cause worry

July 11, 2012 10:54 a.m. | Wisconsin Lutheran College wants to rezone 15 homes it bought in Wauwatosa so it can change one to use as office space and allow more students to move into the others.

Dozens of neighbors worried about continued expansion by the college into the residential community came to the Plan Commission on Monday to voice their concerns. They fear that rezoning will just open the door to replacing the buildings with larger dormitories or classroom buildings in the future.

Homeowners said they have battled the college for nearly 30 years. It purchased less than 10 acres of land in Milwaukee initially and has been expanding to the east into Wauwatosa since then, residents said. In 2000, the college requested a rezoning that led to a mediation effort between the college and city. It resulted in a 10-year college boundary agreement that has since expired on the east side of the campus, adjacent to the rear yards of the properties on the west side of Pleasant View Street.

"This is something that's really going to have a big impact on our neighborhood and our property values," resident Tom Genack said.

Residents talked about the increased crime, parking problems and poorly maintained properties that have resulted as the college has bought up homes during the last decade.

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Iced bottle of Jagermeister found in car of men chased down by Tosa police

July 11, 2012 9:56 a.m. | A Wisconsin Rapids man was arrested for drunken driving and violating probation after he was found in a vehicle with his former partner in crime and tried to flee police last week.

According to the Wauwatosa police reports:

The 22-year-old man failed to stop for a sign at Menomonee River Parkway and North Avenue so he was pulled over at 2:05 p.m. July 5. As soon as he stopped his car, he and the 51-year-old passenger, also from Wisconsin Rapids, got out of the car.

The driver made a run for it into the woods along the parkway. Dispatchers received numerous calls from residents reporting a man running through their yards, and in one case he damaged a screen porch in the 2300 block of North 102nd Street.

Officers caught up to the man on 101st Street and smelled alcohol on his breath. His blood-alcohol content was 0.13.

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Police officer, Good Samaritan just can't walk away from ducklings in storm drain

July 11, 2012 9:11 a.m. | An Oak Creek police officer and an Oak Creek resident worked together to rescue 10 ducklings stuck in a storm drain July 6.

According to the Oak Creek police report:

Shortly after 8 p.m. July 6, The Oak Creek Fire Department received a report that several ducklings were trapped in a storm drain outside Noodles & Co., 8609 S. Howell Ave. The Fire Department responded and confirmed the situation.

The Oak Creek Street Department was notified, but said they couldn't respond to the call due to the high traffic volume on Howell Avenue. The Fire Department then called police and requested an officer respond.

After the officer arrived, he contacted the Humane Society Wildlife Center, but personnel there were unavailable during the evening hours and would not be able to come to the area until after 8:30 a.m. the next day.

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Man arrested after calling 911 to tell police he just killed Al Capone's son

July 11, 2012 8:45 a.m. | A 64-year-old man who called 911 to report he had just killed a man who was holding a gun to his head ended up being arrested by Oak Creek police for drunken driving.

According to the Oak Creek police report:

Police received a 911 call at 2:50 a.m. July 3 from a man who stated Al Capone's son was holding a gun to his head in his car at the Villa Vista Motel, 8060 S. 27th St. While officers were responding to the call, the man told dispatchers that he was able to kill his attacker by breaking his neck.

Officers arrived at the motel and found the caller sitting in the driver's seat of his vehicle with his keys in the ignition. No one else was inside the car.

When asked about the gun and the alleged attacker, the man told police he must have just strangled his assailant, not killed him, because he walked out of the car with the gun.

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79-year-old arrested for exposing himself in mall

July 11, 2012 8:24 a.m. | An elderly Brookfield man was arrested for exposing and fondling himself in a Mayfair mall bathroom last week.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

Security staff received numerous reports of a man exposing himself in the bathroom about 11:30 a.m. July 6. An officer found the 79-year-old man standing in front of a urinal.

When the officer acted as if he was a mall patron using the restroom, the man turned to him and began to shake his penis with his hand. Then he looked at the officer and smiled.

At that point, the officer identified himself and told the man to zip up. He was arrested for lewd and lascivious behavior.

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Fox Point wants fire funding package to be doused with time limit

July 10, 2012 11:22 p.m. | Fox Point - If the village has its way, the sun will set over the formula used to determine how much each community pays to support the North Shore Fire Department.

On Tuesday, the Village Board, which has expressed concerns over Fox Point's share of the funding, requested that a three-year sunset clause be added to the latest formula. Village President Michael West will also seek a reduction in the village's share.

The proposed funding formula, an update to a previous version approved in 2007, has been making its way through the seven member communities for approval over the course of the last month. River Hills tabled the proposal in late June to seek a sunset clause, and Shorewood will address the issue in an upcoming meeting.

Less is still more

According to the new formula, as approved by the NSFD Board of Directors in early June, Fox Point would contribute 10.31 percent of the NFSD's operating, maintenance, and capital budgets beginning in the 2013 budget year - down from 10.38 in the previous formula.

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Arrested man flees ER, found in Tosa backyard

July 10, 2012 9:16 p.m. | A patient tried to escape police custody while at Froedtert Hospital, leading to a search of surrounding residential neighborhoods last week.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

A 31-year-old Oak Creek man who was wanted on multiple warrants and had a history of weapons violations and being assaultive to police had been brought to Froedtert Hospital for medical clearance following an arrest by West Milwaukee police July 3.

About 7:30 p.m., the prisoner took off from the emergency room and ran through the alley on Robertson Street near Gridley Avenue. Wauwatosa police were called to assist the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office with the manhunt.

The police dog pulled its handler through the gate to a backyard in the 8300 block of West Portland Avenue. The prisoner - who was given two warnings to come out or the dog would be released - surrendered.

Driver hits flagman while making turn in construction zone

July 10, 2012 6:46 p.m. | A road construction worker was injured after a driver struck him at Mayfair Road and Burleigh Street last week.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

A 46-year-old Brookfield man intended to turn left from Mayfair onto Burleigh at 1:44 p.m. July 6. The driver was looking at the traffic signals that showed a green arrow. However, he didn't notice the flagman holding up a stop sign in the roadway until he was just about to hit him.

The driver had entered a lane that had been closed off with construction barrels and traffic cones and didn't seem aware that he couldn't continue in that lane. He was cited for failure to yield the right of way to construction workers on a highway (Mayfair Road is also known as Highway 100).

The construction worker said he tried to get out of the roadway when he saw the car driving at him, but he was struck in the leg and knocked to the ground. He was taken to Froedtert Hospital to have pain to his pelvis and legs checked out and treated.

Dancing prowler startles teen girl

July 10, 2012 4:42 p.m. | An impromptu dance party apparently started, at least for one man, after he was seen snooping around a house in the 2700 block of Wembley Circle on July 7.

According to the city of Brookfield police report:

Just after midnight, a man startled a teenage girl in the Brookfield suburban neighborhood by tapping on the glass of the kitchen door.

The girl looked outside and noticed the man had begun dancing in the yard. The rhythmic prowler then disappeared into the night, out of site from the window.

When police were called, no man matching the description was found. The teenager said she didn't recognize the man.

Pair arrested after girlfriend reports public sex in Motel 6 pool

July 10, 2012 4:42 p.m. | Handcuffs were not initially part of a watery rendezvous, but two people wound up in police custody for a host of crimes after a woman called police to inform them her boyfriend was having sex with another woman in the Motel 6 pool, according to the city of Brookfield police.

Also in the report:

Officers arrived at the Brookfield motel about 8:30 p.m. July 1, after a woman informed police her 27-year-old boyfriend was in the pool having sex with a 47-year-old woman while other people were in the pool.

The two were told to leave Motel 6 immediately and that they are no longer welcome to rent at that establishment. When police went to escort the pair from their room, they found marijuana and a pipe in the woman's purse.

She was subsequently arrested for drug possession and possession of paraphernalia, along with disorderly conduct for activities in the pool. The 27-year-old Chicago man was arrested for disorderly conduct as well.

» Read Full Article

Residents worry Wisconsin Lutheran intruding into neighborhood

July 10, 2012 11:26 a.m. | Wisconsin Lutheran College wants to rezone 15 homes it bought in Wauwatosa so it can change one for use as office space and allow more students to move into the others.

Dozens of neighbors worried about continued expansion by the college into the residential community came to the Plan Commission on Monday to voice their concerns. They worried that rezoning would just open the door to replacing the buildings with larger dormitories or classroom buildings in the future.

Homeowners said they have battled the college for nearly 30 years. It purchased less than 10 acres of land in Milwaukee initially and has been expanding to the east into Wauwatosa since then, residents said.

"This is something that's really going to have a big impact on our neighborhood and our property values," resident Tom Genack said.

Commissioner Jody Lowe moved that the college's request be held for a month so the college can bring forward information about its plans for future growth and, specifically, about the parcels on Bluemound Road, Maywood Avenue, Bel Air Court and Wisconsin Avenue. The college owns additional homes in the neighborhood that aren't up for rezoning at this time.

» Read Full Article

Jim Plaisted replaces Kathy Ehley as BID director

July 10, 2012 10:44 a.m. | Jim Plaisted has been hired as the new executive director of the Wauwatosa Village Business Improvement District, replacing Kathy Ehley, who was elected the city's mayor in April.

Plaisted, a Wauwatosa resident, will be coming from positions managing business districts in Shorewood and Milwaukee's East Side.

"He has overseen successful marketing, special events and business reinvestment to transform commercial corridors into active, appealing areas," according to an announcement issued by the BID Board today.

BID Board President Chris Leffler said Plaisted's knowledge will be important in implementing special projects under the recently adopted Village Master Plan such as remodeling the Harmonee Bridge, redesigning and improving pedestrian paths at rail crossings within the Village limits and dealing with streetscaping, signage and bicycle amenities.

The BID was established in 1994 to increase traffic and activity within Wauwatosa's historic Village.

Should police, fire chiefs have to live in Tosa?

July 09, 2012 1:58 p.m. | Every couple of years the issue of whether to require certain city employees to live in Wauwatosa comes up - and it's that time again.

The residency requirement "presents challenges in recruiting and retaining top employees," city Human Resources Director Beth Aldana wrote in a memo to the Employee Relations Committee.

She will ask the committee today for the OK to come up with a revised ordinance that would allow more flexibility for positions in which response times are critical.

People holding the following positions must live in Wauwatosa: city administrator, city attorney, public works director, finance director, police chief and fire chief.

There are many more positions that require residency, however waivers can be granted if response time would be similar or if dropping the restriction would attract the best candidate for the position. Those jobs are the public works operations, fleet/electric, water and parks and forestry superintendents; city engineer; city assessor; city clerk; chief building inspector; library director; and health department director.

» Read Full Article

Milwaukee County Parks volunteers' commitment to ecology honored

July 09, 2012 1:50 p.m. | Milwaukee County Parks has been recognized for its work in restoring natural areas with the help of volunteers and community partners.

The department received the 2012 Virginia M. Kline Award for Excellence in Community-Based Restoration, in recognition of the use of creative partnerships to maintain and improve the ecology of the 10,000 acres of natural areas within the Milwaukee County Parks System.

More than 14,000 volunteer hours were spent from 2009 through 2011 to restore and maintain public natural areas.

The idea behind community-based restoration is that it "brings the human community together and creates a more satisfactory relationship between humans and the larger biotic community," according to an announcement about the award.

The award will be presented Oct. 11 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum as part of the Leopold Restoration Awards issued by the Friends of the Arboretum and the Aldo Leopold Foundation.

Tosa came through extreme heat comparatively well

July 09, 2012 1:48 p.m. | Wauwatosa fared well during the recent dangerously hot multiday stretch.

"People are being really smart about this," Assistant Fire Chief James Case said. "They're staying hydrated and staying indoors with air conditioning when possible."

The Fire Department hasn't seen a spike in heat-related illnesses, he said.

Department leaders also watched out for their own crews, cutting down on "non-essential activities" like fire inspections that could wear them out.

If a fire were to break out in these dry conditions, assistance from other communities would be called in early, Case said.

» Read Full Article

High water use in city of Brookfield drawing down supply

July 07, 2012 9:13 a.m. | City of Brookfield residents are using so much water trying to keep their lawns green that city officials said they may need to impose a complete ban on sprinkling if people don't voluntarily reduce their water use.

When too much water gets drawn out of the system, it endangers the Water Utility's ability to keep enough water in the system for drinking water and fire protection needs, officials said in a news release today.

Residents are being asked to obey outdoor sprinkling rules before a ban becomes necessary.

The rules for sprinkling are: Sprinkling is allowed by properties with even-numbered addresses on even-numbered days of the year and by properties with odd-numbered addresses on odd-numbered days of the year before 9 a.m. and after 6 p.m. on the designated day. Automatic sprinklers should be adjusted accordingly.

There are some exemptions permitted including:

» Read Full Article

Brown Deer Road reopened

July 06, 2012 4:48 p.m. | Brown Deer - The two lanes closed earlier this afternoon on Brown Deer Road between the 5200 and 5600 blocks have been reopened.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation provided a temporary fix by grinding down raised areas of asphalt which had buckled due to the heat.

Crews will repave the damaged areas on Monday, July 9.

Heat causes two-lane closure on Brown Deer Road

July 06, 2012 3:20 p.m. | Brown Deer - Two lanes of eastbound West Brown Deer Road from the 5200 block to the 5600 block have been closed until further notice due to asphalt buckling and unsafe conditions.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is in the affected area making repairs, though it is unknown for how long.

One lane is still open, and travelers should expect delays, especially during rush hour. Authorities urge motorists to seek alternate routes.

Meijer plan creates sharp divide in opinion

July 06, 2012 2:24 p.m. | Where supporters of a Franklin Meijer store see an opportunity for expanded tax base, local job creation and a new place to shop, opponents see the loss of wetlands, more traffic and a store too large to fit the city's neighborhood feel.

The Franklin Plan Commission drew a full house Thursday as it met to consider a proposal to build a Meijer grocery and department store at the eastern corner of Loomis and St. Martin's roads.

And though Mayor Tom Taylor decreed in advance that the matter would be put off until the next meeting, that didn't stop a presentation and public comment period that lasted close to two hours and illuminated sharp schisms in public sentiment.

More than two dozen members of the public spoke, and their comments were almost evenly divided between support for the project and opposition.

"I'm in support of this," Sara Nowacki said. "I think Franklin needs more retail right now."

» Read Full Article

Independence Day photo gallery updated

July 04, 2012 11:36 a.m. | We've just updated our suburban Independence Day photo gallery with colorful shots from today's events in Oak Creek and yesterday's parade in Menomonee Falls.

We'll continue to update the gallery throughout the day with more images from the metropolitan area.

Go to photo gallery.

Brown Deer Fourth of July kiddie parade canceled

July 03, 2012 4:58 p.m. | Due to the heat advisory that has been issued for July 4, the kiddie parade scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday has been canceled. The ice cream party scheduled for 2 p.m. will be held near the 1884 Schoolhouse Museum.

The main parade scheduled for 1:30 p.m. will continue as planned. Village Manager Russell Van Gompel in a news release reminds "spectators and participants to stay hydrated and follow the common procedures to reduce the potential of heat stroke."

The Brown Deer Pond will be open from noon until 5 p.m. as a way to provide relief from the warm weather. The Pond is located in Village Park, 4920 W. Green Brook Drive.

The fireworks remain as scheduled at 9:30 p.m.

"We have taken additional precautions by watering and protecting the drop zone to reduce the fire potential," Van Gompel said. "As a reminder, it is unlawful for any discharge of private fireworks within the village.

» Read Full Article

Chill on the Hill canceled tonight

July 03, 2012 3:44 p.m. | Due to extreme heat, the Bay View Neighborhood Association has canceled Chill on the Hill at Humboldt Park tonight.

Hales Corners, Greendale and Greenfield

July 03, 2012 3:30 p.m. | Hales Corners Fire Chief Michael Jankowski, Greendale Fire Chief Tim Saidler and Greenfield Fire Chief Jon Cohn have all issued immediate bans on burning and the use of all fireworks, including sparklers and caps. These bans are the result of severe drought conditions. As such, burning and the use of fireworks would constitute a public nuisance affecting safety.

This ban includes fires in all outdoor fireplaces, pits, camp fires and the private use of consumer fireworks including sparklers, caps and novelty fireworks. In order to prevent fires, the community's police departments will strictly enforce these restrictions, they said.

Violators of this ban and adults who permit the use of any kind of fireworks, including caps and sparklers, or burning by minors will receive citations. This ban does not prohibit residents from using contained grills for cooking food. The ban will remain in place until further notice in all these communities.

Rescue workers called to Wirth Pool

July 03, 2012 2:20 p.m. | Dispatchers have sent emergency personnel to Wirth Park in Brookfield for the report of a child not breathing,

Fire Department emergency workers are on the scene. A Fire Department representative said they couldn't provide any information at this time.

More details to follow as they become available.

Woman injured in one-car crash; man arrested for drunken driving

July 03, 2012 1:47 p.m. | An alleged drunken driver is facing charges after a passenger in his car was seriously injured during a one-vehicle accident on Rawson Avenue on Saturday.

According to the Oak Creek police report:

The 24-year-old South Milwaukee man was traveling west through the intersection of Rawson and Pennsylvania avenues when he drove onto a median and struck a traffic signal and light pole.

The impact caused the front passenger in his vehicle, a 27-year-old South Milwaukee woman, to be ejected through the car window. She was on the ground outside the vehicle when emergency personnel arrived on the scene.

When police asked the driver what happened, he stated the sun was in his eyes and he got scared and turned the steering wheel of the car, causing the accident.

» Read Full Article

Wauwatosa Meetings: July 5-12

July 03, 2012 12:06 p.m. | Design Review Boards: 7 p.m. July 5, City Hall, 7725 W. North Ave.

Plan Commission: 7 p.m. July 9, City Hall

Community Development Authority: noon July 10, City Hall

Common Council committees: 7:30 p.m. July 10, City Hall

Shelters see uptick in parvovirus in dogs, puppies

July 03, 2012 11:28 a.m. | More than 30 dogs and puppies have died in the past few weeks from a highly contagious and deadly virus, prompting the Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission and the Wisconsin Humane Society to urge pet owners to get young pups vaccinated for parvovirus.

The virus is passed in stool and can last in the environment for more than a year under the right conditions, said veterinarian Jane Pohlman with the Wisconsin Humane Society.

Parvo usually affects pups younger than 6 months, but it can also affect unvaccinated older dogs, she added.

There is no outbreak in either area shelter but there has been a rise in the number of parvo-positive puppies being brought to the shelters.

Symptoms of the parvovirus include vomiting, diarrhea (which may be bloody), lethargy, pain, dehydration and sepsis, and the outcome can be death. Because parvo is a viral disease, there is no cure.

Health-related phone surveys coming your way

July 03, 2012 11:26 a.m. | Wauwatosa residents may receive phone calls requesting they participate in a community health survey this summer.

The survey is a combined effort among the city's Health Department, area hospitals and the Center for Urban Population Health Research, which collects data every three years to determine changes and trends, Wauwatosa Health Director Nancy Kreuser said.

The results will help local government, healthcare and volunteer organizations make decisions about the services they offer.

Surveys will take less than 20 minutes, and questions will focus on issues such as access to healthcare, tobacco and alcohol use, diet, physical activity, cancer prevention, heart health, injury prevention, immunizations, communicable diseases, mental health and chronic disease.

Responses will be anonymous. JKV Research, an independent research firm that specializes in community surveys, will make the calls.

Tosan wakes up to find burglar at his door

July 03, 2012 10:35 a.m. | A 29-year-old West Allis man faces two burglary charges, one with a dangerous weapon, after he allegedly sold items that were taken last week.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

A resident woke up to the sound of his bedroom door handle jiggling and the floor in the hallway creaking at an apartment in the 12200 block of West Bluemound Road at 6:45 a.m. June 27.

He looked into the hall and saw a man with his back toward him going through closets. The resident asked what the burglar was doing and yelled at him to "get out."

The man allegedly pulled a folding knife out of his pants and walked toward the resident in a threatening manner. The resident quickly jumped back into his room and locked the door. When police arrived, he climbed out his bedroom window.

» Read Full Article

Groups come together to promote clean water practices

July 03, 2012 10:10 a.m. | Two Wisconsin water groups have united to launch the marketing campaign, "Respect Our Waters," in an effort to educate southeastern Wisconsin residents about the actions they can take to help improve the quality of local rivers and Lake Michigan.

The Southeastern Wisconsin Watersheds Trust, also known as Sweet Water, and Root-Pike Watershed Initiative Network are spearheading a television advertising campaign featuring a puppet, Sparkles the Water Spaniel, to emphasize bad and good human behavior. Funding comes from grants from 28 municipalities and the state Department of Natural Resources.

In four spots, Sparkles talks about the importance of picking up yard debris, cleaning up dog droppings, using lawn fertilizer and chemicals responsibly, and preventing oil and fluids from leaking from cars.

The groups are urging area residents to pick up pet waste, leave grass clippings on the lawn, use lawn fertilizer and chemicals sparingly, inspect vehicles to make sure they're not leaking fluids and test soil to make sure the yard really needs the extra nutrients before applying fertilizer. The goal is to keep items from washing into storm sewers and flowing into waterways.

In addition, planting rain gardens and trees; directing downspouts into rain barrels, the yard or garden instead of the sewer or driveway; and using a carwash or washing cars on the lawn will help prevent pollution, the groups say.

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