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Who's in, who's out? Check out NOW's Push for the Playoffs and find out

Sept. 29, 2010 1:42 p.m. | We're more than five weeks into the prep football season and area football teams are starting to make their push for a coveted playoff spot. Will Homestead roll to another playoff bid? Is New Berlin Eisenhower's string of 15 consecutive playoff berths in jeopardy?

Each week, NOW senior sports reporter David Cotey will rank teams in the NOW coverage area as part of our special Push for the Playoffs page. Keep up with your favorite team's chances to make the playoffs, see the area's offensive leaders, participate in an online forum and more.

Go to Push for the Playoffs.

MMSD OKs contract to buy landfill gas

Sept. 28, 2010 10:44 a.m. | The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District's commission has approved a 20-year contract to buy landfill gas from Veolia Environmental Services beginning in 2013.

The gas will be transported in a pipeline from Veolia's Emerald Park landfill in Muskego to the Jones Island sewage treatment plan on the Lake Michigan harbor.

The landfill gas will be burned to generate electricity for Jones Island and reduce district purchases of more costly natural gas, MMSD officials said. The switch to landfill gas will save district ratepayers "tens of millions of dollars," MMSD Executive Director Kevin Shafer said.

Boy tries to pass himself off as woman during theft

Sept. 27, 2010 5:15 p.m. | What does a boy do with a woman's driver's license and checkbook?

In this case, he dressed like the woman and tried to make fraudulent purchases.

Brookfield police say the scenario played out Sept. 21 at Brookfield Square Mall, 95 N. Moorland Road, when a 17-year-old Milwaukee boy dressed in drag tried to use a woman's driver's license and checkbook to purchase items from a T-Mobile kiosk.

According to the city of Brookfield police report:

A mall security officer notified a Brookfield police officer who was on foot patrol in the mall that the boy tried to make a fraudulent purchase.

» Read Full Article

Marquette, Brookfield East football photo gallery now online

Sept. 25, 2010 6:44 a.m. | Marquette served notice last night that it will again be a team to be reckoned with this season after a 34-0 victory over previously undefeated Brookfield East, and we've just posted C.T. Kruger's photo gallery from game.

The Hilltoppers lost their first two games of the season but have now won three straight and are 3-0 in the Greater Metro Conference. East fell to 4-1 overall and 2-1 in the conference after having its four-game winning streak broken.

Go to NOW photojournalist C.T. Kruger's photo gallery.

State Fair pumpkin deflates... again

Sept. 24, 2010 10:20 a.m. | For the third year in a row the giant pumpkin in the parking lot outside the State Fair Park along I-94 has come crashing down, Today's TMJ4 is reporting.

The pumpkin houses the Halloween Express Store.

Go to story.

Teens threaten gay man on county bus, show up at his work

Sept. 22, 2010 7:40 a.m. | Two Milwaukee teens were arrested for disorderly conduct after they threatened a gay man on the bus Sept. 13 and showed up at his workplace in Mayfair Mall later that day, police said.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

The boys, 16 and 17, threw candy at the 20-year-old man and made comments about his sexual orientation. The man asked the bus driver for help, so the driver pulled over and told the boys to get out at 104th Street and North Avenue.

The boys saw the man's work ID and said they'd be paying him a visit later to beat him up. They showed up at the store where he works.

In addition to the disorderly conduct arrest, the older boy was arrested for giving false information to an officer and trespassing (he had been banned from entering the mall due to a prior crime), and on a warrant because he had run away from a group home.

Four students charged in fight during football game

Sept. 22, 2010 7:36 a.m. | Police are investigating an altercation between students that unfolded during halftime of Friday night's Brookfield East/Brookfield Central football game.

Brookfield Police Capt. Phil Horter said four 14-year-old Brookfield East students have been charged - three with disorderly conduct, and one with battery.

"A 14-year-old subject from Brookfield Central was in the school at halftime. The students from Brookfield East were pounding on the windows and doors of Brookfield Central in an attempt to get into the building. A student opened the door to tell them to knock it off and go away. That's when they gained entry," Horter said.

Six East students confronted the Central student, Horter said, and the Central student was battered by an East student during the altercation. The Central student suffered swelling and abrasions to the face.

Brookfield police and the Elmbrook School District continue to investigate.

» Read Full Article

UWM Innovation Park wins final OK for city financing

Sept. 22, 2010 7:00 a.m. | University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's plan to develop a science campus and a tech-oriented business park in Wauwatosa has won approval for up to $12 million in city financing.

The Common Council, on a 10-3 vote Tuesday night, approved the financing plan for the project, known as Innovation Park. The funding plan last week was recommended by the Plan Commission, and the council's Budget and Finance Committee.

The city would pay for roads, sewers and other public improvements at the project site, east of Highway 45 and north of W. Watertown Plank Road. Those funds would be repaid through property taxes generated by developments at Innovation Park. University-owned buildings will be tax-exempt. But the land itself, along with privately owned buildings, would generate property taxes.

A report by a city consultant said Innovation Park would likely generate enough property tax revenue to pay off the city's debt within the 27-year payback period allowed under state law. Based on development prospects, city officials expect that payback period to be shorter, perhaps 20 years or less.

No city money would be spent if UWM doesn't go forward with the development, and the city funds would be spent in phases as development occurs. That phased approach would require future council votes.

» Read Full Article

Multitasking driver learns sandwiches, booze don't mix

Sept. 21, 2010 8:06 a.m. | An Elm Grove man who police say was making a sandwich while he was behind the wheel was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol in Wauwatosa last week.

According to Wauwatosa police:

Dispatchers received a call reporting a reckless driver in the 2300 block of North Mayfair Road at 9:34 p.m. Sept. 12. He nearly struck a car, was swerving between lanes and failed to use his turn signal.

When an officer pulled behind the 24-year-old man's vehicle he noticed the driver was leaning over the passenger seat. During the traffic stop he noticed the driver was eating a sandwich and had a loaf of bread and packages of salami and cheese on the passenger seat.

He said he had gotten into a fight with his mother and was just driving around.

» Read Full Article

Share your Michigan Memories and win a family getaway

Sept. 20, 2010 12:55 p.m. | Need a getaway this fall? Share your favorite photographic memories of a family trip to Michigan and you could win a prize, including the grand prize of round-trip tickets for two adults, two children and one vehicle on the Lake Express high-speed ferry, and a two-night stay at the Hampton Inn in Muskegon, Mich.

Just upload a shot of you and the family having fun in our friendly neighboring state, and you could be a winner. The second-place prize is round-trip tickets for two adults and a vehicle on the ferry. The third-place prize is one round-trip ticket for an adult.

The prize certificates are good for this fall (the ferry runs through October) or anytime in the 2011 season.

Go to contest.

Local Oprah fan among those heading to Australia

Sept. 20, 2010 12:22 p.m. | A trip down to Chicago ending up turning into a trip Down Under for one Oprah Winfrey fan and the entire studio audience.

Joe Neman of Greenfield was among the 300 people in the audience when Oprah Winfrey surprised her loyal followers with a trip to Australia.

Neman, 29, won tickets to the Sept. 9 "ultimate Oprah fans" taping after he entered his name into a contest and later answered a series of questions, such as his favorite episode and lessons learned from Oprah.

"I was ecstatic, really happy," Neman said. "I've never went to her show and knew it was her last season, so I was happy I could finally cross this off my list of things I wanted to do."

He took his sister, Shawn Salter, also a huge fan.

» Read Full Article

Brookfield woman denies guilt in hit-run case

Sept. 15, 2010 5:40 p.m. | A Brookfield woman charged with severely injuring a Brookfield police officer in a hit-and-run incident pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Waukesha County Circuit Court, according to online state court records.

Christine M. Druecke, 52, was charged July 19 with one felony count of hit-and-run involving great bodily harm for the Dec. 11 incident in which Brookfield police officer Paul Dilger suffered multiple injuries.

Dilger was on foot with two other officers responding to call when he was hit by Druecke's car shortly after midnight in the 19100 block of W. North Ave., according to a criminal complaint and police reports.

Druecke did not stop but turned herself in Dec. 14, telling police she noticed damage to her car and that she thought she struck a deer. Several people later told police she was at a restaurant drinking beer before Dilger was struck, according to the complaint.

Druecke is free on a $5,000 signature bond, according to the online court records.

Innovation Park project financing plan OK'd by Tosa council committee

Sept. 15, 2010 7:00 a.m. | A plan to provide up to $12 million in city funds for University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Innovation Park project was recommended for approval Tuesday night by a Wauwatosa Common Council committee.

The Budget and Finance Committee voted 5-2 to recommend the funding plan to the full council. The 16-member council will take up the issue on Sept. 21. The funding plan was recommended by the Plan Commission Monday night on a 5-1 vote, and is also supported by Mayor Jill Didier.

The committe's vote came hours after I broke the news that Innovation Park, which would create a science research campus and technology-based business park, had received a $5.4 million federal grant. That's a major funding boost for the project.

The grant, from the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration, will be used in part to fund a business accelerator building, according to a department statement. The grant was awarded to the UWM Real Estate Foundation and the City of Wauwatosa.

The building would house both UWM research functions and private businesses. It would be the first building at Innovation Park, which is planned for the Milwaukee County Grounds, east of Highway 45 and north of W. Watertown Plank Road. Construction is to begin in 2011.

» Read Full Article

Suspects at large following high-speed chase

Sept. 15, 2010 6:12 a.m. | Today's TMJ4 is reporting that a high-speed chase that started in Germantown has ended at a Harley-Davidson plant in Wauwatosa, but police are searching for two of the three suspects involved.

The TV station says the chase started after Germantown police attempted to pull over a van for speeding at U.S. Highway 41 and West Mequon Road.

As of this morning, officers were searching for two suspects who ditched their van at the parking lot at the Harley-Davidson production facility near the corner of North 119th Street and West Capitol Drive.

For the latest on this story, go to Today's TMJ4's website.

Tosa sees big jump in whooping cough cases

Sept. 13, 2010 9:14 p.m. | Wauwatosa is experiencing an outbreak of whooping cough.

In a typical year, the city sees three to five cases of whooping cough, also known as pertussis. Since late August, the Health Department has seven confirmed cases and is investigating another dozen potential cases, Nursing Supervisor Lori Nielsen said.

This outbreak is proving tricky because symptoms aren't the normal ones for the illness.

"It's not having the classic whoop," she said. "People think it's a common cold."

Health care workers are also making an incorrect assumption that people who are vaccinated are immune to the disease, Nielsen said. The vaccines are working because people are not being hospitalized or dying from pertussis, but they still may come down with a mild illness.

» Read Full Article

Parents leave young kids in car while they get beer, movies

Sept. 13, 2010 9:04 p.m. | Three children were left alone in a vehicle at 60th Street and North Avenue for 45 minutes while their parents shopped for beer and movies Saturday afternoon.

According to Wauwatosa police:

A car parked behind Buy Rite Liquor, 6002 W. North Ave., about 4:30 p.m. An employee noticed the vehicle had not moved, even though there were no customers in his store. On closer inspection he found three children - an 8-year-old girl and two boys, ages 7 and 4 - in the back seat.

At 5:15 p.m., the Milwaukee parents returned to their vehicle carrying a six-pack of beer and three DVDs from a nearby entertainment store. They said they didn't want to bring the children into a liquor store and they felt in the mood to look for some movies.

Since they often leave their 8-year-old daughter in charge of the younger children, they felt the concern for their safety was unwarranted. The windows had been rolled down.

» Read Full Article

'COPS' episode inspires man to fake car break-in

Sept. 13, 2010 2:14 p.m. | A Brookfield man who wanted to add excitement to his night after watching an episode of "COPS" broke his own car window and attempted to file a false police report, police said.

The 26-year-old called police to the 16400 block of Eldorado Drive at 10:38 p.m. Sept. 9 to report a forced entry to his car.

According to Brookfield police reports, a window in the man's car was broken - from the inside. When police confronted him, the man admitted he tried to file a false report to make his night more exciting after watching "COPS."

He was cited for obstructing an officer.

Promise of Vegas cash stings women for $1,400 in scam

Sept. 12, 2010 1:55 p.m. | Two Wauwatosa women fell for a scam that promised them $2.5 million but ended up costing them more than $1,400.

According to Wauwatosa police:

The women, who are in their 60s, got a call from a man who said he was affiliated with a Vegas casino alerting them they won money. As with most scams, he asked them to wire money, $1,447, to a Utah address and $400 to a New York address to cover processing costs.

They sent money from their bank the morning of Aug. 27, but they soon started to have second thoughts. They canceled the smaller payment but were told it was too late to stop the larger payment because it had already cleared.

The man called again that afternoon to ask why they canceled one of the payments. The women said they were getting concerned because the money had not arrived. He tried to stall by saying the delivery driver's vehicle had broken down so it had been delayed.

» Read Full Article

Police say teen admits to robbing 66-year-old Shorewood man in wheelchair

Sept. 11, 2010 5:18 p.m. | A 16-year-old Milwaukee boy is accused of robbing a 66-year-old Shorewood man as he sat in his wheelchair in the 4000 block of North Oakland Avenue.

The incident happened at about 3:30 p.m. Sept. 1, Shorewood police say.

According to police:

The youth was arrested Sept. 7 after he took a woman's purse at Columbia Hospital, 2025 E. Newport Ave., Milwaukee, and fled on foot. He was caught at Morris Boulevard and West Capitol Drive.

The boy admitted to the robbery and also said he took a purse that had been left unattended at the Pick 'N Save store at 4145 N. Oakland Ave. in Shorewood on Aug. 29.

» Read Full Article

Would-be robber gets nothing in Bayside

Sept. 11, 2010 4:28 p.m. | A man wearing a hoodie attempted to rob convenience store in Bayside early Saturday.

Police said the man entered the Open Pantry/BP store at W. Brown Deer and N. Port Washington roads at 4:50 a.m., announced a robbery and implied he had a weapon.

He left without getting any money.

One dead, three hurt in West Allis fire

Sept. 09, 2010 5:29 p.m. | West Allis — An 84-year-old woman was killed and three other people were injured Thursday in a house fire, a Fire Department official said.

The fire in the 1100 block of S. 56th St. was reported about 1:50 p.m., Fire Department Lt. Keith Pirlot said. The fire appears to be accidental, Deputy Police Chief Jerry Ponzi said.

The woman who died lived in the home and was pronounced dead at the scene, Pirlot said. Her name has not been released.

Pirlot said three people were taken to hospitals - two women, ages 51 and 39, who lived in the home, as well as a man who saw smoke coming from the home and tried to enter but was unable to do so.

The conditions of the people who were hospitalized were not available.

Man struck by tree limb during wind storm dies

Sept. 09, 2010 2:44 p.m. | An 80-year-old Wauwatosa man who was struck by a massive tree limb that fell in his yard during strong wind gusts Tuesday has died, according to the Milwaukee County medical examiner's office.

Charles Sermersheim died Thursday at Froedtert Hospital after suffering renal and respiratory failure, according to a medical examiner's report. An exact cause of death will not be determined until Sermersheim's medical records are reviewed.

Sermersheim was collecting small braches that had fallen in his yard in the 2500 block of N. 90th St. when the limb fell approximately 30 feet, according to the medical examiner's report.

Sermersheim was not pinned by the limb but suffered multiple fractures of his ribs and back, a fractured sternum and internal injuries, the report says.

The limb is believed to weigh more than 1,000 pounds and knocked Sermersheim's garage off its foundation, according to the report.

» Read Full Article

Tosa's top building official dies suddenly at 55

Sept. 08, 2010 12:23 p.m. | Wauwatosa's chief buildings official died Tuesday, apparently of a massive heart attack.

David Wheaton, 55, had worked for the city for 30 years.

Officials were shocked to learn of his death Wednesday morning. He had just attended the Common Council meeting Tuesday night and appeared healthy.

"It's so surprising. No, surprising doesn't even begin to describe it," City Administrator James Archambo said. "Dave was such a dedicated and reliable employee, someone you always expected to be around."

As chief building official, Wheaton led the city's Building and Safety Division, which oversees the municipal buildings in Wauwatosa.

» Read Full Article

Man cuts limbs from neighbor's tree, gets ticket

Sept. 07, 2010 5:54 p.m. | A 52-year-old Wauwatosa man was arrested for disorderly conduct after he took a feud with his neighbor too far, police say.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

Four years ago, the man's neighbor, a 76-year-old woman, asked the city to plant a tree on her property in the 1100 block of Glenview Avenue. Since then, the man has complained about the tree hanging over his backyard. He doesn't live at the property, but he owns it and serves as landlord.

The neighbor and her friends were having breakfast on her patio at 10 a.m. Aug. 27 when the man and two workers started cutting limbs off her tree. She ran out and told them to stop, but he directed them to keep cutting.

She said her neighbor made threatening comments, including, "I have plans for you," and "Hasta la vista, baby."

» Read Full Article

Man trapped when tree blown over

Sept. 07, 2010 5:36 p.m. | An 80-year-old man became trapped under a large tree that the wind knocked over this afternoon in the 2500 block of North 90th Street.

The Wauwatosa Fire Department responded at 12:30 p.m.

Firefighters removed the man and took him to a local hospital for evaluation. His injuries did not appear life-threatening, Deputy Chief James Case said.

Wind gusts reached up to 40 mph in Tosa at the time of the call.

Residents chase thief, recover stolen bag

Sept. 07, 2010 3:08 p.m. | A few vigilant residents recently surprised a man who was trying to steal a bag from an unattended car, Brookfield police say.

According to the police report:

The man tried to steal a bag from a car parked at the gas station at 14035 W. Capitol Drive at 5:22 p.m. Sept. 1.

Patrons saw the man leaving with the bag and chased after him. While fleeing, he threw the stolen bag aside. It was recovered and returned to its owner.

The man left in a van driven by another man.

No such thing as a free lunch at Hooters

Sept. 07, 2010 3:02 p.m. | A transient who tried to get a free lunch at Hooters, 17105 W. Bluemound Road, by feigning a heart attack was told not to return to the restaurant, according to Brookfield police.

According to police reports:

The man enjoyed potato salad for lunch before he told management he was lethargic and felt pain in his chest. An ambulance was called for the man, however, management told police he has a history of faking illness to get out of paying the bill.

He was transported to Froedtert Medical Center - after he was told not to return to the restaurant.

Bay Lane student dies from playground injury

Sept. 07, 2010 7:29 a.m. | Newsradio 620 WMTJ is reporting that a sixth-grader at Bay Lane Middle School has died after suffering a  a fluke head injury on a playground.

Evan Coubal an suffered a concussion during a youth football game about a week ago. He took some time off from the game, the radio station reports.

But on Friday, during recess, he was playing near the school's football sleds when he accidentally hit his head on one of them. He was rushed to the hospital where he died on Sunday of head trauma.

Get the complete story from Newsradio 620 WTMJ.

Oriole Lane School closed due to mold

Sept. 07, 2010 7:24 a.m. | Today's TMJ4 is reporting that Oriole Lane Elementary School in Mequon closed its doors on Tuesday morning after school officials found mold inside.

There's no word on when the school will reopen.

Go to story from Today's TMJ4.

Speeding cyclist gets away

Sept. 06, 2010 3:18 p.m. | A motorcycle driver led police on a high-speed chase that covered nearly a half-mile and reached 84 mph near 94th Street and Capitol Drive at 8:28 p.m. Aug. 28.

According to the police report:

A Wauwatosa officer heard a revving engine, then saw a motorcycle drive by at twice the speed limit. He activated his siren and the motorcyclist turned and looked before taking off. The pursuit was terminated before the cyclist could successfully be pulled over. The motorcycle had no license plate.

Update: Franklin man still missing Monday morning

Sept. 06, 2010 10:02 a.m. | Franklin -- Edgar Neuendank, a 65-year-old Franklin resident who has been missing since Thursday, remains unaccounted for, police said Monday.

Neuendank was last seen walking about 10:30 a.m. Thursday near the 7700 block of S. 51 St. in Franklin. He is described as a white male with brown hair, blue eyes and a mustache. He is about 6-feet-tall and weighs 210 pounds.

Neuendank was wearing a blue shirt with stripes and green shorts. He has family in Greendale. Prior to living in Franklin, he lived in Cedarburg.

Police have asked that anyone with information on Neuendank's whereabouts call them at (414) 425-2522.

Legendary Germantown football coach Datka to retire after season

Sept. 04, 2010 11:46 a.m. | It's official.

After the conclusion of 41 successful seasons on the sidelines for the Germantown football program, Germantown Hall of Fame coach Phil Datka will retire following the end of the 2010 season.

In a letter to the Germantown administration dated Aug. 24, Datka said: "All of my coaching friends have told me that I will know when "it is time" and I feel, for me, that "time" is now."

Datka began his career in the late 1960s with a one-year stint at the now defunct Frances Jordan High School before moving on to Germantown. During his time in Germantown, he established the Warhawks as a force to be reckoned with in first the Scenic Moraine, then the Braveland and currently the North Shore Conference.

His teams shared or won outright eight league titles and have qualified for the state playoffs 14 times, including state finals runs in 1979 and 1997 and WIAA state division 2 championships in 1998 and 2003. The Germantown stadium was re-named for him in 2003 and he is also a member of the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association (WFCA) Hall of Fame.

» Read Full Article

Man charged in Whitefish Bay home burglary attempt

Sept. 03, 2010 5:03 p.m. | A 42-year-old Whitefish Bay man was charged today with two felonies in connection to an attempted burglary in the village, and police say he may be linked to six other similar burglaries on the North Shore.

Jettie L. Davis, was arrested by police after a resident in the 1500 block of North Cumberland Boulevard called at 1:30 a.m. Monday to report a suspicious person. Davis was charged in Milwaukee County Circuit Court with possession of burglary tools and attempted entry to a building.

According the criminal complaint:

A woman who was sleeping her living room on the first floor of her house woke when her dog started to bark. The woman turned on an outside light and saw a man standing in the driveway. The man, who was carrying a black bag, turned and looked at her and then left.

When police arrived at the house, they found a chair outside the house under a kitchen window. The window screen had been cut. The woman told police the screen had been intact earlier in the day.

» Read Full Article

West Allis schools get $2 million boost from feds

Sept. 02, 2010 12:44 p.m. | The West Allis-West Milwaukee School District expects to receive $2.1 million from a federal jobs bill and it will use it to help fund the 2011-12 budget.

The money is part of the federal Education Jobs Fund, designed to save teacher jobs. Districts must spend the money by September 2012.

West Allis-West Milwaukee anticipates a $6 million shortfall in the 2011-12 school year, so administrators decided to spend the money then.

"This will go a long way in saving jobs and maintaining programs," Business Director Deb Rouse said.

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