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Independent investigation concludes Election Day error was honest mistake

Sept. 29, 2011 2:54 p.m. | An independent investigation found no willful criminal misconduct in election-night practices that led Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus to omit 14,315 votes cast in the city of Brookfield in spring elections last April.

However, a report on the independent investigation conducted by former Dane County prosecutor Timothy Verhoff found that Nickolaus violated state law requiring county clerks to post all returns on election night.

The Government Accountability Board released the report Wednesday, more than five months after Brookfield's 14,315 belated ballots gave incumbent Supreme Court Justice David Prosser a 7,316 vote statewide lead over challenger JoAnne Kloppenberg in what had been a razor-thin race.

Change called for

The G.A.B. does not have constitutional power to remove a county clerk from office; however, it has issued an order requiring Nickolaus to conform her election reporting practices to state law and take steps to ensure accountability and transparency prior to the February 2012 spring primary.

» Read Full Article

City moves forward with business marketing plan

Sept. 28, 2011 4:34 p.m. | The Muskego Common Council on Tuesday unanimously approved to proceed with a $30,000 business marketing plan that will assess business elements and needs in the city.

The plan hopes to bring awareness of businesses desires for development and help the city pinpoint areas best suited for industry.

Also, the city again reiterated the benefits of the proposed park on Little Muskego Lake and its attractiveness for businesses - perhaps ultimately leading to the development of a "downtown" area in Muskego. The council approved this proposal 4-2.

Consultant firm Vierbicher/Voltedge, chosen by the Community Development Authority, will assist the city with the business marketing plan, which will start immediately.

Shorewood School District adopts grievance procedure

Sept. 28, 2011 11:04 a.m. | After extensive review and debate, the Shorewood School Board on Tuesday approved a grievance procedure that will put the district in compliance with state law by Oct. 1.

School districts statewide are required to have a policy outlining what steps are to be taken to address discipline, work place safety and terminations.

The 13-page document breaks out the steps for each category.

Discipline and work safety issues will be handled in four possible stages, beginning with an informal meeting with the building principal and culminating with an appeal with the School Board. Termination grievances follow through with a five-step process that begin with notification from the superintendent and also culminate with an appeal to the board.

In a split vote, the board in August voted down a proposed grievance procedure, citing concerns about a lack of collaboration in the drafting process. The finalized version approved Tuesday included input from a cross-section of parents, teachers, administrators and board members who served on a Grievance Procedure Committee.

» Read Full Article

Tosa drafts weapons ban for municipal buildings

Sept. 28, 2011 10:10 a.m. | Weapons have no place in City Hall.

That was the consensus of the city's Community Development Committee, which on Tuesday recommended Wauwatosa create an ordinance banning weapons from municipal buildings, with the exception of those carried by law enforcement officers.

A state law that allows people to carry concealed weapons with a license goes into effect Nov. 1. However, municipalities have the power to overrule that and prohibit concealed and openly carried weapons within its buildings.

The same state law prohibits anyone from bringing weapons into a school.

Alderman Eric Meaux likened the library - located in the same building as City Hall - to a school with children and an expectation of safety.

» Read Full Article

SHOW again surveys city for health research

Sept. 27, 2011 3:42 p.m. | The SHOW has returned again to the city as researchers continue a statewide effort to measure residents' health.

SHOW, an acronym for the Survey of the Health of Wisconsin, will be in local neighborhoods the weeks of Sept. 26, Oct. 10 and Oct. 24, randomly selecting about 36 homes.

Each participant will be asked to fill out a survey and answer questions verbally on health topics, schedule an appointment at a survey center to have a few physical measurements taken, and talk on the phone about once a year to discuss any health changes.

SHOW, which also visited West Allis in February, does not provide any information about participants, according to survey officials. It only shares data summaries from the information gathered.

The study is conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison's School of Medicine and Public Health. For information, visit the website at www.wisc.edu or call (888) 433-7649.

Elmbrook likely to see 7.6 percent tax levy drop

Sept. 27, 2011 3:42 p.m. | Residents of the Elmbrook School District can expect to pay less for the school portion of their 2011 property tax bills, following preliminary approval of the district's proposed 2011-12 budget.

Residents voted at the district's annual meeting Monday to set a tax levy of about $72 million, a 7.6 percent decrease from the 2010-11 tax levy.

That puts the 2011 tax rate at $9.75 per $1,000 of property value, down 8.8 percent from last year.

Based on equalized values, the owner of a $300,000 home can expect to pay $2,925 this year in school taxes - down from $3,207 in 2010. However, property taxes will vary depending on actual assessed values.

The motion to levy the annual tax was approved, 16-6, in an advisory vote by residents in attendance, which included School Board members.

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Wet weather slows Watertown curb work, paving

Sept. 27, 2011 3:04 p.m. | The first real delays of the Watertown Plank Road project have hit in the last week thanks to wet weather. The contractor has had to wait for drier weather in order to pour the curbing.

Once the curb is poured and has cured to a sufficient strength, they will be able to pave as early as this weekend, but village officials said it's more likely that part will start next week.

Also, the curbing project will allow for the lighting and electrical work to continue along with the start of restoration activities and sidewalks.

Milwaukee man charged in Guaranty bank robbery and second attempt foiled by employee

Sept. 27, 2011 2:46 p.m. | The Milwaukee County District Attorney today charged Robleh A. Kahin, a 27-year-old Milwaukee resident, with the attempted robbery of Guaranty Bank, 4000 W. Brown Deer Road, on Sept. 22 and the robbery of the bank on Aug. 2.

In all, Kahin was charged with three felonies, robbery of a financial institution - use of a dangerous weapon, attempted robbery of a financial institution and attempting to flee an officer.

If convicted on all three charges, Kahin could face up to 68 years in prison and fined up to $160,000.

According to police, at approximately 2:20 p.m. Sept. 22, the Brown Deer Police Department received a 911 call from an employee at the bank reporting an attempted armed robbery had just occurred. An alert bank employee, seeing a man with a gun approaching the bank, locked the doors, preventing his entry.

The suspect fled in a Lexus RX350, which was located by Glendale police officers, who pursued the suspect vehicle along with Fox Point officers.

» Read Full Article

Senior center likely to fall short of cash in 2012

Sept. 27, 2011 2:38 p.m. | The proposed 2012 budget plan for Hart Park Senior Center leaves the organization $35,000 short of being able to fully fund its current programs and services.

One solution is for the Budget Committee to take the money from elsewhere in the city budget and fill the hole, but panel members didn't jump at that option Thursday.

Committee members want to see a longer-term plan for the center that could include anything from privatization, embarking on fundraising campaigns or reducing hours and increasing fees to its users.

Those discussions won't be accomplished in time to plan the 2012 operating budget, so the committee said it would revisit the funding request after it tackles other areas of the budget.

"This issue has to evolve more," said Alderman Michael Walsh, the committee chairman.

» Read Full Article

City to spend money to save money

Sept. 27, 2011 1:20 p.m. | The mayor's budget calls for funding $250,000 in capital projects through a new internal granting process.

Under the system, departments will be able to apply for funds to make a one-time purchase that helps reduce costs or create long-term efficiencies, Mayor Jill Didier explained.

The proposed budget funds several such requests.

Electronic meeting prep

The city clerk's office is set to receive agenda management software that will streamline the process of creating and distributing meeting information for the Common Council. E-readers or electronic tablets (likely an alternative brand to the iPad) would be purchased for council members to view meeting documents. The same vendor would be asked to provide technology for streaming meetings online.

» Read Full Article

Man stabbed during fight with girlfriend

Sept. 27, 2011 12:18 p.m. | A 20-year-old Milwaukee woman was arrested for stabbing her boyfriend during a fight at his Wauwatosa home about 2:30 a.m. Saturday.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

The man was holding a towel to his head, but blood was streaming down his face and covered his clothing. He said he had been robbed and stabbed in Milwaukee, but on the way to Froedtert Hospital he changed his story to say he was attempting suicide.

The man has cerebral palsy, and his mother said he couldn't physically stab himself. She said the relationship between her son and his girlfriend had been violent in the past two years.

His girlfriend eventually said she was trying to leave and he got angry, so she "poked" him in the head with a knife. She also told officers where the knife was hidden. She said they decided to come up with the robbery story before calling paramedics.

» Read Full Article

Tosa considers targeted approach to sewer repair

Sept. 27, 2011 12:16 p.m. | Looking for ways to minimize the cost of sanitary sewer system repair, the Department of Public Works is hoping to pilot a targeted approach to fixing leaky laterals on private property.

The public works director pitched the idea to the Budget Committee on Thursday.

For $1.5 million - a third from Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District and the remainder from city funds - about 200 of the leakiest private laterals could be replaced, repaired or relined, Public Works Director Bill Porter said.

The program would determine whether significant gains can be made with targeted fixes. If so, that could cut down on overall costs and give the city more time to address spots with smaller leaks.

"We could provide much more relief much more quickly," he said.

» Read Full Article

Boys report being followed by man with gun after leaving movie theater

Sept. 27, 2011 10:40 a.m. | A man with a shotgun chased two boys in East Tosa on Sunday night, according to a Wauwatosa police report.

Also in the report:

The boys, ages 13 and 14, left Rosebud Cinema about 9 p.m. and walked to Washington Elementary School, where they were going to get picked up by a family member.

They saw a vehicle stop across the street. The man driving rolled down the window and stared at the boys. They didn't think much of it and kept walking until they got to 67th Street and Garfield Avenue. There, they saw the same car.

This time the driver got out and they saw he was holding a gun, which they said they could see and hear him pumping.

» Read Full Article

Bus stop at 60th and North being confused for public toilet

Sept. 27, 2011 9:56 a.m. | People are using the corner of 60th Street and North Avenue as their personal toilet.

In the last two months, 11 complaints - most of which have resulted in arrests - have been made about people urinating near the bus stop.

The latest problems came in the last week.

According to Wauwatosa Police Department reports:

A 50-year-old Milwaukee man waiting at the bus stop decided to take a bathroom break, sans bathroom, at 8 p.m. Sept. 22.

» Read Full Article

Wauwatosa to consider tax increase, borrowing to pay lawsuit settlement

Sept. 27, 2011 9:10 a.m. | Wauwatosa residents could see the city portion of their taxes increase 11 percent to cover an $8.4 million payment to Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare.

Increasing taxes is one option, but not the recommended one, to pay back the money spent by the city earlier this month on a court settlement with the health care system, according to a letter from city Finance Director John Ruggini to the Budget and Finance Committee.

This summer, the state Supreme Court found in favor of Covenant Healthcare that a portion of the outpatient health care facility property at 201 N. Mayfair Road should be tax-exempt. The city reached a settlement, agreeing to refund $6.2 million in taxes and pay $2.2 million in interest.

The city used liquid investments to pay the settlement, but those funds will need to be replenished. About $4 million will be the city's responsibility, and the remainder will come through charge-backs from other taxing entities, including the Wauwatosa School District, that will also need to find a way to refund their portions.

Tonight, the city's Budget and Finance Committee will have to determine how to cover the settlement payment. Staff members have provided three options.

» Read Full Article

Emerald ash borer likely in Tosa, though not yet seen

Sept. 27, 2011 9:10 a.m. | The emerald ash borer likely has made its way into Wauwatosa - it just hasn't been discovered yet, Parks and Forestry Superintendent Ken Walbrant said.

With 30,000 city trees and thousands more on private properties, it's hard to believe the invasive beetle isn't feeding on tissues under the bark of ash trees in Tosa, he said.

Every time arborists remove trees, they check for evidence of emerald ash borer beetles, and, so far, have found none. But most infestations look like root damage from construction and aren't very identifiable until five years after the bug starts feeding.

The city started offering chemical treatments a little more than a year ago to combat the invasive beetle. In 2010, crews treated about 500 trees. Walbrant would like to see a higher number next year to better protect Wauwatosa trees.

Panel to consider Glenview road improvements tonight

Sept. 27, 2011 8:58 a.m. | People living along Glenview Avenue between Bluemound Road and Wisconsin Avenue have made it clear they prefer the state's plans for road improvements to an alternative floated by the city.

Tonight, the city's Traffic and Safety Committee will decide if it agrees.

A neighborhood meeting earlier this month was attended by 34 property owners as well as representatives of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and the Wauwatosa Engineering Department.

During that meeting, two alternatives were presented about how to improve Glenview so it can handle heavy traffic from the medical campus and from Zoo Interchange reconstruction.

The DOT brought forward a revised plan - an earlier proposal to widen the roadway prompted fears about the safety of children walking to school and property encroachment - that maintains existing road width and limits traffic to two through-lanes in each direction with a bi-directional turn lane in the center of the street. Upgraded traffic signals would be installed at the intersections with Bluemound and Wisconsin, and all street parking along this stretch of Glenview would be prohibited.

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City playing catch-up on tree pruning

Sept. 27, 2011 8:24 a.m. | It takes the Forestry Department twice the recommended time to prune the city's trees.

Industry standard is a seven-year cycle to ensure optimal forest health, but Wauwatosa's schedule creates a 14-year cycle to prune 30,000 trees at this point, Parks and Forestry Superintendent Ken Walbrant told the Budget Committee last week.

He would like to split the difference.

"We're staffed at an optimistic 10-year pruning cycle," he said.

There are several reasons for the delay, he said. Understaffing is one. The more than 1,000 tree maintenance requests coming in from property owners is another. In addition, the farther behind crews get in pruning, the more likely it is that trees will become diseased or die, requiring attention.

» Read Full Article

Hales Corners, Chamber of Commerce to present program on concealed carry

Sept. 26, 2011 4:41 p.m. | Hales Corners - The Police Department, in association with the Chamber of Commerce, is hosting a presentation and discussion on "The Concealed Carry Law and Your Business" from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday at the James R. Ryan Municipal Building, 5633 S. New Berlin Rd.

The program will cover private business liability, firearms safety and information about required firearms classes.

Communities won't see increase from North Shore Fire Department

Sept. 26, 2011 4:00 p.m. | The seven member communities of the North Shore Fire Department will not see an increase in the community contributions to the department in 2012, but further adjustments to the 2012 budget, adopted this morning, may be necessary.

The $13,843,909 budget includes the $362,000 paramedic supplemental payment from Milwaukee County. County Executive Chris Abele has said his 2012 county budget would not continue the $3 million of supplemental payments. The North Shore's share of that figure is $362,000.

Fire Chief Robert Whitaker said Milwaukee County fire chiefs continue to meet to devise an alternative to Abele's proposal, including one plan that would reduce the payments but not eliminate them. The supplemental payments have been on the chopping block in past budget years but the payments were ultimately not cut.

The chiefs hope to enlist the assistance of the Intergovernmental Cooperation Council at its Wednesday meeting.

Eagle Scout project honors veterans

Sept. 26, 2011 2:54 p.m. | Jordan Heller will use his Eagle Scout project to honor New Berlin's veterans.

A member of Boy Scout Troop 93, Heller created a project that includes a 45-minute video of interviews, stories and recollections of local veterans as well as a booklet containing pictures and historical information.

With help from other members of Troop 93, Heller collected various materials, including interviews, over many months. They also recorded many hours of video, which was later edited into a more concise presentation.

His efforts, titled "Multimedia Tribute to the Veterans of New Berlin," will be publicly unveiled at 7 p.m. Thursday at VFW Post 5716, 17980 W. Beloit Road. Cake and coffee will be served after the program.

The project will also be on display at the VFW post and the New Berlin Public Library's Veterans History Room and will be presented to a history class at New Berlin Eisenhower High School, where Heller is a senior.

Suburban drug sting ends in two arrests for dealing cocaine

Sept. 23, 2011 4:00 p.m. | A Milwaukee man faces more than 70 years in prison if convicted of selling cocaine to an undercover police officer in the cities of Brookfield and Waukesha, according to a criminal complaint.

Jose Gallegos Ramirez, 35, was held on $100,000 bail after making an initial appearance in Waukesha County Circuit Court on five felony charges and two misdemeanor counts.

According to the complaint:

Gallegos Ramirez met an undercover detective in the parking lot of Brookfield Square Mall, 95 N. Moorland Road, the evening of Aug. 4.

The detective purchased one ounce of cocaine from Gallegos Ramirez for $1,250.

» Read Full Article

Medicine collection, document shredding offered Saturday

Sept. 23, 2011 1:46 p.m. | Wauwatosa residents can bring medications and personal documents to the City Hall parking lot, 7725 W. North Ave., for safe disposal from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

Tosa United, a coalition of the city's Health and Police departments and the Wauwatosa School District, is collecting expired or unused prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

Residents are urged to clean out their cabinets and turn unneeded or expired medications in. This keep drugs out of local waterways and prevents children from digesting them.

Proper disposal also can prevent prescription drug abuse by teens. Teens who obtain pills that don't belong to them often find the drugs in their homes or the homes of friends or baby-sitting clients.

Also from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Wauwatosa Crime Stoppers will host document shredding to help residents protect their identities. Bring up to three boxes of confidential and personal household papers, such as old checks, pre-approved credit card offers, banks and credit card statements, bills and any other documents that contain personal information.

» Read Full Article

Class helps seniors prevent falls

Sept. 22, 2011 5:46 p.m. | A workshop to help those 65 and older prevent falls is accepting its final participants, according to the city's Health Department.

Stepping On, a program in partnership with the Medical College of Wisconsin, begins Sept. 29. The two-hour class will be held weekly for seven weeks at City Hall.

A one-time $10 registration fee includes an adjustable ankle weight exercise manual and a light snack at each session.

To register, call 414-768-6539.

Center backs coats campaign

Sept. 22, 2011 5:36 p.m. | Franklin - Chiropractic Care Center, as part of its eighth straight year as a partner in the Condella's Coats for Kids campaign - is asking parents to donate winter outerwear that no longer fit their children.

The slightly used coats will be cleaned and distributed by the Salvation Army.

Donations are being accepted through October 15 at the Center, Highway 100 and Loomis Road.

Authorities release name of victim in fatal accident

Sept. 22, 2011 4:34 p.m. | Greendale police have identified the man killed in the single-car accident Sept. 16 as Kenneth Goff, 73, of Waterford.

Goff was pronounced dead at the scene after his car left the roadway and went into a ditch in the 6700 block of South 76th Street shortly after 1 p.m. Sept. 16.

Falls teachers union, district at odds over taking dues from paychecks

Sept. 22, 2011 1:48 p.m. | The fight over Act 10 in Menomonee Falls apparently didn't end with the ratification of new teacher contracts in May.

A new battle has been undertaken by the Menomonee Falls Education Association, which asserts that since that contract was signed before the repair bill was made law, Act 10's stipulation that school districts can no longer take union dues out of paychecks does not apply.

The mere fact that the contracts were signed before the institution of Act 10 means the contract itself is valid, but the argument now is whether this secondary provision applies.

The teacher's union says it does not, while the school district says their legal counsel insists it does. Falls is arguing that since Act 10 became effective on June 29 and the 2009-11 contract expired on June 30, as of July 1 the language of Act 10 ought to apply to the newly signed and enacted 2011-13 contract.

MFEA wanted to bring in an arbitrator to decide the case, but that arbitrator would only have been able to rule on the language of the collectively bargained agreement itself, not how that agreement applies to the law.

» Read Full Article

Wauwatosa police union may look to courts to answer bargaining dispute

Sept. 21, 2011 10:21 a.m. | The Wauwatosa Police Union and its supervisors have filed a claim disputing the city's interpretation of a portion of the state budget bill. If the city denies the claim, the police groups would have the right to sue.

City administrators say they have to bargain with police and fire unions over health care premium contributions. Meanwhile, the law gives municipalities the authority to make design changes to employee health care plans, said Beth Aldana, city human resources director.

The police have a different understanding of the law.

"We feel that we should still be able to bargain with the city, as we always have in the past, over what our premium, co-pay and deductible amounts will be," said Luke Vetter, police union president.

Wauwatosa police aren't the only public workers questioning the interpretation and looking to the courts to outline exactly what the words "health plan" entail. Milwaukee and Green Bay workers have filed similar actions.

» Read Full Article

Repair bill for Wauwatosa sewer system could be $84 million

Sept. 21, 2011 8:35 a.m. | Fixing sewer problems in East Tosa could cost as much as $84 million, consultants told the city's Budget and Finance Committee last week.

The area, which encompasses 5,000 households and 14,000 feet of sewer pipes, has experienced repeated basement backups during rainstorms and fails to meet standards set by Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District.

Ideally only wastewater should enter the city's sanitary sewer system, but for myriad reasons - from leaky laterals and foundation drain connections on private property to leaky manholes or pipes on the public side - a lot of rainwater seeps in.

"This is pretty widespread in this basin," said David Perry, consultant with Brown & Caldwell, the firm hired by Wauwatosa to study basement flooding problems and develop strategies for mitigating the problems.

Decisions to be made

» Read Full Article

Electronics top library spending list

Sept. 20, 2011 10:08 p.m. | As Library Director Mary Murphy considers how to spend her book budget for 2012, she expects to spend fewer dollars on print and more on electronic media.

The Wauwatosa Public Library is way beyond other local communities when it comes to digital downloading, she said. Access to eBooks comes through participation in a statewide consortium. By paying more to the group, a larger number of titles would be made available electronically to local readers.

Owners of Amazon's Kindle are shut out from accessing library eBooks at this point. Amazon only permits paid downloads from its website.

"I'm hopeful that they'll revise their thinking," Murphy said.

There's also an industrywide debate on how to charge and circulate eBooks to ensure publishers get royalties. For instance, one publisher wants libraries to pay after every five reads for each title, which would prove cost-prohibitive for libraries, Murphy said.

» Read Full Article

Oak Creek cops keep chucking woodchuck out of road

Sept. 20, 2011 4:52 p.m. | Oak Creek police were called twice Sept. 18 on reports of a crazed woodchuck that had wandered into the middle of Ryan Road.

According to Oak Creek police report:

Police responded to a report of a crazed woodchuck in the middle of the road near Bender Park, 4503 E. Ryan Road, at 5:10 p.m. Sept. 18. Police removed the woodchuck from the roadway and put it in the bushes.

Police received a second call that the same crazed woodchuck wandered back into the roadway at 6:45 p.m.

Police responded and placed the woodchuck further into the woods.

Group of teens arrested after allegedly picking fight in Wauwatosa

Sept. 20, 2011 4:13 p.m. | Six teens were arrested for disorderly conduct and prowling after they attacked two boys and robbed them of their cell phones Friday night.

According to a Wauwatosa police report:

An 18-year-old man from Milwaukee and some friends were playing basketball at a Milwaukee school when they got word a friend had been jumped at a Wauwatosa West High School football game. They drove to Alioto's, 3041 N. Mayfair Road, where they met up with additional friends in the parking lot at about 10 p.m.

Someone in the group pointed to two boys, ages 14 and 15, standing at a bus stop across the street and said they must have been involved in the attack on their friend. The group ran across Mayfair Road, forcing drivers to hit their brakes to avoid striking the teens.

Members of the group jumped the younger boys, threw them to the ground, punched and kicked them and took their cell phone. The boys waiting for the bus said they had been on their way home from the football game and had no idea why they were attacked.

» Read Full Article

State Street traffic flow to change as RR work happens Tuesday

Sept. 20, 2011 2:40 p.m. | The traffic signals on State Street at 68th and 70th streets will be flashing red Tuesday while a railroad maintenance project is completed.

Canadian Pacific Railroad will be working on the bungalow that houses its signal equipment at 70th and State streets, said Bill Porter, city public works director. It was damaged during an accident with a high lift earlier this year.

Work is expected to be completed by the evening traffic rush, he said.

The crossing gates at 68th Street will continue too function as normal, but the gates at 70th Street will not operate during this time. Flagmen will be onsite while work is under way. Railroad traffic will be slowed down approaching the flagmen, and engineers will sound horns to give warning of approaching trains.

Man accused of attempting to lure teen into car

Sept. 20, 2011 12:38 p.m. | A 54-year-old Wind Lake man has been arrested for an attempted child abduction in Wauwatosa last week.

According to a Wauwatosa police report:

A 17-year-old girl was walking home from school when she noticed a vehicle following her. When she got to the 11800 block of Diane Drive, the driver stopped and got out of the vehicle. He said: "Hey baby, come home with me. Get in the car. I'll drive you home later."

She turned and walked away, but he grabbed onto her arm and started pulling her. She was able to pull away and run.

Her father said she was visibly upset when she arrived home at 3:10 p.m.

» Read Full Article

Learn more about school closure proposal

Sept. 20, 2011 11:22 a.m. | The Elmbrook School Board last week recommended closing Hillside Elementary School, effective next school year, as a way to save the district money in the face of a projected budget shortfall.

Community information sessions will be held at 7 p.m. Sept. 29 in the cafeteria at Brookfield East High School cafeteria, 3305 N. Lilly Road, and at 7 p.m. Oct. 4 in the cafeteria at Brookfield Central High School, 16900 W. Gebhardt Road.

Information about the financial need for closing an elementary school and why Hillside is the board's choice for a school closure will be presented; a question-and-answer period will follow.

Community feedback about redistricting scenarios, planning the transition and other implementation steps will be sought.

The School Board is expected to discuss the recommendation Oct. 11 and take action on the matter Oct. 25.

» Read Full Article

Paper carrier catches Menomonee Falls coupon thief

Sept. 20, 2011 10:05 a.m. | An alert Milwaukee Journal Sentinel newspaper carrier caught a man in the act of stealing a newspaper from a Menomonee Falls business during the early morning hours of Sept. 11.

According to the police report, the paper carrier observed a man approach the newspaper shortly after he delivered it to the front door of Player's Pub, N86 W16396 Appleton Ave., at 5:20 a.m.

When the suspect picked up the newspaper and began placing it in a plastic bag he was carrying, the carrier confronted him. The man dropped the newspaper and left the scene.

The carrier told police he had witnessed the same man steal newspapers on "multiple" other occasions.

Police located the newspaper thief a short time later at Subway, N85W16001 Appleton Ave., and questioned him about the theft.

» Read Full Article

Greenfield chiefs not expected to be selected tonight

Sept. 19, 2011 7:52 p.m. | The Greenfield Police and Fire Commission will meet tonight but will not approve new chiefs for the city's police and fire departments.

Both departments have been directed by interim Police Chief Bradley Wentlandt and interim Fire Chief Jon Cohn since early summer. The interim chiefs have substantial support on the commission, which only interviewed them and no other candidates for the job two weeks ago.

"We're not making any decision tonight," said commission chairman Dennis Clark.

Instead, the commission discussed the information gleaned from the oral interviews.

The interim chiefs were appointed through the end of the year, but those appointments can be extended.

Local firm is finalist for BBB ethics award

Sept. 19, 2011 7:50 p.m. | Batzner Pest Management of New Berlin has been named a finalist for the Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin Foundation 2011 Business Ethics Torch Award.

The award is a statewide competition that honors companies and charities doing business in Wisconsin that demonstrate excellence in ethical practices, service, honesty in advertising, management practices and employee training in ethical behavior.

Peer recognition and reputation also play a role in determining the award winners.

Awards will be based on the size of the organization. Winners will be announced at the BBB's ninth annual Torch Awards banquet Oct. 19 at the Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee.

Local firm is finalist for BBB ethics award

Sept. 19, 2011 7:50 p.m. | The Starr Group of Greenfield has been named a finalist for the Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin Foundation 2011 Business Ethics Torch Award.

The award is a statewide competition that honors companies and charities doing business in Wisconsin that demonstrate excellence in ethical practices, service, honesty in advertising, management practices and employee training in ethical behavior. Peer recognition and reputation also play a role in determining the award winners.

The Starr Group is an independent insurance and risk reduction agency.

Awards will be based on the size of the organization. Winners will be announced at the BBB's 9th annual Torch Awards banquet Oct. 19 at the Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee.

Teen arrested in Milwaukee Electric and Tool burglary

Sept. 19, 2011 3:12 p.m. | A 16-year-old Milwaukee boy has been arrested for burglarizing Milwaukee Electric and Tool, 12905 W. Lisbon Road, according to city of Brookfield police.

According to the police report:

Police were called to Milwaukee Electric and Tool at 7:48 a.m. Sept. 12 because a window on the east side of the building had been smashed and items from inside taken.

Scrap wire and five power tools were taken. Loss is estimated at more than $3,400.

The 16-year-old boy was arrested after Brookfield police learned that Wauwatosa police identified numerous people in a vehicle full of scrap copper wire Sept. 12.

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Auto parts store employee accused of stealing $15K

Sept. 19, 2011 3:10 p.m. | A Milwaukee man told police he stole about $15,000 from area auto parts stores over the last year to support a newborn child, according to a town of Brookfield police report.

Also in the report:

The 31-year-old man told police he took between $2,500 and $3,000 from the cash register of Advance Auto Parts, 18795 W. Bluemound Road, while he worked there in recent months.

He had entered false returns into the cash register and taken the change.

On six or seven occasions, the man told officers, he put a $20 bill into the cash register in an effort to pay the money back.

» Read Full Article

Falls: Suspicious object turns out to be used firework

Sept. 16, 2011 6:00 p.m. | Menomonee Falls public safety officials have canceled the alert regarding a suspicious object in a mailbox. The item was determined to be a used firework.

Bembenek selected to fill vacant Brown Deer School Board seat

Sept. 16, 2011 5:18 p.m. | The Brown Deer School Board selected Michael Bembenek to fill the seat left vacant by the July resignation of Kathy Stresman at a special meeting Thursday. Bembenek , Kevin Klimek and Kathleen Schilz applied for the seat and had separate interviews with the board.

Bembenek will take his oath of office on Sept. 27.

Residents, drivers warned to avoid area in Menomonee Falls

Sept. 16, 2011 4:52 p.m. | Public safety officials have issued the following alert regarding a suspicious device found in mailbox.

Avoid the area of Crestwood, Westview and Daylily due to the large amount of emergency personnel. In addition, several of the roads are blocked as a precautionary measure.

Brown Deer School Board interviewing candidates for open seat

Sept. 14, 2011 4:52 p.m. | The Brown Deer School Board will meet in special session at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Administrative Services Center, 8200 N. 60th St., to interview three candidates for School Board seat vacated in July by the resignation of Kathy Stresman. Michael Bembenek is scheduled for a 7 p.m. interview, Kevin Klimek at 7:30 p.m. and Kathleen Schilz at 8 p.m.

The board will discuss and possibly fill the vacancy following the interviews. The entire meeting is open to the public.

Power lines find no paths of least resistance

Sept. 14, 2011 11:50 a.m. | The list of potential routes for two new American Transmission Co. high-voltage power lines has been narrowed to four, but one of those paths would be too close for comfort for one Wauwatosa family.

"A transmission line would go in the right of way through our front yard," Jenny Wisniewski said during a public information session on the project Monday at the Civic Center. "Having two small children, I'm not willing to put them at risk."

Jenny and her husband, John, who live on Walnut Road, are concerned about potential health risks associated with electro-magnetic fields. Plans call for burying lines four feet underground in that area.

Other drawbacks include removing a number of old growth trees and a possibility of decreased property values along the street.

"It would drastically change the charm and aesthetics of neighborhood, Jenny Wisniewski said.

» Read Full Article

Tosa eyes weapons ban in all city buildings

Sept. 14, 2011 11:28 a.m. | As the date nears for the state's concealed carry law to go into effect, the city is considering banning all weapons from its buildings.

Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill into law that allows people to carry concealed weapons with a license beginning Nov. 1. However, individual property owners - from business owners to churches - can decide to prohibit people entering their facilities while armed.

As the owner of city buildings, the Wauwatosa Common Council has the power to ban concealed and openly carried weapons, City Attorney Alan Kesner told the Community Development Committee on Tuesday. By creating an ordinance, only police would be allowed to enter city buildings armed.

When it comes to building operations, staff has the authority to handle many changes administratively. However, the controversial nature of concealed carry and a specific mention of the building owner - in this case the people who have chosen the aldermen to represent them - led him to put the decision to council members.

Due to the late hour when discussion got under way, the committee decided to hold off on significant consideration for two weeks. In the meantime, they hope to receive feedback from constituents.

» Read Full Article

City finds it's overpaying DPW workers, clerks

Sept. 14, 2011 11:18 a.m. | A study of public works laborers and clerical positions has shown that the city is often paying more than 20 percent above market value - in some cases as much as 50 percent more - for employees in these job categories compared to other public- and private-sector employers.

City administrators on Tuesday recommended implementing a two-tier pay system so they could begin adjusting pay rates as they fill vacant positions. Wage reductions would only come with new hires, so existing employees wouldn't experience pay cuts, Human Resources Director Beth Aldana said.

The Employee Relations Committee unanimously supported the effort to bring city employees' pay in line with market rates. Next week the matter will go to the full Common Council for consideration.

"There's a sense of urgency on these adjustments," said Alderman Peter Donegan, committee chairman. "We have huge financial responsibilities to take care of."

Taxpayers are looking for the city to cut its compensation costs, but that he doesn't want to "exploit" the opportunity to reduce pay, especially in a weak job market, Donegan said. He respects the city's employees too much to make overly dramatic adjustments. These employees are already paying more toward health insurance and their pension plans.

» Read Full Article

Automated garbage trucks, iPads for aldermen in city budget proposal

Sept. 14, 2011 11:02 a.m. | New garbage trucks for automated collection, iPads to put in the hands of Common Council members and technology that will make employee timecards obsolete and help schedule time off are among the expenditures outlined in the proposed 2012 executive budget.

While it sounds like some heavy spending, each of those purchases will result in savings for Wauwatosa, City Administrator James Archambo said.

Archambo, Mayor Jill Didier and Finance Director John Ruggini put together a budget that calls for a $36.5 million tax levy, or a zero-percent increase.

"Every budget is difficult, but we worked together to make the numbers work," Didier said.

For the average homeowner, the city portion of the tax bill would cost $145 per month.

» Read Full Article

Hillside top choice for closure

Sept. 14, 2011 9:30 a.m. | Residents filled the Elmbrook School Board meeting room, lined the walls and spilled into the hallway as school officials voted Tuesday to recommend closing Hillside Elementary after the 2011-12 school year.

Superintendent Matt Gibson recommended closing one school rather than two because Elmbrook elementary students will fill the remaining four schools to capacity, and the district would lose the ability to regulate enrollment numbers through non-resident students.

Gibson also suggested, however, that closure of Tonawanda Elementary may need to be revisited in the near future, perhaps as soon as five years.

"I believe there is a greater risk of losing resident enrollment based on the last remaining school in the village of Elm Grove being closed," he said.

The recommendation gained support though no formal action was taken. Public engagements meetings will be held before the board votes on the closure Oct. 25.

Hazardous household waste collection on tap

Sept. 13, 2011 7:44 p.m. | Clean out the garage, basement and storage shed and bring items for disposal to Wauwatosa City Hall from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District will hold its annual hazardous household waste collection in an effort to keep substances from antifreeze and fluorescent light bulbs to paint and gasoline from polluting local waterways. For a full list of accepted items, go to mmsd.com.

Items will be disposed of at no charge for Milwaukee County residents. Businesses aren't permitted to use the drop off.

In fall cleanup mode? Here's a heads up for more disposal opportunities. Unused medications will be collected by Tosa United and the Wauwatosa Crime Stoppers will offer document shredding services at City Hall on Sept. 24.

Hit-and-run driver turns himself in to Brown Deer police

Sept. 13, 2011 1:52 p.m. | Brown Deer Police report a 27-year-old Milwaukee man believed to have struck another motorist on Bradley Road shortly before 3 a.m. Sept. 11 turned himself in to police Monday afternoon. He will be referred to the Milwaukee County District Attorney's office for charging on Wednesday. According to police, the suspect's vehicle struck a 41-year-old Milwaukee man who was standing behind his car on West Good Hope Road at North 43rd Street. The victim was getting items from his trunk to change a flat tire. After striking the man, the suspect's car backed up, hit a light pole and then fled.

The victim was taken to Froedtert Hospital where he was treated for substantial leg injuries. He has been released and is recovering from his injuries.

At 2:50 a.m. Sept. 11, Brown Deer Police Officers and the city of Milwaukee Fire Department were dispatched to a report of a car accident with injuries on Good Hope Road at Sherman Boulevard. Upon arrival, it was discovered that it was a two-car accident and that the striking vehicle fled the scene.

Open Pantry robber may be suspect in 12 cases

Sept. 13, 2011 1:10 p.m. | The man who robbed Open Pantry at gunpoint Saturday night is suspected of committing a dozen similar crimes in the Milwaukee area.

According to a Wauwatosa police report:

A man wearing a homemade green mask with holes cut for the eyes walked into Open Pantry, 11216 W. Bluemound Road, at 9:17 p.m. Saturday and made his way directly to a cash register.

He pointed a silver revolver with a long barrel at the clerk, yelling, "Give me all your money, and hurry up!"

After she handed over an undisclosed amount of cash, the robber ran out of the convenience store.

» Read Full Article

Teacher, chef honored for foodservice education

Sept. 13, 2011 1:06 p.m. | The Wisconsin Restaurant Association will honor a Wauwatosa teacher and a local chef for their contribution to education to foodservice education.

Wauwatosa East High School family and consumer education teacher Barb Bruesewitz has been named the High School Educator recipient for the 2011 Salute to Excellence Award. She instructs students in the ProStart curriculum, a two-year college preparatory course designed to teach high school students the skills needed for a career in the restaurant and foodservice industry. Annually, students participate in state culinary competitions during the Wisconsin Restaurant Expo.

Jason Tofte, executive chef at Eddie Martini's, was chosen at the ProStart Mentor of the Year. He's worked with upperclassmen as part of Wauwatosa East's culinary arts program on culinary techniques, knife skills, sanitation and time management, and he has coached the team before the expo competitions.

The Salute to Excellence awards will be presented Oct. 9 at the Heidel House Resort in Green Lake.

Tosa man robbed at gunpoint on walk home from bus stop

Sept. 13, 2011 1:00 p.m. | A man was robbed at gunpoint in the alley behind his Wauwatosa home last week.

According to a Wauwatosa police report:

The man rode the bus to 60th Street and North Avenue. When he exited, he saw three men standing around talking but didn't pay much attention to them.

As he walked home, he heard footsteps behind him and saw the men from the bus stop out of the corner of his eye, so he picked up the pace. He had reached the concrete slab behind his home in the 2300 block of North 63rd Street when one of the men yelled to him to stop. He turned around and saw one of the men held a semiautomatic handgun pointed at the ground.

A second man said: "Give us all your money. Go slow and don't make any sudden movements."

» Read Full Article

Man flees police, tossing money as he goes

Sept. 13, 2011 12:58 p.m. | A burglar threw dollars and bank deposit slips as police chased him from Mayfair, across North Avenue and into a residential neighborhood Friday night.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

Officers were responding to a possible fight at the mall at 10:45 p.m., when a man in the parking lot saw the squad car and started to run. A foot chase through the parking lot and into the parking garage ensued, and the man climbed over a 5-foot concrete barrier. Then he lost his footing, sliding down a hill toward North Avenue.

As he crossed the busy road, he threw a large amount of money in the air. When he reached the M&I Bank parking lot, he tossed more money and deposit slips.

After scaling two residential fences, the 18-year-old homeless man was eventually stopped in the 2200 block of North 106th Street.

» Read Full Article

Cross-dressing man bites store employee during attempted theft

Sept. 13, 2011 12:46 p.m. | A cross-dressing man was arrested for retail theft, two accounts of battery and using an oleoresin device while committing a crime after he threatened to use pepper spray and bit a store employee at 7 p.m. Sept. 10.

According to the West Allis police report:

A man wearing woman's clothing entered Pick 'n Save and hid several grocery items into his purse. Employees tried to stop the man, but he pulled out a can of pepper spray and threatened to spray them. A loss prevention employee tried to contain the man and the offender bit the employee.

Police arrested the man for retail theft, two accounts of battery and for using an oleoresin device (pepper spray) while committing a crime.

Mo's Irish Pub may soon offer breakfast

Sept. 13, 2011 12:30 p.m. | Steel cut oatmeal, an Irish breakfast and even Lucky Charms cereal are some of the possible menu items coming to Mo's Irish Pub.

The city's Plan Commission on Monday fielded a request by restaurant owner Johnny Vassallo to allow Mo's to open at 8 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays so it can service the breakfast crowd.

Mo's, 10842 W. Bluemound Road, already has experience with the morning meal, which the restaurant serves when it opens early each St. Patrick's Day. But the early opening has always required a special approval from the Common Council.

Repeated customer requests for regular breakfast hours led restaurant managers to seek permanent modification of weekend operating hours, said Debra Stephenson, chief operating officer of the Mo's restaurant group.

The commission unanimously voted in support of the request. It next moves to the Community Development Committee.

» Read Full Article

Mequon neighbors object to proposed subdivision along Milwaukee River

Sept. 13, 2011 12:14 p.m. | A proposal for a 19-lot conservation subdivision drew a crowd Monday night at the Mequon Plan Commission meeting, with some neighbors upset about the plan that would create lots from half an acre to 5.35 acres in size.

The 42-acre site south of Freistadt Road and east of Oak Shore Lane border the Milwaukee River and is a habitat for many birds and animals and the neighbors would prefer that to houses.

Some had concerns that the subdivision, because of the variety of lot sizes, would have less expensive homes, but David Leszynski, the developer, said that houses would likely start at the $500,000 price point, with higher prices for riverfront lots.

The Plan Commission recommended that the Common Council approve a zoning change from the current 1-acre lot minimum to a planned unit development designation. That would allow lots of varying sizes, with the average lot size 1-acre. Whether developed as a planned unit development conservation subdivision or under the current zoning, there would be 19 houses in the area. Part of the 42 acres is in the floodway and is not buildable.

The Common Council will schedule a public hearing on the proposed zoning change at its Oct. 11 meeting.

Injured squirrel chases kids

Sept. 12, 2011 4:34 p.m. | An injured squirrel had to be wrangled by the Elmbrook Humane Society after it chased after children playing in the village of Elm Grove on Sept. 4.

A man in the 1000 block of Woodland Avenue reported to Elm Grove police just after 6 p.m. Sept. 4 that a sick squirrel appeared to chase after children there before seeking refuge a few feet up in a tree.

The Elmbrook Humane Society was called to the scene and found that the distressed squirrel was actually injured, likely from being struck by a car.

"Sometimes if an animal is injured and feels threatened it tries to protect itself when someone comes near it," said Karen Sparapani, executive director of the Elmbrook Humane Society.

Humane society staff caught the injured squirrel in a net and took it back to the shelter.

» Read Full Article

Liquor store's request for lounge up for discussion tomorrow

Sept. 12, 2011 4:20 p.m. | When one drugstore chain was allowed to sell liquor, numerous other drugstores, national chain retailers and convenience stores put in their applications. Following the smoking ban, the city received plans from bars and restaurants wanting smoking patios where liquor could be served.

Some members of the Wauwatosa Common Council called it "the ripple effect" or "a slippery slope" - but regardless of the buzz word, it's a reality that once one business receives an approval, it's extremely hard to say no to others, Alderman Dennis McBride said.

On Tuesday, he opposed the precedent that granting a tavern license to liquor store Tosa Wine & Spirits would set.

"I'm amazed that we're even considering this," he said. "It's a colossally bad idea."

Some council members agreed with him, while others admitted to confusion about local and state laws. On a vote of 8-7, the issue got sent back to the Community Development Committee for further consideration.

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Rotary donates flagpole for performance pavilion

Sept. 12, 2011 4:04 p.m. | Two years after local Rotary clubs raised more than $1 million and built the performance pavilion at Hart Park, the city looks to be receiving another gift.

This time, Wauwatosa Rotary Club wants to donate a flagpole on the east side of the pavilion. The group sent a letter to the city asking for permission to install a pole and put a light on top of the pavilion to shine on the flag as it flies at night.

The city would be responsible for providing the flag and electricity for the light. Public Works Director Bill Porter recommends the city accept the donation; the matter goes to the Board of Public Works next Monday.

Tosa's Yards of Distinction winners named

Sept. 12, 2011 4:02 p.m. | Nearly 30 properties caught the attention of the Wauwatosa Beautification Committee this summer. Their landscaping work earned them a spot on the list of 2011 Yard of Distinction award winners.

"We recognize these gardens in order to foster beautiful, well-kept yards throughout the community," said Kathy Lichter, contest chairwoman. "We feel it adds to the community sense of Wauwatosa, as well as making it a more desirable place to live."

Nominations come in by phone and email, and also are made by people who stop by the committee's booth at the Tosa Farmers Market. Committee members also drive the city looking for standout yards.

Winning properties showcased a combination of colors and textures; a mix of annuals, perennials and shrubs; and a tasteful use of yard art.

"We pay attention to yards that have been recently improved, whether they have been homeowner or professionally installed," Lichter said.

» Read Full Article

Man accused of stealing meat, driving drunk

Sept. 12, 2011 3:38 p.m. | A Milwaukee man in a car with a flat tire was arrested for drunken driving after taking more than $130 in meat from Pick 'n Save, 12735 W. Capitol Drive, Sept. 8, according to a city of Brookfield police report.

Also in the report:

Pick 'n Save staff reported the 27-year-old man had taken a large amount of meat from the store just before 3:30 p.m. Sept. 8.

An officer found the man driving east on Capitol Drive and followed him into Wauwatosa.

He stopped at Highway 100 shortly after one of his vehicle's tires shredded, exited the vehicle and attempted to walk away.

» Read Full Article

Pizza delivery drivers get into fight

Sept. 12, 2011 3:32 p.m. | Officers were forced to moderate a fight between two pizza delivery drivers after one of them reported the other had brandished a knife, according to a city of Brookfield police report.

Also from the report:

The two men began to argue over their delivery routes inside Domino's, 17305 W. Capitol Drive, just after 7 p.m. Friday.

When they took the argument outside the business, one of the men reported the other may have brought a knife outside with him.

When officers were called, the alleged victim said he wasn't sure if the other man had a knife and only saw him holding something with a blue handle.

» Read Full Article

Spartans blanked previously unbeaten Falls, 21-0

Sept. 09, 2011 11:07 p.m. | The Brookfield East football team might be able to finally silence the critics after shutting out previously unbeaten Menomonee Falls, 21-0, Friday night at the Falls.

"I was not surprised with how well Brookfield East played," Falls head coach John Baker said aftewards. "The kids are believing, they were 3-0, they played extremely hard."

The Spartans are now 4-0 overall following their impressive victory, the only team in the rugged Greater Metro Conference without a loss this season.

They are tied with Brookfield Central (2-0, 3-1) for first place in the conference, following the Lancers 56-31 victory over Sussex Hamilton at home, giving the top of the GMC a Brookfield flavor.

East coach Tom Swittel continues to pull all the right strings in his second season at the helm, as he has put together a 13-2 record since taking over.

» Read Full Article

Former School Board member applied for counseling positions before leaving board

Sept. 09, 2011 6:11 p.m. | In response to an Open Records request from NOW Newspapers, the School District of Brown Deer has provided a list of the applicants for two guidance counselor positions that were filled over the summer.

Former School Board member Kathy Stresman applied for an open elementary guidance counselor/social worker position on July 11 and for an open high school guidance counselor position on July 17.

Stresman resigned from the board on July 26.

When asked if she left the board in order to apply for the positions, Stresman last week refused to discuss any jobs that she had applied for in the district but did talk about her newly created position in the school district as community and family outreach coordinator.

She said she learned of that part-time position on Aug. 23 and was interviewed for it on the same day. The School Board both created the position and hired Stresman in less than five minutes on Aug. 30. The job was not posted.

» Read Full Article

Salvation Army to host 9/11 ceremony

Sept. 09, 2011 3:10 p.m. | A special honor guard ceremony commemorating the 10th anniversary of 9/11 will be held at 10:30 a.m. Sunday at the Salvation Army Centennial Worship & Community Center, 8853 S. Howell Ave., Oak Creek.

The Oak Creek Police Department will present the colors and the Salvation Army Brass Ensemble will perform the national anthem. The congregation will then recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

West Allis could consider concealed carry ban this month

Sept. 09, 2011 8:32 a.m. | As soon as Sept. 20, the West Allis Board of Public Works might consider an ordinance to ban bringing a concealed weapon into municipal buildings in West Allis.

The board supported the ban for the City Hall, fire stations, public works and recreation buildings and directed the city attorney to draw up a proposed ordinance. The Police Department already prohibits people from bringing weapons into police stations.

The West Allis Library Board has expressed a desire to also post the library as a place where weapons cannot be brought, but was waiting for the Board of Public Works to decide how it would handle the situation, said Library Director Michael Koszalka. The Library Board might now consider such a ban at its Sept. 28 or October meetings, he said.

For 10 days, you can dine well in Tosa

Sept. 09, 2011 8:26 a.m. | Zesty enchiladas at Hector's Mexican Restaurant, juicy prime rib from Open Hearth or a salty giant pretzel washed down with a beer at Leff's Lucky Town. Hungry yet?

Feed those cravings and more by participating in 10 Days in Tosa, a dining event featuring Wauwatosa Chamber of Commerce member businesses.

Here's how it works: Buy a dining access card for $10. Then Sept. 12 through Sept. 21 head out to one of 21 restaurants and each time the cardholder will enjoy a promotion that offers a savings of at least $10.

"You could put together a real interesting 10 days," said Meg McKenna, chamber executive director.

From fine dining to casual meals and family entertainment, there are a variety of options, she added. The promotion varies with each establishment from $10 off any check over $40 at Blue's Egg and Maxie's Southern Comfort to buy one get one theater ticket free and a concession discount at Rosebud Cinema Drafthouse.

» Read Full Article

Bay residents OK lower school levy after focusing on recreation

Sept. 08, 2011 11:36 a.m. | A small group of determined residents almost succeeded in hijacking the Whitefish Bay School District's annual meeting last night. About 18 to 20 residents came to the meeting bent on forcing a $700,000 reduction to the tax levy.

They failed but got the attention of the School Board, which will discuss funding of the Recreation Department as an agenda item at a future School Board meeting.

Recreation Department funding was one of two issues the group focused on in remarks at the meeting. The other item was teacher benefits. Michael Braun and Jamie Kowalski, who led the fight against the referendum for school improvements and additions, had the support of other residents in the attempt to reduce the levy.

After motions and countermotions aimed at trimming the levy, the residents at the annual meeting approved a levy of $21,267,910, a $1,000 reduction from the levy presented for approval by the School Board. The vote to approve was 20 yes, 18 no.

Road work on 60th Street finally nears completion

Sept. 07, 2011 2:10 p.m. | Motorists and businesses in West Allis waiting for the completion of extensive road work along 60th Street need only to hang on for another month or so.

The work that started in March 2010 should finally be done in October, Michael Lewis, director of public works and city engineer, said today.

The 60th Street project, extending from Lincoln Avenue north to the city limits, involved ripping up the old street and replacing the water and sewer lines and private utilities underground and laying a new concrete surface.

Despite the seemingly endless wait, the project is actually on time and on budget, Lewis said.

And once the work is done, everyone can rest easy for a while. That's because another complete reconstruction probably will not be needed for 80 years, he said, assuming the road is resurfaced and otherwise properly maintained. A couple of resurfacings should extend the street's life that long.

Shorewood could hire consultant to work on assessment error

Sept. 07, 2011 12:42 p.m. | In an effort to expedite review of an error that could raise property taxes, Shorewood officials are grappling with a proposal to contract with financial advisory firm Ehlers and Associates.

The proposal, announced at a Village Board meeting Tuesday, is an attempt to undo a data-entry error that allegedly was made by the village's outside assessor.

Village officials assert Associated Appraisal Consultants, the outside assessor, reported one of Shorewood's tax-incremental financing districts had growth of $77 million, instead of $77,000. The mistake was revealed several weeks ago when the state Department of Revenue published its list of municipal equalized values.

Because of the error, Village Manager Chris Swartz said Shorewood could face the possibility of having to raise an additional $2 million in taxes for 2012, resulting in a 5.8 percent increase in the tax bill.

"If this happens, the village would request an adjustment in 2013, which would result in a similar tax decrease," Swartz said.

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Search for burglary suspects ends in standoff

Sept. 07, 2011 10:46 a.m. | Two men have been charged with burglarizing a Wauwatosa home following a standoff with police in Milwaukee last week.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

A resident interrupted the burglary of his home in the 1800 block of North 72nd Street about 8:45 a.m. Aug. 30. He saw a man run to a vehicle and drive off with a computer and electronics items valued at $9,100.

While police were tracking the vehicle, a second burglary was reported involving a similar vehicle. The resident of the 1800 block of North 72nd Street heard the doorbell ringing. Not wanting to deal with solicitors, she ignored it until she started hearing the loud bang of a person trying to force the door. When the man at the door saw her, he took off.

Police spotted the vehicle in Milwaukee. Ramone Baker, 23, of Milwaukee, allegedly got out of the vehicle and ran, eventually entering a Sherman Boulevard home. A woman was seen waving her arms and yelling from the foyer. She said she didn't know the man who had just arrived.

» Read Full Article

Whitefish Bay adopts grievance policy for employees

Sept. 07, 2011 10:14 a.m. | The Whitefish Bay Village Board adopted an employee grievance policy Tuesday night, bringing it into compliance with Act 10, the state budget repair bill that mandated the development of such policies for all governmental bodies. The grievance policy covers issues previously covered under public employee contracts.

The board reviewed and adopted a policy developed by attorneys from Buelow Vetter.

The policy allows an employee to file a written grievance with his/her department head within five business days of the incident. The department head or his/her designee may settle the matter but if not the village manager would review the issue as a second step.

The process would continue through a hearing by an impartial hearing officer who would prepare a written decision.

Should the issue not be resolved by the decision of the impartial hearing officer, the Village Board, or the Library Board in the case of a library employee, would conduct a final review and decide the matter by a majority vote.

Mailman robbed at gunpoint while making rounds

Sept. 07, 2011 9:54 a.m. | A mailman was held up at gunpoint while on the job in the 2400 block of North 62nd Street on Saturday.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

The postal carrier saw two men dressed all in black pass him. A few moments later, he heard a voice behind him say, "Give me all your money." He turned around and saw a man pointing a semiautomatic handgun in his face. The robber again demanded money, but the postman told him he didn't have any.

The robber ran across the street, where a second man was watching and waiting.

Semitrailer theft ring believed to have hit Tosa

Sept. 07, 2011 9:52 a.m. | A semitrailer that was stolen from Wauwatosa a few weeks ago turned up in Michigan on Sunday, leading police to believe it's the latest work of a theft ring.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

A 53-foot trailer filled with $100,000 in antifreeze and windshield washer fluid products went missing from the former Total Logistics Control lot, 11400 W. Burleigh St., between Aug. 19 and Aug. 22.

On Sunday, the Michigan State Police recovered the semitrailer - albeit emptied - at a rest stop along Interstate 275. It had been attached to a tractor stolen from West Allis.

Milwaukee police have been investigating other trailer thefts since early this year. A group of people have been stealing loaded semis in the Milwaukee area, clearing out the contents then abandoning them in Michigan.

» Read Full Article

Man unintentionally shoots himself

Sept. 06, 2011 2:50 p.m. | A 75-year-old man accidentally shot himself in the thigh with a handgun Aug. 31, according to a city of Brookfield police report.

Also in the report:

A woman placed a 911 call just after 1:30 p.m. when she found the man lying wounded on the floor of their home on 165th Street.

Police and emergency medical personnel arrived at the home to find the man had unintentionally shot himself with a 0.22 caliber handgun and was losing a significant amount of blood.

He was rushed to Froedtert Hospital by ambulance.

Man arrested for sixth drunken driving offense

Sept. 06, 2011 1:56 p.m. | A Waukesha man was arrested for a sixth offense of drunken driving in the town of Brookfield on Sept. 5, according to a town of Brookfield police report.

Also in the report:

The 44-year-old was stopped at the intersection of Moreland Boulevard and Kossow Road just after 3.30 p.m. when an officer noticed that license plates on the vehicle he was driving didn't match its description.

An officer who made contact with the man smelled alcohol. The man failed field sobriety tests, and a preliminary test revealed a blood-alcohol content of 0.12.

He also was cited for driving without a license.

District offers preschool screening sessions

Sept. 02, 2011 7:52 p.m. | Greendale - The school district will hold its Child Development Days from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 7 and from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from 3 to 6 p.m. Sept. 8 at College Park School, 5701 W. College Ave.

A team of education specialists will assess preschool-aged children for appropriate development. Hearing and vision tests also will be conducted during the one-hour session.

To reserve a place in the program, contact the School District Office at (414) 423-2715.

Cause of fatal fire will never be known

Sept. 02, 2011 11:58 a.m. | Extensive fire damage and the structural collapse of the home at 1430 N. 119th St. make it impossible to determine the cause of the fire that killed John K. Lorentz, 50, on Aug. 18, officials have said.

According to a statement released by Wauwatosa Fire Chief Rob Ugaste:

The state fire marshal has concluded the investigation, which did determine that the fire began in the northeast portion of the second floor.

The medical examiner's report states that Lorentz died of smoke inhalation and thermal injuries. A toxicology report is pending.

Medical lab evacuated after chemical spill

Sept. 02, 2011 11:46 a.m. | Employees were evacuated from the Wheaton Franciscan Health Care central laboratory, 11020 Plank Court, just before 3 p.m. Thursday because of a chemical spill, Wauwatosa Fire Chief Rob Ugaste said.

Franciscan spokeswoman Anne Ballentine said no one was injured. Seventy lab associates were evacuated, as were 15 people from an adjoining business.

Laboratory employees told fire officials the solvent Clear Rite 3 spilled when a machine malfunctioned. Clear Rite 3 is a chemical used in tissue processing and staining, according to a website for the product.

The chemical started to smoke and the Wauwatosa Fire Department was called. The Wauwatosa and Milwaukee Hazardous Material teams responded.

Hot and warm zones were established and a decontamination shower was set up as a precaution, Ugaste said. Wauwatosa Haz Mat technicians entered the building using self-contained breathing apparatus. Inside, they monitored air quality and evaluated the spill area. In addition, they moved some of the remaining chemical into a drum where it could be safely sealed.

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