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Tosa woman charged in abduction, abandonment of friend's baby

Nov. 27, 2009 11:38 a.m. | A 19-year-old Wauwatosa woman has been charged with felony child abandonment after police say she took a friend's 10-month-old daughter and left her on a sidewalk in West Allis earlier this week.

Diandra N. Kroening, 19, faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted. She is being held at the Milwaukee County Jail without bail.

According to criminal complaint issued Friday, the little girl lives with her 20-year-old mother and grandmother in the 7000 block of Milwaukee Ave. in Wauwatosa. On Monday evening, Kroening came by unexpectedly and the mother asked her if she would watch the baby for a few minutes while the mother showered.

When the mother returned to the living room about 15 or 20 minutes later, Kroening, the baby and the little girl's pink diaper bag were all missing. Neither the child's mother nor grandmother, who is the girl's legal guardian, gave Kroening permission to leave with the baby.

A couple hours later, about 10 p.m. Monday, the child was found lying on the sidewalk in the 800 block of S. 75 St. in West Allis. Witnesses told police they had seen someone walk through a nearby alley carrying the baby and the pink bag and place them both on the ground in front of a residence and walk away.

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Nicolet, Glendale sue River Hills over street closing

Nov. 27, 2009 10:44 a.m. | The city of Glendale and the Nicolet School District have filed a lawsuit against River Hills in an effort to block the village from going forward with its plan to close portions of Green Tree Road.

The legal action stems from a Nov. 19 decision by the River Hills Village Board to close the eastbound lane of Green Tree Road near Interstate 43 on a six-month pilot basis. Emergency vehicles, school buses and utility trucks would be permitted to use the eastbound lane, under the proposal.

River Hills officials say the closure is an effort to minimize dangers to residents living on the street. Residents have objected to speeding motorists, litter and semitrailers on the stretch of road and said the Glendale Market is responsible for much of the problem. The shopping center is in Glendale just east of the Green Tree Road bridge that travels into River Hills.

But Glendale and Nicolet have countered that the closure proves equally hazardous to people, particularly high schoolers, who use Green Tree as an alternative to nearby Port Washington and Bender roads, both of which are already heavily traveled.

Suit claims plan is illegal

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Chamber fears Highway 100 project could kill businesses

Nov. 23, 2009 6:26 p.m. | The Hales Corners Chamber of Commerce is the latest group to come out against the state Department of Transportation's plans to reconstruct Highway 100.

In a statement, the chamber said the proposed expansion "will undoubtedly have detrimental effects for all businesses and residents."

"The chamber views the proposed project as a no-win scenario," the statement says. "At its best, the construction will disrupt commerce and community life for a painstakingly expansive period. At its worst, many businesses will be forced to relocate and some establishments may be forced to close their doors permanently."

The DOT's plans call for the road to be widened in certain places along the corridor, which would mean the relocation of seven buildings, including the historic Bosch restaurant.

DOT project manager Vida Shaffer said in an earlier interview that additional lanes are needed along some stretches of Highway 100 because of increased traffic over the years.

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Kids, 11 and 14, arrested for armed robbery

Nov. 23, 2009 3:26 p.m. | Two kids were arrested for armed robbery after they allegedly left George Webb without paying for their meal and then threatened the waitress when she tried to collect payment.

According to the Wauwatosa Police Department report:

Siblings - a 14-year-old girl and an 11-year-old boy - from Milwaukee ate breakfast at George Webb on State Street at 11:45 a.m. Saturday. When they walked out of the restaurant without paying, a waitress followed them across the street and said they needed to pay their $15 bill.

The waitress said the boy pulled a knife out of his jacket and said, "I will kill you! I will stab you!"

Then the girl threatened to punch her.

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UWM student robbed while walking to bus stop

Nov. 22, 2009 1:44 p.m. | A University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee student was robbed at gunpoint while walking to a Wauwatosa bus stop Wednesday morning, according to a police report.

He was walking in the 4000 block of North 92nd Street when a man stopped him to ask directions. Then he said, "Just so you know, I have a gun. Follow me right here. Turn around and start walking."

The student saw the man's hand in his coat pocket, and believed he was armed. But he never saw an actual gun.

They walked for about a block before the man demanded money and a cell phone. Then he told the student to turn around and walk away.

A few minutes later when the student looked back, the robber was gone.

Tosa man wounded in hunting accident

Nov. 21, 2009 5:04 p.m. | A 36-year-old Wauwatosa man was wounded in the thighs Saturday morning in a deer hunting accident in Grant County, the Grant County Sheriff's Department said.

Rex M. Ballinger was wounded when a rifle being unloaded by Daniel Z. Kassees, 36, of Dousman, discharged, the Sheriff's Department said.

Kassees was unloading the gun next to his pickup truck on private property about 8:15 a.m. in Glen Haven Township. The shot went through the rear passenger compartment, exited the right side of the vehicle and struck Ballinger in the back of both thighs, the department said in a news release.

Ballinger was treated at Grant Regional Health Center in Lancaster for his injuries, the department said.

Dad leaves young children home alone to go out drinking

Nov. 16, 2009 8:00 p.m. | A Milwaukee man left his young daughters alone at home while he went out drinking early Sunday morning. Before he could make it home, he was pulled over for drunken driving in Wauwatosa.

According to a Wauwatosa Police Department report:

The 36-year-old father was watching his daughters - a 4-year-old and a 10-month-old - while his wife worked the late shift at a local hospital. He had been drinking at home and after the children fell asleep, he headed out to bars on State Street.

At 2:20 a.m., an officer saw the man drive through a flashing red light on 68th Street. He had a blood-alcohol level of 0.22. When questioned, he thought he had been gone about 20 minutes, but it was actually nearly two hours.

Milwaukee police were dispatched to the home, where they found the door unlocked and the kids asleep in the same bed.

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Inflatable turkey vandalized on Mayflower Drive

Nov. 16, 2009 5:39 p.m. | New Berlin police trying to find out who slit the belly of an inflatable turkey that was a Thanksgiving decoration in the yard of a home on -- of all places -- Mayflower Drive.

Police say the turkey was slit with a sharp instrument overnight on Nov. 10-11.

The turkey is valued at $100, but its owner will try to repair it.

Greendale fire chief headed to Greenfield

Nov. 16, 2009 11:04 a.m. | Greendale Fire Chief Jonathan Cohn will leave the department to become a battalion chief in the Greenfield Fire Department.

Greenfield Fire Chief Russ Spahn confirmed Cohn's hiring, saying he will begin as soon after he ties up loose ends in Greendale. Cohn did not return a call seeking comment.

"He will be coming on board in about a week or so," Spahn said.

Cohn was hired in Greendale in February 2007 after serving as a lieutenant and interim battalion chief in the North Shore Fire Department.

The Greenfield Fire Department recently reorganized so that three non-union battalion chiefs would be in supervisory roles rather than captains, who are unionized, Spahn said.

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Groups combine to remove graffiti this weekend

Nov. 13, 2009 2:36 p.m. | A group of more than 50 volunteers will be out in the community Saturday morning as part of a citywide cleanup effort.

The effort, coordinated by the West Allis Police Department, will remove graffiti in areas including downtown, the railroad tracks near 66th Street and National Avenue, the City Yards building at 63rd Street and McGeoch Avenue and the Able Storage building at 53rd and Rogers streets.

In addition to the Police Department, other groups to be involved are The Home Depot, the Citizen Police Academy, West Allis Police Reserves, the Community Alliance Against Drugs, Cub Scout Pack 586, Central High School wrestlers, off-duty police officers and community members.

Carbon monoxide sends 13 to hospital

Nov. 11, 2009 10:31 p.m. | A faulty furnace is suspected in the carbon monoxide poisoning of 13 people at a West Allis bowling alley Wednesday, authorities said.

Ten patients were released Wednesday night after treatment at Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center in Milwaukee, and two were expected to remain for observation, Aurora spokesman Adam Beeson said.

Another person who was taken to the hospital left after declining treatment, said a St. Luke's official.

Firefighters were called to the Riviera Lanes, 8600 W. Greenfield Ave., shortly after 11 a.m.

West Allis dispatchers were told that people at the bowling alley might be suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning, West Allis Police Deputy Chief Gerald Ponzi said.

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TMJ report: Standoff ends at New Berlin home

Nov. 11, 2009 12:20 p.m. | Authorities have taken a person into custody after a tactical situation in New Berlin involving a man who barricaded himself into a home and is reportedly suicidal, according to Newsradio 620 WTMJ.

The incident began around 9 p.m. Tuesday at the home near Dena Drive. Waukesha County Sheriff's, New Berlin and Menomonee Falls police were all on the scene.

For details, visit TMJ's Web site.

New Hooters to open next week

Nov. 09, 2009 3:42 p.m. | Brookfield's new Hooters restaurant will open next week.

The restaurant, 17105 W. Bluemound Road, will open Nov. 18 in V. Richard's Plaza, said Mike Locey of Hooters of America. Hooters will occupy the former Pedro's restaurant site on the east side of the shopping center at Bluemound and Calhoun roads.

The restaurant will hold a charity VIP event Nov. 16 before its official opening.

Pandl's in Bayside to close after Sunday brunch

Nov. 09, 2009 2:28 p.m. | Pandl's in Bayside, a favorite North Shore eatery and gathering spot for 41 years, announced Monday that it will close following brunch on Sunday, Nov. 15. Pandl's Catering Complete will close on Saturday, Nov. 21.

The restaurant will be open for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday and for dinner opening at 4:30 p.m. all week through Friday and at 5 p.m. on Saturday. Sunday brunch, one of the most popular brunches in the Milwaukee area, will be served from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday for the last time.

Gift certificates for the restaurant will be honored through closing.

Tosa East, West boys volleyball photos now online

Nov. 06, 2009 11:04 a.m. | We've just posted a photo gallery from last night's boys volleyball sectional final between Wauwatosa East and Wauwatosa West.

East won, 25-19, 25-23, 23-25, 25-19, to earn a berth in next week's state finals.

The Red Raiders will play a quarterfinal game against Marquette at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Wisconsin Lutheran College.

See NOW photojournalist Peter Zuzga's photo gallery.

TMJ4: Woman cited for joking about bomb at Tosa post office

Nov. 05, 2009 12:42 p.m. | Today's TMJ4 is reporting that Wauwatosa police have cited an elderly woman after she allegedly told a post office clerk that she had a bomb.

The woman, 82, was upset with what she perceived to be the clerk's rude attitude Wednesday, and told her, "Just go ahead and mail my bomb, will you?"

The bomb squad was called to the post office, and it was determined that there was no bomb.

For more on this story, visit Today's TMJ4 Web site.

Alderwoman to spearhead referendum on voter ID

Nov. 04, 2009 11:30 a.m. | After her proposal for a voter ID referendum was shot down by the Common Council, Alderwoman Jacqueline Jay is organizing a petition drive to get the measure on the city ballot.

In July, Jay brought up the idea of holding an advisory referendum on whether voters should show their IDs at the polls, and the city attorney drafted a question to pose to voters. But the council, on a tie vote broken by Mayor Jill Didier, decided not to take any action on the issue.

Instead, they deemed it best to leave it to Wauwatosa residents to determine if they feel strongly enough about the issue to initiate a referendum.

Jay will lead that effort, calling upon the people who called and e-mailed her in support of the idea to help with the signature drive, she said. Although a specific referendum date has not been set, Jay expects to hold an organizational meeting later this month.

"We need to collect 3,600 signatures, but I think we'll try to get 4,000," she said.

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Suspect in 14 city, suburban robberies last month arrested

Nov. 03, 2009 5:26 p.m. | A 33-year-old man suspected in 14 robberies in less than three weeks last month in Milwaukee and three suburbs was arrested Monday by Milwaukee police, a department spokesman said Tuesday.

Calvin L. Brown, who was charged last week in connection with four of the Milwaukee robberies, was arrested about 2:30 p.m. at a home on the north side by police acting on a tip, Sgt. Mark Stanmeyer said.

Brown is in custody at the Milwaukee County Jail, records show.

The 14 robberies occurred between Oct. 8 and Oct. 28 at businesses in Milwaukee, Glendale, Wauwatosa and West Allis, Stanmeyer said.

Brown punched store employees in at least two of the robberies for which he has been charged, breaking bones in their faces, according to a criminal complaint .

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Teen country singer wins first round of national music competition

Nov. 03, 2009 12:40 p.m. | Brookfield teen Nora Collins has won the first round of Country Music Television’s City Madness contest and will progress to the second round.

Collins' video for her song, "Don’t Slow Down," was one of 64 chosen nationwide to compete in CMT's contest for unsigned artists. Visitors to madness.cmt.com can view videos made by Collins and other up-and-coming country artists, and vote for their favorites.

According to a noon announcement on CMT's Web site, Collins’ video won in the first round, and will continue to the second round of voting along with 31 others.

Voting for round two continues until Nov. 9.

Each round determines which videos continue in the competition, and the winner will be revealed Dec. 15.

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Elephant that slipped into moat gets out

Nov. 02, 2009 9:05 p.m. | An elephant that slipped into the moat of her outdoor exhibit area at the Milwaukee County Zoo Monday afternoon was back in her indoor enclosure Monday night, a zoo official said.

Zookeepers used a mixture of treats, including pumpkins, to coax Ruth, an 8,000 pound African elephant, up a series of stairs about 7:15 p.m., zoo spokeswoman Jenifer Diliberti said.

A zookeeper found Ruth in the approximately 6-7-feet deep moat about 3:15 p.m., Diliberti said.

The elephant was checked out by a veterinarian who determined that she was not injured, Diliberti said.

Ruth came to the Milwaukee County Zoo in December, 2006 from the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville, Texas.

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Garage fire may have been arson

Nov. 02, 2009 6:48 p.m. | A fire that broke out in the garage of a foreclosed home on Halloween is under investigation as a possible arson.

According to Wauwatosa police:

Firefighters responded to a fire in a detached two-car garage in the 7500 block of West Wright Street at 11:50 a.m. Saturday. Damage was contained to a corner of the garage.

A gas can had been found in the garage and there were signs of accelerant inside the structure.

The house has been vacant since the owner died a few years ago. A realty company has been managing the property, which is in foreclosure.

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Two arrested for trying to steal underwear for Halloween costume

Nov. 02, 2009 6:00 p.m. | Two men decided to upgrade their Halloween costumes by stealing designer underwear from Macy's at Mayfair Mall on Thursday.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

The 18-year-olds, one from West Allis and one from Cudahy, had gone to a costume party dressed as underwear models, but their generic boxers and briefs fell flat with the crowd.

They decided some Armani underwear might make them more believable, so they took a pack of each style available in that brand.

Their plan was foiled by an anonymous tipster who called the store's security staff and warned them of the impending crime.

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Burglars raid Currie Park snack machine

Nov. 02, 2009 5:56 p.m. | Burglars broke into the Golf Dome at Currie Park last week, taking snacks and damaging the structure and a golf cart.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

Officers responding to a report that a gas line had been cut on a golf cart at the Milwaukee County park, 3535 N. Mayfair Road, Friday morning learned a 3-foot hole had been cut into the dome. Damage is estimated at $500.

All of the soda, chips and candy bars had been removed from two vending machines. Some of the items were strewn about the ground, but Golf Dome staff members estimated that the burglars left with 80 bottles of soda and 175 packs of chips and candy bars.

State cross country photos now online

Nov. 02, 2009 8:13 a.m. | We've just a photo gallery with more than 40 pictures from Saturday's WIAA state cross country meet in Wisconsin Rapids.

The Brookfield Central boys captured the Division 1 state crown while Shorewood's boys ran to the title in the Division 2 meet. The Whitefish Bay girls were second in their D1 meet.

The gallery features competitors from Brookfield, Cudahy, Franklin, Germantown, Greendale, Homestead, Muskego, Shorewood, South Milwaukee, Wauwatosa, West Allis and Whitefish Bay

See NOW photojournalist Peter Zuzga's photo gallery.

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