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Pottery Barn Kids at Mayfair to close

Dec. 29, 2009 12:15 p.m. | Pottery Barn Kids notified customers in an e-mail Tuesday that the store at Mayfair will close on Sunday, Jan. 17.

The Mayfair store is the only Pottery Barn Kids in Wisconsin. The company didn't give a reason for the closing in its announcement. 

The most recent earnings report for Pottery Barn's parent company, Williams-Sonoma, listed four Pottery Barn Kids stores around the country slated to close in the fourth quarter. For the full fiscal year, the company will close eight Pottery Barn Kids locations, including one temporary closing at a store that will be remodeled.   

Milwaukee man killed in West Allis crash identified

Dec. 28, 2009 6:14 p.m. | A 30-year-old Milwaukee man killed Saturday in a crash at S. 60th St. and W. National Ave. in West Allis has been identified by the Milwaukee County medical examiner's office as Byron George Marshall Jr.

Marshall was speeding north on S. 60th St. in a Hyundai Sonata and collided about 6:30 a.m. with a Ford F-250 pickup truck traveling west on W. National Ave., according to a medical examiner's report.

Preliminary information suggests Marshall drove through red lights at W. Greenfield and W. National avenues, according to the report.

West Allis police said Monday that the crash is still under investigation.

The driver of the pickup truck was taken to Froedtert Hospital with minor injuries, police Capt. Charles Padgett said. The identity of the truck's driver has not been released.

» Read Full Article

Work on Zoo Interchange bridges to start next week

Dec. 28, 2009 3:12 p.m. | Three replacement bridges will be built alongside deteriorating spans in the Zoo Interchange, in a quick and temporary fix that will cost $15.3 million, according to a contract detailed by the state Department of Transportation on Monday.

Milwaukee Constructors LLC will start work on Jan. 4 and have the new bridges open for traffic by May 24, with very limited traffic disruptions during the construction, under the agreement with the DOT.

Milwaukee Constructors LLC is made up of Edward Kraemer & Sons Inc., Lunda Construction Co. and Zenith Tech. The same three contractors teamed together and received more than $413.7 million for work on the Marquette Interchange, completed in 2008.

The consortium of Wisconsin-based firms submitted the only bid for the emergency work in the Zoo Interchange and proposed to build the replacement spans for $11.3 million.

The price increased by $4 million during negotiations, as the DOT sought to limit the ramp and lane restrictions during the construction, according to Paul Trombino, operations director for the DOT highways division.

» Read Full Article

Investigation continues into cause of Falls blaze

Dec. 28, 2009 1:08 p.m. | Fire investigators are continuing to comb through the rubble of a fire that destroyed a million dollar mansion in Menomonee Falls early Sunday, looking for clues as to what caused the blaze.

Menomonee Falls Fire Chief Jeff Hevey said investigators on the scene - including those from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, state fire marshal's office, as well as local police and fire departments - had not yet ruled out accidental causes as of Monday morning. The ATF is called to assist in fire investigations when a blaze might be considered suspicious, he said.

Hevey hoped to have more information later Monday afternoon.

The home is owned by Latasha Jackson, a day care provider under criminal investigation by federal, state and local authorities after she amassed nearly $3 million in taxpayer funding from the troubled Wisconsin Shares child-care program.

Glendale to consider 3 new businesses

Dec. 28, 2009 12:34 p.m. | Glendale — An ayurvedic alternative health care office, the Scofield souvenir distributor and the Muderlak Design product innovation firm are among companies seeking to set up shop in Glendale.

Their proposals will be among those considered at a meeting of the city Plan Commission at 7 p.m. Jan. 5, according to the meeting agenda.

Kanyakumari Ayurveda is being proposed by Cheryl Silberman for 6789 N. Green Bay Ave. Ayurvedic health care involves the use of herbs and massage, among other things.

For regular coverage of development, follow Tom Daykin's Land and Space blog.

Atwater sculpture is topic of meeting

Dec. 28, 2009 11:04 a.m. | Shorewood — The public will have a chance to weigh in on the proposed placement of a sculpture in Atwater Park, which caused some controversy last summer.

The site for the sculpture will be among the topics considered at a meeting of the Atwater Park Master Plan Steering Committee, which is set for 6:30 p.m. Jan. 14 in the lower level of the library.

The broader purpose of the meeting is to get public input on future development of the park.

The proposed site of the 8-foot-tall sculpture, made by Jaume Plensa, upset some residents after it was announced in July.

Plensa, a Spanish-born artist, is best known for a fountain in Chicago's Millennium Park.

» Read Full Article

Chimney fire displaces two families in Shorewood

Dec. 27, 2009 5:28 p.m. | Two families were displaced following a fire at a home in Shorewood this afternoon.

When North Shore firefighters were sent to a home in the 3600 block of N. Morris Blvd. around 1 p.m. they discovered heavy smoke coming from the second floor.

The fire ignited in the chimney and was difficult to extinguish because the smoke and flames traveled through concealed spaces, fire officials said. Investigators determined the cause of the fire was related to the installation of the chimney.

Damages were estimated at $165,000. There were no injuries.

Fire destroys home of child-care provider

Dec. 27, 2009 5:14 p.m. | An early morning blaze destroyed the Menomonee Falls mansion owned by Latasha Jackson, a child-care provider under criminal investigation after receiving millions of dollars from the taxpayer-financed Wisconsin Shares program.

Fire officials said the call came in at 5:17 Sunday morning. No one was at the home, located on Goetz Court, at the time of the blaze, and no firefighters were reported injured. An agent from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was called in to assist the investigation.

Jackson, 32, was the subject of a Journal Sentinel story that outlined how she reaped nearly $3 million from the Wisconsin Shares program - and bought a Jaguar convertible and built the 7,600-square-foot house with an indoor swimming pool and indoor basketball court - while, for 10 years, regulators ignored red flags indicating she was scamming the system. The story sparked a wave of taxpayer outrage and led to a sweeping crackdown on sketchy child-care providers. Within weeks, state regulators cut public funding to about 130 child-care providers suspected of cheating the program.

Menomonee Falls Fire Chief Jeff Hevey said Jackson, who also goes by her married name, Latasha Wilder, was out of town and that he spoke to her Sunday morning.

"I spoke to them on the phone and let them know their house was a total loss," Hevey said. "They were devastated by the news."

» Read Full Article

Milwaukee man killed in West Allis crash

Dec. 26, 2009 10:18 p.m. | A 30-year-old Milwaukee man died early Saturday in a crash at S. 60th St. and W. National Ave. in West Allis.

The victim was driving a Hundai Sonata northbound on S. 60th St. and collided about 6:25 a.m. with a Ford F-250 pickup truck traveling westbound. Investigators with the West Allis Police Department were working to determine if one of the two motorists ran a red light or was driving too fast for the road conditions, according to Capt. Charles Padgett.

The driver of the pickup truck was taken to Froedtert Hospital but had minor injuries, Padgett said. Relatives of the 30-year-old were being notified Saturday and police expected to release his name publicly on Sunday.

Wauwatosa-area honor rolls now online

Dec. 22, 2009 11:28 a.m. | We've just posted the latest honor roll lists for Wauwatosa-area schools.

The honor rolls that are online, all from the first quarter, are: Wauwatosa East High School, Wauwatosa West High School, Marquette University High School, Longfellow Middle School and Whitman Middle School.

Not only you will find the complete list of hundreds of outstanding area students, but when you click on a student's name, you'll see a printable honor roll certificate. WauwatosaNOW.com and Marquette University, which sponsors the honor rolls, would like to congratulate the local students for their outstanding achievements.

We also welcome honor rolls for local elementary and middle schools - both public and private. If you don't see your child's school on this list, ask your school to e-mail its honor roll to honors@mycommunitynow.com.

Suspected drunken driver gets de-railed by cops

Dec. 21, 2009 8:32 p.m. | City of Brookfield police last week arrested a suspected drunken driver after his vehicle got stuck on the train tracks near North Avenue and Pilgrim Parkway.

According to police, the man was driving west on North Avenue about 5:45 a.m. Friday and attempted to turn right onto Pilgrim Parkway but missed and drove on the tracks instead. Police had to stop CP Rail traffic for several minutes while they removed the man's car from the tracks.

Police said the man, who had a bruised and swollen left eye and dried blood on his lip, had been in a fight earlier in the evening.

It was listed as the man's first drunken-driving offense, and his blood-alcohol content was 0.15.

3 men to be charged in shooting of Tosa officer

Dec. 18, 2009 5:02 p.m. | Prosecutors expect to charge three men with attempted homicide in the Sunday night shooting of a Wauwatosa police officer, officials announced Friday.

At a new conference, Wauwatosa police identified the three suspects as Michael S. Dengsavang, 28, Paul M. Phonisay, 29, and Thongsavah Rodthong, 27. The first two men are in custody; police are asking the public's assistance in finding Rodthong.

All three Milwaukee men are expected to be charged soon with attempted homicide, armed robbery false imprisonment and burglary, according to police.

Abby Pavlik, a 3 1/2 year veteran of the Wauwatosa Police Department, responded to an armed robbery call at the Happy Wok, 2332 N. 124 St. about 10:30 p.m. Sunday. Her investigation took her to a nearby apartment complex, where police say she was ambushed by the suspects who fired multiple shots at Pavlik's squad car.

Pavlik, 28, who was wearing a protective vest, was struck in the abdomen.

» Read Full Article

Suspect arrested in Brookfield hit-and-run incident

Dec. 14, 2009 8:22 p.m. | A 51-year-old woman has been arrested for a hit-and-run driving incident that injured a Brookfield police officer.

The woman lives within a mile of the 19100 block of W. North Ave., where Officer Paul Dilger was struck by a vehicle early Saturday while responding to a call with two other officers, according to a news release from the Brookfield Police Department.

Dilger was being treated at Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa for a head injury, police said. He was reported in satisfactory condition at the hospital Monday.

Two arrested in string of credit card thefts

Dec. 14, 2009 7:02 p.m. | Two Milwaukee men have been arrested on allegations that they took wallets from shoppers at area Pick 'n Save stores, and then used stolen credit cards to buy merchandise at Kmart stores.

Wauwatosa and West Allis police are working together on the case that also includes thefts in Cudahy and West Milwaukee.

According to Wauwatosa police:

A shopper noticed her wallet missing from her purse while she shopped at the Pick 'n Save on Mayfair Road at 5:30 p.m. Friday. Then she remembered a man had been hovering near her cart while she was picking up items that had fallen off a freezer shelf.

She called to cancel her credit cards, but found out they had already been used to purchase a television and camcorder for $900 at the Kmart in Wauwatosa.

» Read Full Article

Phony meter readers steal thousands from elderly couple

Dec. 14, 2009 7:00 p.m. | An elderly Wauwatosa couple was scammed out of several thousand dollars by two men posing as meter readers Wednesday afternoon.

According to Wauwatosa police:

The husband was outside shoveling snow outside his home in the 2500 block of North 72nd Street. When he went inside at 2:30 p.m., he found his wife talking to two men, who said they had come by to read the meters.

The men told the couple that they needed to go upstairs and into the basement to turn on all the lights so they could better read the meters. A half hour later, when the men left, the couple remembered that workers for the electric company had come by to change over some meters a few weeks earlier.

They grew suspicious and called police. After a search of the home, the couple found money that had been paid as part of the husband's military pension had been stolen.

Cop injured in hit-and-run could be out of hospital soon

Dec. 14, 2009 2:20 p.m. | A City of Brookfield police officer seriously injured in a hit-and-run crash on Friday could be released from the hospital today.

Paul Dilger was on foot on North Avenue shortly after midnight when he was struck by a westbound vehicle. The vehicle is believed to have damage to its right front end or front passenger side, along with possible damage to the hood and/or windshield.

Dilger and two other officers had responded to a call for service in the 19100 block of North Avenue.

Dilger remains at Froedtert Hospital but may be released today, Capt. Phil Horter said.

Police are continuing their investigation into the accident, and anyone with information is asked to call the department at (262) 787-3702.

Elmbrook five-year deficit projected at $18 million

Dec. 14, 2009 2:12 p.m. | Elmbrook's budget crunch is more serious than previously thought, according to a new financial projection that forecasts that the district will need to cut $18.2 million from its budget by the 2014-15 school year.

The new projection, prepared by PMA Financial Management, increases Elmbrook's five-year deficit by more than $7 million. That's a 67 percent jump from what was predicted at this time last year, when the district estimated it would need to trim $10.9 million by the 2013-14 school year.

The deficit spike is thanks to bigger-than-expected declines in both state aid and student enrollment, said Keith Brightman, district assistant superintendent for finance and operations. Brightman said the updated deficit numbers are "a bit sobering and a bit difficult to comprehend and manage."The new projection means Elmbrook must cut an average of $3.6 million from its budget each year - assuming the previous years' cuts are sustained - or else find new revenues to make up the difference. During the five-year period, the district's total budget is projected to range from $87 million to $101 million annually.

City has interest in buying Paradise Theater

Dec. 04, 2009 11:20 a.m. | The city is exploring whether there is any historic preservation money to aid in the redevelopment of the Paradise Theater, 6229 W. Greenfield Ave.

Officials are in the early stages of seeing whether state funds are available to help the city purchase the property, with the ultimate goal of getting it into the hands of a private developer, city Planner Shaun Mueller said.

"We're just seeing what's out there to see if we could assist moving those properties along," Mueller said.

The building is vacant and now owned by the State Bank of Chilton after a foreclosure forced out the Paradise Family Life Center, which held religious services there for about four years.

The Paradise Theater, which opened in 1929, has struggled to attract a permanent tenant since it stopped showing movies in 1996.

Springdale Road bridge work is finished

Dec. 03, 2009 4:00 p.m. | Waukesha County construction crews have wrapped up work on a project to rebuild a 220-foot-long bridge on Springdale Road that spans the Fox River.

The county started on the $1.4 million project, which replaced a 47-year-old bridge with a new one at a slightly higher elevation, in mid-July. Construction was completed a few days before Thanksgiving.

Springdale Road was closed to motorists during the construction.

Wauwatosa East girls basketball photos now online

Dec. 02, 2009 3:51 p.m. | We've just posted a photo gallery from the Wauwatosa East girls basketball team's game last night against Wisconsin Lutheran.

East's Carly Herald led all scorers with 12 points, but that was not enough as Wisconsin Lutheran pulled away in the second half and posted a 57-34 victory.

See NOW photojournalist Peter Zuzga's photos.

All-Suburban Football Team now online

Dec. 02, 2009 10:23 a.m. | Be sure to check out the special section featuring our 2009 NOW All-Suburban Football Team, which is in its 21st season.

This season marks the first time fans were able to vote for who they thought were the top football players and coaches in the area. They made their voices heard in a big way as more than 1,000 voters cast about 7,000 votes.

Menomonee Falls, which advanced to the Division 1 title game, was rewarded with Cole Myhra being named NOW Player of the Year and John Baker the NOW Coach of the Year.

Falls, Franklin, Homestead and Whitnall each had four players named to the team, which also features athletes from Brookfield Central, Brown Deer, Greendale, Muskego, New Berlin Eisenhower, Oak Creek, West Allis Central, West Allis Hale and Whitefish Bay.

See the entire team.

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