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Brookfield Central High School presents 'Lend Me a Tenor'

April 29, 2014 1:02 p.m. | The Brookfield Central High School Theater Department will present "Lend Me a Tenor" from April 30 to May 3.

The play centers around Max, an awkward assistant at the Cleveland Grand Opera Company, who is talked into filling in for the famous tenor Tito Morelli — believed to be dead — for an upcoming production of "Othello."

Performances will be held at 7 p.m. in the high school's Black Box Theater, located at 16900 W. Gebhardt Road.

Tickets cost $8 per student or senior and $12 per adult. Tickets can be bought at the BCHS box office or seats can be reserved by calling (262) 785-3910, ext.1111.

Forest Park Middle School named school of distinction, merit

June 26, 2015 9:28 a.m. | Franklin — Forest Park Middle School was selected by the Wisconsin Response to Intervention (RtI) Center as a School of Distinction in Mathematics and a School of Merit in Reading, according to a news release from Franklin Public Schools.

Response to Intervention is a proactive state framework that enables schools to be more effective and responsive to students through implementing multilevel academic support systems.

"We look at every student in our school individually and align the right programming for them to grow and learn," said Principal Chris Reuter in a statement. "Ultimately through the RtI process, we personalize what students need in order to improve their academic capabilities."

The Wisconsin Response to Intervention Center is funded by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

Omega Burger owners in Franklin charged for violating federal tax laws

June 23, 2015 4:38 p.m. | Franklin— The owners of Omega Burger in Franklin have been charged with conspiring to impede the Internal Revenue Service, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

A federal grand jury in Milwaukee returned a 33-count indictment charging Paul Bouraxis and three family members with violating federal tax laws.

Paul Bouraxis, 65, his wife Freida Bouraxis, 60, their son Andreas Bouraxis, 38, and son-in-law Reiad "Ray" Awadallah, 44, all of whom reside in Franklin, have been charged based on their skimming of cash from the receipts of three restaurants they operated.

The family operated the Omega Burger restaurant, located on S. 27th Street in Franklin, El Fuego restaurant located on W. Layton Avenue in Milwaukee and the El Beso restaurant located on S. 74th Street in Greenfield.

The indictment alleges the family paid restaurant employees in cash and failed to withhold or pay taxes on such wages. The family concealed their actions by not depositing cash skimmed from the restaurants to bank accounts and instead maintained a cash hoard of more than $1.7 million. Some of the skimmed cash was used to purchase jewelry and precious metals, including 33, 100-ounce bars of silver, according to the release.

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Franklin pediatrician featured in new safety commercial

June 23, 2015 4:08 p.m. | Franklin — A Franklin pediatrician is featured in a new injury prevention television commercial now airing in southeastern Wisconsin.

Dr. Kimberly Cronsell, a pediatrician at Franklin Pediatrics — one of 21 Children's Hospitals of Wisconsin primary care clinics — is featured in the new commercial by Kohl's Cares Grow Safe & Healthy Program, a partnership between Kohl's Cares and Children's Hospital.

Cronsell appears in the commercial alongside Spriggy, the animated mascot of the program.

"We know that moms look to their pediatrician to keep their children healthy and safe — so we wanted to use one of our own doctors to help us deliver this important information and resource," said Bridget Clementi, executive director of Community Health and Education at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin in a statement.

Unintentional injury remains the leading cause of death in children, according to the release.

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West Allis painting 'shabby' railroad bridge over Greenfield Avenue

June 16, 2015 9:36 a.m. | West Allis — Getting the dilapidated Union Pacific railroad bridge over Greenfield Avenue at about 104th Street in shape for painting is completed. Painting it at an estimated cost of $93,400 has begun.

Both outside ends of the bridge are now a brilliant deep blue. Crews were ready to switch Greenfield Avenue traffic to the outside lanes to allow work on the inside segments of the bridge.

The crews must switch between the outside and inside lanes because Greenfield Avenue, a major artery, cannot be fully closed. So, there have been lane closures, and those have only been at night. In fact, all the work is being done overnight and on weekends.

Although rain has slowed work a bit, overall the project is going smoothly, said Christopher St.Claire, a principal engineer for West Allis, who is overseeing the project.

When the painting is done, the crews will apply a clear anti-graffiti coat to the bridge supports.

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Hales Corners Elementary named 'School of Merit'

June 12, 2015 4:13 p.m. | Hales Corners — Hales Corners Elementary School has been selected by the Wisconsin Response to Intervention Center as a School of Merit for its work in teaching and acknowledging behavior expectations of being safe, respectful and responsible.

The elementary school is in its second year of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports implementation, a program that includes direct teaching of behavior expectations and acknowledging students and classes for demonstrating the school wide behavior expectations, according to a news release from the Whitnall School District.

"Falcon Feathers" are awarded to students and then redeemed at the school market and raffles or for special rewards in the classroom. School-wide celebrations, earned with school success, have ranged from class dance parties to wheelchair basketball presentations, the release said.

"Our students and staff have really adopted a focus on positivity," said principal Lori Komas in the release. "PBIS implementation is a team approach. Staff, students, and parents must work together for PBIS to be successful."

Hales Corners Elementary School was one of 165 schools statewide to be recognized as a School of Merit for the 2014-15 school year. Schools were chosen based on an application process that included team and meeting information, implementation and outcome data and a narrative that described the data, systems and practices of PBIS implementation, according to the release.

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Baseball stadium idea steps up to the plate again in Franklin

June 12, 2015 9:50 a.m. | Franklin — Michael Zimmerman will take a second swing at bringing a baseball stadium to Franklin after plans to develop one in Oak Creek were unsuccessful.

"He was looking for a location along I-94 in Oak Creek and the developer he was working with was unable to secure that parcel of land," said Oak Creek Mayor Steve Scaffidi.

In his first at-bat in Franklin, in April 2014, city officials rejected a plan to help finance the stadium, which was envisioned as the home to a minor league baseball team.

Zimmerman, who owns The Rock Sports Complex in Franklin, said during a special Franklin Common Council meeting June 10 that he's interested in taking up the idea of a stadium once again.

"If you'll have me, I'll take another run at it, as much fun as it was the first time," Zimmerman told the council, referring to the proposal as a "sports-anchored city center."

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Heavy rain expected tonight

June 11, 2015 8:16 a.m. | Periods of heavy rain are expected today and tonight, including in Waukesha, Milwaukee and Jefferson counties.

Thunderstorms will produce heavy downpours, according to the National Weather Service, carrying the risk of urban flooding and ponding of water on roadways.
Rainfall totals are expected to reach 1 to 2-1/2 inches. 

DOT purchasing Bigg's Roadhouse in Wauwatosa

June 10, 2015 10:13 a.m. | The state Department of Transportation is purchasing Bigg's Roadhouse, 1900 N. Mayfair Road in Wauwatosa, as part of its work on the Zoo Interchange, DOT spokesman Michael Pyritz said Tuesday.

The restaurant's electronic sign has said "closed" during normal hours over the past two weeks. The owner, Louie Pagoudis, could not be reached, and no one answered the door at the restaurant.

Pyritz said the site would be helpful during construction on Highway 45, which is just north of the property. He said if the restaurant had continued operating during construction, there would have been significant disruption to the business.

"Given where their parking lot is, I'm sure the impact would have been substantial when we built that," Pyritz said.

Bigg's Roadhouse has faced numerous issues over the years. Since opening in a former Sizzler location, which had an E. Coli outbreak, Bigg's has faced its own health problems.

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New West Allis hotel to be Forks & Corks venue

June 09, 2015 11:33 a.m. | West Allis — The Hampton Inn & Suites, scheduled to open in July on Greenfield Avenue across from the Wisconsin State Fair, will kick off its four-day grand opening by being the 2015 venue for the West Allis/West Milwaukee Chamber of Commerce Forks and Corks event Sept. 17.

The annual Forks and Corks, a major chamber fundraiser, features cuisine from local dining establishments and includes wine and beer selections from around the world. Proceeds benefit the chamber's economic and community development programs.

"We are honored to be the host location for the upcoming Forks and Corks event," Jon Jossart, general manager of Hampton Inn & Suites West Milwaukee, said in a news release announcing the event. "The timing of our hotel and conference center grand opening and this annual event couldn't be more perfect. Our team is thrilled that Forks and Corks will be our first major event at the new property."

A sponsor

Hampton Inn & Suites, 8201 W. Greenfield Ave., will be a sponsor of Forks & Corks, enabling the chamber to increase the number of tickets available this year, said Diane Brandt, chamber executive director.

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Franklin police report increase in coyote sightings

June 01, 2015 10:13 a.m. | Franklin — There has been a recent increase in coyote sightings in Milwaukee County, the Franklin Police Department announced on its Facebook page last week.

"Starting in April and running through the summer, coyote activity increases," the post said.

Coyote packs have more mouths to feed with this year's offspring, and the young pups are becoming more active and leaving den sites for longer periods of time to learn hunting and survival skills, according to the police department.

"Concerns range from the presence of coyotes in neighborhoods to attacks on pets," police said. "Most attacks on pets coincide with people leaving pets unattended in their yard in the later evening hours."

Police said residents should keep an eye on any pets and use hazing tactics to deter coyotes.

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Wauwatosa approves conceptual design for pocket park on North Avenue

May 20, 2015 10:50 a.m. | The Wauwatosa Common Council approved conceptual plans May 19 for a park at 69th Street and North Avenue meant to feel like "East Tosa's front porch," as articulated by architect Tom Rogers of SmithGroupJJR.

The design for 69th Street Center, which doesn't yet have a cost estimate, would transform the public parking lot next to Rocket Baby Bakery into a pocket park. Most of the ground would be pavement, with seating that can be cleared out for community events like Chili'n on the Avenue and the East Tosa Gran Prix.

With some juggling of parking areas, the plan overall cuts two parking spots. While there are currently 16 spots in the lot and six on 69th Street, the proposal calls for six spots on the north end of the park, seven on 69th Street, and six in the adjacent vacant area behind Voline Service.

"We balanced the need for parking with the catalytic component of this project and felt we had to lose two parking spaces to make this work and achieve that ultimate goal of putting in a project we think would attract and retain some of the existing businesses," Alderman Joel Tilleson said.

Working with city officials and neighbors on the design, Rogers said they tried to include playful features to make the 69th Street Center unique to Wauwatosa. They drew a bike rack so that the structure spells out "TOSA." Wooden benches include engraved factoids about Wauwatosa history.

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Waukesha man charged after exposing genitals to gas station clerk

May 18, 2015 4:38 p.m. | A 31-year-old Waukesha man is facing criminal charges after he allegedly flashed his genitals at a gas station clerk twice in 2014.

The man, Gabriel Medrano, was charged on Friday, May 15, in Waukesha County Circuit Court with two misdemeanor counts of lewd and lascivious behavior and could face up to a combined 18 months in jail and $20,000 in fines, if convicted.

According to the criminal complaint, Medrano late last August entered a PDQ gas station on West Avenue to use the bathroom. A female employee told police that after Medrano came out of the bathroom, he approached the counter with his penis exposed through the zipper of his jeans.

The employee claimed that Medrano then began walking around the store with his pants open for a few minutes, but continued looking directly at her until he left the station, the complaint said.

Medrano returned the following day, used the bathroom and again exposed his penis to the employee, who said in the complaint that she felt "disrespected" and "embarrassed" by the incident.

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Local dermatology clinic unveils new name, brand

May 18, 2015 11:48 a.m. | Franklin — Ten existing dermatology clinics throughout the region unveiled a new look and feel May 18 as former Midwest-based Great Lakes Dermatology Clinics announced Ascend Dermatology will be it's new name and identity

The company will offer a dermatologic experience at ten sites throughout the region — including Franklin and Oak Creek — with plans to expand into the Chicago market by the end of the year. Each center will give a special emphasis to the prevention and treatment of skin cancer, according to a news release. Each center will also focus on skin care and treatment options including cosmetic procedures, psoriasis, acne, mole evaluation and removal, eczema, sun damage and rosacea.

Customers will see new logos, signs and collateral beginning in late May. A complete brand refresh will be completed by mid-June, according to the news release.

The new website, ascenddermatology.com, will launch June 1. Individual sites will begin to see new logos and a new, more engaging customer service, according to the news release.

Ascend Dermatology currently employs more than 75 people. New doctors are being recruited.

Let us know about your Memorial Day event

May 13, 2015 1:29 p.m. | Are you or your organization planning an event commemorating Memorial Day? Send information to us at news@jrn.com so we can include it in a roundup of events. Deadline to submit information is 5 p.m. Monday, May 18.

Winter's not through with us yet

May 12, 2015 6:58 a.m. | The old rule of thumb about not planting before Memorial Day may be proven tonight, as the National Weather Service has issued a frost advisory from midnight tonight to 7 a.m. Wednesday. Temperatures could drop into the low 30s. If you have plants outside, you may want to consider covering them or moving them inside.

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