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Miller Park confirmed for Oak Creek High School graduation spot

Feb. 11, 2014 8:01 p.m. |

High school graduation to be held at Miller Park

Oak Creek — Oak Creek High School seniors will be graduating at Miller Park again this year.

According to the school website, the Milwaukee Brewers organization confirmed that the graduation ceremony will be held at 10:30 a.m. June 14.

Gates will open at 9:30 a.m.

This will be the fourth year seniors have held their ceremony at the park.

Student radio station gets fuzzy reception in Whitefish Bay

March 04, 2015 10:26 a.m. | Whitefish Bay — A proposal to start a Whitefish Bay student radio station was met with fuzzy reception from school administration, who feared the radio station could take away funds from other needs in the district.

The idea of a student-run radio station was first proposed by Whitefish Bay resident John Davis in November 2013, when he asked the school board to complete a FCC application for the 103.3 FM frequency that had recently become available. The school board agreed at that time to complete the application, with the understanding that the district was not obligated to construct a radio station or facilitate a radio program in the future.

The FCC approved Whitefish Bay's application in October, giving Whitefish Bay permission to broadcast on a transmission that would carry 3.5 miles and feature music, student talk shows and live broadcasts of Blue Dukes sports games. Since that time, the school district's administration has conducted a feasibility study that concluded a radio station would open the district up to potential expenses and liability.


To determine how much the radio station would cost, district administrators contacted Wisconsin's only two student-run radio stations, which are in Sheboygan and Burlington. Wisconsin does not have any purely extra-curricular student radio stations, so administrators did not have any examples of what an extra-curricular radio station format could look like in Whitefish Bay.

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Dry cleaner seeks expansion into old City Market in Wauwatosa

March 02, 2015 8:15 a.m. | Dong Sin, owner of Westwood Dry Cleaners in Wauwatosa, is hoping to expand his business next door to the old City Market location at 8725 W. North Ave.

Sin purchased the building in October for $595,000. City Market owners Jeff Swanson and Julie Hollingsworth said at the time that there weren't enough customers to support the restaurant with another location close by on Watertown Plank Road. They had operated the North Avenue location for about eight years.

Sin's application to the city to allow dry cleaning in the building states that his business is growing and he needs more space.

"The applicant's current property has limited space and the customer base is expanding, since there are upcoming and new developments in Wauwatosa," the application says.

The Wauwatosa Plan Commission will consider the request March 9.

Construction starts on Brookfield Square expansion

Feb. 26, 2015 2:02 p.m. | Mall officials say that the latest evolution of Brookfield Square is now under way.

The first step of this most recent expansion, which is technically Phase 6 in ongoing improvements, will see the addition of approximately 20,000 square feet of new space. This new structure will be located near the southern end of the mall, adjacent to Sears, and facing North Moorland Road. The project also includes the demolition of approximately 7,400 square feet currently occupied by Sears in order to make room.

"We are very excited to continue to deliver to our shoppers the best that dining and retail has to offer," Brookfield Square General Manager Scott Oleson said in a statement. "We are committed to reinvesting in our center and the community, and this expansion underscores our focus."

The new buildings will feature three new restaurants: Jason's Deli, Blackfinn Ameripub, and Mooyah Burger. More new stores are expected to be announced as the project continues.

City's financial contributions

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Vacant Menomonee Falls school property vandalized

Feb. 20, 2015 7:13 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — Crime Stoppers and the Menomonee Falls Village Board are offering a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the possible arrest of whoever is responsible for serious damage done to Thomas Jefferson Middle School on Feb. 18.

"Significant damage" was done to the school property at W165 N8301 Lavergne Ave. late in the night, according to a notice put out by the school district.

"The suspects entered through an unlocked tunnel door on the south side of the building and did massive damage to the property," explained Lt. Kevin Von Bank. "A few exterior windows were damaged, but a lot more damage was done inside the building to interior windows and mirrors in the restrooms."

Though an exact estimate of damage was not known as of press deadline, Von Bank said he is "certain it is well over $10,000."

The school was last used for students in the 2008-09 school year.

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Developer: city's downtown apartment denial tells others 'don't bother coming to Waukesha'

Feb. 19, 2015 9:57 p.m. | Despite revisions made by the developer over the last few months and the city staff giving it its blessing, a 202-unit apartment complex on the site of the old Fox Head Brewery will not be built.

In a tight 8-7 vote last week, the common council declined to rezone the land that would have been redeveloped at 211 and 223 Maple Avenue — a triangle-shaped parcel bordered by Maple Avenue, Williams Street and North Grand Avenue.

The council needed to rezone the site, just west of Carroll University, from a manufacturing zone to a general business planned-unit development to make way for the mixed-use commercial and residential development that would have been named Fox Head Residences.

The fact that the council on Thursday, Feb. 19, did not follow the recommendations of the city's redevelopment authority, its plan commission and planning department baffled developer Terrance Wall of T. Wall Enterprises.

"It seems very odd that the council wouldn't take all of that into consideration," a frustrated Wall said after the meeting. "Why have a planning commission if you're not going to listen to it? Why have a (redevelopment authority) if you're not going to listen to it? What's the point of having planning staff when your staff is telling developers this is what we want to do and then the council shoots it down.

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Cold enough for you? It's going to get worse

Feb. 18, 2015 11:41 a.m. |  The National Weather Service has issued a wind-chill advisory effective from 6 p.m. Wednesday to noon Thursday.

Wind chills are expected to fall to 20 degrees below zero or colder tonight, lasting through Thursday morning. 

Brookfield may look at sunset clause for chicken ordinance

Feb. 17, 2015 12:56 p.m. | More than a month after an online survey took a pulse of residents on the subject of keeping chickens in the city, Brookfield officials are still considering how to proceed.

Official results of the survey showed 508 responses, with 223 voting against any change and 285 in favor of more flexibility.

At a meeting of the city's Legislative and Licensing Committee earlier this month, Alderman Lisa Mellone asked City Attorney Karen Flaherty to look into the possibility of a sunset clause should the city elect to move forward with allowing chickens on lots smaller than three acres.

Sunset clauses are measures within an ordinance or law that state that the law shall cease to be in effect after a certain date. Lawmakers would be asked at that time to either renew or decline to renew the legislation.

Mellone noted that there are communities that approve an ordinance allowing greater flexibility for residents to raise chickens, but then no applications were taken out and the ordinance expired.

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Wauwatosa's Fair Trade for All owners say local market 'not ready' to support fair trade business

Feb. 12, 2015 12:30 p.m. | After eight years in business, six at 8730 W. North Ave., the owners of Wauwatosa's Fair Trade for All are closing their doors at the end of February due to low retail sales.

While owners Gail Bennett and Allen Christian said they were thankful for years of vital support from the community and their customers, they said they don't think the Milwaukee-area market is ready to fully support a fair trade business. Prices are often higher than at competing retailers because the owners subscribe to certain standards for fair wages, working conditions and environmental protections.

"We Wisconsinites are good people. We love to help others. That is why the community rallied around us," Bennett said. "However, when it comes to shopping, we Wisconsinites love our bargains. From our experience, most shoppers would be happier to make a $50 donation to a worthy cause than pay full price for an article of clothing."

Bennett said they were going out on a "positive note," reflecting on their accomplishments over the years, such as selling more than $1 million in fair trade products and donating thousands of dollars through fundraisers at the store to local and international humanitarian projects.

Until the store closes, all merchandise will be 50 percent off. The store will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Feb 11-14, Feb. 21 and Feb. 28. 

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Some fees will increase at New Berlin Hills golf course this year

Feb. 09, 2015 11:05 a.m. | New Berlin — Some greens fees at the New Berlin Hills golf course will go up slightly this year for residents for the first time since 2007, and fees will rise somewhat for nonresidents, also.

New Berlin owns the golf course at 13175 W. Graham St. that is run by a private contractor.

Resident fees have remained the same since about 2007, said Mark Schroeder, parks director. Nonresident fees go up a bit almost annually, he said.

Resident fees for weekday golf will rise $2 for 18 holes, bringing the total to $27 per person. The 9-hole fee will go up $1 to become $16, general, $11 for seniors and juniors.

Resident weekend fees will stay at $30 for 18 holes but go up $1 to $17 for 9 holes.

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Hales Corners adopts new radio system that offers 'peace of mind'

Feb. 06, 2015 4:35 p.m. | Hales Corners — In an emergency, a lay person is not likely to notice a first responders' radio. But, it's in such an emergency that radios can help or hinder public safety officers' response.

Hales Corners police, fire, public works and health departments are upgrading radio systems to a new federal standard that makes communications in Milwaukee or Waukesha counties "seamless."

"When time is of the essence, the user has to start flipping dials and punching buttons. Now, that usage is seamless to them," said Hales Corners Police Chief Eric Cera. "They can flow back and forth across the border so they're not futzing around trying to find channels."

The transition to the new system, called P25, is in progress and expected to be complete by summer.

Every municipality in the state is working to upgrade to P25. Milwaukee and Waukesha counties' upgrade could happen "any day now," said Cera.

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Due to backlog, Waukesha's Drop-Off Center will no longer accept electronics

Feb. 05, 2015 7:00 p.m. | The pile continued to get bigger and bigger at the city of Waukesha's Drop-Off Center over the last few months.

With the company that had been cleaning up that pile having "a hard time keeping up financially" to meet the needs of the municipalities it serves in Waukesha County, the local Drop-Off Center, 900 Sentry Drive, has stopped accepting TVs and other electronics until further notice.

Dustin Nolan, the city's recycling and solid waste coordinator, made the announcement last week and informed the city's Board of Public Works that 5R Processors, the contracted company, was not keeping up with the number of recycled electronics generated within the city. In fact, the last time the company cleared out the city pile was around Thanksgiving.

Multi-municipality problem

Besides the city of Waukesha, Nolan said all of the participating public recycling sites in Waukesha County — the cities of Pewaukee, Brookfield and New Berlin, and the village of Hartland — have also stopped accepting electronics, at least temporarily.

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Greendale Middle School's Bob Kosky to retire after 40 years of teaching math

Feb. 02, 2015 3:53 p.m. | Editor's note: This story has been updated to include additional comments by Bob Kosky.

Greendale — When Bob Kosky first started looking for work as a teacher, he was given two pieces of advice.

One: teach math, because there's always a shortage of math teachers.

And two: teach at a middle school, where there were vacancies from teachers who just burned out.

"And I just never burned out," said Kosky, who will be retiring this year from the Greendale Middle School after 40 years of teaching math.

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Purpose-driven Germantown dog to compete in Westminster Dog Show

Feb. 02, 2015 9:45 a.m. | Germantown — He may be small, but he has some big dreams and even bigger motivation.

Named after New York Yankee pitcher CC Sebathia, CC will soon make the journey from Germantown to New York City to compete in the 139th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.

Until then, it's all paws on deck as the 7-pound papillon (a small spaniel) prepares for the show with his owner and handler Andrea Jordan Lane, who said it's more than just an opportunity to compete in a world-class dog show for her and CC.

"It was a dream of his breeder for him to compete at this show," Lane said, with a shaky voice and tears in her eyes.

Though Lane has owned CC since he was 5 months old, she remained close with his breeder, Carlotta Dennie, until she lost a hard fight with ALS late last year.

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Brookfield competition will benefit fight against paralysis

Jan. 30, 2015 11:39 a.m. | Brookfield-area residents are being asked to join the fight against paralysis as the Byron Riesch Paralysis Foundation prepares to host its fourth annual Team Challenge.

The Team Challenge gathers up to 32 five-person teams at Elite Sports Club, 13825 W. Burleigh Road, to compete in a variety of fun and athletic challenges. While the event is a social environment with athleticism on display and pizza and beer available, the primary purpose of the Team Challenge is to raise awareness and funds for those who suffer from paralysis or neurological disorders.

Byron Riesch was a freshman at Marquette University when he took his turn on a slip and slide, landed awkwardly, and found his life changed forever.

"I dove on it, it hit my chin, I threw my neck back, and I became a quadriplegic," Riesch said.

High expenses

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Emerald Row apartments lauded for 'urban and pedestrian feel' in Oak Creek

Jan. 28, 2015 2:52 p.m. | Oak Creek — Plan commissioners approved design plans for new apartments at Drexel Town Square, applauding the "urban and pedestrian feel" it will bring to the developing downtown.

Emerald Row, 601 S. 6th St., is an "H-shaped" development with 167 total units — 110 one-bedroom, 31 two-bedroom and 26 three-bedroom units. It has potential to house two retail businesses and offers underground parking stalls and a pool for residents.

Alderman Daniel Bukiewicz said the four-story building, developed by Rick Barrett of Barrett Visionary, would blend in well with the rest of Drexel Town Square development and will generate foot traffic.

Rinka Chung architects said more than 50 percent of the apartments will be "Cream City brick."

"I think it's a nice looking building for the first phase," Bukiewicz said.

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