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Fire Department boosts involvement in Fourth of July parade

June 26, 2013 12:40 p.m. | In an effort to promote the Germantown Fire Department that is in need of volunteers, a "wet zone" was created along the Fourth of July parade route to promote the department.

The wet zone on Main Street and Park Avenue will help cool off parade-goers as the fire trucks pass by and spray them with water, said Village President Dean Wolter.

Squirt guns are allowed in the wet zone, said Germantown Fire Department Chief Gary Pollpeter.

"If they wish to squirt our members in the vehicle, they will get the same treatment," he joked.

The Fire Department is in need of volunteer fire fighters. Being more actively involved in the parade is a way to promote the department. Those interested in volunteering can call (262) 253-7795.

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Oak Creek girl says driver tried to lure her into vehicle

May 06, 2015 1:15 a.m. | Oak Creek police are investigating a possible case of child enticement after a girl reported two men tried to lure her into their vehicle while she was walking to her bus stop on May 1.

According to the police report:

The girl was walking to her bus stop from her apartment building in the 9200 block of South Meyer Lane at about 7:50 a.m. when an older, dark purple sedan with chipped paint and tinted windows pulled up next to her.

The driver of the vehicle got out of the car and said, "Come on, kid, I have candy in my car." When the girl refused and kept walking, the suspect said she could either get in the car or "we can do it the hard way."

The girl ran away and hid behind a van in the apartment parking lot, where she watched the suspects' vehicle as it drove away. The vehicle was last seen heading northbound on South 20th Street.

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Foreign officials take inspiration from Wauwatosa's Innovation Campus

April 23, 2015 2:13 p.m. | Wauwatosa's Innovation Campus had a moment in an international spotlight April 23 when about 50 officials from Canada, Mexico, and several Central and South American countries bused into the city to see how the public-private partnership project has progressed.

Part of a program organized by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the commerce and economic development officials toured over a dozen "innovation hubs" throughout the Midwest over six days.

Officials touring Innovation Campus said they were impressed by the cooperation between government and industry in supporting research at UWM's Innovation Accelerator building. The campus was financially supported in part by the city of Wauwatosa with a tax-incremental finance district, while it is owned by the university and partially leased by private companies who work with UWM students and professors.

"If you're looking for a model and best practices of working together, come here," Wauwatosa Mayor Kathy Ehley told the crowd. "It transformed an underutilized area to become part of the area's largest research hub for biotechnology research and academics."

Carlos Mora, vice minister of Economy, Industry and Commerce for Costa Rica, said he hoped his country could establish similar public-private partnerships.

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Mount Mary University students spruce up Wauwatosa business storefronts

April 22, 2015 11:28 a.m. | Some storefronts in the Wauwatosa Village and beyond are getting a Mount-Mary makeover this season as students from the university partner with business owners to learn about the trade and lend some elbow grease.

Students LaShaun Bryson and Christina McCanna worked on the window display at Village Boutique Clothiers, 1417 Underwood Ave., on April 20. Store owner Barbara Berg said they transformed the space.

"They were able to use whatever they wanted in the store," Berg said. "They found a prop and built their theme around that."

Bryson and McCanna used a vintage Pepsi cooler as inspiration for a nautical display.

Mount Mary students are also helping out at Salamander, Niemann's, Metcalfe's Market and Design Vision Optical.

Woman hurt in strong arm robbery at Franklin Wal-Mart

April 21, 2015 1:15 p.m. | Franklin — Franklin police say a woman was injured during a strong armed robbery at Wal-Mart.

Police say officers were called to the store on the corner of West Sycamore Street and South 27th Street at 4:04 a.m. Tuesday.

The 49-year-old victim was loading groceries into her car when three suspects approached her and threw her to the ground. She was kicked and punched while on the ground. The suspects then entered a silver minivan and left the scene, according to a news release from the Franklin Police Department.

Officers located the minivan on South 27th Street near Ryan Road and a pursuit ensued.

The minivan fled south onto Interstate 94, where the Wisconsin State Patrol and the Racine County Sheriff's Department assisted in the pursuit. The suspect vehicle then exited the freeway at Highway 11 and eventually stopped near 14th Street and Main Street in Racine.

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Waukesha, Washington counties at "very high" fire danger risk

April 16, 2015 2:23 p.m. | Germantown — Dry conditions are putting the entire state of Wisconsin on high alert for wildfires.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources indicates conditions in Waukesha and Washington counties are creating a "very high" risk of fire.

All other Wisconsin counties are also at "very high" risk, except Racine, Kenosha, Milwaukee and Ozaukee, which are classified one level lower at "high" risk.

One grass fire spanning about 5 acres was reported and subsequently contained recently in Germantown near Bonniwell Road and Country Aire Drive — an incident that has prompted Germantown Fire Chief Gary Weiss to urge residents to use common sense when it comes to burning in the area.

"If anybody is burning, they need to be extremely careful," Weiss said. "They should stay by the fire, keep a hose nearby and make sure the area around it is safe."

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Local sports complex receives 'Riders' Choice Award'

April 10, 2015 12:33 p.m. | Franklin — A local sports complex has received regional honors.

The Rock Sports Complex, located at 7900 Crystal Ridge Road, was named the Best Bike Park in the Midwest by MTBparks.com, a website that posts information relating to mountain bikes in the United States.

The Rock Sports Complex offers more than seven miles of cross country mountain bike trails, a BMX track and coached lessons.

More than 3,000 bike riders participated in an online survey at MTBparks.com to choose the winner of the "Riders' Choice Award."

The bike park at The Rock Sports Complex will open mid-May for the 2015 season, weather permitting, and will be open weekends only, 10 a.m. — 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. For more information visit RockComplex.com.

New Elm Grove business to offer outlet for creativity

April 07, 2015 5:33 p.m. | Residents of Elm Grove and the surrounding communities will have a new place to go to both express their creativity and socialize in the coming weeks.

Katherine Oberst of Brookfield and Danielle Heckenkamp of Wauwatosa have teamed up to bring Elm Grove Art, a wine and paint bar, to the village, offering plenty for both adults and children alike.

"Elm Grove Art is going to be a wine and paint bar in the evenings but it's also going to offer a lot of kids programs and day camps for moms and kids," Oberst said. "We're in the stage of decorating our place right now and our grand opening will be May 1."

The co-owners got the idea of a wine and paint bar from their own experiences visiting similar establishments in the past.

"(Danielle) and I have always been creative. We each have three children and we do a lot of crafts and stuff with our kids at home. We have so many mom friends and they always say 'We need a place to go where we can take our kids and be creative and not have the mess at home,'" Oberst said.

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Franklin author publishes kid-friendly organ donation book

April 07, 2015 1:38 p.m. | Franklin — A Franklin author has published a book that explains surgery and organ donation to kids.

Brenda E. Cortez recently released "My Mom is Having Surgery (A Kidney Story)," a book about a young girl named Kailey and her concern for her mother. Kailey is worried and scared because as her mother undergoes surgery, but throughout the course of the book she learns surgery is safe and her mom was able to save another person's life in the process.

The book is published by Tate Publishing and Enterprises and is available through bookstores nationwide, from the publisher at tatepublishing.com/bookstore or by visiting barnesandnoble.com or amazon.com.

The story is based off Cortez's 2005 kidney donation. She is now a strong advocate for living organ donation awareness. The author will donate one dollar from every book sold to the Donate Life America, an organization committed to increasing awareness for organ donation.

Cortez lives in Franklin with her husband Shawn, daughter Kailey, son Kyle and two Dachshund dogs.

Suspicious driver reported in Franklin

April 07, 2015 11:13 a.m. | Franklin — Law enforcement encourages residents to report any suspicious people or vehicles to the Franklin Police Department following a report received earlier this week.

On April 6, the department received a call regarding a red Dodge van, 2013 or newer without rust, driven by a white male in his 60s. The man was wearing a baseball hat, had no facial hair and was stopped on the corner of South 42nd Street and West Maplecrest Drive where he motioned to three youths, an 11-year-old and two 6-year-olds, to come to his vehicle. The driver did not say anything.

The children did not respond and went home.

The van was northbound on South 42nd Street when the incident occurred. The caller stated the vehicle had been seen in the area for the last two weeks.

To report suspicious activity call the Franklin Police Department at (414) 425-2522.

Plans announced for South 27th Street reconstruction between Franklin and Oak Creek

April 02, 2015 2:23 p.m. | Franklin and Oak Creek — Reconstruction of South 27th Street will begin this spring.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation announced its plans for reconstruction of South 27th Street (Highway 241) in the Franklin and Oak Creek area during a public involvement meeting on March 26.

The portion of the highway, which spans from Drexel Avenue to College Avenue, is highly deteriorated and traffic accidents are above the statewide average on the corridor, according to the DOT. Increased traffic and congestion are expected.

The project will include full reconstruction of the pavement, modification of the median openings and addition of bicycle and pedestrian accommodations. Intersections will be improved by adding and extending right- and left-turn lanes and updating the traffic lights.

During construction, two lanes of traffic will be open in each direction along 27th Street with turn lanes. At night, one lane of traffic will be open in each direction for the entire length of the project and turn lanes may be closed.

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Franklin hosts free pond maintenance seminar

April 01, 2015 3:38 p.m. | Franklin — The city of Franklin will host an evening for the public to learn and ask questions about pond maintenance April 15.

In conjunction with the City of Franklin Engineering department, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources — Water Division, will hold a public discussion at the Franklin Public Library in the Fadrow Room, 9151 W Loomis Road from 6 to 8 p.m.

Discussion topics will include alternative pond chemical treatments, vegetation growth, animal damage, storm water ponds and algae blooms, among other things. The public will also have the opportunity to ask questions.

Guest speakers will include Storm water Engineer Pete Wood and Water Resources Biologist Craig Helker, both of the Wisconsin DNR.

To RSVP for this free seminar or to ask questions before time call Marcia LaPointe at (414) 425-7510 or by email at MLaPointe@FranklinWI.gov.

City of Waukesha committee recommends sober server ordinance for bars

March 30, 2015 2:30 p.m. | Will Waukesha be a safer all-around city if a sober server ordinance is adopted? The police department believes so. Downtown bar owners don't feel the ordinance is a bad idea, either.

In addition, there would be other benefits from an ordinance that would force any business with an alcohol license to require its bartenders, bouncers and staff to have a blood alcohol content level less than 0.08, police say.

The common council is expected to vote on the ordinance on Thursday, April 9.

Waukesha Police Chief Russell Jack said the ordinance, which passed in a 4-1 vote by the Ordinance and License Committee on March 23, would assist police in multiple ways.

Jack and other police personnel said if bartenders aren't drinking it would help them better determine who is already intoxicated, help eliminate underage drinking and vandalism around the city, keep bars orderly, and give establishments more credibility when police need to ask questions during an investigation.

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Recall committee calls Franklin alderwoman a 'wicked witch' in flier

March 26, 2015 3:53 p.m. | Franklin — Some residents in the city's District 4 have received fliers that depict Alderwoman Janet Evans as "The Wicked Witch of Franklin" this week.

The flier, produced by the Franklin Exploratory Recall Committee, seeks to recall the Evans, who was elected last year.

On the flier, a photo of Evans was laid over an image of a witch from the "Wizard of Oz." The group also listed grievances against Evans, declaring she "championed" for an apartment complex in the district that would bring forth more crime to the area.

The flier reads, "Let's get an elected representative who will listen to and speak for constituents in Franklin's 4th District."

For her part, Evans took exception to what she felt was a misrepresentation of facts.

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Waukesha bicycle shop Cyclesmith closes its doors

March 24, 2015 1:27 p.m. | Cyclesmith, a full-service bicycle repair shop at 1314 S West Ave. has closed.

A message on Cyclesmith's voicemail for incoming callers states: "We regret to inform you that Cyclesmith has closed" and that the store is "no longer accepting new business."

The message adds the store is "working diligently to complete all remaining work orders."

People with outstanding orders are asked to call the store and leave a voicemail to get a status update on their order or to make arrangements to retrieve the order.

The store's website says the family-owned and operated business had been in Waukesha for more than 10 years.

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'Columbine' graffiti reference results in extra police presence at Waukesha South High School

March 20, 2015 2:40 p.m. | Following a reference to Columbine High School — the site of a 1999 school shooting — in one of its school bathrooms, an extra police presence was on hand last week at Waukesha South High School.

"This is the New Columbine," read the message.

Parents of Waukesha South students received an email early Friday morning, March 20, from Principal Timothy Joynt informing them that graffiti was found the night before that made reference to Columbine.

"Please know that we have been participating with our school superintendent and the Waukesha Police Department through the night," Joynt said.

The principal said Friday that the increase in police presence was a precaution.

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