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West Allis-West Milwaukee schools to be closed Monday due to cold

Jan. 03, 2014 6:02 p.m. | The West Allis-West Milwaukee School District has announced that its schools will be closed on Monday due to extremely cold weather.

The closure includes all after-school activities and West Allis-West Milwaukee Recreation Department activities.

Franklin hosts free pond maintenance seminar

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

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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Top of truck 'peeled back like a can' after collision with bridge in Wauwatosa

March 20, 2015 12:25 p.m. | Debris has been cleared and traffic is flowing again on Swan Boulevard after a tractor trailer collided with a railroad bridge about 6:45 a.m. this morning near Hoyt Park. The driver was not injured.

"There was a lot of debris from the top of the truck basically being shredded," Wauwatosa Police Lt. Brian Zalewski said. "The whole top got peeled back like a can."

The truck was lodged under the bridge until about 8 a.m. when it was towed away, according to police. Zalewski said there were no hazardous materials on board and there was no damage to the bridge.

Several signs in the area warn that no trucking is allowed. A large yellow sign on the bridge marks its clearance as 12 feet. Zalewski said the driver was issued a citation for inattentive driving for failing to notice the signs.

TMJ4 has footage of the truck while it was lodged under the bridge:

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Building collapse leaves North Hills Plaza tenants scrambling to pick up the pieces

March 16, 2015 3:04 p.m. | Menomonee Falls — Tenants of the North Hills Plaza were left scrambling last week, after the building their businesses are in collapsed around 10:30 p.m. March 9.

Located northwest of the intersection of Pilgrim Road and Appleton Avenue, the building has been in disrepair for some time, according to Dr. Frank Jaskowiak of Jaskowiak Chiropractic, and has been neglected as the property has changed hands several times through the years.

"The part that collapsed started two weeks ago and just really wasn't properly addressed or taken care of," said Jaskowiak, who has operated out of North Hills for 30 years. "It was cracking really badly in front of H&R Block — it was starting to break through to the point you had to walk down a little valley to get into their place."

Meanwhile, Charles Pinter of Royale Property Management said he shows no record of any complaints about the state of the building from tenants.

'A Godly act'

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Four injured in Germantown crashes that shut down Highway 41/45 for more than three hours

March 05, 2015 10:16 a.m. | Germantown — A series of crashes involving five vehicles brought traffic to a screeching halt in a number of directions shortly after 2 p.m. March 4.

Three serious injuries were reported at the crash scene just south of Holy Hill Road that Highway 41/45 briefly closed in both directions. Northbound remained closed until about 5:30 p.m., and the impact to traffic on surrounding side roads and thoroughfares was a dramatic one.

"I've driven in some slow traffic in my life, but I've never seen anything like this," said Janice Finke, who took Appleton Avenue as an alternate northbound route home to West Bend. "I think I've been either at a complete standstill or going about 6 miles per hour for about a half-hour now."

The trip, which usually takes about 25 minutes, took two hours that night.

"I'd rather sit at Starbucks for three hours than sit in that," said Leah Hovland, who lives just outside Menomonee Falls in Milwaukee. "I was supposed to be in Slinger at 5 p.m. and was going to take 175. I left at 4:35 and sat in the middle of the intersection of 175 and County Line Road for five minutes. Finally I got to the median by Menard's and decided that wasn't happening, so I turned around and went home."

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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 Terrence 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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