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Lake park opponents gather signatures for petition

Jan. 27, 2012 3:26 p.m. | A direct legislation petition circulated by opponents of a lake park plan in Muskego may have enough signatures by next week to force a public referendum on whether the city should purchase two key properties.

The city is working to develop a park along Little Muskego Lake near Pioneer Drive and Janesville Road. Despite the fact that the Common Council this week authorized the city to purchase the properties for $3.5 million, opponents believe the plan, if brought before the public, would be defeated in a vote by Muskego residents.

"You need to let the people decide this," Lorie Oliver, petition drive organizer, said today.

Oliver said a concentrated effort will be launched this weekend involving a door-to-door campaign as well as a petition signing station, in a space that used to be a floral business in the 17000 block of West Janesville Road, both Saturday and Sunday.

"I'm very comfortable saying we'll have the signatures we need," she said.

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Muskego High School principal resigns

July 31, 2014 5:03 p.m. | The Muskego School Board will be looking for an interim Muskego High School principal with the resignation of Ryan Oertel who has been at the school's helm for two years.

Oertel sent a letter Monday to parents saying he was leaving. This fall he will be curriculum coordinator for secondary education in the Elmbrook School District.

The School Board will discuss on Monday, Aug. 4, how to proceed in a search for an interim principal.

With the school year on the verge of starting, this is a bad time to try to hire a principal, said School Board President Rick Petfalski.

"People who were interested in being a principal started looking last spring and have accepted positions," by now, he said.

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Video: How to navigate construction surrounding the 2014 Wisconsin State Fair

July 30, 2014 1:40 p.m. | West Allis — The Interstate 94 freeway ramps and streets around the fair are open to handle the surge of traffic starting Thursday with the opening of the 11-day Wisconsin State Fair.

That's a relief to West Allis Mayor Dan Devine who said, "They told us several times that it all would be open."

Freeway ramps at 84th Street have been closed for the massive Zoo Interchange rehabilitation project, as has the crucial Kearney Avenue that takes traffic coming from the west and exiting at 84th Street into the north end of the fair. The fair extends from 84th to 76th streets.

What will not be open is the 76th Street bridge over Interstate 94, a major route from the north to the fair's 76th Street entrance and to the fair entrance on Greenfield Avenue.

Instead, fair officials recommend taking 70th Street south to Greenfield Avenue and entering at 78th Street.

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Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas holding virtual Town Hall meeting on Twitter

July 30, 2014 11:54 a.m. | Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas has been giving presentations on the county's budget over the last couple of weeks.

Today, he'll hold another meeting with county residents - just not in person.

Vrakas, who is active on social media, will host a virtual Town Hall meeting through Twitter from 2 to 3 p.m. Wednesday.

The county executive said the virtual Town Hall meeting is being done in an effort to increase communication and citizen engagement and make county government more accessible to residents.

Vrakas encourages anyone who has questions regarding Waukesha County and the 2015 Waukesha County budget to tweet them to his Twitter handle, @CoExecDanVrakas, between now and the conclusion of the virtual Town Hall meeting.

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Part of busy Lawnsdale Road in New Berlin to be closed

July 29, 2014 8:10 p.m. | Part of Lawnsdale Road will be closed from Monday, Aug. 4, to about Aug. 14 so that a failing cross culvert can be replaced.

The section to be closed by the Waukesha County Department of Public Works is between Racine Avenue and Guthrie Road. The culvert is west of Racine Avenue.

A detour will be posted.

From the east, drivers are advised to take Racine Avenue south to National Avenue that will take them west to Guthrie Road which will take them back to Lawnsdale.

From the west, drivers are advised to take Guthrie Road south to National Avenue east to Racine Avenue and then north back to Lawnsdale.

Former New Berlin teacher charged in laptop thefts

July 29, 2014 12:08 p.m. | A former New Berlin high school teacher accused of stealing 18 laptops from the school was charged Monday with four counts of misdemeanor theft.

Amanda Rhyner, 27, a former high school English teacher, will make her first court appearance on Aug. 11.

According to a criminal complaint:

School officials at New Berlin Eisenhower Middle and High School first became aware of a possible theft when a Waukesha man contacted Dell to change the ownership information. Dell, in turn, notified the school, which had registered the laptop.

School officials spoke to the Waukesha man who said he purchased the laptop from Rhyner in September for $100. The man provided emails and a phone number that matched Rhyner's contact information.

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Top 10 things to see and do at the Wisconsin State Fair

July 29, 2014 9:06 a.m. | This year's Wisconsin State Fair is the can't miss summer event of the season. With more than 30 free stages of entertainment, 100 different foods on a stick, and a cornucopia of cream puffs, what more could a Wisconsinite want?

The fair runs Tursday, July 31, through Sunday, Aug. 10, at 640 S. 84th Street, West Allis. Hours are 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 8 a.m. through midnight on Friday and Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on the final Sunday of the fair.

Check out the top 10 things to see and do before you plan your trip to the fair and follow my blog Fair E-tales for the latest and greatest in fair happenings. On Wisconsin!

1. The Wisconsin State Fair History Exhibit

For all the history buffs out there, the Wisconsin State Fair History Exhibit at the south end of the Exposition Center is the place to be. The exhibit includes pieces from iconic fair favorites, such as the original cream puff, Mille's Sausages, the Giant Slide and more. Test your knowledge after checking out the retro displays and take a fair quiz for a chance to win some fairy cool prizes.

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Jury trial set for Rep. Bill Kramer on sexual assault charges

July 26, 2014 11:02 a.m. | A jury trial has been ordered to begin Oct. 28 for state Rep. Bill Kramer (R-Town of Waukesha) on sexual assault charges, online court records show.

Kramer, the former No. 2 lawmaker in the Assembly, was charged in March with two felony charges of second-degree sexual assault stemming from an incident three years ago.

According to the Waukesha Freeman, Kramer's attorney Eduardo M. Borda said Friday that Kramer will fight the allegations that he shoved a woman into a car, tried to kiss her, touched her indecently and made inappropriate comments to her outside a Republican Party event at a Muskego tavern in 2011.

The assault charges were filed this spring after Kramer drew widespread criticism for allegedly harassing two other women, one a legislative aide and the other a lobbyist, in a more recent case.

Kramer is accused of groping the staffer and harassing the lobbyist while at a fundraiser in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 26.

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A new Fairest of the Fair will be crowned Wednesday night at the Waukesha County Fair

July 15, 2014 8:31 p.m. | The featured event for opening night of the Waukesha County Fair is the Fairest of the Fair competition.

A winner will be chosen from the five finalists at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Leinie Lodge Stage.

Winners of the countywide competition are selected on the basis of personality, communication skills, school and community activities, professional appearance, knowledge of and experience with the Waukesha County Fair.

Last year's Fairest of the Fair, Cecilia Heberling of Big Bend, will crown a new Fairest of the Fair. Heberling will also share her experiences as the county's Fairest of the Fair while the judges deliberate on Wednesday.

The 2014 Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs, Kaitlyn Riley, from the Crawford County Fair, will also attend the competition and share her experiences as the state's Fairest of the Fair.

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Man hospitalized in police custody after New Berlin police standoff

July 11, 2014 12:42 p.m. | A 43-year-old Milwaukee man is under police custody at a local hospital after holding up a New Berlin pharmacy with a shotgun Wednesday, authorities said Friday.

The man entered New Berlin Pharmacy, located in a strip mall on Greenfield Ave., with a shotgun about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday after he was denied a prescription refill. Customers and employees fled when they saw the weapon, someone called 911, and the pharmacist filled the man's prescription.

Then the pharmacist coaxed the shotgun away from the man and escaped through the back door, leaving only the suspect in the store, police said.

The suspect surrendered to police about 6 p.m. and was later taken to a local hospital, where he remained under observation as of Friday morning, according to a news release. Police said he will eventually be taken to the Waukesha County Jail on several criminal charges, which have not yet been referred to the district attorney's office.

There were no injuries during the incident, authorities said.

New Berlin strip mall standoff appears to be over

July 09, 2014 6:38 p.m. | A standoff at a strip mall between New Berlin police and a man with a gun appears to be over, and the gunman has been taken into custody, according to WTMJ-TV (Channel 4) in Milwaukee.

The mall had been placed under lockdown after a man with a gun was reported at a pharmacy, the station reported.

Police, including heavily armed officers and an armored personal carrier, were called to the area of W. Greenfield Ave. and S. Sunny Slope Road about 5 p.m., according to the station.

"It was pretty scary to see all those guns," said David Hill, 57, of Pewaukee, who was among hundreds of motorists detoured around the area by police.

People at businesses in the mall were ordered to remain inside, Channel 4 reported.

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Former Salentine property in Muskego to be self-storage business, coffee shop

July 03, 2014 3:02 p.m. | A self-storage operation and a coffee shop will be built on the former Salentine Buick property, S66 W14444 Janesville Road.

The project received the approval of the Muskego Plan Commission last week and allowed Alex Simic, owner of Storage Master, to obtain a building permit from the city.

He said he has an accepted offer on the property that has been vacant since the iconic dealership closed in February 2013.

The dealership building will get a face-lift and white fencing and arbor vitae will be added to screen the operation from neighbors and motorists. Simic said he wants the self-storage units open by Thanksgiving. The outdoor boat storage should be open in October.

Simic plans to create a coffee shop that he said will have the look and feel of an upscale Starbucks. He wants it to become a community gathering place. Besides coffee, hot chocolate, bakery and what he calls light-bites, he will offer board games such as chess and Risk, he said.

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Costco proposes store in New Berlin; considers Pleasant Prairie

July 03, 2014 11:31 a.m. | Costco Wholesale Corp. is proposing to develop a store in New Berlin, and possibly a Pleasant Prairie location, as the retailer continues to build its Milwaukee-area presence.

The 156,000-square-foot store, along with a separate gas station, would be developed at 15300 W. Grange Ave., said Greg Kessler, New Berlin community development director. That vacant site is at the northeast corner of Grange Ave. and Moorland Road, south of I-43.

Costco wants to begin construction later this year, and have the store open by August 2015, Kessler said Thursday. 

A typical Costco store has around 175 to 200 full- and part-time employees, according to the proposal.

The city Architectural Review Committee is to review the plans at its Monday meeting. Along with site plan approval, the development's proposed gas station requires a conditional use permit from the city.

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Self-storage — and coffee house — proposed for former Buick dealership

June 27, 2014 7:00 a.m. |

Muskego's former Salentine Buick dealership would be converted into a self-storage facility--and coffee house--under a new proposal pending in that community.
 
Alex Simic, who owns Storage Master LLC, would create 325 indoor storage units within 55,000 square feet and 186 outdoor spaces for outdoor storage, according to a proposal filed with the city. Part of the former dealership building would become a 3,000-square-foot coffee house.
 
"The coffeehouse would be called “MUG” Place standing for Muskego Urban Gathering Place," the proposal said.
 
"The intent of MUG Place is an environment where families can gather to enjoy refreshments, play board games, listen to local musicians and/or speakers," it said. The coffee house would include three meeting rooms available for rent.
 
The Salentine property is at S66 W14444 Janesville Road,  near Tess Corners Business Park. The dealership closed in 2013
 
A Plan Commission public hearing for a conditional use grant to allow the development is scheduled for Tuesday.
 
 
 
 
 

Milwaukee suburbs Fourth of July 2014 celebrations

June 20, 2014 9:30 a.m. |  

Bayside

  • Parade: 9 a.m. July 4, the annual parade begins at Standish Place entrance to Bayside Middle School.

City of Brookfield

  • Parade: 10 a.m. July 4. Starting at Gebhardt Rd. to Calhoun Rd. onto North Ave. The parade will be followed by an ice cream social at the Civic Plaza, 2000 North Calhoun Rd.
  • Family Fest: 6 to 9 p.m. July 4, family fun with live entertainment, inflatables and food for all to enjoy at Mitchell Park, 19900 River Rd.
  • Fireworks: 9:15 p.m. July 4 at Mitchell Park.

» Read Full Article

Social media photos of the June 18 storms around Southeast Wisconsin

June 18, 2014 3:53 p.m. | Severe weather, from rain to hail to flooding, arrived in southeastern Wisconsin on Tuesday morning.

Residents shared their views of the storms on social media, and we compiled some of the best photos for you.

View them in the June 18 storms around Southeast Wisconsin Storify story.

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