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Petition gathers 3,400 signatures asking for lake park referendum

Jan. 30, 2012 7:16 p.m. | Opponents of a proposed park on two Little Muskego Lake today turned in a petition they said was signed by more than 3,400 people demanding a referendum on the plan.

The number of signatures is far more than the organizers' target of 2,100 to have their direct legislation petition considered by the Muskego Common Council.

The next step is for the Muskego Clerk's Office to verify the signatures, said Mayor Kathy Chiaverotti. Under state law, the clerk has 15 days to do that, she said. Given the amount of other work the clerk's office has to do at the moment, Chiaverotti said she would be surprised if the signatures could be verified much before that deadline.

Once the signatures have been verified, city officials will consult with the city's attorney about the next step, she said, withholding any additional comments.

The proposed park would be on the southern shore of Little Muskego Lake on the north side of Janesville Road north of Pioneer Drive. Both property owners have asked the city to buy their homes for a total of $3.5 million.

Botched New Berlin robbery brings attempted homicide charge

April 29, 2016 5:58 p.m. | Two people were charged Friday with the botched robbery of a New Berlin gas station in which one of them is accused of aiming a gun at a clerk and pulling the trigger without shots being fired.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Waukesha County Circuit Court:

Shortly before 9 p.m. April 18, Zackary Stetina, 18, of New Berlin walked into the BP gas station at 16401 W. Greenfield Ave. with a mask covering his head and a gun in his hands.

Witnesses said Stetina ordered the clerk to give him money. The clerk backed away from the cash register and told Stetina to help himself. Stetina smacked the register with his gun. When the machine failed to open, Stetina pointed the gun at the clerk and pulled the trigger two or three times.

The gun failed to fire. The clerk, who mistakenly believed the gun was a fake, began to throw things at Stetina, who fled.

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Ongoing negotiations delay vote on Parkland Mall redevelopment plan in Muskego

April 28, 2016 5:35 p.m. | After two hours of hearing residents for and against a controversial apartment and retail redevelopment proposal for the former Parkland Mall and after a meeting in executive session, the Muskego Common Council on Tuesday decided to delay a vote on the plan at least until Tuesday, May 10.

Some issues still need to be negotiated in the developers agreement.

The Muskego Plan Commission intends to make a recommendation Tuesday, May 3, on rezoning the project at S74 W17000 Janesville Road needs. Tuesday's hearing before the council was on the proposed rezoning.

Developer Ener-Con Companies proposes a Sendik's Food Market and three other retail buildings plus three four-story apartment buildings on the 10-acre site.

About 60 percent of the speakers at the hearing opposed the project plus 60 more who signed an informal petition against it. In contrast, those who filled out sheets as they came in favored the project three to one. Only a small fraction of those attending filled out the forms, however.

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New Berlin Library patrons provide beehives, water buffalo to families

April 26, 2016 6:26 p.m. | The New Berlin Library's first year of having community service projects has resulted in donations that made a difference for desperately poor families around the world.

Library patrons donated $732 in January and February and with that, it was possible to purchase three honeybee, fish and rabbit farm operations to create income for families rural communities through Heifer International. There also was enough to buy a water buffalo and shares in goat, sheep, pigs and alpaca livestock.

Currently, the library is winding up its sock drive to benefit homeless shelters in Waukesha and Milwaukee. Library officials report an enthusiastic response. Socks are one of the top things shelters need, shelter officials said.

In July, to pair with the library's summer reading program, it will support Special Olympics with a Library Penny War with competitions in the library's youth services department (soccer), its adult services department (swimming) and its circulation department (track and field).

Patrons will be asked to donate their pennies to this cause and proceeds will sponsor a local Special Olympian.

Muskego Chamber of Commerce announces Jammin' on Janesville dates

April 26, 2016 5:53 p.m. | The Muskego Area Chamber of Commerce has announced its popular Jammin' on Janesville events will be Fridays, June 3, and Aug. 5, on Janesville Road.

Both will be from 5 to 9 p.m. offering what has been called a huge block party with food, live music, demonstrations and activities.

Once again, the chamber hopes to rent trolleys and is looking for trolley sponsors.

Annual Eisenhower girls soccer charity game to benefit playground

April 26, 2016 5:33 p.m. | The annual New Berlin Eisenhower High School girls soccer charity game against West will benefit the community effort to build an all-inclusive playground at Malone Park in New Berlin.

An all-inclusive playground is designed so that children in wheelchairs or who have any other disabilities will be able to play right alongside the other kids.

The charity game will be at Eisenhower on Tuesday, May 17, the week that the playground will actually be created in a community build. The New Berlin Junior woman's Club is spearheading fundraising for the playground that will have added features as funding permits.

The soccer team also made T-shirts and is selling them and puppy chow at school lunchtimes to raise more money for the playground.

New Berlin high schools again deemed among state's most challenging

April 26, 2016 4:50 p.m. | Both New Berlin Eisenhower and New Berlin West have once again been recognized by the Washington Post as two of the most challenging high schools in Wisconsin, based on Advanced Placement (AP) test participation.

Eisenhower jumped from seventh in 2015 to fourth this year, and West climbed from 10th a year ago to eighth this spring in the Post's 2016 "America's Most Challenging High Schools" index compiled each year. The list is designed to identify schools that have done the best job in encouraging high school students to take college-level courses and tests. This is the sixth consecutive year both Eisenhower and West have made the Washington Post rankings.

"There is no question our students have many opportunities that will test them in relevant and rigorous ways during their years at our secondary schools," Superintendent Joe Garza said in a news release.

New Berlin offers nearly two-dozen AP or college-level courses.

First-place New Berlin West softball team improves to 8-0

April 26, 2016 8:47 a.m. | Coach Greg Klotz and his unbeaten New Berlin West softball team stayed on top of the Woodland Conference West Division with a 4-0 record last week.

The Vikings are 8-0, 7-0 in conference play, with a two-game lead in the loss column on Eisenhower (3-2).

"I couldn't be happier with this team as we have won close games, came from behind with our backs to the wall to win, came out ahead comfortably against good teams and beat those that we should with three no-hitters," Klotz said. "Everything seems to be clicking for us."

South Milwaukee

The Vikings defeated the Rockets, 6-2, to start the week, as they broke a 1-1 tie with two runs in the fourth inning and three runs in the fifth for the victory.

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Second New Berlin 'soccer mom' sentenced to four months in jail for embezzling money from club

April 25, 2016 6:00 p.m. | New Berlin — The second so-called "soccer mom," Melanie Gretzon, was sentenced to four months in the Waukesha County Jail and five years of probation after pleading guilty to embezzling tens of thousands of dollars from the New Berlin Kickers.

Although Gretzon, 44, a former soccer club president, was originally charged in Waukesha County Circuit Court with taking $70,000 between 2009 and 2013, the Milwaukee Kickers, an umbrella organization, and her attorney said the amount was much less than that.

She was ordered to pay nearly $16,000 in restitution.

Gretzon was given her sentence earlier this month by Judge Lee S. Dreyfus.

Gretzon pleaded guilty in Ocotober of theft in a business setting greater than $10,000. Four other theft charges were dismissed but read into the record as part of a plea agreement with the state.

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Sport Shorts: April 28, 2016

April 25, 2016 1:40 p.m. |

IKE GIRLS TRACK/FIELD

New Berlin Eisenhower tied for fifth out of eight teams at the Sussex Hamilton Invitational on April 20. King won the event with 162 points, while the Lions tied Menomonee Falls with 65.

Best finishes for the ladies were Sarah Leitingertaking first in the high jump with a leap of 4 feet, 10 inches, Kate Watson second in the pole vault with a school-record jump (8-6) and Abby Szukalski at third in the discus (85-6) and sixth in the shot put (28-11).

Amanda Lederin the 800 (personal record, 2:33.20) and Emalie Hahnin the shot put (29-91/2) and discus (85-1) finished fourth.

Watson was fifth in the 300 hurdles (PR, 54.13) as were the 4x100-meter relay (56.50) with Keonna Rash, Lauren Kosch, Kasey Fountain and Arielle Winterand the 4x400 relay (4:32.61) behind Gabby Green, Leder, Kasey Fountainand Jenna Grancorbitz.

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Nick Maske named New Berlin United boys volleyball coach

April 25, 2016 12:58 p.m. | The New Berlin United, the Eisenhower/West boys volleyball co-op, has named Nick Maske as head coach to replace Jay Szatkowski, who resigned last fall.

Maske, who will begin his 18th season as a volleyball coach in 2016, is excited to take over such a powerful program.

"In just a short 10 years, the New Berlin United program has been consistently held in high regard as an elite program in the volleyball community," he said. "I am looking forward to continuing to develop the United Volleyball program.

"I believe that our program still has a lot of talented players, despite graduating a very good class. Each of these returnees has a great desire to continue to improve. My goal for the team is to remain competitive in the conference and state while refocusing on the basics of serving and receiving and learning to love the game as students of the game."

Maske, who played four years at Milwaukee Pulaski and four years at St. Roman Middle School, has prep and club experience.

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West Bend city administrator free after being charged with enticing Muskego girl

April 25, 2016 11:29 a.m. | Muskego — West Bend officials said Monday its city administrator, Thomas Justice, is suspended with pay while he faces criminal charges of soliciting a child for prostitution and child enticement of a 17-year-old Muskego girl.

Justice, 49, was arrested Thursday, April 21, in Muskego. Charges were filed Friday in Waukesha Circuit Court by the Waukesha County District Attorney's Office. He is scheduled to appear at a Monday, May 2, hearing. Justice is free on a $5,000 cash bond and a $20,000 signature bond.

According to Muskego police, the mother of the girl discovered numerous sexually explicit text messages on her daughter's cell phone. The texts included acknowledgment of the victim's age as well as the suspect offering to meet the victim to have sex, Muskego police said in a news release.

A Muskego police detective, along with detectives from the Waukesha Police Department, maintained communication with Justice, according to the complaint. The Muskego police detective posed as the 17-year-old using the victim's cell phone, the complaint said.

On April 21, Justice allegedly sent several texts to the undercover Muskego police detective requesting to meet for sex with the girl in Muskego. At approximately 5:30 p.m., police stopped Justice' car as he was allegedly on his way to meet the 17-year-old. The stop was at Janesville and Moorland roads.

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Initial Reaction Podcast: Previewing NFL Draft with Rob Reischel and Nathan Tanguay

April 25, 2016 7:51 a.m. | JR and JP dive into a crazy situation at Marquette surrounding the departure of Wally Ellenson from the basketball team and discuss the twice-rejected "success-based factor" plan in the WIAA (12:45). Packers Plus beat writer Rob Reischel chats with JR about the pros and cons of Packers general manager Ted Thompson and what to expect in Thursday's draft (26:15), and Mukwonago alumnus Nate Tanguay talks about playing for an FCS powerhouse in North Dakota State and teammate Carson Wentz, who could go first overall in the draft (55:00).  Each week, Lake Country/Now sports director JR Radcliffe and Time Warner Cable Sports Channel's JP Cadorin chat about the Wisconsin sports scene, with an emphasis on Milwaukee-area prep athletics.

West Bend city administrator charged with enticing child for sex

April 22, 2016 7:03 p.m. | West Bend City Administrator Thomas M. "T.J." Justice was charged Friday with two counts of felony child enticement-prostitution for allegedly propositioning a 16-year-old girl for sex.

The charges are based upon a series of salacious text messages Justice, 49, sent to the girl, beginning in May 2015, and ending Thursday when he was arrested near a Dairy Queen in Muskego, where he expected to meet the girl, according to a criminal complaint filed in Waukesha County Circuit Court.

According to the complaint:

On Feb. 26, the girl's mother told a Muskego police detective that her 16-year-old daughter was receiving inappropriate text messages on her cellphone from someone who identified himself as "T.J."

The cellphone from where the texts originated was traced to Justice and the girl's cellphone was turned over to the detective, who discovered a long series of text messages between Justice and the girl.

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Pizza Hut in New Berlin robbed

April 22, 2016 2:17 p.m. | This in from police: On Thursday, April 21, at approximately 11:45 p.m., the New Berlin Police Department received a report of an armed robbery at Pizza Hut, 12426 W. National Ave. Two male suspects displaying handguns obtained a quantity of cash from the register and fled the scene. No injuries were reported and this incident is currently under investigation. No further information is being released at this time.

Initial Reaction Podcast: Realignment in area conferences and the status of girls/women's basketball in Wisconsin

April 21, 2016 10:17 a.m. | JP and JR chat about the impact of realignment in southeastern Wisconsin high-school conferences following the controversial vote April 19. Plus, the guys talk about their least favorite rules in sports (we're looking at you, baseball rainouts) and Norbert Durst of Wissports.net stops by to talk about the state of girls basketball in Wisconsin and women's basketball at UW-Madison. Each week, Lake Country/Now sports director JR Radcliffe and Time Warner Cable Sports Channel's JP Cadorin chat about the Wisconsin sports scene, with an emphasis on Milwaukee-area prep athletics.

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