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Muskego plan now makes no mention of lake park

July 11, 2012 4:54 p.m. | With the extremely controversial proposal to establish a park on Little Muskego Lake now dead, the Muskego Common Council on Tuesday wiped mention of establishing a park from the city's Comprehensive Plan for the year 2020.

One of the justifications for a park on the lake was that the 2020 plan suggested that it be explored, if properties became available. The 4-2 council vote did not accept the Plan Commission recommendation to leave the park idea in the plan.

Despite that decision, the potential for a park on the lake isn't completely lost in city documents. It's mentioned in the city's new marketing plan and possibly in other city planning documents.

New Berlin West's Peil, Fritz earn all-conference honors

Aug. 03, 2015 1:28 p.m. | The New Berlin West baseball team finished with a .500 overall record, winning 14 games and losing 14 games, while going 9-7 in the Woodland Conference West Division.

"Putting it succinctly, we struggled at first," coach Tom Farina said. "We were not very good, then we went to being inconsistent and then halfway through the season we started playing solid ball, and that's how we ended the season."

Farina was happy with his defense, but the offense struggled with men on base.

"I was proud of the way the team turned into a solid defensive team," he said. "Our lack of offense — trying to find clutch hits and ways to win — is what hurt us. We lost to some teams we thought we shouldn't have but then beat some good teams, so that was a positive note.

West dropped a 2-1 decision to West Allis Hale in their postseason game, and Farina pointed out it is always hard after that last game, especially for the seniors.

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Michelle Witmer Memorial Drive construction to test New Berlin drivers

Aug. 03, 2015 11:53 a.m. | Starting Aug. 10 and for about a month, the only way to get to the New Berlin Public Library in the New Berlin City Center, Moorland Road and National Avenue, will be from the Wall Street side, as Michelle Witmer Memorial Drive will be under construction.

That construction will cut Library Lane from the east.

Similarly, 12 businesses that are close to National Avenue and also in the New Berlin City Center served by Michelle Witner Memorial Drive will be affected. Whereas before, customers could visit them from Witmer, they will now have to also take Wall Street off of National Avenue.

The businesses are Cherry Berry, 9 Rounds, Super Cuts, American Advantages, Edward Jones, Great Wraps, Dickey's, Children of America, Creative Art & Wine Studio, Custom Education Solutions, JLK Outlet and Forward Dental.

New Berlin West's Fritz a fighter on, off the mound

Aug. 03, 2015 10:03 a.m. | It's easy to understand why New Berlin West junior Adam Fritz wasn't intimidated when he took the mound this season for the Vikings. After all, the determined right-hander won his battle with colon cancer over past two years.

Yes, colon cancer, a disease that usually ravages people in their 50-60s, attacked Fritz when he was 15 years old. After finding blood in his stool, Adam had a colonoscopy, which revealed he had cancer in his colon.

"They knew it was cancer right away," Fritz said. "Usually, they find polyps about one-sixteenth of a centimeter. Mine was 10 centimeters long and ridged like comb. After surgery, I woke up, and the doctors said, 'I'm sorry to say you have cancer.' I didn't take that really well. I thought of death."

Fritz had to undergo chemotherapy but didn't need radiation. The first two weeks he was vomiting every day.

"Throwing up was hurtful because of where the incision was," Fritz recalled. "Laughing was hurtful, too."

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New Berlin Eisenhower's Vasic, Beacom, Karvala earn top team honors

Aug. 03, 2015 9:23 a.m. | The New Berlin Eisenhower baseball team handed out four major awards at their team banquet on Aug. 2.

Senior Nick Vasic, a second team all-state selection and first-team All-Woodland pick, earned two of the four awards.

Vasic was voted the team's MVP by the players, and the coaches followed suit and voted him the Lions' Offensive Player of the Year.

Catcher Gavin Beacom was selected as the Lions' Defensive Player of the Year, and Dylan Karvala earned the Team Pitcher of the Year honor.

Muskego explores a request for finance help to redevelop the former Parkland Mall

July 31, 2015 10:50 a.m. | Muskego — Even though residents and aldermen expressed reservations about a proposal to redevelop the long vacant Parkland Mall property, the common council voted to explore establishing a finance district that would be key to the redevelopment plan.

"It would be a disservice to our community not to explore this," said Alderman Kevin Kubacki.

The exploration, that usually takes three months, will cost the city nothing and will not obligate it to approve the project.

The proposed $33.2 million development, only in its conceptual stage, involves building three four-story condominium buildings, each with 33 units, a 30,000-square-foot grocery store and two smaller retail buildings of 14,000 and 10,000 square feet. The 10.8-acre former Parkland Mall is at Janesville Road and Lannon Drive, viewed by some as the heart of downtown Muskego.

A public park would be in the center of the proposed development, with the condos along Lannon Drive and the retail buildings along Janesville Road. The development to be called Parkland Towne Center would have a central drive coming off Janesville Road that lines up with the Pick 'n Save entrance, a city staff report says. It has long stood vacant.

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New Berlin woman charged with embezzling from neurosurgery practice

July 30, 2015 3:48 p.m. | A New Berlin woman has been charged with embezzling more than $200,000 while working for a Brookfield neurosurgery practice from 2012 to 2014.

Debbie A. Benson, 53, faces 13 counts of theft in a business setting, over $10,000, and five counts of unauthorized use of an entity's identifying information.

According to the criminal complaint:

Benson began working as a billing specialist at Wisconsin Neurosurgery in March 2012. In 2014, the business owner, surgeon Kimball Fuiks, hired an auditor and asked her to sit down with Benson and teach her some better financial management because the business wasn't doing well.

The auditor noted resistance from Benson, and then began reviewing books and immediately noticed red flags; clients who had not been billed. After the auditor confronted Benson, she promptly resigned.

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Muskego Common Council reopens one boat launch, keeps two more open

July 30, 2015 1:49 p.m. | The Hillview boat launch where the invasive algae starry stonewort has been found will reopen and two more boat launches on the lake will remain open, the Muskego Common Council has decided.

Temporarily keeping the Hillview launch closed and closing the other two was recommended by the Little Muskego Lake District to try to contain the algae. Starry stonewort is new to the lake and to Wisconsin, having been confirmed in only four Wisconsin lakes. The algae is spread by boats that pick it up in one lake and then are launched in another. Speeding boats also can chop up the plants and each fragment can sprout a new plant.

Hillview will still be closed, however, whenever there are divers in Hillview bay pulling the algae up by hand and during larger diver-assisted suction harvesting operations.

Muskego man receives 25-year sentence for sexually assaulting Waukesha girl

July 29, 2015 6:23 p.m. | Ethan Holt, the Muskego man charged with sexually assaulting a 12-year-old Waukesha girl last fall, will spend the next 15 years behind bars.

Holt pleaded no contest in Waukesha County Circuit Court to first-degree child sexual assault — sexual contact with a person younger than 13 years old — on July 27.

Judge Lee S. Dreyfus found Holt guilty.

Holt, 25, was sentenced to 25 years in prison, with an initial confinement of 15 years, and 10 years of extended supervision. He received credit for the 273 days he has already served in prison.

He was also ordered to pay $13,207 in restitution.

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'Milwaukee lion' spotted in Glendale

July 28, 2015 11:45 a.m. | Glendale — After a week on the northwest side of Milwaukee, the much-talked-about 'Milwaukee lion' may have made an appearance in Glendale Sunday night.

The 'lion-like' creature described by more than a dozen eyewitnesses over the last week was most recently spotted on 30th Street and Fairmount Avenue on Saturday night. Milwaukee police officers have been searching the area around Lincoln Creek in search of the big cat.

The lion may be traveling northeast, if a call from Glendale police is accurate.

Glendale police received a report of a lion sighting at 11:26 p.m. Sunday in the 5700 block of Crestwood Boulevard, about a mile north of Lincoln Creek. The caller said he saw a tan muscular animal with a long tail walking in the area, and then it took off running north toward Marne Avenue.

Glendale police responded to the call, but officers were unable to locate the animal.

Eisenhower baseball team had 'successful' year, Vahovick says

July 27, 2015 1:08 p.m. | Look out for the New Berlin Eisenhower baseball team next season.

Coach Mike Vahovick's Lions finished the year with a 9-7 Woodland West record and 16-15 overall.

The reason for the excitement? The Lions return 11 players from this season's team, including four all-conference players.

The Lions will lose three seniors, though: third baseman Nick Vasic, designated hitter Nick Dryer and pitcher Ryan Macho. All played key roles this year, with Vasic earning first-team all-conference honors.

The seven juniors on this season's team were Dallas Espegard, an all-conference honorable-mention outfielder, Gavin Beacom, Trent Kelly, John Manley, Ryan Potts, Drew Spadaro and Austin Stuckart.

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Area baseball teams eschewing hand signals for quarterback-style numbers game

July 27, 2015 11:15 a.m. | What do the baseball teams from Waukesha West of the Classic Eight, New Berlin Eisenhower of the Woodland West and Wauwatosa East of the Greater Metro Conference have in common?

They 'Own The Zone.'

If you are a fan of these three teams or have seen your team play against them, you may have noticed when these teams are batting that the third base coach — who is usually the head coach — is yelling out verbal signals.

Recently, I spoke with coaches Brian Karas of Tosa East, Mike Vahovick of Eisenhower and Chad Montez of Waukesha West to discus the verbal signal program, how it works and if it successful.

Own The Zone Sports software was developed with both the coach and the player in mind. It works by using an advanced computer algorithm to randomly assign each offensive or defensive play a unique 3-digit code.

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New Berlin West's Radtke commits to Lake Superior State

July 27, 2015 10:13 a.m. | Claire Radtke, a 5-foot-7-inch guard from New Berlin West, has verbally committed to accept a basketball scholarship and play for coach Kristin Rogers at Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.

Radtke was a key member of a New Berlin West team that went 19-8 with signature wins over Pewaukee and New Berlin Eisenhower (twice). New Berlin West lost to Pius XI by five points in the sectional final, which was by far the closest game for Pius XI in their run to the state championship.

She averaged 8.4 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game, earning second-team all-conference in the Woodland.

"Claire provides on-court leadership from the lead guard position and defensive toughness," New Berlin West coach Jef Radtke said. "She is willing to be the glue player and doesn't shy away from tough moments. She just makes a team better."

Radtke also plays club basketball for Wisconsin Impact and coach Mike Szydlowski.

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Big Muskego Lake officials may request grant for stonewort fight

July 24, 2015 1:58 p.m. | The Big Muskego Lake Board of Commissioners will meet Monday, July 27, to consider applying for an aquatic invasive species grant from the state.

Lake officials have said they hope to get a state grant to pay for an attendant at one or both the publicly owned boat launches. The attendant would make sure boaters thoroughly clean their boats so the aggressive starry stonewort algae is not spread to other lakes.

The algae was found all over Big Muskego Lake earlier this month.

Residents say dam on creek in Muskego is 'jewel' and to leave it alone

July 23, 2015 3:00 p.m. | Muskego — About a dozen Muskego residents left last week's Jewel Crest dam information meeting still wondering why state officials want to spend $50,000 for something they say isn't broken and in the process take away a fishing hole prized by every fisherman in the area.

The residents also fear that if the dam is removed, as the state Department of Natural Resources plans, silt backed up behind the 1929 dam would flow downstream and could make it too shallow for them to take their boats out to Little Muskego Lake. That could drastically reduce their property values, they said.

The DNR held last week's meeting to explain that the Jewel Crest dam that is on the creek connecting Linnie Lac lake with Little Muskego Lake needs repairs. The dam doesn't have an owner, so there is no one to make those repairs, so the state plans to take the dam out. One Muskego official also said fishing off the dam isn't safe.

The DNR won't remove the dam if a group or the city steps forward to take responsibility for the dam and make the repairs and other changes the DNR requires. The city has declined.

Fixing not a fix

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The Suburban 16 Power Rankings: Watt, Niebrugge, and others on the next level

July 22, 2015 11:30 a.m. | (Editor's note: After a late addition putting Anthony Pettis in the top 15, the "Suburban 15" was expanded to the "Suburban 16")

The meteoric rise just continues.

Pewaukee graduate J.J. Watt, once a scholarship tight end at Central Michigan and then a walk-on at the University of Wisconsin, was voted the No. 1 player in the National Football League by the league's players in a poll conducted by the NFL Network.

Higher than Aaron Rodgers (No. 2) and Tom Brady (No. 3). Higher than anyone could have imagined even when he became the 11th overall selection in the 2011 NFL Draft. Even with his second career NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award last year, it's still staggering to think that when the players in the NFL consider who the league's best player is, they turn to Watt.

Sure, all rankings have to be taken with a grain of salt, but especially with the accomplishments of Watt and Jordan Niebrugge, a Homestead graduate who shot an amateur-record round of 67 at the British Open and then tied for sixth in the tourney, there have been some exciting accomplishments racked up by local products. Considering athletes who competed in high school in the Now Newspapers or Lake Country Publications coverage area (and remain active), here's my Suburban 16, where I attempt to rank players based on exposure, impact and post-prep accomplishments.

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