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Veteran New Berlin School District employees will receive one-time payments

Nov. 28, 2012 8:44 a.m. | Many New Berlin School District employees will receive a one-time payment outside of the collective bargaining process, the New Berlin School Board decided Monday.

The board approved a 1.64 percent increase for the 2011-12 school year and a 1.86 percent increase for the current 2012-13 school year. Those who will receive the payment are current teachers, specialists, librarians, psychologists, counselors, therapists and special education paraprofessionals who worked for the district before this year. Payments are expected to be made early in 2013.

Board member Art Marquardt called the one-time payment an important way-station as the district works on a full compensation redesign. The compensation plan will be designed to recruit, retain and reward employees, and will form the basis of future compensation decisions.

While that redesign is in progress, the board wants to show the staff how it values and appreciates employees, board President David Maxey said.

The staff works hard and the board wants to recognize that, said board member Tom David, who also noted that it will help them keep up with the cost of living.

Little Muskego Lake boat ramp to close temporarily in fight against invasive species

May 26, 2015 1:38 p.m. | The City of Muskego, upon recommendation of the Little Muskego Lake District, will temporarily close the Hillview Boat Launch on May 27 and 28. The temporary closing of the launch is a safety measure in conjunction with the district's action plan to address the Starry Stonewort invasive plant through the use of scuba divers in the that area on those dates.

Business owners, Muskego officials to hash out problems over breakfast

May 20, 2015 7:08 p.m. | Muskego —A breakfast meeting with business owners will be the newest way that Muskego officials will try to make sure that businesses will want to stay in its business parks.

The Muskego Community Development Authority last week gave a nod of approval to Jeff Muenkel, community development director, to set up a breakfast meeting, probably in July.

"We want to try to engage with them," Muenkel said, to see if they are having any issues with the business parks that can be addressed.

If the city is unaware of deficits in its business parks, businesses could leave when their leases expire, he said. Sometimes businesses want to expand or find a different locations, and the city wants to help them stay in Muskego and make them aware of city programs that could help with expansions.

"We're happy they're there and we want them to stay there," he said.

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Boon to Muskego downtown planning expected to come soon

May 20, 2015 6:53 p.m. | Muskego — Very soon, Muskego officials expect the city to be accepted as a Connect Community by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, which would be a boost to local efforts to redevelop the downtown, they said.

By being a Connect Community, city planners can connect with professionals on the state level within the development corporation and to leaders from other Connect Communities, said Jeff Muenkel, community development director.

The development corporation only lets 20 communities in each year, he said. With the available help , he expects to have recommendations soon for downtown.

"It should be a good thing," he said.

Program services include:

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Nearly $100,000 in grants recommended for Muskego businesses

May 20, 2015 6:43 p.m. | Grants totaling $97,800 to businesses, of which nearly three-quarters would be used to help finance a $1.6 million building, were recommended for approval by the Muskego Community Development Authority on Tuesday.

The Muskego Common Council is expected to approve the grants Tuesday, May 26.

Of the total, $75,000 was recommended to help the DeWinter Eye Care Center, now on Janesville Road, build a $1.6 million building on a vacant lot at Janesville Road and Bay Lane Drive. The lot has been vacant since the Muskego Firestone store was razed to make room for the Janesville Road widening.

One alderman called the lot blighted and difficult to build on. What's left of former tire store site after the widening is only a small area and the parcel will be difficult to serve with driveways, he said.

The $75,000 would come from money left over from money the city borrowed to put improvements into the area around it, said Jeff Muenkel, community development director. The common council decided that for now the surplus should be used as seed money to build the tax base and to help businesses enhance the appearance of Janesville Road such as by investing in more attractive facades or by adding landscaping, Muenkel said.

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Development of New Berlin farmland awaits landowners' consensus on road

May 19, 2015 12:10 p.m. | New Berlin — Progress toward a development plan for section 35, the largest remaining tract of farmland in New Berlin east of Moorland Road, is halted awaiting landowners' agreement on where the main road into the tract should be.

That's important especially to farmers. They would like the opportunity to sell their entire farms to potential developers, rather than piecemeal if the road goes through rather than around their farms. If they sell off only part of their farms, they may not be able to continue farming.

So, some want the east-west road to be farther south, along property lines. The road would connect Moorland Road to the planned industrial area to the east.

Section 35 is roughly between Moorland and Sunnyslope roads and between College and Grange avenues.

Consensus needed

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Let us know about your Memorial Day event

May 13, 2015 1:29 p.m. | Are you or your organization planning an event commemorating Memorial Day? Send information to us at so we can include it in a roundup of events. Deadline to submit information is 5 p.m. Monday, May 18.

Initial Reaction Podcast: Massive overhaul of area conferences could be afoot

May 13, 2015 10:55 a.m. | A large-scale reorganization of area conferences could be on the way, plus a look back at new directions for the Milwaukee Brewers and Milwaukee Bucks.

Winter's not through with us yet

May 12, 2015 6:58 a.m. | The old rule of thumb about not planting before Memorial Day may be proven tonight, as the National Weather Service has issued a frost advisory from midnight tonight to 7 a.m. Wednesday. Temperatures could drop into the low 30s. If you have plants outside, you may want to consider covering them or moving them inside.

Lakepoint Church plans to buy part of Lincoln Pointe Plaza in Muskego

May 11, 2015 11:43 a.m. | Muskego — Lakepoint Church, founded in Muskego in 2012, plans to buy two-thirds of the Lincoln Pointe Plaza that would continue as a shopping centerbut also become the church's first home.

The non-denominational church now holds worship services at Muskego High School and rents office space on Enterprise Avenue in Muskego.

Lincoln Pointe, just west of Janesville Road and College Avenue, consists of about eight businesses. Lakepoint would occupy the now vacant half of the former Piggly Wiggly store that moved out many years ago. Anita's Dance Center occupies the other half.

The church hopes to buy all of the Piggly Wiggly space plus the space now occupied by Slice Custom Cakes. Anita's and Slice would then be tenants of the church. The current owner would continue to own the portion of the building housing the other six businesses — Leah's Italian Restaurante, Glo 10 Salon, Spa and Tanning, a construction company, two medical offices and a dry cleaner.

Lakepoint would like to hold a grand opening Oct. 4.

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Muskego teen accused of firing needles at boys charged as an adult

May 10, 2015 11:13 a.m. | A Muskego teen has been charged as an adult with felony aggravated battery stemming from a daytime incident on Halloween in which two boys were shot in the legs with needles fired from an airsoft gun.

Blake A. Reeves, who turns 18 on Friday, is due to make his initial appearance in Waukesha County Circuit Court on June 22. He was charged May 8, according to court records.

One of the boys suffered possible nerve damage, according to the Waukesha Freeman.

New Berlin manufacturer Infratrol plans to close, files for receivership

May 05, 2015 5:53 p.m. | Infratrol Manufacturing Corp., a New Berlin firm with 37 employees, notified state officials Tuesday that it is ceasing operations and closing.

Infratrol said is expects to close, and to cut the jobs, immediately.

The notice came one day after the 59-year-old company, with makes industrial ovens and other heat processing equipment, filed for receivership in Waukesha County Circuit Court.

In court documents, the firm said its debts total $3.2 million against assets with a book value of about $1.6 million. Roughly two thirds of the assets consist of accounts receivable, with inventory and equipment making up about a third.

The company has asked that attorney Todd C. Esser be appointed receiver and run the firm's affairs for the benefit of its creditors. Esser said Tuesday he could not yet speak about the case.

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New Berlin manufacturer in business since 1956 closes down

May 05, 2015 5:48 p.m. | The Infratrol Manufacturing Corp., New Berlin, that has been in business since 1956 closed its doors Tuesday, May 5, resulting in the loss of jobs for 37 employees.

Infratrol, 2500 S. 162nd St., now in the hands of a receiver, many manufacturing sectors with its custom industrial ovens, power coating and painting systems, parts washers, finishing systems, batch ovens and other products. It served the aerospace, automotive, appliance and foundry industries and others.

New Berlin man got more than he bargained for when hiring escort

May 04, 2015 2:55 p.m. | Charges will be sought against an escort who allegedly snatched money from the wallet of the man who hired her for a party and then asked her to put more clothing on, New Berlin police said.

Police expect to conclude their investigation in two or three weeks, said Captain Michael Glider. Two weeks ago, police were granted a search warrant for the woman's cellphone.

The incident as described in the request for a search warrant started with the New Berlin man, 34, needing an escort for a party he planned to throw at his home. He responded to an advertisement on the escort classifieds and arranged for an escort named Ferrah to come. She was to be paid $150 to spend an hour at the party.

But the 21-year-old escort from Milwaukee arrived in a very low-cut top and the man asked her if she had a jacket or anything in her car she could put on to cover up a bit, as children would be at the party. Ferrah allegedly became upset and demanded some money. The man gave her $20 and opened his wallet to show her that he had the additional cash to pay her.

The search warrant request alleges that Ferrah then reached into the wallet and grabbed an additional $80. She quickly went to her car and sped away, nearly hitting the New Berlin man who had stood in front of the car hoping to keep her from leaving.

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Investigation: Family behind collapsed Falls building has a history of neglecting properties

May 01, 2015 11:34 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — Executives of the companies that own and manage the partially collapsed North Hills Plaza in Menomonee Falls have a long history of legal troubles and neglecting properties, a Menomonee Falls Now investigation has found.

North Hills Plaza is owned by 1340 East 9th Street Realty Corp. in Brooklyn, New York, whose CEO is Samuel Pinter, according to Waukesha County tax records and information from the New York Department of State. His son, Charles Pinter, is the CEO of Royale Property Management, which oversees North Hills Plaza. Together the Pinters and their affiliated companies have left a wake of rundown properties, according to court records and officials in Texas.

In 2013, unlivable conditions rife with cockroaches, toilets overflowing, spoiled food and a pool so filthy the water was black were reported in inspection reports for a Texas retirement community owned by Samuel Pinter.

A 2004 federal court lawsuit over an alleged $44 million Ponzi scheme names Samuel Pinter as a defendant, and Charles Pinter was ultimately brought into the suit, as well.

In addition, news sources have reported other incidents in which properties owned by Charles or Samuel, or both, were found to be dilapidated and unlivable.

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Muskego-Norway School Board reviews extensive school reorganization

April 30, 2015 10:08 a.m. | Muskego — Unveiling the result of months of work, the Muskego-Norway School District Master Planning Committee last week detailed three facilities options involving closing some elementary schools and building a new school plus potential improvements for the Muskego High School facilities.

The school board last year appointed the 35-member committee to review all the schools and the high school athletic facilities and the board heard the committee recommendations last week.

A community-wide survey will be conducted this fall with the possibility of a facilities referendum in spring 2016, if the survey shows community support for projects, said Superintendent Kelly Thompson. As part of its work, the committee reviewed the failure of two facilities referendums that proposed similar closings. Those were voted down in 2010 and 2011.

According to the committee's study of the district's debt, $40 million could be borrowed for projects possibly without making property taxes go up. That is because the district's debt will fall to near zero in the 2022-23 school year, meaning that the tax rate would normally fall. But the district could borrow for the new projects so that the new debt payments would not be any more than the district pays now.

There is, however, a three-year overlap in the beginning where the last payments for the current debt and new payments for the new projects would both be due. But there was some feeling on the school board that the district could use surplus funds or other sources to come up with new debt payments for those first three years, so taxes could remain level throughout.

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