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New Berlin Walmart opponents claim crucial city vote invalid

June 17, 2013 10:53 a.m. | The group Neighbors First New Berlin, which opposes a plan to build a Walmart Super Center on Greenfield Avenue in New Berlin, has filed a lawsuit against the city alleging that legal notice of a public hearing affecting the project was not given the required 30 days in advance.

The hearing was held Jan. 7 before the Plan Commission. On May 6, the commission recommended on a 3 to 2 vote that the city change its Comprehensive Plan and zoning that cleared the way for the Walmart. On May 14, the Common Council made those changes.

If Neighbors First prevails, it will get to argue its case again in front of the Plan Commission that got two new members between the January hearing and the actual vote in May, said the group's attorney Dennis Grzezinski. Both the new members voted for the changes in the Comprehensive Plan and the zoning.

Even if those new members viewed the hearing on the city's computer replay system before they voted, the group hopes to change their minds through a full hearing experience, Grzezinski said. The group also will have more time to make its presentation more effective, he said.

The Walmart is proposed for about a block east of Moorland Road. The group's lawsuit also is against the Wal-Mart Real Estate Business Trust.

Rep. Bill Kramer faces jail time after pleading to sexual assault

9:12 a.m. | Just days ahead of a scheduled jury trial, prosecutors and state Rep. Bill Kramer (R-Town of Waukesha) announced they've reached a plea deal regarding sexual assault charges filed against Kramer in March.

Kramer agreed to plead no contest to two misdemeanor counts of fourt-degree sexual assault, and prosecutors will recommend a sentence of nine months in jail and three years of probation.

He will not have to register as a sex offender. Sentencing is set for Nov. 25.

Kramer, the former No. 2 lawmaker in the Assembly, was charged March 8 with two felony counts of second-degree sexual assault. According to the complaint, 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 charges followed criticism of Kramer for allegedly harassing two other women, one a legislative aide and the other a lobbyist while at a fundraiser in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 26.

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Poll: Which area team will win a state football title?

Oct. 22, 2014 9:00 a.m. | This week is when championship seasons title runs are started. Level 1 of the 2014 WIAA Football Playoffs start Friday.

But we want to know which, if any, of the area local teams will win a title in Divisions 1, 2 and 3. Answer on our polls.

Last year Arrowhead beat Franklin in Division 1, and Greendale lost in Division 3 championship games.



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Across Wisconsin, uneven property assessments fly in the face of fairness

Oct. 19, 2014 9:55 a.m. | A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel investigation found inappropriate reductions in property assessments creating an unfair system. In dozens of communities across Wisconsin, 20% or more of taxes are being paid by the wrong people.

Preps football photos of the week: Week 9

Oct. 17, 2014 10:18 p.m. | The regular season of the 2014 high school football season came to a close for area teams Oct. 17.

Now Newspapers and Lake Country Publications compiled the best photos shared on social media featuring teams from our coverage area, predominantly in Milwaukee and Waukesha counties.

Here's the best sights and sounds from Week 9.

Muskego to allow chickens on residential lots

Oct. 15, 2014 11:45 a.m. | Muskego — The chickens are coming to Muskego.

On a split vote, the Muskego Common Council last week voted to allow chickens to be raised on residential lots of any size.

They can already can be raised on very large properties.

Under the new ordinance, people can have as many as four hens, but no roosters. They must also be in a secure enclosure and homeowners must abide by several other rules including those involving setbacks and odors.

The council also agreed with the plan commission that those who want to raise chickens should not have to get the agreement of their neighbors as was in the original proposed ordinance. However, they will still have to get a $20 permit.

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Controversial lake home/condo project back to Muskego Plan Commission

Oct. 15, 2014 11:33 a.m. | Muskego — On Nov. 4, the Muskego Plan Commission will fill in the blanks as to why it did not give a controversial lake home/condominium development proposal a favorable recommendation when it sent it on to the Common Council.

Last week, aldermen said they wanted to have that information before they voted on the proposal.

The plan calls for building five condominium lake homes in a gated community and a two-story 12-unit condominium structure. The project would be on Janesville Road north of Pioneer Drive.

Critics have said the project is too dense because all 17 housing units would be on just half the total 6.7 acres. A single-family home with a large yard occupies the other half.

The commission rejected the project because it would create two high-density lots, Alderman Kevin Kubacki said.

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Preps football photos of the week: Week 8

Oct. 10, 2014 10:00 p.m. | Big conference games and homecoming festivities were a big part of high school football as the season continued in Week 8 on Oct. 9 and 10.

Now Newspapers and Lake Country Publications compiled the best photos shared on social media featuring teams from our coverage area, predominantly in Milwaukee and Waukesha counties.

Here's the best sights and sounds from Week 8.

Submit election letters now: deadline is Oct. 20

Oct. 09, 2014 9:21 a.m. |

The deadline to submit letters to the editor related to the November election is fast approaching. Letters must be in our office by noon Monday, Oct. 20, for publication before the election.
Letters must be 300 words or shorter, and must be uniquely written -- not form letters sent out en masse. Letters must bear the writer's name, and must also include your complete address and telephone number for verification purposes. (We will not publish your address or phone number.)
While we would like to publish as many letters as possible, we reserve the right to edit or reject letters for legal or other reasons. 
Letters can be sent to 1741 Dolphin Drive, Suite A, Waukesha , WI 53186; faxed to (262)446-6646; or e-mailed to can also submit letters online via our submission form.

Waukesha's Common Council denies New Berlin's request for its fire services

Oct. 07, 2014 9:00 p.m. | The city of Waukesha will not be providing automatic fire and EMS services to the city of New Berlin.

A week after Waukesha's Finance Committee recommended the council approve the agreement between the two cities, Waukesha's Common Council voted against it in a 9-5 vote at its meeting Tuesday night. 

The agreement entailed firefighters from Waukesha's Station 2, located on 1714 Pearl St., off highways 59 and 164, respond on average to about 20 to 25 emergencies per year to an area in New Berlin bordered roughly by Greenfield, Lincoln and Cleveland avenues. 

New Berlin Fire Chief Lloyd Bertram came to Waukesha's Acting Fire Chief Steve Howard earlier this year with the request of Waukesha providing a first response to this small portion of New Berlin because Waukesha's Station 2 is closer to this area than New Berlin's closest station. 

"New Berlin can serve this area but knows that we're closer," Howard said. 

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So far, New Berlin likes Kohler Ridge conservation subdivision plan

Oct. 07, 2014 5:04 p.m. | About 143 acres in the 21000 block of Lawnsdale Road could soon be developed into 48 homesites.

The lots of the proposed Kohler Ridge conservation subdivision would be at least three-quarters of an acre. But the developer plans to buy a tree farm next door and would use those 60 acres to help get the housing density down to the city's requirements for a conservation subdivision.

The developer will ask for part of the tract to be rezoned, also, dropping the upland resource conservancy and the quarry zoning that are there now. The quarry known as the Kohler Pit is being reclaimed now.

The New Berlin Plan Commission on Monday appeared generally pleased with the subdivision conceptual plan except that a second access road will be needed for the plan to comply with city codes. The Plan Commission will do a site walk on Oct. 15, possibly with the Parks and Recreation Commission.

Subdivision plans will likely be submitted after that to go through the city approval process.

Water main break may clog traffic, New Berlin police warn

Oct. 07, 2014 1:58 p.m. | A water main break at Cleveland Ave. east of Moorland Road may create congestion during the afternoon commute, New Berlin police are warning. Both directions of travel are still open.

Preps football photos of the week: Week 7

Oct. 03, 2014 10:40 p.m. | Big conference games and homecoming festivities were a big part of high school football as the season continued in Week 7 on Oct. 2 and 3.

Now Newspapers and Lake Country Publications compiled the best photos shared on social media featuring teams from our coverage area, predominantly in Milwaukee and Waukesha counties.

Here's the best sights and sounds from Week 7.

Bankruptcy judge approves sale of YMCA properties

Sept. 30, 2014 5:51 p.m. | U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Susan V. Kelley on Tuesday approved the sale of four suburban YMCA properties for a total of $9 million, marking an important step in the efforts to downsize and restructure the organization that has been mired in debt.

"This was a huge hurdle today for the mission of the Y, which will be stronger in the region," Julie Tolan, the president and CEO of the Milwaukee Y, said after the hearing. It will also allow the Milwaukee Y to begin to move forward to focus on its future as a smaller, urban YMCA, she said.

The YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee filed for bankruptcy protection in June, faced with $29 million in debt that threatened to sink the organization.

Under the court-approved sale, the YMCA of Central Waukesha County will purchase the Southwest Y in Greenfield, the Tri-County Y in Menomonee Falls and the West Suburban Y in Wauwatosa for $7 million in cash, with a possible $1 million more based on earnings in the next two years.

The Kettle Moraine YMCA will buy the Feith Family Ozaukee YMCA for $2 million in cash at closing. The closings are tentatively scheduled for Oct. 15.

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Poll: Will Catholic Memorial or Muskego win in Week 7 matchup?

Sept. 30, 2014 10:00 a.m. | Week 7 of the preps football season showcases a big Classic 8 matchup: Catholic Memorial at Muskego.

Last year in Waukesha, the Crusaders routed the Warriors, 41-7.

And both teams have had success this year. Catholic Memorial is 3-1 in the conference (5-1 overall). Meanwhile, Muskego leads the Classic 8 at 4-0 (6-0) and has already clinched a playoff spot.


Enter Halloween contest to win tickets to Legends & Lore

Sept. 30, 2014 9:39 a.m. | Halloween is creeping up, and that means it's time to see and hear about your favorite Halloween haunts.

If you do, you have a chance to enjoy haunted walks, spooky stories and crafts plus folklore from Wisconsin's past with free tickets to Halloween Legends & Lore at Old World Wisconsin in Eagle on Oct. 11, 18, 25 and 31.

Here's what you need to do to be entered into a giveaway for one adult and one child admission:

Post a photo of you in your best Halloween costume or share your favorite place to go to for a Halloween fright. You can enter on Twitter or Instagram, but either way, you must include the hashtag #HalloweenWI in your post.

Deadline to enter is noon Thursday, Oct. 9. Four winners of one adult and one child admission each will be selected and notified Friday, Oct. 10.

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