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.

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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Free blue recycling bins offered in Waukesha County

Jan. 25, 2012 2:00 p.m. | Waukesha - Waukesha County recycling staff will provide free blue bins for recyclables, while supplies last, at eight Waukesha County libraries in February and will be on hand during evening sessions to answer questions about recycling.

All the sessions run from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., except at the Waukesha library where the hours will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

The dates and libraries: Brookfield on Feb. 7; Oconomowoc on Feb. 9; New Berlin on Feb. 13; Waukesha on Feb. 15; Elm Grove on Feb. 16; Town Hall Library at North Lake in the Town of Merton on Feb. 21; Pewaukee on Feb. 23 and Delafield on Feb. 27.

Despite waves of protest, lake park plan gains ground

Jan. 25, 2012 10:50 a.m. | After hearing 53 speakers, most of them against a proposed park on Little Muskego Lake, the Muskego Common Council on Tuesday night narrowly approved purchasing properties for $3.6 million to push the plan forward without a referendum.

The decision was made in a pair of 4-3 votes - with aldermen Noah Fiedler, Neome Schaumberg, Keith Werner and Tracy Snead favoring the purchase and opposing a referendum, and Dan Soltysiak, Neil Borgman and Kert Harenda opposing the purchase and favoring a public vote.

The issue has been a hotly contested one, especially in the past month, including picketers who protested outside the homes of council members who support the acquisition of the two properties.

On Tuesday, Werner said he favors the plan, which calls for a park off of Janesville Road just north of Pioneer Drive, because "this project is going to be a catalyst to promote economic development" on both those roads.

On the opposing side, Soltysiak said, "I don't have enough information to make the argument to go through with it."

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Family of couple killed in New Year's crash decry bail reduction request

Jan. 25, 2012 7:15 a.m. | The family of a New Berlin couple killed in a drunken hit-and-run crash on New Year's Day tried to get out front of the defendant's intention to seek reduction of his current $200,000 bail.

Kelly Duke is charged in the crash that killed Ed and Jean Thaves.

At a hearing Tuesday, Milwaukee County Circuit Judge David Borowski granted Duke's request to change lawyers, and then set a Feb. 2 bail hearing as sought by Duke's new counsel, Andrew Franklin.

In an email to the Journal Sentinel, a spokesman of the Thaves family said they were "outraged and appalled" that any bail reduction would even be considered. 

"We demand Judge David Borowski deny the request to reduce bail and send a clear message that Mr. Duke’s disregard for life and the law will not be tolerated. 

» Read Full Article

Lake park meeting moved to country club

Jan. 23, 2012 12:16 p.m. | Muskego Common Council meeting on Tuesday, in which the public will have input on a controversial park proposal, has been moved from the City Hall to the Muskego Lakes Country Club, W14020 Loomis Road.

Mayor Kathy Chiaverotti was not immediately available Monday morning to explain why the location of the meeting, set for 7 p.m., was changed late last week, and it was not immediately known whether the country club has the ability to televise the meeting.

However, what is known is that residents will be given a formal opportunity for residents to speak on the proposal to establish a park on Little Muskego Lake off of Janesville Road prior to any council vote. The proposal has avid supporters and detractors.

The more than $4 million cost just to acquire property for the park is one of the reasons some people are against the park proposal. Those included picketers who on Sunday afternoon demonstrated in front of the homes of the mayor and three aldermen - Keith Werner, Tracy Snead and Noah Fiedler, who are believed to support the park.

Ike's Timmer's jumper nips Whitnall in 60-58 thriller

Jan. 20, 2012 9:41 p.m. | Sophomore guard Reed Timmer hit a jump shot with 4.3 seconds left to play and gave New Berlin Eisenhower a thrilling 60-58 victory over Whitnall on Friday at Ike and a share of first place in the Woodland Conference Black Division.

The Lions and Falcons are now 8-2, one game ahead of South Milwaukee (7-3) which was upset by Greendale Friday night.

Ike led after one quarter (16-11) as Sandro Pesqueira had nine points. Keith Kahlfeldt added eight points and John Crowley six in the second quarter to give the Lions a 30-25 lead at halftime.

Kahlfeldt (8 points) and Pesqueira (6) then sparked a third period which gave Ike a 46-42 lead after three quarters.

But the Falcons used runs of 10-0 in the third quarter and 7-0 in the final period to stay in the game.

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Pilot lands plane in Muskego field; no one hurt

Jan. 19, 2012 6:18 p.m. | A Cessna 152 made an emergency landing Thursday on the western edge of Muskego, police said.

Both the pilot and a passenger were uninjured, police said.

The plane was returning to Crites Field in Waukesha when engine trouble forced the pilot to land in an open field between Henneberry and Parker drives.

City seeks public input on lake park plan

Jan. 17, 2012 8:44 p.m. | A public input session on whether Muskego should buy two mansions on Little Muskego Lake and make a park out of the property will be held at 7 p.m. Jan. 24 at the Muskego City Hall, S8200 Racine Ave.

Later that evening, the Common Council will discuss an offer to purchase the properties.

Information is on the city's website, under "What's New" regarding the possible acquisition.

United Way campaign exceeds goal in Waukesha County

Jan. 17, 2012 4:26 p.m. | Waukesha - United Way in Waukesha County finished strong and will exceed its $4.3 million goal, campaign co-chairmen announced Tuesday.

The campaign raised $4.35 million, which is 6% more than what was raised last year when the campaign totals fell 3.4% short.

"Our largest companies all increased their contributions this year, as did many smaller companies and individuals," said Joan Shafer, 2011 annual campaign co-chair.

In all, 12,000 individuals and 500 companies contribute to the annual Live United campaign.

The dollars are invested in programs ranging from meeting basic needs of individuals to developing self-reliance.

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N.B. Eisenhower ends Waukesha West dynasty in academic competition

Jan. 16, 2012 5:58 p.m. | For the first time in about a decade, the powerhouse Academic Decathlon team at Waukesha West High School has lost its long-time reign over its local rivals.

Instead, it was New Berlin Eisenhower High School's Academic Decathlon team that took first place in the regional competition on Friday, Jan. 13, with West coming in second, according to official results released Monday by Wisconsin Academic Decathlon.

Sixty teams advanced from November's local competitions to compete at five regional sites around the state on Friday. Eisenhower and West are among the 20 teams that will advance to the state competition on March 15 and 16 in Wisconsin Dells.

Waukesha West's long-time Academic Decathlon coach, veteran English teacher Duane Stein, retired with a wave of other teachers around the state at the end of the 2010-'11 school year. Under Stein, West won its regional competition and the state competition for at least 10 years in a row.

Eisenhower has often come in second to West, co-coach Erik Fountain said Monday. He said Eisenhower's team had a lot of returning students this year and put in a strong showing in all the subjects. 

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Muskego house fire likely caused by cooking device

Jan. 15, 2012 9:38 p.m. | A house fire in the S6800 block of Fennimore Lane in Muskego today appears to have been caused accidentally by a cooking device, Muskego Fire Department officials said.

All residents of the home had gotten outside before members of the Tess Corners Fire Department and Muskego Police Department responded shortly after 5:45 p.m. today.

No injuries were reported.

Parks system readying for winter rec opportunities

Jan. 12, 2012 8:38 p.m. | The Waukesha County Park System has more than 25 miles of groomed and tracked cross-country ski trails, sledding hills, and snowshoeing and winter hiking trails.

Cross-country ski trails are located within Menomonee Park, W220-N7884 Townline Road in Menomonee Falls; Minooka Park, 1927 E. Sunset Drive in Waukesha; and Nashotah Park, W330-N5113 County Highway C in Nashotah. Waukesha County will be monitoring the snow conditions regularly in order to make sure the grooming process is started as soon as possible after or during this snow event, parks officials said today. Once trails are packed, the website,, will be updated.

Snowshoeing opportunities are available throughout the Waukesha County Park System. Fox River Park, W264-S4500 River Road in Waukesha; Muskego Park, S83-W20370 Janesville Road in Muskego; and Retzer Nature Center, S14-W28167 Madison Street in Waukesha, all have trails that are packed for winter hiking or snowshoeing. Snowshoe rentals are available at Retzer Nature Center for $5.50 a half day and $9 for a full day. The smallest size snowshoe is for 45 pounds. Contact Retzer at (262) 896-8007 for information.

Sledding hills are located at Menomonee Park, Minooka Park, Nashotah Park and Mukwonago Park W325-S9945 Beulah Road in Mukwonago.

For snowmobile trail conditions, call the Waukesha County Snowmobile Association's Hotline at (414) 299-0330. For information about snowmobile clubs in the Waukesha area, see the Waukesha County Snowmobile Association's website at

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Missing New Berlin man found safe

Jan. 12, 2012 10:19 a.m. | NEW BERLIN - New Berlin Police say that a missing man has been found safe.

According to authorities, Darold Hassler, 72, walked away from his home on the 4500 block of South 124th Street at about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday.  

Police say that Hassler, who has dementia and diabetes, was discovered Thursday morning at the Milwaukee Rescue Mission on the corner of North 19th and West Wells Streets.

Fees rise under new Muskego ambulance contract

Jan. 11, 2012 12:34 p.m. | Ambulance fees will go up 12 percent under a contract with the Tess Corners Volunteer Fire Department approved Tuesday night by the Muskego Common Council.

The new fees range from $435 to $519, depending on how much medical help is needed, will be paid by patients or their insurance companies.

Muskego does not provide its own ambulance service, and instead contracts with the Tess Corners Volunteers.

Off-road riders must try harder to avoid annoying neighbors

Jan. 11, 2012 12:26 p.m. | A new off-road vehicle noise ordinance approved by the Muskego Common Council on Tuesday night basically asks for a little respect from riders for people in the neighborhood.

Reacting to complaints about young people tearing around a subdivision for hours, the council strengthened the existing noise ordinance, now enabling police to write tickets to any off-road riders causing "substantial annoyance" to neighbors.

Tickets can be written, even if the riders are on their own land, as was the case in a situation hat triggered a petition signed by 30 residents and brought the problem to the council's attention late last year.

The standard for judging "substantial annoyance" is whatever would be more than a petty annoyance or inconvenience to the average person, not someone who is especially sensitive. Police also will consider the frequency of the activity and the failure of the rider to reasonably accommodate the objections of neighbors.

The noise ordinance does not apply to snowmobiles, which are covered in other ordinances, but it does cover such things as all-terrain vehicles, motorized bicycles, minibikes and motorcycles.

West boys make enough plays to hold off Shorewood, 58-55

Jan. 10, 2012 10:12 p.m. | Shorewood junior forward Donovan Freeman could only pump his fist in frustration as his long three-pointer rattled off the back of the iron Tuesday night at the buzzer allowing New Berlin West to take a collective deep breath as it pulled off a physical 58-55 Woodland Conference road decision.

"That's the way our season has been going," said Greyhound coach Phil Jones. "Almost all of our losses have been like that. Greendale, South Milwaukee, Eisenhower and now this one. All four points or less."

With the win, West improved to 6-3 in Woodland divisional play and 8-4 overall while Shorewood fell to 3-5 and 6-5, respectively.

And Vikings coach Jeff Lewiston knows how lucky his team was tonight. West led wire-to-wire but the Greyhounds hung around all night and there was no point in the second half when the Vikings felt comfortable.

"We were fortunate," Lewiston said. "They just kept coming and coming. We had to keep our foot on the accelerator because they just kept battling."

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Muskego-Norway superintendent to leave for association job

Jan. 10, 2012 3:24 p.m. | Joe Schroeder, superintendent of the Muskego-Norway School District since 2007, will leave the district this summer to take a job with a state school principals' association.

Schroeder will become associate executive director of the Association of Wisconsin School Administrators, according to a release from the Muskego-Norway district.

He'll stay with the school district through June 30, and start in July at the association, "contingent upon  release from his current contract," the release says. Schroeder said in an interview that the contract now extends for another year.

Schroeder said his primary role with the association will be "directing professional development for principals and associate principals throughout the state."

"My work in Muskego Norway has been the highlight of my career," he said, but he added, "a lot of things we have done here can be helpful to other districts."

Suspects quickly arrested in armed robbery

Jan. 06, 2012 3:18 p.m. | Within an hour, police went from opening an investigating into a fresh report of an armed robbery at a New Berlin gas station to essentially closing the book on the case.

Rindt's Citgo station, 19400 W. College Ave., was robbed shortly after 8 a.m. today by two masked men, who fled with cash, then ran two blocks to a waiting vehicle in which a third man was waiting, according to police. It wasn't a clean getaway.

When a station employee told a customer what had just occurred moments earlier, the customer immediately drove in the direction where the masked men were seen running. The customer saw a vehicle, recorded its license plate number and reported it to police, who quickly discovered that the plate was registered to a resident in Waukesha.

At about 8:40 a.m., Waukesha police located a van matching the description at Baird Street and West Avenue in Waukesha and saw three suspects flee from the vehicle. After surrounding the area, police apprehended all three and also reportedly recovered the weapons used in the robbery as well as the stolen cash.

Ambulance fee hike is still an issue for Muskego

Jan. 05, 2012 4:42 p.m. | On a split vote, with one notable opponent, the Muskego Public Safety Committee on Wednesday night recommended a 12 percent increase in ambulance fees the Tess Corners Volunteer Fire Department can charge.

Alderman Kert Harenda said today that he cast the lone vote against the proposed hike because data showing why the additional money is needed still was not provided.

Harenda said he wanted hard data supporting the need for a jump of that size.

Acknowledging that the ambulance fees have not gone up since 2007, Harenda said the increase might well be justified but that he wants due diligence in the process leading to final approval. One aspect he would like discussed is why New Berlin's ambulance rate is less than Muskego's, while New Berlin supplies its own paramedics and Muskego does not.

The proposed hike will go to the Common Council on Jan. 10. Harenda said he hopes the specific questions that he emailed to the fire department will be answered at the meeting.

Residents asked to share their opinions for developing farmland

Jan. 05, 2012 11:48 a.m. | Listening sessions that will allow New Berlin residents to tell officials how they would like the last major tract of farmland east of Moorland Road to be developed have now been scheduled.

Sewer and water lines are likely to be in the ground by the end of next year, and before development starts New Berlin officials want to get a read on what the public wants for the area bounded approximately by Sunny Slope Road to the east, College Avenue to the south, Grange Avenue to the north and Moorland Road to the west.

The city's comprehensive plan calls for the western part to be industrial and the eastern part to be residential. The plan calls for a residential density of one house for every two acres.

There also is some discussion about expanding the industrial portion eastward.

But within the framework of industrial and residential, a lot of details can be filled in, said Alderman Ken Harenda, who represents the area. As a result, he has scheduled listening sessions to hear what people want to see and what they don't want to see developed there.

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New Berlin police warn of burglary ring

Jan. 05, 2012 9:52 a.m. | New Berlin - Police issued a warning Thursday about a burglary ring that has committed at least 14 break-ins since mid-December in at least seven municipalities in the region.

Most of the burglaries have occurred in the morning and the suspects are believed to be men in their 20s to 30s, New Berlin police said Thursday.

Five of the burglaries have occurred in New Berlin. Residences in Brookfield, Greenfield, Hales Corners, Menomonee Falls, Milwaukee and West Allis also have been hit.

In New Berlin, the burglars have driven through neighborhoods on weekday mornings after people have left for work and look for houses that do not appear to be occupied, Lt. Mike Glider stated in a news release.

Suspects follow routine

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Franklin rallies, uses patience to down Muskego girls, 48-44

Jan. 03, 2012 10:11 p.m. | Once his team got the lead against Southeast rival Muskego Tuesday night in the fourth quarter, Franklin girls basketball coach Tony Kathrens did something that the Sabers haven't done much in the last 15 successful years of the program.

They pulled the ball out and milked the clock.

"I wasn't hesitant to slow it down," Kathrens. "With the way they (the Warriors) play I wanted the kids to stay calm and be able to dictate the pace. When we played Nicolet (in the recently held Rathke Tournament), we tried to run with them and we turned it over a ton."

"We weren't going to do that again."

And they didn't.

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Arrest made and charges filed in 2009 West Allis robbery homicide

Jan. 03, 2012 8:00 p.m. | A 17-year-old Milwaukee boy has been charged in connection with the murder of a West Allis business owner who police believe was fatally shot during a robbery more than two years ago.

Charged by the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office with felony murder-party to a crime was William E. Beene. The 17-year-old was charged as an adult, West Allis Police Chief Michael Jungbluth said.

Ever since the Aug. 15, 2009, shooting, West Allis police have been investigating the case in which Damon Adams, who was 36 at the time, is believed to have been shot at his business, Dame's Spot, 1031 S. 60th St., a sports memorabilia and urban clothing/shoe store. Police said it appears that Adams was shot during a robbery at the business and then fled on foot. He collapsed at 1109 S. 60th St. and later died, police said.

Police arrested Beene on Dec. 30. More arrests in this homicide are expected, police said, as they continue their investigation.

Candidates match available seats for New Berlin School Board

Jan. 03, 2012 7:56 p.m. | Susan Manley, 12555 MacAlister Way, will run unopposed for re-election April 3 to the New Berlin School Board as will newcomer to the board Jeffrey Kurth, 4085 S. Adell Ave.

Incumbent Peggy LaSalle decided not to run for another term, so there will be two candidates for two three-year terms in April. The filing deadline was 5 p.m. today.

Muskego spring elections include February primary

Jan. 03, 2012 7:54 p.m. | A primary election will be needed in the three-way race in Muskego's aldermanic district 1 in which incumbent Tracy Snead will face challengers Randall Hojnacki and Robert Wolfe.

The primary will be Feb. 21.

The other two incumbents on the Muskego Common Council whose terms will expire also face challengers, but primaries will not be needed. In District 3, incumbent Neil Borgman will go another round with Larry Lefebvre in the April 3 spring election. The two ran against each other in 2010. In District 5, incumbent Daniel Soltysiak will be up against John Engelhardt.

New Berlin couple were leaving bingo hall when crash occurred

Jan. 03, 2012 3:06 p.m. | Investigators on Tuesday released the identities of the New Berlin couple who were killed early New Year's Day when a suspected drunken-driving teenager hit a concrete island and crashed into their car.

The case was referred to the Milwaukee County district attorney's office Tuesday.

Jean M. Thaves, 52, and Edward Thaves, 61, were about to get onto the freeway on their way home from Potawatomi Bingo Casino in Milwaukee about 6 a.m. Sunday, according to a report by the Milwaukee County medical examiner's office.

They were facing west in their gray Nissan Maxima at a red light at the corner of N. 27th St. and W. St. Paul Ave. when a red Chevrolet Malibu was traveling northbound on the 27th St. viaduct, most likely at a high rate of speed, the report said.

The 17-year-old driver in the Malibu struck a concrete island with a ramp located on the southeast corner of the intersection. Investigators said the hit caused the teen's car to become airborne and propelled it into the couple's car.

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The most-read stories of 2011

Jan. 03, 2012 12:54 p.m. | Some of the most interesting news often happens in the suburbs and the just-completed year was no exception.

The most-read NOW online story of 2011 was an item on a 70-year-old St. Francis man who found a missile buried in the wall of his bathroom. How did it get there? We don't know for sure, but a former owner of the house was a World War II veteran known to collect war souvenirs.

We invite you to take a look back at some of the other most popular stories from 2011:

Woman uses 5-year-old son as shield against Taser

Family of lost child at Mayfair fights with police officers

» Read Full Article

Community Watch

» Petition gathers 3,400 signatures asking for lake park referendum 1/30

» Lake park opponents gather signatures for petition 1/27

» Free blue recycling bins offered in Waukesha County 1/25

» Despite waves of protest, lake park plan gains ground 1/25

» Family of couple killed in New Year's crash decry bail reduction request 1/25

» Lake park meeting moved to country club 1/23

» Ike's Timmer's jumper nips Whitnall in 60-58 thriller 1/20

» Pilot lands plane in Muskego field; no one hurt 1/19

» City seeks public input on lake park plan 1/17

» United Way campaign exceeds goal in Waukesha County 1/17

» N.B. Eisenhower ends Waukesha West dynasty in academic competition 1/16

» Muskego house fire likely caused by cooking device 1/15

» Parks system readying for winter rec opportunities 1/12

» Missing New Berlin man found safe Updated:  1/12

» Fees rise under new Muskego ambulance contract 1/11

» Off-road riders must try harder to avoid annoying neighbors 1/11

» West boys make enough plays to hold off Shorewood, 58-55 1/10

» Muskego-Norway superintendent to leave for association job 1/10

» Suspects quickly arrested in armed robbery 1/6

» Ambulance fee hike is still an issue for Muskego 1/5

» Residents asked to share their opinions for developing farmland 1/5

» New Berlin police warn of burglary ring 1/5

» Franklin rallies, uses patience to down Muskego girls, 48-44 1/3

» Arrest made and charges filed in 2009 West Allis robbery homicide 1/3

» Candidates match available seats for New Berlin School Board 1/3

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Waukesha County Fair


It might be hot out there, but interns Maddy Heim and McKenna Oxenden are enjoying all aspects of the Waukesha County Fair. Check out their coverage of the new pig, duck and goat races, the 50th annual Fairest of the Fair contest, as well as their ranking of the top food items.

Best Summer Ever


We've made it easy for you to get out and go this summer. From hitting the trails for a bike ride or walk, to where to find beer gardens in the area, to the best places to swim in Waukesha County to the best summer drinks and summer reads, check out our 2016 summer guide.