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Authorities seek 2nd vehicle in pedestrian's death on I-43

March 10, 2013 11:22 p.m. | Waukesha County sheriff's officials suspect a pedestrian killed in a traffic accident on March 2 was struck by a second vehicle and are seeking the public's help in identifying the vehicle.

Denise L. Merkel, 54, of Sussex was killed on I-43 near Racine Ave. in New Berlin as she walked across the traffic lane. Her disabled car was found on the shoulder of I-43.

The investigation has revealed that Merkel was struck by a second vehicle as her body was lying on I-43 between 5:25 a.m. and 5:35 a.m. on March 2. Anyone with information about the second vehicle should contact the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department at (262) 548-7461.

New Berlin Eisenhower girls beat Pius to win sectional title

March 09, 2013 10:49 p.m. | This one was for the seniors.

New Berlin Eisenhower girls basketball team beat Pius XI, 51-44, on Saturday to win the WIAA Sectional Championship at Brookfield Central and advance to state for the second year in a row.

The Lions (24-2) will play at a different venue this year, as the girls tournament was moved to the Resch Center in Green Bay. They will meet New London (26-0) in a rematch of last year’s state championship game in which the Bulldogs won, 43-39. The Bulldogs have compiled a 54-0 record the past two seasons. 

Eisenhower coach Gary Schmidt said right from the beginning that this game was for the seniors.
 
“We talked in the locker room before we came out here,” the veteran coach said. “The seniors have one last chance to go to state. This is it. There ain’t going to be a next year for them. 
 
“So we really made it important to the whole team. If we want to go to state, we have to do it now. We have to sieze the moment. This was the moment in time. We’ve got to go out and grasp it and take it.”
 
The Lady Popes had their last lead at 20-18 on a 3-pointer by senior captain Aaliyah Ramirez with 4 minutes, 57 seconds left in the second quarter. Two free throws by senior Jenny Weiland and a 3-pointer by Sammy Kozlowski gave Ike a 23-20 lead, but an old-fashioned 3-point play by Vivivca Nwagbaroacha tied the game with 2:11 left in the half.
 
But a rebound basket by 6-foot-2 inch freshman Chelsea Brackmann followed by Brackmann’s layup off a beautiful pass from Weiland gave Eisenhower a 27-23 lead at intermission and they never trailed again.
 
Weiland knew how important the game was and was pleased with the start.

“It was a huge game, so we had to come out with everything we had,” she said. “This could be our last game so we put everything out on the court gave a 100 percent.”
 
Her coach was also pleased.
 
 “I liked the way we started,” Schmidt said. “It was a heck of a game. Both teams played hard to the very end.”
 
The Lady Lions led 29-27 when they went on a 7-0 run with 6:36 on the clock in the third quarter. Weiland scored on a drive, senior Erin Ganzke hit two free throws and senior Katie Lang nailed a long 3 to take a 36-27 advantage with 4:38 left in the third quarter. 
 
But Ramirez hit two free throws and Ashley Petrof nailed a 3 and scored on a drive to cut the lead to 36-34. But the Lady Lions answered, as Kozlowski scored on a jump hook shot and Weiland stole the ball at halfcourt and came down and scored for a 40-34 lead after three.
 
Lang opened the fourth quarter with a layup off a nice pass from Jessa Hahn, but a rebound basket by Nwagbaroacha at the 5:30 mark was the only basket Pius scored until Katie Gardner hit a 3 with 1:46 left to play. 

Perhaps the key defensive play came with Eisenhower leading, 47-44, with 27.7 seconds left, when Pius drove the lane and Kozlowski timed it perfectly and stole the ball.
 
“I saw her drive, I knew she was trying to get to the hoop, so I took a chance and I tried to steal the ball,” she said. “I thought they were going to call a foul, but I got it clean, and we got it off.” 
 
Ganzke closed out the scoring by sandwiching four free throws around two by Weiland.
 
Ganzke led all scorers with 12 points, while Lang and Kozlowski had 10 each and Weiland finished with nine. Ramirez and Pitrof each had 11 for the Lady Popes.
 
“Overall as a team we’re better,” Lang said. “We pass more. We look into the post more. Our defense has improved tremendously. That’s where we need to be this late in the season.” 
 
Then she thought about the future — this next week and down the road.

“It hasn’t even sunken in yet,” she said. “It’s probably the last year I’m ever going to play basketball, so it means so much to be out here with this team and to get another week of practice.” 
 
Schmidt couldn’t stop talking about his seniors as players, coaches, students and family celebrated on the court afterwards.
 
“I’m very happy for my seniors. They’ve been very fortunate. They’ve been up there before. But like I said, it never gets old. This was their team now. This is what they did since fifth grade. They’ve earned it and I couldn’t be more happy for them. 
 
“This group of seniors has really, really worked hard. I’m so happy for them. I know anything short of this for them, wow. But they gritted it out. Our seniors had great games tonight. I’m estatic.”
 
Ganzke was specially happy, since she suffered a concussion at the end of the first half in last year’s championship game and never got back in the game.
 
“I want to finish what I didn’t get to finish last year,” she said.
 

WIAA boys basketball state tournament photo gallery updated

March 09, 2013 9:57 a.m. | MyCommunityNOW has just updated Peter Zuzga's WIAA boys basketball state tournament photo gallery with images from the Division 1 semifinals.

Germantown and Mukwonago will meet in tonight's Division 1 championship game after defeating Oshkosh North and King in semifinal contests. The title game is set to begin shortly after the conclusion of the Division 2 championship game, which is at 6:35 p.m and features Wisconsin Lutheran against Pulaski.

NOW will update the photo gallery tonight with photos from the Division 1 championship and the Division 4 title game between Dominican and Auburndale.

WIAA boys basketball state tournament photo gallery

WIAA state tournament preview/schedule

NOW Newspapers wins 22 awards in state contest

March 08, 2013 10:54 p.m. | NOW Newspapers, publisher of Wauwatosa NOW and seven other suburban weekly newspapers, was presented with 22 awards Friday at the Wisconsin Newspaper Association annual convention in Madison.

The Better Newspapers Contest recognizes the top journalism in the state. Eligible entries were published between Sept. 1, 2011, and Aug. 31, 2012.

Wauwatosa NOW took first place in General Web Excellence and took first and second in Web Special Project, recognizing its online All-Suburban Football Team and Act 10 coverage.

NOW Newspapers also won the following honors:

Continuing Web Coverage, second, South Shore NOW

» Read Full Article

Ike girls beat Pewaukee, set up rematch

March 07, 2013 9:20 p.m. | New Berlin Eisenhower beat Pewaukee, 47-34, at Waukesha South in the WIAA Division 2 sectional semifinal Thursday and set up a rematch with Woodland Conference West Division co-champ Pius XI at 7 p.m. Saturday in the WIAA sectional title game at Brookfield Central.

The Lions improved to 23-2 while Pewaukee fell to 20-5, with three of the defeats coming at the hands of Eisenhower. The Lady Popes (21-3) advanced to the finals by beating Whitefish Bay (16-8), 45-30, at Waukesha North on Thursday.

Pius won the first meeting at Ike, 39-34, in the third game of the year but the Lions bounced back and won, 43-41, on a last second rebound basket by Chelsea Brackmann on Feb. 15 at Pius.

Friday night, the Lions jumped off to an 11-1 lead sparked by six points by Jenny Weiland, a 3-pointer by Sammy Kozlowski and a basket by Erin Ganzke. 

They extended that lead to 25-10 at intermission, as Eisenhower held the Pirates without a field  goal until freshman Abby Gerrits hit a 3 with 4:15 left in the half.

» Read Full Article

Authorities identify pedestrian killed on I-43 in New Berlin

March 06, 2013 12:22 p.m. | The pedestrian who died after being struck by a vehicle on Interstate 43 about 5:30 a.m. Saturday has now been identified by the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department as Denise Merkel, 54, of the Sussex area.

Although the Sheriff's Department continues to investigate the incident, a news release from the department said authorities believe that Merkel walked across the traffic lane after pulling her disabled vehicle to the outside shoulder of I-43.

The accident happened on southbound I-43 about 1.1 miles south of Racine Avenue in New Berlin. Merkel was pronounced dead at the scene. Southbound I-43 was closed for about an hour.

Woman killed while crossing I-43 identified

March 05, 2013 11:02 p.m. | A woman struck and killed after exiting her disabled vehicle on I-43 in New Berlin was identified by the Waukesha County sheriff's office Tuesday as Denise L Merkel, 54, of the Sussex area.

According to the sheriff's office, Merkel left her vehicle on the shoulder of the road on southbound I-43 about a mile south of Racine Ave. in New Berlin about 5:30 a.m. Saturday.

She was walking across the roadway when she was struck by a vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene, the sheriff's office said.

The incident remained under investigation Tuesday.

Muskego Plan Commission meeting canceled

March 05, 2013 3:26 p.m. | Muskego has canceled its Plan Commission meeting that was scheduled for Tuesday night at the City Hall.

The matters that were on the agenda will be discussed at the commission's April 2 meeting.

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