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Waukesha County sets hazardous waste disposal event for Saturday

May 30, 2012 3:56 p.m. | Brookfield - Waukesha County residents can bring household hazardous waste to an annual one-day collection from 8 a.m. to noon Saturdayat the Brookfield Public Works yard, 19700 Riverview Drive.

The collection is for unusable and old chemicals, pesticides, wood preservatives, solvents, oil-based paints and mercury-containing products. It is open to all county residents. Proof of residency is required at all locations.

Two other collections elsewhere in the county are planned for June 16 at the Delafield city public works garage and Sept. 8 at the Oconomowoc city public works garage.

Year-round collections are available in Muskego, Waukesha, Menomonee Falls and Franklin. Details are listed at the county website, at www.waukeshacounty.gov/recycling, or by calling (262) 896-8300.

Special Act 10 section now online

May 30, 2012 1:11 p.m. |

Act 10: Pass or Fail? 

We have just published our special section taking a detailed look at the landmark Act 10 legislation and the effect it has had on local school districts.

The section features a main story examining the overall effects of the law and feature stories focusing on local school districts.

You'll also find a photo gallery highlighting some of the controversy surrounding the passage of the law, a Storify of opinions collected from social networks and more.

Go to special section.

Whitnall's evolution continues in win over Vikings

May 29, 2012 8:27 p.m. | With a starting lineup of four freshmen and one sophomore, it seems logical that the Whitnall softball team would develop over the course of the 2012 season. It took one inning for the Falcons to prove it.

Facing a team that shut them down the first time around, 10-0, the Falcons scored four times in the first en route to a 7-4 upset over New Berlin West in the second round of the WIAA Division 2 playoffs. The win vaulted West into a Thursday battle with Catholic Memorial, which scored its own upset in topping New Berlin Eisenhower, 9-7.

"We're a little more seasoned now," Whitnall coach Tom Hickman said. "They don't have that 'deer in the headlights' look any more. They expect to win, and they're good players."

The team's youth had its fingerprints all over the victory, starting in that opening frame when sophomore Ann Bay and freshman Kim Robinson drew two-out walks to set up freshman Liz Thon, who belted a two-run double over the center fielder's head despite a gusting wind blowing in. Fellow freshman Renee Caron followed with an RBI single to wrap the four-run rally.

"The ball was really going outside, and they told me to get closer to the plate," Thon said. "Everybody's pumped after that."

» Read Full Article

Parkland lawsuit loses some steam, but hot issues remain

May 23, 2012 4:18 p.m. | Several claims made against Muskego and its Community Development Authority in a lawsuit brought by the partnership that owns the former Parkland Mall property were dismissed Tuesday by Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Lee Dreyfuss Jr.

But the most serious allegations - that the city conducted what amounted to taking the property - must still be decided. Dreyfuss will begin hearing those arguments June 21. Additional briefs will be filed after that before a decision is rendered.

The owners of the former mall property occupying about 10 acres on Janesville Road at Lannon Drive are suing the city for $46 million. The land is now vacant except for the remains of a failed tree farm.

Art Dyer is the most visible member of Parkland Venture LLC, which owns the property.

The claims that were dismissed were that the city tried to interfere and conspired to interfere with and harm his business, that misrepresentations were made over the years and that the owners have been defamed.

» Read Full Article

Here's a news scoop: Idle Isle will have ice cream shop this summer

May 23, 2012 3:34 p.m. | Just about the time that families start heading to the beach at Muskego's Idle Isle, an ice cream shop will open for business.

For years, Muskego residents have been asking for an Idle Isle refreshment stand, but the city has been unable to find a vendor. Now the city has one.

On Tuesday night, the Common Council gave the go-ahead to a Muskego woman who wants to set up shop there.

Lake group delivers first donation in Muskego's nature preserve project

May 23, 2012 3:26 p.m. | The Little Muskego Lake Association Tuesday night presented $5,000 to Muskego to help with the purchase and development of the 103-acre Borst property.

The donation was the first of 10 such gifts to the city over the next 10 years fulfilling the association's earlier pledge of $50,000 toward the project. The city bought the property for more than $1.2 million in early spring.

The Borst property, located north of Field Drive and a quarter mile west of Hillendale Drive, will be turned into a nature preserve where people will be able to hike on trails and possibly even use it for bow hunting and trapping.

Because the property is part of the Little Muskego Lake watershed, the Little Muskego Lake Association wants to help preserve it, said association president Ken Fries.

"When there's construction and development around a lake, it can impact water quality," he said.

Council applicants sought for Werner seat

May 23, 2012 12:46 p.m. | The Muskego Common Council is seeking applicants to fill the unexpired term of Keith Werner, who resigned last week as District 4 alderman.

Whoever the council appoints will be expected to serve until April 2013, when the seat will again go before voters in a general election.

To be considered for appointment, interested District 4 residents should submit a résumé and letter of interest addressed to the Common Council and delivered to the City Clerk, City of Muskego, W182 S8200 Racine Ave., P. O. Box 749, Muskego, WI 53150 no later than 4 p.m. June 21.

On June 26 the Common Council will interview the candidates, who also will introduce themselves and have a chance to make closing statements before the council votes.

The winner will take his or her seat at the next regular council meeting.

New Berlin aldermen want more time on fate of dispatch center

May 22, 2012 9:42 p.m. | New Berlin - Aldermen on Tuesday night said they need more time to make a decision on whether to disband the city's police and fire dispatch center and use Waukesha County's consolidated dispatching operation.

They said they have to weigh saving millions by switching to county dispatch against the loss of local control over some emergency services functions.

But Ald. John Hopkins suggested that the council make its decision soon, perhaps at its June 12 meeting.

Tuesday was the first time the council discussed the issue, after earlier receiving a report from a consultant that advised the city to disband its dispatch center.

A decision is needed soon, Police Chief Joe Rieder and Mayor Jack Chiovatero told aldermen, out of fairness to dispatchers. Some are already looking for jobs elsewhere, Rieder said.

» Read Full Article

Muskego starts baseball season Wednesday

May 22, 2012 1:43 p.m. |  The 2012 baseball season will open for Muskego on Wednesday, May 23, at 5:30 p.m.

Opening Day ceremonies will begin at 5:10 p.m. with the Muskego VFW Post presenting the colors and the singing of the national anthem. The Muskego varsity team will then be introduced and play the first game against Cudahy.

Principal becomes assistant superintendent

May 22, 2012 10:36 a.m. | Muskego High School Principal Dennis Bussen was appointed assistant superintendent by the Muskego-Norway School Board on Monday.

Bussen, who has served as MHS principal since 2001, would fill the spot left by Kelly Thompson, who will become superintendent when Joe Schroeder leaves to become associate executive director of the Association of Wisconsin School Administrators on July 1. Her contract also was to be approved Monday. Her appointment was announced earlier.

The School Board will start finding a replacement for Bussen on Tuesday.

In a press release announcing Bussen's appointment, Thompson said, "Dr. Bussen is an exceptionally dedicated learning leader, who through his deliberate efforts has led the high school to achieve high marks in many areas of education including academics, fine arts, co-curricular activities and athletics."

Bussen also is quoted as saying, "I hope to continue to help every student to learn, grow and succeed from a district-level perspective in the role of assistant superintendent

» Read Full Article

New Berlin's high schools remain in list of top 1,000

May 21, 2012 11:36 a.m. | Once again, both New Berlin high schools have been named to Newsweek's top 1,000 high schools in the country.

Eisenhower came in at 353 and West at 436.

The magazine determined that the top 1,000 were the most effective in turning out college-ready graduates based on graduation rate, percentage of students going to college, number of advanced level tests taken per student and average scores on those tests, average college entrance SAT/ACT scores and number of advanced placement or college level courses offered per student.

The top spot was grabbed by the Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Bowling Green, Ky.

Muskego recall group drops effort against alderman who resigned

May 18, 2012 4:36 p.m. | The group Muskego for Ethical Government has now officially filed its intention to drop its recall petition against former Alderman Keith Werner, Sharon Mueller, director of finance and administration, said today.

Because Werner resigned last week, the Common Council can now go ahead with its usual appointment process to fill his position, she said. That could come as early as Tuesday night. Werner's term expires in April 2013.

Werner resigned, saying he wanted to spare the city the cost of a recall election. His original resignation date was June 2, which is after the recall filing deadline. If he had stuck to his original resignation date, the city would have had to hold a recall election, even though Werner had resigned, officials said.

Werner cited increased work commitments as the reason for his resignation.

New Berlin could decide on dispatch at Tuesday's meeting

May 18, 2012 3:54 p.m. | The New Berlin Common Council could make a decision as early as Tuesday on whether to have the Waukesha County Communications Center send New Berlin's police and firefighters to calls instead of continuing to have local dispatchers do it.

Switching dispatching is on the agenda for the 7 p.m. Committee of the Whole and its regular Common Council meeting for May 22.

Leading up to this, the Police Department has held a series of public information meetings to update residents on the pros and cons of switching to WCC.

Muskego group drops all recall efforts

May 15, 2012 12:50 p.m. | Muskego - A citizen group reversed itself on Tuesday and is dropping its effort to recall Ald. Keith Werner, just two days after it said it would proceed with the recall even though Werner was resigning from office.

The move came after Werner moved up his resignation to Monday from about three weeks earlier than the June 2 resignation date he announced earlier this month.

The group, Muskego for Ethical Government, dropped the recall in the wake of harsh criticism from Werner.

It is an about-face for the group that on Sunday night :said it was suspending efforts to recall Mayor Kathy Chiaverotti and Ald. Neome Schaumberg, but proceeding with the Werner effort.

The recall was launched in late March against the three in part over their failure to hold a referendum on a proposal to purchase lakefront property for a park. The group cited other reasons, including irresponsible financial decision making, for the recalls.

» Read Full Article

Werner vacates Muskego alderman seat sooner than expected

May 15, 2012 11:42 a.m. | Muskego Alderman Keith Werner resigned Monday, nearly three weeks earlier than was expected based on his previous statements.

In his official resignation letter this week, Werner said he was vacating the seat earlier to save the city the cost of a recall election, though that issue was uncertain for the moment. He had previously set June 2 as his resignation date, which would have come after the deadline for a recall petition that was expected to be filed by the group Muskego for Ethical Government.

MEG group members targeted Werner for recall effort because, among other things, they are unhappy that the 4th District alderman did not vote to put the controversial lake park proposal to a referendum. More than 3,400 people signed a petition asking for a referendum.

The deadline for filing the recall petition is the end of May. If Werner's resignation had been effective June 2, a recall election would have had to be held. With his resignation coming before the recall petition is filed, the way might be clear for the Common Council to appoint a successor, although that is unclear at this time.

City Clerk Sharon Mueller said she probably would know sometime today what is legally called for. The attorney the city hired to help it through the recall process is working with the state Government Accountability Board to determine whether an election is needed or if the council can appoint a successor. The council normally fills vacancies through appointment. Werner's term expires in April 2013.

Missing man located, New Berlin police say

May 14, 2012 7:56 p.m. | A developmentally disabled man missing since Monday afternoon was located Monday night, New Berlin police said.

Jeffrey R. Hays, 30, had been missing since 1 p.m. from Next in Step Residential Services, 16208 W. Rogers Drive, police said.

A police news release reporting that Hays was located provided no additional information.

Bid to reduce Waukesha County board position hits bumps

May 14, 2012 5:40 p.m. | Waukesha - A suggestion that the new Waukesha County Board chairman's job could be reduced to half time as soon as this month appears to have been overly ambitious.

Newly elected Chairman Paul Decker of Hartland, a business owner who took on the chairmanship in the belief that the board would vote to reduce the job to part time, got a mixed reaction to the change Monday from the County Board's Executive Committee.

Decker himself said that in his first four weeks in the office, he's learned the job is bigger and more time-consuming than he had expected, even as he tries to bring technological efficiencies to the County Board office operation.

He's asked staff to prepare information on the leadership responsibilities and comparisons with other counties. He'll schedule more discussion at future Executive Committee meetings, he said.

Supervisor Patricia Haukohl of Brookfield, the board's vice chairman who heads the Finance Committee, said at Monday's meeting that she didn't want to see the chairman's job diminished when it should be an equal partner with the executive and judicial branches of county government.

» Read Full Article

Muskego recall effort now limited to Werner's seat

May 14, 2012 3:18 p.m. | Muskego for Ethical Government has dropped its recall efforts against Mayor Kathy Chiaverotti and Alderwoman Neome Schaumberg but will file a recall petition against Alderman Keith Werner.

Debra Bolton, MEG treasurer, said in a press release that the group has the signatures needed to recall Werner and will file the petition shortly.

The release explains: "In an effort to balance the needs of those frustrated over not being heard with the needs of those tired of recalls, MEG will suspend its efforts to recall Mayor Kathy Chiaverotti and Ald. Neome Schaumberg. It is the sincere hope of Muskego for Ethical Government that these two officials have now received enough feedback from our citizens to eliminate the need to resume these recalls."

The group acknowledges that Werner has announced he intends to resign as of June 2, more than a week after the recall petition filing deadline. But in the release, MEG said the group wanted to follow through on a recall to give voters a chance to select a successor, which MEG felt was consistent with the initial intent of the recall.

Muskego recall group drops effort on 2 of 3 officials

May 14, 2012 2:20 p.m. | Muskego - The group seeking to recall Mayor Kathy Chiaverotti and Ald. Neome Schaumberg said Monday that it is suspending its efforts to remove them from office.

However, the group said it will proceed with efforts to recall Ald. Keith Werner, even though Werner this month said he was resigning effective June 2.

Werner, who was re-elected to a two-year term in April 2011, said May 1 that he was stepping down because he was taking on additional responsibilities at work and would have less time to represent his District 4 constituents.

Muskego for Ethical Government launched the recall in late March against the three over their failure to hold a referendum on a proposal to purchase lakefront property for a park.

In February, the group filed a petition with about 3,400 signatures that sought the referendum on the proposed $3.55 million purchase of two Little Muskego Lake parcels along Janesville Road for a park.

» Read Full Article

New Berlin man charged with sexually assaulting his granddaughter

May 12, 2012 10:57 a.m. | A 53-year-old New Berlin man was charged with two counts of first degree sexual assault of a child, one count of second degree sexual assault of a child and 15 counts of possession of child pornography.

He was charged in Waukesha County Circuit Court on Wednesday with inappropriately touching his granddaughter since the age of 3. She is now 13.

All the charges are felonies.

NOW is not releasing the man's name to protect the identity of his granddaughter.

A preliminary hearing is set for June 15.

New Berlin factory will produce fast-charging stations for EVs

May 08, 2012 4:19 p.m. | ABB is developing charging technology for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids that will be manufactured in New Berlin.

The Dutch firm, which employs 500 people in southeastern Wisconsin, is bringing to the United States a fast-charging system that it developed first in Europe.

The Terra 51 Direct Current fast charger for electric vehicles, shown below, can charge electric vehicles in 15 to 30 minutes, compared with charging times of up to four to eight hours for other charging station technologies, ABB said.

The charging station is being showcased this week at the International Electric Vehicle Symposium in Los Angeles.

» Read Full Article

Muskego Alderman Werner, subject of a recall effort, resigns

May 04, 2012 3:18 p.m. | Muskego Alderman Keith Werner, who is a subject of a recall effort, has resigned effective June 2.

In his resignation letter, he wrote, "During the course of the month of May, I will be taking on additional responsibilities with my full time employer which may reduce my availability to represent the constituents of District 4."

Mayor Kathy Chiaverotti, also a target of a recall effort, said Werner has been struggling for months to make Common Council meetings after his work schedule changed to evenings.

Werner was elected last year to a two-year term representing District 4, and it is unclear how the vacancy will be filled. Ordinarily, the council would appoint a successor. But the recall effort might change that, Chiaverotti said.

The recall effort is mainly over his voting with a majority of the council to not put a controversial proposal to create a park on Little Muskego Lake to a referendum. Such a referendum was called for in a petition signed by more than 3,400 residents.

» Read Full Article

Mayor charges unfair tactics in recall effort

May 03, 2012 6:50 p.m. | Muskego Mayor Kathy Chiaverotti has issued a statement that she believes she is being misrepresented by the people circulating a recall petition against her.

"After being contacted by residents of Muskego, it has come to my attention that the recall group, Muskego for Ethical Government, is going door to door implying that I signed the Walker Recall Petition," she wrote. "Nothing could be further from the truth."

"This can be verified at http://www.putwisconsinfirst.com and you will not find my signature on the Walker Recall Petition," Chiaverotti wrote.

She went on to be critical of the group conducting the recall.

"It's time for the residents of Muskego to understand that this group will say whatever it takes to get their signatures for a recall and to imply that I signed the Walker Recall is absolutely ludicrous."

» Read Full Article

Applicants turn out for New Berlin housing development

May 03, 2012 5:56 p.m. | About 100 people, some showing up at 2 a.m., turned out Thursday to apply for residency at the City Center at Deer Creek housing development in New Berlin, according to the project developer.

One of four 34-unit buildings will be ready for occupancy by Sept. 1, with the other three ready by November, said Patrick Shanahan, a vice president of asset management for MSP Real Estate.

Eighty-six of the first 102 units at the development, at 15155 W. National Ave., are being marketed as affordable housing units, reserved for multifamily residents earning no more than 60% of the median income of Waukesha County, according to information provided by MSP.

The fourth building, also affordable housing, will be available to seniors 55 and older, Shanahan said.

All applicants will be subject to credit and criminal background checks and will be required to provide rental references, he said.

» Read Full Article

Muskego-Norway selects new superintendent

May 01, 2012 5:48 p.m. | The Muskego-Norway School Board has voted to select Assistant Superintendent Kelly M. Thompson as the district's next superintendent, School Board President Jim Schaefer said Tuesday.

Thompson, who has been with the district for 19 years, would take over from Superintendent Joe Schroeder on July 1. Schroeder is set to resign June 30 to become associate executive director of the Association of Wisconsin School Administrators.

Schaefer said Tuesday that the the board is still working out the details of Thompson's new contract, including salary.

Thompson has worked in the Muskego-Norway School District as coordinator of pupil services, high school associate principal and director of instruction.

Assistant Superintendent Kelly Thompson to lead Muskego-Norway

May 01, 2012 5:28 p.m. | The Muskego-Norway School Board selected Assistant Superintendent Kelly Thompson as its new superintendent. Thompson succeeds Joe Schroeder who is resigning effective June 30 after five years of service to become associate executive director of the Association of Wisconsin School Administrators.

Thompson has served the district for 19 years in various roles including coordinator of pupil services, high school associate principal, and director of instruction before becoming assistant superintendent.

In a news release announcing the board's appointment, School Board President James Schaefer said: "Dr. Thompson's knowledge of our district, our goals and our initiatives make her uniquely qualified to carry the district forward.

"Her mission-driven approach to continuous improvement will help the Muskego-Norway Schools progress on our journey to being the district of choice in southeastern Wisconsin," Schaefer said.

In the news release, Schroeder called her a fabulous choice and said, "Dr. Kelly Thompson is an exceptionally dedicated and capable learning leader, who is also an individual of the highest personal integrity."

Dispatching meetings moves to New Berlin City Hall

May 01, 2012 4:30 p.m. | New Berlin's informational meetings on the pros and cons of switching police and fire dispatching to the Waukesha County Communications Center have been moved to the New Berlin City Hall, 3805 S. Casper Drive.

They had been scheduled for the Public Safety Building.

The meetings will be at 6 p.m. Thursdays, May 3 and 17. The half-hour presentation will be followed by a question and answer session.

Community Watch

» Waukesha County sets hazardous waste disposal event for Saturday 5/30

» Special Act 10 section now online 5/30

» Whitnall's evolution continues in win over Vikings 5/29

» Parkland lawsuit loses some steam, but hot issues remain 5/23

» Here's a news scoop: Idle Isle will have ice cream shop this summer 5/23

» Lake group delivers first donation in Muskego's nature preserve project 5/23

» Council applicants sought for Werner seat 5/23

» New Berlin aldermen want more time on fate of dispatch center 5/22

» Muskego starts baseball season Wednesday 5/22

» Principal becomes assistant superintendent 5/22

» New Berlin's high schools remain in list of top 1,000 5/21

» Muskego recall group drops effort against alderman who resigned 5/18

» New Berlin could decide on dispatch at Tuesday's meeting 5/18

» Muskego group drops all recall efforts Updated:  5/15

» Werner vacates Muskego alderman seat sooner than expected 5/15

» Missing man located, New Berlin police say 5/14

» Bid to reduce Waukesha County board position hits bumps 5/14

» Muskego recall effort now limited to Werner's seat 5/14

» Muskego recall group drops effort on 2 of 3 officials 5/14

» New Berlin man charged with sexually assaulting his granddaughter 5/12

» New Berlin factory will produce fast-charging stations for EVs 5/8

» Muskego Alderman Werner, subject of a recall effort, resigns 5/4

» Mayor charges unfair tactics in recall effort 5/3

» Applicants turn out for New Berlin housing development 5/3

» Muskego-Norway selects new superintendent 5/1

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