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WCC dispatchers will begin taking overnight calls from New Berlin

June 29, 2012 5:20 p.m. | New Berlin will begin phasing its emergency dispatch operations into the Waukesha County Communications Center this weekend.

The New Berlin Common Council decided earlier this month to disband the city's dispatch unit and have all 911 calls answered by the WCC.

As of Saturday night, WCC dispatchers will start answering overnight 911 calls from 11 p.m. until 7 a.m., sending police, fire or paramedic personnel as needed. Those needing emergency help will still dial 911. Calls to New Berlin's nonemergency line, (262) 782-6640, during those overnight hours also will be answered by WCC dispatchers.

But callers should dial a different telephone number between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. if they have administrative questions regarding special events, how to pay tickets, requests for overnight parking permission or anything that doesn't require a police response. The overnight number for those calls is (262) 780-8123.

The transition to WCC is expected to take several months. When complete, WCC will answer 911 calls from New Berlin 24 hours a day.

» Read Full Article

Muskego mayor declares burning ban

June 29, 2012 1:36 p.m. | Upon recommendation of the Muskego fire chief and notice from the state Department of Natural Resources, Muskego Mayor Kathy Chiaverotti has issued a ban on fires in Muskego due to the fire danger the dry weather poses.

The ban is effective immediately and applies to all fires on land except those to cook food or used for warmth of a person, or the Muskego Water Bugs fireworks show that is fired off a barge on Little Muskego Lake until the expiration of the emergency.

Notice of the lifting of the burn ban will be posted on the city's website www.ci.muskego.wi.us.

The Muskego Common Council will hold an emergency meeting Saturday morning to consider a fireworks ban, also. The city issued more than 60 permits for private fireworks displays.

New Berlin anticipates turnover of 50 to 60 staff

June 27, 2012 5:40 p.m. | In a statement released late Tuesday, New Berlin Superintendent Joe Garza clarified speculation that the district could see one third of its current staff leave next year and said that the district anticipates turnover  to be about 50 to 60 staff members.

The statement was in response to a Journal Sentinel article about the abnormally high number of New Berlin teachers not returning next year because of concerns over how the district has treated them in the wake of 2011 legislation that rolled back collective bargaining.

Staff members in New Berlin have until Thursday to resign or retire without financial penalty. The Journal Sentinel has requested updated numbers from the district on Friday, but has not received confirmation that they will be available that day.

In the statement, Garza said that as of Tuesday, 48 staff had resigned or retired in comparison to 30 or 35 in previous years. He said that through exit interviews and other information, New Berlin learned that about 15 staff members are leaving because of disagreement with changes the district has implemented since Act 10 went into effect, such as:

  • a longer school day
  • more student contact hours
  • a standardized evaluation procedure
  • a new employee handbook
  • teacher leadership assignments on committees

Council names Glazier to replace Werner as alderman

June 27, 2012 1:46 p.m. | Rob Glazier, who serves as chairman of Muskego's Community Development Authority, is the new alderman for District 4.

The Muskego Common Council chose Glazier on Tuesday from a field of four candidates to replace Keith Werner, who resigned in May.

The other appointee candidates included former alderwoman Nancy Salentine, who served on the council for 12 years until 2007, and Reno Berg and Blaise Di Pronio.

Glazier will fill the term that expires April 2013, when a general election will be held.

He has been on the CDA since its inception in 2002. He will remain a member of CDA as an aldermanic member, taking Werner's place. Whether he will continue to serve as chairman will be up to the CDA, which normally selects a nonelected official to lead it.

» Read Full Article

Landscaping plan approved for northern Janesville Road in Muskego

June 27, 2012 1:38 p.m. | A landscaping plan for the northern part of Janesville Road was approved by the Muskego Common Council on Tuesday.

The cost of beautifying the stretch from Moorland Road to College Avenue is an estimated $72,500 that officials expect will be covered by money left over from streetscaping the more southern section of Janesville Road that also will be landscaped.

Muskego OKs fireworks permits for three residents

June 27, 2012 1:36 p.m. | In its first use since Muskego revised its fireworks ordinance last year, the Finance Committee reviewed the applications of three residents who want a city permit to have fireworks displays this Fourth of July, but who had a problem last year.

A complaint had been lodged against two of them and the third got a ticket for not having a permit.

The Finance Committee reviewed the three permit applications, which is one of the new provisions in the ordinance. City officials put in a Finance Committee review as an extra layer of supervision for those whose fireworks displays attract a complaint or even a ticket.

The committee ended up approving all three permits.

Mayor Kathy Chiaverotti said the new system seems to be working as intended - to help neighbors find common ground.

» Read Full Article

Waukesha County to examine pay, benefits structure

June 26, 2012 4:48 p.m. | Waukesha - Waukesha County has hired a consultant to study the pay and benefits of county employees in an effort to answer questions from the public and elected officials about how the county's compensation system compares to the private sector as well as other governments.

In a memo to county employees Tuesday, Jim Richter, human resources manager, wrote, "In tough economic times, a great deal of pressure is placed on local governments to continue to provide high quality services with fewer and fewer resources. This type of environment tends to increase awareness of salaries and benefits of public sector employees and a general belief that public employees have overly generous benefits."

That was a central theme during last year's political storm around enactment of legislation that shifted pension and health care benefits onto certain public employees and all-but-eliminated public employee collective bargaining.

Waukesha County has 335 employees who were not union members and another 700 employees who were formerly in unions but no longer are since the change in state law that weakened union representation.

Pay for the first group was previously determined by job content, the market and general business practices, Richter said. Pay for the larger group had been determined by collective bargaining by unions that no longer represent those employees.

» Read Full Article

Parkland Mall lawsuit remains in place

June 21, 2012 5:18 p.m. | Muskego's motion to dismiss the Parkland Mall lawsuit - which alleges the city, its Community Development Authority and some former officials mishandled development of the commercial property - was denied by Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Lee Dreyfus Jr. today.

Parkland Venture LLC, which owns the now mostly vacant property occupying about 10 acres on Janesville Road at Lannon Drive, is suing the city for $46 million. Art Dyer is the most visible member of Parkland Venture.

While Dreyfus dismissed some of the claims in the lawsuit last month, the most serious ones remain. They include whether the city and the CDA virtually took the land, said Remzy Bitar, attorney for the city.

Also to be determined are whether the individual defendants have immunity and whether the statute of limitations has run out, Bitar said.

The city now has until Oct. 12 to file a motion for a summary judgment, he said. If that is dismissed, a pretrial hearing will be held Dec. 17. No trial date has been set.

NOW honor rolls updated

June 19, 2012 11:40 a.m. | We've just updated our honor rolls page with the latest lists of high-achieving students from area schools.

The honor rolls posted include: Forest Park Middle School, Greendale Middle School, Homestead High School, Kennedy Middle School, Muskego High School, Oak Creek-Franklin West Middle School, Saint Thomas More High School, St. Francis High School, South Milwaukee Middle School, South Milwaukee High School and Whitefish Bay High School.

You can always see the latest honor rolls by visiting www.mycommunitynow.com/honors.

Congratulations to all the students and their parents on their academic success.

Go to honor rolls page.

O'Bryan picked for Lake Denoon

June 19, 2012 9:58 a.m. | Muskego - Once again, the Muskego-Norway School District looked within when it needed to find an administrator.

The School Board on Monday appointed Mill Valley Elementary School Principal Linda O'Bryan to be the new principal of Lake Denoon Middle School. O'Bryan, who has been with the district since 1984, will succeed Ryan Oertel who was moved up to principal of Muskego High School two weeks ago.

The district has been promoting administrators in a kind of leapfrog fashion to fill openings that started with Superintendent Joe Schroeder resigning at the end of this month to become associate executive director of the Association of Wisconsin School Administrators.

Moving into his slot is Assistant Superintendent Kelly Thompson and the School Board moved Muskego High School Principal Dennis Bussen into her spot.

- Jane Ford-Stewart

Vikings beat Eisenhower in pitcher's duel, 4-2

June 14, 2012 9:33 p.m. | Dave Tsolak out-pitched Reed Timmer in an old-fashioned pitcher's duel as New Berlin West beat New Berlin Eisenhower, 4-2, Thurday evening to remain in first place in the Woodland Conference Blue Division before a packed house at West.

The Vikings improved to 9-3 overall, 7-1 in league play, while Ike dropped to 4-2, 6-4 overall in the Black Division.

With the scored tied at 2-2 in the bottom of the second, with one out, Travis McKeon singled, went to second on a balk, stayed there on a fly out to center, and then scored when Adrian Peil singled to center to give West a 3-2 lead it never relinquished.

In the fourth with two outs, McKeon doubled and scored on Zach Scholz bad-hop single to center for a 4-2 lead.

Tyler Sagat gave Ike a 1-0 lead in the first, when he doubled, went to third on Andrew Contrucci's infield hit and scored on a double play groundout.

» Read Full Article

Residents reminded of odd-even sprinkling rules

June 14, 2012 3:26 p.m. | With the area going through a dry spell, New Berlin Mayor Jack Chiovatero is reminding residents of the city's odd-even lawn sprinkling rules.

Those with odd-numbered addresses are to sprinkle their lawns on odd-numbered days and those with even-numbered addresses on even-numbered days.

Despite the dry weather, he said, "We're not looking to ban sprinkling."

The city should be able to get through the dry spell pretty well, if residents abide by the odd-even rule, he said.

New Berlin to lay off most custodial staff

June 13, 2012 5:25 p.m. | The School District of New Berlin issued layoff notices this week to nearly all of its 55-person custodial staff as part of a move to save money by outsourcing cleaning services, Superintendent Joe Garza said Wednesday.

The district is expected to be contracting out its cleaning services by mid-August, a move that will save New Berlin between $500,000 and $600,000 annually, according to the district.

Garza said about seven companies have bid for the cleaning service contract, and that New Berlin will settle on a contract with one of them soon.

In total, the district's custodial staff totaled about 55 people, 30 part-time and 25 full-time, Garza said.

He added that the re-alignment called for laying off the 30 part-time workers and about 15 full-time custodial workers.

» Read Full Article

Parks officials favor building Racine Avenue trail next year

June 13, 2012 2:16 p.m. | A recreational trail segment planned to be created along Racine Avenue in Muskego in 2014 should be moved up to 2013 instead, if possible, the Muskego Parks and Recreation Board decided this week.

The estimated $250,000 to $300,000 cost of the trail will be included as parks and recreation staff put together their 2013 budget proposal.

The trail, on the west side of the street, would stretch from the 7900 block of Racine, near Culver's Restaurant, to Woods Road, where Muskego High School is located. The trail could make it easier for students to get to and from school.

The trail also would link up with the east-west trail that goes all the way through Muskego and goes beside Culver's.

Muskego dog park a no-go, for now

June 13, 2012 1:40 p.m. | A dog park doesn't seem to be in the near future of Muskego's four-legged residents, as the Parks and Recreation Board said Monday that there isn't room in any city parks for a dog park.

A resident had asked the city to consider making one of the city parks dog-friendly, which the Parks Board took to mean a dog park. But the board left the door open for serious discussions of a dog park when Park Arthur west is developed. Park Arthur east is being developed now. A dog park also might become part of a plan for a park in the southeastern part of the city when land for one is acquired, as is called for in the park plan, the board said.

So, dog owners will continue to take their pets to the dog park at Waukesha County's Minooka Park in Waukesha, a 10- to 12-minute ride from Muskego City Hall.

Poplar Creek principal moving to another district

June 12, 2012 10:14 a.m. | Poplar Creek Elementary School Principal Jane Gennerman has resigned to take a position with another school district.

She has been principal of the elementary school in New Berlin for four years.

Taking her place as of July 1 will be Poplar Creek's assistant principal Brady Reinke. He has been assistant principal there for a year and was a teacher in another school district before that.

Gennerman is joining the Port Washington-Saukville School District as the principal of Lincoln Elementary School. She plans to move to that area, also.

Hastings resigns from New Berlin School Board

June 12, 2012 10:00 a.m. | The New Berlin School Board on Monday accepted the resignation of board member Keith Hastings and presented him with an award for his service.

Hastings resigned before finishing his first term, saying increased work demands don't allow him enough time to devote to School Board duties.

The board did not formally decide whether to appoint a replacement to serve the nearly one year remaining on Hastings' term or leave the seat vacant, but is expected to want to fill the vacancy. The board will likely take a formal vote June 21.

Eisenhower football field to be named for first coach Granger

June 12, 2012 9:56 a.m. | The Eisenhower High School football field will officially be named after the school's first football coach Frank Granger, the New Berlin School Board decided Monday.

Granger guided his teams through 15 winning seasons and to nine WIAA playoff appearances and two Division 2 runner-up finishes. Under his tutelage, Eisenhower won five consecutive conference titles from 1985 to 1989. He was inducted into the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2003.

His overall football record at Eisenhower was 84 wins and 33 losses. He served from 1969 to 1990.

Granger became the varsity football coach when his players were all freshmen and sophomores. Each year another grade was added as they competed at the varsity level during the building period. Eisenhower won its first conference championship in 1973.

Eisenhower beats West, 6-1, advances to Saturday's finals

June 07, 2012 10:49 p.m. | The first time that the New Berlin Eisenhower girls soccer team played the New Berlin West Vikings this year, they squeezed out a 3-2 win, so Thursday evening’s 6-1 playoff win was much bigger than anyone had anticipated.

“When we played them during the season we won by one,” said Lions coach Jim Keller. “Our whole preparation was to come out with high intensity. We’ve been working on high intensity play all week.”

High intensity was indeed the story as the Lions scored three goals in the first twenty minutes of play. The first clear chance came when Erin Ganzke made a run up the wing, cut into the penalty area, and cut the ball back to Jenny Weiland whose shot went just wide of the near post. Shortly thereafter, however, a well crossed ball produced a scramble in the box until Ganzke got her foot on the ball and tucked it past West keeper Emily Sehulster.

The Vikings nearly answered when Lexi Porter made a good run and took a shot, but it was saved by Taylor Rickard. Ike then created another chance of their own with a well-placed through ball to Stefanie Panzenhagen on the wing, who subsequently crossed it to Jackie Vanderkolk. Vanderkolk controlled the ball with her chest and poked it into the net for a 2-0 lead.

“I got it on a cross and I hit it off my chest,” she said, “and I wasn’t sure it was going to go in so I just tapped it in with my foot to make sure.”

» Read Full Article

Cemetery proposed for site of former Parkside Nursery

June 07, 2012 1:58 p.m. | The grandson of the late owners of the former Parkside Nursery in Muskego told the Muskego Plan Commission the family hopes the city will approve a proposal to turn the site into a cemetery because that would preserve much of the natural beauty that was so much a part of the nursery's operation.

Patrick Murphy spoke to the commission Tuesday as it took a preliminary look at the proposal. The proposed cemetery on 17 acres at W14105 Tess Corners Drive would have no aboveground markers.

Mark Kosobucki is proposing the cemetery, which could accommodate up to 3,200 burial sites plus seven outdoor mausoleums, an indoor one, a pond with a sitting park, walking trails, a reception area, offices, bathrooms, a community room, two chapels, a crematorium and a pet burial section.

Kosobucki is tied to three Muskego developments - Golden Country Estates, Foxboro and Foxboro North - as well as Golden Bay and Golden Meadows, both in Tichigan.

Commissioners wanted to know how the neighbors feel about a cemetery coming to a residential area. There also was concern about the possibility of a high water table because wetlands are on part of the tract. The developer hasn't completed soil borings that will answer that question.

» Read Full Article

Hastings resigns from New Berlin School Board

June 07, 2012 1:20 p.m. | New Berlin School Board member Keith Hastings has resigned from the board, saying he doesn't want his work responsibilities to interfere with his ability to be an effective School Board member.

"I must be cognizant of my personal obligations to my full-time occupation," he wrote in his resignation letter. "It is of great importance to me that those obligations do not detract from any of the official duties and responsibilities of my board position, thus I have reluctantly reached this very difficult decision."

Hastings was elected in 2010 to a term expiring in April, 2013. His resignation is effective immediately.

The board is expected to accept his resignation Monday and decide how to move forward. Because it is likely that the board will decide to appoint someone to serve the nearly one year remaining of Hastings' term, School Board President David Maxey is inviting anyone interested in serving to submit a resume with a letter explaining why they want to be on the School Board to the New Berlin Public Schools office, 4333 S. Sunnyslope Road, New Berlin, WI 53151.

Walker easily carries both Muskego and New Berlin

June 06, 2012 2:28 p.m. | Gov. Scott Walker took both Muskego and New Berlin on the way to his statewide win over Democratic challenger Tom Barrett in Tuesday's recall election.

With an 83.6 percent turnout in New Berlin, Walker polled 70 percent to Barrett's 29 percent. With the results still unofficial, the vote totals were 16,128 for Walker and 6,722 for Barrett. Independent candidate Hari Trivedi and write-ins got less than 1 percent.

In Muskego, where the turnout was 86 percent, Walker captured 73 percent to Barrett's 27 percent. The unofficial vote totals were 10,023 for Walker and 3,652 for Barrett.

Looking for your local polling place?

June 05, 2012 9:10 a.m. | If you would like to cast a vote today in Wisconsin's election and are not sure where your local polling place is, check out the Wisconsin Voter Public Access Page.

There you will find your local polling place, a sample ballot, list of elected officials and more.

Polls are open today until 8 p.m.

Wisconsin Voter Public Access Page

NOW, Lake Country state track photo gallery now online

June 03, 2012 10:14 a.m. | We've just added the final images to the NOW/Lake Country Publications photo gallery from this weekend's WIAA State Track and Field Meet in La Crosse.

Photojournalists Peter Zuzga and Todd Ponath collected more than 100 images from two days of competition at the sun-splashed Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Brookfield East repeated as the boys champions in Division 1 while Riverside captured the girls title.

Go to photo gallery.

Candidate filings call for primaries in Waukesha County

June 01, 2012 5:46 p.m. | Waukesha - Primary elections will be required to narrow the ballot choices for two Waukesha County offices - county clerk and register of deeds - after three Republicans filed nomination papers for each office by Friday's deadline.

The primary will be Aug. 14.

Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus announced in April that she would not seek another term after she came under withering criticism for election reporting missteps in recent years. The question of her competence came to a head after the spring election when County Executive Dan Vrakas, a former Republican legislator, said he'd call on her to resign - something he could not force - unless she assigned the recall election oversight to her deputy.

Vrakas said the credibility of Waukesha County elections was at stake.

While Vrakas announced Nickolaus had agreed to passing off those procedural duties, Nickolaus later said in her announcement that she maintained authority and responsibility and has since appeared to be in charge of the election duties.

» Read Full Article

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