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New Berlin School Board OKs new handbook

Aug. 29, 2011 11:42 p.m. | New Berlin - In a meeting where teachers alternatively were cheered and booed, and Gov. Scott Walker's collective bargaining law was shunned and embraced, the school board meeting Monday night encapsulated the drama that continues to surround the role of teachers unions in the state.

At issue was New Berlin's employee handbook, which the board approved in a unanimous vote, but not before teachers spoke about their lack of input in the new document and how the new rules could negatively affect their work and the district's reputation.

The meeting was moved to the Performing Arts Center at New Berlin West Middle/High School, 18695 W. Cleveland Ave., to accommodate crowds that were expected to be much larger than normal. That's in part because of a raucous school board meeting in Greenfield last week where teachers butted heads with the administration and school board members over a new handbook and the issue of collaboration with teachers. Police were called to the scene.

Districts around the state that no longer have collective bargaining agreements with educators have spent this month putting finishing touches on similar handbooks that spell out wages, work rules and benefits. Many have been approved without much fanfare.

Not in New Berlin. On Monday, the auditorium was filled close to its capacity. Some attendees had to hike through athletic fields from overflow parking to get to the meeting. Squad cars were parked outside with lights flashing.

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Muskego Legion plans 9/11 recognition event

Aug. 29, 2011 6:44 p.m. | Muskego American Legion Post 356 will hold a 10th anniversary recognition of the 9/11 terrorist attacks at 1 p.m. Sept. 11 at the Muskego City Hall, S8200 Racine Ave.

The guest speaker will be the Rev. Greg Van Dunk, pastor of Atonement Lutheran Church in Muskego.

The Legion is inviting citizens and all veterans organizations, and Boy and Girl Scout troops to join in the ceremony, said Legion Post Commander Fred Korth. Organizations planning to attend should call him at (262) 679-8396.

Police seek renewal of standards accreditation

Aug. 29, 2011 6:38 p.m. | In what Muskego Police Chief Paul Geiszler calls a highly prized recognition, Muskego police will again seek the backing of the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Accreditation Group concerning how it adheres to certain standards.

If approval, it would be the city's second accreditation renewal. But first, as part of the assessment to be carried out next week by an accreditation team, the public will have a chance to comment. The focus will mainly be on how people feel they were treated in contacts with police.

The public comment meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Sept. 7 at Muskego City Hall, S8200 Racine Ave. Those who cannot attend may offer comments by phone at (262) 679-5664 between 1 and 4 p.m. Sept. 7. Appearances and telephone comments will be limited to 10 minutes and must address the department's compliance with police standards.

Written comments may be sent to the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Accreditation Group, 2720 Boles Circle, Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54495.

Accreditation status is granted for three years, during which time the agency must submit annual reports attesting continued compliance with the standards.

Greendale crushes New Berlin West

Aug. 26, 2011 11:07 p.m. | Few could argue with the dominant performance of the Greendale football team Friday night.

 The Panthers posted a 49-0 win against host New Berlin West and controlled both sides of the ball in picking up their first win of the season.
 
But head coach Rob Stoltz still found plenty to pick apart.
 
“Believe it or not, we still have a lot we have to clean up,” he said. “Because there were a lot of mistakes up front on the O-line and we didn’t dominant as I thought we could have and should have, at least running the ball.”
 
On the surface though, the Panthers (1-1) looked every bit like the defending Woodland Black champions they are.
 
Running back Mike Scheidt capped Greendale’s first offensive possession with an 8-yard touchdown run.
 
The team took a 14-0 lead into the second quarter after quarterback Sam Brick connected with senior receiver Kennedy Ringelberg on a 36-yard scoring strike.
 
Scheidt made it 21-0 with a nine-yard scoring scamper early in the second quarter, and the New Berlin West defense struggled to get their arms around the speedy junior all night.
 
He finished with 142 yards on 16 carries.
 
“Those guys did really good in the trenches today,” Scheidt said. “I could just read the holes easily and get those yards and finish through to get to the end zone.”
 
Special teams did their part as well, and lineman Matt Pulizos blocked a Vikings punt midway through the second quarter that senior Drake Barczak recovered in the end zone for a 28-0 lead.
 
Brick capped the half with a 14-yard scoring strike to Brett Nethery.
 
The senior finished his night with an 11-yard scoring scramble on the Panthers opening drive of the second half to put the team up 42-0.
 
Josh Ringelberg concluded the carnage with a seven-yard touchdown run with seven minutes left in the fourth quarter.
 
“We had a huge push up front,” Brick said. “They were probably two or three yards off the ball so that gain without even doing anything was big.”
 
His night was nearly flawless, as he went 11 for 12 for 198 yards. His lone miss was a throw that ended up in the arms of West defensive back Travis McKeon in the second quarter.
 
“I thought we competed in the first and fourth quarters,” said West head coach Aaron Mack, “and the second and third quarters, they kind of did what they wanted to us.”
 
But Mack considered the loss a step in the right direction, despite the fact that the 0-2 team has yet to score this season.
 
With 17 sophomores starting, Mack understands his team is going to take its lumps early on.
 
“Right now, we’re teaching these guys the game of football,” he said. “We’re a couple weeks away, but we’re not going to skip a step. Wherever our record ends up, I’m okay with it because I know that this is a 5-to-10 year fix.”
 
For Greendale, the win gave the Panthers momentum as they attempt to win their sixth conference crown in eight years.
 
“We came out this week and wanted to prove we’re still here,” Scheidt said. “We lost some people from last year, but there are plenty of us returning who want to accomplish something.”
 

Muskego pounds rival Burlington

Aug. 26, 2011 11:05 p.m. |

Muskego senior Brady Simkowski had to be patient and wait his turn to be the leader of the Warriors. Friday night, Simkowski showed how good he can be when patient running led to 175 yards and five touchdowns as Muskego downed rival Burlington in a non-conference game at Burlington, 55-7.
 
“Last year we had a good senior in Luke Przybylka who was an all-area guy, so Brady kind of got caught behind him,” said Muskego coach Ken Krause. “Otherwise, he would have probably started for sure.”
 
All eyes were on Simkowski but as great as the 5-foot-8 running back was, he opened the door for Burlington (1-1) in the second quarter when he fumbled on the Warriors' 22-yard line.
 
Trailing 13-0 and with a chance to get back in the game, Burlington just could not find a way to move on the stingy Warriors defense. Burlington quarterback Jayden Essman threw incomplete and was flushed out of the pocket twice, resulting in a loss of yards on both plays. Essman was hurried on fourth down and threw incomplete for a turnover on downs.
 
“I have to give a lot of credit to our defensive coordinator who has just done a fantastic job with our defense,” said Krause. “Every year our defense has gotten better. We got two, three-year starters at linebacker who really lead the way for us.”
 
The Demons struggled mightily to move the ball on the Warriors' first string defense. Burlington piled up just 52 total yards in the first half, most coming through the air in their no huddle offense at the end of the first half. Simkowski, meanwhile, totaled 68 yards alone on the team’s first series.
 
"Muskego came to play and our kids didn't respond very well," said Burlington coach Hans Block. "I thought our kids backed off. In the second half, I thought we played a little bit better. When they put their subs in, our subs were able to move the ball on them in the end.”
 
The Demons were driving in the final moments of the first half despite trailing, 27-0. A critical facemask penalty pushed the ball to the Warriors 33-yard line with under 15 seconds to play. Essman avoided pressure to fire bullets to his receivers, but each time the receivers dropped the ball. On fourth down, Essman launched a prayer to the end zone that drew a flag. As luck would have it for the Demons, it was offensive pass interference.
 
“Our defensive line really played well,” said Simkowski. “They are getting better every day and do a great job communicating.”
 
The Warriors crushed Port Washington in Week 1, and their offense racked up 508 offensive yards on Burlington while just allowing one touchdown which came late in the fourth quarter when much of the teams’ reserves were in.
 
“We have to take it one game at a time because of conference is phenomenal,” said Krause. “Every team is good, there is no down week.”
 
Muskego (2-0) had lost its last seven meetings against the former Southeast Conference member and flexed its muscles early, forcing the Demons to punt after three plays that totaled three yards. The Warriors then responded with a 12-play opening drive exclusively on the ground that ended when Simkowski scored on a 3-yard run. Muskego had three plays that eclipsed 10 yards or more including an 18-yard burst from Simkowski on their first play from scrimmage.
 
Burlington was able to get on the board in the fourth quarter when Ross Canales scored on a three-yard plunge.

Muskego makes offer to buy 100 acres of land

Aug. 24, 2011 4:26 p.m. | The Muskego Common Council last night extended an offer to buy 108 acres of prime conservation land adjacent to the 27-acre Ridges conservation area, north of Field Drive and west of Hillendale Drive.

The $1,243,648 offer is contingent on the city receiving a state Department of Natural Resources grant, though it is unclear how much of the purchase price the grant would cover. The city has had property appraised.

Officials say conserving the land, owned by Nancy Borst, is important because it has areas identified as conservation and acquisition priorities in the city's Parks & Conservation Plan and its 2020 Comprehensive Plan.

Firm hired to help with splash pad proposal

Aug. 24, 2011 4:22 p.m. | New Berlin has selected a contractor to do all the preliminary site and engineering work that's needed to firm up a proposal for a splash pad water attraction at Malone Park.

SAA Design Group Inc. was awarded the contract for up to $29,958 last night by the Common Council.

The firm will provide details short of actual project plans and construction documents, but will complete at least a conceptual design for the splashpad, trail, playground, and parking areas. The analysis will also explore options and certain details, such as how the water should be recirculated.

SAA will also provide marketing assistance to the New Berlin Junior Woman's Club, which is trying to raise funds for the project.

The splash pad is a water play area in which children run past fixtures that squirt or pour water on them.

Waukesha County executive appoints chief of staff

Aug. 24, 2011 2:48 p.m. | Waukesha - Shawn Lundie, a former staff assistant to three Republican lawmakers, has been hired as chief of staff for Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas.

Lundie, 38, worked in the district and Washington offices of U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner from 1998 to 2005, including as his district coordinator in Brookfield. He was chief of staff for state Sen. Ted Kanavas from 2005 until the end of last year, when Kanavas left office. Since then he has worked in the office of 33rd District Sen. Rich Zipperer.

"I grew up in Delafield and all of my work experience has been serving elected officials in Waukesha County," Lundie said.

The Kettle Moraine High School graduate first knew Vrakas as his state representative, a position Vrakas held from 1990 until his election as county executive in 2005.

Succeeds Nowak

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Historic parkland may become a park again

Aug. 24, 2011 12:28 p.m. | Muskego as another chance to create a park on Little Muskego Lake to boost lakeside recreation and provide lake views to motorists as part of a broader development project.

Last night, a developer offered the city the opportunity to buy two lots at Janesville and Pioneer roads, an area that was home to Muskego Beach and DandiLion Park, once a major tourist attraction along the lake.

The lots currently have houses on them, but attorney Gerald Boisits, representing developer Ener-Con Companies of Greenfield, told the Muskego Common Council that the owners are willing to sell.

The area is is roughly on the same site where another much larger park was proposed last year. That idea failed mainly because it was too big and too expensive and it required razing some nice homes. The current proposal is smaller and presumably less expensive, although no asking price has been discussed for the two homes assessed at $3.5 million.

In addition to the park, the development could include new homes.

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Charges against former West Allis teacher dismissed

Aug. 24, 2011 12:26 p.m. | A judge has dismissed charges against a former West Allis teacher charged last year with sexually assaulting a student in 2005.

The case against Gregory Groskreutz, 35, had been set for trial four times, and four times prosecutors asked for postponements, said his attorney, Jonathan LaVoy. On Monday, Circuit Judge Rebecca Dallet granted LaVoy's motion to dismiss the case without prejudice, meaning prosecutors could refile the charges.

Deputy District Attorney Kent Lovern said three of the requested delays were because the alleged victim in the case has a significant medical condition that is aggravated by stress and was hospitalized at the times when the trial had been set. He said his office does intend to restart the case if and when the girl's health permits.

LaVoy said his client is happy the case is behind him.

"Mr. Groskreutz had maintained his absolute innocence through the entire matter and very much wanted a trial, his day in court. He wanted to clear his name."

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Citizen group forms to push for Muskego development

Aug. 23, 2011 10:06 a.m. | Muskego - A citizen group has formed to push for development and projects that showcase Muskego's main streets, lakes and family activities.

The group, Muskego Proud, said it intends to be at a Common Council committee meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday to support a residential/retail development proposed for an area of Little Muskego Lake that once housed the Muskego Beach/DandiLion Park amusement park.

Developer Michael Dilworth's proposal for the parcel includes an alternative that offers the city the opportunity to purchase part of the site that would allow for the creation of a park and beach along the lake off Janesville Road at Pioneer Drive.

It is similar to a "Bring Back the Lake" proposal that was pitched last year by city officials and Dilworth, who was interested in working with the city to develop the land.

That plan would have required the city to spend about $10 million to purchase about a 12-acre parcel. But the plan was abandoned in July 2010 after Dilworth, without explanation, decided not to proceed.

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Ike clobbers New Berlin West, 43-0

Aug. 19, 2011 9:51 p.m. | Senior John Crowley threw two touchdown passes and ran for a third as New Berlin Eisenhower blanked crosstown rival New Berlin West, 43-0, Friday night before a packed house at Eisenhower.

Crowley rushed for 101 yards on 12 carries and closed out the scoring on a 5-yard run with 1:42 left to play. The converted guard completed 4-of-6 passes for 172 yards and two scores, all to wide receiver Dylan Petre.

He hit Petre down the right sideline with 6:39 to play for a 69-yard score and then again with 11:09 left in the third period with a 32-yard pass down the right sideline again.

In between those scores, Mitch Teipner scored on a 33-yard run with 2:58 left in the first period and Anthony Stewart scored on a 5-yard run for a 22-0 lead at half-time.

Petre's second half score made it 30-0 and when Nick Taylor raced down the right sideline for a 56-yard score it was 36-0 with 7:54 left to play in the third period and that score started a running clock.

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Muskego scores even higher in ACT

Aug. 19, 2011 5:26 p.m. | The Muskego-Norway School District hit another record high in results for the ACT college entrance exam.

The results, released this week, show a 23.9 composite score, a significant jump from last year's previous record of 23.2, school officials said.

Boosting the district to that record were the highest scores ever for the district in English, reading and science. Those subscores were 23.6 for English and reading and 23.8 for science.

The math subscore showed a sixth straight year of improvement with a composite of 24.1, they said.

"Overall, these ACT results are very encouraging and the result of many hands involved in making this happen," Superintendent of Schools Joe Schroeder said in a press release.

We're tweeting live tonight from high school football games, and you can too

Aug. 19, 2011 10:04 a.m. | You can follow the opening Friday night of high school football action as Journal Sentinel, NOW and Lake Country reporters tweet from high school football games throughout the area.

You can add to our coverage of the games by sending your own tweets with the tag #wisfb to add it to our running feed.

After the games, check out the football scoreboard and statistics page, produced in partnership with WisSports.net.

Before the games begin, you can take a look at the prospects for area teams in our football preview stories, which are featured on the Suburban Sports Roundup page.

New Berlin Eisenhower basketball standout commits to Badgers

Aug. 18, 2011 2:38 p.m. | Nicole Bauman will be a Wisconsin Badger.

The New Berlin Eisenhower basketball standout has committed to the Badgers, her coach Gary Schmidt said Thursday.

Bauman, a senior, chose UW over Marquette. She also gave Bradley and Drake strong consideration.

Bauman, the Woodland Black Division player of the year, averaged 15.5 points, six assists and four steals per game for Eisenhower last season. She shot 59% from the floor and 84% from the free throw line.

From her sophomore to junior year, she raised her scoring average four points without sacrificing the ability to get others involved.

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Muskego lake development plan revived

Aug. 17, 2011 5:42 p.m. | Muskego - A developer is proposing a residential/retail development for an area of Little Muskego Lake that once housed the Muskego Beach/DandiLion Park amusement park.

The developer, Michael Dilworth, is presenting two alternatives for the proposed development, including one that offers the city the opportunity to purchase part of the site that would allow for the creation of a park and beach along the lake off Janesville Road at Pioneer Drive.

It is similar to a " Bring Back the Lake" proposal that was pitched last year by city officials and Dilworth, who was interested in working with the city to develop the land.

But the plan was abandoned in July 2010 after Dilworth, without explanation, decided not to proceed.

That proposal envisioned a park area with a beach house and concession building, picnic shelters, an area for concerts, trails and three to four buildings that would have retail and commercial space on the first floor and condominiums on upper floors.

» Read Full Article

Stolen lawn service trailer recovered

Aug. 13, 2011 8:46 p.m. | New Berlin - A stolen enclosed trailer belonging to Kasten Lawn Service has been recovered but lawn equipment that was in the trailer is missing, New Berlin police said.

The trailer was stolen sometime between 6 p.m. Friday and about 7:30 a.m. Saturday. Late Saturday afternoon, New Berlin police said the trailer had been recovered in Fond du Lac by police there.

The trailer and equipment is valued at more than $31,000, police said.

The trailer was empty when recovered and approximately $20,000 worth of landscaping and lawn equipment was stolen, New Berlin police Sgt. Jason Ganiere said.

Man giving CPR to friend arrested for heroin possession

Aug. 09, 2011 11:52 a.m. | A 19-year-old Muskego man was arrested for possession of heroin and drug paraphernalia after his friend stopped breathing in the Dairy Queen parking lot, 6520 W. North Ave., about 6 p.m. July 27.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

The Muskego man was seen performing CPR on his friend, a 23-year-old Wind Lake man. A neighboring business owner called 911 so the Muskego man grabbed his drug paraphernalia - including items typically used when selling drugs - and ran.

When the Wind Lake man came to, he gave several names and birthdates. He was arrested for providing false information to an officer. He is a recovering drug addict staying in a sober living facility in Milwaukee. He started using again following his grandfather's death.

The friends were in Wauwatosa to buy liquor at a North Avenue shop.

New Berlin will listen to neighbors on major development prospect

Aug. 04, 2011 6:54 a.m. | With sewers likely coming soon to the largest tract of farmland east of Moorland Road and development following behind, New Berlin officials will hold several listening sessions with neighbors to get their opinions about the kinds of development desired.

The city's Comprehensive Plan calls generally for that land to be a mix of business and residential developments, but a lot of details still have to be filled in.

The listening sessions will be held, probably starting in September, to help officials do just that.

The Plan Commission also will hold a public hearing before sending a recommendation to the Common Council.

The area, known as section 35 and part of section 34,is approximately bounded by Sunny Slope Road to the east, College Avenue to the south, Grange Avenue to the north and Moorland Road to the west.

Sewer talk flows down temporarily

Aug. 03, 2011 3:32 p.m. | The city has delayed taking its first step toward extending sewers to 60 acres in the northwestern part of the New Berlin to allow the development of a new industrial park.

The New Berlin Utility Committee decided last night to delay a vote on the prospect until its next meeting in September.

The land, roughly in the 19000 block of West Lincoln Avenue, is part of the Geipel Certified Sod farm, whose owners want to develop the property into an industrial park. Businesses there could potentially use the railroad line that runs north of the property.

A vote was delayed because two aldermen wanted more time to meet with sod farm representatives. The committee also want to make sure the sewer boundary extension request would be handled the same way the extension was that resulted in New Berlin West High School getting sewer service.

The sod farm owner submitted a sewer study that concluded the sewers can handle industrial park development, even if all undeveloped land already inside the sewer service area is developed. That conclusion has been backed by New Berlin City Engineer J.P. Walker.

Funding for water attraction doesn't make a splash with supporters

Aug. 03, 2011 2:42 p.m. | Supporters were disappointed that the $62,000 in hoped-for funding for a splashpad at Malone Park was cut in half last night.

The New Berlin Common Council slashed the proposed funding to design the splashpad, a flat water pad where colorful fixtures squirt water and pour water down in sheets onto children.

While aldermen whole-heartedly supported the idea, they said the city budget will be stretched to the max for at least the next two years to complete badly needed road projects. But not wanting to close out supporters entirely, they offered to fund design work short of creating engineering documents, which might become outdated anyway by the time the city could approve its construction.

For now, city officials have only a ballpark figure of construction costs: $350,000 to $400,000.

Representatives of the New Berlin Junior Woman's Club, which has raised about $63,000 so far for splashpad construction, had hoped the city would approve the $62,000 in public funding to let design plans take shape. They said they hope the project delay doesn't cause their fundraising momentum to falter, though they pledged to keep at it.

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City takes steps to extend sewer line

Aug. 03, 2011 1:14 p.m. | Despite some concerns about what impact future developments might bring, the New Berlin Common Council last night voted to provide sewers for the area known as section 35 and parts of section 34.

Two residents mounted a defense of the last large tract of farmland east of Moorland Road, saying that it should not be readied for development on environmental grounds.

Officials countered that the area's unique environmental features would be preserved and that the question of preserving the top-grade soils in the area will be addressed.

In addition to expanding the New Berlin sewer service area and approving an expansion of the service area of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District to include the tract, the council awarded a contract to design the sewers.

City considers special legal team for housing lawsuit

Aug. 03, 2011 12:50 p.m. | Saying that a housing discrimination lawsuit filed against the city must be handled well to avoid far-reaching effects on city development in general, the New Berlin Common Council will try to beef up its legal team.

The focus of the federal housing discrimination lawsuit is specifically an affordable housing project, initially opposed by the city, that has been proposed for the New Berlin City Center. Even though the city has since preliminarily settled a separate legal challenge by the developer to allow the project to proceed, the U.S. Justice Department has yet to drop its case.

The council will interview two law firms specializing in housing discrimination cases. It interviewed the first one last night, questioning representatives from the firm of Gonzalez, Saggio & Harlan. Reinhart, Boemer, Van Deuren is the other firm.

Technically, the developer, Minneapolis-based MPS Real Estate, also has yet to officially drop its state lawsuit, filed in March, but the city has agreed to a memorandum of understanding that has been accepted by MSP.

So the legal team would likely focus on the federal lawsuit, which the Justice Department filed in June alleging that New Berlin violated federal fair housing statutes by blocking a proposed low- to moderate-income apartment project in the City Center.

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