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Greenfield police keep busy with calls about recall disturbances

Nov. 29, 2011 10:02 a.m. | Greenfield police responded to several calls about recall canvassers being disturbed or disturbing the public in the past couple of weeks.

According to Greenfield police reports:

A caller reported the driver of a blue van purposely swerved toward a woman collecting signatures for the Recall Walker campaign in the 5000 block of West Layton Avenue. The van was last seen driving westbound on Layton Avenue.

Recall Walker canvassers in the 7500 block of West Layton Avenue called police to report being verbally abused by a woman prior to 4:20 p.m. Nov. 21. The woman had left by the time police arrived, but petitioners were advised to call back if she returned.

The owner of Layton Plaza, 7515 W. Layton Ave., called police after he received complaints about participants collecting signatures for the Recall Walker effort shortly before 5 p.m. Nov. 23. An officer spoke to two canvassers who were on the sidewalk and not obstructing businesses or traffic. Police then spoke to a manager of a business who was concerned about people parking in the lot, but no signs were posted limiting parking to customers only. The property owners were advised that the canvassers had the right to be there.

» Read Full Article

Lions beat Oostburg, 51-41, in opener

Nov. 25, 2011 3:07 p.m. | The New Berlin Eisenhower girls defeated Oostburg, 51-41, on Friday in the Brookfield Central Thanksgiving Shootout.

The game wasn't as close as the score would indicate, as the Lions had a 48-20 lead with four minutes left in the game, when the Lady Dutch went on a 21-2 run to cut the lead to nine with 13 seconds left to play.

Nicole Bauman led the way with 16 points and seven assists and could have had seven more except for missed baskets.

Erin Ganske returning from knee surgery played with her knee wrapped and a brace scored nine points for the Lions.

Tell us what Brookfield’s best hotspots are

Nov. 23, 2011 2:01 p.m. | NOW readers: We need your help.

We want to build a list of your favorite places — maybe an eatery, a park, a theater — to go to in the town and the city. We’ll then put that list on the location-based service Foursquare, where you can follow and check off as you visit each place.
 
Here’s how it will work:
 
Visit the MyCommunityNOW Facebook page from Nov. 24 to Dec. 4 and comment on our wall or in response to our status update telling us your favorite places to go to in Brookfield. You can recommend one place or you can recommend 10; it’s your choice.
 
Then from Dec. 5 to 11, visit our Facebook page again and vote on your two favorite places of the recommendations we received. The top 10 responses will be included in our Best of Brookfield list.
 
So help us discover your favorite places.

Bike path may be eliminated from road work plan

Nov. 23, 2011 1:48 p.m. | The pedestrian/bike path scheduled to be created at the side of the road along Tess Corners Drive might be moved off-road instead.

Muskego plans to create the recreation path when it reconstructs the roadway from Janesville to Woods roads. But results of soil borings for the road project revealed this week that the subsoil will need more stabilizing for the new road than originally planned.

To reduce the amount of substructure work, staff proposes to move the trail off-road. Normally, that would be more expensive than keeping it alongside the road, but not if keeping it at the road means a lot of costly soil work.

Borgman will run again for Muskego council

Nov. 23, 2011 1:44 p.m. | Third District Alderman Neil Borgman, one of the three Muskego aldermen whose terms will expire next April, said last night that he will seek re-election.

The other two incumbents - Tracy Snead in the 1st District and Dan Soltysiak in the 5th District - have not announced if they will run again.

Next year's election could be complicated by the fact that Alderman Kert Harenda now lives in Borgman's district. That happened when the city had to redraw aldermanic district lines following the 2010 federal census.

Although Harenda can continue to represent District 2 until his term ends in April 2013, he may choose to run next year for Borgman's seat. Harenda was out of town and unavailable for comment today.

Those interested in running for the council can take out nomination papers and start getting signatures Dec. 1. The filing deadline is 5 p.m. Jan. 3.

Council chickens out on ordinance idea

Nov. 23, 2011 1:40 p.m. | While some officials promise a chicken in every pot, Muskego officials would rather chickens aren't found anywhere else in the typical residential neighborhood.

The Muskego Common Council Committee of the Whole on Tuesday night decided against allowing chickens at homes on less than 2.57 acres.

It's already acceptable for residents with bigger lots to have chickens and every year the city gets more than a dozen calls from people wondering if they can have chickens, too. So, aldermen considered an ordinance that would allow chickens on smaller lots as long as the coops are 25 feet from neighboring houses and at least 5 feet from property lines.

But Aldermen Keith Werner said he could think of an example in his own neighborhood where that mean a coop right near the patio of another neighbor who likes to entertain.

And when Alderman Neil Borgman told a story about a chick that was given as a gift and grew into a rooster which would awaken the neighborhood at 5:30 a.m., the consensus of the council was to leave well enough alone.

Cuts planned to Waukesha-Milwaukee bus routes

Nov. 22, 2011 8:23 p.m. | Waukesha - Waukesha County plans to reduce commuter service between Waukesha and downtown Milwaukee and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee beginning Jan. 2, but first officials will hear from the public at a hearing set for Dec. 1.

Two routes would be affected:

  • Route 901, which operates from downtown Waukesha to Milwaukee, including UWM, now offers 21 trips weekdays between 5:15 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. Proposed cutbacks would reduce the service to peak travel hours and just eight total trips, running between 5:15 and 10:07 a.m. and 2:26 and 7:38 p.m. weekdays.
  • Route 905 operates from various park-and-ride lots along I-94 between Oconomowoc and Milwaukee. The service runs during morning and afternoon rush hours weekdays, and it will be cut from the current six trips to five trips during the morning rush hour. No cut is planned in the afternoon.

The hearing on the changes will begin at 7 p.m. Dec. 1 in the Waukesha County Courthouse County Board Room, 515 W. Moreland Blvd.

Transit staff will be on hand to hear from the public.

» Read Full Article

Muskego-Norway School District OKs pay for those who opt out of health plan

Nov. 22, 2011 10:32 a.m. | The least expensive of three options to encourage employees to opt out of the Muskego-Norway School District health insurance plan won approval from the School Board on Monday night.

The district will continue to pay employees 87.4 percent of the premium for single coverage if they take insurance from the employer of a working spouse. That will come to about $6,900 next year.

The cost is sizable, but it has been shown to save money for the district, said board member Brett Hyde.

The other two options the board considered were to keep the opt-out payment at the current $8,400 or to reduce it slightly to $8,200.

The reason next year's opt-out payment would be so much smaller than this year is because the tab for health insurance will go down. That is because the schools will move to a different insurance carrier and because of changes to the health plan itself.

» Read Full Article

Muskego-Norway considers middle school changes

Nov. 22, 2011 10:32 a.m. | Sweeping middle school changes that would trade the current 53-minute classes for 75-minute classes for core subjects, add 25-minute intervention/study hall/electives sessions, rejuvenate the electives selection and lengthen the school day 10 minutes were unveiled to the Muskego-Norway School Board on Monday night.

The district's 38-member Middle Level Program Review Team worked 11 months on reviewing the two middle schools to develop the recommendations. The team consists of parents, teachers, administrators and even one student. It held meetings, did surveys and delved into educational research to see how the best middle schools get results.

The recommendations are headed for discussion and possibly board approval Dec. 5. Except for the new electives, the plan would start next fall. It would call for no additional staff.

At least two will seek re-election to Muskego School Board

Nov. 22, 2011 9:32 a.m. | Two of the three members of the Muskego-Norway School Board have decided to run for re-election and the third has not announced her decision as yet.

Saying they will seek another three-year term are Eric Schroeder and Michael Serdynski. Lisa Warwick's term also is up next April.

They and others who want to run for the School Board can take nomination papers out in December. The filing deadline is 5 p.m. Jan. 3.

Residents can comment on district's facilities plans

Nov. 21, 2011 6:18 p.m. | The New Berlin School Board will hold a listening session to give district residents a chance to comment on facilities planning options the district is considering, including the possible closure of Glen Park Elementary School.

The session will be held during the board's regular meeting Monday from 7 to 8 p.m. in the New Berlin West High School library, 18695 W. Cleveland Ave.

Board members will welcome both information and questions. Questions may have to be answered at succeeding board meetings.

NOW newspapers to be delivered Friday this week

Nov. 21, 2011 1:51 p.m. | All NOW newspapers will be delivered Friday, Nov. 25, due to this week's Thanksgiving holiday.

Looking to subscribe? We currently offer subscriptions to Brookfield-ElmGroveNOW, North ShoreNOW, WauwatosaNOW and WaukeshaNOW.

You can also purchase single issues of our Brookfield-Elm GroveNOW, WauwatosaNOW and WaukeshaNOW publications.

Thanks for your continued readership of our print and web editions and enjoy your holiday season!

Waukesha County Board adopts executive's budget

Nov. 15, 2011 11:16 a.m. | Waukesha - The Waukesha County Board adopted County Executive Dan Vrakas' proposed 2012 budget intact Tuesday, overwhelmingly rejecting a supervisor's last-ditch effort to prevent closing the Juvenile Center girls' secure detention unit.

Supervisor Patricia Haukohl, chairman of the board's Finance Committee, said the budget represents a continuation of quality infrastructure and services that Waukesha County residents have come to expect. With Haukohl and committee chairs participating in development of the budget early on, she said, the process reflected cooperation and "a synergy so rare among other governments."

The budget calls for a general tax levy of $98 million, up 0.6%, the lowest increase in nearly 30 years.

The resulting tax rate is $2.01 per $1,000 fair market value, up 4 cents. A Waukesha County home of median value this year - $255,600 - would pay $514 in county taxes under the budget, about the same as last year when property values were higher, county officials estimate.

The county share of the tax bill is among the smaller portions, with municipal and school taxes making up a bigger share.

» Read Full Article

Waukesha County budget advances with no levy changes

Nov. 09, 2011 1:22 p.m. | Waukesha - The Waukesha County Finance Committee wrapped up its review of the 2012 county budget Wednesday, unanimously recommending a $98.5 million tax levy that is exactly as County Executive Dan Vrakas proposed six weeks ago.

Just two amendments to accept grants totaling $170,000 were made to Vrakas' budget - one to provide cancer education and screening for low-income and uninsured individuals, the other to establish a drug court. Both grants were confirmed after Vrakas' budget was introduced. Neither change added to the tax levy.

The sole controversy that flared during the budget review was Vrakas' plan to close the girls secure detention unit of the Juvenile Center and contract with Washington County for the service. Supervisor Janel Brandtjen's attempt to restore the program failed both in the Health and Human Services and Finance Committees.

The final budget calls for spending $244.7 million on operations, down 1.4% from this year; a capital projects list costing $39.9 million, double last year's total but with cash on hand of $10.4 million applied to keep tax support even with last year's; nontax revenues of $163.2 million, up 6%; and a general tax levy of $98.0 million, up 0.6%.

Taxpayers in communities without libraries will pay $2.9 million, or 1% more, toward the federated library system.

» Read Full Article

School referendum fails by larger margin

Nov. 08, 2011 9:56 p.m. | The $29.9 million facilities referendum failed by a 65 to 35 percent margin in the Muskego-Norway School District in balloting today.

With 3,424 "no" votes against 1,849 "yes" votes, the referendum failed by an even larger margin in today's special election than the original $34 million referendum that was voted down last November.

Turnout was about 29 percent of registered voters.

School Board President Jim Schaefer said, "We respect the community's vote."

The elementary schools still have needs, though, and the School Board will meet to discuss where to go from here, Schaefer said. That discussion will likely start Nov. 21.

Waukesha County may restrict guns; city buildings may remain ban-free

Nov. 07, 2011 3:58 p.m. | Waukesha - Waukesha County could move to ban guns from more county buildings in the wake of the new state law allowing concealed carry, while Waukesha city buildings would remain ban-free under a Public Works Board recommendation.

A county ordinance that prohibits carrying concealed weapons in the Human Services Center, the Public Health Center, the Mental Health Center, the Juvenile Center and the Waukesha County Communications Center has been drafted for Executive Committee review next Monday and County Board approval later this month.

Weapons and dangerous items are already prohibited at the courthouse and Administration Center, where visitors must pass through a security checkpoint staffed by deputies and a metal detector before entering. The county will only add the statutorily required notification signs in the other buildings where weapons are prohibited, according to Shawn Lundie, chief of staff to the county executive.

Not every county facility will ban weapons, however. Waukesha County parks and golf courses would be open to those lawfully carrying concealed weapons under the proposed ordinance, said Dale Shaver, parks and land use director. However, at special events where a tenant rents a facility - be it a golf course clubhouse or space at the Expo Center - the individuals or groups who are leasing or renting county facilities would have the right to set their own policy.

The Waukesha Public Works Board has unanimously recommended that the city allow concealed weapons to be brought into City Hall and other municipal buildings. Fred Abadi, public works director, said members were persuaded by Police Chief Russell Jack's comments against the ban. Among other things, he said the only real way to ban weapons is to have a secure screening process at the building entrance, much like the county uses at the courthouse.

» Read Full Article

Vote on your favorite Wauwatosa places

Nov. 07, 2011 8:13 a.m. | We asked you to name your favorite places in Wauwatosa on our Facebook page.

You did.

We received 26 comments and 49 venue recommendations. But now it’s time to vote. We want to know the top 10 of your favorite places in Tosa.

So read the list of the 50 venues, head over to our Facebook page, and vote for your two favorites. (Any votes for venues not already suggested will not be counted.) Some venues are just outside of Tosa's borders, but are included anyway because of their proximity to the city.

Voting will take place through Sunday, Nov. 13. Once the top 10 places have been compiled, you’ll be able to find them as a Foursquare list.

» Read Full Article

Walker appoints Gundrum to Court of Appeals

Nov. 04, 2011 9:36 a.m. | Less than two years after he was elected circuit judge, former legislator Mark Gundrum has been elevated to the state Court of Appeals.

Gov. Scott Walker appointed Gundrum, the longtime Republican state assemblyman from New Berlin, on Friday.

“Judge Gundrum will treat the citizens of Wisconsin with respect, act fairly and be a blind arbiter of justice,” said Governor Walker.  “The tremendous amount of support from the community coupled with his outstanding legal education and experience make Judge Gundrum a perfect match for the Court of Appeals.”

Gundrum was elected to the Waukesha County Circuit Court in April 2010, easily beating Ricard Congdon, who had been appointed to the bench the year before by then Gov. Jim Doyle.

Gundrum will serve on the appellate courts District 2, based in Waukesha, and face election in April 2013. He replaces Daniel P Anderson, who retired in June.

Warriors pull out thriller, clinch first berth

Nov. 04, 2011 9:05 a.m. | The spirit of St. Louis – the St. Louis Cardinals, that is – was felt in the Muskego High School gym on Thursday night.

The Muskego boys volleyball team showed the same heart and never-say-die attitude of this year’s Cardinals when they edged New Berlin, 25-23, 20-25, 26-24, 19-25, 15-13, in a heart-pounding WIAA sectional championship match.

Just like the World Series champs, the Warriors came back from the brink of defeat and proved time and again that although they might be down, they were hardly out.

The Warriors trailed 8-4 in the deciding fifth game, seven points from defeat, but produced a stirring rally. They scored six straight points on the serve of Sammy Pedersen to take a 10-8 lead, then held on to win on a couple of kills from outside hitter David Mlachnik and a key block from middle AJ Pratt. When New Berlin put the ball into the net on the 28th point of the final game – and the 215th point of the match – the Warriors had the victory.

It marked the second time this week that Muskego came back from a four-point deficit in a fifth game. Against Franklin on Tuesday, the Warriors trailed by an even more intimidating 14-10 score but eventually prevailed 17-15.

» Read Full Article

Contract awarded for design of bike/walking path

Nov. 03, 2011 3:22 p.m. | A safer route to Muskego High School in the form of an off-road pedestrian and bicycle path along Woods Road should be in place by the time school opens next year after summer vacation.

Survey work should start anytime for the 8-foot-wide asphalt path to go along the north side of Woods Road from Racine Avenue to Quietwood Drive, a distance of about two miles.

Students heading to Muskego High School at Woods and Racine likely will use the path. And bikers will be able to pick up another bike trail at Quietwood that goes to Moorland Road and then another that goes into New Berlin.

The Muskego Public Safety Committee approved a design contract last night.

Search is on for new home for ski jump

Nov. 03, 2011 3:04 p.m. | A plan to periodically change the location of the Waterbugs ski team ski jump on Little Muskego Lake took a little spill at last night's Muskego Public Safety Committee meeting.

The Waterbugs put on weekly ski shows in the summer and also use the jump for practice.

The city is exploring having different locations for the jump so that the same homeowners don't have to look at it year after year.

The Parks and Recreation Board suggested moving it near Holtz Island.

But in response, Tom Zagar, city conservation coordinator, said Holtz Island is in an environmentally sensitive area.

» Read Full Article

Proposal seeks to limit annoying behavior by off-road recreationalists

Nov. 03, 2011 3:02 p.m. | Those who buzz around on all-terrain vehicles, motorized bicycles or other off-road vehicles will need to be more careful about staying far away enough from Muskego homes so as not to be annoying if a proposed ordinance is adopted.

The Muskego Public Safety Committee lent its recommendation to the proposal last night.

The proposed ordinance would prohibit riders from doing things that would cause substantial annoyance to any reasonable person. The proposal will go to the Common Council on Nov. 22.

Ruling on cellular 911 calls could be long time in coming

Nov. 03, 2011 2:58 p.m. | It could be a long time before Muskego gets a ruling from the Federal Communications Commission on its complaint that the city is not being allowed to answer 911 emergency calls from cell phones directly, John Wisniewski, director of information services, reported to the Public Safety Committee last night.

The cell calls are being picked up by the Waukesha County Communications center, but there are problems with that, police said. There is an average 72-second delay in getting the call over to Muskego, and then the caller has to repeat the same information again. The calls could be dropped, and the person with an emergency would have to call again.

Muskego police have upgraded their equipment and training so that they have the capability to field cellular 911 calls, but WCC officials won't permit wireless providers to switch the calls directly to Muskego.

Negotiations between the city and WCC have been fruitless, Muskego Police Chief Paul Geiszler said. That's why the city filed a complaint with the FCC about a month ago.

Although city officials have evidence that the FCC is working on the case, Wisniewski reported last night that he was told a ruling would be a long time in coming.

United boys volleyball at Muskego Thursday night

Nov. 02, 2011 11:20 p.m. |

The New Berlin United boys volleyball team will face Muskego on Thursday in a WIAA Sectional final match.
 
The match is at 7 p.m. at Muskego High School.
 
New Berlin's co-op team defeated the No. 1 seed, Kenosha Tremper on Tuesday in five games (25-20, 25-27, 25-21,17-25,15-11).
 
Muskego beat Franklin Tuesday night in five games also (25-23, 15-25, 28-30, 29-27, 17-15).


Waukesha County clerk will have a familiar challenger

Nov. 02, 2011 4:12 p.m. | Waukesha - With the election still a year off, Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus has a Republican primary challenger.

Kathleen Karalewitz, who unsuccessfully ran against Nickolaus for Waukesha County clerk in the 2002 Republican primary, announced Wednesday that she will try to unseat Nickolaus in the fall 2012 election.

Nickolaus, the focus of intense criticism and Government Accountability Board investigation for her mishandling of the April Supreme Court unofficial election returns in Waukesha County, has said she intends to seek re-election.

Karalewitz was deputy county clerk under former County Clerk Patricia E. Madden, who preceded Nickolaus. Madden is Karalewitz's campaign treasurer. Karalewitz said she has 30 years of experience in county and municipal government, including as deputy county clerk, director of clerk services for Menomonee Falls, deputy treasurer for the Town of Mukwonago and currently as administrator and clerk-treasurer for the Town of Mukwonago.

Karalewitz said she will file registration papers Thursday.

» Read Full Article

New Berlin West alums invited to school's 50th

Nov. 02, 2011 12:12 p.m. | New Berlin West High School is marking its 50th year, and organizers are looking for alumni to come back to the school and be part of its celebration.

The celebration ceremony will be Jan. 13, starting with a chili dinner/reception at 5 p.m. to be followed by the boy's basketball game against Cudahy at 7:30 p.m.

Alumni interested in attending can get information by contacting Julie Kader, director of athletics and activities, at (262) 789-6409 or julie.kader@nbexcellence.org.

Muskego netters rally for epic sectional semifinal win over Franklin

Nov. 01, 2011 10:54 p.m. | The great "Star Trek" parody "Galaxy Quest" had a motto that it used over and over throughout the course of the hilarious movie.

"Never give up, never surrender."

But even the Tim Allen-led crew would have said "Enough already!" and surrendered long before the Muskego boys volleyball team ever thought about doing so against host Franklin in a noisy and exciting WIAA sectional semifinal Tuesday night.

The Warriors were down two games to one in the best of five match and 21-16 in the fourth game before scoring seven straight points and rallying to tie the match at two games each with a 29-27 decision.

Then in the play-to-15 fifth game, Muskego found itself with its back against the wall at 14-10. All the Warriors did then, was fight off four match points, score seven of the match's last eight points and pull out an improbable 25-23, 15-25, 28-30, 29-27, 17-15 decision that put the team on the verge of its first-ever WIAA state tournament berth.

» Read Full Article

Community Watch

» Greenfield police keep busy with calls about recall disturbances 11/29

» Lions beat Oostburg, 51-41, in opener 11/25

» Tell us what Brookfield’s best hotspots are 11/23

» Bike path may be eliminated from road work plan 11/23

» Borgman will run again for Muskego council 11/23

» Council chickens out on ordinance idea 11/23

» Cuts planned to Waukesha-Milwaukee bus routes Updated:  11/22

» Muskego-Norway School District OKs pay for those who opt out of health plan 11/22

» Muskego-Norway considers middle school changes 11/22

» At least two will seek re-election to Muskego School Board 11/22

» Residents can comment on district's facilities plans 11/21

» NOW newspapers to be delivered Friday this week 11/21

» Waukesha County Board adopts executive's budget 11/15

» Waukesha County budget advances with no levy changes 11/9

» School referendum fails by larger margin 11/8

» Waukesha County may restrict guns; city buildings may remain ban-free 11/7

» Vote on your favorite Wauwatosa places 11/7

» Walker appoints Gundrum to Court of Appeals 11/4

» Warriors pull out thriller, clinch first berth 11/4

» Contract awarded for design of bike/walking path 11/3

» Search is on for new home for ski jump 11/3

» Proposal seeks to limit annoying behavior by off-road recreationalists 11/3

» Ruling on cellular 911 calls could be long time in coming 11/3

» United boys volleyball at Muskego Thursday night 11/2

» Waukesha County clerk will have a familiar challenger 11/2

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