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Tosa police follow trail to cardboard thief

May 18, 2011 7:24 a.m. | Wauwatosa police last week arrested a 51-year-old Milwaukee man who had made hundreds of dollars by stealing cardboard from local businesses and cashing it in at recycling centers.

According to the police report:

An officer saw the man using a pallet jack to load 800-pound bales of cardboard into a truck behind Metcalfe's Sentry, 6700 W. State St., about 1:30 a.m. May 12. The man said he had a contract with the store to collect their recycling, and he provided documentation and identification to the officer.

The officer got in touch with Sentry officials, who said they had a contract with different hauler. Sentry also had reported similar thefts in recent weeks - 10 bales had been taken since May 3 - and video surveillance from those incidents showed a perpetrator matching the man's description.

Police also found discrepancies with the business name and address the man provided. He eventually admitted to police that he had been renting the truck and picking up cardboard at 137 businesses in Milwaukee, Wauwatosa and the surrounding area.

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Run Tosa Run raises $3K for Ronald McDonald House

May 26, 2015 4:04 p.m. | Tosa East Towne's annual Run Tosa Run 5K drew 176 racers May 16 and raised $3,000 for the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Eastern Wisconsin, according to race organizer David Paulsen.

The group's donation, up from last year's $2,200, will support operations at the Ronald McDonald House in Wauwatosa, which provides lodging and other support to families with children at nearby hospitals. Paulsen said the donation was made possible by the race's lead sponsors: the Lutheran Home, Belair Cantina, Camp Bar and Hue Vietnamese Restaurant.

The first male finisher in the race was Brice Cleland of Milwaukee, with a time of 16 minutes. The top female finisher was Amy Schlotthauer of Menomonee Falls, with a time of 19:41.

The first male and female finishers from Wauwatosa were Nathan Lanser, with a time of 18:48, and Megan Olson, with a time of 21:57.

Longfellow hosting Wauwatosa's Memorial Day ceremony Monday

May 21, 2015 1:39 p.m. | The city's official Memorial Day ceremony will be in the auditorium at Longfellow Middle School, 7600 W. North Ave., at 10:30 a.m. Monday, May 25. It is scheduled to last about an hour.

The ceremony will feature a performance by the Wauwatosa Community Band and guest speaker Zach Eberhard, who served in Afghanistan and Iraq before being honorably discharged in 2004. He has been awarded the Combat Infantryman's Badge, Combat Action Badge and Ranger Tab.

Choice school, dry cleaning issues held for more discussion in Wauwatosa

May 20, 2015 3:43 p.m. | The Wauwatosa Common Council held requests for a choice school and a code change that would allow dry cleaning in commercial districts at their meeting May 19, referring the items to committees for further discussion.

Plans for the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program school, United to Serve Academy, were approved last week by the Plan Commission, but some aldermen said they had unresolved questions. The issue was referred to the city's community affairs committee for further vetting.

The council also held approval of a code change that would allow on-site dry cleaning in the city's general commercial districts, although each operator would still need individual approval. The issue came up after the owners of Westwood Dry Cleaners bought the former City Market building on North Avenue and wanted to move their operations there.

The code change was approved by the community affairs committee last week, but aldermen at the common council meeting said they wanted to further discuss insurance requirements for dry cleaners. It was referred to the government affairs committee.

Parents rally after lawmakers expand vouchers

May 20, 2015 11:03 a.m. | Karen Suarez Flint, a Wauwatosa mother of two, said she watched in shock overnight as the Legislature's budget committee passed a sweeping, 29-page Republican education package that included increasing how much taxpayer-funded voucher schools would receive under a statewide expansion of that program.

"Their agenda is to take money from the public schools and give it to the private schools," said Suarez Flint, a member of the public school advocacy group Wauwatosa Support Our Schools (S.O.S.). "Don't use kids to push an agenda that has nothing to do with them. Last night hurt my kids. They had no voice and they were hurt."

She joined other parents, students and public school advocates Wednesday morning on the porch of a home in Wauwatosa to speak out against the GOP-controlled Legislature's latest budget action.

"We're all for choice, go to any school you want, but don't take our tax dollars," Suarez Flint said later Wednesday morning. "Tax money belongs in the public schools."

The Milwaukee-based Parents for Public Schools, Citizen Advocates for Public Education (CAPE) of Lake Mills and Advocates for Education of Whitefish Bay also are speaking out about the GOP plan.

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Wauwatosa approves conceptual design for pocket park on North Avenue

May 20, 2015 10:50 a.m. | The Wauwatosa Common Council approved conceptual plans May 19 for a park at 69th Street and North Avenue meant to feel like "East Tosa's front porch," as articulated by architect Tom Rogers of SmithGroupJJR.

The design for 69th Street Center, which doesn't yet have a cost estimate, would transform the public parking lot next to Rocket Baby Bakery into a pocket park. Most of the ground would be pavement, with seating that can be cleared out for community events like Chili'n on the Avenue and the East Tosa Gran Prix.

With some juggling of parking areas, the plan overall cuts two parking spots. While there are currently 16 spots in the lot and six on 69th Street, the proposal calls for six spots on the north end of the park, seven on 69th Street, and six in the adjacent vacant area behind Voline Service.

"We balanced the need for parking with the catalytic component of this project and felt we had to lose two parking spaces to make this work and achieve that ultimate goal of putting in a project we think would attract and retain some of the existing businesses," Alderman Joel Tilleson said.

Working with city officials and neighbors on the design, Rogers said they tried to include playful features to make the 69th Street Center unique to Wauwatosa. They drew a bike rack so that the structure spells out "TOSA." Wooden benches include engraved factoids about Wauwatosa history.

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Wauwatosa hotel site sells for $925,000

May 20, 2015 9:25 a.m. | A hotel development site at Wauwatosa's Innovation Campus project has been sold for $925,000 according to state real estate records posted Wednesday.

Tosa Hotel LLC, an affiliate of Jacksonville, Ill.-based Hospitality Specialists Inc., bought the 2.9-acre site from UWM Innovation Park LLC, an affiliate of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Real Estate Foundation. The transaction was brokered by John Kesselman, of Kesselman Real Estate.

Hospitality Specialists Inc. is developing a 128-room Marriott Residence Inn about one block north of W. Watertown Plank Road, east of Discovery Parkway. It will take 15 to 18 months to complete the hotel.

Tosa Tonight releases lineup for summer concert series

May 19, 2015 3:20 p.m. | Tosa Tonight released its lineup today for seven free summer concerts at Hart Park in Wauwatosa, sponsored by Froedtert Hospital and the Medical College of Wisconsin.

The park will have some new amenities this year, including an $800,000 pavilion with bathrooms and shaded picnic tables, scheduled to be complete by the end of May. The city is also planning to install 16-foot wide sunshades in the park.

Except July 4, all concerts are on Wednesdays with opening acts at 6 p.m. and main acts at 7:30 at the Rotary Performance Pavilion.

The lineup:

· June 17: Grass, Food and Lodging with Above the Town (presented by Cooper Safety)

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Wauwatosa School Board approves raises for teachers, administrators and staff

May 19, 2015 2:23 p.m. | Despite some budget uncertainties, the Wauwatosa School Board approved raises for teachers and several employee groups at its meeting May 18.

Wauwatosa Superintendent Phil Ertl said he thought the raises were an important move for the district to retain staff in the face of potential state budget cuts.

"At a time when there's some budget uncertainty, and I know a lot of districts are not looking at increases, we feel it's important to make sure we're continuing to hire the best, retain the best," Ertl said. "I think they're fair increases."

Ertl said the district is able to afford the raises in part because of health insurance expenses coming in lower over the past four years.

As a group, teachers will be seeing a 2.2 percent salary increase. Each individual's raise will vary between 1 and 10 percent, Ertl said, depending on their place in the district's new compensation model, determined in part by performance evaluations. Ertl said full-time teachers at levels one and two will get a $2,000 raise; those at level three will get $2,400; and those at level four will get $1,000.

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Wauwatosa Avenue lane to close over Memorial Day weekend

May 18, 2015 12:38 p.m. | The northbound lane of Wauwatosa Avenue will be closed on the north end of the Village from 7 p.m. Thursday, May 21, through Sunday, May 24.

The closure will stretch between Harmonee Avenue and Hillcrest Drive while a contractor connects sewer lines underground at Milwaukee and Wauwatosa avenues.

Northbound traffic will be detoured northeast on Harwood Avenue, north on 73rd Street and west on Hillcrest Drive. There will be temporary no-parking signs on Hillcrest Drive to accommodate traffic. 

The work is part of the Milwaukee Avenue Utilities Project, which began last year and involves the replacement and expansion of sanitary and storm sewers to address flooding problems.

Residents invited to help redesign streets, parks in Wauwatosa Village

May 15, 2015 2:53 p.m. | Residents are invited to attend a preliminary design workshop for streetscaping changes in the Wauwatosa Village from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 19, at City Hall, 7725 W. North Ave.

As part of a planning process leading up to reconstruction planned for 2016, the group will explore changes to streetscaping elements like lighting and street furniture; bike and pedestrian accommodations like crosswalks and bike lanes; wayfinding signage; reconstruction of intersections; and potential renovation of Pocket Park and Root Common.

City officials have been considering changes to the Village streets and public spaces for years. Several intersections were targeted for redesign the Village's 2011 Strategic Development Plan.

The city hired Ayres and Associates last year to analyze options for improving intersections, but their proposed designs failed to pass through city approvals. One of their major proposals was to make Harwood go straight through Wauwatosa Avenue, rather than redirecting around Root Common as it does now. Root Common could shift to take over Harwood's current location with a six-space parking lot at the north end.

Earlier this year, the city hired a new consultant, GAI Consultants, which may consider elements of the Ayres designs as it creates new ones under a $250,000 contract. The city also establised an ad hoc Streetscape Selection Committee to facilitate communication and provide public feedback throughout the process. 

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Wauwatosa alderman pulls proposal to shrink common council

May 15, 2015 9:50 a.m. | Wauwatosa Alderman Bobby Pantuso said he has pulled his proposal to reduce the size of the common council because he doesn't think there is enough support for it.

"There was a lot of confusion about it and I think people were perceiving it the wrong way," Pantuso said. "I know it wouldn't have traction on the council."

Pantuso had suggested reducing the number of seats on the council from 16 to 12. Rather than residents each having two aldermen representing them, as they do now, districts would be smaller and each would have one alderman beginning in 2018. In the map he drew as a starting point, Pantuso would have been in the same district as Aldermen Joel Tilleson and James Moldenhauer.

Pantuso said he thought the change would make it easier for residents to understand who represents them, streamline communication and make meetings more efficient.

After being introduced at a common council meeting May 5, the proposal was set to be discussed by the city's government affairs committee May 12 but was missing from the agenda.

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Police arrest teens for prowling after foot chase through Wauwatosa

May 14, 2015 2:05 p.m. | Two Milwaukee 16-year-olds were arrested for prowling Wednesday afternoon after running from Wauwatosa police near the 2300 block of 68th Street, Wauwatosa Police Lieutenant Brian Zalewski said.

Zalewski said an officer saw the boys attempting to break into a car and called for back up about 3:08 p.m. when they ran away. Seven squad cars responded and the teens were in custody at 3:12. 

Since the boys did not break into the car, Zalewski said they do not face charges for that but were given $250 citations for prowling because they ran from police. 

A Wauwatosa ordinance prohibits prowling "in a place, at a time, or in a manner not usual for law-abiding individuals under circumstances that warrant alarm for the safety of persons or property in the vicinity." Fleeing an officer is listed as one such circumstance. 

A third boy, 14, was also taken into custody as a missing juvenile, but was released to an adult without a citation, Zalewski said. 

Initial Reaction Podcast: Massive overhaul of area conferences could be afoot

May 13, 2015 10:55 a.m. | A large-scale reorganization of area conferences could be on the way, plus a look back at new directions for the Milwaukee Brewers and Milwaukee Bucks.

Beer garden at Hoyt Park in Tosa reopens Wednesday, may go indoors too

May 12, 2015 12:45 p.m. | As they prepare to open the Landing Wednesday, May 13, the Friends of Hoyt Park & Pool are seeking city permission to use the Grand Hall for the beer garden in bad weather, and be able to open any day of the week to accommodate holidays.

With several neighbors complaining about the amplified music coming from the beer garden, the Plan Commission approved the Landing's requests May 11 on the condition that the Friends report back in July on whether they've been able to address some of the neighbors' concerns. The group also needs approval from the Common Council.

Neighbors said they had complained many times about music from the Landing, without response. Representatives of the Friends group said each band sets up their own sound system and the Friends do not set a limit on the noise level. Aldermen urged the Friends to work with neighbors to find a compromise.

New hours, indoor space, tables

While the Landing has previously operated Wednesday-Sunday, the Friends are asking to be able to open on Mondays and Tuesdays for holidays like Memorial Day and Labor Day.

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Winter's not through with us yet

May 12, 2015 6:58 a.m. | The old rule of thumb about not planting before Memorial Day may be proven tonight, as the National Weather Service has issued a frost advisory from midnight tonight to 7 a.m. Wednesday. Temperatures could drop into the low 30s. If you have plants outside, you may want to consider covering them or moving them inside.


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