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Nicolet opens season at 2-0 with victory over Wauwatosa East

Aug. 26, 2011 11:22 p.m. | Nicolet's football team used a dominant fourth quarter to pull away from a relentless but winded Wauwatosa East team, emerging victorious 28-10 at Hart Park in Wauwatosa on Friday.

The game’s first half was marked mostly by methodical ball control offenses facing down sure-tackling defenses.
East drew first blood. After forcing a Nicolet punt, the Red Raiders worked their way downfield from their own 35, picking up yardage with a steady stream of first-down runs and timely third down passes culminating in a 38 yard field goal.

"(East's) offensive line came out firing every play. That’s probably their strongest part,” said Nicolet linebacker Alex Walker. "(Junior running back Mike) Meade is one tough little runner. He’s low to the ground, but tough to bring down.”

Third downs were all about quarterback Kyle Vnuk. The tall lanky Red Raider snuck through the line for one first down, then threw for two more to senior Vince Cupertino (16 yards) & junior Shaquille Redding (10 yards).
“He’s good,” Nicolet coach Brad Kozaczuk said. “Junior, big kid, great arm, and only going to get better.”
But the next four drives fizzled and stalled for both teams. Swarming defensive fronts reined in and collapsed on interior run plays. Neither side could buy enough time or string together enough passes to mount a significant air attack.
“Both defenses were playing well,” Kozaczuk said. “Both run a three front, which means bringing blitzes from lots of different places and angles. Makes it really tough for offensive lines.”
Nicolet senior quarterback Brandon Kappel agreed.

“Their D line was great, and they’ve got fast guys on the perimeter, especially (senior linebacker Will) Monreal. They should have a good year.”
Nicolet got its first break just before half. Facing fourth down with 2:54 remaining, the snap sailed over East’s punter.  Six plays later, Nicolet was in the end zone. Kappel picked up the last seven yards and touchdown on a pair of quarterback keepers.
The third quarter featured more back and forth stalemate.
After junior Tyler Crass intercepted a pass at the Nicolet 12, the Knights went deep.
Kappel escaped a collapsing pocket and heaved a bomb down the right sideline. He found Walker all alone. The senior pulled the pass in, galloping 71 yards for the score.
Nicolet appeared to be in good shape. But after forcing a punt on the ensuing drive and rushing for a first down, the Knights fumbled the snap. East recovered and six plays later, the Red Raiders were in the end zone. 
Vnuk threw a 6-yard bullet through the tightest of traffic to senior Josh Smentek, who tumbled forward into the end zone on the fourth quarter’s first play to make the game 13-10.
But that was the beginning of the end for East. Led by junior linebacker Hunter Crass and senior lineman Bernard Stutts, Nicolet tightened the screws. East’s final fourth quarter possessions resulted in a punt, a turnover on downs and an interception (junior Delton Clay) .
 “In the first half we had multiple opportunities to take over,” said Wauwatosa East coach Jake Wolter. “But we gave up some situation spots we shouldn’t have. When third and longs turn into first downs, you’re in trouble. You can’t live off of that.”
Nicolet turned the tables at the 7:30 mark in the fourth quarter. A quick bursting punt return and pair of East penalties put Nicolet near East’s 10. Four plays later, Kappel rolled out and found Tyler Crass in the corner of the end zone.
We got gassed,” Wolter said. “A lot of guys were playing both ways, and on special teams. They got gassed. And when we got down on the scoreboard, their heads sank a little bit.”
The Knight buried the Red Raiders once and for all at the 5:00 mark. On a play-action fake, Kappel rolled to his right, and found a wide open Nolan Wagner on the goal line. The pass hit the junior right in the numbers. He cradled it with two hands and backed into the end zone for the final score.
 “Our running game was effective, when we executed it,” Wolter said. “Our passing game was not bad. We’ve just got to get a little more wind and cash in at some key moments.”
“We had to find our feet a little bit,” said Nicolet coach Brad Kozaczuk. “But we got more intense as the game went along. We faced adversity and found a way to overcome it.”  

Wrong-way driver identified as person killed in I-94 crash

Jan. 24, 2015 10:10 a.m. | The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office has identified the person killed late Friday in a series of crashes involving six vehicles on Interstate 94 near Hawley Road as Marcos M. Cortez of Wauwatosa.

Cortez, 32, drove his vehicle the wrong way onto the freeway from the General Mitchell Blvd. off ramp at 8:06 p.m., authorities said. His 1993 BMW was traveling westbound in the eastbound lanes without headlights on and it crashed head-on into a 2013 BMW.

Alcohol is suspected of playing a role in the crash, authorities said. The incident remains under investigation.

Cortez was pronounced dead at the scene. The three occupants of the other BMW were not seriously injured, authorities said. One of them, an adult male, was taken to a hospital.

Four other vehicles were involved in secondary crashes at that site. Two people from those vehicles were transported to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

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Wauwatosa offers 'Citizen's Academy' course

Jan. 21, 2015 9:49 a.m. | City of Wauwatosa staff and the recreation department are teaming up to offer a class called "Citizen's Academy: Get to Know Wauwatosa" starting Feb. 4.

Sessions will be led by government, business and community leaders like Mayor Kathy Ehley and City Administrator Jim Archambo. They will cover topics like city government, the history of the community, public safety, schools and economic development.

Limited to the first 20 adults who sign up, classes are 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays Feb. 4 through March 25. The cost is $41 for all eight weeks. For more information and to register, visit or call 414-773-2900.

Packers playoff run prompts fond memories

Jan. 18, 2015 12:35 p.m. | It's no secret that Wisconsinites are passionate about their Packers, and last weekend's battle with Dallas prompted locals to reminisce about their favorite memories of the team.

Wauwatosa Superintendent Phil Ertl

Wauwatosa Superintendent Phil Ertl has been a Packers fan as long as he can remember, beginning with his childhood in Medford, Wisconsin when the Packers weren't at their best.

"It was the thing to do, even though they were really struggling," Ertl said.

Ertl's interest in the Packers only grew as he played football in high school and in college at UW-La Crosse. He also coached football at a high school in Texas and at Tomah High School in Wisconsin. He was rewarded for his support in 1996, when he attended every home game and traveled to New Orleans to see them win the Super Bowl.

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Suburban Selfies contest extended through Jan. 25; two selfie solutions to get you started!

Jan. 15, 2015 9:30 a.m. | My Community Now and Lake Country Now are extending the second annual Suburban Selfies contest through Sunday, Jan. 25. Contest answers and winners will be announced Jan. 29.

Below, and in the above video, are two free riddle solutions to get you started!

Check out the contest at

Solution One:

Lake Country Now contest riddle: My body is silver but you can see through me. Waukesha's hometown boy was famous for playing me. (Location: Waukesha)

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Wauwatosa school district adds computer science course

Jan. 14, 2015 8:55 a.m. | In light of new state math and science requirements, the Wauwatosa School Board recently approved a new one-credit computer science course, "Exploring Computer Science," for the 2015-16 school-year.

The hands-on course will cover basic computing and coding skills, web design, programming, data analysis and robotics. The curriculum is available through at no cost to the district.

The course will count for math credit, which will help students fulfill the new state requirement of three years each of high school science and math before graduation. The requirement applies to this year's sophomores and students below them. Previously, students have only been required to take two years of each.

Wauwatosa man dead after crash on Miller Park Way

Jan. 12, 2015 5:53 p.m. | Wauwatosa resident Richard Stasinski, 60, was pronounced dead shortly after crashing his car on Miller Park Way about 5:08 p.m. Sunday. 

A witness who called 911 said Stasinski hit a wall, crossed over the Gate 6 off-ramp and crashed into a pole, according to the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office.

Stasinski was found unresponsive at the scene and pronounced dead at about 6 p.m. 

The Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office is conducting an autopsy. 

Wauwatosa stamp factory to become shopping center

Jan. 12, 2015 2:19 p.m. | The Schwaab stamp factory at 11415 W. Burleigh St. in Wauwatosa could reopen next year as a new shopping center, under plans announced Monday by Mayfair Collection developer HSA Commercial Real Estate. 

HSA and partner Innovative Capitol Adviers recently purchased the building for $2.15 million from Schwaab, Inc., according to state records. Schwaab plans to move its operations to Brookfield. 

Just across the street from its Mayfair Collection development, HSA plans to expand the factory to 32,000 square feet and remodel the space to suit multiple retail tenants. 

HSA plans to begin work on the building this fall, with the goal of welcoming retailers in the summer of 2016. 

Designed by TOA Architects of Evanston, Illinois, the building will maintain some of the original materials in a nod to its industrial history, according to a press release from the developers. 

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Mayfair Collection developer buys nearby site for retail project

Jan. 08, 2015 3:18 p.m. | A group affiliated with the developer of The Mayfair Collection has purchased property near that Wauwatosa mixed-use project, where it plans to create more retail space.

ICA Schwaab Venture LLC recently bought 2.8 acres at 11415 W. Burleigh St. for $2.15 million, according to state real estate records. That property, which includes a light industrial building, was sold by manufacturer Schwaab Inc., which plans to move this year to Brookfield.

ICA Schwaab is a partnership of HSA Commercial Real Estate Inc. and Innovative Capital Advisors, both based in Chicago, said Brenton Schrader, an HSA spokesman.

HSA's projects include Mayfair Collection, which features stores, restaurants, a hotel and other new uses on a former warehouse site north of Burleigh St. and east of Highway 45. 

The Schwaab property is just across Burleigh St. from Mayfair Collection.

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Plaque honors memory of Wauwatosa Police Officer Jennifer Sebena

Jan. 08, 2015 1:47 p.m. | The Wauwatosa Police Department unveiled a dedication plaque on Thursday, Jan. 8 in honor of officer Jennifer Sebena, who was shot and killed by her husband Christmas Eve 2012.

"We miss you and you're forever in our thoughts!!!" read a Facebook post announcing the ceremony, which took place at the Wauwatosa Police Department, 1700 N. 116th St.

The plaque includes a Bible passage that was found in Sebena's locker, "Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge" (Psalm 16:1).

Sebena's name is also added to the National Law Enforcement Officers memorial wall in Washington, D.C.

Sebena's husband, Benjamin Sebena, a Iraq war veteran, pleaded guilty to the shooting and is currently serving a life sentence.

Three candidates vie to represent Wauwatosa on Milwaukee County Board

Jan. 07, 2015 10:55 a.m. | Three candidates have entered the race for the 15th District Milwaukee County supervisory seat, which represents parts of Wauwatosa, Milwaukee and West Milwaukee. The seat was left open when former supervisor David Cullen was elected Milwaukee County treasurer in November.

Wauwatosa Alderman Jason Wilke

Wauwatosa Alderman Jason Wilke was the first to announce his candidacy. He has been the 8th District alderman since 2009, and also helped establish the Park Ridge and Hartung community neighborhood associations.

"Living in a neighborhood that shares borders with the city of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County's Menomonee River Parkway, I have worked through several layers of government to make sure my community can utilize all available resources," Wilke said in a statement. "These experiences have prepared me to serve not only my constituents in Milwaukee County's 15th District but the residents of Milwaukee County alike."

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Developers reveal plans for housing at Wauwatosa's Mayfair Collection

Jan. 06, 2015 5:41 p.m. | Up to 1,050 luxury housing units could be built over the next 10 years at Wauwatosa's Mayfair Collection near Highway 45 and Burleigh Street, according to plans announced Tuesday, Jan. 6, by developers HSA Commercial Real Estate and Fiduciary Real Estate.

Construction on the first phase of the development, called "The District," is scheduled to begin in 2015. It would include 250 apartments and 50,000 square feet of ground-level retail. Tenants could move in as soon as 2016.

According to the plans, units could range from 500 to 1,300 square feet, with an average rent of $1,275.

The second phase, scheduled to break ground in 2016, would include another 250 apartments. After that, the developers plan to evaluate the demand for housing and consider building more apartments, condominiums, row houses or senior housing.

"It's exciting to see the vision Wauwatosa had for this area 15 years ago became a reality," Mayor Kathy Ehley said in a statement. "The continued growth around The Mayfair Collection is a good fit for our city and adds many options for housing, transit, employment and entertainment."

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Milwaukee man dead after crash in Wauwatosa

Jan. 06, 2015 4:16 p.m. | A 64-year-old Milwaukee man, Syed Huda, had a medical condition that caused him to crash his car and die about 3:30 p.m. Monday at 11200 Watertown Plank Road in Wauwatosa, according to the Milwaukee County medical examiner's office.

Huda's family requested there not be an autopsy. The medical examiner's office determined Huda died from natural causes due to a lack of external trauma and damage to the vehicle. Huda's family told the office he had a cardiovascular disease and had been complaining of chest pain.

Coast Guard member gets 5 months confinement for assault

Jan. 06, 2015 10:48 a.m. | A Coast Guard petty officer has been sentenced by a military judge to five months confinement and received a bad conduct discharge for an assault at a 2013 party in Wauwatosa.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Joshua M. Raymond had been accused of violating several articles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, including committing abusive sexual contact on a fellow service member and attempted sexual assault.

As part of a pretrial agreement, the attempted sexual assault and unlawful sexual contact were dismissed and Raymond was found guilty of assault and battery, according to a news release. The agreement also resulted in Raymond receiving an other-than-honorable discharge.

Raymond will serve his sentence at the Naval Consolidated Brig in Chesapeake, Va. While he serves his sentence, he will have the demoted rank of seaman apprentice.

Raymond had been an operations specialist assigned to the engineering division at Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan, located in Milwaukee.

Friday deadline for Wauwatosa Distinguished Citizen nominations

Jan. 05, 2015 12:37 p.m. | Friday, Jan. 9 is the deadline to submit nominations for Wauwatosa's Distinguished Citizen of 2014.

The Wauwatosa Distinguished Citizen Award Council accepts nominations by any person, group or organization, but self-nominations are not accepted.

The 2014 Citizen of the Year recognition ceremony is planned for April 2015 at Blue Mound Golf and Country Club, 10122 W. North Ave.

The award council has recognized qualified individuals who have made a distinguished contribution to the community life of Wauwatosa since 1964. Maureen Conors Badding was last year's distinguished citizen.

Nomination forms are available at the City Clerk's office in City Hall, the Wauwatosa Public Library, or the city website at An electronic copy may also be requested by emailing Christopher Zirbes,

Wauwatosans organize rally in support of local police

Jan. 02, 2015 4:19 p.m. | A week after Dontre Hamilton supporters staged a "die-in" demonstration at Mayfair mall, Wauwatosa resident Brian Connolly organized more than 100 people to spread a different message Jan. 1 outside the mall on Mayfair Road.

Carrying signs with messages such as "We support police," people at the rally Jan. 1 said they were trying to show their appreciation for law enforcement officers, who have been under scrutiny recently as police shootings have gained attention nationwide.

"I had seen a lot of negative against police officers on TV and Facebook, and I didn't see much positive," Connolly said. "I thought that someone needed to step up and say something. I know I'm only one person, but I thought if I could invite as many people as I could to show they're thankful, I thought that would be a nice thing to do."

County Supervisor Deanna Alexander, who represents the 18th District just northeast of Wauwatosa, helped spread the word about the demonstration on social media.

"Most cops have good intentions — to simply protect law and order," Alexander said in a video message. "We all breathe easier because of you, and I want you to know that you can breathe easier knowing that there are many, many people standing behind you."

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