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Craigslist shoppers steal Tosa homeowner's furnace

Oct. 31, 2012 10:47 a.m. | A man who used Craigslist to help clean out his house before a remodel found himself missing a gas furnace in Wauwatosa last week.

According to the police report:

The gas furnace was taken from a residence in the 400 block of North 68th Street at 10:25 a.m. Oct. 25.

The victim was doing a total remodel of his home and invited people from Craigslist to take items from the house.

The man said not to take the new, high-efficiency gas furnace, valued at $300.

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Casey loses vice presidency, Randall retains presidency on Wauwatosa School Board

May 04, 2015 8:13 p.m. | Following concerns from parents about Wauwatosa School Board Vice President Kristy Casey's job as an advocate for public charter schools, the board voted to elect a new vice president at its meeting Monday.

Sharon Muehfeld was picked for the position on a 4-3 vote, with Casey getting three votes. Board members voted by anonymous paper ballots and did not comment on the election.

The vice president of the board is tasked with monitoring and responding to legislative activity that impacts the district at the state Capitol and other levels of government. Some have said this responsibility conflicts with Casey's job as director of the Wisconsin Coalition for Public Charter Schools, as funding for independent public charter schools reduces state aid available for traditional public schools.

Also Monday, Mary Jo Randall was re-elected as president of the board with four votes, while Muehfeld received two votes for the position, and Brian Bawden received one.

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Wauwatosa alderman proposes cutting four seats on Common Council

May 04, 2015 3:33 p.m. | Reviving a proposal discussed many times in past years in Wauwatosa, Alderman Bobby Pantuso has asked the Common Council to consider shrinking itself from 16 seats to 12.

Wauwatosa residents voted in favor of cutting seats on the council in a 2012 referendum, with 72 percent of voters supporting the idea. Although the council did not move forward with the proposal in 2012, Pantuso said it's not to late to bring it back for discussion.

"Nothing irritates me more than when government doesn't take action," Pantuso said. "Just because years have gone by doesn't mean there's not still a need."

Pantuso said he thinks it's confusing for residents to each have two aldermen representing them. He said people sometimes misunderstand who is competing for their votes in election seasons, and who they should talk to about concerns in their districts.

Currently, Wauwatosa has eight districts, each with two aldermen. Other cities vary in their approach. Brookfield, for example, also has two aldermen per district, while Milwaukee has one per district.

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East kickers blank Tosa West, 2-0

May 02, 2015 9:44 p.m. | Two freshman made their mark in their first 'Battle of Tosa' on Saturday at Whitman Field and led Wauwatosa East to a 2-0 win over crosstown rival Wauwatosa West.

On a beautiful 75 degree spring evening, the Red Raiders got on the board first when freshman defender Sarah Lessila took a ball right in front of the left side of the net and hit it into the right hand corner for a 1-0 lead at the 14:17 mark.

Then in the 23rd minute, West goalkeeper Marley Eckblad made not one, but two outstanding saves, but got no help from her defense. When the second save rebounded out in front of a wide-open net, freshman Liz Bueckers, a midfielder/forward, poked the second goal into the upper right corner for a 2-0 lead.

That quick lead enabled East's outstanding senior defender Kelli Swenson to pull back and spend more time on defense, hurting the Trojans offensive attack.

East is now 7-2-2 overall and West is 6-4-2.

Investigation: Family behind collapsed Falls building has a history of neglecting properties

May 01, 2015 11:34 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — Executives of the companies that own and manage the partially collapsed North Hills Plaza in Menomonee Falls have a long history of legal troubles and neglecting properties, a Menomonee Falls Now investigation has found.

North Hills Plaza is owned by 1340 East 9th Street Realty Corp. in Brooklyn, New York, whose CEO is Samuel Pinter, according to Waukesha County tax records and information from the New York Department of State. His son, Charles Pinter, is the CEO of Royale Property Management, which oversees North Hills Plaza. Together the Pinters and their affiliated companies have left a wake of rundown properties, according to court records and officials in Texas.

In 2013, unlivable conditions rife with cockroaches, toilets overflowing, spoiled food and a pool so filthy the water was black were reported in inspection reports for a Texas retirement community owned by Samuel Pinter.

A 2004 federal court lawsuit over an alleged $44 million Ponzi scheme names Samuel Pinter as a defendant, and Charles Pinter was ultimately brought into the suit, as well.

In addition, news sources have reported other incidents in which properties owned by Charles or Samuel, or both, were found to be dilapidated and unlivable.

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Wauwatosa's Lady in Red reopens as Nikki's Boutique after remodel

April 30, 2015 4:58 p.m. | With her business partner at Lady in Red moving to Arizona, Nikki Burt said she decided to take the opportunity to remodel the space at 7502 W. North Ave. and make it her own Nikki's Boutique.

After a period of remodeling, Burt had a grand opening earlier this month with a new interior design.

"It's more of an open space — more of an upscale, modern type of boutique," Burt said.

Burt said the only difference in merchandise is the addition of a children's section. Like Lady in Red, the store primarily sells new and used women's clothing.

"It looks totally different, but it's exactly the same concept," Burt said.

Exactly 175 years ago, Wauwatosa became a town

April 30, 2015 6:00 a.m. | Exactly 175 years ago, on April 30, 1840, settlers in Wauwatosa broke off from Milwaukee and formed their own town, according to the "Memoirs of Milwaukee County," although the date has gone largely unrecognized by local historians.

There are few mentions of this date in history books, which tend to brush by it and note that the first record of any town meeting was of a meeting on April 5, 1842.

The city does not generally celebrate the anniversary of the date, preferring to commemorate the year 1835 to mark the arrival of many of the first white settlers, including Charles Hart.

Merisa Tomczak, a research librarian at the Wauwatosa Historical Society, said Hart's arrival is significant because he established the city's first mills, which catalyzed economic development in the area. He also went on to chair the first town board.

"Wauwatosa was one of many areas in Milwaukee County that established township around 1840," Tomczak said. "It is an important date, but not unique to Wauwatosa. The city has historically chosen to celebrate 1835 as the establishment of Wauwatosa because of that year's significance to Wauwatosa specifically."

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Tosa Recreation Dept. to hold textile recycling event

April 29, 2015 1:33 p.m. | Wauwatosa — In partnership with Milwaukee Textile Recycling, the Wauwatosa Recreation Department will host a clothing, footwear and textile recycling drive May 9.

The event will run from 9 a.m. to noon in the Fisher Administration Building parking lot located at 12011 W. North Ave.

The public is encouraged to bring unwanted textiles in a large plastic bag to the parking lot during the drive. All textiles must be moisture, odor and mildew free to ensure all items are recycled. Milwaukee Textile Recycling will be on site to collect recyclable items.

Acceptable items include old clothing, all footwear, hats, gloves, scarves, pocketbooks, duffel bags, totes, belts and ties. Stuffed animals and linens including blankets, comforters, dish towels, throw rugs, draperies, table linens and placements will also be accepted.

The average American puts 70 pounds of clothing, footwear or textiles into local landfills or waste-to-energy facilities, according to a news release from the Wauwatosa Recreation Department.

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Wauwatosa parents ask Sen. Leah Vukmir to increase education funding

April 27, 2015 9:23 p.m. | At a town hall meeting led by U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner April 27 at the West Allis Public Library, several Wauwatosa parents addressed state Sen. Leah Vukmir and asked her to increase spending on public education in the state budget.

The Wauwatosa school district is facing a $900,000 cut under the proposed state budget, which would reduce aid by $150 per pupil for the next school-year.

Vukmir hesitated to make promises as she waits for state revenue estimates to come in, but she said she expected Gov. Scott Walker's budget proposals on education to change.

"There will be more money," said Vukmir, who serves on the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee. "I can't say how much and what it will look like."

Four members of the Wauwatosa Support our Schools group spoke at the meeting, where they delivered a stack of postcards signed by hundreds of residents in opposition to education cuts in the state budget.

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Wauwatosa parents to ask Sen. Vukmir to restore education funding at forum tonight

April 27, 2015 10:58 a.m. | Members of the Wauwatosa Support Our Schools group are planning to lobby state Sen. Leah Vukmir for more education funding in the state budget at a town hall meeting tonight at 7 at the West Allis Library, 7421 W. National Ave. U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner also plans to attend. 

SOS members have brought their message to several other listening sessions with their lawmakers, including an earlier meeting with Vukmir in Brookfield, and a session with Rep. Dale Kooyenga in Wauwatosa. Vukmir and Kooyenga both serve on the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee.

With the Wauwatosa school district facing cuts of about $900,000 under the proposed state budget, SOS is asking for a full restoration of those funds, plus additional funding to match growing costs.

Foreign officials take inspiration from Wauwatosa's Innovation Campus

April 23, 2015 2:13 p.m. | Wauwatosa's Innovation Campus had a moment in an international spotlight April 23 when about 50 officials from Canada, Mexico, and several Central and South American countries bused into the city to see how the public-private partnership project has progressed.

Part of a program organized by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the commerce and economic development officials toured over a dozen "innovation hubs" throughout the Midwest over six days.

Officials touring Innovation Campus said they were impressed by the cooperation between government and industry in supporting research at UWM's Innovation Accelerator building. The campus was financially supported in part by the city of Wauwatosa with a tax-incremental finance district, while it is owned by the university and partially leased by private companies who work with UWM students and professors.

"If you're looking for a model and best practices of working together, come here," Wauwatosa Mayor Kathy Ehley told the crowd. "It transformed an underutilized area to become part of the area's largest research hub for biotechnology research and academics."

Carlos Mora, vice minister of Economy, Industry and Commerce for Costa Rica, said he hoped his country could establish similar public-private partnerships.

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Wauwatosa fire chief addresses threat of oil tanker derailment

April 22, 2015 11:28 a.m. | With a rise in crude oil production and transportation by rail, residents living near train tracks throughout the country have raised concerns about the risk of derailment, which can cause explosions and fires. Wauwatosa Fire Chief Rob Ugaste is one of them.

Ugaste said there are about 30 Canadian Pacific freight trains that course through Wauwatosa each day, some of which have crude oil on board.

Crude oil constitutes about six percent of Canadian Pacific's revenue from freight transport, and is its fastest growing sector, according to the company's 2014 fact book. Andy Cummings, a spokesman for Canadian Pacific, said he could not report how many trains carrying crude oil move through Wauwatosa, citing security concerns.

Focus on prevention

Cummings said federal guidelines ensure that Canadian Pacific takes several steps to mitigate risk, including inspections of rail lines to catch potential problems before a derailment. Certain trains (DOT-111 style) carrying crude oil are required to slow to 40 miles per hour in high-risk urban areas, which according to the Federal Railroad Administration includes anything within 10 miles of the Milwaukee border.

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Mount Mary University students spruce up Wauwatosa business storefronts

April 22, 2015 11:28 a.m. | Some storefronts in the Wauwatosa Village and beyond are getting a Mount-Mary makeover this season as students from the university partner with business owners to learn about the trade and lend some elbow grease.

Students LaShaun Bryson and Christina McCanna worked on the window display at Village Boutique Clothiers, 1417 Underwood Ave., on April 20. Store owner Barbara Berg said they transformed the space.

"They were able to use whatever they wanted in the store," Berg said. "They found a prop and built their theme around that."

Bryson and McCanna used a vintage Pepsi cooler as inspiration for a nautical display.

Mount Mary students are also helping out at Salamander, Niemann's, Metcalfe's Market and Design Vision Optical.

U-Haul moving into former Harley-Davidson plant in Wauwatosa

April 20, 2015 1:33 p.m. | U-Haul is planning to open a new store in the former Harley-Davidson manufacturing plant at 11700 W. Capitol Drive.

An affiliate of the company recently purchased the building from Harley-Davidson for $5.25 million, according to state records.

The U-Haul store plans to offer truck and trailer rentals, a retail showroom, and self-storage options, according to a statement from the company, which said an opening date had not been determined.

Teen apparel store Garage coming to Mayfair

April 20, 2015 11:24 a.m. | Selling denim and other clothing targeted to teenage girls, Garage is scheduled to open this summer at Mayfair mall in Wauwatosa.

The Montreal-based chain has more than 300 locations in Canada, the U.S. and abroad. The store at Mayfair will be its first in the Milwaukee area. It will be located on the upper level of the mall in the Boston Store wing.

Suburban Woman's Club of Wauwatosa awards scholarships to teachers

April 17, 2015 2:33 p.m. | The Suburban Woman's Club of Wauwatosa has awarded $800 scholarships for continuing education to the following teachers:

  • Robert Kalpinski, Plank Road School
  • Laura Nemetz, Whitman Middle School
  • Peggy Paar, Roosevelt Elementary School
  • Kristin Thimmesch, Eisenhower Elementary School
  • Hannah Wendlake, Eisenhower Elementary School

The teachers will receive their awards in a ceremony May 4 at the Wauwatosa Civic Center.

The Suburban Woman's Club has been awarding scholarships to teachers for 65 years, according to Joan Riggin, chair of the group's scholarship committee.

"Their belief as mothers of Wauwatosa students is that providing financial assistant to our teachers to further their education would be their way of enriching their children's education," the group said in a press release.


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