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Former Wauwatosa priest pleads not guilty to embezzlement charges

Aug. 26, 2014 12:13 p.m. | Former Wauwatosa priest James Dokos pleaded not guilty this morning to a charge of felony theft. He is accused of embezzling more than $110,000 from Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church.

Dokos, 62, is now a Chicago resident. If found guilty, he could see up to 10 years in prison and $25,000 in fines.

The criminal complaint in the case says Dokos inappropriately spent money from a church trust fund he was given control over between August 2008 and October 2012, using funds to pay his credit card bill and writing several checks from the fund to himself and family members.

According to the complaint, Dokos had been made trustee of the account in 2008 after the deaths of both funders of the trust, Ervin and Margaret Franczak. Margaret had named him as a successor.

Dokos is due back in court Dec. 16.

Westbound I-94 near Miller Park to close for 31 hours beginning Friday night

Dec. 18, 2014 11:57 a.m. | Westbound lanes of Interstate 94 at the stadium interchange near Miller Park will be closed from 11 p.m. Friday until 6 a.m. Sunday for a storm sewer installation.

The state Department of Transportation expects backups during the day Saturday on westbound I-94 between the Marquette and stadium interchanges.

The DOT recommends the following detours:

  • Miller Park Way to National Avenue to Greenfield Avenue
  • US 41 to Bluemound Road to Glenview Avenue to Watertown Plank Road
  • I-894 bypass or I-43 to other regional east/west routes

More information the project, and other projects, is available on the DOT website.

Woman drives drunk to pick up drunken driver from police station

Dec. 10, 2014 11:15 a.m. | A woman was arrested for driving drunk to pick up a drunken driver from the Wauwatosa Police Department, 1700 N. 116th St., at 2:40 a.m. Dec. 4.

Police arrested the woman in the police department lobby, according to a Wauwatosa police report blotter.

The woman was there to pick up a man who had been arrested for drunken driving in the 700 block of Glenview Avenue at 11:43 p.m. Dec. 3.

The report did not indicate any additional information.

Suspects of five related burglaries in Wauwatosa arrested, charged

Dec. 09, 2014 5:30 p.m. | Unidentified suspects have been arrested for committing five burglaries in the area south of Bluemound Road between 112th Street and 117th Street in early October, according to the Wauwatosa Police Department's Facebook page.

"In each incident, entry to the house was made by force and approximately $10,000 worth of items were stolen and/or damaged combined. I'm happy to report that with some quick detective work, the people responsible for these burglaries have been arrested and subsequently charged with the crimes," the post said.

Neither Lt. Christopher Fox or Lt. Paul Leist could be reached for comment as to how the suspects were apprehended. Other representatives from the Wauwatosa Police Department were not available to comment.

The Wauwatosa Police Department Facebook page is managed by Leist and clerks, who post about the department's positive achievements, local crime, safety tips and more. Fox is a communications spokesperson for the department.

In September, the page helped lead to the apprehension of a missing endangered person.

Woman threatens to stab Sak's employee after retail theft

Dec. 09, 2014 2:12 p.m. | A woman threatened to stab a Sak's loss prevention agent with a knife after she stole nine men's shirts valued at $389 from Sak's OFF 5th, 11500 W. Burleigh St., at roughly 6 p.m. Dec. 2, according to a Wauwatosa police report blotter. Nobody was injured.

The suspect fled the department store in a black Nissan Altima.

The blotter did not indicate any additional information.

Wauwatosa aderman runs for Milwaukee County supervisor

Dec. 08, 2014 12:50 p.m. | Wauwatosa Alderman Jason Wilke has announced he is running for the vacant Milwaukee County Supervisor seat in the 15th District, which includes parts of Wauwatosa, Milwaukee and West Milwaukee.

If Wilke wins, there could be an opening on the Wauwatosa Common Council.

"It is too soon to assess the interplay between my current Council obligations and a position as a County Supervisor," Wilke said in a statement. "I will address this issue when the time is right."

The special election to fill the County Supervisor position will be held with the general election April 7. Former 15th District Supervisor David Cullen left the seat open when he was elected Milwaukee County treasurer in November.

Wilke was the only registered candidate for the position as of Dec. 5, according to the Milwaukee Election Commission. Candidates have until Jan. 6 to register and file nomination papers.

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Anonymous email threatens Wauwatosa East High School

Dec. 05, 2014 1:56 p.m. | Attendance was down at Wauwatosa East High School on Dec. 5 after the school received an anonymous threatening email the day before.

The Milwaukee County K-9 Unit went through the building Dec. 4 and found no evidence of explosives, Superintendent Phil Ertl said. Police increased their presence at the high school and at Lincoln Elementary School across the street Dec. 5.

Police are working to determine who sent the email.

"People may believe it's anonymous, but I don't believe there's such a thing with email," Ertl said.

In an automated voice message sent Dec. 4, Ertl told parents they could keep their kids home Friday with an excused absence. He said a "significant" number chose to do so, but classes went on as usual.

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600 bowlers, volleyball players to compete at the Special Olympics Wisconsin on Saturday

Dec. 04, 2014 2:17 p.m. | About 600 bowlers and volleyball players will compete at the Special Olympics Wisconsin (SOWI) State Fall Sports tournament at AMF Bowlero Lanes, 11737 W. Burleigh St., in Wauwatosa and Center Court Complex in Waukesha.

The 35th annual event will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6.

Bowling is SOWI's most popular sport, according to a news release.

"The State Fall Sports Tournament is just one example of how Special Olympics reveals the champion in all of us. Through programming in sports, health, education and community building, Special Olympics is changing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities," the statement said.

Approximately 200 coaches and 350 volunteers will be present. Interested volunteers should contact their local Special Olympics office at (800) 552-1324 or come to the event on Dec. 6 with a photo ID.

Kindergarten registration sessions announced

Dec. 03, 2014 11:15 a.m. | Kindergarten registration will take place during two sessions at each Wauwatosa public elementary school. Parents may attend 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 14 or 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 15. Children are not required to be present.

To register, parents must bring two items to prove proof of residency, such as a mortgage document or property tax bill or lease/rental agreement showing the landlord's name and phone number and a current utility bill sent to the home showing name and address. Also bring a child's original birth certificate and a child's most up-to-date immunization record.

For information about the documents needed for registration or to determine area of attendance, parents should contact the Teaching and Learning Student Support Services office at (414) 773-1080. For school-specific information, parents should call the respective school directly.

Oconomowoc man, Eisenhower teacher, dies unexpectedly

Nov. 29, 2014 4:50 p.m. | Ryan Heffner, a fourth-grade teacher at Eisenhower Elementary School in Wauwatosa, died unexpectedly Nov. 26 at Oconomowoc Memorial Hospital.

The cause of death had not been determined as of Dec. 2, according to the Waukesha County medical examiner's office. Heffner, 44, lived in Oconomowoc and is survived by his wife, Barbara, and their two children: Sara, 10, and Will, 4.

Heffner taught at Eisenhower for more than 20 years.

"It's a hard loss for everybody in the district, and everybody that knew him," Superintendent Phil Ertl said. "Everybody respected him and held him in high regard. He was a great teacher, and more importantly, a great person. He's really going to be missed."


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HomeGoods coming to Mayfair Collection

Nov. 24, 2014 11:46 a.m. | Home furnishings and accessories retailer HomeGoods said Monday it plans to open a store at The Mayfair Collection next year.

The company has signed a lease for 22,454 square feet of space in the second phase of the retail shopping center, said Timothy Blum, executive vice president of retail development for HSA Commercial Real Estate. HomeGoods will occupy the northern end cap of the building at 11100 W. Bureleigh St., which will be anchored by a 45,150-square-foot Whole Foods Market.

The HomeGoods store, which will be the second in the metro Milwaukee area, is expected to open for business in fall of 2015. HomeGoods is an off-price retailer with about 400 stores in the U.S.

The Mayfair Collection is a 400,000-square-foot retail development at Highway 45 and Burleigh St. in Wauwatosa. Among stores opened in the first phase were Nordstrom Rack, DIck's Sporting Goods and Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH.

Plans for the second phase also include about 50,000 square feet of junior anchor retail space, a mix of upscale bars and restaurants and a 140-room Hilton Homewood Suites hotel. 

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Wauwatosa superintendent attends President Barack Obama's 'ConnectED to the Future' event

Nov. 18, 2014 8:17 p.m. | Superintendent Phil Ertl joined superintendents and educators from across the country in attending President Barack Obama's "ConnectED to the Future" event on Wednesday, Nov. 19 to learn how to transition schools and districts to digital learning.

Ertl was one of two Wisconsin superintendents to attend the event.

President Barack Obama announced the ConnectED Initiative in 2013 to connect 99 percent of students to high speed Internet and equip teachers with technology they need to "transform teaching and learning," according to a news release.

"I am honored to represent the Wauwatosa School District at this event. Our students, staff, school board and community recognize that technology in the classroom enhances learning. I am proud of the innovation occurring in our classrooms. I also look forward to the opportunity to talk about our district and the need to provide high — speed Internet connectivity for all of our students," said Ertl in a news release.

Superintendents will commit to Obama's Future Pledge and participate in a signing ceremony, hosted by President Barack Obama during the event. By signing, superintendents are committing to lead a transition in their districts to use technology to support innovation in the classroom.

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Children's Hospital of Wisconsin moves babies to newly designed NICU

Nov. 18, 2014 8:16 p.m. | The Children's Hospital of Wisconsin's "tiniest patients" were moved into the newly designed neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) on Tuesday, Nov. 18.

The newly designed space at Children's Hospital, 9000 W. Wisconsin Ave., added 11 beds, from 59 to 70, to be able to care for more babies. The adopted design concept also supports shorter stays in the care unit and provides accommodations for multiple births.

PHOTO GALLERY: Children's Hospital moves babies from old to new ICU

In the updated NICU, nurse proximity to babies is maximized and new technologies have been integrated in the space.

VIDEO: The "crib cam" as captured by Children's Hospital.

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City Market closes North Avenue location

Nov. 17, 2014 5:50 p.m. | City Market owners Jeff Swanson and Julie Hollingsworth have closed and sold their café at 8725 W. North Ave. in Wauwatosa, where they had been operating for about eight years.

According to city records, the building was sold in October to Dong Sin, who runs Westwood Dry Cleaners at 8731 W. North Ave., next door to the City Market building. His son, Jason Sin, said they hadn't yet decided whether to move their business there or lease out the space.

Hollingsworth said the North Avenue location shared some of the same customers as its other restaurant in Wauwatosa, 8700 W. Watertown Plank Road, and there wasn't enough business to thrive in both places.

"From the beginning, we thought the North Avenue store would have its own market, but truly they're so close together that it didn't do a lot of good for either store," Hollingsworth said. "Having two stores within five minutes of each other, each didn't develop their own identity."

City Market has been on Watertown Plank Road for about 16 years. Although it's had to withstand lengthy construction projects, Hollingsworth said the location is better situated to benefit from development at the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center and UWM's Innovation Campus.

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Early momentum doesn't stay with Tosa East

Nov. 14, 2014 6:25 p.m. | Here they came once again, charging hard like they have for the past two weeks.

Six straight points — five behind the serving of junior outside hitter Dan Jokisch — and suddenly Wauwatosa East's boys volleyball team had a 21-20 lead in the fourth game of its state quarterfinal game with top-ranked Milwaukee Marquette Friday.

"It was kind of like Cinderella," East senior middle blocker Ian Quast said. "We already weren't supposed to be here … and we weren't going quietly."

The Red Raiders certainly didn't go silently. But the powerful Hilltoppers did eventually make sure the clock struck midnight.

Marquette rallied back in the final game and put the finishing touches on a 22-25, 25-19, 25-18, 25-22 victory. The Hilltoppers improved to 26-4 and advanced to Saturday's state semifinals against Burlington, while East finished the year 15-16.

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Wauwatosa woman investigated for stealing credit card information from Froedtert Hospital patients

Nov. 13, 2014 11:43 a.m. | A female Wauwatosa food service worker is being investigated for fraudulently using a couple's credit card to buy clothes and other things while they were in the hospital, WISN 12 News reported Monday, Nov. 10.

The couple noticed charges on their credit card for hundreds of dollars at stores they had never been to, after a brief stay at Froedtert Hospital last month. They are from Waukesha County.

The couple said they had given their credit information to a food service worker at Froedtert to order dinner, according to a search warrant obtained by WISN.

The female food service worker, 27, from Wauwatosa, is currently being investigated by Froedtert Hospital and the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office.

"As soon as we became aware situation, we conducted an internal investigation and then turned the matter over to law enforcement. The employee has been suspended without pay. She was not involved in caring for patients," said a Froedtert Hospital representative in a statement.

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