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City getting its first police dog

Feb. 21, 2010 11:08 a.m. | The Wauwatosa Police Department will soon have its first furry, four-legged officer.

A German shepherd has been purchased from a kennel in Sharpsville, Pa., that specializes in providing dogs to law enforcement agencies.

Officer Tim Kastner, who has served on the department for eight years, has been chosen to work as the canine handler. He was chosen from 16 officers who asked to be considered for the position, Capt. Jeff Sutter said.

Kastner was selected after an evaluation by department supervisors, interview process, and a physical fitness and agility test.

Kastner will attend a six-week handlers training academy at the kennel beginning in late March. Then he will bring the dog back to Wauwatosa.

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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. Commerce Department, 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."

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 students spruce up Wauwatosa businesses

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., 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.

Seniors now eligible for free Milwaukee County bus passes

April 16, 2015 4:48 p.m. | Milwaukee County residents 65 and older, as well as some residents with disabilities, are now eligible for free bus passes as mandated by the County Board. They had previously been able to use the transit system at half price.

Those interested in a bus pass can print an application at and submit it at the MTCS Administration Building, 1942 N. 17th St. in Milwaukee.

Beginning in May, more sites will be available for processing applications. More information is available at or by calling 414-343-1700.

Irgens names Zywave as tenant for proposed office building in Wauwatosa

April 15, 2015 10:35 a.m. | In their pitch to a Wauwatosa committee for financial assistance April 14, officials with Irgens Development Partners named software company Zywave as the tenant they have lined up for their proposed office building at the Milwaukee County Research Park.

Zywave, which is already located in the park at 10700 Research Drive, has grown out of its current space and would like to occupy 63,500 square feet of the proposed building — about 40 percent of the 155,000 square feet available, Irgens officials said. Other tenants have not been secured.

"We are running out of space to accommodate growing companies," Irgens President Jackie Walsh said. "Large blocks of space in the marketplace don't exist."

Irgens asks for city financing

Irgens is proposing a $23.5 million four-story office building for 10000 Innovation Drive, near the on-ramp from Watertown Plank Road onto Highway 45. They have asked the city for exactly $5 million to fund a two-level parking structure through a tax-incremental finance (TIF) district.

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Kmart closing in developing area of Wauwatosa

April 14, 2015 5:13 p.m. | The Kmart store in Wauwatosa, at 3201 N. Mayfair Road, is scheduled to close June 21, according to an announcement from the state Department of Workforce Development. The building has large "store closing" signs hanging outside.

Layoffs for the store's 103 employees will begin June 14, according to the DWD, which will help workers find new employment.

Wauwatosa Development Director Paulette Enders said she was not aware of plans for the building to be sold or redeveloped, and she believed it would be leased to another tenant.

As several properties in that area are under transition, Alderman Craig Wilson said it would be ideal to see major redevelopment of that corner, northwest of Mayfair Road and Burleigh Street. But in the meantime, he said he hopes businesses are able to keep the block alive on each of their own parcels.

"It's not going to kill us to have some more routine development," Wilson said. "I think it would actually be a good sign that we don't have to have big orchestrated development."

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Kmart in Wauwatosa will close

April 14, 2015 4:48 p.m. |  Troubled retailer Kmart, which has been closing stores nationwide, will shutter its location on Mayfair Road in Wauwatosa, the company has told state officials.

Kmart Corp., a unit of Sears Holdings, filed notice that it will close the store at 3201 N. Mayfair Rd. on June 21.

One hundred and three jobs will be cut.

Kmart closed its stores on S. 108th Street in Hales Corners and on S. 27th Street in Greenfield a year ago. Its location on Bluemound Road in Brookfield was shut down in December 2013.

UPDATE: Friday meeting will proceed without Rep. Kooyenga

April 14, 2015 2:13 p.m. | State Rep. Dale Kooyenga, who previously planned to meet with Wauwatosa residents Friday, April 17, said he would not be able to attend the event because of a Joint Finance Committee meeting Fiday.

Jean Davidson of the Citizens with Disabilities Committee, which helped organize the public meeting, said the event will go on without him at 6 p.m. at City Hall. She said those who attend will be able to record comments that will be delivered to Kooyenga's office. 

Kooyenga noted residents have had other opportunities to share feedback through surveys mailed to houses in his district, an online form, and a listening session in Wauwatosa March 31

"We have done tons of listening and continue listening," said Kooyenga, the assembly vice co-chair on the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee. "Now we're in Madison making changes based on feedback."

Davidson said the meeting Friday will include presentations by government officials and local organizations on senior care, education funding, and environmental issues in the state budget. 

DOT resumes resurfacing work on Mayfair Road in Wauwatosa

April 13, 2015 1:04 p.m. | The state Department of Transportation planned to resume resurfacing work on Mayfair Road between Burleigh Street and Silver Spring Drive Monday, April 13. There will likely be single lane closures throughout the project this spring.

The work on this section of Mayfair Road began last year with resurfacing, updated traffic signals and new turn lanes. This spring, the DOT plans to complete pavement markings, finish sidewalks, update pedestrian ramps and add landscaping.

Diamond Stone headlines 2014-15 All-Suburban Boys Basketball team

April 13, 2015 11:55 a.m. |

Player of the Year

Diamond Stone, 6-10 center, Dominican

McDonald's All-American capped perhaps the most decorated career in Wisconsin history with a fourth state championship. ... Averaged 24.4 points per game on 67 percent shooting, with 11.7 rebounds per game. ... Shot 74 percent from the free-throw line and finished with 74 blocks. ... Wrapped up his career north of 2,000 points. ... Career highlights include the only triple-double in state-tournament history, recorded as a freshman. ... Posted two double-doubles in the state games this year. ... Racked up 43 points and 18 rebounds against Division 1 foe Racine Case in the regular season. ... Committed to Maryland.

Story: Dominican's Diamond Stone left a mark that will be remembered for decades

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