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Whitnall warming house open; county sledding hills ready for action

Feb. 24, 2012 12:36 p.m. | The Whitnall Park warming house and sledding area are open until 8 p.m. today. Cross-country ski trails will be open, and ski rentals will be available in the concessions area of the warming house. Normal weekend hours for the warming house will be in effect this weekend with Saturday hours from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Other winter activities to take advantage of are downhill skiing at Crystal Ridge Ski Resort, starting tonight from 5 to 10 p.m. Door County Sled dogs, providing authentic rides will also be open for normal weekend hours starting Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. For information, call the Door County Sled Dog hotline at (414) 967-9677.

All Milwaukee County Parks sledding hills will be in full operation today.

Lighted sledding hills for day or night-time fun (lights will be on tonight):

Currie Park, 3535 N. Mayfair Road, lit until 9 p.m.

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Hilltoppers whip Tosa East, 52-38, in regular-season finale

Feb. 23, 2012 9:36 p.m. | Marquette jumped off to a fast start Thursday night and Wauwatosa East could never recover, as the Red Raiders ended the regular season with a 52-38 loss, their third in a row and their sixth in seven games.

The Red Raiders finished the season in fourth place (8-6) and fell to 13-9 overall. Since being tied with Brookfield Central for first place on Jan. 13, Tosa East finished the year with a 3-7 record, with wins over the bottom three teams in the Greater Metro Conference.

Marquette led, 27-23, with 4:12 left in the third period and that was the closest the Red Raiders came the rest of the game, as MUHS closed out with a 7-4 run and a 34-27 lead after three periods.

The Hilltoppers then opened the fourth period with a 10-5 advantage to put the game away at 44-32. Tosa East did manage a small run to cut the lead to 44-36 with 3:18 on the clock, but MUHS closed with an 8-2 stretch.

Donnell Cegars came off the bench to lead MUHS with 10 points, while Matt Misiewicz and Alex McBride had nine points each.

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Forum will examine issue of reducing size of Wauwatosa Common Council

Feb. 23, 2012 11:51 a.m. | Should Wauwatosa reduce the size of its Common Council? That's the question that will be posed to voters in the form of a referendum on the April 3 election ballot.

To help voters understand the issue including the existing structure and its benefits and drawbacks, the Wauwatosa Chamber of Commerce will host a forum with a panel of former and sitting city officials March 15.

The 7 p.m. forum will be moderated by Rob Henken, president of the nonpartisan Public Policy Forum, in the Civic Center on the lower level of City Hall.

The public will have the opportunity to ask questions of the panel members: Jim Benz, former mayor and alderman; Craig Maher, former alderman and professor of government studies at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh; Dennis McBride, 4th District alderman who pushed for the referendum and former alderman Joe Ptaszek.

The council has 16 members, two from each aldermanic district. There is no specific alternative number of representatives suggested in the referendum questions. Rather a "yes" vote simply would indicate the size should be smaller, while a "no" would mean the council should continue to operate at its existing size.

Hoyt pool friend Lindberg named Tosa's Distinguished Citizen

Feb. 23, 2012 11:50 a.m. | The powerhouse behind the Tosa Pool and Hoyt Park will get recognition for the project that brought the community a summer hotspot last year.

Denise Lindberg has been named Wauwatosa's Distinguished Citizen of 2011.

Lindberg led the Friends of Hoyt Park and Pool through planning and fundraising hurdles a number of years. The work paid of in the form of an $8 million facility that features a renovated and expanded a historic pool house and a large pool with lap lanes, a diving well, zero-depth entry and play area for little ones and a waterslide.

More than 2,000 memberships were sold and 80,000 visitors walked through the gates in the pool's inaugural year.

However, her role in the community dates further back to establishing the 27 neighborhood associations within the city and the Neighborhood Association Council that guides them.

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Which community is the best place to live?

Feb. 23, 2012 9:35 a.m. | There are plenty of great communities in which to live in the Milwaukee metropolitan area and we'd like your help to rank them for an upcoming NOW contest.

Just make your picks from the list inside this story. You can choose more than one community if you'd like.

Wauwatosa and Oak Creek are the early voting favorites on NOW sites, garnering 17 and 13 percent of the responses so far.

You can also visit our Facebook page and cast your vote there as well. Wauwatosa has opened up an even bigger lead there, receving 34 percent of the vote to 13 percent for Brookfield.

We've limited the choices in both polls to areas covered by MyCommunityNOW.com and NOW Newspapers.

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New life for Rosebud, Times theaters

Feb. 22, 2012 3:45 p.m. | The Times and Rosebud cinemas have a new lease on life.

AnchorBank, which held the loan, announced Wednesday that it plans to turn over operation of the two theaters to businessman Jay Hollis.

Hollis is the former owner of the Rosebud Cinema Drafthouse, 6823 W. North Ave., Wauwatosa, and the Times Cinema, 5906 W. Vliet St. He created the concept of the Rosebud, with sofas and more relaxed atmosphere, but sold the theater in 2007.

Hollis will be running the theaters for Siegel-Gallagher, the real estate firm that is the receiver for the property.

"The Milwaukee and Wauwatosa neighborhood communities are the backbone of the long-term success of these theaters' operations, and we are looking forward to being an economic driver for the surrounding business districts once again," Hollis said.

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Kroll, Moldenhauer come out on top in Tosa's District 1 race

Feb. 21, 2012 11:08 p.m. | Jeffrey Kroll and Jim Moldenhauer will face off in the race to represent the 1st District of Wauwatosa. Candidate Robert Smith received the fewest votes in today's primary, so he has been eliminated from the race.

Kroll said his "comprehensive strategy" and "dedicated and tireless volunteers who spread the word about me" helped him bring in the most votes - 411 (44 percent) in all.

"I went door to door as much as possible, and I found much more support at the doors than opposition" he said. "The citizens of District 1 need a sensible, moderate voice representing them."

In addition to the typical yard signs and literature, Kroll used social media to connect with residents.

Moldenhauer said he was a bit disappointed he came in second with 377 votes, or 40 percent of the votes.

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Ehley, Donegan advance to spring mayoral race

Feb. 21, 2012 10:48 p.m. | The race for Wauwatosa mayor is down to Alderman Peter Donegan and Kathy Ehley, executive director of the Village Business Improvement District.

Businessman John Pokrandt has been eliminated from the competition.

Ehley, who took the most votes with 3,079 - or 47 percent of the vote - credited a history of numerous leadership positions and connections within the city for her success, as well as having met a lot of people while knocking on doors.

"I'm the one candidate that has the proven track record of getting people together to make things happen for the betterment of the community," she said.

Donegan was the second-highest vote-getter with 2,366, or 37 percent. He wasn't immediately available for comment.

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Tosa says 'no' to changing messages more than once a day

Feb. 21, 2012 10:16 p.m. | There will be no change to electronic sign regulations in Wauwatosa, not even on a trial basis.

The Common Council tonight voted 8-6 against allowing businesses that already have electronic signs to change the message every 10 minutes for a period of 90 days.

Instead, the law will continue to stipulate that messages can only change once per day.

When aldermen started debating a possible change a month ago, they were initially concerned about potential traffic hazards. But the discussion has since come to focus on city aesthetics.

Alderwoman Jill Organ pushed for the denial, saying a change would only encourage additional signs and force policies on everything from the length of the message to brightness, letter height and color.

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Tosa East won't be polling place for April 3 election

Feb. 21, 2012 7:48 p.m. | Today's primary election was the last time ballots will be cast at Wauwatosa East High School. For the general election April 3, the Ward 1 polling place will move to Fire Station 1 in the Village.

The Common Council on Tuesday unanimously supported the move as part of an ongoing effort to protect students in the Wauwatosa School District.

Schools Superintendent Phil Ertl worries about the safety of students and district property on election days. Today was just one of four scheduled for 2012, with a fifth possible if a recall of Gov. Scott Walker moves forward.

The district has invested numerous dollars installing security cameras, creating plans and securing building entrances for every other day of the year. Election days should be no different, he said in an interview.

While there have been no serious problems so far, people have been found wandering the buildings and property has gone missing on past election days, Ertl said.

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Tosa officials stress vaccinations after rise in whooping cough cases

Feb. 21, 2012 5:17 p.m. | Outbreaks of whooping cough have made children sick in Wauwatosa during the past six weeks, so the Wauwatosa Health Department is reminding people to get vaccinated to prevent the further spread of the disease.

The initial cases involved people who live outside of Wauwatosa but are enrolled in local schools and day care facilities, Nursing Supervisor Lori Nielson said. They passed the disease onto children who live within the city.

"They're very active at that age - in playgroups, sports, extracurricular activities," she said. "Those seem to be the vehicles where it's spreading."

Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is a highly contagious bacterial disease spread through the air when infected people cough. It can be dangerous, even fatal, for babies, the elderly and people with serious medical conditions. Infants are particularly vulnerable because they can't be vaccinated until they are 2 months old.

For families with children younger than 2 months, Nielson recommends "cocooning." Everyone who regularly comes in contact with that baby should be vaccinated, providing a shield of protection.

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Woman arrested for grazing at grocery stores

Feb. 21, 2012 2:53 p.m. | Many people have made a meal off the free samples offered during a trip to the grocery store, but a 35-year-old Milwaukee woman is accused of turning Wauwatosa supermarkets into personal buffets.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

Staff at Pick 'n Save, 6950 W. State St., recognized her at 12:49 p.m. Feb. 15 as the woman who had spent two to three hours walking through the store and eating items from the shelves and deli area on the two prior days. This time she filled her cart and pushed it around while snacking for more than an hour. A store employee approached her and asked if she planned to pay for the food she had eaten.

She said she had not planned to pay and offered to leave the store, but store staff wanted her arrested for theft. She quickly became loud and argumentative.

Pick 'n Save employees learned she also had been sampling at Metcalfe's Market, 6700 W. State St., Feb. 10. Following that incident, the woman complained that her leg hurt and she could no longer walk so an ambulance was called and the police call was canceled.

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Customers of Chinese restaurant warned to watch credit statements

Feb. 21, 2012 1:40 p.m. | Customers of China East should check their financial accounts for fraudulent purchases, police say. An employee has been arrested for identity theft for allegedly making online purchases using customers' credit card numbers.

According to a Wauwatosa police report:

A resident of the 7300 block of Saint James Street heard his dog bark so he looked out the window of his home and saw an unfamiliar Asian female looking in his mailbox and opening his door at 3:15 p.m. Feb. 10.

The suspicious activity came during a week when he had received three packages in the mail that were addressed to his address but not his name. He hadn't order the products, which were body piercing supplies.

He got into his car and went looking for the girl, who he found walking behind the strip mall at 68th and State streets, where China East restaurant is located. He identified one of the employees, a 17-year-old girl, as the female who had been prowling around his home.

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Capitol Drive down to one lane at parkway bridge

Feb. 20, 2012 1:36 p.m. | Traffic is being restricted to one lane on a section of Capitol Drive in Wauwatosa to allow for bridge work over the Menomonee River Parkway.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is re-decking a bridge, so traffic will be down to one lane westbound on Capitol between Mayfair Road and Highway 45. Lane closures are expected to last four to five months.

During the bridge work, the Menomonee River Parkway will be closed to vehicles at the bridge. However, pedestrian and bicycle access will be allowed through the work site in a safe, restricted area.

Beginning in April, road work will restrict traffic in both directions on Capitol Drive from Mayfair Road in Wauwatosa to Brookfield until project completion in November.

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