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Portable toilet set on fire at Hoyt Park

May 30, 2010 3:38 p.m. | A portable toilet was destroyed by being set on fire at Hoyt Park, 1800 Swan Blvd., prior to 1:25 a.m. Friday. The company supplying the portable toilet to the park estimated the loss at $525.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

An officer noticed a smoldering fire where the portable toilet once was. He was able to put the fire out with a fire extinguisher in his squad car, and the Wauwatosa Fire Department was not called to the scene.

The officer initially thought a pile of garbage had been set on fire, but it became evident the burning plastic was from the exterior of the portable toilet structure. All that remained was a charred wooden base that had been attached to the toilet. The toilet itself was found later, several feet from the site, along a nearby walking path.

Brookfield East track and field sectional photo gallery now online

May 28, 2010 8:36 a.m. | We've just posted a photo gallery featuring action from yesterday's Division 1 track and field sectional at Brookfield East.

Brookfield Central turned in the top team score in the girls meet with 116 points to Bradley Tech's 84.

Marquette won the boys meet with 108 points. Brookfield East was second with 99.

Go to NOW photojournalist Peter Zuzga's photo gallery.

West to host East in softball regional opener

May 27, 2010 1:50 p.m. | A Wauwatosa team will be guaranteed to move on to the regional finals on Thursday since the two local schools will face each other in the WIAA Regional Opener on Tuesday.

Wauwatosa East will play Wauwatosa West at Whitman Field on Tuesday at 4:15 p.m. Tosa East, the ninth seed, has beaten Tosa West, the eighth seed, twice this season - in an exhibition game early in the year and in a non-conference game at Halfaer Field two weeks ago.

The winner of their game will meet top-seeded Homestead on Thursday at 4:15 p.m.

Raiders qualify two doubles teams for state

May 27, 2010 10:24 a.m. | Wauwatosa East qualified two doubles teams for the state tournament and finished second in the Brookfield Central Sectional on Wednesday.

Brookfield Central won the sectional and qualified for team state with 46 points, while coach Glen Slonac's team scored 29 to beat Brookfield East (28) for second.

Senior Rory O'Sullivan/sophomore Tracy Johnson won Flight 2 to qualify for state, while the senior doubles team of Peter Conis/Michael Rankin finished second in Flight 1 to qualify.

The top four teams qualify for state in Flight 1 and the top team in Flight 2 also makes it to state.

The State Individual Tournament is next Thursday through Saturday in Madison's Nielsen Center. 

Brookfield Central tennis sectional photos now online

May 27, 2010 7:05 a.m. | Some of the area's top tennis teams competed for state berths yesterday at the Brookfield Central tennis sectional and we've just posted a photo gallery with all the action from the courts.

The host Lancers had the best day overall, winning titles at No. 2, 3 and 4 singles and No. 3 doubles to earn a team-state berth. Brookfield East's Drew Lied won the No. 1 singles title.

Go to NOW photojournalist Peter Zuzga's photo gallery.

Wauwatosa office building sold by receiver for $5 million

May 25, 2010 7:15 a.m. | An 81,902-square-foot office building at 3333 N. Mayfair Road, Wauwatosa, has been sold by its court-appointed receiver to a Chicago-area real estate investment group for $5 million, according to documents filed with the Milwaukee County Register of Deeds.

The building was sold by the receiver for Leisure Investments Inc. to 3333 Mayfair LLC.

Leisure Investments, which was led by John Vallone, of West Bend, bought the building in 2005 for $6 million, according to city assessment records. 

Wine & Dine in Tosa

May 20, 2010 9:36 a.m. |  Chef Michael Feker will create culinary creations to pair with three featured wines -- a Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon.  The food will be presented in a small-plate format, with explanation and education on each dish by the chef. A vintner will be on hand to guide guests through the wine tasting.

The 6 p.m. event, which costs $31.95, is presented by Milwaukee Home & Fine Living Wine & Dine Wisconsin 2010. The two-day tasting at the Frontier Airlines Center (formerly Midwest Airlines Center) will be held Oct. 2 & 3. Last year's inaugural event drew nearly 7,000 people.

The tasting at Il Mito, at 6917 W. North Ave., is limited to 60 guests. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Feeding America of Eastern Wisconsin. Purchase tickets here, where you can also read more about Wine & Dine Wisconsin.

 Join fellow food lovers next Wednesday, May 26, for a Wine and Food Flight at Il Mito Enoteca in Wauwatosa.

Greater Metro Conference track photo gallery now online

May 20, 2010 7:17 a.m. | We've just posted a photo gallery from this week's Greater Metro Conference track and field championships featuring more than 25 images from the sun-splashed day at Menomonee Falls High School.

The Brookfield Central girls completed the triple crown by winning the meet with 198.33 points to 119 for host Falls.

Brookfield East's boys also captured the triple crown, winning with 161 points to Marquette's 135. The triple crown is achieved by winning each season's indoor, relay and outdoor championship meets.

Go to NOW photojournalist C.T. Kruger's photo gallery.

Wauwatosa East, West softball photos now online

May 19, 2010 10:58 a.m. | We've just posted a photo gallery from Wauwatosa East's 5-4 victory over Wauwatosa West in a softball game at Miller Park's Helfaer Field on Monday.

East rallied for the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning when Megan Gates singled and Becca Hoffland drove her home with a triple off the top of the fence.

Go to photo gallery.

West girls first, boys second in Woodland track

May 19, 2010 10:43 a.m. | The Wauwatosa West girls won the Woodland Conference Triple Crown and the boys just fell short, finishing second on Tuesday at South Milwaukee.

The girls scored 112.5 points to beat the host Rockets (104) while the boys scored 143 points and finished behind Whitnall (148), losing their chance at their first triple crown since 2006.

Susannah Fricker took the girls' only first in the running events - winning the 800 (2:25.88) - while Ashlee Ballinger won the high jump (5-feet, 2 inches). The Trojans scored in 15 events showing their excellent balance.

Dylan Crafton was outstanding, winning 100-meter dash (10.92) and 200 (22.19) and was part of the winning 400 relay (44.11). He also took second in the long jump (19-10).

Tosa hires economic development director

May 19, 2010 10:42 a.m. | Wauwatosa - Paulette Enders, Sheboygan's director of planning and development, has been hired as Wauwatosa's economic development director.

Enders' two-year contract, which pays her $105,000 for each year, was approved Tuesday by the Common Council.

Enders worked on the redevelopment of a 42-acre brownfield site in Sheboygan that generated over $100 million in tax base and more than 300 jobs in less than three years, said Wauwatosa City Administrator Jim Archambo, who hired her from among 109 applicants.

Archambo said Enders, who starts June 28, also was responsible for development and construction management of a business park that generated more than 150 jobs.

The city did not previously have an employee who served as an economic development director, Archambo said. Enders' pay raises will be based on performance, he said.

Woodland Conference track meet photo gallery now online

May 19, 2010 8:20 a.m. | South Milwaukee High School played host to the annual Woodland Conference Outdoor Meet yesterday and we've just posted a photo gallery with more than 15 images from the competition.

Wauwatosa West captured the girls title and Whitnall took home the boys crown.

Go to NOW photojournalist Peter Zuzga's photo gallery.

Where's the beef? In the back seat

May 18, 2010 7:22 p.m. | A retail theft call led Wauwatosa police to arrest a drunken driver in possession of stolen meat from area Pick 'n Save stores.

According to police:

A man tried to run out of the grocery store on Mayfair Road with four rib eye steaks. Store staff were able to get the meat back and the man ran across the railroad tracks to the city's public works yard.

Employees had noticed the man gesturing to a vehicle that was creeping along behind him. Officers pulled over the driver, a 23-year-old Wauwatosa woman, and saw numerous packages of meat stolen from West Allis and Wauwatosa stores in the back seat.

She was slurring her words and said she had smoked crack cocaine earlier in the day. A crack pipe was found in the vehicle. She had a blood-alcohol content of 0.09, above the 0.08 legal limit for drivers.

» Read Full Article

Man flips car during diabetic episode

May 18, 2010 7:20 p.m. | A New Berlin man suffering from diabetes-related complications led police on a high-speed chase through Wauwatosa and crashed on a residential lawn last week.

According to police:

An officer saw a car that was not slowing as it approached a stop sign at 70th and Lloyd streets at 5:39 p.m. May 9. It came to an abrupt stop halfway through the intersection, then accelerated and continued. The officer followed as the vehicle sped into oncoming traffic, nearly struck vehicles and ran several stop signs.

At 74th Street, the vehicle mounted the curb and became airborne, vaulting about 5 feet into the air and striking street signs before landing on a lawn and rolling over.

The 57-year-old driver was not moving but he was breathing. Paramedics noticed an empty pill bottle on his lap and an insulin pump connected to his body. He had bitten his tongue, which was bleeding. His blood-sugar level was extremely low.

» Read Full Article

Man uses Walgreens drive-through to demand drugs

May 18, 2010 7:02 p.m. | A Wauwatosa man was arrested after he tried to score prescription narcotics by dropping a threatening letter in the drive-through canister of a Walgreens store.

According to Wauwatosa police:

The pharmacist working the late shift at Walgreens, 2275 N. Mayfair Road, heard a canister drop in the pharmacy but thought it odd because the alarm that alerts staff when a vehicle is in the drive-through did not sound.

He found a typed letter demanding Oxycontin, Oxycodone, Morphine and Xanax in their manufacturers' bottles be put in the canister for pickup.

The letter said the author knew about the pharmacist's personal life and would harm his family if he failed to comply or called police.

» Read Full Article

Residents targeted in sweepstakes phone scam

May 18, 2010 6:20 p.m. | Several Wauwatosa residents have been receiving calls claiming they have won millions of dollars in a sweepstakes. Those calls are actually scams based out of Jamaica.

According to Wauwatosa police:

On May 11, a resident recevied two calls within an hour. The first said the homeowners had won $15 million from a California-based "prize company." The second said a Las Vegas company was awarding them $16 million and a Mercedes Benz.

The next morning, another resident called to say her husband, who was in the hospital, received a call saying he had won $1 million. After talking to her husband, she found out he had filled out an online sweepstakes form.

In both cases, the callers were very anxious to get the residents to call a phone number to register for their prize. People who call that number - which is out of Jamaica - incur immediate charges on their phone bill.

Custodian arrested for punching co-worker at Mayfair

May 18, 2010 6:14 p.m. | The students behaved during the post prom festivities at Mayfair Mall, but the same can't be said about the custodians.

According to Wauwatosa police:

A 28-year-old Milwaukee man was arrested for battery after he punched a co-worker in the face at 1:47 a.m. Sunday morning. They worked for a custodial service that cleans the mall and had been insulting each other.

The verbal argument escalated to a physical fight and the face of the victim, a 50-year-old man, was covered in blood when officers arrived.

Jake Wolter named Wauwatosa East football coach

May 18, 2010 11:28 a.m. | Wauwatosa East has named former Red Raider star Jake Wolter as the new football coach replacing Tom Swittel, who recently took the same position with Brookfield East.

Wolter has been on the football staff at Tosa East since 2002 and he has coached the last seven years on the varsity. He was the defensive coordinator under Swittel for five seasons before behind moved to offensive coordinator the past two years.

Wolter was an all-state performer at Tosa East as a student, earning 14 letters in football (4), track (4), basketball (3) and baseball (4). He then went on to play basketball and football at UW - Whitewater and made All-American as a defensive back.

"It's a huge honor to get this position and having played under coach (John) Richmond and coach Swittel," Wolter said. "I grew up here since the third grade and I have strong ties with the program. It gives me a chance to share the love I have for Tosa East."

After interviewing Wolter, Tosa East principal Nick Hughes knew they had the right man for the job.

» Read Full Article

Railroad employee warns of shortcut during Harwood repairs

May 17, 2010 1:08 p.m. | Since the Harwood pedestrian bridge closed for repairs, people have been taking risks by cutting across the railroad tracks outside of marked crossings.

Not only is that practice unsafe, it's also illegal, said Steve Rhode of the Canadian Pacific Railroad Police Department.

"We want to make people aware it is trespassing," he said. "We've stopped and warned a lot of trespassers in the past few weeks."

Walking over railroad or along tracks outside of marked crossings can carry a municipal fine of $160, Rhode said.

Most of the people are unaware they are breaking a law or they didn't see much harm in a quick "shortcut" across the tracks, Rhode said. But when Rhode sees people riding or carrying bicycles or pushing baby strollers over the tracks, he gets very concerned about people's safety.

» Read Full Article

Eagle Scout project to benefit retirement community

May 17, 2010 11:04 a.m. | Boy Scout Jesse Stansell will create a place for the residents of Hart Park Square to relax and take in nature as his Eagle Scout project.

A member of the Wauwatosa East High School track team, he spends many hours practicing and competing at the new athletic facilities. But he doesn't want to see Hart Park lose its natural character.

So he decided to create a "peaceful setting overlooking the Menomonee River where people can get together with friends and enjoy it's natural beauty," said Karen Eidem, marketing specialist for Laureate Group, which owns Hart Park Square retirement community across the street.

Called "The Gathering Place," the site on the south side of River Parkway will feature three benches, a picnic table and 18 red twig dogwood shrubs placed in a horseshoe shape facing river. While open to the public, Eidem expects it will be a popular place with Hart Park Square residents.

Jesse raised $1,300 to pay for the project and received donations from Hart Park Square and the Friends of Hart Park.

» Read Full Article

Public Works Department already planning for snow

May 17, 2010 11:03 a.m. | As most people are finally getting to experience the warm spring weather, the city staff has been busy planning for the 2010-11 snow season.

On Friday, Public Works Director William Kappel had to put in an order for 4,000 tons of road salt as part of a larger order that is submitted by the state Department of Transportation.

That number is a pretty typical seasonal fill order, he said. However, in prior years an early fill order has been needed to handle early snowfalls and replenish the stock depleted by the previous winter's heavy snowfalls.

This year's winter ended in February and snow accumulations were below average.

"We have enough in our dome to probably get us through the end of the year," Kappel said. "This means it is the first time in four years the department has not requested some contingency funds to purchase salt."

» Read Full Article

Mystery restaurant seeks OK to open in Tosa

May 17, 2010 11:03 a.m. | A national restaurant chain is likely moving into Burleigh Square, but the property owners aren't ready to divulge the name of the newest company that wants to do business in Wauwatosa.

Eric Thom, development director of Continental Properties, is asking for approval to operate a 2,000-square-foot restaurant in the outlot building at 124th and Burleigh streets that also houses Focus Credit Union. The main building of Burleigh Square is home to Lowe's and OfficeMax stores.

Thom said he couldn't reveal the name of the eatery because he didn't want to jeopardize lease negotiations, especially in a down economy when deals are harder to come by. But he did say the restaurant is a national chain that will employ about 15 people, and operates mostly in delivery and carryout business and may eventually add some limited seating.

The Plan Commission decided last week to hold the request for a special-use permit because members did not feel comfortable supporting a project they knew so little about.

Mayor Jill Didier said she understood the delicacies of lease negotiations, but in the time she has served on the commission she has never heard of an applicant withholding such information.

» Read Full Article

West Allis Hale Invitational photo gallery now online

May 17, 2010 8:57 a.m. | We've just posted a photo gallery with all the action from the West Allis Hale Invitational, which featured 11 boys and girls track and field teams.

Brookfield Central cruised to the title in the girls portion of the meet with 244 points. The host Huskies were victorious in the boys competition.

Go to NOW photojournalist Peter Zuzga's photo gallery.

First building at UWM's Tosa development could begin work this year

May 13, 2010 3:07 p.m. | University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's plans to create a science research campus and tech-oriented business park in Wauwatosa could be getting a jump start.

UWM's application for a $3.5 million federal grant tied to the development, known as Innovation Park, has been "favorably received," although no final decision has been issued yet, said David Gilbert, president of the UWM Real Estate Foundation.

That grant would be used to help fund construction of a two-story, 40,000-square-foot building at Innovation Park. The development is planned for the Milwaukee County Grounds, east of Highway 45 and north of W. Watertown Plank Road.

That building would house both UWM research functions, and private businesses, said Michael Lovell, dean of UWM's College of Engineering and Applied Science. Lovell said executives from several firms, including a bio-technology start-up, have approached university officials about being in the building.

Lovell and Gilbert spoke Thursday at a meeting of the Wisconsin Innovation Network.

» Read Full Article

Northwest Baptist gets grant to recharge its worship services

May 12, 2010 4:38 p.m. | Northwest Baptist Church has received a grant to help reinvigorate its worship services so members of the congregation can better understand and apply the messages to their lives.

Michigan-based Calvin Institute of Christian Worship is giving $12,500 so that the Wauwatosa church, 4373 N. 92nd St., can not only use technology to enhance its traditional services but also introduce small sermon discussion groups.

An advisory board of pastors and teachers from a variety of backgrounds assisted in selecting the grant recipients from about 25 applicants of different religious denominations.

Village wins OK to host fall eco-fair

May 12, 2010 12:24 p.m. | The Village Business Improvement District will be the site of a fall eco-fair aimed at educating Wauwatosa residents on all things green.

The Community Development Committee on Tuesday unanimously supported allowing the BID to close off parts of Underwood and Harwood avenues Sept. 25 to make the area safe for pedestrians participating in the VillageGreen Street Fair.

The environmentally and family friendly event will include vendors of green products and services, tasting of organic foods, a clothing swap, speakers and a children's area.

The Little Red and Big Red bicycle rides, which promote pedal power, have been rescheduled to coincide with the street fair.

Upscale wine store right fit for 117th and North?

May 12, 2010 12:02 p.m. | The area near 117th Street and North Avenue just isn't the place for an upscale wine and liquor store, some neighbors say, but the proposed business won the recommendation of Plan Commissioners, one of whom pointed out it would fill a vacant storefront.

Amandip Singh, who already owns a liquor store in Greenfield, told the commission Monday that he wants to operate a "very upscale" shop in the same building as White House of Music that would carry 300 to 400 wines, as well as expensive cognacs and single-malt scotches.

Several neighboring homeowners voiced opposition, arguing there are already plenty of grocery and liquor stores in the area and that the proposed wine store doesn't fit with an environment where families walk to a nearby popcorn wagon and children take music lessons.

"It's a popcorn wagon neighborhood," Becky Giering said. "It's not an upscale wine neighborhood."

Mayor Jill Didier said the renderings Singh presented didn't live up to her expectations - she had thought the shop would be on par with Vino 100 in the Village.

» Read Full Article

Officers break window to wake sleeping driver

May 11, 2010 11:52 p.m. | A 28-year-old Milwaukee man was arrested for drunken driving, third offense, after he passed out behind the wheel and officers had to break a window to wake him up and stop the vehicle.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

Officers found a vehicle facing the wrong direction and with wheels on the median at Mayfair Road and Burleigh Street at 2:49 a.m. May 5.

The driver was asleep in the driver's seat with the engine running, car in drive, headlights on and doors locked. Officers put squad cars in front and behind the vehicle, then sounded the air horn and pounded on the window to wake the driver. But they got no response.

They resorted to breaking the front passenger-side window with a baton. He only woke up after they were able to unlock and open the driver's door.

» Read Full Article

Driver in stolen car crashes into home

May 11, 2010 9:12 p.m. | A driver fleeing from police in a stolen Chevy Tahoe crashed into a house in the 7500 block of Stephenson Street last week.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

An officer began following the sport utility vehicle after he saw it speeding in the 7700 block of West Blue Mound Road at 12:32 p.m. Wednesday. Another driver pulled up to the squad car because he, too, was following the sport utility vehicle. It had been stolen from his family business, Latino Auto Sales, in Milwaukee on April 28.

The officer activated his lights and siren, but the Tahoe driver maneuvered around vehicles stopped for a light and headed into oncoming traffic. Then he accelerated onto 76th Street and set off a 42-second chase that ended when he crashed into the home.

At that point, the driver got out of the car and ran off. A Milwaukee police dog was brought in to search for the man, but he was not found.

» Read Full Article

Student mugged on walk home from school

May 11, 2010 8:06 p.m. | A Wauwatosa teenager was attacked by robbers who wanted his MP3 player Friday afternoon.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

The 18-year-old student was walking home from Wauwatosa East High School when he noticed two boys walking a distance behind him. As he reached Washington Circle, one of the boys reached from behind and covered the 18-year-old's mouth. The other tried to take his MP3 player from his pants pocket.

When the victim struggled, the robbers pushed him to the ground and punched him in the jaw.

Fortunately, a neighbor saw the altercation and yelled at the robbers. They fled, only getting the headphones.

» Read Full Article

Slice of Hawaii could be on its way to Tosa

May 11, 2010 8:04 p.m. | North Avenue could be saying "aloha" to a store that would specialize in Hawaiian and Asian foods.

David Lau and Guy Roeseler previously lived in the country's 50th state and want to bring a sampling of that culture to Wauwatosa. They have requested a special-use permit to operate a food store and deli in the storefront at 7215 W. North Ave.

The Plan Commission on Monday voted unanimously to support the permit, which is required any time food sales are involved. The business owners would sell prepackaged goods and would have some fresh products brought in. There would be no cooking in the space, at least not to start, Roeseler said.

Ono Kine Grindz is the name planned for the store, which would carry not only food and beverages and cooking ingredients and tools, but also a collection of surf and hula music, clothing and gift items.

Roeseler will also like to see people who may have been intimidated by shopping an ethnic grocery store in the past to feel welcome in his business.

» Read Full Article

Cops use stun gun four times to subdue driver

May 11, 2010 7:16 p.m. | A man who resisted arrest had to be stunned four times before he could be arrested by Wauwatosa police Sunday morning.

According to police:

The 29-year-old Wauwatosa man drove into the wrong lane to make a turn, so he was pulled over in the 7100 block of West Blue Mound Road on suspicion of drunken driving at 2:01 a.m.

As he saw the squad car approach, he accelerated down St. Paul Avenue, a dead-end street, and pulled into a driveway. As he ran for the front door, the officer yelled for him to stop. As the man started to enter the house, the officer used his electronic control device to stop him in his tracks.

The first five-second stun wasn't strong enough, because the man tried to get up twice. So the officer sent another quick jolt. But as backup officers arrived, the man tried to crawl into the house, so the device was used a third time. As officers tried to handcuff the man, he continued to struggle and resist, cutting one of the officers' hands, so a fourth shock was sent into his body.

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Police say man becomes suicidal after hit-and-run

May 11, 2010 7:10 p.m. | A 39-year-old Port Washington man who didn't want to face going to jail for a hit-and-run accident got drunk and contemplated suicide in Wauwatosa last week.

According to Wauwatosa police:

The man was homeless and sleeping in his car, so a friend let him stay at his Wauwatosa home on May 3. He was distraught because he had struck a vehicle and fled, and the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office was looking for him.

Rather than face the legal consequences, he drank heavily and made comments about committing suicide. He told his friends that he planned to pretend to have a gun to get police to shoot him so he could end his life.

The friend reported the man to police and they stopped him as he pulled out of a driveway in the 2500 block of Wauwatosa Avenue at 5:10 p.m. He quickly jumped out of the car with his hands up. He was arrested for drunken driving, second offense, and driving with suspended plates. He was also on probation for resisting arrest.

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Woman disappears after leading police on two high-speed chases before fleeing

May 11, 2010 7:02 p.m. | A woman wanted for violating probation pretended to be her sister and when the officer wasn't buying her story, she led him on two high-speed pursuits through Wauwatosa last week.

Now a felony warrant for her arrest has been issued by a Milwaukee County judge for eluding and fleeing an officer.

According to Wauwatosa police:

An officer noticed a driver's license plate matched that of a 38-year-old Milwaukee woman wanted for violating her probation issued after she was convicted of burglary and forgery. He pulled over her vehicle at 5:11 a.m. Wednesday

Nicole Bether pretended to be her sister, but she had a difficult time providing the correct phone number and address and explaining why she was out so early in the morning. When the officer suggested she was lying, Bether put her car into gear and sped off, driving through red lights and reaching speeds of 85 mph before the officer lost sight of her vehicle at Glenview Avenue.

» Read Full Article

School Board approves new foreign language texts

May 11, 2010 12:28 p.m. | More than $136,000 in new foreign language text books will contribute to an ongoing effort to improve the Wauwatosa School District's world languages program.

In addition to the new books, approved by School Board members Monday, teachers will speak less English during foreign language classes and focus more on communication and less on grammar.

The proposed changes and material purchases are based on an audit conducted in December by consultant Helena Curtain, an international language expert.

Board approves changes to English curriculum

May 11, 2010 12:26 p.m. | Middle school students will be able to take new advanced English courses starting in the 2010-11 school year.

The new courses are designed to offer students a more rigorous option than standard English classes, readying them for advanced classes at the high school level, said Beth Erenberger, district director of student learning.

School Board members approved the new courses Monday night.

In addition, the board approved a $180,000 purchase of new textbooks for sixth- through ninth-graders. The new books are intended to add rigor at all ability levels, Erenberger said.

Lastly, the board voted to change the name of the English subject area from communicative arts to English language arts. Erenberger said the new title is a more universally used phrase.

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Fee re-elected School Board president

May 11, 2010 11:38 a.m. | Anne Fee was re-elected for a second term as School Board president last night in a vote that was uncontested.

Fee won five votes from fellow board members. One board member abstained from the secret ballot vote, and another voted for a different board member, even though Fee was the only one nominated for the role.

Jon Ray was re-elected for a second term as vice president in a 5-2-0 vote against Mary Jo Randall and Michael Meier.

Meier was chosen for treasurer, winning 5-2 over Phil Kroner.

Randall was elected clerk in a 4-3-0 tie-breaker vote against Kroner and Sharon Muehlfeld. In the first round of voting, Kroner and Randall both took three votes, while Muehlfeld earned one vote.

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Let's talk ... about North Avenue

May 10, 2010 6:18 p.m. | People who live near or own property on North Avenue will have an opportunity May 17 to talk about what kinds of improvements they would like to see to Wauwatosa's easternmost corridor between 60th and 76th streets.

A kickoff meeting will be held at 7 p.m. in the Civic Center Auditorium in City Hall, 7725 W. North Ave., to mark the start of the North Avenue Corridor Planning Study, a process that will help shape the future of the East Towne district.

The city allocated $40,000 of Community Development Block Grant funds to hire a planning consultant who will look at ways to retain and attract new businesses, improve streetscape and parking, and enhance the quality of life in the entire district.

Participants will meet planners and learn about their approach to the project, and will get details on how to get involved and the timeline for completion.

"We're really hoping it's going to generate enthusiasm and pull people together," said Nancy Welch, community development director.

» Read Full Article

City sets rules on what to do if fence gets in way of repair work

May 10, 2010 4:56 p.m. | Property owners who put up a fence too close to their neighbor's garage may be forced to temporarily take down a portion of the fence to accommodate building repairs.

The Wauwatosa Common Council last week approved changing the city ordinance to spell out the responsibilities of neighbors in such a scenario, one that has happened a handful of times over the years, city staff said.

If a structure - likely a garage or shed - can't be reached to do maintenance like tuck-pointing or painting, it might fall into disrepair and violate the city's building maintenance code.

The solution will be for building inspectors to require the owner of a property adjacent to a building in need of repairs to remove enough sections of the fence so that the work can be done.

The city has already been using this method of enforcement in practice, so adding it to an ordinance may "give a little more notice to the public that this is what's going to happen if you build a fence too close," City Attorney Alan Kesner said.

» Read Full Article

Tech group to learn more about Innovation Park at luncheon

May 10, 2010 4:44 p.m. | Now that the Wauwatosa Common Council has approved the rezoning and preliminary development plan for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's proposed Innovation Park on the County Grounds, university officials are ready to share their vision of project with members of the business and technology community who could benefit from the campus.

Innovation Park, a combination graduate engineering and applied science school and research park, will be the topic of the Wisconsin Innovation Network's meeting Thursday at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 10499 Innovation Drive. WIN is the membership arm of the Tech Council, an independent, science and technology adviser to the state's elected officials.

The project is being called a "third-generation" research park because it ties the academic and research enterprise of university directly to the development of a private-sector park.

Michael Lovell, dean of UWM's Engineering College, and David Gilbert, senior adviser to the university's chancellor, will give an overview of the plans for the $250 million development. First up, a 20,000-square-feet building for UWM researchers and engineers working for businesses that plan to move into the Innovation Park, a plan that Gilbert believes will link academics and industry.

Registration and networking begins at 11:30 a.m., lunch at noon and the presentation at 12:30 p.m. The cost is $10 for students, $25 for WIN members, Governor's Business Plan Contest participants and Milwaukee County Research Park tenants, and $35 for non-members.

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Wauwatosa West, East soccer photos now online

May 10, 2010 8:19 a.m. | Wauwatosa West defeated crosstown foe Wauwatosa East in the teams' first game on the new field at Hart Park and we've just posted a photo gallery from the contest.

West posted a 1-0 victory in rainy and cold conditions to improve to 8-3-1 overall while East fell to 6-5-1.

Go to NOW photojournalist Peter Zuzga's photo gallery.

Gypsy moth spraying expected in next few weeks

May 08, 2010 12:20 p.m. | Residents of Wauwatosa's northwest side should not be alarmed if they wake up to the loud sound of a low-flying plane some morning if the next couple of weeks.

The Department of Natural Resources expects to spray for gypsy moth caterpillars in a 31-acre area between 104th and 106th streets and Courtland and Ruby avenues.

The ability to spray depends on the weather. When plans do fly over the area, it likely will happen about 5 a.m.

The caterpillars are an invasive and destructive pest that feeds on the leaves of many species of trees and shrubs. These areas are treated to prevent damage from gypsy moths and to reduce their populations to more sustainable levels. Global Positioning System technology is used to accurately target the intended areas, according to the DNR.

Although it's rare that people have an adverse reaction to the spray, the DNR recommends people in the area stay indoors and keep their windows closed in order to avoid direct exposure.

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West principal headed to Plank Road

May 06, 2010 3:30 p.m. | Wauwatosa West High School Principal Patricia Luebke will move to the Plank Road School at the end of this school year, replacing retiring Plank Road Principal David Boxill.

Luebke will be replaced by Frank Calarco, who is currently principal of Roosevelt Elementary School.

Superintendent Phil Ertl said the district will hire a replacement for Calarco. The position was posted on the Wisconsin Education Career Access Network today.

2 men to serve concurrent sentences for heroin ring

May 06, 2010 2:02 p.m. | Two men already serving lengthy state prison terms in connection with heroin overdose deaths in Waukesha County were sentenced in federal court on Thursday for their roles in a heroin ring conspiracy that led to 11 overdoses, five of them fatal.

Jason Lund and Luke Bandkowski were linked to two heroin deaths each in Waukesha County and were convicted in federal court of conspiracy to distribute heroin resulting in death. They were arrested as a result of an investigation and sting dubbed "Operation Lake Effect" that started in early 2007.

In back-to-back sentencing hearings in U.S. District Court in Milwaukee, Judge J.P. Stadtmueller sentenced Lund to 14 years and seven months in prison and Bandkowski to 13 years and four months. Bandkowski received a shorter sentence in part because his criminal record was less than Lund's.

In both cases, the sentences Stadtmueller meted out were less than the prison terms Lund and Bandkowski received in Waukesha County Circuit Court after being convicted of first-degree reckless homicide.

And Stadtmueller's sentences won't add any more time behind bars for the two men because the judge ordered the federal prison terms to be served at the same time as the state's.

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UWM County Grounds development plan wins council approval

May 05, 2010 11:01 a.m. | University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's development plan for a portion of the Milwaukee County Grounds, east of Highway 45 and north of W. Watertown Plank Road, was approved Tuesday night by the Wauwatosa Common Council on a 13-2 vote.

The council also voted 15-0 to approve zoning for the site, where UWM plans to develop a science research facility, technology-based business park and other buildings, including housing developed within the historic Eschweiler buildings. The development will be called Innovation Park.

A portion of the land will be set aside as a wildlife habitat, including migration grounds for monarch butterflies.

The development plan that was approved is a preliminary proposal. UWM will return for additional city approvals on more detailed portions of the overall plan as it develops various portions of the property.

The County Board a year ago approved an agreement to sell the 89-acre parcel for $13.55 million. The buyer will be UWM Innovation Park LLC, an affiliate of the university's real estate foundation. It has until September to close on the purchase.

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Things should cool off soon at Police Department

May 04, 2010 9:16 p.m. | Wauwatosa officials have decided to spend $190,000 in federal economic stimulus funds to install a more energy-efficient air conditioning system at the Police Department.

One of the department's four air conditioners broke down in late April after 30 years in operation, leaving staff scrambling to find a replacement option. This unit covers an older portion of the station where the locker rooms, firing range and prisoner cells are located.

Last week, city staff provided three possible fixes: spending $45,000 to replace parts to get the existing unit running again; paying $75,000 to buy a new unit; or making improvements to the department's entire cooling and ventilation system for a cost of $190,000.

The first option is not ideal because it relies on coolant that is being phased out and parts that are being discontinued, Chief Building Official Dave Wheaton said. The second option is viable, but would require dipping into budget contingency funds.

The third option - improving the system - uses only economic stimulus dollars rather than city tax dollars, and payback could begin immediately upon installation, said Alderman Dennis McBride, explaining why he voted in favor as a member of the Budget and Finance Committee on Tuesday.

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Teens accused of starting brush fire

May 04, 2010 8:34 p.m. | Three Wauwatosa teenagers were arrested for negligent handling of burning materials after they used perfumed body spray and a lighter to start a fire Sunday afternoon.

According to Wauwatosa police:

A 911 call came in reporting a fire at 4:26 p.m., but the caller must not have realized he hadn't hung up because dispatchers overheard people saying they should leave before they got in trouble.

Additional calls were coming in from drivers on Interstate 94 reporting that black smoke rising over the bridge was causing traffic backups.

Wauwatosa firefighters responded to a wooded area in the 11600 block of West Dearbourn Avenue and found 4-foot-tall flames covering a 200-square-foot area shooting out from a pile of tires and brush. The quickly extinguished the fire.

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Van takes down cemetery fence; driver arrested for drunken driving

May 04, 2010 7:04 p.m. | A man was arrested for drunken driving after he got into an accident and went to the Fire Department for help Saturday evening.

According to Wauwatosa police:

Officers were notified that a van had crashed into a fence at Pinelawn Cemetery, 4150 N. Mayfair Road, at 5:52 p.m. Seven sections of the fence were taken out, and a light pole was damaged.

The driver was missing, but they soon tracked him down at the fire station across the street. The 54-year-old Milwaukee man was slurring his words and smelled of alcohol. His blood-alcohol content was 0.22.

He said his van had flat tires but he hadn't had time to get them fixed. As he drove, he found steering became very difficult. He lost control, drove onto the grass and struck the fence.

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Car thief in drag leads cops on high-speed chase

May 04, 2010 6:32 p.m. | A man dressed in women's clothing and makeup has been stealing cars and leading police on high-speed chases.

According to Wauwatosa police:

The most recent incident occurred Friday morning, when a motorcycle cop stopped a speeding vehicle in the 9800 block of Byron Place.

The officer immediately noticed the male driver was dressed as a woman, so he asked for identification. The driver did not have a license and got nervous when the officer asked who owned the car.

The driver quickly accelerated the car and fled. A chase ensued for about a minute, but with the fleeing vehicle reaching speeds of 100 mph and driving recklessly, officers decided to stop the chase for the safety of other drivers.

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Chronic shoplifter threatens suicide

May 04, 2010 6:32 p.m. | A man threatened to kill himself Monday after he was arrested for his 42nd retail theft, which he blamed on the voices in his head.

According to Wauwatosa police:

The 52-year-old Milwaukee man took two men's fragrance sets from Macy's at Mayfair Mall at 11:45 a.m. He said he didn't want to shoplift anymore, but the voices in his head encouraged him to take items.

The prior week he had been arrested twice for retail theft and was on parole for burglary.

When he arrived at the Police Department, the man threatened numerous times to kill himself. When officers saw him rolling up his shirt to make a rope, they worried he would try to hang himself.

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Vandals hit Historical Society buildings

May 04, 2010 4:38 p.m. | Vandals caused $1,000 in damage to two historic buildings this weekend.

According to Wauwatosa police:

Stones and a chunk of cement paving were thrown through four windows on the coach house owned by the Wauwatosa Historical Society, 7406 Hillcrest Drive, between Saturday and Monday mornings.

The coop building, also on the historic Kneeland-Walker House property, was damaged. It appears vandals climbed on top of the building's roof and pulled off 40 to 50 shingles, which were tossed around the yard.

The vandalism didn't end there. Two aluminum fences were bent.

Tosa East's Swittel named new football coach at Brookfield East

May 04, 2010 2:17 p.m. | Veteran football coach Tom Swittel has been named head coach at Brookfield East, East Athletic Director Corey Golla said Tuesday.

Swittel has coached football for 31 years, most recently at Wauwatosa East where he has been head coach for the past 15 years. He was head coach at Whitefish Bay Dominican from 1983-85 in addition to a long resume of coaching experience in both baseball and football during the past 30 years.

Swittel is the president of the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association and was inducted into the same organization’s Hall of Fame in March of 2009.

Some of Swittel’s other accolades are:

  • 1995 Woodland Conference Football Coach of the Year

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Wauwatosa denies grants for Mo's Irish Pub, proposed job center

May 04, 2010 11:06 a.m. | Wauwatosa - The city on Tuesday refused to give federal government grants to two applicants, Mo's Irish Pub and a business that ran into problems after receiving federal money several years ago.

The denials by the Economic Development Corp. board means that $169,300 in Community Development Block Grant funds remains available.

"We certainly would be interested in hearing from the local businesses" on how the money should be used, said Nancy Welch, the city's director of community development.

The board will decide when to reopen the application process and whether to adjust priorities on how the money should be used, she said.

Both requests were for more money than the city has to allocate.

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Returning soldier enjoys special welcome home

May 03, 2010 1:46 p.m. | A Wauwatosa family welcomed home a loved one returning from a year's service in Iraq with an unusual party, and we've just posted a photo gallery from the event.

Sadie Dodd was welcomed back by Vicki Spiering, her future mother-in-law, and a host of family and friends with a compression party. The party featured holidays from the past year compressed down to one day as party-goers dressed in Halloween costumes, opened Christmas presents, ate a Thanksgiving meal and more.

Go to photo gallery.

Dan Benson Invitational photo gallery now online

May 03, 2010 8:06 a.m. | Wauwatosa West High School played host to the 30th annual Dan Benson Track and Field Invitational on Friday and we've just posted a photo gallery featuring 17 images from the event.

Homestead's boys and girls squads won the team portion of the meet, which is named for longtime Wauwatosa West coach Dan Benson.

Go to NOW photojournalist Peter Zuzga's photo gallery.

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