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New Milwaukee Bucks owners visit Cranky Al's in Wauwatosa

May 29, 2014 5:30 p.m. | People stopping by Cranky Al's for doughnuts May 29 got something extra sweet — a chance to meet the new owners of the Milwaukee Bucks, Marc Lasry and Wes Edens.

Lasry and Edens planned to make several stops throughout Milwaukee the same day, with Cranky Al's starting them off at 7 a.m. and McGillycuddy's welcoming them at 7 p.m.

Alex and Susie Brkich, owners of Cranky Al's, said they got a call two days before the visit to set things up. The Brkichs prepared special doughnuts with Bucks flags, and posted the news on social media the night before to give Bucks fans a chance to make it out.

"Many of our customers are fans, and it's important with new ownership for them to get to know their fans," Alex said. "I think it meant a lot to the fans that they actually came out here to meet them."

The owners stayed at the shop for about 45 minutes, taking photos, giving signatures and chatting about the team.

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Picnic Basket sandwich shop opens in Wauwatosa

May 22, 2014 7:42 a.m. | The sister restaurant of Nashotah’s Picnic Basket has opened in Wauwatosa, at 10600 W. Blue Mound Road.

The Tosa sandwich shop has a slightly different menu, owner Tim Weiberg said, and it doesn't serve the pizzas that the Nashotah location does. A new appetizer is chicken-fried bacon ($6.95), about eight battered bacon strips with ranch dressing and barbecue sauce. “It’s definitely for a group,” Weiberg said, “unless you’re having a bad day.”

And one sandwich riffs on those 26.2 stickers seen on cars of marathon runners. The BLT marathon sandwich ($14.95) comes with 26 slices of bacon — and a sticker. 

New salads ($8.95) include spinach and strawberry, and one called the Granny, with Granny Smith apples, candied pecans and barbecue pulled pork on spinach and romaine lettuce.

Hours are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday; the shop might open on Sundays later. The grand opening will be May 28. 

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State to spend $13.5 million on transit to settle Zoo Interchange suit

May 19, 2014 3:21 p.m. | The State of Wisconsin said Monday it would pay more than $13 million for new Milwaukee County bus routes to help with congestion during the massive Zoo Interchange reconstruction, settling a 2-year-old lawsuit.

The lawsuit, brought by the Black Health Coalition of Wisconsin and the Milwaukee Inner-city Congregations Allied for Hope, alleged that the $1.7 billion expansion of the Zoo Interchange, the state's busiest, discriminated against urban minorities by not including public transit improvements.

Last year, federal Judge Lynn Adelman allowed work on the project to move forward but said the lawsuit would likely succeed.

Dennis Grzezinski, an attorney for MICAH and the Black Health Coalition, had no comment on a settlement other than to say that he was waiting for details to be completed.

According to the Department of Transportation, the state will:

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Gem, mineral and fossil show coming this weekend

May 16, 2014 3:37 p.m. | The Wisconsin Geological Society is sponsoring its 58th annual gem, mineral and fossil show 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Muellner Building, 7300 W. Chestnut St.

The show will feature 28 dealers, club sales, children's activities, door prizes and desserts. It is free for kids and $3 for adults, or two adults for $5. There is free parking and it is wheelchair accessible. Enter at 72nd and State streets.

Malt Shoppe plans to focus on beer, fill growlers in Wauwatosa

May 06, 2014 11:06 a.m. | A store called the Malt Shoppe that's dedicated strictly to beer — bottled beer, beer in growlers, and items such as specialty glassware — is planned for 813 N. Mayfair Road in Wauwatosa.

Owner Patrick Lafferty said his idea for the shop came from the Four Firkins, a beer-focused store he visited in Minneapolis. "There's nothing like that here," Lafferty said.

Besides selling beer in bottles — individually, in packs or by the case — he would sell it in two sizes of take-home growlers, 32 and 64 ounces. The store still is being designed, but Lafferty hopes to have "as many taps as possible," perhaps about 30.

The Malt Shoppe wouldn't sell any other kinds of alcohol, and it wouldn't have seating, although it would have space for customers waiting to have growlers filled and to conduct tastings and classes.

The store is a career change for Lafferty. He worked in advertising for 20 years, losing his job in the economic downturn. He's been freelancing but thought, "I need to do something else," he said.

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Mayfair mall gets ready for Nordstrom

May 06, 2014 9:21 a.m. | The long-awaited arrival of Nordstrom to the Milwaukee area is showing some visible signs of progress.

The future sites for the upscale department store and a new parking structure are being prepared near Mayfair's southeastern corner, said Steve Smith, mall general manager.

That site work, which started in March, involves excavation to prepare for the Nordstrom building's pad. The 140,000-square-foot department store is expected to be under construction by August, he said.

Meanwhile, work continues to renovate a portion of the existing mall into a two-level concourse that connects to the future Nordstrom. That construction started in January.

Some Mayfair tenants that were relocated to temporary space at the mall to make way for those renovations will move back by late summer and early fall, Smith said.

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Thai-namite restaurant looks to move to East Tosa

May 02, 2014 4:48 p.m. | Joining four other establishments that have recently looked to East Tosa to open second locations, Milwaukee's Thai-namite is requesting a conditional-use permit to open a restaurant at 7212 W. North Ave., in the space formerly occupied by Fattoni's Deli & Catering.

The Wauwatosa Plan Commission will consider the request Monday, May 12.

The owner of the building, Pete Venturi, said he has been looking for a tenant since he kicked out the owner of Fattoni's Deli in March for failing to pay rent.

Alderman Bobby Pantuso said he thinks the restaurant will make a solid addition to a growing neighborhood that recently has been the destination of choice for Camp Bar, BelAir Cantina, Juniper61 and Hue.

"I think that's just amazing," Pantuso said. "Just six years ago, we weren't even on the map."

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Our Redeemer Lutheran School named 20th best middle school in America

May 01, 2014 3:48 p.m. | Our Redeemer Lutheran School was ranked the 20th best middle school in the country by TheBestSchools.org. In this ranking, "middle school" meant any school that offers seventh or eighth grades.

ORLS serves students in grades three through eight from 16 communities and 32 ZIP codes.

TBS used test results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress to create a standard of comparison for middle schools in America. NAEP administers the same test nationally.

Other factors such as awards, rankings and geographical diversity also were considered.

Eighth-graders at ORLS scored in the 94th percentile nationally on standardized tests. The school was credited for its strong academic curriculum, after-school programs such as chess, art and reading clubs and its accreditation through the National Lutheran Accreditation Program.

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Train horns heard in Wauwatosa again

May 01, 2014 1:27 p.m. | City and state officials were trying to discern Wednesday, April 29, why several residents were complaining about train horns blowing in the early hours of the morning.

State Commissioner of Railroads Jeff Plale said Wauwatosa is legally supposed to be a 24-hour quiet zone for trains, and the city has not lost that designation. However, he said, trains may be required to sound a horn if there are work crews on the tracks or if a conductor sees a pedestrian or car entering the tracks.

He was not sure if these exceptions could explain the recent horns heard in Wauwatosa but said he is working to resolve the situation.

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