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Police officer rushes choking child to hospital

Aug. 30, 2011 5:14 p.m. | A 13-month-old child who was choking on a piece of hard candy was rushed to the hospital by a Wauwatosa police officer Saturday, according to a Wauwatosa police report.

Also in the report:

An officer was patrolling the 3900 block of 124th Street when a frantic 20-year-old woman clutching a child flagged down his squad.

The 13-month-old was having difficulty breathing and saliva was frothing from her mouth.

The officer radioed for an ambulance, but as the baby's body began going limp, he took her into his squad car and rushed her to Children's Hospital.

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Teen's beating caught on video, posted online

Aug. 30, 2011 5:04 p.m. | Police are investigating a video posted on the Internet that shows a Wauwatosa boy being beaten in a school playground by two Milwaukee boys as others watch.

Two brothers, ages 13 and 14, are suspected of beating the 15-year-old Wauwatosa boy on the Lincoln Elementary School playground, 1741 Wauwatosa Ave., June 25, police said.

According to Wauwatosa police reports:

The 15-year-old boy said the altercation began weeks prior to the June 25 assault when he saw the 13-year-old boy hit a girl in the Village.

He said he stood between the 13-year-old and the girl until she was able to run away, but the boy promised the 15-year-old that he would get his older brother to beat him up.

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Pearl Jam fans raise money for Tosa skate park

Aug. 30, 2011 11:58 a.m. | Fans of rock band Pearl Jam are throwing a party in Lake Geneva on Friday, and Wauwatosa group Tosa Skateboarders United will get a cut of the money raised.

Pearl Jam is holding a two-day concert event at Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy on Saturday and Sunday. Wishlist Foundation, a fan nonprofit organization, will kick off the 20th anniversary festival concert series with a fundraiser at Hemingway's in Lake Geneva on Friday.

Brett Taylor, a Wauwatosa resident and Pearl Jam fan, connected the two groups.

He learned about TSU's efforts to build a skate park at Hart Park when he visited the group's booth at Chilin' on the Avenue in East Tosa earlier this summer. He just happened to mention that Pearl Jam bass player Jeff Ament has been involved in building skate parks.

Taylor joined the Pearl Jam fan club while in college in 1992. Since members get concert tickets based on seniority, he typically sits in the first several rows. His car even has vanity plates that reference Pearl Jam's song "Even Flow."

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Show your gratitude to police officers, firefighters at Mayfair on 9/11

Aug. 30, 2011 11:30 a.m. | Pay tribute to the emergency response workers who gave their lives 10 years ago at the World Trade Center by honoring local police and fire officials Sunday, Sept. 11.

Mayfair invites people to sign a thank you card for the Wauwatosa Fire and Police departments in the mall's Center Court between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday.

General Growth Properties, the owner of Mayfair and more than 130 other malls, is partnering with 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance (911day.org), created to inspire millions of people to annually pay tribute on the anniversary of 9/11 by pledging to perform good deeds, support charitable causes, volunteer and engage in acts of compassion.

Mall representatives will deliver breakfast and lunch to the Wauwatosa Fire and Police departments as a way of thanking the men and women who serve and protect our community each day.

"This is an opportunity for Mayfair to unite with the nation as we honor and remember the victims, family members, survivors, rescue and recovery workers, and countless volunteers who were affected on that tragic day," said Steve Smith, Mayfair senior general manager, in a news release. "Though the enormity of what happened will never be forgotten, the spirit of the American people persevered. What better time to show the strength and goodness of our country than on the 10-year anniversary of 9/11?"

Hoyt pool closing for season after Labor Day weekend

Aug. 30, 2011 11:24 a.m. | The Tosa Pool at Hoyt Park will close for the season on Labor Day.

With warm temperatures anticipated for the holiday weekend, people can get in their last splashes, ride the slides and dive into the deep water during open swim Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Pool members can be admitted starting an hour earlier.

Admission costs $7.

Tosa West survives miscues, beats Brown Deer in double overtime

Aug. 26, 2011 11:23 p.m. | Wauwatosa West football coach Matt Good's coming home party to Brown Deer was a messy, wild and occasionally sensational success Friday night, as the Trojans overcame three critical turnovers to beat host Brown Deer, 19-13, in double overtime.

Good's team was down to using sophomore back-up quarterback Jared Morzinski because of injury and other concerns. And he also had other things on his mind too.

Such as the fact that he had spent eight seasons coaching with old friend Falcon coach Rob Green before coming over to West four years ago.

So intense were his feelings after running back Amari Rushing had plowed into the end zone from a yard out to decide the game that he just kept it simple when he met his players in the north end zone afterward.

"That was friicking awesome guys," he said to loud cheers.

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Nicolet opens season at 2-0 with victory over Wauwatosa East

Aug. 26, 2011 11:22 p.m. | Nicolet's football team used a dominant fourth quarter to pull away from a relentless but winded Wauwatosa East team, emerging victorious 28-10 at Hart Park in Wauwatosa on Friday.

The game’s first half was marked mostly by methodical ball control offenses facing down sure-tackling defenses.
 
East drew first blood. After forcing a Nicolet punt, the Red Raiders worked their way downfield from their own 35, picking up yardage with a steady stream of first-down runs and timely third down passes culminating in a 38 yard field goal.


"(East's) offensive line came out firing every play. That’s probably their strongest part,” said Nicolet linebacker Alex Walker. "(Junior running back Mike) Meade is one tough little runner. He’s low to the ground, but tough to bring down.”

 
Third downs were all about quarterback Kyle Vnuk. The tall lanky Red Raider snuck through the line for one first down, then threw for two more to senior Vince Cupertino (16 yards) & junior Shaquille Redding (10 yards).
 
“He’s good,” Nicolet coach Brad Kozaczuk said. “Junior, big kid, great arm, and only going to get better.”
 
But the next four drives fizzled and stalled for both teams. Swarming defensive fronts reined in and collapsed on interior run plays. Neither side could buy enough time or string together enough passes to mount a significant air attack.
 
“Both defenses were playing well,” Kozaczuk said. “Both run a three front, which means bringing blitzes from lots of different places and angles. Makes it really tough for offensive lines.”
 
Nicolet senior quarterback Brandon Kappel agreed.

“Their D line was great, and they’ve got fast guys on the perimeter, especially (senior linebacker Will) Monreal. They should have a good year.”
 
Nicolet got its first break just before half. Facing fourth down with 2:54 remaining, the snap sailed over East’s punter.  Six plays later, Nicolet was in the end zone. Kappel picked up the last seven yards and touchdown on a pair of quarterback keepers.
 
The third quarter featured more back and forth stalemate.
 
After junior Tyler Crass intercepted a pass at the Nicolet 12, the Knights went deep.
 
Kappel escaped a collapsing pocket and heaved a bomb down the right sideline. He found Walker all alone. The senior pulled the pass in, galloping 71 yards for the score.
 
Nicolet appeared to be in good shape. But after forcing a punt on the ensuing drive and rushing for a first down, the Knights fumbled the snap. East recovered and six plays later, the Red Raiders were in the end zone. 
 
Vnuk threw a 6-yard bullet through the tightest of traffic to senior Josh Smentek, who tumbled forward into the end zone on the fourth quarter’s first play to make the game 13-10.
 
But that was the beginning of the end for East. Led by junior linebacker Hunter Crass and senior lineman Bernard Stutts, Nicolet tightened the screws. East’s final fourth quarter possessions resulted in a punt, a turnover on downs and an interception (junior Delton Clay) .
 
 “In the first half we had multiple opportunities to take over,” said Wauwatosa East coach Jake Wolter. “But we gave up some situation spots we shouldn’t have. When third and longs turn into first downs, you’re in trouble. You can’t live off of that.”
 
Nicolet turned the tables at the 7:30 mark in the fourth quarter. A quick bursting punt return and pair of East penalties put Nicolet near East’s 10. Four plays later, Kappel rolled out and found Tyler Crass in the corner of the end zone.
 
We got gassed,” Wolter said. “A lot of guys were playing both ways, and on special teams. They got gassed. And when we got down on the scoreboard, their heads sank a little bit.”
 
The Knight buried the Red Raiders once and for all at the 5:00 mark. On a play-action fake, Kappel rolled to his right, and found a wide open Nolan Wagner on the goal line. The pass hit the junior right in the numbers. He cradled it with two hands and backed into the end zone for the final score.
 
 “Our running game was effective, when we executed it,” Wolter said. “Our passing game was not bad. We’ve just got to get a little more wind and cash in at some key moments.”
 
“We had to find our feet a little bit,” said Nicolet coach Brad Kozaczuk. “But we got more intense as the game went along. We faced adversity and found a way to overcome it.”  

Victim of Wauwatosa fire identified

Aug. 26, 2011 5:14 p.m. | Wauwatosa police have identified the man found after a fatal house fire on Aug. 18 as the adult son of an elderly woman who escaped the fire.

John Lorentz was found in a room on the second floor of a home in the 1400 block of N. 119th St. where a fire appears to have started early in the morning, according to a report by the Wauwatosa Police Department.

As firefighters made their way upstairs in dense, churning black smoke around 9 a.m., they said they heard what sounded like gunshots and fled downstairs because they thought someone was shooting at them. Authorities later determined that the sounds came from exploding ammunition for several guns, including a shotgun. Investigators found brass from spent shotgun shells on the scene.

Lorentz's mom, 74-year-old Jean L. Lorentz, told police she woke up on the first floor to a loud sound and went to check on her son. She said something seemed to be blocking the door as she tried to get in. When she cracked the door open four to six inches, she heard groaning d and felt intense heat as smoke poured out. She walked downstairs to call the Fire Department and managed to escape the fire.

McCop busted at McDonald's

Aug. 24, 2011 11:12 a.m. | A man dressed like a law-enforcement agent was arrested for violating bail after he was seen carrying weapons at McDonald's in East Tosa last week.

According to a Wauwatosa Police Department report:

A 22-year-old Milwaukee man was seen walking with a group of people on North Avenue and openly carrying a handgun on his waist at 1:36 p.m. Aug. 16. When officers arrived, the man had entered McDonald's, 6631 W. North Ave.

Officers noted he was dressed like "some sort of law enforcement agent" with mirrored sunglasses; black, military-uniform-style pants; distinctive vest meant to look bullet-proof; and a holster on a duty belt like those worn by police.

A handgun was sticking out of the holster, but when an officer tried to remove the magazine, he found certain controls weren't located where they should be. The man told an officer it was a BB gun. He also had canisters of tear gas and pepper spray, two sets of handcuffs, a small walkie-talkie and a gold badge with the word "security" on it.

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Tobacco Outlet Plus clerk robbed at gunpoint

Aug. 24, 2011 10:42 a.m. | An armed robber hit Tobacco Outlet Plus, 11712 W. North Ave., at 8:55 p.m. Monday.

A person wearing a ski mask entered the store, pointed a gun at the clerk and said, "Give me all the money," according to the Wauwatosa police report. He told the clerk several times to hurry up, then he ran out of the shop.

Trio of robberies reported on 3 consecutive days on Wauwatosa streets

Aug. 24, 2011 10:40 a.m. | Three Wauwatosa teens were the victim of separate strong-armed robberies on three consecutive days.

According to Wauwatosa Police Department reports:

The first incident involved a 13-year-old boy who was walking with a friend at 74th Street and North Avenue when three males started following and asking the boys if they wanted to smoke. The boys declined and kept heading for home when one of the trio asked for his MP3 player and another wanted his watch.

When the 13-year-old refused to hand over the items to the older boys, he was punched in the face. He took off his watch and ran away yelling at 6 p.m. Aug. 15. A witness stopped and called police.

The victim showed officers wounds to his upper lip.

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Tosa kills street-light timers

Aug. 24, 2011 10:22 a.m. | An experiment that turned on streetlights in some neighborhoods for fewer hours has reached its conclusion and saved the city thousands.

"All of the lights that were shut off are now back on," Mayor Jill Didier said Tuesday.

A year ago, the city installed time clocks in six of Wauwatosa's 47 substations that control circuits for streetlights. Those clocks allowed the city to turn lights on and off based on the time, overriding sensors that do so by measuring ambient light, as is standard practice. Areas controlled by the clocks turned on streetlights 30 minutes after sunset and turn them off 30 minutes before sunrise. Those lights also shut off from 3 to 4 a.m.

The experiment helped the city deal with a budget crunch in the short-term. It is estimated it saved more than $15,000 over the past year.

Even though the trial is over, residents can expect to see longer term savings as existing streetlights are gradually changed to energy-efficient versions, Didier said.

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Alert maid helps police catch men thought responsible for suburban thefts

Aug. 24, 2011 10:12 a.m. | An observant hotel maid helped nab suspects believed to be responsible for thefts in a number of communities.

According to a Wauwatosa Police Department report:

An 18-year-old Milwaukee man was arrested for theft and retail theft and a 17-year-old Milwaukee man was arrested for retail theft after they were seen prowling in Crowne Plaza Hotel parking lot, 10499 Innovation Drive, at 3:56 p.m. Aug. 14.

A housekeeper saw a man with a metal tool in his hand get out of a Chevy Malibu and peer into the window of a car in the lot. The employee recognized it as the same car involved in a break-in the prior week.

The vehicle also matched the description of a car seen driving away from a retail theft at Advanced Auto Parts on 121st Street and Capitol Drive in July. The stolen auto parts were found still in the trunk.

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GPS, bike thieves arrested

Aug. 24, 2011 10:06 a.m. | Drunken riding is what drew attention to two 19-year-old Milwaukee men arrested for possession of stolen property.

According to a Wauwatosa Police Department report:

The duo was seen riding and repeatedly falling off bicycles outside of Alterra Coffee, 2292 Swan Blvd., at 6:10 a.m. Aug. 13. A coffee shop employee called police after the men rode over flowers.

When officers stopped the men, one had a GPS and the other was carrying a charger, both of which had been taken from an unlocked vehicle in the 2100 block of North 70th Street.

One of the men had bloody knees, because he kept falling off his bike, which had been stolen from the 8300 block of North Avenue. He was intoxicated and said he had taken Xanax.

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Applebee's, Pizza Hut owner honored for commitment to local causes

Aug. 23, 2011 9:38 p.m. | Wauwatosa-based Wisconsin Hospitality Group, which owns 38 Applebee's and 82 Pizza Hut restaurants throughout Wisconsin, has been named a Wisconsin finalist for the National Restaurant Association Restaurant Neighbor Award.

Wisconsin Hospitality Group represents the state in the Large Business/National Chain category for its efforts helping several causes that have greatly impacted its employees.

WHG Applebee's raised more than $926,000 for Children's Hospital of Wisconsin through walkathons, brat fries, disc golf events and car washes. The hospital has used the money to purchase hospital equipment and fund social programs.

WHG Applebee's also served more than 21,000 free meals to active and veteran military personnel on Veteran's Day last year. It also initiated an Honor Flight program that raised money to send World War II veterans to Washington, D.C., so they might see the war memorial there.

The Applebee's restaurants held a Teacher's Day free meal promotion honoring instructors for their dedication to education, a blood drive and a holiday gift drive for those in need.

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Tosa West quarterback feeling better after hit to the head Saturday

Aug. 22, 2011 2:22 p.m. | There was good news coming out of the Wauwatosa West camp on quarterback Josh Stoeckmann on Sunday following a head injury in the final minutes of the Trojans' 21-13 loss to Wauwatosa East Saturday night.

Stoeckmann was taken to the hospital in an ambulance as a precaution following the game Saturday night.

"Josh is doing a lot better today," West coach Matt Good said Sunday afternoon. "There was a play at the end of the game where he was inadvertently speared. After the game he had some concussion-type symptoms. As the case with all head injuries we will bring him back slowly."

Tosa West will travel to Brown Deer to meet the Falcons on Friday in the Woodland Conference opener at 7 p.m.

Fire causes damage to Potter Road home

Aug. 21, 2011 4:16 p.m. | The Wauwatosa Fire Department extinguished its third house fire in a week's time Saturday evening.

There were no injuries, but about $70,000 in damage was done to the house at 11408 W. Potter Road, Deputy Chief James Case said.

Fire officials have not yet determined the cause of the fire.

The call came in at 5:51 p.m., and when firefighters arrived, they found flames and heavy smoke coming from the attic and second-floor. The fire was quickly distinguished, Case said.

Earlier this week, the Fire Department battled two other blazes. On Aug. 14, a fire likely due to electrical problems caused $70,000 in damage to a home in the 1400 block of North 65th Street.

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Red Raiders rally to beat Tosa West

Aug. 20, 2011 10:25 p.m. | The Wauwatosa East defense kept cross-town rival Tosa West's offense off the board all night but still trailed 13-0 with 9:40 left in the third quarter. But then East running back Mike Mead took over and the Red Raiders rallied for a thrilling 21-13 win.

West coach Matt Good spoke about his team speed last week and sophomore Mickey Morgan proved his coach right as he scored on a 65-yard interception return right before the half and then opened the second half with an amazing 87-yard punt return that saw him keep his balance after being hit and tightroped down the left side line.

East's Kyle Vnuk completed 9-of-17 passes for 134 yards and shook off three Trojan interceptions to get the Raiders on the board in the third quarter when he hit Shaquille Redding with a beautiful 12-yard TD score and Redding made a great catch despite good coverage.

But the difference in the game was when East coach Jake Wolter gave the ball to the 5-9, 155 pound Mead in the second half. After not touching the ball in the first half, the gutsy senior rushed for 120 yards on 15 carries and sparked the Red Raiders with scoring runs of 13 and a 25-yards.

The win gave East a 21-17 edge in the career series, which was resumed after a 15-year absence. What was almost overlook in the hoopla was the fact that Tosa East snapped a 20-game overall losing streak and Wolter earned his first win as a head coach.

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Fire chief: Shell casings ignited by Tosa house fire likely caused gunshot sounds

Aug. 20, 2011 2:33 p.m. | Two spent shotgun shell casings were found in the area of a Wauwatosa home where a fire broke out Thursday.

The state fire marshal, along with members of the Wauwatosa Fire and Police departments sifted through the rubble at a home at 119th and Cherry Street on Friday.

No weapons were found but the fire likely ignited the shells, which resulted in the sounds of gunfire reported by firefighters and neighbors.

"Unfortunately, there's no way to tell the difference," Chief Rob Ugaste said. "It sounds the same as if someone were firing."

Ugaste called the on-site investigation a "painstaking process" because the roof was burned in and the second floor where the fire originated was in horrible condition. The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office had to deploy a team to stabilize the upper level so investigators could examine it.

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We're tweeting live tonight from high school football games, and you can too

Aug. 19, 2011 10:04 a.m. | You can follow the opening Friday night of high school football action as Journal Sentinel, NOW and Lake Country reporters tweet from high school football games throughout the area.

You can add to our coverage of the games by sending your own tweets with the tag #wisfb to add it to our running feed.

After the games, check out the football scoreboard and statistics page, produced in partnership with WisSports.net.

Before the games begin, you can take a look at the prospects for area teams in our football preview stories, which are featured on the Suburban Sports Roundup page.

Fire, fatality leave many questions among the ashes

Aug. 18, 2011 9:18 p.m. | "Chaotic" is the word the Wauwatosa fire chief used to describe the scene of a house fire that ended in a fatality today.

Any fire is unpredictable and dangerous but when the possibility of gunfire gets added to the mix, it's taken to another level, Chief Rob Ugaste said.

"There's no way to prepare yourself to have someone shooting at you," he said.

No one did shoot at firefighters, but they were convinced they heard gunfire while trying to rescue the adult son living at 1430 N. 119 St. His mother had made it out of the home and told emergency responders that he was still inside.

"As they neared the top of the stairs they yelled 'Fire Department' and heard nothing in response," the fire chief said. "Then they heard what they thought to be gunfire, so they backed out."

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One person confirmed dead after Wauwatosa house fire

Aug. 18, 2011 12:45 p.m. | WAUWATOSA - Fire officials in Wauwatosa have confirmed a body was found inside a home following a big fire at the house early Thursday.

A fire marshal is now in charge of the investigation, and a city engineer has to make sure the structure is safe before continuing their investigation.

"This looks like a very tragic situation," said David Niles, who lives on the other corner from the home. 

"Flames, wild guess, are 30 to 40 feet in the air at times."

Wauwatosa Fire Chief Rob Ugaste said fire crews heard what they believed to be gunshots.

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Suspect connected to numerous burglaries

Aug. 17, 2011 4:14 p.m. | A man charged with burglaries in Menomonee Falls had been connected to numerous break-ins at Wauwatosa businesses this summer.

Scott Laskowski, 32, of Wauwatosa is sitting in Waukesha County Jail on two felony counts of burglary, felony possession of burglary tools and a misdemeanor drug paraphernalia. Charges were filed Monday.

Wauwatosa police are also pursuing charges for burglaries on North Avenue between the 66th and 88th streets and in the Village.

"We think he was good for about 20 (burglaries)," Wauwatosa Police Lt. Dennis Davidson said.

Both communities' departments put a lot of effort into patrol and surveillance knowing "it was only a matter of time before we found him," Davidson said.

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Underwood Creek flowing green

Aug. 17, 2011 3:03 p.m. | Wauwatosa is not celebrating St. Patrick's Day in August.

Underwood Creek is flowing green this week because crews are flooding storm sewers north of Watertown Plank Road with water dyed green, City Engineer Bill Wehrley said. The storm sewers drain to the creek.

A citizen sent photos Wednesday to the Journal Sentinel newsroom showing green water in the creek near Our Redeemer Lutheran Church and Serafino Square apartments in the 9900 block of North Ave. Ryan Bogenschneider asked if the neon green water in the stream was news.

The work has been going on for a few weeks, Wehrley said. The dyed water is used to simulate a heavy rain event to determine if storm water is entering municipal sanitary sewers.

A camera is placed in sanitary pipes and if green water shows up then Wehrley knows there is a leak that must be fixed, he said. Leaking sanitary sewers can fill quickly in heavy rains and cause sewage to backup into basements.

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Tosa woman charged in connection to random acts of violence

Aug. 17, 2011 10:51 a.m. | An intoxicated Wauwatosa woman allegedly punched two people in random acts of violence as she walked with her three children Wednesday night. Now she's charged with misdemeanor counts of battery, disorderly conduct and disorderly conduct while armed.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

The driver of a moped was stopped as a train crossed at 70th and State streets about 7 p.m. Wednesday. The 33-year-old mother, Cory Christopherson, approached from behind and punched the driver in the side of the face several times, then threw a cup of beer and pushed her off the moped. The driver wasn't injured because she was wearing a helmet, but the moped was damaged.

When police responded to the moped driver's call, Christopherson had made her way to the Pick 'n Save parking lot, 6950 W. State St. The driver of a vehicle there stopped to allow the family to cross in front of her, but Christopherson approached the car and the driver rolled down the window. The mother reached in and punched the driver.

The man riding as passenger got out of the vehicle and followed the family at a distance as they walked to a home in the 6800 block of St. James Street. Christopherson is accused of exiting the house a few minutes later carrying a knife and yelling obscenities at the man.

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Man punched in face after offering aid to truck driver

Aug. 17, 2011 7:59 a.m. | A concerned motorist was punched in the face after he offered help to a truck driver at 68th and Center streets Aug. 3.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

The victim was stopped at a red light when he saw a truck "blow" through, weave along the road and abruptly pull over. Concerned the driver might be experiencing a medical problem, he pulled up next to the truck and asked the driver if he was OK.

The truck driver and passenger started swearing and told the motorist to mind his own business. The concerned driver tried to leave but found himself at another red light.

The truck pulled up, and the passenger exited. He banged on the driver's window and told him to get out and fight, then stood in front of the driver's car so he couldn't leave. The driver had rolled down his window so the man couldn't break it, and he got punched in the face.

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Teens accused of suburban gas station burglaries

Aug. 17, 2011 7:57 a.m. | A 19-year-old Milwaukee man was charged with five counts of burglary after he allegedly tried to break into Speedway, 6804 W. North Ave., the morning of Aug. 10.

He and a 15-year-old Milwaukee man also have been accused of gas station burglaries - some attempted and some successful - in Tosa, Brookfield, Menomonee Falls, Glendale, West Allis and Milwaukee.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

Rodney Randolph was driving a stolen vehicle when he picked up the 15-year-old boy Wednesday. They drove to Speedway, but decided to hold off on the burglary due to traffic on North Avenue. Later they returned and threw a rock at the door, breaking the glass. Again they drove off because they believed they had been heard or seen.

At the sight of squad cars, they got out of their vehicle and ran several blocks. When Randolph was stopped, he said he was a college student home for the summer and looking for money for school. In several of the other cases, the duo is accused of taking cash registers or money.

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Access to Taco Bell may be cut off if fence not up soon

Aug. 16, 2011 10:30 p.m. | The city has given the owner of the Taco Bell property at 510 N. Mayfair Road 30 days to complete a fence to shield neighbors from the restaurant. If the fence isn't up in time, the city may have the driveway barricaded.

The Taco Bell building was built in 2008, and the lack of fencing has been an issue ever since. Neighbors have complained about restaurant customers cutting through their properties and garbage ending up in their yards.

City staff members have tried to contact owner Rich Lepping, president of the Taco Bell franchise Border Patrol Wisconsin, numerous times, but there has been no response. The city has a deposit on hand due to work on the property not being completed in a timely manner, and city staff members suggested the money be used to have a fence installed.

City Attorney Alan Kesner recommended to the Board of Public Works earlier this month that one more letter be sent to Lepping, giving him notice that he has 30 days to complete the fence or he will face one of two options: The city would use the deposit to hire a contractor to complete the work or to barricade the parking lot until the work can be done. If the expense is greater than the deposit amount, the remainder of the cost would be put on the tax roll.

City Engineer Bill Wehrley said he doesn't know if his department has the time to hire a contractor and oversee the work this fall, so the property could stay blocked off for some time if Lepping doesn't comply.

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Fire causes $70K in damage to home

Aug. 16, 2011 10:10 p.m. | Fire caused $70,000 in damage to a home in the 1400 block of North 65th Street on Sunday morning.

A neighbor saw smoke coming from the attic, Deputy Fire Chief James Case said. The homeowner was able to exit the home; there were no injuries.

"The exact cause is undetermined, but (it's) suspected to be electrical in nature," Case said.

It took 45 minutes to extinguish the blaze and Wauwatosa firefighters received assistance from the Elm Grove, Brookfield, Butler, North Shore and West Allis departments.

Teen arrested for disorderly conduct said he had drunk malt liquor energy drinks

Aug. 16, 2011 10:08 p.m. | A 19-year-old Wauwatosa man who got out of control and was arrested for disorderly conduct Aug. 10 said he only had energy drinks made up of malt liquor and caffeine in his system.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

Officers responded to a home in the 8000 block of West Wisconsin Avenue about 5 p.m. Aug. 9 because a parent had called in to report a son who was acting out and had smashed a toilet seat. He had taken his mother's bicycle and ridden off before police arrived.

He returned home about 1:30 a.m. and rang the doorbell, but a house rule stipulates he is not allowed inside if he's not home by midnight. He continued to knock and ring the doorbell and pushed his way into the house, so the police were called.

He struggled with an officer in the yard and caused a disturbance. His parents said they had never seen him act this way and believed he had taken drugs. His blood pressure was low so the jail wouldn't accept him. He was taken to Froedtert Hospital, where he denied taking drugs but said he had had four large cans of malt liquor/caffeine drinks.

City's population decreased in past decade

Aug. 16, 2011 10:04 p.m. | The U.S. Census Bureau has been crunching numbers to determine population statistics and trends for municipalities.

The 2010 headcount showed Wauwatosa had a citywide population of 46,396, down from 47,271 a decade ago. In the latest census, females made up 53.4 percent of the population, very similar to 10 years ago.

The median age of a Tosa resident was 39.8 years, up from 39.1 years. The size of youngest group, people younger than 5, remained pretty much unchanged, while the 65 and older population has dwindled by about 1.5 percent. The following is a breakdown of residents by age in 2010:

Birth to 14: 18.1 percent

15 to 24: 9.6 percent

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Man charged with armed robbery for pulling gun on jewelry seller at Burger King

Aug. 16, 2011 9:56 p.m. | A 21-year-old Milwaukee man has been charged with armed robbery for allegedly pulling a gun on a man trying to sell costume jewelry in a Burger King bathroom about 2:15 p.m. Aug. 11.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

The victim, a 49-year-old Milwaukee man, had been visiting restaurants to try to sell costume jewelry to the employees. When he found no interest at Burger King, 3880 N. 124th St., he left, but a 41-year-old employee stopped him and said a co-worker wanted to buy something in the restroom. The seller went inside and showed gold chains and women's rings to Isaiah Guy, whom he said pulled a handgun from his waistband and demanded the jewelry.

Once outside the restaurant, the seller called 911. Police arrived and searched Burger King for the gun, which was found, loaded, in a box of cup lids.

Guy has previously been convicted for dealing marijuana and two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon. Co-workers said he is a gang member and frequently talks about weapons.

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Tosans invited to learn more about city's efforts to end sewer backups

Aug. 16, 2011 4:42 p.m. | Wauwatosa residents may have breathed a sigh of relief that June and July passed without a major storm - but that doesn't mean a major downpour won't happen again.

The city is working on a plan to prevent basement flooding. A public meeting will be held to educate residents about the problems, potential solutions and cost of fixing the sewer system. Residents also will be able to provide feedback about what they consider the best options.

Results will help city staff members and elected officials formulate policies and determine how much to spend on sewer work.

The meeting will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 25 at the Wauwatosa Public Library, 7635 W. North Ave. Drop in to meet with representatives from Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, sewer consultants hired by the city and a contractor who specializes in high-tech sewer repair and inspection, as well as city staff.

Teen says dad's incarceration tied to his drug use

Aug. 16, 2011 4:38 p.m. | The son of a Brookfield man convicted of sexual assault told officers he was having a hard time dealing with his father's incarceration, and he'd started using drugs after that, police said. He was arrested for drug use Aug. 10, in front of the same Wauwatosa apartment complex where the sexual assault occurred last year.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

Police received a report at 9:12 a.m. Aug. 10 that people had been sleeping in a vehicle outside Mayfair Manor Apartments, 2435 N. 111th St., for the past several nights.

Officers found an 18-year-old Brookfield man and a 17-year-old Wauwatosa girl, who had been reported as a runaway, asleep in the car. The man said he'd been thrown out of his home by his mother because they both were having a difficult time dealing with his father's conviction.

A search turned up 1.2 grams of marijuana and two pipes, so he was arrested for drug possession. In addition, he was arrested for theft because his car matched the description of a vehicle that had driven off without paying for gas at Mayfair Mobil, 3106 N. Mayfair Road, Aug. 7.

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Wauwatosa lawyer arrested on gun charges

Aug. 16, 2011 11:51 a.m. | A Wauwatosa lawyer has been arrested by police investigating illegal gun sales, after he paid an informant $400 for two purportedly stolen guns and an illegal silencer at Mayfair mall, according to court records.

Thomas Michael Barrett, 53, is being held at the Milwaukee County Jail on $15,000 bail. Formal charges were pending Monday.

According to an affidavit from Milwaukee police officer Dean Newport in support of a search warrant:

A confidential informant told Newport that Barrett was known to buy and resell stolen guns. Investigators set up a meeting Friday outside Mayfair mall at which the informant showed Barrett two guns he said had been stolen from a felon, but were in fact functional "prop guns."

Barrett described one of the guns as "highly, highly, highly illegal" and a "hit man's gun" because of the attached silencer. He paid for the guns, put them in containers in his car and was then arrested by police watching the transaction.

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Panel won't support adding bar within liquor store

Aug. 09, 2011 12:40 p.m. | Tosa Wine & Spirits owners Sukhlal Gill and Amandip Singh would like to add a lounge-style bar area to the liquor store, but the idea failed to gain Plan Commission support Monday.

That doesn't mean the idea is dead, however. The matter now moves to the Community Development Committee for review, possibly Sept. 6.

Plan Commission officials recommended, on a 3-2 vote, that the city deny the conditional-use request by Tosa Wine & Spirits, 11747 W. North Ave.

Mayor Jill Didier, Alderman Don Birschel and Commissioner John Albert supported the recommendation for denial, while commissioners Gloria Stearns and Chris Jackson voted against it.

In order for Tosa Wine & Spirits to sell alcohol for consumption on site, its Class A liquor license needs to be replaced with a Class B or tavern license. The major concern was that granting such a license likely would limit the city's control over the establishment's hours.

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Man giving CPR to friend arrested for heroin possession

Aug. 09, 2011 11:52 a.m. | A 19-year-old Muskego man was arrested for possession of heroin and drug paraphernalia after his friend stopped breathing in the Dairy Queen parking lot, 6520 W. North Ave., about 6 p.m. July 27.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

The Muskego man was seen performing CPR on his friend, a 23-year-old Wind Lake man. A neighboring business owner called 911 so the Muskego man grabbed his drug paraphernalia - including items typically used when selling drugs - and ran.

When the Wind Lake man came to, he gave several names and birthdates. He was arrested for providing false information to an officer. He is a recovering drug addict staying in a sober living facility in Milwaukee. He started using again following his grandfather's death.

The friends were in Wauwatosa to buy liquor at a North Avenue shop.

Hart Park playground wins approval

Aug. 03, 2011 11:38 a.m. | A dugout canoe, log balance beams and a climbing tree are among the features kids will have the opportunity to play on next spring when the Hart Park playground opens.

The Common Council on Tuesday approved spending $921,000 on playground equipment and site infrastructure, as well as a contract with local construction firm Selzer-Ornst.

The playground design, which celebrates "presettlement Wauwatosa," originates from the master plan for improvements to Hart Park as a whole, architect Ed Haydin said.

The Menomonee Riverwas used by Native Americans to travel to the valley. The playground design incorporates natural materials and colors, and items like logs, a sand pit and limestone.

Inclusive structures

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Arrest made in connection to two sex assault cases

Aug. 03, 2011 11:06 a.m. | An alert Wauwatosa police officer may have found a sexual assault suspect last week when he noticed a familiar vehicle along Menomonee River Parkway.

According to a Tosa police report:

The officer saw a blue Jeep Cherokee parked in the 3800 block of Menomonee River Parkway at 1:34 p.m. Inside were a man and a younger woman. The vehicle matched descriptions of that used by a man who had sexually assaulted young women on two occasions, the most recent assault happening in February.

When the officer questioned the driver, a 46-year-old Milwaukee man, said the two were family friends who had known each other for years. A short while later, he changed his story and said they had met about 45 minutes ago at a bus stop and that he was giving her a ride to the mall.

The 24-year-old Milwaukee woman said the man told her he was looking for someone to spend money on at Mayfair. In the vehicle, he tried to rub her leg and offered her money for sex. She admitted to having worked as a prostitute in the past but said she was not looking to provide sexual favors in this case.

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Mt. Tosa will include assisted-living apartments

Aug. 03, 2011 10:58 a.m. | The Common Council agreed to allow assisted-living units as part of the Mt. Tosa Neighborhood, even though Mayor Jill Didier on Tuesday warned that the development already has undergone numerous changes that move it away from the original project vision.

Developer Helmet Toldt's pitch for an urban village on former Public Works property at 113th Street and Walnut Road was chosen by the city among several proposals, Didier said.

Since the project was approved, the sale price was cut by more than half, the city provided financial assistance and the first parcel was sold to a senior-housing management company. The latest request by Toldt to amend the developer's agreement with the city proposes building a 67-unit assisted-living and memory-care facility at the site where a 40-unit condominium building had been approved.

"Nothing of which the developer proposed has happened," Didier said.

At some point, the city must hold a developer accountable to the agreement, she added.

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Police, Fire supervisors' health contributions drop

Aug. 03, 2011 10:52 a.m. | Police and Fire supervisors have paid 10 percent of their health insurance premiums since February, but that's coming to an end - at least temporarily.

The Common Council on Tuesday repealed certain ordinances regarding employee benefits and replaced them with others. In most cases, employees will be paying more toward their health insurance, both as active workers and during their retirement. All city employees other than those in the Police and Fire Departments are now paying 10 percent of health insurance premiums and contributing 5.8 percent of their wages to the pension system.

However, non-union employees working for the Police and Fire departments will pay a lesser contribution for health insurance premiums and nothing toward the state's pension program. When a contract is finalized for the protective unions, the supervisors' benefits will follow suit, city officials said.

Uncertainty unsettling

Non-represented Police and Fire employees started paying 10 percent in February. Now, those workers will return to a 3 percent premium contribution, in line with union members' contributions under their prior contract. Bargaining between police and fire unions and the city have reached a standstill and are in arbitration.

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Wauwatosa police say fight led to battery, manhunt

Aug. 03, 2011 10:06 a.m. | A 44-year-old registered sex offender has been charged with trespassing and vandalism following an altercation at his Wauwatosa girlfriend's home that led to a manhunt Sunday night.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

Michael Fink of East Troy got into an argument with his 24-year-old girlfriend while they were driving in Milwaukee. He kicked her out of the car, so she called a friend and waited for a ride.

Meanwhile Fink's car ran out of gas, so he showed up at the girlfriend's home - she lives with her parents in the 1000 block of 115th Street - and continuously rang the doorbell. Her mother told him to leave but he refused, so she called police at 11:10 p.m.

Fink left before officers arrived, but he returned shortly after police took off. They responded a second time but again he already had left.

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How well do you know Wauwatosa? Identify our weekly mystery photo and you could win movie passes

Aug. 03, 2011 8:53 a.m. | How well do you know Wauwatosa? Take a look at this week's mystery photo, tell us where it was taken, and you could win a pair of movie passes to a Marcus Theatre.

Congratulations to Sarah Milinovich, who correctly guessed that this maple leaf can be found on the side of the Hart Park Square apartments, 6600 W. River Parkway.

Check WauwatosaNOW for a new photo to identify each week. You can also find a link to the contest from our News page.

Go to mystery photo.

Man accused of trying to cook heroin in Mayfair bathroom

Aug. 03, 2011 8:16 a.m. | Allegations that he was cooking up heroin in a Mayfair restroom have landed a 23-year-old Wauwatosa man in jail; he faces a felony drug possession charge.

According to the Wauwatosa police report, Jeremy Fimreite was overheard talking with another man in the same restroom stall at 8:54 p.m. July 26. His friend had been banned from the mall for a disorderly conduct incident, so security staff called police.

An officer knocked on the stall door and saw Fimreite throw an object in the toilet. A charred spoon was found in the bowl, the report states.

It goes on to say that he told the officer he was getting ready to cook heroin and that he planned to shoot up before going to the movie theater at the mall.

He allegedly had heroin in his sock and a syringe in his pocket.

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Couple's fighting results in arrest, tickets

Aug. 02, 2011 11:34 p.m. | A 26-year-old Wauwatosa man faces a misdemeanor vandalism charge and a municipal citation for marijuana possession after police had to respond to calls to his home because of suicide threats, disorderly conduct and trespassing in the past week.

According to a Wauwatosa police report:

The trouble started at 8:22 p.m. July 26 when police received a report of a domestic dispute involving a man with a knife who was trying to cut his wrists and a woman who was throwing items into the street in the 4600 block of North 100th Street.

The man had gotten into a fight with his girlfriend, so he had locked himself in the bedroom. He had attempted suicide in the past, so she picked the lock and found him on the bed with a knife.

Officers were told the man talked about killing himself as his 2- and 3-year-old sons entered the room. Their 9-month-old baby was downstairs in a car seat. The girlfriend got angry and said something to the effect that if he really wanted to see blood, she would help. Then she got a butcher knife from the kitchen.

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Stop by NOW's booth at Tosa's Night Out

Aug. 02, 2011 12:24 p.m. | Editors and reporters from Wauwatosa NOW will be part of Tosa's Night Out this evening.

Visitors can pick up a copy of the paper, grab some candy and take home other NOW Newspapers giveaways at our table in the Hart Park Senior Center.

The event runs from 4 to 9:30 p.m. at Hart Park, 7300 Chestnut St.

National Night Out features family activities from 4 to 8 p.m., music at the Tosa Tonight Concert Series at 5:30 p.m., a flashlight walk against crime at 8 p.m. and a fireworks display at 9:30 p.m.

Community Watch

» Police officer rushes choking child to hospital 8/30

» Teen's beating caught on video, posted online 8/30

» Pearl Jam fans raise money for Tosa skate park 8/30

» Show your gratitude to police officers, firefighters at Mayfair on 9/11 8/30

» Hoyt pool closing for season after Labor Day weekend 8/30

» Tosa West survives miscues, beats Brown Deer in double overtime 8/26

» Nicolet opens season at 2-0 with victory over Wauwatosa East 8/26

» Victim of Wauwatosa fire identified 8/26

» McCop busted at McDonald's 8/24

» Tobacco Outlet Plus clerk robbed at gunpoint 8/24

» Trio of robberies reported on 3 consecutive days on Wauwatosa streets 8/24

» Tosa kills street-light timers 8/24

» Alert maid helps police catch men thought responsible for suburban thefts 8/24

» GPS, bike thieves arrested 8/24

» Applebee's, Pizza Hut owner honored for commitment to local causes 8/23

» Tosa West quarterback feeling better after hit to the head Saturday 8/22

» Fire causes damage to Potter Road home 8/21

» Red Raiders rally to beat Tosa West 8/20

» Fire chief: Shell casings ignited by Tosa house fire likely caused gunshot sounds 8/20

» We're tweeting live tonight from high school football games, and you can too 8/19

» Fire, fatality leave many questions among the ashes 8/18

» One person confirmed dead after Wauwatosa house fire Updated:  8/18

» Suspect connected to numerous burglaries 8/17

» Underwood Creek flowing green 8/17

» Tosa woman charged in connection to random acts of violence 8/17

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