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Azana therapist describes tense 45 minutes in hiding

Oct. 21, 2012 8:54 p.m. | For nearly 45 terrifying minutes, Katie O'Rourke sat crouched inside a darkened, second-floor treatment room, with no windows, whispering to a 911 operator on her cellphone.

With O'Rourke, a 23-year-old massage therapist from Wauwatosa at the Azana Spa in Brookfield, was a co-worker, whom she named Mary, and two clients.

She had called 911 after hearing gun shots downstairs. "Quite a few of them," she said in a Sunday night interview hours after the rampage.

She said she was first told by 911 operators to leave the building.

"But I didn't know where the shooter was," she said.

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Greendale crushes Tosa West, 41-16

Oct. 19, 2012 10:52 p.m. | Sophomore quarterback Josh Ringelberg passed for 301 yards and four touchdowns and ran for 109 yards and another score as Greendale crushed Wauwatosa West, 41-16, Friday night in a WIAA Level 1 Playoff game at West.

The win for the Panthers was their first in the playoffs since moving to D2 in 2008. Greendale, which lost to Tosa West, 37-30, in overtime on Oct. 5, put this game away early this time.

Ringelberg raced 74 yards for a touchdown with 11:02 in the first quarter and then tossed a beautiful 86-yard touchdown to sophomore wide receiver Cody Kmetz for a 12-0 lead at the 5:59 mark.

West sophomore running back Demaris Purifoy scored on an 8-yard run and Zach Veit booted the point after to cut the lead to 12-7 with 3:54 left in the first period.

But it was all downhill from there for the Trojans.

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North Avenue to close Monday in Wauwatosa

Oct. 19, 2012 12:47 p.m. | The city has announced that the closure of North Avenue at 90th street will begin on Monday and last just three weeks, until Nov. 12, far shorter than originally anticipated. Original estimates had the avenue shutting down in early October and staying closed for as a long as six weeks.

"The contractor did a little different operation," said Joe Marks, construction and survey engineer for the city. Instead of digging a trench to lay the narrow pipe of the new sanitary sewer line, the contractor bored a hole under the open lanes and inserted a pipe through it.

For the much larger storm sewer pipe, a trench will have to be dug, necessitating the shutdown, he said.

Through traffic will be diverted by detour signs at Wauwatosa Avenue (76th Street) from the east, and Swan Boulevard from the west. The detour will take cars up north to Center Street and down Wauwatosa or Swan, depending on direction of travel. North will be open to local traffic up to 90th Street from both directions, for access to local businesses and residences, but no traffic will be able to cross 90th Street. Trucks will be diverted at Mayfair from the west, and Wauwatosa Avenue from the east, and will cross on Capitol Drive. The Route 21 bus detour will be North to Swan to Center and to 88th Street, and back to North.

Editor's note: This story was updated at 12:45 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 19. The above paragraph was added.

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North Avenue in Wauwatosa to close Monday for three weeks

Oct. 19, 2012 12:45 p.m. | The city has announced that the closure of North Avenue at 90th street will begin on Monday and last just three weeks, until Nov. 12, far shorter than originally anticipated. Original estimates had the avenue shutting down in early October and staying closed for as a long as six weeks.

"The contractor did a little different operation," said Joe Marks, construction and survey engineer for the city. Instead of digging a trench to lay the narrow pipe of the new sanitary sewer line, the contractor bored a hole under the open lanes and inserted a pipe through it.

For the much larger storm sewer pipe, a trench will have to be dug, necessitating the shutdown, he said.

Through traffic will be diverted by detour signs at Wauwatosa Avenue (76th Street) from the east, and Swan Boulevard from the west. The detour will take cars up north to Center Street and down Wauwatosa or Swan, depending on direction of travel. North will be open to local traffic up to 90th Street from both directions, for access to local businesses and residences, but no traffic will be able to cross 90th Street. Trucks will be diverted at Mayfair from the west, and Wauwatosa Avenue from the east, and will cross on Capitol Drive. The Route 21 bus detour will be North to Swan to Center and to 88th Street, and back to North.

This is all part of a $14.4 million project, one of the largest public works project the city has ever undertaken, is designed to prevent flooding of the kind that affected 500 homes in 2009, according to the city.

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Pigskin Picks playoff contest begins today

Oct. 19, 2012 11:45 a.m. | We're a little bit more than seven hours away from the kickoff of tonight's first-round of the WIAA high school football playoffs, so there is still time to sign up and test your football predicting skills against local celebrities and sportswriters in MyCommunityNOW's Pigskin Picks playoff contest.

Weekly winners will receive a pair of movie passes to Marcus Theatres. Grand prizes at the end of the playoffs are Bartolotta Restaurants gift cards worth $100, $50 and $25.

Featured games this week are: Appleton East vs. Menomonee Falls; Brown Deer vs. Catholic Memorial; Greendale vs. Wauwatosa West, South Milwaukee vs. Brookfield Central and Messmer/Shorewood vs. Whitefish Bay.

Congratulations to Drew Hunkins of Waukesha, who was the overall winner in the regular-season version of Pigskin Picks. He earned a $100 Bartolotta gift card. Michael Cannon of New Berlin was second to claim a $50 gift card and Waukesha's Carl Liden finished third to win the $25 prize.

NOW sportswriter John Rech won the VIP contest, edging fellow sportswriter Tom "Sky" Skibosh by a game and reigning Miss St. Francis Colleen Mrotek by two games.

» Read Full Article

Children's Court worried about access during roadwork

Oct. 17, 2012 1:38 p.m. | The presiding judge at Milwaukee County Children's Court Center said construction on Watertown Plank Road related to the Zoo Interchange project will present a major challenge to those who require access to the center.

The center, at 10201 W. Watertown Plank between Mayfair Road and Highway 45, handles juvenile and child court matters, and houses juvenile detention.

Watertown Plank in front of the center will be rebuilt, and the ramps that give access to the highway will be replaced with a broad, looping, high-capacity interchange, including the addition of a new lane west of the interchange passing in front of the center.

"It appears it's going to … have a major impact on people getting to and from the Children's Court Center," Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Joseph Donald said this week.

Donald said 455 people work at the center, and his "best-guess estimate" is that an additional 650 people come through it on a daily basis.

Library overdue fines to double in new year

Oct. 17, 2012 12:48 p.m. | Overdue fees on books and other items will double beginning Jan. 1 following a decision last week by the Wauwatosa Public Library Board.

The board unanimously supported a recommendation by Library Director Mary Murphy to increase the fine on overdue books and compact discs from 10 cents per day to 20 cents per day in the new year. In addition, the board increased the fines on DVD and VHS items from 50 cents to $1 per day, but extended the lending period on those items from three days to one week.

Fire Department puts new engine into service

Oct. 17, 2012 12:46 p.m. | In its first day of service last week, the Wauwatosa Fire Department's new engine responded to two calls by 1 p.m.

If the year ahead is like years past, the truck will respond to a healthy proportion of the 5,500 calls the department will field this year, including a couple of dozen serious "working fires," and 30 to 40 mutual aid calls, to help out other departments.

The truck, a Pierce Quantum model with a 450-horsepower engine, carries 500 gallons of water, 30 gallons of foam, medical aid equipment and supplies, air tanks for firefighters that are refillable at the truck from large supply tanks, 800 feet of hose to connect the truck to a hydrant, and 1,500 feet of attack hose. And it does 65 miles an hour.

The Fire Department paid $599,000 for the truck, under the budget set aside of $650,000.

Arrowhead heads into playoffs atop suburban football rankings

Oct. 17, 2012 12:28 p.m. | The undefeated Arrowhead High School football team (8-0) has been a fixture atop the Living Lake Country/NOW suburban football rankings all season, never moving from the top spot.

The No. 1-seeded Warhawks begin WIAA Division 1 postseason play at home this Friday against No. 8 Milwaukee Vincent/Destiny (5-3).

You can get the lowdown on Arrowhead's postseason prospects and more first round games in a video preview at NOW's Push for the Playoffs.

Two men escape Wauwatosa police in car pursuit

Oct. 17, 2012 10:12 a.m. | Police were led on a short, low-speed pursuit that ended in the woods after trying to stop a stolen car.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

An officer tried to pull a speeding Dodge Neon over at the intersection of Washington Circle and Martha Washington Drive at 11:52 p.m. Oct. 10 when the car tried to escape him.

The driver blew through a stoplight, went over a curb and stopped in a field when the two occupants bailed out and started running away.

The suspects ran into the woods with multiple flashlight-wielding officers at their heels.

» Read Full Article

Pigskin Picks contest returns for the WIAA playoffs

Oct. 17, 2012 9:51 a.m. | The first-round match ups are set in this season's WIAA football playoffs and you can test your football predicting skills against local celebrities and sportswriters by taking part in MyCommunityNOW's Pigskin Picks playoff contest.

Weekly winners will receive a pair of movie passes to Marcus Theatres. Grand prizes at the end of the playoffs are Bartolotta Restaurants gift cards worth $100, $50 and $25.

Drew Hunkins of Waukesha was the overall winner in the regular-season version of Pigskin Picks, earning a $100 Bartolotta gift card. Michael Cannon of New Berlin was second to claim a $50 gift card and Waukesha's Carl Liden finished third to win the $25 prize.

NOW sportswriter John Rech won the VIP contest, edging fellow sportswriter Tom "Sky" Skibosh by a game and reigning Miss St. Francis Colleen Mrotek by two games.

You can join the fun in the playoff version of Pigskin Picks.

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