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Public Policy Forum says in a new report.The consolidation of seven municipal fire and rescue departments on the North Shore 20 years ago has saved the communities millions of dollars while providing a superior level of service, the
Those seven municipalities together would have paid a total of $2.8 million more annually in operating costs in 2014 to achieve an equivalent level of service, if they had not combined the departments into one unit, says the report, "Come Together: An analysis of fire department consolidation in Milwaukee County's North Shore."
Success of the North Shore Fire Department prompted Public Policy Forum President Rob Henken to remind other municipalities in southeastern Wisconsin that consolidating a variety of services — fire and rescue, police, health and even school districts — could save taxpayer dollars.
The numbers alone — 146 municipalities and 92 school districts in the seven-county region — show there is plenty of opportunity, Henken said.
While North Shore communities talked for 10 years before consolidation occurred in 1995, it could not have succeeded without the willingness of public officials to take a risk, Fire Chief Robert Whitaker said.» Read Full Article
Brown Deer — Brown Deer officials decided Monday night to build a new public works building next to Village Hall with the hopes of spurring redevelopment at the building's existing location in the Original Village neighborhood.
The public works facility is currently located on a 3.9-acre lot at 8717 N. 43rd St. in the recently-redeveloped Original Village neighborhood. At least $1 million in repairs have been identified at the 49-year-old public works building, not including the extra 2,302 square feet of space needed to properly store snow plows and other public works vehicles.
The new public works facility would be built on a 6.5-acre plot of land located between Brown Deer Police Department and Rite-Hite. The grassy vacant land is owned by Rite-Hite and is assessed at $1.1 million.
The loss of tax revenue on the 6.5-acre Rite Hite property could be recouped by redeveloping the existing DPW lot into a mixed-use facility with high-end apartments and retail stores, which village officials say would be a better fit for the quaint downtown neighborhood. Additionally, any redevelopment at at the existing DPW site would financially bolster the village's suffering fourth tax incremental district, which is running at a $1.4 million deficit.
The only village official to vote against the idea was Trustee Terry Boschert, who favored rebuilding the facility at its current site. He said purchasing the Rite-Hite property for the assessed $1.1 million is too much a gamble, considering the current DPW site in the Original Village area could sit undeveloped for the next decade.» Read Full Article
The company's vision initially seems fanciful:
Create applications for health care featuring animated characters that can understand language in all its complexity, from context to regional idioms, detect emotion and recognize facial expressions, perceive differences in personalities, and on top of all that, constantly learn.
To make all this seem even more far-fetched, put the company's base in the second floor of a modest office building on Mequon Road.
Yet iDAvatars is among the companies that have set out to create applications based on one of the most advanced computer systems in the world — IBM's Watson. And IBM has taken note.
"They are one of the most innovative companies we work with," said Lauri Saft, who oversees IBM's partnerships with companies developing applications for the Watson system. "I've seen very few that have moved as quickly as they have."» Read Full Article
An airman from Wisconsin was among the 11 people killed when a U.S. Air Force military transport crashed at a base in Afghanistan, his sister said Friday.
Airman Quinn Johnson-Harris, 21, was a 2012 graduate of Homestead High School in the Milwaukee suburb of Mequon.
Johnson-Harris was among six U.S. service members and five civilian passengers killed in the crash Sept. 25 at Jalalabad Air Field in eastern Afghanistan.
His sister, Fa-tia Johnson, says he was her best friend and she's sad to see him gone. She says his work as a loadmaster was his passion.
"He was an amazing individual, and we really lost one, but you know what? They gained an angel," Johnson said.» Read Full Article
Brown Deer — A grassy, weed-covered lot has been transformed into a public park with walkways and a public launch for kayaks and canoes on the Milwaukee River.
The 2.4 acre Badger Meter River Park is located at 3701 W. Brown Deer Road, just east of the interchange at Brown Deer and Green Bay roads. In addition to adding a kayak and canoe launch, porous parking lot and walkways, the village also planted native prairie grasses and oak savanna trees. A pavilion with picnic tables is planned for the future.
The $230,000 project was made possible with a $40,000 donation from Badger Meter, a fluid measurement and control mechanism manufacturer headquartered off Brown Deer Road. The company, which has eight plants in five countries, has maintained its headquarters in Brown Deer since the 1950s.
Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District contributed $25,000 for a 2,323-square-foot bioswale and 4,705-square-foot parking lot made of porous pavement. The new green infrastructure will capture about 32,000 gallons of water during rain events. The bioswale also helps purify the water, reducing pollutant runoff into the Milwaukee River.
Brown Deer hasn't created a new public park since Fairy Chasm Park in 1991.» Read Full Article
Push for the playoffs is a detailed weekly breakdown of the teams and players in the Lake Country and suburban Milwaukee prep football scene.
Glendale — Eight homeowners on 27th Street will have to get their addresses changed, but they say the paperwork is well worth it.
The Glendale portion of 27th Street was renamed Monday, Sept. 28, by the Glendale Common Council. The new street name, Sidney Place, matches their Glendale neighbors north of the West Como Place intersection.
As required by city ordinances, the new street name was requested by a majority of homeowners on 27th Street. The petition was circulated by resident Nicole Harmelink. By making it clear those eight homes are in Glendale, Harmelink said property values on those homes will go up.
Renaming the street would also make it easier to locate those eight homes on GPS devices. They currently appear as Milwaukee addresses, not Glendale addresses.
The petition was also signed by Police Chief Thomas Czarnyska, who has lived on 27th Street in Glendale for 38 years. While Glendale police know about the geographical quirk of 27th Street, he said the North Shore Fire Department and Milwaukee County law enforcement agencies may not be able to find them using their GPS devices.» Read Full Article
With a big battle looming for the Badgers, Iowa graduate J.P. Cadorin talks about the dangers the Hawkeyes present. Also, while Aaron Rodgers has been excellent, there is another quarterback who's been just as impressive. And could a prep football powerhouse be left out of the playoffs this year entirely?
Whitefish Bay defensive back Michael Kirkendoll was on the trainer's cart at midfield fighting off cramps in his calf and straining to put a smile on his face as it seemed each and every one of his teammates came over to congratulate him on his game-saving interception against Germantown on Sept. 25.
Just moments earlier, he had been laying on the ground in the front left corner of the end zone, having outfought a Warhawks receiver for a jump-ball pass with just 6 seconds remaining and Bay holding a tenuous 24-21 lead.
The subsequent celebration was delayed a few minutes as Kirkendoll struggled to get up right away and was tended to by trainers.
When the cart finally came to midfield, his happy teammates were there to greet him as the interception and subsequent victory gave Bay sole possession of first place in the North Shore Conference at 4-0 (5-1 overall). Germantown, which had overcome an early 14-0 deficit, fell to 3-1 and 4-2, respectively.
"He initially caught it," said Kirkendoll of the Warhawks receiver, "but I ripped it out right over his shoulder. We just had to stop them there, and I couldn't have done it without the entire offense and defense giving it their all, too."» Read Full Article
The Homestead boys volleyball team, which fought off six match points in the fourth set of its match with rival Nicolet Wednesday, could not fight off a seventh when the Knights went to their strength.
For about the millionth time that night it was a block that in the end provided the decisive point.
The Knights block rotated to account for an attack from the outside and that finished off the entertaining match, 26-24, 25-20, 23-25, 29-27. It was a large part of what coach Brad Kuehl called "the best defensive effort we've had this year."
"What a great high school sporting event," added Kuehl. "It's what high school sports is all about. Each set was hotly contested and these kids just went to battle."
The win improved Nicolet to 3-1 in North Shore Conference duals, just behind league four-time champ Germantown while Homestead fell to 2-2.» Read Full Article
The Shorewood girls swim team had a very good meet at the Woodland Conference Relays on Sept. 23.
The problem was, was that New Berlin Eisenhower had a great meet and that resulted in a three-point loss for the Greyhounds to the Lions in the final team standings.
"I love that I can put any of swimmers in a pressure situation and through and through, they continue to deal huge swims," said Greyhound coach Tom Miazga. "We fed off each other's energy throughout the night, and again, our team chemistry was infectious. New Berlin Eisenhower has some fantastic talent on their team; they had an incredible meet. Knowing the meet came down to a few close finishes is setting us up to have a fantastic dual meet and even more exciting conference meet (later this month)."
Meanwhile, Brown Deer/USM coach Bob Van Lieshout can only ask "What if?" He had entered the meet with the very real idea that with a few breaks his fast-rising and youthful team could pull a massive upset and sneak away with the title.
But injuries and luck were not on the FalconCats' side and they had to settle for a fifth-place showing.» Read Full Article
Hazarding a guess on how the North Shore Conference football race will play out with three games to go is a fool's game at best right now.
Because Whitefish Bay (4-0, 5-1); Homestead (3-1, 4-2); Cedarburg (3-1, 5-1) and Germantown (3-1, 4-2) all control their own destiny.
The race will complicate quickly in the coming weeks as key games include Cedarburg at Germantown on Friday, Oct. 2; Homestead at Bay on Friday, Oct. 9 and Cedarburg at Homestead in the finale on Friday, Oct. 16.
Homestead coach Dave Keel, whose team cruised to a 49-0 victory over Port Washington on Sept. 25, knows that his Highlanders' chances of at least a share of a 15th straight North Shore Conference title hinge on a lot of things and, as noted, they still have a lot of say in how it will look in the end.
"Every day the goal remains the same, to get better," he said. "There are some nice games down the road to look at and think about, but everything right now runs through Bay."» Read Full Article
In only his second game back with the team, sophomore forward Matthew Comiskey has made a huge impression on the Division No. 1-ranked Whitefish Bay boys soccer team.
With deft moves and great speed Sept. 24, he scored three goals and had two assists in the Blue Dukes' impressive 5-1 nonconference win against host Wauwatosa East.
"He was on fire tonight," said coach Jeff Worzella. "He's fantastic. That was easily the best game of his high school career."
There was a suspension issue that forced Comiskey to miss the first 10 games of the season but now he is back with a vengeance.
In just a short time, Comiskey, who lettered last season as a freshman for the North Shore Conference champions and WIAA sectional finalists, has become a key cog in what Worzella calls "a very dynamic" offense.» Read Full Article
Glendale — There are slides and monkey bars and climbing stairs at the playground at Parkway Elementary School, but a group of parents have decided there needs to be more than that.
Many of these things will remain a part of the playground at the school when it is reconstructed, with one very important feature: it will be all-inclusive and fully accessible.
"We have lots of students who really can't enjoy the playground as it is now," said parent Sara Strunk. "There is so much more the space can offer to our wheelchair bound students or our friends on the autism spectrum, so we're really trying to look ahead and create a place where everybody can play together."
To raise funds for the new playground, estimated at about $200,000, the school has organized the first-ever "My School Color Run" on the North Shore on Saturday, Oct. 10.
At a cost of $35 per individual or $45 on race day, the run will feature a 3.1-mile route that incorporates color splash zones where Parkway teachers will be stationed to douse runners in color.» Read Full Article