Homestead pulls upset for the ages over Arrowhead

Aug. 30, 2013 11:01 p.m. | The Homestead football team was supposed to lose to Arrowhead in their historic match-up of defending state champions in Mequon on Friday.

They were supposed to lose badly.

The facts on paper said so: Seven D1 collegiate scholarship offers, multiple returning stars off a dominant 2012 state D1 championship team, a No. 1 state ranking and all the hype and talk were on Arrowhead's side.

There was nothing going on in favor of the young, hopelessly inexperienced Highlanders, who lost a ton of great talent off their own state D2 champion and had so many question marks that it would take five multiple choice tests to find out all the answers.

Except there was this little matter of belief.

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Power outage causes flooding at Shorewood High School

Aug. 28, 2013 11:48 a.m. | Shorewood — Thousands were without power Tuesday afternoon after a power outage that caused flooding at Shorewood High School.

After the outage, a yet-to-be-determined boiler malfunction caused flooding in the nearby orchestra room.

"There was a foot of water in there before they got a chance to shut it off," said district Communications Director Rachel Vesco.

Vesco said workers on behalf of the district's insurance company quickly arrived and removed the water. About two feet of drywall was damaged, as well as three instruments and several drama costume items, Vesco said.

As of Wednesday morning district staff and outside contractors were working to fix the flood damage and were investigating the cause of the flooding.

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North Shore Fire Department budget talks begin in the red

Aug. 28, 2013 11:40 a.m. | Revenue losses and proposed equipment purchases will likely cause the North Shore Fire Department's member communities to pay more in the 2014 budget year.

According to early budget talks among NSFD administrators and the Board of Directors Tuesday, the department would run a projected deficit of about $43,000 in 2014, even with a 1.5 percent increase in the amount paid by each community compared to last year. Fire Chief Robert Whitaker and Finance Director Lynn Burton said they could likely find places in the budget to make up that difference.

Representatives from each of the seven NSFD member communities supported the 1.5 increase in an informal poll — though just "barely" in Glendale Mayor Jerome Tepper's case — but didn't signal support for a 1.9 percent increase, which would allow the department to break even in the coming year.

In light of county executive Chris Abele in 2012 halving county payments for contracted paramedic services through area departments, the county board increased NSFD's payment last year from $180,000 to $245,000 to help offset the lost revenue. NSFD board members are hopeful the county board will repeat the added $65,000 payment, which would allow the department to break even next year with only the 1.5 percent increase.

"This puts some additional pressure on the county," said board member and River Hills Village President Bob Brunner of choosing the lesser increase.

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Milwaukee says goodbye to Chill on the Hill for 2013

Aug. 28, 2013 9:08 a.m. | Humboldt Park in Bay View showcased the last Chill on the Hill concert for 2013.

Global musical sounds from Spanglish entertained the crowd.

And photos, videos and tweets filled the social media sphere as musicgoers shared their experiences. Read our social media story of the last 2013 edition of Chill on the Hill.

Shorewood High School being used as emergency shelter

Aug. 27, 2013 10:10 p.m. | The American Red Cross has set up an emergency shelter at the Shorewood High School, 1701 E. Capitol Drive, due to a power outage in the Shorewood area.

The shelter will have cots and is providing food, comfort and a cool place to stay.

A news release from Red Cross asked for neighbors to check on neighbors if they don't have power as it is still very hot.

Sometime before 7 p.m., a transformer in Shorewood near Capitol Drive and Oakland Avenue blew and started on fire causing a power outage in the area.

At nearby Shorewood High School, when the power came back on, the fire boiler reacted in "emergency mode." The flange on the pipe broke, causing flooding in the performing arts building's basement with some flooding in the orchestra room as well. The pipe was shut off relatively quickly, according to information given at a Shorewood School Board meeting that took place tonight at the high school.

Nicolet to examine land uses

Aug. 27, 2013 9:37 p.m. | Glendale — The Nicolet School Board on Monday narrowly approved a contract to investigate the district's recreational needs in relation to the land it owns and land it might be able to use throughout the city.

Board President Marilyn Franklin, alongside Libby Gutterman and Morton Grodsky voted for the roughly $19,000 contract with Stevens Point-based landscape architecture firm Rettler Corp. Board members Joseph Kasle and Ellen Redeker voted against the contract.

Nicolet conducted a space analysis study about a decade ago, said Business Manager Jeff Dellutri, finding that the district has about 40 percent of the space a typical new high school would require. In the contract approved Monday, Rettler is tasked with creating a master site plan which rectifies the district's recreational needs with its too-small properties.

The contract also directs Rettler to examine a former dump site on the western end of Bender Road, which the city of Glendale has offered to develop in partnership with Nicolet into a sports facility and site for the Music in the Glen concert series, as well as any other sites within the city where the district could potentially house recreational facilities.

"You know going in that you don't have enough land to meet baseline needs," Rettler engineer Rick Zahn said. "It's a plan that you can go back to and adjust, a long-term vision to get you where you want to go."

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Maple Dale Indian Hill to decrease budget, increase levy

Aug. 27, 2013 9:27 p.m. | Fox Point — The Maple Dale-Indian Hill School District will run a reduced budget in the coming 2013-14 school year, paired with an increased tax levy.

The School Board, alongside one district resident, approved the budget and levy at the district's annual meeting last week.

An approximately 1 percent hike in the district levy translates to a 9-cent increase to the district tax rate over last year, for a total of $7.43 per thousand of assessed property value.

For a resident with a $300,000 home that means a $2,229 district bill, a $27 increase over last year.

The levy increase is due to a combination of the district making its last round of borrowing for referendum-approved building projects and an increase in the state-mandated revenue limit, Business Manager Gary Swalve said.

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Glendale council delays Hilton rezoning decision

Aug. 27, 2013 6:26 p.m. | Glendale — The fate of the Hilton Hotel and Anchorage restaurant off Port Washington Road will remain unknown until September.

After a lengthy presentation and public input session Monday, the Common Council could not produce a motion to either approve or deny Wisconsin International Academy's request to rezone the Hilton/Anchorage site and convert the buildings into a multiuse facility with a student dormitory, classrooms, food service area and administrative offices. Rather, the council decided unanimously to give WIA's proposal more thought before again considering it an upcoming Sept. 9 meeting.

If approved, the re-purposed site would be the home of WIA's international study program, which allows students from China and other foreign countries to study at Milwaukee-area high schools before attending American colleges. WIA currently rents rooms in the nearby Baymont Inn while international students attend local high schools like Pius XI, Dominican, St. Thomas More and Catholic Memorial.

"It's creating growth and it will create change," WIA Principal Matthew Gibson said. "...We just humbly ask your approval of rezoning so this can be our new home."

Hotel to close

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Glendale-River Hills to increase budget, levy

Aug. 27, 2013 6:12 p.m. | Glendale — For the first time in years the Glendale-River Hills School District will increase its annual budget, and will also increase its tax levy for the coming 2013-14 school year.

According to a budget passed by the School Board after the district's annual budget hearing last week, the 2013-14 district budget, tax levy and tax rate all increase by 2.3 percent. The resulting tax rate of $7.48 per $1,000 of assessed property value means a district resident with a $200,000 home would pay $1,496 to support the district in the coming school year — $32 more than last year.

Driving the budget increase is the hiring of four new teachers throughout the district. The levy increases due to an increase in the state-mandated revenue limit and an increase in resident student enrollment, Superintendent Larry Smalley said.

Strong financial position

In the recent 2012-13 year the district is estimated to have run a $400,000 surplus, Smalley said, and district administrators expect to run a similar $300,000 surplus in the coming year. If the district hits that surplus, cash reserves will top the 15 percent mark with relation to overall spending, which was one of the district's main goals when seeking a four-year, $600,000 referendum in 2011.

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Nicolet passes decreased budget, increased levy

Aug. 27, 2013 5:54 p.m. | Glendale — A combination of Nicolet School Board and community members by an 11-0 vote approved a 2013-14 budget and levy Monday at the district's annual meeting.

Nicolet is anticipated to spend nearly $200,000 less than it did last year — a roughly 1 percent budget decrease — but the levy will increase by 3 percent to make up for lost state aid and fund a stormwater system overhaul and remodeled wing for cognitively disabled students.

The 3 percent tax increase is the first of three such annual increases averaging 1.5 percent. The increases will both fund stormwater and remodeling projects, as well as energy-saving capital projects around campus.

Administrators have said the tax increase serves the second function of acclimating voters with a higher tax rate, which will bode well for the district's chances of passing an increased operational referendum in several years. The current referendum, passed in 2011, granted the district $2.15 million in added revenue annually through the 2015-16 school year.

The district tax rate will increase 14 cents over last year to $4.81 per $1,000 of assessed property value. A district resident with a $300,000 home will have a $1,443 tax bill from Nicolet, $43 more than last year.

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North Shore police team up to catch pantless pedestrian from Port Washington Road

Aug. 27, 2013 10:58 a.m. | Glendale and Shorewood police combined forces last week to arrest a 45-year-old man who was subsequently charged with lewd and lascivious behavior for walking Port Washington Road without pants.

According to the Glendale police report:

The man, whose residence not released, was arrested at 11 a.m. Aug. 21 on three counts of lewd and lascivious behavior after a witness reported a man naked from the waist down walking in the 5100 block of North Port Washington Road at 7:14 a.m.

At that time, police were unable to find him. However about 11 a.m., Shorewood police reported a man naked from the waist down walking in the 4600 block of North Estabrook Parkway.

The man ran from the officers but was stopped and turned over to Glendale police.

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Arrowhead remains atop NOW/Lake Country football poll

Aug. 27, 2013 9:07 a.m. | Defending WIAA Division 1 football champion Arrowhead (1-0) has been a fixture at the top of the MyCommunityNOW/Lake Country suburban football poll for more than a season.

The Warhawks retain their top spot in the rankings this week after 42-7 victory over Kenosha Bradford in the opening game of the season.

Arrowhead's next game is a non-conference matchup at defending Division 2 state champion Homestead this Friday. The Highlanders are fifth in the suburban poll.

Franklin defeated Hamilton, 44-16, in its opening game and is currently second in the suburban football poll.

You can see the rest of the top-ranked teams, a playoff forecast for area squads, Coach's Confidential, standings, photo of the week and more at MyCommunityNOW/Lake Country Push for the Playoffs page.

Petitions urge Citizens United referendums in Whitefish Bay, Shorewood

Aug. 26, 2013 3:43 p.m. | Elected officials and voters in Shorewood and Whitefish Bay may have a chance to weigh in on the U.S. Supreme Court's controversial Citizens United decision.

On Monday, organizers from statewide progressive group United Wisconsin and local progressive advocacy group Grassroots Northshore turned in petitions for a referendum which calls for a reversal of the Citizens United ruling, which they say "granted corporations the right to spend unlimited amounts of money to influence elections."

The groups turned in 1,405 signatures to Whitefish Bay Village Hall and 1,224 to Shorewood Village Hall on Monday morning after 60 days of gathering signatures.

"Our petition drive was met with overwhelming support by the residents of Shorewood and Whitefish Bay," Grassroots Northshore volunteer and Shorewood resident Keith Schmitz said in a news release, "and demonstrates just how concerned voters from across party lines are over the flooding of big money into our election by corporations and the super wealthy."

According to United Wisconsin, Whitefish Bay and Shorewood bring the number of Wisconsin counties and municipalities who have spoken out on Citizens United to 18.

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Whitefish Bay students lead Wisconsin public schools on ACT test

Aug. 26, 2013 9:39 a.m. | Whitefish Bay led the state on the 2012-13 ACT test, the standard Wisconsin college admissions benchmark, according to results released by testmaker ACT, Inc. and the state Department of Public Instruction on Wednesday.

Bay students averaged 26 out of a possible 36 on the ACT, earning the highest cumulative score among Wisconsin public and charter schools. The chart-topping score marks the 15th straight year Bay students have averaged a 25 or higher on the ACT.

"We do not know of any other public school district in the state that has matched this high, long-standing record," interim Superintendent Laura Myrah said in a news release. "Consistent ACT scores above 25 are just one reflection of the dedicated effort and commitment to education demonstrated by our students, their families and our fine staff."

Dominican High School and University School of Milwaukee, the North Shore’s two private high schools, scored an average of 25 and 28.6, respectively. According to USM Communications Director Tim Eilbes, this marks the fifth straight year USM students have averaged a 28 or higher on the ACT.

“Other data, including our AP exam scores and number of graduating seniors that are recognized as National Merit semifinalists each year also affirm our lofty national academic reputation,” Eilbes said in a statement.

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Read social media story of Franklin vs. Sussex Hamilton football game

Aug. 23, 2013 8:05 a.m. | Last night was the opening night of the WIAA prep football season, and Franklin took on Sussex Hamilton in a powerhouse matchup.

And, as always, fans and reporters were on Twitter and other social networks. Read the MyCommunityNOW Storify social media story of the game.

You can also see photos of the Hamilton vs. Franklin football game in a photo gallery by NOW's Peter Zuzga.


Brown Deer approves financing for Bradley Crossing

Aug. 23, 2013 7:00 a.m. | The Brown Deer Village Board has approved a proposal to provide $150,000 to help finance the second phase of the Bradley Crossing apartment development, reports Juilie Becker, of

District, city to investigate sale of school property

Aug. 21, 2013 11:34 a.m. | Mequon — A joint task force of city and school district administrators will soon begin researching the details surrounding the potential sale of about 100 acres of district property at Swan and Donges Bay roads.

The administrative team is also tasked with creating a mission statement of sorts with regard to development of the property, that both the Common Council and School Board can agree to.

The decision to create the task force was made after a lengthy discussion by a joint meeting of the Common Council and School Board that spanned the topics of the district's financial situation in regard to its ongoing problem of declining enrollment, the recent city survey, and the potential sale of the district's Swan Road and former Range Line School properties.

In order to pursue residential development on the Swan Road property as the district is suggesting, the School Board and Common Council will need to agree on density requirements and rezoning, and will need to get clearance from the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District to extend sewer infrastructure into the area. City administrators said the legwork could potentially be completed by the district's next annual meeting in July 2014. By state law districts may only sell property at annual meetings.

"We're kind of on the same page from the start on this one," Alderwoman Pam Adams said of the project, which falls within the city's designated central growth area and could give the School District a much needed cash infusion.

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Thiensville contest tries to find its 'best dam chef'

Aug. 21, 2013 11:01 a.m. | Thiensville — For now, organic farmer and Thiensville Village Market vendor Scott Kelley is Thiensville's "Best Dam Chef."

Kelley's dish, grilled salmon topped with dill cucumber sauce, served with white corn salsa, won top marks Tuesday from "celebrity judges" Thiensville Police Chief Scott Nicholson, village Trustee Ken Kucharski and Public Works Director Andy LaFond, who stayed at Kelley's table after the judging to wolf down his whole portion.

Alongside Thiensville Business Association President Marc Mrugala, Remington's River Inn Chef Carl Lundberg, Core Consulting co-owner Matthew Buerosse, and Albert Yee, owner of downtown Cedarburg restaurant Kalua, Kelley went on a 90-minute journey to make a tantalizing dish with only $30 worth of wares from the Village Market. The "secret ingredient" required to be in each dish this week was corn. Having won the preliminary contest, Kelley moves on to the finals Sept. 17 against the winners of four upcoming, five-contestant preliminaries which will take place each Tuesday for the next four weeks at the Village Market.

The final will determine once and for all who is Thiensville's "Best Dam Chef," a tongue-in-cheek accolade named for the Village Market's proximity to the Mequon-Thiensville dam.

"It's been an idea we had from the beginning. We wanted it to be fun," said TBA member and Village Market volunteer Jesse Daily, who cheerfully emceed the contest Tuesday, occasionally ribbing the contestants to the amusement of the crowd. "The key thing is that the market foods are so flexible. That you can go from the farm to the table."

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Brookfield Spartan Invite tennis photos now online

Aug. 21, 2013 10:41 a.m. | We've just posted a photo gallery from the Brookfield East Spartan Invitational, featuring images from the first day of the two-day tournament.

Brookfield East Spartan Invitational photo gallery.

Mequon aldermanic election mirrors spring race

Aug. 21, 2013 10:28 a.m. | Mequon — District 1 alderman candidates Rob Holtz and Robert Strzelczyk differ on key issues in a race that resembles the April contest in which Strzelczyk ran against then-alderman Dan Abendroth, who won but turned down the seat when he unseated then-Mayor Curt Gielow.

The Sep. 10 special election has the potential to make or break a 4-4 tie on the Common Council between those who have and haven't supported Mayor Abendroth's spring bid for mayor and his conservative approach to development in the city. When the council failed on numerous votes to appoint Holtz or Strzelczyk to the District 1 seat by the required five-vote majority, the repeated 4-3 gridlock fell along those same lines, necessitating the upcoming election.

Prior to the spring election and his ascension to the mayoral post, Abendroth was the fourth on the council to force ties on controversial development proposals, which then-Mayor Gielow could break with his vote. If Holtz, whose campaign Abendroth has endorsed, wins, Abendroth could have similar leverage when it comes to breaking council ties. While both candidates have stressed their willingness to work with the entire council, a win by Strzelczyk would nevertheless put Abendoth's open supporters at a 5-3 disadvantage on the council.

Protecting rural character

Holtz is a 25-year resident, certified public accountant, attorney, married, father of three, and 15-year owner of Mequon Law Offices. He is a former president of the Mequon-Thiensville Chamber of Commerce and is president-elect of the Thiensville-Mequon Rotary Club.

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It's Ladies Night at Bay View's Chill on the Hill

Aug. 21, 2013 8:53 a.m. | Humboldt Park in Bay View was filled celebration as it was Ladies' Night on Aug. 20 in the latest Chill on the Hill concert.

Musical guests Ramma Lamma and The Wanton Looks entertained the crowd.

And photos, videos and tweets filled the social media sphere as musicgoers shared their experiences. Read our social media story of last night's Chill on the Hill.

Fox Point footbridge finally comes down

Aug. 20, 2013 11:18 a.m. | Fox Point — After more than 100 years spanning the ravine between Bridge and Barnett lanes, the storied, picturesque, and more recently, controversial footbridge has been demolished.

On Aug. 15, crews stripped the bridge to a skeleton, removing the planks one by one from the Bridge Lane side to the Barnett Lane side before removing the railings and fencing. A combination of age — in some places iron supports were rusted almost completely through — and the predemolition deconstruction made the bridge a precarious perch, Public Works Director Scott Brandmeier said.

"The planks and the railing and fence provided a little more rigidity to the structure," Brandmeier said. "As it was being removed it became clear to us the level of deterioration was significant. You could feel the structure wobble. I could feel it move with every step I took."

Single video player for Community NOW sites

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Female motorcyclist arrested after driving on I-43 with top down

Aug. 20, 2013 9:28 a.m. | A woman was arrested for drunken driving Aug. 16 after crashing while driving her motorcycle on Interstate 43 with her breasts exposed.

According to the Bayside police report:

The woman, whose age and residence were not released, was seen driving a motorcycle erratically with her breasts exposed.

She continued to drive from 15 to 45 mph on the highway, sometimes with one hand on the handlebars and sometimes with no hands around 7 p.m.

Police followed without sirens or lights flashing.

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Share your prep football spirit and win movie tickets

Aug. 19, 2013 1:18 p.m. | It's that time of the year again for soon-to-be cooling temperatures, school spirit and Friday night lights.

Area football teams are set to kick off their seasons this week, and we want you to showcase your school and alumni spirit by sharing your photographs.

One person who shares the most-liked photo showcasing their school spirit will win a pair of Marcus Theatres movie tickets.

Here's what you need to do: First, take a photo of yourself, your friends or whatever else you think shows your spirit for preps football. Then tag your photos with the #wisfb hashtag as well as a hashtag of your school (#Arrowhead, #Homestead and #CatholicMemorial are examples). Then post your photo to Twitter, Instagram or Flickr.

Photos will be compiled on the NOW Newspapers #wisfb prep football spirit photos page, and you can vote for your favorite there.

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North Shore Fire Department to trim health benefit

Aug. 14, 2013 2:01 p.m. | In order to address its looming, unfunded retirement benefits, the North Shore Fire Department plans to cut its health insurance costs by about $175,000 in the coming year and beyond.

Under a recommendation by the NSFD Board of Directors on Tuesday, the savings would be diverted to a long-term retirement account.

A recent actuarial study pegs NSFD's 30-year, unfunded retirement liability at about $30.4 million. To fund that cost, the department would have to put away almost $3 million annually, the actuaries have found.

Setting aside $600,000 to retire

This year, NSFD began putting away $422,000 annually to contribute to retiree benefits.

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Shorewood to host art festival 'en plein air'

Aug. 14, 2013 11:34 a.m. | Shorewood — Artists from all over the Midwest will soon flock to Shorewood's first annual art fair in the open air.

From Thursday, Sep. 19 to Saturday, Sep. 21, 50 professional artists will take to the streets and open spaces throughout Shorewood in the village's first Plein Air Painting Event.

French for "in the open air," en plein air is an art style popularized by French impressionist painters like Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir in the late 1800s. Plein air events around the world put artists outside to paint their take on the spaces people see everyday. The Plein Air Shorewood site invites the artists to "come and experience all Shorewood has to offer — Lake Michigan and Atwater Beach, the Milwaukee River and parks, a business district, historic homes, and create artwork of the environs."

"Shorewood is an art-friendly community," Public Art and Plein Air Shorewood committee member Don Berg said during a board update Monday. "The Plein Air event seemed to fit that in the best way."

Plein Air Shorewood kicks off Sep. 19 with an introduction to the artists, accompanied with beer, brats, and music from 6-9 p.m. at Hubbard Park. A display of music, art, and fashion will take place at Kensington Square from 6-9 p.m. Sep. 20. The last day, Sep. 21, will culminate in a party from 6-10 p.m., during which the approximately 150 pieces of art produced during the event will be put up for silent auction.

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Milwaukeeans Chill on the Hill with Irish sounds

Aug. 14, 2013 9:00 a.m. | Humboldt Park in Bay View was filled with Irish sounds from McTavish and the Kinsella Academy of Irish Dance on Aug. 13 in the latest Chill on the Hill concert.

And photos, videos and tweets filled the social media sphere as musicgoers shared their experiences. Read our social media story of last night's Chill on the Hill.

Shorewood OKs engineering for 2014 sewer work

Aug. 13, 2013 2:36 p.m. | Shorewood — The second phase of sewer work on the village's north side was set in motion by the Village Board on Monday with the approval of a contract for preliminary design work.

Crystal Lake, Ill.-based firm Baxter and Woodman received the approximately $115,000 contract Monday, and will deliver designs throughout the year so the village can bid out the sewer work in winter 2013. Construction on the project is slated for 2014.

The project itself is the second phase of a plan to improve sewer function, reduce basement backups and minimize street flooding in the area referred to as drainage basin six on the village's north end. Phase one of the basin six rehabilitation occured in 2012 along with work in basin one, located near Captiol Drive and Oakland Avenue. The 2014 basin six project, presently estimated at about $2.1 million, will also detach Shorewood and Whitefish Bay's sewer system in the area, freeing up capacity for Shorewood's sytsem.

Whitefish Bay will contribute $250,000 to the cost of the 2014 basin six project, as it did for the 2012 work.

At the Monday meeting, trustees were preoccupied with the question of if and how a water main should be replaced along Glendale Avenue at an estimated cost of $285,000 as part of the project.

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Brown Deer, Neenah named in top 25 best and most affordable places to live nationwide

Aug. 13, 2013 12:53 p.m. | CNN has named Brown Deer the 19th-best place to live in the nation when it comes to affordable homes. Neenah came in 24th best.

The list is meant to show consumers 25 "growing towns" where their incomes go furthest. The rankings are based on sales from county and municipal assessors' offices.

The list includes only municipalities where there were more than 100 home sales in 2012 and that were experiencing job and population growth.

"Residents of this small, friendly community love that it's so close to big-city life," CNN writes in its explanation of Brown Deer's ranking.

Village manager Michael Hall is quoted as saying it's "easy to get out and have some fun."

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Shorewood survey addresses taxes, services, parking

Aug. 13, 2013 11:53 a.m. | Shorewood — Village officials want to know what Shorewood residents think on a variety of topics, including the perennial quandaries of taxes, parking and potential service consolidations with neighboring municipalities.

The confidential, online survey facilitated by nearby University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee was approved by the Village Board Monday. Postcards will be mailed to 6,500 Shorewood households in September, directing them to the survey website. Residents are asked to complete the survey by Oct. 18 so results can be presented to the board by November.

Those without Internet access or who prefer a paper version can get hard copies at Village Hall or the library beginning in September. Computers will be available at the library for residents to complete the online version of the survey.

The survey, at a cost of about $7,800, is another in a longstanding arrangement between the village and UWM, who have together conducted similar surveys every few years to measure the pulse of the community and inform policy decisions.

The most recent village-wide survey was in 2008.

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Brown Deer man faces nine more child molestation charges

Aug. 12, 2013 2:06 p.m. | Brown Deer — Ronnie Johnson, the 46-year-old Brown Deer man who was recently charged with 14 counts of child sex assault, is now facing nine more similar counts for a total of 23.

Since the first round of charges were filed July 30, two more alleged victims in addition to the original three have come forward, according to an updated criminal complaint filed by the District Attorney's office Aug. 12.

The new charges allege Johnson had been having innapropriate relationships and contact with young boys dating back to 1991. The first round of charges allege Johnson had been carrying on with multiple boys through 2013.

Johnson was a long-time principal at the Young Leaders Academy, a Milwaukee charter school, and taught at Lee Elementary School in Milwaukee. Prior to his recent arrest and subsequent charges, he was an administrator at Universal Companies, a Pennsylvania-based charter school management company. He was fired by Universal Companies shortly after his arrest.

Johnson's alleged victims and families report that he would refer to the boys as "godsons" and would have them refer to him as their "godfather." Evidence in the charges suggests Johnson found his victims at the schools where he taught and was principal.

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Wauwatosa West's Austin Jones named 2013 NOW All-Suburban Baseball Player of the Year

Aug. 07, 2013 12:32 p.m. | Wauwatosa West's Austin Jones has been named the NOW All-Suburban Baseball Player of the Year for the 2013 season.

The hard-throwing senior struck out 131 batters in 80 innings while compiling a 0.70 ERA, 0.80 WHIP and a 9-3 record.

New Berlin West coach Tom Farina is the 2013 NOW All-Suburban Baseball Coach of the Year. The veteran skipper led the Vikings to their first-ever state baseball title and was also named the state coach of the year.

You can see the complete team and more in the 2013 NOW All-Suburban Baseball Team special section.

Assistant principal promoted to top spot at Brown Deer High School

Aug. 07, 2013 10:47 a.m. | Brown Deer — Tosha Womack, a three-year assistant principal at Brown Deer High School, has been selected to take over as principal after nine-year principal Jim Piatt stepped down.

Piatt, whose resignation was accepted by the School Board recently, will become the president of Milwaukee-based Messmer Catholic Schools. Womack's promotion to the high school's top spot was accepted by the School Board last week. On Monday, the board hired Charles Tollefsen, most recently a middle school associate principal at the Delavan-Darien School District, to fill the assistant principal vacancy resulting from Womack's promotion.



"(Womack) has definitely exhibited the leadership qualities we're looking for as we continue to narrow the achievement gap," Superintendent Deb Kerr said in a later interview.

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Milwaukeeans Chill on the Hill with Nora Collins and Eagle Trace

Aug. 07, 2013 9:10 a.m. | Humboldt Park in Bay View was filled with country sounds from Nora Collins and rock music from Eagle Trace on Aug. 6 in the latest Chill on the Hill concert.

And photos, videos and tweets filled the social media sphere as musicgoers shared their experiences. Read our social media story of last night's Chill on the Hill.

Bay ready to start downspout inspections

Aug. 06, 2013 10:26 a.m. | Whitefish Bay — Whitefish Bay will begin inspecting and possibly dye water testing the downspouts of as many as 800 properties throughout the village in the near future.

Village Administrator Pat DeGrave explained that in order to complete the inspections and testing as efficiently as possible, staff deemed it necessary to hire a contractor for the project. The Village Board on Monday approved awarding a contract to Crispell Snyder for completion of the work, in an amount not to exceed $180,000, including contingency funds.

The project aims to identify which downspouts may be illegally discharging rain water into the sanitary sewer system. The village is targeting properties that were either self-identified as discharging downspouts below grade in a 2011 survey, or identified during a visual sidewalk survey conducted in 2012, according to a memo from village engineering staff.

All of the downspouts identified will be visually inspected. The total number of dye water tests to be completed could change, depending what those visual inspections reveal, also according to the memo.

Dye testing takes longer

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Brown Deer reconsiders, approves liquor at North Shore Walmart

Aug. 06, 2013 6:58 a.m. | Brown Deer — Village officials and representatives from Wal-Mart have come to a compromise, with the Village Board on Monday approving liquor sales in exchange for added security measures.

The board approved, on a 5-1 vote, a one-aisle liquor department, now to be located at the back of the store about 190 feet from the nearest entrance. Trustee Andrea Weddle-Henning, who has opposed the proposed Walmart Supercenter from the outset, was the lone vote against liquor sales. Trustee Tim Schilz was excused from the meeting while out of town on business.

A liquor department is the last piece of the puzzle in the months-long process of gaining village approval for Wal-Mart's bid to re-tenant the former Lowe's site near Brown Deer Road and 60th Street. In its desire to cater to the "North Shore customer," Wal-mart has already conceded a number of village requests including: curtailing its typical 24-hour availability to match the village ordinance on retail store hours; prohibiting any gun, ammo or weapon sales; landscaping throughout the property; and building a sound-retaining wall on the north side of the property. The decision to approve a liquor department comes three weeks after the board voted to prohibit alcohol sales, citing concerns over crime and a precedent which could cause other village retailers to demand liquor departments of their own.

A number of new security upgrades, and the reassurance that liquor at Walmart doesn't compel the board to allow it elsewhere, were enough for Trustee Terry Boschert, who submitted the necessary request for reconsideration that allowed the board to re-examine the liquor sales permit Monday.

"I wanted to bring it back up for reconsideration," Boschert said before the meeting, "and (the new security measures and assurances) addressed my concerns."

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Judge sides with Weickardt in River Club suit

Aug. 05, 2013 3:47 p.m. | Mequon — Ozaukee County Circuit Court Judge Tom Wolfgram on July 26 sided with River Club of Mequon owner Tom Weickardt, saying a much-debated easement does not grant Deer Trail Estates residents the right to enter a 42-acre lot abutting the Milwaukee River, as neighbors claim.

The decision is a victory for the developer of the former Mequon Country Club, but it’s clear this battle is far from over. The city of Mequon, which is the defendant in the suit, as well as nine families who joined the suit in April, can appeal Wolfgram’s decision.

The ruling is connected to a series of debates, both in the Common Council chambers and in the courtroom, between Weickardt and residents of the Ville Du Parc neighborhood. After the easement, and residents, stood in the way of Weickardt developing the lot in 2012, his attorneys took the city to court. At first they argued that the city needs to cite neighbors for trespassing if they go on the lot, but later re-framed their argument to gain a ruling which interprets the easement in such a way that neighbors are prohibited entry.

Agreeing with Weickardt’s attorneys, Wolfgram zeroed in on a section of the easement which says the easement itself doesn’t grant neighbors “legal estate ... easement for travel over or license or right in and to such lands.”

“The analysis ends there if the language has only one reasonable interpretation and is, therefore, unambiguous,” Wolfgram wrote in a July 26 decision, adding that the specific wording wins out over contrary claims by the city and neighbors based on the “aesthetic” and “recreational” rights provided by the easement. “(Weickardt’s attorneys) are correct in that specific language in an easement essentially trumps general statements. That is the case here.”

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Zarletti working on a restaurant in Mequon

Aug. 02, 2013 7:29 a.m. | Milwaukee restaurateur Brian Zarletti is planning a restaurant in Mequon, in part of what was the Laacke & Joys sporting goods store in East Town Square, 1505 W. Mequon Road.

He would say only that it will be Italian-themed, adding that planning is in the early stages and nothing is final.

Mequon’s Plan Commission this week gave its approval to plans for the restaurant, allowing outdoor seating until 11 p.m.

He owns Zarletti, a fine-dining Italian restaurant downtown, and Rustico, a casual Italian restaurant in the Third Ward. Zarletti also is a partner with Brad Todd in Stubby's pub on Humboldt Ave.

Community Watch

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We've made it easy for you to get out and go this summer. From hitting the trails for a bike ride or walk, to where to find beer gardens in the area, to the best places to swim in Waukesha County to the best summer drinks and summer reads, check out our 2016 summer guide.





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