One person dead in early morning Brown Deer house fire

Dec. 30, 2013 11:22 a.m. | One person was found dead Monday morning following a house fire on North 63rd Street in Brown Deer, a police spokeswoman said.

The North Shore Fire Department found the body during their secondary search of the home. There are no further details available about the deceased, and gender was not specified.

The home belongs to Ronnie Johnson, a former Milwaukee Public Schools teacher who was charged with 23 felonies in a child sex abuse case earlier this year.

Two 911 calls came over about 5 a.m. Monday morning reporting smoke and flames coming from a residence at 8581 N. 63rd St. The cause of the fire is under investigation. There was extensive damage to the home.

The North Shore Fire Department, the medical examiner's office, the ATF and the state fire marshal are on scene conducting the investigation, Lt. Lisa Kumbier with the Brown Deer Police Department said. There was a total of seven other departments that responded to the blaze including Milwaukee, Wauwatosa, Menomonee Falls, Cedarburg, Thiensville, Mequon and Germantown.

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2013 Suburban news photos of the year gallery now online

Dec. 30, 2013 8:58 a.m. | 2013 was a big year in suburban news.

Court hearings for Benjamin Sebena, the anniversary of the Sikh temple shooting and more. And you can find photos from those events and more in our 2013 Suburban News Photos of the Year gallery.

Bay girls knock Shorewood from unbeaten ranks, 50-38

Dec. 27, 2013 10:36 p.m. | It was a learning experience for both sides Friday night when the host Whitefish Bay girls basketball team used a 22-7 start to help knock area rival Shorewood from the unbeaten ranks, 50-38, in the Blue Dukes own tourney.

Shorewood coach Jeff Eimers thought his team picked up knowledge about its weaknesses after the Greyhounds (7-1 overall) best start in decades, while the still young Blue Dukes (5-2) learned what it was like to face a zone defense for an entire game as they won their fourth  tilt in a row.

"Sometimes you don't play well and win and you still pick up some good lessons," said Bay coach Dave Markson. "There were positives to take out of this because Shorewood is a well-rounded team."

"We got the game close (in the third period)," said Eimers, "but we knew we would have to play a pretty much perfect game to pull this one out. ...It could have been a blow-out but we came back."

The two squads will get to test their theories on Saturday when they come back to Bay, as Shorewood plays Nicolet at 2:15 p.m. and Bay takes on Greendale at 4 p.m.

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Century-old Mequon barn burns in Christmas Day fire

Dec. 26, 2013 1:03 p.m. | A 100-year-old barn in Mequon burned to the ground Christmas Day.

About a dozen fire departments responded to the blaze that broke out around 6 a.m. Dec. 25 at 11805 N. Farmdale Road. No one was injured in the fire. The structure is a complete loss, according to Mequon Fire Department Chief David Bialk.

There were about 20 cows inside the barn, though they were brought out safely by residents before crews arrived.

Because of the age of the wood, the structure burned quickly. However, firefighters did remain on-scene for seven hours, putting out hay bails that continued to smolder well into Christmas Day. Crews returned Wednesday evening and again Thursday morning to ensure any hot spots were contained.

The cause of the fire is unknown.

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Bartolotta restaurant gift cards worth $375 are up for grabs in MyCommunityNOW's Suburban Selfies contest!

Dec. 26, 2013 12:58 p.m. |  

How well do you know the suburbs?

Do you like a good riddle?

How does a $200 splurge at the Bartolotta Restaurant of your choice sound?

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Brown Deer police seeking armed robbers

Dec. 24, 2013 9:16 a.m. | Brown Deer — Police are on the lookout for a pair of armed robbers who held up the BP gas station at 51st Street and Brown Deer Road on Friday evening.

According to a police department news release:

The two suspects entered the gas station around 9:15 p.m. Friday. One of the suspects pointed a handgun at the gas station employees and they both demanded money.

The pair ran away from the gas station with an undetermined amount of cash. No one was injured in the robbery.

Both suspects wore black hooded sweatshirts, black pants, masks and gray latex gloves.

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Christmas tree causes fire at Milwaukee Country Club

Dec. 23, 2013 12:39 p.m. | River Hills — The Milwaukee Country Club is closed for the time being after a Christmas tree caught fire Sunday morning.

According to an NSFD news release, a country club staff member noticed the flaming tree and called in the fire. Arriving firefighters did not see smoke or fire from outside the club but found heavy smoke inside.

The country club's sprinkler system had put out the tree and contained the fire before NSFD's arrival, investigators found.

No one was injured during the fire. The origin of the fire was determined to be a Christmas tree in one of the first-floor dining rooms of the country club.

There was fire damage, as well as heavy smoke and water damage from the sprinklers to the dining room. The total cost of the damage is not yet determined.

Bay boys hoops team just too long and strong for Falls, 64-36

Dec. 21, 2013 9:09 p.m. | At full strength and on a roll, the Whitefish Bay boys basketball team was just too athletic and long for an overmatched Menomonee Falls unit at the Al McGuire Center Saturday night, as the Blue Dukes rolled to a 64-36 decision.

A devastating full-court press, which the Blue Dukes began experimenting with late last season, was very effective, as it forced multiple turnovers and gave Bay many easy chances at the hoop.

"We transitioned into that (press) towards the end of last year and began using it more this year," said Bay coach Kevin Lazovik. "It gets us rolling, moving our feet, which is always a good thing."

The win was Bay's fourth in a row and third this week as the Blue Dukes improved to 6-3 overall, while the Indians, who were also playing their third game of the week (1-2), fell to 4-4 overall.

"They're good, very good," said Falls coach Ben Farley. "They're talented all the way around. Everyone can shoot, everyone can drive and their length really was really the biggest thing that bothered us. With their size, we just weren't able to get to the middle."

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Miracle baby: The incredible story of Elijah Leffingwell

Dec. 18, 2013 1:05 p.m. | Mequon — During the first year of his life, Elijah Leffingwell didn't eat like most babies. That's because Elijah isn't like most babies.

At meals, bottles were replaced with syringes. Instead of chewing and swallowing, there was a feeding tube.

Now at the beginning of the second year of his life, Elijah is eating like other children — a huge victory for a baby whose life has been one insurmountable obstacle after another.

Jason and April Leffingwell had only been living in their new Mequon home for two months when they found out their unborn child had an orange-sized tumor growing on his left lung that was crushing his right lung and heart. Elijah's bedroom didn't even have a crib in it when the Leffingwell's left their new home with their then 2-year-old daughter, Ellianna, in tow, and moved to a Ronald McDonald house in Camden, NJ, where they stayed for five months.

Elijah's only hope fell in the hands of a surgeon at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. With a 50 percent chance of survival, Elijah underwent a radical, and rare, surgery. On Sept. 21, 2012, at 25 weeks, Elijah was partially removed from April's womb. He was only 2.5 pounds. Midway through surgery his heart stopped. The doctors massaged it back to life and Elijah went back inside his mom's womb.

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Shorewood staying with Milestones in 2014-15

Dec. 17, 2013 11:41 p.m. | Shorewood — Much to the relief of the audience in attendance Tuesday evening, the School Board decided to stick with before- and after-school child care provider Milestones for the 2014-15 school year.

The board had been considering a child care study which included the possibility of ending the district's 34-year relationship with Milestones and bringing child care in-house with district employees. The district's contract with Milestones requires that the board notify them of any change to the contract no later than Jan. 1, prompting the deliberation Tuesday.

But after a lengthy discussion, and some pointed questions from district parents, the board decided to hold off the discussion and keep Milestones in place through the 2014-15 school year. In the meantime, Superintendent Martin Lexmond is directed to work with Milestones to survey the community on its child care needs and bring the Milestones program more in line with district educational goals.

Lexmond will report back to the board late next year on the community's response and his success in working with Milestones.

"If I have a sense we're not moving the vision well enough with Milestones, we'll come back with a proposal to do this in house," Lexmond said.

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Dec. 17 Election Update

Dec. 17, 2013 4:23 p.m. |


Throughout the various local governments and school districts in the North Shore, 40 seats are up for grabs in the coming spring election. Also on the April 1 ballot in Shorewood and Whitefish Bay will be advisory referendums on the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 "Citizens United" ruling.

Under state election rules, potential candidates could begin circulating nomination papers and gathering signatures on Dec. 1. The required number of signatures varies based on the size of the municipality. All forms are available at local government and school district offices or online at the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board website:

Candidates must submit their registration statement, declaration of candidacy, and nomination papers with signatures by 5 pm. Jan. 7 at their village hall, city hall, or school district main office. Incumbents must file their noncandidacy by 5 p.m. Dec. 27.

Below are the seats up for election and filings as of Tuesday:

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Nicolet, Glendale to begin talks on shared park

Dec. 17, 2013 4:02 p.m. | Glendale — If all goes according to plan, the city of Glendale and Nicolet School District could break ground on a jointly developed park, sports complex and concert stage in 2015.

In May, the Glendale Common Council authorized city staff to begin planning of a permanent stage — to replace the city's decommissioned portable trailer stage — and park at a city-owned former landfill site on the western end of Bender Road. The Nicolet School Board in August, albeit with some reservation, approved a recreational facilities study to address its lack of space, and on Monday authorized district administrators to begin negotiations with city officials about the Bender Road site.

A decade-old space analysis found that Nicolet has about 40 percent of the space a typical new high school would require for recreational programs. District officials see reuse of the landfill site, which was closed and sealed off with an "earth cap" in the 1970s, as a way to rectify Nicolet's recreational needs with its currently too-small facilities.

"From the school's perspective, we see this as an opportunity to expand," Nicolet Superintendent Robert Kobylski said. "We're very constrained with our land-locked campus now."

Details need working out

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Shorewood village employees could be getting pay bump

Dec. 17, 2013 3:46 p.m. | Shorewood — After conducting a salary comparability study of area municipalities, Shorewood will implement an updated salary schedule beginning Jan. 1.

At the recommendation of the Finance Committee, the Village Board on Monday approved revisions to the salary range assignments specified in the salary schedule, setting the minimum, mid and maximum salaries for all nonrepresented village positions. Trustee Michael Maher said the committee had been working on updating the schedule for a number of months, making recommendations based on its research of similar positions at similar, nearby municipalities.

The updated schedule most commonly reflects increases of about 9 to 17 percent to the middle of each salary range. The salaries for several positions, such as public safety clerk, utility operator and general laborer, remain unchanged. Alternately, the salary for an administrative assistant III decreases slightly, while the middle salary for a code enforcement officer represents the biggest percent increase, at nearly 25 percent.

Per the village's salary determination policy, the ranges will be re-evaluated at least biannually by the village manager, with any recommended changes to be approved by the Village Board. Employees' movement through the ranges is based primarily on merit and performance, but cost of living increases will also be considered in determining salary increases and setting salary ranges.

The salary schedule is one appendix of the village's Human Resources manual. In a separate but related motion, the Village Board also approved changes to several other appendices of the manual, including its social media policy, security policy and organizational chart, as well as other policies.

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Shorewood vacates street as part of proposed assisted living development

Dec. 17, 2013 1:20 p.m. | Shorewood — Officials are expected to take action next month on a development agreement for the 96-unit assisted living and memory-care facility planned for the former Pig N' Whistle and Sherburn Place Apartments sites on Capitol Drive, within the village's third tax-incremental financing district.

In an update to the Village Board on Monday, Village Manager Chris Swartz said the development agreement is expected to come before the board at one of its regular meetings in January, following review by the Community Development Authority.

The agreement between the village and Harbor Retirement Associates will include provisions for TIF assistance from the village, Swartz said, the details of which are still being worked out.

As a separate action, the board approved a resolution to vacate and discontinue Sherburn Place at the site of the development, which proposes 56 assisted-living units in a four-story portion of the building facing Capitol Drive, and 36 memory-care units in one story on the opposite side. The developer is planning to build a new road on the west side of the property, Swartz explained, so Sherburn Place will no longer be needed.

Village Attorney Raymond Pollen said the approval starts the process of vacating the street. Village engineering staff are still working on determining the utility easements that will be needed to serve the new road as well as the HRA property and those behind it. The matter is expected to come back to the board in early February.

Mequon investment firm launches mutual fund

Dec. 17, 2013 11:12 a.m. | A Mequon investment firm said Tuesday it has launched a second mutual fund.

Convergence Investment Partners said its new Convergence Opportunities Fund will focus on small- to mid-cap stocks.

The new fund was started in collaboration with Montage Investments, which is Convergence's parent company. Convergence's other fund is the Convergence Core Plus Fund.

62! Germantown boys tie state win streak record with rout of Dominican

Dec. 14, 2013 10:42 p.m. | In the end, Germantown boys basketball coach Steve Showalter couldn't hide his exuberance.

After weeks of trying to cover his ears and eyes and shutting out all mention of Dominican's 33-year old state record winning streak of 62 games, and after saying all the right coach things about focusing on the next game at hand, he just let go Saturday night after his Warhawks tied that Holy Grail of a hoops mark with a 75-29 demolition of that same Dominican program before an overflow crowd at Homestead.

"It's hard to do, even to talk about our two state titles is hard," he said, "because we're so busy focusing on the next game, the next one up, that it is hard to take the time to appreciate what's happened here, how far this program has come.

And what followed next was said without a trace of irony by this 14-year coaching veteran.

"But where does that come from?" he said, his face lighting up. "That my program ties the greatest record in the history of the state? Are you kidding me?!? It's huge!!!"

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Mequon passes wild animal ban

Dec. 12, 2013 12:39 p.m. | Mequon — Thinking of raising a baboon? Or maybe an ostrich? Well, think again.

Those animals, alongside a list of other wild critters, were banned Tuesday by the Common Council, which delivered a unanimous vote to institute a stepped-up exotic pet ordinance in light of a recent incident with a domesticated African wild cat.

In June and July, Mequon police responded to calls of a "cheetah" prowling in the area near Wauwatosa and Donges Bay roads. The animal was actually an escaped domesticated serval, a spotted African wild cat which can weigh between 25-40 pounds. The serval both puzzled and frightened neighbors for days before it was struck dead on a nearby road by a passing driver.

Servals are included in a lengthy list of wild animals banned by the new ordinance, which will go into effect this week when signed by Mayor Dan Abendroth.

However, if city residents already have a pet on the list, which includes snapping turtles, pot-bellied pigs and crocodiles, they have 90 days to register the animal. According to the ordinance, owners have to provide paperwork to prove they have complied with any state and federal regulations on ownership or importation, and must provide clean and secure housing for their pets.

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'Chronicles of Whitefish Bay' takes readers back to village's beginnings

Dec. 11, 2013 2:06 p.m. | Whitefish Bay — Did you know that Whitefish Bay was incorporated so that children of the Bay wouldn't have to schlep — uphill both ways, presumably — miles north to the two area schoolhouses run by the town of Milwaukee?

Or that, in order to have the 300 residents needed for incorporation, the census-taker had to fudge the village's boundary and create the L-shaped bend along the southern border?

Those fun little tidbits, alongside a wealth of facts, commentaries and personal stories fill 'Chronicles of Whitefish Bay Wisconsin,' a 206-page compendium told mostly through the eyes of historical Bay residents and edited together by Bay historian Tom Fehring.

"To me, it provides some of the fabric of what it is to be from Whitefish Bay," says Fehring, a 40-year Bay resident. "It all becomes part of our heritage."

All of the proceeds from sales of the book, which is available in print and digital formats, will go toward the Whitefish Bay Historical Preservation Commission and its efforts to catalog and commemorate historical properties throughout the village.

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Less bang for the bucks: Mequon council aims for doe-only deer culling

Dec. 11, 2013 12:36 p.m. | Mequon — Officials are targeting only antlerless deer with the city's annual culling contract with area sharpshooters. While the distinction could include bucks, the intent is to take down does.

The reasoning is twofold. First, the company which kills the deer annually says it will take 50 deer in 2014 instead of the 60 it took last year, but is charging the same $10,000 fee in its contract. Officials hope that targeting does will stretch the dollars in the contract, since every doe killed could mean fewer fawns come spring. Second, keeping the contract doe-only means more trophy bucks for local bowhunters, several of whom implored the Common Council on Tuesday to keep bucks out of the sharpshooters' sights.

"We do have some very nice bucks here in Mequon," resident Rick Schnell said. "It would be a shame for the sharpshooters to deprive the bowhunters of the chance to shoot those bucks."

Alderwoman Pam Adams made a motion, later approved by the council, to add the doe-only provision to the contract, though she stressed that if the sharpshooters don't agree the contract should be approved anyway.

"It makes sense," Adams said. "We should consider negotiating that, if we only have 50 (deer in the contract)."

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Withdrawal still an option as Glendale awaits formula votes

Dec. 11, 2013 12:26 p.m. | Glendale — Mayor Jerome Tepper and the Common Council are holding off their talks of leaving the North Shore Fire Department until after the other NSFD communities vote on a proposed funding arrangement.

The council on Monday unanimously approved the new funding formula, which to date has also been approved in Whitefish Bay, Brown Deer and Fox Point. Bayside is scheduled to vote on the proposal in December while River Hills is set to vote on it in January. Shorewood may take up the proposal in December or January.

The proposed funding formula is the product of 10 months of work among the NSFD board of directors, city and village administrators and Public Policy Forum. Negotiations were tense in October and November after River Hills Village President Bob Brunner threatened to veto the proposal, prompting Tepper to threaten Glendale's withdrawal from the department at the city's first opportunity, in 2016.

After a number of meetings at the NSFD and River Hills Village Board, Brunner eventually backed down and voted for the proposal at the NSFD board's Nov. 25 meeting. The proposal is now making the rounds through the NSFD member communities, which all have to approve it for the new funding formula to take effect in 2016 as planned.

The Glendale council was scheduled Monday to consider submitting their official withdrawal from the department, effective 2016, as a precaution in case any of the other communities vote down the proposal.

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Back to the drawing board on Mequon's gateway

Dec. 11, 2013 11:37 a.m. | Mequon — It was design by committee Tuesday evening when the Mequon Common Council, convening as a Committee of the Whole, weighed in on the design of a landscaping and gateway project of the riverside park at Mequon and Cedarburg roads.

The preliminary design, completed pro bono by Mequon landscape architect Kerry Mattingly, includes a limestone plaza, wrought-iron fencing, amphitheater, and "Mequon Thiensville" overhead arch leading into the park space alongside the river.

Though the design won widespread acclaim among the council, Alderman Dale Mayr wasn't impressed.

"I'm not really enamored with this, with a great big archway that says 'Mequon Thiensville' across it," Mayr said, adding that he preferred Mattingly's work at nearby Cardinal Stritch University and that the park design doesn't give "enough statement."

Although Alderwoman Pam Adams said she did like the overall design, she thought the concept was "a little Victorian, a little 1800s," and should be either more contemporary or designed in the same art deco style as Mequon City Hall.

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Roman Candle Pizzeria sets Thursday as opening day in Whitefish Bay

Dec. 11, 2013 8:26 a.m. | The Roman Candle Pizzeria will debut its first restaurant outside Dane County on Thursday, when it opens at 133 E. Silver Spring Drive in Whitefish Bay.

The Roman Candle, in the works since spring, will open at 11 a.m. daily. Closing times hadn't been finalized, but it's expected to stay open at least until 9 p.m., later on the weekends.

This restaurant's menu of pizzas and salads will differ somewhat from those in Madison, Fitchburg and Middleton but is most similar to the Williamson St. restaurant's, said general manager Cameron Loftus. It will differ on the beverage side as well -- Whitefish Bay will serve milkshakes and will have a rotating kegged cocktail on one of its eight taps.

The opening cocktail will be the Paloma, Loftus said, made with reposada tequila, grapefruit soda and cardamom, for a holiday note ($8). Other tap lines will be dedicated to mostly craft beers and to Sprecher's root beer soda.

Loftus said the restaurant will have a brief cocktail list and a more extensive wine list.

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Oops! Shorewood says lower property tax bills were in error

Dec. 10, 2013 10:19 p.m. | Thousands of Shorewood residents got what looked like a holiday bonus in Saturday's mail: property tax bills with a big drop from the year before.

Don't spend it yet. The village is scrambling to alert residents that the calculations were messed up. The correct bills, due to arrive in Thursday's mail, will be, on average, $400 higher than the ones mailed last week.

"The tax bill you may have received on Saturday, December 7, 2013 is incorrect due to a data entry error. DO NOT PAY THIS BILL," the Village wrote in an "oops" email to residents.

Chris Swartz, the village manager, said a county sales tax credit distributed among residents totaling $1.34 million was accidentally entered twice, reducing most bills by about 5%. The blunder has spawned a lot of extra administrative work, and of course, inconvenience to residents. Swartz estimated the extra costs of printing and postage to total $4,000 to $5,000.

"It's a huge deal," Swartz said of the recalled bills. "We've never had this happen before. Most of us have been in this business a long time, and I've never seen this."

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Homestead boys basketball team outlasts Bay in OT, 37-35

Dec. 10, 2013 10:05 p.m. | Chuckling as he said it, Homestead boys basketball coach Kevin McKenna gave a friendly shout to Whitefish Bay coach Kevin Lazovik during a time-out at the 4:06 mark of the first quarter of the game at Bay Tuesday night.

"First one scores wins," he said.

He might have had a point, the game was still scoreless at that juncture and the two teams would struggle mightily all night under the other's withering defensive pressure.

As it stood, the Highlanders withstood last-second attempts by the Blue Dukes at the end of both regulation and overtime to come up with a less-than-pretty, but oh-so-important 37-35 victory.

"You know what," said McKenna. "Those were two even teams. We knew we would have a battle figuring out their zone and we did. They missed shots, we missed shots. It came down to the last possession."

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Thiensville man cited after hurrying to get hamburgers home to wife

Dec. 10, 2013 11:03 a.m. | An 88-year-old Thiensville man may have taken the happy wife, happy life adage too far when police say he failed to report a recent accident.

According to the police report:

The 88-year-old man was cited for failing to report a hit-and-run accident after his car struck a parked vehicle in the 200 block of Green Bay Road around 4 p.m. Dec. 2.

Police traced the vehicle debris left at the scene to a body shop in Milwaukee. The Thiensville man told police he was returning from the Wendy’s in Brown Deer and knew he hit something, but said, “it was important to get the burgers home for his wife.”

The police report noted he was also not too concerned that he struck another vehicle.

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Early run keeps Germantown's streak intact

Dec. 06, 2013 10:27 p.m. | Why not us? Why not tonight?

Like many Germantown opponents have been thinking the last two seasons, Friday night in Whitefish Bay, the home Blue Dukes inquired once again if they could be the ones to end the Germantown winning streak. After all, the Blue Dukes are certainly familiar with the Warhawks, having accounted for several notches in the 58-game run prior to this latest battle, and Whitefish Bay hung with a tough Milwaukee King squad just last week.

Unfortunately for the Blue Dukes, the answers given by Germantown were familiar ones as senior guard Lamonte' Bearden led the Warhawks past Whitefish Bay, 80-72. Bearden, a University of Buffalo recruit, scored 29 and was the catalyst in a first-quarter run that cemented Germantown's 59th consecutive win. Brother Brian Bearden isn't too shabby either, helping out with 22 points of his own.

Whitefish Bay held an early 3-point lead before Germantown scored 16 unanswered, including two dunks (on four attempts). Lamonte' Bearden seemed to flip a switch during the run, becoming instantly more assertive and marking 15 tallies in the first quarter alone, giving Germantown a 27-17 lead. The multiple dunk attempts weren't exactly what Germantown coach Steve Showalter wants all the time, but he recognized the fact the plays sparked an important run.

"If we could stuff the ball better, it wouldn't be so bad, but we do want to make runs, and it did help," Showalter said. "Sometimes one or two runs in a game like this are enough, and we needed them to be able to hold these guys off.

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Greendale's Josh Ringelberg named NOW Football Player of the Year

Dec. 06, 2013 8:04 a.m. | Greendale quarterback Josh Ringelberg is quick to credit his teammates, but there was no doubt of the offensive impact the dual-threat junior had this season.

Ringelberg has been voted the NOW All-Suburban Football Player of the Year after throwing for 41 touchdowns and running for 10. He led the Panthers to the Division 3 state finals, where he threw for a record 270 yards, including a record 97-yard toss to Nate Miller.

Ringelberg is joined on the team by Homestead's Dave Keel, the NOW All-Suburban Football Coach of the Year. Keel, a perennial contender for the award, garnered it for the first time after leading the Highlanders to an 11-1 mark despite losing the bulk of his 2012 state title team to graduation.

2013 NOW All-Suburban Football Team

Follow this link to view the team if you are using a mobile device.

Dixon's rally keys Bay wrestling team's 41-33 win over Germantown

Dec. 05, 2013 10:27 p.m. | Whitefish Bay wrestling coach Dale Loebel estimates that there were four or five times senior 182-pound wrestler Ed Dixon could have quit in his match with Germantown senior Hunter Valenta Thursday night.

With Bay nursing a 25-18 lead in the team score, Dixon had fallen behind by 8-1, 13-4 and 15-8 margins, but in a match that featured several wild swings of momentum, Dixon caught Valenta and pinned at 4:29 in the third period.

Teammate Steve Meyer then followed that with a pin of his own in 1:55 at 195 and that was enough of a margin for the Blue Dukes to pull off a 41-33 victory in the opening North Shore Conference dual meet of the season.

"He decided to come off his back and that was the difference," said Loebel of Dixon. "...I knew that this would be a competitive dual. We did well in spots and breaks that could have gone against us went our way tonight."

A big difference in the match, was that Loebel has an upperclassmen-and-upper weights dominated line-up this season. Of the 21 athletes he as out this winter, he has 11 juniors. He had to replace state-tourney participants like Max Carlin, Joey Davey and Rashadeem Gray, a total of over 400 career wins, but was encouraged by the start.

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Thiensville to consider beer garden bid proposals

Dec. 04, 2013 11:39 a.m. | Thiensville — The Village Board on Dec. 16 will consider soliciting proposals for a Village Park beer garden.

The board on Monday, meeting as a Committee of the Whole, unanimously recommended that the full Village Board consider sending out a request for proposal for a beer garden at the two concession stands at Village Park. Trustees Kim Beck and Ron Heinritz were excused.

The 16-page draft RFP, available on the village website, includes a number of guidelines and regulations for the possible beer garden, and is based on the RFP which resulted in the Estabrook Beer Garden operated by the Milwaukee County Parks System and Old German Beer Hall. The draft includes a minimum 15 percent of beer garden sales going to Thiensville, though officials are open to negotiation on the financial underpinnings of the agreement. Committee members on Monday modified the draft to prohibit the beer garden from being open during community events like Lionsfest or Family Fun Before the Fourth.

If approved at the meeting on Dec. 16, the RFP is expected to be sent in January with proposals expected back by late-February.

Concept OK'd in spring

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Brown Deer police release photos of gas station robbery suspect

Dec. 04, 2013 7:10 a.m. | Brown Deer police have released photos from a gas station armed robbery that occurred about 8:30 p.m. Monday.

A man armed with a handgun entered the BP, 5125 W. Brown Deer Road, demanded and received an undisclosed amount of money and then fled in a silver SUV, possibly a Jeep Grand Cherokee, according to a police news release.

The suspect is described as a black man, in his late teens to early 20s, standing between 5-foot, 10-inches to 6-feet tall. He has a thin build and dark complexion. He was last seen wearing a mid-thigh length, black coat that appeared to be leather, a black baseball hat and had a black backpack.

Anyone with information is asked to call Brown Deer police at (414) 371-2900.

Brown Deer boys use height to overpower Shorewood, 66-50

Dec. 03, 2013 10:38 p.m. | As the old basketball adage goes:

"You can't teach height."

And that's what the Brown Deer boys used to great advantage Tuesday night against Woodland rival Shorewood, as despite first half foul trouble for both, the inside pair of 6-6 Jerry Luckett (22 points) and 6-9 Devante Jackson (14) combined for 36 points and generally made life miserable for their much shorter hosts in a 66-50 decision.

"They're long and athletic and that's going to be a problem for any team built like us (no one over 6-4)," said Shorewood coach Phil Jones. "I don't know where they get them all. They must restock (chuckles)."

The loss dropped Shorewood to 2-1 overall while a surprising Falcon team, in what's supposed to be a rebuilding year improved to 4-0.

» Read Full Article

Election update: Dec. 3

Dec. 03, 2013 9:57 p.m. |


Throughout the various local governments and school districts in the North Shore, 40 seats are up for grabs in the coming spring election. Also on the April 1 ballot in Shorewood and Whitefish Bay will be advisory referendums on the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 "Citizens United" ruling.

Under state election rules, potential candidates may begin circulating nomination papers and gathering signatures on Dec. 1. The required number of signatures varies based on the size of the municipality. All forms are available at local government and school district offices or online at the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board website:

Candidates must submit their registration statement, declaration of candidacy, and nomination papers with signatures by 5 pm. Jan. 7 at their village hall, city hall, or school district main office. Incumbents must file their noncandidacy by 5 p.m. Dec. 27.

Below are the seats up for election and filings as of Tuesday:

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Thiensville board mulls housing mix

Dec. 03, 2013 9:44 p.m. | Thiensville — Elected officials have an uncompromising attitude when it comes to future development or redevelopment projects throughout the village.

The attitude? High end or bust.

That was the consensus when the Village Board, meeting as a Committee of the Whole, discussed its options when it comes to the available and potential housing stock in the village.

According to a report from Village Administrator Dianne Robertson, Thiensville's roughly 1,500 residences are about 55 percent single-family homes, 19 percent condominiums, and 26 percent apartments. Robertson noted that the single-family homes number was a little concerning to her, and in her estimation, should be higher.

Trustee John Treffert noted the available space to build houses is essentially exhausted, leaving officials the most control over how many apartments and condos will go up throughout the village.

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How the Mequon-Thiensville Historical Society is remaking itself in 21st-century style

Dec. 03, 2013 5:52 p.m. | Mequon — Now in its 26th year, the Mequon-Thiensville Historical Society is alive and well and doing what it does best: tracing the people and happenings of the area back through time while bringing into focus the stories of Mequon and Thiensville's rich and varied past.

It wasn't always that way.

In recent years, the historical society's membership had dwindled and its coffers had run low as, in a vicious cycle, its newsletter content had diminished, leading to less awareness and publicity, leading to less membership, which lead to less resources to produce content.

A well-attended presentation in 2011 by local historian John Gurda was the shot in the arm the historical society needed, drawing a crowd that bolstered membership, helped fund the newsletter, and turn the cycle into a virtuous one, thanks in part to 21st-century tools like a website and Facebook account. The historical society now has a membership to match its heyday and a renewed focus to digitize its sprawling collection of historical materials, as well as continue its popular role of researching and providing genealogies for the area's many multigenerational families.

"We want to have a purpose, to be relevant," says President Bob Blazich, 68, adding of the renewed outreach efforts, "People have to know we're here, and be able to trust us to give us things or let us copy things."

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Glendale-River Hills officials start work on fall 2014 referendum

Dec. 03, 2013 5:24 p.m. | Glendale — The wheels are turning on a possible fall 2014 referendum for the Glendale-River Hills School District, one which could again allow the district to bypass its state-mandated revenue limit.

District voters in 2011 passed a similar referendum which allowed the district to levy an extra $600,000 annually through the 2014-15 school year. Though the details of the potential fall referendum won't be clear for some time, early talks at the School Board's finance committee on Tuesday suggest the district could borrow between $4-5 million and pay the debt off over a five-year period.

By matching the debt payments to the amount of the expiring $600,000 annual referendum funding, and later adding the amount of an expiring capital referendum, the district could in effect keep the tax levy and tax rate flat, finance committee member and School Board President Bob Roska said.

"We'll borrow in a way that keeps taxes flat," Roska said.

There are, however, a number of questions to answer before district officials can settle on a price tag or duration for the possible fall referendum, which is why the conversation will likely stay at the finance committee through April or May before coming before the School Board, Roska said.

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Thiensville likely to switch to recycling carts, bi-weekly pickup

Dec. 03, 2013 5:00 p.m. | Thiensville — Residents will be able to roll their recyclables to the curb in 2014.

On Monday the village Committee of the Whole gave its approval to a new recycling contract with Waste Management. The Village Board takes up the matter at its Dec. 16 meeting.

At present, residents use 18-gallon bins which are emptied on a weekly basis. The Waste Mangement proposal includes 96-gallon recycling containers on wheels that would be emptied every two weeks. When the new carts are delivered in January, residents will have 90 days to decide whether they want smaller carts, after which they would have to pay a $25 fee to make the switch.

Public Works Director Andy LaFond said the Waste Management proposal would save the village about $6,000 annually.

LaFond said the advantages of the bigger carts are threefold. First, rolling the recyclables is easier and less messy than carrying a bin; second, the much bigger containers could reduce clutter on village streets since the smaller bins at times overflow; and third, people seem to recycle more with bigger containers since they don't have to break down recyclables or put overflow in the garbage.

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Fox Point taxpayers face slight increase

Dec. 03, 2013 3:43 p.m. | Fox Point — Officials in Fox Point have approved a 2014 budget that will increase the amount of taxes levied on property owners by 0.35 percent.

The Village Board on Monday passed a resolution that will levy $7.01 million in taxes to fund the various pieces of the 2014 budget. Last year, the village's levy was set at $6.98 million. State law only allows municipalities to increase taxes based on the rate of new construction within the past year.

Taxes will help fund a number of things in the overall budget. The majority will be applied to everyday operations in the general budget, which has been set at $6.91 million, up slightly from last year's general operating budget of $6.79 million.

Additional tax dollars will be applied to other budgetary items, including shared service arrangements with neighboring municipalities to fund the North Shore Library, North Shore Fire Department and North Shore Water Filtration Plant.

Village Manager Melissa Bohse said the budget was built with a number of assumptions, including a slight projected increase in revenue from court fines in the upcoming year and an anticipated increase in costs for utilities and fuel.

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Payroll accountant charged with skimming more than $1 million from Glendale hospital

Dec. 02, 2013 11:44 a.m. | Glendale — Janice Nieman, 49, of Milwaukee, is accused of embezzling nearly $1.1 million from the payroll accounts of Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare and several of its subsidiaries.

Nieman was charged Nov. 25 with three counts of theft and one count of unauthorized use of personal information in connection with her alleged scheme. According to a summons issued on Friday, Nieman is expected at an initial court hearing on Dec. 20.

Each theft charge carries a maximum fine of $25,000 and prison term of 10 years; the personal information charge carries a maximum fine of $10,000 and prison term of six years.

According to a Nov. 25 criminal complaint filed in Milwaukee County Circuit Court:

Bogus requests

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Left lane of southbound I-43 reopens at Ozaukee line

Dec. 02, 2013 8:08 a.m. | The left lane of southbound Interstate 43 has reopened at the Ozaukee/Milwaukee county line after crews cleared a disabled vehicle, according to a state traffic alert.

Community Watch

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» Brown Deer police seeking armed robbers 12/24

» Christmas tree causes fire at Milwaukee Country Club 12/23

» Bay boys hoops team just too long and strong for Falls, 64-36 12/21

» Miracle baby: The incredible story of Elijah Leffingwell 12/18

» Shorewood staying with Milestones in 2014-15 12/17

» Dec. 17 Election Update 12/17

» Nicolet, Glendale to begin talks on shared park 12/17

» Shorewood village employees could be getting pay bump 12/17

» Shorewood vacates street as part of proposed assisted living development 12/17

» Mequon investment firm launches mutual fund 12/17

» 62! Germantown boys tie state win streak record with rout of Dominican 12/14

» Mequon passes wild animal ban 12/12

» 'Chronicles of Whitefish Bay' takes readers back to village's beginnings 12/11

» Less bang for the bucks: Mequon council aims for doe-only deer culling 12/11

» Withdrawal still an option as Glendale awaits formula votes 12/11

» Back to the drawing board on Mequon's gateway 12/11

» Roman Candle Pizzeria sets Thursday as opening day in Whitefish Bay 12/11

» Oops! Shorewood says lower property tax bills were in error Updated:  12/10

» Homestead boys basketball team outlasts Bay in OT, 37-35 12/10

» Thiensville man cited after hurrying to get hamburgers home to wife 12/10

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Best Summer Ever


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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