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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. |

ELECTION UPDATE

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: gab.wi.gov/elections-voting/candidates/local/non-partisan.

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.

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