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Flanner's moving to Colder's West Allis site

Jan. 25, 2011 1:34 p.m. | Flanner's Home Entertainment will move by the end of the month to a new store carved out of the Colder's building on S. 108th St. in West Allis.

Colder's, a longtime Milwaukee area furniture and appliance retailer, bought the bankrupt Flanner's business last summer. Since then, Colder's has operated the high-end electronics operation in its existing store at 16220 W. Blue Mound Road in Brookfield.

Lance Zabrowski, general manager at Flanner's, said the owners decided to move from the rented space in Brookfield as a way to trim expenses. The new 9,000-square-foot store, at 333A S. 108th St., is within the Colder's retail building, but it has its own entrance and is not accessible to customers from inside the Colder's store.

Zabrowski said Colder's is considering expanding the Flanner's business to as many as three more locations, either freestanding or in Colder's stores.

The Flanner's store is staffed by former Flanner's employees who were rehired after Colder's bought the business.

West Allis hears 72nd Street residents who don't want bumpouts

June 24, 2016 1:19 p.m. | There will be no bumpouts for 72nd Street, the West Allis Common Council decided after 70 residents of 72nd Street signed a petition protesting the bumpouts that cities use to help slow traffic.

Bumpouts are at intersections and they extend sidewalks into the street. Although they usually just close off parking lanes, they make the street seem narrower to drivers who then slow down. The bumpouts were planned as part of the city's resurfacing project from Cleveland Avenue to Kinnickinnic Parkway.

But the residents protested that speeding traffic is not a problem and they don't want the bumpouts.

"We heard them loud and clear," said committee chairman Alderman Gary Barczak. So, that stretch of 72nd Street will be resurfaced as a normal road, he said.

Also, no speed bumps will be contemplated, he said. West Allis doesn't install speed bumps because they are noisy, they can damage cars and they pose a problem for snow plows, he said.

West Allis helping fledgling craft brewery get started

June 24, 2016 1:00 p.m. | The West Allis Common Council has approved a $35,000 loan to help a craft brewery get on its feet.

The Westallion Brewing Company would be the only one in the city.

Erik Dorfner plans to open the brewery Nov. 10 at about 72nd and Burnham streets. The loan using federal Community Development Block Grant money will be used to buy equipment and have working capital for the first months of operation. Dorfner has additional startup funding.

Alderman Kevin Haass, chairman of the Administration and Finance Committee that recommended the project, said a craft brewery is an amenity that helps set a city apart.

"We're trying to make the community attractive to young folks who like amenities like that," he said.

Burglaries at 10-year low in West Allis, robberies hit 10-year high

June 23, 2016 10:25 a.m. | West Allis — With the West Allis Police Department publishing its 2015 annual report this month, there are some things that residents might like to know about crime in 2015.

 

  • Burglaries were at a 10-year low.
  • Robberies were at a 10-year high.
  • Car thefts were just short of the 10-year high.
  • Crimes against property were down 11 percent.
  • Violent crime was up 10 percent.

 

Burglaries

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Man, 21, charged in fatal accident on 76th Street in Greenfield

June 21, 2016 3:59 p.m. | A 21-year-old Greenfield man who was driving with a suspended license, according to Greenfield police, has been charged with homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle after a fatal crash in the 4900 block of 76th Street in Greenfield.

The accident happened shortly before 6:30 p.m. April 17. Charged on June 17 was Shawn Graika who faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine, if convicted.

He is alleged to have been driving 73 mph two seconds before the crash, according to the criminal complaint. That information was downloaded from Graika's SUV sensing diagnostic module data recovery system.

Graika was southbound on 76th Street. He said the driver of the other car, Oscar Balli, pulled out from a parking lot and Graika hit the Balli car broadside. Balli was pronounced dead after being taken to Froedtert Hospital.

Graika is scheduled to make an initial court appearance July 12.

Greenfield couple calls police on their attacking cat

June 21, 2016 3:16 p.m. | Police responded to a residence in the 3600 block of South 53rd Street after a woman called 911 to report she and her husband were being attacked and held hostage by their cat at about 9:20 p.m. June 17. The cat was eventually caught and turned over to the Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission.

Video: Greenfield going full speed to become its own internet provider

June 21, 2016 2:42 p.m. | Greenfield and the two school districts within its borders are well on their way to cutting the chord to their various internet providers.

They are building their own fiber optics network, starting at Alverno College and extending to municipal buildings and schools in the Greenfield and Whitnall school districts. The network will provide better service at a fraction of the current cost, city and school officials said.

Construction started about three weeks ago and the city is about a third of the way finished, said Greenfield Mayor Michael Neitzke. Under a cost-sharing agreement, the city is constructing the spine of the network.

Greenfield took out a state trust fund loan for its $700,000 share. However, officials expect system to pay for itself in 10 years from annual savings, Neitzke said. And service will be much better, he said.

"We'll have way better service and way better productivity and flexibility," Neitzke said.

» Read Full Article

Greenfield man charged in fatal crash

June 20, 2016 6:19 p.m. | A Greenfield man has been charged with homicide by negligent use of a vehicle for a crash that killed another man in April, according to a criminal complaint.

Shawn Robert Graika, 21, is accused of driving 73 mph in a 35 mph zone when he struck a car driven by Oscar R. Balli, 64, of Milwaukee April 17 in the 4900 block of S. 76th St., according to the complaint.

Graika was driving an SUV southbound on S. 76th St. and had been swerving in and out of traffic before striking Balli's car when he pulled out of the parking lot of Barnes & Noble Booksellers, according to the complaint and Milwaukee police.

If convicted Graika could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison, according to the complaint.

The complaint and a summons ordering Graika to appear before a court commissioner July 12 was filed Friday, according to state court records.

Early morning fire destroys garage in Greenfield, spreads to house

June 20, 2016 10:17 a.m. | As of 10 a.m. Monday, investigators were still on the scene of a 5 a.m. garage fire that did an estimated $100,000 damage to the garage, the attached home and its contents at 4552 W. Abbott Ave., Greenfield.

Greenfield police and fire personnel are sifting through the remains of the fire to find its cause. The fire started in the attached garage and spread to the home and into the attic. The garage is deemed to be a total loss.

A Journal Sentinel newspaper carrier spotted the fire and called 911. Greenfield police arrived, awakened the William VanBennekom family and got them to safety. Greenfield received assistance from the Greendale, Milwaukee and West Allis fire departments.

Initial Reaction Podcast: MLB Draft's Wisconsin flavor and WIAA's postseason model

June 15, 2016 6:15 p.m. | The MLB Draft had a distinct Wisconsin flavor this year, and JP and JR dive in with state baseball underway. Also, given the number of talent-loaded sectionals in some sports, could the WIAA find a model that spreads the best teams around a little more evenly? Plus, new Greenfield boys basketball coach Kyle Johnsen stops by to talk about his new gig and his playing days just down the road at Greendale. Each week, Lake Country/Now sports director JR Radcliffe and Time Warner Cable Sports Channel's JP Cadorin chat about the Wisconsin sports scene, with an emphasis on Milwaukee-area preps. Find the podcast on Stitcher and iTunes.

After facelift, Greenfield Park Golf Course re-opens to rave reviews

June 15, 2016 1:40 p.m. | West Allis — Last week, the Greenfield Park Golf Course held a grand reopening after its $3.1 million upgrade and grand it was, according to some golfers who played the course the next day.

"The fairways for those able to hit them are really nice," joked Marty Raasch of Milwaukee. "The ball sits up so you can see it. The grass is cut well."

And he has already sampled the redone sand traps.

"They're in excellent condition," Raasch said. Before, the sand was so compacted the club bounced up when it hit the sand, he said.

"Now it's nice, you slide the club under the sand and the ball pops out of the sand trap," Raasch said.

» Read Full Article

A new Layton Avenue Baptist Church is rising in Greenfield through skill and faith

June 14, 2016 12:23 p.m. | Greenfield — Everybody's heard of the barn raisings of pioneer days, but a church raising? And a church-raising in the 21st century?

A throwback to those pioneer days is just what's happening on Layton Avenue in Greenfield at 96th Street where volunteers from throughout the country are spending a week building a new house of worship for the Layton Avenue Baptist Church congregation. The worshipers are moving because their building was in the way of a $115 million shopping, restaurant and office development.

A total of 1,100 volunteers will come to Greenfield during 14 weeks this summer through Builders for Christ. And some are skilled enough to build the wooden skeleton of the 27,000-square-foot church in 10 days. Less-skilled volunteers learn from the experts.

But can a bunch of volunteers, really build a huge, quality building?

Can they do it?

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Charcoal grill tips over, causes fire at Greenfield home

June 13, 2016 12:03 p.m. | Greenfield Fire Department officials said that a grill containing hot coals was the cause of a house fire in the 3600 block of South 33rd Street early Sunday morning.

Emergency personnel responded to the home after receiving a report that flames were seen coming out of the roof of the home at about 4 a.m. The residents were able to escape the fire when an alert neighbor repeatedly rang the doorbell, causing the resident's dog to bark and wake them up.

Fire officials believe the fire started when the grill was knocked over by a gust of wind and started the deck on fire. The fire then spread up the exterior wall of the home and into the roof.

Although the fire was contained to the deck, an exterior wall and a portion of the roof, the home sustained heavy water damage, officials said.

The Greenfield Fire Department is warning people to keep grills away from homes, garages, overhangs, and off combustible surfaces such as decks. Coals and ashes from a barbeque, fire pits and fireplaces can smolder for up to seven days, so do not assume they are out, officials said.

West Allis foundry faces possible fines of $62,370

June 13, 2016 11:00 a.m. | The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued 10 serious and three nonserious safety violations to the Motor Castings Company, 1323 S 65th St, West Allis, a metal parts manufacturer.

The inspection followed a 51-year-old worker suffering broken bones and cuts to both hands.

Investigators determined he and other employees were attempting to realign and adjust the drag mold of a closing machine at the foundry when the cope, an operating machine part, fell unexpectedly and crushed both of the employee's hands.

The proposed penalties for all the violations total $62,370.

Vape shop caught up in CBD legality debate

June 09, 2016 2:24 p.m. | Janet Fazen and her family run a vape shop in West Allis, but a recent visit by police has left them feeling like dope dealers.

Officers seized their entire inventory of CBD liquid, which is said to come from industrial hemp plants. "The original vape additive. Add to your favorite liquid or vape alone," the package says.

Customers who buy it have told Fazen that it gives some relief from pain, fibromyalgia, anxiety and other maladies. There is a trace of THC, the ingredient that gives weed its buzz, but not enough to make anyone high, she said. Minors are not allowed in the store without a parent.

"They (police) should return the product. And I should be able to freely sell," she said. "It kind of puts me on edge. I'm trying to have a little business here. They took mine, but it's all over the nation."

West Allis police say the CBD, or cannabidiol, is contraband and they're not giving it back. Deputy Chief Bob Fletcher said two officers went to the store, VaporLicious, 8822 W. Lincoln Ave., on May 20 and purchased one bottle of CBD Drip. When they tested it, they found evidence of THC, though Fletcher admits the screening does not indicate what level.

» Read Full Article

Initial Reaction Podcast: Steve Showalter's switch to Menomonee Falls and Brookfield East's dominance

June 09, 2016 1:30 p.m. | JP and JR take a look at the big news that former Germantown empire-builder Steve Showalter is leaving Catholic Memorial after a month to take the boys basketball job at Menomonee Falls. They also discuss several Brewers topics, including the legacy of Khris Davis, the All-Star candidacy of Chris Carter, the success of Ryan Braun and the curiosity of recent no-hit bids. Plus: plenty of WIAA postseason impressions, including a colossal weekend for Brookfield East and the upcoming baseball tourney. Each week, Lake Country/Now sports director JR Radcliffe and Time Warner Cable Sports Channel's JP Cadorin chat about the Wisconsin sports scene, with an emphasis on Milwaukee-area preps. Find the podcast on Stitcher and iTunes.

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