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Sale of Paradise Theater building to church completed, repairs to begin

June 15, 2011 8:00 a.m. | The Paradise Theater building, in West Allis, has been sold to a church that is starting work to transform the former cinema into a sanctuary.

Paradise LLC has sold the 31,600-square-foot building, at 6217-6301 W. Greenfield Ave., to Epikos Church for $62,500, said Adam Matson, of NAI MLG Commercial, who represented Epikos.

Brian Parrish, of Dickman Co. represented Paradise LLC, an investors group led by Courtney Hollis, wife of Jay Hollis, former owner of Rosebud Cinema Drafthouse.  

Church officials previously outlined plans to make the former theater a second location for Epikos, now located at 2308 E. Belleview Place. The church has nearly 500 members, some of whom live in West Allis and other areas on Milwaukee's west side.

The restoration, including a new roof, new windows and new mechanical systems, will cost an estimated $2.2 million, said Epikos Pastor Danny Parmelee. He said the church is embarking on a fundraising campaign, and has been contacting lenders to help finance the project.

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Senior citizens invited to dinner and a show at Whitnall High School

1:17 p.m. | Greenfield — The Whitnall School District invites community senior citizens to enjoy a musical show and dinner next month.

Participating seniors will enjoy a presentation of "High School Musical," performed by the Whitnall High School Theatre department.

Tickets will be available beginning Feb. 15 at the Whitnall District Office, 5000 S 116th Street. Admission costs $6 per senior.

The doors will open at 5 p.m. for the Spring Senior Citizen Dinner and Show on Wednesday, March 9, at the high school. Dinner will be served at 5:15 p.m.

Other performances of the high school musical will be held at 7:30 p.m. March 10 to 12. An additional performance will be held at 2 p.m. March 13.

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What residents in Southeast Wisconsin need to know to prevent the spread of Zika virus

Feb. 11, 2016 12:02 a.m. | Menomonee Falls —It may not be on the minds of most Wisconsinites amid the snow and frigid temperatures, but as the seasons change a major international health concern could have widespread effects right in our backyards.

Following the Feb. 1 declaration by the World Health Organization that has deemed the Zika virus an international public health emergency, local businesses and health care organizations are bracing for what the virus could mean at a local level.

Mild fever, skin rashes, muscle and joint pain and conjunctivitis are among the most common symptoms of the potentially fatal mosquito-borne illness, which has prompted several travel alerts to be issued to areas including the Caribbean as well as Central and South America.

Before the warmer temperatures make their ways back into the area, local pest control professionals are saying there are some things for those making plans for spring break to keep in mind.

While Wil-Kil Pest Control does not have the medical expertise to comment directly on the virus and symptoms, Regional Manager Randy Allen said the company is seeking to generate awareness about mosquito prevention.

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West Allis might hold meeting to help drivers find alternate routes

Feb. 09, 2016 11:50 a.m. | West Allis officials may hold a public information meeting to get the word out about heavy traffic tie-ups they expect this year due to the continuing Zoo Interchange work.

One major concern is that all the ramps to northbound Interstate 41/I-894 will be closed April 1 and will stay closed until Nov. 1. That means no northbound access at National, Lincoln or Greenfield avenues.

That is expected to throw substantial traffic onto Highway 100, National and Greenfield avenues.

Additional ramps will be closed as of March 1.

Greenfield city, schools on verge of shared fiber optics for Internet

Feb. 09, 2016 8:17 a.m. | The city of Greenfield and two school districts within its borders are on the verge of what some call a ground-breaking agreement to install and share a mutual fiber optic network.

The city and the Greenfield schools have struggled with current Internet providers. The cooperative arrangement would result in a better system for less cost, Greenfield Mayor Michael Neitzke said to the school board, meeting as a committee of the whole Monday.

The cooperative would include the city and school district and the Whitnall School District, part of which is in Greenfield.

The New Berlin and Oshkosh school districts have such cooperative fiber optics systems and Elmbrook is in the process of setting one up, Superintendent Lisa Elliott said.

The Greenfield School Board could vote on the proposal as early as Feb. 22, if the agreement is ready.

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Greenfield schools to get safety improvements thanks to $150,000 grant

Feb. 09, 2016 7:28 a.m. | Greenfield —A $150,000 Safe Routes to Schools grant will mean new sidewalks at the Greenfield Middle School, dirt paths being paved to the school and flashing lights marking school zones at the middle school and at two elementary schools.

The Greenfield School Board meeting as a committee of the whole on Monday was updated on administration plans to use the grant for several projects. Safe Routes to Schools grants are meant to help schools improve the safety of children on their route to and from school, especially in areas without sidewalks.

Two sidewalks are planned. One would be along Barnard Avenue from Barnard Park, 3300 W. Barnard Ave., to 35th Street. The other is along 35th Street the short distance from Barnard Avenue to the middle school. In addition, two paths that students take to the school will be paved.

Barnard Avenue also is slated to get a speed table to help keep drivers from speeding. Speed tables are more gentle forms of speed bumps. Speed tables have a more gradual rise and broad tops before cars descend on the other side.

Signs with lights

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Greenfield parents may get cost break on child care at schools

Feb. 09, 2016 6:54 a.m. | Greenfield —Greenfield schools are close to providing before- and after-school child care through the Greenfield Parks and Recreation Department at a much reduced rate for families.

The school board's committee of the whole has given the initiative a favorable recommendation. The board is slated to vote on the plan on Feb. 22.

Committee members asked recreation Director Scott Jaquish if there is some way that program payments could qualify for income tax deductions as the current program does. A reason for the lower rates is that the new program trims away administrative costs needed for tax-deductible status, Jaquish said, adding that he will see what can be done.

Board President Kathy Walsh said even though the proposed program offers more savings to families than the current one even with its tax deductible feature, people still want child care to be tax-deductible.

Subsidies, flex spending

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Updated rankings of area prep boys and girls basketball teams and players

West Allis Central High School students respond calmly during bomb-threat evacuation

Feb. 04, 2016 1:38 p.m. | West Allis —After the early morning bomb scare at West Allis Central High School, things were pretty much normal when classes reconvened the next day, said Principal Amy Van Deuren.

She said the students were positive and that Friday was pretty much just a normal school day after the entire school had to be evacuated after Thursday's bomb threat against the school.

Before students got on with their school day on Friday, they went to the field house for an all-school meeting where school officials addressed the incident.

West Allis police are still investigating the matter and no arrests had been made as of Tuesday afternoon.

About a year ago there was a bomb threat and evacuation of Nathan Hale High School on Jan. 6, said Brian Vissers, district communications specialist. The next day there was a copycat threat and students were evacuated to the Hale gym.

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West Allis schools to start trek back to neighborhood schools in fall

Feb. 03, 2016 8:04 a.m. | In a school district where one out of five students attends a school outside his or her neighborhood, the era of choice will be gone as of this fall in the West Allis-West Milwaukee School District.

In order to re-establish the neighborhood school concept and to make enrollments more equal in the schools, especially between the district's two high schools, the school board on Monday voted to curtail student transfers.

That doesn't mean a wholesale reshuffling of students this fall.

Transfer students can stay in their transfer schools until they are ready to go on either to intermediate school or to high school. At those points, they have to go back to their neighborhood or home school, unless they have an older brother or sister at a different intermediate or high school. Then they too can go to that school.

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Data skimmers found on several ATMs in West Allis, police warn

Feb. 02, 2016 3:59 p.m. | Several ATM skimming devices that enable thieves to steal information from ATM cards and make withdrawals and purchases have been found on ATMs in West Allis recently, according to police.

The skimming devices come in various shapes, colors, and sizes, so police are warning those using ATMs to look for any devices attached to the ATMs or to beware of anything that looks or seems unusual. Police advise not using the suspicious ATM and calling police.

West Allis schools to leave SAGE, open more seats for nonresidents

Feb. 02, 2016 9:31 a.m. | In an effort to both economize and attract more state money into the West Allis-West Milwaukee schools, the district moved to larger class sizes for the youngest children and opened up more seats for nonresident students to attend district schools through the state Open Enrollment program.

Class sizes for children through third grade have been held at 18 because the district has participated in the popular SAGE (Student Achievement Guarantee in Education) program. Under the new Achievement Gap Reduction initiative, class sizes are visualized at 21 but they could go up to 24.

Moving from SAGE to AGR would mean the district could cut 25 teachers by attrition, said Superintendent Marty Lexmond. Usually, 40 to 60 teachers leave due to retirement or resignation, he told the school board Monday.

He said frankly that saving money by not replacing teachers is the primary motivation for proposing to move out of SAGE.

"We can't afford it," he said. "We have to reduce the number of sections we're running."

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Positive and uplifting stories in suburban Milwaukee and Lake Country in January

Feb. 01, 2016 10:52 a.m. | Sometimes you're just looking for a little positivity.

And we hope to deliver that to you with a roundup of positive and uplifting stories from suburban Milwaukee and the Lake Country area. The following stories were published in the past month, and they feature stories that could warm your heart.

 

Nashotah teen spent 18 months in Los Angeles pursuing her dreams as an actress and singer

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Milwaukee Co. launches coyote tracking program in Tosa, West Allis

Jan. 28, 2016 1:09 p.m. | Milwaukee County Parks announced Thursday that beginning in early February and lasting through March, it will trap and ear-tag coyotes that use county parkland in Wauwatosa and West Allis.

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology's Urban Canid Project will set live traps, place ear tags on trapped coyotes and release them for monitoring, according to a news release.

Over the last year, Wauwatosa has seen its fair share of coyote-related problems; two pet dogs were killed by the wild animals last fall, causing neighbors to resort to walking in large groups and keeping a watchful eye on small children.

Wauwatosa officials and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources later held a public meeting at Underwood Elementary School on how to scare away coyotes and their behavioral tendencies. The public meeting packed the school's gymnasium, but many attendees expressed their dissatisfaction with the lack of a "plan of action."

"During this phase of coyote management, we want to remind the public to follow ordinances by keeping their pets leashed and on the designated trails," said Julia Robson, Assistant Natural Areas Coordinator for Milwaukee County Parks in a statement. "We also want to be clear that tampering or interfering with the trapping is illegal, as is trapping by individuals who are not authorized by the Parks Department."

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Greenfield park on list of parks not protected from unilateral sale

Jan. 27, 2016 12:20 p.m. | Greenfield Mayor Michael Neitzke said that a small park that is on a list of 43 Milwaukee County parks that Milwaukee County Board Chairman Theodore Lipscomb, Sr. is seeking to protect is no longer in Greenfield.

It is Armour Park, 6105 W. Norwich Ave. It and others on the list could be sold or leased unilaterally by the Milwaukee County executive.

Neitzke said that while Armour Park was in Greenfield many years ago, the city ceded nearly all of it to the city of Milwaukee to help facilitate settlement of a discrimination lawsuit filed by the federal Department of Justice against Milwaukee. The lawsuit involved a proposed Native American senior citizen housing project. That senior housing has been standing on a large portion of the former Armour Park for about 15 years, he said.

While the only part of Armour Park remaining in the city of Greenfield is about the size of a living room, the Milwaukee County Parks website shows 14.6 acres of Armour Park still remaining after the senior housing was built. It also shows a tot lot.

Neitzke observed, "It strikes me as a bit odd that there is worry about developing things in parks, when the example of Armour Park already has something developed in it and has for about 15 years."

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More city spending pitched for West Allis development area

Jan. 27, 2016 7:00 a.m. |

A West Allis development area near State Fair Park would receive $2.3 million in additional city spending under a new proposal.
 
Ogden & Co. in November disclosed plans to develop the Element 84 apartment community, with four buildings totaling around 200 units, on about 5 acres east of S. 84th St. and south of W. Greenfield Ave. The city Department of Development proposed $5 million in city financing help for the $34 million project.
 
That financing plan, which needs Common Council approval, would allow Ogden to receive those funds through annual property tax rebates over an estimated 15 years. Once Ogden receives $5 million, the new property taxes would go to the city, its school district and other local governments.
 
Now, around $7.3 million in city funds is being proposed for the development area.
 
The additional proposed spending is $600,000 in stormwater improvements connected to the new Hampton Inn & Suites, 8201 W. Greenfield Ave.; $541,475 in capitalized interest charges; $500,000 for housing renovations near the development site; a $350,457 loan to the Hampton Inn's developers; $150,000 for soil cleanup work at the city's Six Points development site, near the West Allis Farmers Market, and $150,000 for city administrative charges.
 
The Plan Commission is to review the financing proposal at its Wednesday night meeting.
 
Ogden would develop four apartment buildings with four to five stories, including one near the 1500 block of S. 84th St. that would include street-level retail in place of strip retail center that would be razed.
 
The others would be on or near the 1500 block of S. 83rd St. and the 8200 block of W. Orchard St. Ogden would build at least 216 apartments, and possibly up to 230 units, in two separate phases.
 
Element 84 would have a parking structure, as well as a courtyard, patio, outdoor swimming pool and community room. The apartments would include balconies, stainless steel appliances and other high-end features.
 
Monthly rents would range from around $750 to $1,300. 

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