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Retired deputy chief becomes new West Allis police chief

Feb. 13, 2013 2:04 p.m. | The West Allis Police and Fire Commission on Tuesday named retired West Allis deputy police chief Patrick "Rick" Balistrieri as the new chief of police to succeed Michael Jungbluth, who retired at the end of 2012.

"The field of candidates was outstanding," Joseph Kempen, commission president, said in a press release announcing the commission's decision.

"And we wish to express our gratitude to all the fine candidates that were a part of this selection process," he said.

Balistrieri retired from the department more than a year ago.

In Jungbluth's absence, Charles Padgett, who had been deputy chief in charge of operations, has been serving as interim police chief. Padgett and Balistrieri were the top two candidates remaining for the job.

West Allis officer buys car seat for girl after traffic stop

May 05, 2015 8:03 a.m. | A West Allis police officer bought a car seat for a young girl Saturday after pulling over her father, who was driving with a suspended license.

The officer reportedly wants to remain anonymous, but his kind act is winning him praise on social media.

Police said the officer discovered the vehicle's owner had several arrest warrants, and "took him into custody without incident," a post on the West Allis Police Department Facebook page reads.

"The officer then used his own money to purchase a child booster seat at a nearby business so the child could be transported home safely and be safe in future travels," police said on Facebook. "Top notch job!"

WISN-TV reported that the officer pulled over the man near 68th St. and Greenfield Ave. on Saturday and noticed his 6-year-old daughter was in the back seat without a car seat.

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To be or not to be on a leash, that is the question concerning dogs in West Allis parks

May 04, 2015 8:18 p.m. | West Allis —The theft of a "no dogs allowed" sign at one park might result in dogs having to be on leashes at all West Allis city parks.

When the city went to make another "no dogs allowed" sign for the missing sign at Klentz Park, 2600 S. Van Dyke Place, it found no ordinance on the books banning dogs there. Upon further checking, it found that dogs are not allowed in Rogers Park, but that park doesn't have a "no dogs allowed" sign.

City policy should be the same for all the parks, said Alderman Tom Lajsic, chairman of the safety and development committee. Instead of banning dogs from parks, he is suggesting following the lead of Milwaukee County that doesn't allow dogs off leash in its parks. They are welcome at all parks, but they can't run free.

Lasjic also said that dogs should be kept away from picnic areas, children's play areas and athletic fields.

"You don't want dog droppings in those areas," he said.

» Read Full Article

Investigation: Family behind collapsed Falls building has a history of neglecting properties

May 01, 2015 11:34 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — Executives of the companies that own and manage the partially collapsed North Hills Plaza in Menomonee Falls have a long history of legal troubles and neglecting properties, a Menomonee Falls Now investigation has found.

North Hills Plaza is owned by 1340 East 9th Street Realty Corp. in Brooklyn, New York, whose CEO is Samuel Pinter, according to Waukesha County tax records and information from the New York Department of State. His son, Charles Pinter, is the CEO of Royale Property Management, which oversees North Hills Plaza. Together the Pinters and their affiliated companies have left a wake of rundown properties, according to court records and officials in Texas.

In 2013, unlivable conditions rife with cockroaches, toilets overflowing, spoiled food and a pool so filthy the water was black were reported in inspection reports for a Texas retirement community owned by Samuel Pinter.

A 2004 federal court lawsuit over an alleged $44 million Ponzi scheme names Samuel Pinter as a defendant, and Charles Pinter was ultimately brought into the suit, as well.

In addition, news sources have reported other incidents in which properties owned by Charles or Samuel, or both, were found to be dilapidated and unlivable.

» Read Full Article

Greenfield Plan Commission cool to apartments amid homes, two-families

April 28, 2015 10:43 a.m. | Greenfield — A plan to build a five-unit apartment building on land along Beloit Road zoned for single-family got a cool reception from the Greenfield Plan Commission.

Developer Michael Heitzer said he proposed the apartments because Beloit Road is too busy at 114th Street for a single-family home.

But the plan commission was not supportive, pointing out that the site is surrounded by single-family homes and by ranch-style two-family condominiums.

Taylor Marquardt who lives in one of those condos spoke against the apartment plan.

"Multi-family changes the whole landscape," he said. "The plan was to have a higher end nicely planned community."

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Greenfield Common Council hears concerns at Chapman proposal hearing

April 27, 2015 6:13 p.m. | Greenfield — Motorcycle noise and increased traffic were the main concerns expressed at a public hearing for a huge development proposal in Greenfield.

The development envisions stores, offices, apartments or condos, restaurants and a hotel on the site of the former Chapman School and the neighborhood next to it. The site is bounded by Layton Avenue and Interstate-894 and South 84th and 92nd streets.

The 42-acre area has several aspects that attract developers.

A high traffic count from the Interstate-894 interchange at south 84th Street and traffic counts on Layton Avenue are development magnets. Others are two large tracts of available space now occupied by the former Chapman School, which the Greenfield School District has up for sale and a farm field. About 35 homes enclose those two large tracts on three sides. Interstate-894 is on the north side.

Fourth plan

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Meijer super store wins final Greenfield Common Council approvals

April 27, 2015 5:08 p.m. | Greenfield —Final city of Greenfield approvals for a future Meijer super store are in place, clearing way for construction to start on the store at 60th Street and Layton Avenue.

The super store will offer both groceries and general merchandise. It will have an attached garden center and a gas station on the property. The store will be open 24 hours.

The Greenfield Common Council last week gave its unanimous final approval even though there were concerns about the safety of cars entering northbound 60th Street from Armour Avenue directly across from a major entrance to the Meijer store. That issue will be revisited in 2017, when the store is scheduled to open.

Also, some gas station owners nearby objected that there are already too many gas stations in the area and that the one that in the Meijer proposal should be dropped. But as one city official said, a gas station is part of what every Meijer store offers.

Meijer still must close on the property that is the former home of the Mt. Carmel nursing home.

» Read Full Article

Help-plan for Kulwicki Park going back to county with ICC endorsement

April 22, 2015 3:08 p.m. | Suburban Milwaukee leaders unanimously endorsed a proposal that would enable Greenfield and two "friends" groups to take over care of Kulwicki Park in Greenfield.

Although Kulwicki Park is part of the Milwaukee County Parks system, city officials and the two groups — the Greenfield Little League and the Greater Greenfield Lions Club — have become alarmed at the lack of park maintenance. An over-stretched Milwaukee County Parks budget is the reason why, they say. Meanwhile, fees have skyrocketed for the Little League to use the diamonds.

All that and the fact that the park was established through fundraising and the efforts of Greenfield residents and businesses to honor its famous son NASCAR racer Alan Kulwicki are among the reasons that the city has asked to lease the park and care for it.

A County Board of Supervisors committee sent the proposed lease agreement between the county and city to the Intergovernmental Cooperation Council, consisting of presidents and administrators of suburban communities in Milwaukee County, for its consideration. The ICC unanimously approved the proposed agreement so it is now expected to be on the May agenda of the county's parks, energy and environment committee.

"With all the hope and optimism we can muster, we hope it gets through the county board," said Greenfield Mayor Michael Neitzke. "The 'friends' of the park, the Greenfield Little League and the Greater Greenfield Lions Club are excited about the new direction and the city support."

Whitnall School Board to form facilities task force

April 14, 2015 10:08 a.m. | After hearing from several residents speaking Monday on the $29.4 million facilities referendum that failed in last week's spring election, the Whitnall School Board decided to create a task force of volunteers to evaluate the schools' facilities needs.

One of their main points was that a larger segment of the school community needs to take part in such large facilities decisions.

Once the needs are agreed upon, the district will move on to solutions. Volunteers for the task force will be requested in the district newsletter in May and online at the district's website. People also will be welcome to contact the superintendent.

Diamond Stone headlines 2014-15 All-Suburban Boys Basketball team

April 13, 2015 11:55 a.m. |

Player of the Year

Diamond Stone, 6-10 center, Dominican

McDonald's All-American capped perhaps the most decorated career in Wisconsin history with a fourth state championship. ... Averaged 24.4 points per game on 67 percent shooting, with 11.7 rebounds per game. ... Shot 74 percent from the free-throw line and finished with 74 blocks. ... Wrapped up his career north of 2,000 points. ... Career highlights include the only triple-double in state-tournament history, recorded as a freshman. ... Posted two double-doubles in the state games this year. ... Racked up 43 points and 18 rebounds against Division 1 foe Racine Case in the regular season. ... Committed to Maryland.

Story: Dominican's Diamond Stone left a mark that will be remembered for decades

» Read Full Article

Tornado watch in effect

April 09, 2015 1:59 p.m. | The National Weather Service has issued a tornado watch, in effect for much of Southeastern Wisconsin, including Waukesha and Milwaukee counties until 11 p.m. A tornado watch indicates that conditions are favorable for the development of tornadoes, but does not indicate that tornadoes have been spotted. People should be prepared to take safety measures if the watch escalates to a warning.

Greendale Village Board hires architect to begin fire station location, design

April 09, 2015 1:48 p.m. | Greendale — An architect has been chosen to design the village's new fire station, which is projected to be built in 2016.

On April 7, the Greendale board of trustees approved a contract with Milwaukee-based Zimmerman Architectural Studios Inc. to design the station.

The board approved construction of a new fire station last year, after a needs analysis study by Bray Architects concluded that the current facility on 6200 W. Loomis Road was too small and in need of significant repair.

The Greendale Fire Department later identified three potential locations for the new station: on the existing site, at the Greendale Safety Center on 5911 W. Grange Ave. or on the southeast corner of Loomis Road and Grange Avenue currently owned by the state.

Under the contract, the village agreed to pay $257,700 for Zimmerman's services.

» Read Full Article

2015 Milwaukee suburbs election roundup

April 08, 2015 10:10 a.m. | Election returns from the Milwaukee suburbs. This page will be updated as more results become available.

Referendums pass in Mequon-Thiensville, Fox Point-Bayside

Whitnall school referendums handily defeated

Fox Point: Voters send message of change

Brown Deer: Three School Board members return for a second term

» Read Full Article

Newcomers make strong showing in West Allis-West Milwaukee race

April 08, 2015 12:28 a.m. | A 20-year veteran of the West Allis-West Milwaukee School Board finished last in a field of five candidates in Tuesday's balloting and the school board president narrowly won re-election.

The order, unofficially as of Tuesday night, was incumbent Sue Sujecki, first; newcomer Stephanie Emons, second; board President Pat Kerhin, third; newcomer Wendy DuBois a close fourth; and veteran board member Darlene Ziemendorf, fifth.

West Allis man pleads guilty in child porn case

April 03, 2015 5:33 p.m. | A West Allis software developer pleaded guilty in federal court Friday to one count of receiving child pornography in a case that delved into Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination in the digital world.

Jeffrey Feldman, 48, encrypted computer drives containing child pornography, an encryption that stumped FBI forensic computer experts for weeks.

Investigators discovered the drives in January 2013, but Feldman was not charged until August after the drives were decrypted.

Feldman had waged a court battle against federal prosecutors' efforts to make him decrypt the drives seized from his home on the grounds that it would violate his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

West Allis Plan Commission recommends cell tower proposed for park

April 02, 2015 11:53 a.m. | A 130-foot monopole cell phone tower to be placed in Klenz Park was recommended by the West Allis Plan Commission, but it also recommended a public hearing.

The park at 2601 S. 72nd St. is surrounded on three sides by homes and by senior housing apartments.

The West Allis Common Council is expected to deal with the request by the American Transmission Company at its April 21 meeting. At that time the council will decide about a public hearing.

Normally, communities receive money from cell phone providers using public land for towers.

This would be the first cell tower in a West Allis city park, although a tower stands in McCarty Park owned by Milwaukee County.

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