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West Allis cans trash cart talk for now

Feb. 19, 2013 9:18 p.m. | A proposal to require all West Allis residents to buy a city trash cart to combat a growing rat problem in parts of the city, and to beautify it, was delayed by the Public Works Committee on Tuesday so that more information can be gathered.

Among other things, the committee wants to know if there is enough of a problem to warrant the requirement. The committee will likely take the matter up March 11.

About 65 percent of residents already have city carts, said Alderman Vincent Vitale, who proposed requiring the remaining 35 percent to buy them also. Not only are rats becoming amore of a problem in some eastern sections of the city, but the trash cans blow around and sometimes make it hard to get through alleys, he noted.

A 60-gallon cart would cost about $40 and a 90-gallon cart $45, he said, and residents would have two years to purchase them. The city might even be able to buy them in bulk and get a better deal for residents, Vitale said.

Initial Reaction Podcast: Would it be OK to see state-football games played other than in Madison?

12:13 p.m. | The guys take a last look back at state-championship football and agree that the title games could stand to move elsewhere, out of Camp Randall in Madison. Plus, a look at where the bright spots might be in the overall Wisconsin sports malaise and JP gets a little bit of time to talk Iowa football.

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

11:00 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 as the holiday season hits its stride.

Menomonee Falls students honored for helping elderly neighbor who was pinned under her vehicle


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

West Allis names interim police chief, due to Padgett's retirement

Nov. 30, 2015 9:35 a.m. | Due to the retirement of Police Chief Charles Padgett effective Dec. 31, the West Allis Police and Fire Commission has named Deputy Chief Robert Fletcher to act as interim police chief.

Fletcher began his career with the West Allis Police Department in September 2003 and holds a law degree and a bachelor's degree from Marquette University. Before joining the West Allis Police Department, Fletcher was an assistant district attorney for Waukesha County.

In a news release announcing the interim appointment, commission president Donald Nehmer said Fletcher is highly respected and the commission is confident he will be an effective leader during the transition period.

West Allis building to be renovated for fitness center

Nov. 30, 2015 7:00 a.m. | A West Allis warehouse/office building would be renovated into a fitness center under a new proposal.

Jon Hubbard is proposing to operate the 5,000-square-foot Evolution Fitness at 212 S. Curtis Road, just south of I-94, according to a city report. The Plan Commission is to review the proposal at its Wednesday meeting.

West Milwaukee school finds a mindful minute goes a long way

Nov. 28, 2015 10:45 a.m. | "This is tree hugger stuff."

That's what Jeff Taylor said when he was first approached about introducing "mindfulness" practices to West Milwaukee Intermediate School. Taylor has been principal of the school for six years — and he is not so into tree hugger stuff.

He's changed his mind. The school with about 450 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders at W. Greenfield Ave. and S. 51st St. is in its second year of developing "mindful" practices as a central part of aiming to improve the school climate and academic success.

The school has Mindful Mondays, which start with teacher Holly Skelton on the public address system, giving a message about staying calm and in emotional control. She does some breathing exercises and offers some positive thoughts.

Many staff and students wear mindfulness T-shirts, especially on Mondays. "Keep calm and breathe on," the blue T-shirts say.

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Mother of 2, day care center director named to Greenfield School Board

Nov. 24, 2015 5:04 p.m. | On Monday, the Greenfield School Board appointed Kristie Potter, mother of two young children and director of a large day care center, as the newest member of the board.

Potter will fill the seat vacated by Russell Spahn on Oct. 26 and will serve until the 2016 spring election. Three other candidates applied for the position — Leon Saryan whose wife Shirley is a Greenfield alderwoman, Julie DeGaro and Andrew Misorski.

Potter has lived in Greenfield for 12 years and has two children at Glenwood Elementary School. She has been a Glenwood PTO board member for four years.

She holds a bachelor's degree in psychology and secondary education-social studies, as well as a master's degree in early childhood education.

Currently, she is the director of a large day care center in Wauwatosa where she manages a staff of more than 30 employees. She is described as very hands-on in the various classrooms at the center.

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Greenfield police dispatch two coyotes reported as aggressive

Nov. 24, 2015 12:18 p.m. | Two coyotes that were reportedly being aggressive have been killed by teams of Greenfield police in the last 10 days.

Greenfield residents have been upset about two recent reports of aggressive coyote behavior and in one incident a Greenfield alderman's small dog was killed. A community meeting on the growing coyote problem was held last week in the Greenfield High School Performing Arts Center.

One of the two coyotes that was recently dispatched by police is believed to be the one that menaced a man walking his dog. According to police, the coyote was in some brush and held its ground when the owner yelled at it, advised by wildlife experts to scare coyotes away. When the coyote did leave, it circled back behind the man, police said.

The coyote was dispatched in a wild area behind the House of Harley-Davidson, 6221 W. Layton Ave. The other coyote was killed in a yard on the east side of Greenfield. He was reported as being sick or injured.

Both coyotes were about the size of a medium or large dog, police said.

Making way for project, Layton Avenue Baptist Church has new location

Nov. 24, 2015 12:03 p.m. | The Layton Avenue Baptist Church that has been an anchor for Layton Avenue around 92nd Street since there was nothing but farm fields around it has now bought five acres of land six blocks west for a new church.

Layton Avenue Baptist will move to make way for a $115 million development of stores, restaurants, a hotel, offices and apartments/condominiums planned for Layton Avenue between 84th and 92nd streets. Project developer Cobalt Partners is buying the church property, enabling it to move, although the church was welcome to stay.

However, the church had already outgrown its current location and was already looking for other options, said the Rev. Keith Cogburn, pastor.

With assurances that there would likely be no objections to returning zoning on the new location back to institutional the church is going ahead to prepare the site. The city had changed zoning to institutional for a different church that was interested in the site, but which ultimately decided to locate elsewhere in the city. Zoning was then switched back to residential.

"We started working on the land in earnest about a week ago," Cogburn said Tuesday.

Full advisory committee endorses West Allis high school boundary plan

Nov. 23, 2015 4:26 p.m. | West Allis — A plan to use 72nd and 92nd streets as the new boundary between the two high schools in the West Allis-West Milwaukee School District won the favor of an advisory committee charged with recommending a boundary plan.

Currently, students can attend whatever high school they like, which has resulted in Nathan Hale High School being full to capacity, with more wanting to come, while West Allis Central has plenty of room. Having a choice of high schools will either end or be drastically curtailed.

The West Allis-West Milwaukee Advisory Committee on School Attendance Areas was charged by the school board to recommend a boundary plan.

Its recommendation is for the boundary to be along 72nd Street from the city's northern border south to the Union Pacific east/west railroad tracks, just north of Burnham Street. Then the proposed boundary line would follow the tracks west to 92nd Street where it would turn south, ending at the southern city limits.

Students west of the line would attend Nathan Hale High School and those east of the line would attend West Allis Central High School.

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$2 Budget South Cinemas in Greenfield closes as of Monday, Nov. 23

Nov. 23, 2015 3:33 p.m. | The Budget South Cinemas, 4475 S. 108th St., Greenfield, announced on Facebook Monday afternoon that it is now closed.

Budget South Cinemas offered movies for $2 admission anytime, except for Tuesdays when admission was $1.

Laine Kaplowitz of Landmark Theatres, operator of Budget South Cinemas, said in an email Tuesday that economics are to blame.

"We regret that we need to close the Budget South theatre. With a challenging economic climate, we can no longer continue services at this location," she wrote.

The eventual closing had been forecast for years. Developer Ener-Con Companies of Greenfield bought the theater along with a larger tract behind it. The Greenfield Highlands condominiums are being built in the area behind the theater, and Ener-Con is seeking a commercial buyer for the theater property.

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Christmas deadline nears for Holiday Helper donations in West Allis

Nov. 23, 2015 1:51 p.m. | With the Christmas season here, West Allis-West Milwaukee residents and businesses are being asked to be Holiday Helpers and contribute money to provide food and gift certificates to the needy.

Although the annual West Allis-West Milwaukee Health Department Holiday Benefit Party to raise money for the effort won't be held this year, people are being asked to be generous. Donations are needed by Monday, Dec. 7.

So far, more than 1,000 people — children and adults — have been helped through the program that was started in 1998 by West Allis city employees and by the West Allis -West Milwaukee Chamber of Commerce.

Families are chosen by the health department and by the West Central Interfaith program staff from among their clients who are most in need.

Checks payable to the WAWM Chamber of Commerce and sent to the chamber at 6737 W. Washington St., Suite 2141, West Allis, WI 53227 or online by credit card at the chamber website, wawmchamber.com. Those who want to give cash can call the chamber at (414) 302-9901 to arrange a time to stop in the office.

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Updated state championship game rankings of area prep football teams and players

Whitnall participates in global education conference in Washington

Nov. 18, 2015 6:03 p.m. | Last week, Whitnall School District representatives participated in a two-day America Achieves Global Learning Network Convening in Washington, D.C., to hear viewpoints from educators who have a global perspective on education.

The America Achieves Network invites school districts from all over the world to take an exam testing reading, math and science literacy. Then it compares the scores.

Earlier this year, a randomly selected sample of Whitnall 15-year-olds took the test.

Their mean performance placed them significantly above the average of other American students taking the exam in math and science literacy and above average in reading. Overall, the Whitnall students placed in the top 25 percent of U.S. schools in all three categories.

Internationally, Whitnall ranked favorably with top-performing European schools from Finland and Canada. The leaders globally, however, were China, Singapore, Japan and Korea.

Plans for National Avenue upgrade in West Allis ready for public input

Nov. 17, 2015 3:20 p.m. | A public information meeting will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19, on proposed plans for improving the National Avenue corridor.

The plans encompass business and economic development, streetscape infrastructure, areas of opportunity and transportation improvements. The portions of National Avenue under consideration are from 70th to 76th streets and 92nd to 95th streets.

The meeting that is being held to collect feedback on the plans will be held in the Common Council chambers at the West Allis City Hall, 7525 W. Greenfield Ave.

More information is available from Shaun Mueller, senior planner the West Allis Planning Department, (414) 302-8470, smueller@westalliswi.gov

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