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Barbecue, other activities set for National Night Out

July 24, 2009 12:20 p.m. | A Fire Department hose spray challenge, free bicycle helmets and the police reserves' famous chicken barbecue are among the attractions at West Allis' annual National Night Out, held from 5 to 9 p.m. Monday at the Farmers Market, 6501 W. National Ave.

The festival will also include carnival games, a DJ, a rock climbing wall, the Police Department's new motorcycles, informational booths and a health and wellness fair.

Drive-through service for the police reserves' 36th annual chicken barbecue will be available from 4 to 7:30 p.m. with walk-up service beginning at 5 p.m.

The next night, block parties will be held in neighborhoods throughout the city, from 6 to 9 p.m. Tuesday. The motorcycle unit, McGruff the crime dog and Fire Department personnel will visit more than 60 block parties.

For information, call (414) 302-8050.

Zelich's statements contradicted physical evidence, recordings show

July 22, 2014 9:02 p.m. | A former West Allis police officer who authorities say killed two women and hid their bodies in suitcases made statements that didn't match the physical evidence during an internal investigation after a woman ran from his apartment in her underwear in May 2001, according to audio recordings released Tuesday.

Steven Zelich and the woman told completely different stories, but at least one piece of evidence — a condom — backed up her version, according to a recording of his interview with internal investigators.

"I didn't see or have contact with any type of condom," Zelich said on the recording.

Asked to explain the fact that one had been found in his kitchen garbage can, under some Taco Bell wrappers from the day before, silences and stuttering ensued.

"I don't know — first of all, it had to be her condom. It wasn't my condom. I don't know how — the location — basically, it wasn't my condom," Zelich said.

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Oak Creek baseball team rallies big

July 19, 2014 12:12 a.m. | It's like Oak Creek baseball coach Scott Holler has been saying for a long time:

The four-time state champion Knights do not play just to win a single WIAA playoff game. They play to go to state.

So the second-seeded Knights went with a trio of sophomore pitchers Friday night in a WIAA regional final against visiting Hale, and in one of the messiest, longest games anyone has ever seen, the Knights rallied from a 6-0 deficit in the second inning to beat the Huskies, 14-8, in an exhausting affair that lasted 2 hours and 44 minutes.

Umpires were uncertain if another inning could have been played, as the sun was already behind the horizon at Abendschein Park.

Holler is relieved that they didn't have to try.

» Read Full Article

Steven Zelich pleads not guilty in suitcase bodies

July 17, 2014 10:33 p.m. | Elkhorn — Steven Zelich pleaded not guilty Thursday to two charges of hiding a corpse during a brief hearing in Walworth County Circuit Court.

Zelich, who appeared from jail via video feed, will have a status hearing in the case Sept. 23.

District Attorney Daniel Necci said the not-guilty pleas were expected.

"From here we will go through the discovery process and see where that takes us," Necci said.

Zelich, 52, was bound over for trial earlier this month on charges in connection with the discovery of two women's bodies inside suitcases along a Town of Geneva road June 5. He remains in the Walworth County jail in lieu of $1 million bail.

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Gov. Scott Walker visits West Allis emphasizing job growth

July 17, 2014 4:28 p.m. | Gov. Scott Walker came to West Allis Thursday to visit the corporate offices of Brookdale Senior Living Inc. which will create more than 200 new jobs to support its senior living communities nationwide.

Walker was there to review progress on the company's $3.9 million expansion project. Brookdale, a leading owner and operator of senior living communities throughout the country, is increasing the size of its corporate support center in West Allis by 33,000 square feet. It will soon occupy 155,000 square feet in the Summit Place office building. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of the month.

The company is currently accepting applications for positions in information technology, finance, asset management, and other areas. State officials are pleased with the job expansion because these kinds of jobs are examples of the positions that will likely be the jobs of the future.

Walker said Brookdale's expansion is due to the state's welcoming business climate and strong workforce.

The state Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation also authorized Brookdale to receive up to $1 million in jobs tax credits over the next two years to assist with the project. The tax credits are contingent upon Brookdale adding 202 jobs by mid-2016.

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Crews clear crash that closed 2 lanes of westbound I-894

July 15, 2014 10:17 a.m. | Crews have cleared a crash that closed the two right lanes of westbound Interstate 894 at Greenfield Ave. for about 45 minutes Tuesday morning. The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office responded.

Ex-cop in suitcases bodies case stalked at least six women

July 09, 2014 11:32 p.m. | The former West Allis police officer who police say killed two women and hid their bodies in suitcases was accused of stalking and harassment by at least half a dozen women before he was forced to resign in August 2001, according to personnel records released Wednesday.

Steven Zelich, who was hired in 1989, left the department after internal investigators uncovered a pattern of troubling incidents, including one in May 2001 in which a woman ran, crying, from his apartment in her underwear.

Several other complaints were the result of inappropriate behavior while Zelich was on duty and in uniform.

According to the records:

A hairstylist complained that Zelich wouldn't leave her alone and blocked her vehicle with his squad car at least twice when she tried to leave work.

» Read Full Article

Falls baseball team advances on RBI single by Johnson in seventh

July 08, 2014 8:51 p.m. | Second baseman Derek Johnson and the rest of the Menomonee Falls baseball team know that the Indians don't need a lot of runs when they have sophomore ace Ty Weber on the mound.

But Tuesday afternoon in their Greater Metro Conference Tournament quarterfinal game with West Allis Hale, the Indians cut it a little close.

Despite a 10-strikeout, one walk, three-hit shutout effort, Weber was still not in line for the win going into the bottom of the seventh.

But an error, a sacrifice and a sharply struck RBI single by Johnson later, Falls made Weber a winner with a 1-0 decision.

"Basically, it was one of those games where there weren't a whole lot of hard hit balls," said Indian coach Pat Hansen. "We didn't hit and they didn't hit. They committed just one error but we took advantage of it and that was the ballgame."

» Read Full Article

Attorney: Steven Zelich likely wanted bodies to be found

July 04, 2014 1:37 a.m. | Elkhorn — The attorney for former West Allis police officer Steven M. Zelich said Thursday that the deaths of two women whose bodies were found along a Walworth County road were accidental and that in leaving the bodies there, Zelich was likely hoping they would be found.

Before Walworth County Circuit Judge Phillip A. Koss bound Zelich over for trial on charges of hiding a corpse, attorney Travis Schwantes argued that probable cause for a trial did not exist because Zelich was likely hoping the bodies would be discovered in the Town of Geneva.

Schwantes was responding to District Attorney Daniel Necci, who said Zelich was likely trying to conceal a crime.

"There is nothing in the law that says they have to be hidden well," Necci said.

Schwantes hurriedly left court after Koss' ruling, saying there is "a lot of work to do on (the case) right now, and I am eager to do it."

» Read Full Article

Zelich 'went ballistic' when questioned about handcuffs, report says

July 03, 2014 2:32 p.m. | West Allis — A woman involved in alleged prostitution encounter with Steven Zelich in 2001 said he "went ballistic" when she questioned him about handcuffs, according to an incident report released by the West Allis Police Deaprtment.

Zelich was forced to resign from the West Allis Police Department, where he had worked since 1989, after the off-duty altercation with an alleged prostitute, according to police sources.

Although the circumstances may have warranted criminal charges against Zelich, the earlier case was never referred to the Milwaukee County district attorney's office for possible prosecution.

According to the incident report from West Allis police:

West Allis officers were called for a report of a woman, wearing only a bikini, banging on a door, and were told that the woman was last seen walking east on W. National Ave. about 3:40 a.m. May 13, 2001.

» Read Full Article

$1 million bail set for ex-cop accused of hiding bodies in suitcases

June 27, 2014 7:52 p.m. | Elkhorn — A Walworth County judge set bail at $1 million Friday for Steven M. Zelich, the former West Allis police officer accused of hiding the corpses of two women found in suitcases early this month near Lake Geneva.

Zelich's image was projected live on a television screen as he sat impassively during his first court appearance. He has been accused of hiding the two bodies — one of them for more than a year — putting them in suitcases, and dumping them on the side of a country road in the Town of Geneva June 5.

Although Zelich was not charged with homicide, Circuit Judge David M. Reddy set the high bail in light of Zelich's alleged confession Wednesday, when police say he told them that he killed the women and hid their bodies in his West Allis apartment. The high bail was necessary to ensure public safety and to prevent future intimidation of witnesses, the judge said.

Friday's hearing provided the first public glimpse of Zelich since he was arrested Wednesday morning at Johnson Controls in Glendale, where he worked as an employee of a private security firm. He was charged Thursday with two felony counts of hiding a corpse, each of which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and $25,000 in fines.

Dressed in an orange jumpsuit during the 15-minute hearing, with his hands folded on a table and a guard standing behind him, Zelich showed no signs of emotion and barely moved, aside from twiddling his thumbs. He stared at the camera and listened attentively as District Attorney Daniel Necci described how Zelich told police he killed 37-year-old Laura Simonson of Farmington, Minn., and a second woman, referred to in court documents as Jane Doe.

» Read Full Article

West Allis man arrested for connection to bodies found in suitcases

June 27, 2014 2:30 p.m. | A neighbor of the former West Allis cop accused of killing two woman and stuffing their bodies into a suitcase expressed shock at the brutal murders.

LeeRoy Wagner lives in a duplex around the corner from Steven Zelich's apartment building. He said he's spent his entire adult life living in that West Allis neighborhood.

"It's a terrible thing, really," he said. "You wonder how it can happen, you know?"

Zelich, 52, of West Allis, was taken into custody at his apartment in the 8000 block of W. Lincoln Avenue, according to a news release from Town of Geneva Police Chief Steven Hurley.

Wagner said in all the 37 years he's been living in the duplex, nothing like the crime Zelich is accused of committing ever happened.

» Read Full Article

Man finds bullet in package of egg rolls

June 25, 2014 7:52 a.m. | A man was looking to take a bite out of an egg roll, but instead he chomped down a bullet June 19.

According to the Greenfield police report:

The man told police that his daughter bought an unopened package of egg rolls from Greenfield Pick 'n Save. He went to eat one about 6:30 a.m. June 19, but he bit into the bullet inside one.

The man confirmed that the packaging was still intact before he opened it. He told police there were no incidents around the house in the 9100 block of West Allerton Avenue in which a bullet could have become lodged in the food.

The man was advised to contact Pick 'n Save and the manufacturer of the egg rolls to report the incident.

Milwaukee suburbs Fourth of July 2014 celebrations

June 20, 2014 9:30 a.m. |  

Bayside

  • Parade: 9 a.m. July 4, the annual parade begins at Standish Place entrance to Bayside Middle School.

City of Brookfield

  • Parade: 10 a.m. July 4. Starting at Gebhardt Rd. to Calhoun Rd. onto North Ave. The parade will be followed by an ice cream social at the Civic Plaza, 2000 North Calhoun Rd.
  • Family Fest: 6 to 9 p.m. July 4, family fun with live entertainment, inflatables and food for all to enjoy at Mitchell Park, 19900 River Rd.
  • Fireworks: 9:15 p.m. July 4 at Mitchell Park.

» Read Full Article

Social media photos of the June 18 storms around Southeast Wisconsin

June 18, 2014 3:53 p.m. | Severe weather, from rain to hail to flooding, arrived in southeastern Wisconsin on Tuesday morning.

Residents shared their views of the storms on social media, and we compiled some of the best photos for you.

View them in the June 18 storms around Southeast Wisconsin Storify story.

Woman cited for loud noise for using speaker phone after police warning

June 16, 2014 9:28 a.m. | A woman was cited for loud and unnecessary noise after she was warned for using her speaker phone function outside about 1 a.m. June 7.

According to the Greenfield police report:

An anonymous caller reported a female was yelling loudly in a backyard in the 4000 block of South 43rd Street at about 1:05 a.m. June 7.

The responding officer found the female, age not released, and found she was talking loudly on her phone with the speaker function on.

The officers told her not to use the speaker phone function on her phone unless she was inside her residence, because it created an unnecessary amount of noise.

» Read Full Article

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