DA John Chisholm clears West Allis officers of wrongdoing in death

April 29, 2013 3:14 p.m. | Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm has cleared West Allis police of wrongdoing in the death of Robert W. Maurina, 46, who died the day after police punched him and used a Taser on him.

West Allis police did not use excessive force when they attempted to subdue Maurina, who was "violently resistive" when workers at Aurora West Allis Memorial Hospital tried to take a blood sample for alcohol testing on Nov. 28, according to a letter from Chisholm to Charles Padgett, West Allis' acting police chief .

The medical examiner ruled Maurina's death natural, due to heart disease, according to records.

Chisholm's letter says Medical Examiner Brian Peterson "indicated that he could draw no connection between the confrontation with the West Allis Police in the hospital and Robert Maurina's death."

"I find no evidence to contradict the conclusion of the medical examiner or to believe that the officers acted in excess of their lawful authority while attempting to recover evidence of Maurina's intoxication," Chisholm's letter says.

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West Allis bank robbery may be tied to 2 others

April 25, 2013 12:36 p.m. | A robbery at the West Allis Tri City Bank inside Pick 'n Save Tuesday afternoon may be related to two other armed robberies at a convenience and liquor stores, according to a release from West Allis Acting Chief of Police Charles Padgett.

A man police described as tall and large-nosed went into the bank at 6760 W. National Ave. about 2 p.m. and held up a note that said, "This is a robbery," then fled toward S. 70 St. There were no injuries and no one saw a weapon. The suspect is black and was wearing a dark coat with a "Lite" logo on the left chest, a black brimmed hat with a Celtic cross, and may be left-handed, the release said.

Stickups at a convenience store at S. 85th St. and W. Greenfield Ave. in March and a liquor store at S. 78th St. ad W. Becher St. in mid-April may be related, Padgett said. The suspect in those was armed with a semiautomatic handgun and drove away in a silver, four-door car, possibly a Nissan Maxima.

Anyone with information can call the West Allis Police Department at (414) 302-8000 or anonymously at 476-CASH.

West Allis mother pleads not guilty in fire deaths

April 25, 2013 9:50 a.m. | A West Allis mother whose three children died in an April 11 fire after she allegedly locked them in a bedroom pleaded not guilty Thursday to three counts of child neglect resulting in death.

Angelica D. Belen, 24, was repeatedly warned by child welfare officials to stop leaving her young children unattended and as recently as March 28, her children were found in need of protective services, according to court documents.

Belen, whose family has a history of fatal child abuse, is due back in court May 8.

West Allis man contestant on 'Let's Make a Deal'

April 22, 2013 7:16 p.m. | West Allis native Chris Giblin will be a contestant on the "Let's Make a Deal" television show airing at 9 a.m. Thursday on CBS Channel 58.

Viewers will be able to spot him - he is the one dressed as a cuckoo clock.

The show doesn't allow him to say anything before the show airs about whether he was a winner, but Giblin said he has been watching the game show ever since he was a kid. That's when Monty Hall was emcee.

But today's emcee, Emmy Award-winner Wayne Brady, is a wonderful successor, Giblin said.

"He's as much fun if not more so in person," he said.

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West Allis motorcyclist killed in crash identified

April 17, 2013 5:12 p.m. | A West Allis man killed when the motorcycle he was riding collided with a vehicle in the 2100 block of S. 6th St. has been identified by the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office Wednesday as Dee-Lane Kyrola, 44.

Police said the driver of the vehicle was making a U-turn in the middle of the street when the crash occurred shortly before 3 p.m. Tuesday. A passenger on the motorcycle was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

West Allis motorcyclist dies after hitting vehicle in Milwaukee

April 17, 2013 6:56 a.m. | A 51-year-old motorcyclist is dead after hitting a vehicle that was attempting to make a U-turn in the 2100 block of S. 6th St.

The motorcyclist, a West Allis man, was pronounced dead at the scene shortly before 3 p.m. Tuesday, and his passenger was taken to a hospital with injuries that are not expected to be life-threatening, police said.

Milwaukee police said the driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is cooperating in the investigation.

Mother admits locking children in bedroom before fatal fire, complaint says

April 17, 2013 12:46 a.m. | A woman repeatedly warned by child welfare officials to stop leaving her young children unattended admitted to police that she locked three of them in a bedroom the night they died in a fire at her West Allis home.

A criminal complaint filed Tuesday charges Angelica D. Belen, 24, with three counts of child neglect resulting in death. It said as recently as March 28, her children were found in need of protective services, but Belen was allowed to keep custody.

West Allis firefighters found the charred bodies of three of Belen's four children huddled together under a dresser in the second-floor bedroom after the fire in the 7700 block of W. Hicks St. was brought under control.

Belen is now in custody at the Milwaukee County Jail.

According to the criminal complaint, Belen left her daughter, Nayeli Colon, 5, and 4-year-old twins, Adrian and Alexis Colon, locked in the bedroom alone while she went to work. Autopsies determined the children died as a result of smoke inhalation and burns.

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Watch: Douglas, Damon in trailer for biopic of West Allis native Liberace

April 16, 2013 11:25 a.m. | West Allis native Liberace gets the star studded biopic treatment from director Steven Soderbergh, in an HBO movie premiering May 26.

The film stars Michael Douglas Liberace, Debbie Reynolds as his mother and Matt Damon as Liberace's companion Scott Thorson.

The film is based on Thorson's tell all book about his life with the flamboyant Liberace, born Wladziu Valentino Liberace, who died in 1987 at the age of 67 of pneumonia caused by AIDS.

During his life Liberace denied he was gay and sued and reached settlements with publications alleging that he was. But in 1986 he settled a palimony suit with Thorson.

Watch the trailer below. And below that Liberace appears in a 1985 "Saturday Night Live" sketch with Billy Crystal and Martin Short.

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West Allis man accused of stabbing Wisconsin officer, second victim

April 15, 2013 12:48 p.m. | A 25-year-old West Allis man accused of stabbing a Capitol police officer who was on patrol Wednesday in a downtown Milwaukee building was charged Monday with attempted first-degree intentional homicide.

Jason M. Jones also faces a charge of first-degree recklessly endangering safety, use of a dangerous weapon, in connection with a stabbing March 16 outside a West Allis Pick n' Save.

According to a criminal complaint:

Capitol police officer Greg Friberg was on patrol Wednesday at the State Office Building, 819 N. 6th St., when he and his partner responded to a "duress alarm" from the fourth-floor Department of Revenue Office.

Friberg's partner said Friberg asked Jones for his name, directed him to go near the elevator and touched his arm. Jones began to yell that he didn't want to be touched and slashed at Friberg.

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West Allis mother whose three children died in blaze remains jailed

April 14, 2013 3:36 p.m. | The West Allis mother whose three children died in a fire while home alone Thursday has been transferred from the West Allis Police Department to the Milwaukee County Criminal Justice Facility, West Allis police chief Charles Padgett said in a news release Sunday.

Angelica Belen, 24, was jailed on probable cause for child neglect and bail violations. Police are still investigating the case, which will be reviewed by the Milwaukee County district attorney's office this week. No charges have been filed against her yet in connection with the fire.

Firefighters found the bodies of Belen's two 4-year-old sons and 5-year-old daughter after putting out the fire at 7750 W. Hicks St. Police then contacted and arrested Belen, who is facing six additional misdemeanor counts of child neglect from a March 28 arrest.

View flooding photos of suburban Milwaukee

April 12, 2013 9:36 a.m. | We've just updated our flooding photos from suburban Milwaukee gallery with images taken in Thiensville, Glendale and Shorewood.

Flooding can be seen in a lot of places, especially along the Milwaukee River, Menomonee River and Root River. Check out scenes from along those rivers and other flooding photos from suburban Milwaukee.

West Allis police now say 3 found dead after fire

April 11, 2013 10:44 p.m. | West Allis police now say three people were found dead after a house fire Thursday afternoon.

Acting Police Chief Charles Padgett initially said four people were found dead following the fire, reported at 5:19 p.m. in a home in the 7700 block of W. Hicks St.

It wasn't until about four hours later - 9:16 p.m. - that Padgett sent a news release to media reporting the fire and the deaths.

The victims were found inside the home, however the cause and manner of death had not been determined late Thursday, Padgett said.

The ages and identities of the victims had not been determined late Thursday and the instability of the structure was preventing firefighters from reaching all areas inside, he said.

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Capitol police officer stabbed in Milwaukee; West Allis man arrested

April 10, 2013 9:44 p.m. | A 25-year-old West Allis man was in custody Wednesday night, suspected in the stabbing of a Capitol police officer at the State Office Building in downtown Milwaukee.

The officer was stabbed in the neck shortly after 1 p.m. when he and another officer responded to an alarm on the fourth floor of the building, 819 N. 6th St., according to Stephanie Marquis, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Administration.

Milwaukee police said the wounded officer is 66 years old.

The officer's name was not released.

Police said his injuries were not believed to be life-threatening and he was in stable condition.

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West Allis district will consider fair play in coaches' pay

April 09, 2013 6:08 p.m. | The West Allis-West Milwaukee School District will take another look at the fairness of pay for coaches and team advisers.

Some School Board members Monday questioned why the coaches for the pom program make half as much as football coaches. The pom season is year-round, summer practices are four to five hours daily and the pom program involves more students, they said.

The board was considering all coaching and advising contracts and noticed the apparent disparity.

The staff also will come back with information on whether some teams with low participation should be combined.

Still no D.A. decisions in West Allis shoplifting, post-arrest deaths

April 09, 2013 11:45 a.m. | Nearly four months after a West Allis high school student suspected of shoplifting lost consciousness while being detained by customers, prosecutors still haven't decided whether to charge anyone in the case

Corey Stingley, 16, never recovered from the Dec. 14 encounter and died Dec. 29. Three men who restrained Stingley at VJ's Food Mart, 9206 W. Schlinger Ave., were arrested and referred to prosecutors. All three have hired leading criminal defense attorneys.

District Attorney John Chisholm said late last week that the medical examiner's office had finally issued a report on Stingley's death, but that homicide prosecutors were awaiting final reports on toxicology tests from Stingley.

The role of West Allis police, who used a Taser during a forcible blood draw from a drunken driving suspect in November, who died within 18 hours, also remains under review at the request of West Allis police, Chisholm said.

Robert Wayne Maurina, 46, was found dead by his brother about 18 hours after Maurina had been released by police after the blood draw and being charged with fifth-offense drunken driving.

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Greenfield teacher wins state honor

April 08, 2013 7:36 p.m. | A Greenfield social studies teacher whose motto is "Be the Change You Want to See in the World" was named the Distinguished Middle School Teacher of the Year by the Wisconsin Council for the Social Studies.

Gail Schlicht, a teacher since 1978, adds this year's honor to the one she received in 1998 as the Greenfield Middle School Teacher of the Year.

In the classroom, a major goal for Schlicht is helping students connect what they learn to their everyday lives and the world around them.

Among Schlicht's many accomplishments was originating and developing the District Geography Bee and Geography T-shirt Day, which she has directed at Greenfield Middle School for 16 years.

She also works on social studies curriculum improvement for all the Greenfield schools.

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Colleen Mrotek named 2013 Miss Southern Wisconsin in photo gallery

April 08, 2013 11:18 a.m. | Colleen Mrotek of Bay View, Miss St. Francis 2012, was named Miss Southern Wisconsin 2013 on April 7.

The Miss Southern Wisconsin 2013 pageant is an official preliminary event for Miss Wisconsin pageant and was held at the at the Marian Center for Nonprofits.

View Mrotek and the other pageant participants in our photo gallery.

South Milwaukee's Cecilia Margraff crowned Miss St. Francis 2013

April 07, 2013 8:02 p.m. | South Milwaukee native Cecilia Margraff was crowned Miss St. Francis 2013 last night by reigning Miss St. Francis Colleen Mrotek at Saint Thomas More High School in Milwaukee.

The event is in its 49th year and is an official preliminary competition for Miss Wisconsin. Margraff will receive a $2,000 scholarship to the school of her choice.

The Miss Wisconsin pageant is June 16-22 in Oshkosh.

Miss St. Francis 2013 photo gallery

Hamilton's Mackenzie Latt leads NOW All-Suburban Girls Basketball Team

April 05, 2013 12:55 p.m. | Junior Mackenzie Latt from Sussex-Hamilton was voted the NOW All-Suburban Girls Basketball Player of the Year after helping her team to a second consecutive conference championship.

New Berlin Eisenhower's Gary Schmidt was voted as Coach of the Year for taking his squad to the Division 2 state title game.

Read more about them and the other members of the team on the special page highlighting the 2012-13 NOW All-Suburban Girls Basketball Team.

Police seek suspect in liquor store burglary

April 03, 2013 11:59 a.m. | Greenfield police are seeking a man who broke into a liquor store during the early morning hours of March 25.

Police responded to Coldspring Liquor, 6115 W. Coldspring Road, after a security company reported the store’s front door burglar alarms were sounding at about 1:38 a.m. March 25. 

The suspect entered the store by smashing out a glass window using a smaller-sized sledgehammer and removed a change box containing about $750 in cash. The suspect also removed an ATM box containing and additional $500 to $1,000 in cash.
The male suspect was described as wearing Army fatigues, black combat boots, a dark hooded sweatshirt, a baseball cap and black gloves.
It was unknown whether the suspect left the area on foot or in a vehicle. 

Man announces bank robbery with note

April 03, 2013 11:55 a.m. | Greenfield police are seeking a suspect who robbed BMO Harris Bank, 7600 W. Layton Ave., on March 28.

According to police:

The suspect came into the bank at about 10:35 a.m. Thursday morning and initially asked a cashier for a $5 roll of quarters before handing the cashier a note stating this was a robbery. The suspect left the bank with an undetermined amount of money and fled in an unknown direction, possibly in an SUV. 
No weapon was displayed by the suspect, nor was any weapon implied.
The suspect is described as 5-foot-6-inch, 130- to 140-pound man in his 20s with braided hair. He was last seen wearing an oversize gray hoodie with a red and white logo on front, oversize blue jeans and tennis shoes. The suspect had no facial hair and did not wear any type of disguise.

Greenfield Farmers Market set to open June 23

April 02, 2013 10:26 a.m. | A farmers market will definitely open June 23 at Konkel Park, the Greenfield Farmers Market Planning Committee trying to establish the market has announced after being overwhelmed with responses from its online community interest survey.

Based on feedback from both the community and the potential vendors, the committee was able to settle on a location in Konkel Park, 53rd Street and Layton Avenue, and a season that will run Sundays from June 23 through the last weekend in October. The hours will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

A meeting will be scheduled in May for those who have expressed interest in participating on the committee or in volunteering.

The committee is still working on signing up sellers for the market. Still needed are produce vendors, a coffee vendor and a baked-goods vendor.

More information about vending at the market is available on the Farmers Market website, www.greenfieldwi.us/farmersmarket, where a vendor interest form can be downloaded. Applications and supplemental documents will be available soon.

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