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Win State Fair tickets on Facebook

July 29, 2012 9:08 a.m. |  Food, fun, rides, music and more await you at the Wisconsin State Fair starting Thursday. All you need is tickets.

And MyCommunityNOW is here to help.

You can win a pair of Wisconsin State Fair tickets by heading over to our Facebook page and filling out our State Fair tickets giveaway entry. Simply tell us what you're most looking forward to at the State Fair.

Entries will be taken until noon Friday. Winners will be selected in a random drawing and emailed that day. Winners can pick up the tickets at our offices or have them mailed to them.

So hurry up, head over and enter today.

Woman killed in West Allis crash identified

July 27, 2012 11:52 a.m. | The 45-year-old Milwaukee woman killed Thursday in a one-vehicle crash in West Allis has been identified as Tracy A. Ryan, West Allis police said Friday.

Ryan was traveling south on S. 84th St. about 3 p.m. when the vehicle she was driving crossed the centerline and struck a tree in the 3200 block.

West Allis police said the crash remains under investigation but that alcohol does not appear to be a factor in it.

Swimming water quality? There's an app for that

July 27, 2012 11:28 a.m. | An app released by Milwaukee Riverkeeper makes it easy to find a safe beach for swimming.

The Swim Guide uses water quality monitoring data from government authorities. Green marks indicate acceptable water quality, while red marks show where it is unsafe. It also enables users to get directions, view photos and report pollution immediately to Milwaukee Riverkeeper.

Milwaukee Riverkeeper wants to protect beachgoers from getting sick, and raise public awareness about pollution threatening our rights to swimmable waters.

The technology was developed by Lake Ontario Waterkeeper and is now managed by Milwaukee Riverkeeper and other member groups of the Waterkeeper Alliance, a network of 200 water protection groups worldwide.

The app can be downloaded at milwaukeeriverkeeper.org/content/swim-guide.

Milwaukee woman killed in West Allis crash

July 26, 2012 8:26 p.m. | A 45-year-old Milwaukee woman was killed Thursday in a one-vehicle crash in West Allis, police said.

The woman was traveling south on S. 84th St. about 3 p.m. when the vehicle she was driving crossed the centerline and struck a tree in the 3200 block, according to a news release from West Allis police.

The name of the woman was not released and the crash remained under investigation, according to the release.

West Allis Cheese & Sausage to expand, add restaurant at Becher St. location

July 24, 2012 10:46 a.m. |  West Allis Cheese & Sausage Shoppe plans to add a small restaurant as it expands its original store, 6832 W. Becher St., West Allis.

The 40-year-old specialty-cheese business has grown in recent years, opening outlets in the Milwaukee Public Market in the Third Ward in 2005, and on N. Oakland Ave. on the east side last year.

Now, the firm wants the City of West Allis to approve a 1,200-square-foot addition that would connect its existing deli and store with a storage building to the east. The $100,000 addition would house a 12-table restaurant that would be open daily from 7 a.m to 9 p.m.

 

In February 2007, fire heavily damaged the West Allis shop, but owners Mark and Linda Lutz re-opened six months later after extensive renovation.

Teacher resignations could be larger problem than expected in Greenfield

July 24, 2012 9:26 a.m. | Greenfield School Board member Cathy Walsh on Monday said that 16 teachers either resigned or retired at the end of the school year, which she said presents a more serious picture of staff turnover than the School Board was led to believe.

The administration had provided the board with resignation and retirement numbers for all staff. Those numbers showed no inordinate exodus. But Walsh said she separated teachers out and found 16 had left, compared with the six or seven that she found had been the more normal turnover over the last nine years.

Superintendent Conrad Farner said that he had not broken the numbers down by employee groups, but would do so and report back to the School Board.

Even if the 16 is confirmed, Board member Pam Sierzchulski urged the board not to jump to conclusions. The dramatic changes brought about by Act 10 to public employee pay and benefits caused last year to be a "bump" year. She urged waiting to see what the next year brings.

While board member Russell Spahn agreed that Act 10 could have triggered more retirements, it doesn't explain the resignations.

Anonymous donor gives $10,000 to Greenfield football program

July 24, 2012 9:15 a.m. | A donor who wishes to remain anonymous has given $10,000 to the Greenfield High School football program.

Administrators are checking the Title 9 fairness requirements such as for girls athletics and other sports.

"It's really a hard area," said Superintendent Conrad Farner. The donation will definitely free up funds for other programs, he said.

"We'll make sure there's equity," he said.

Board to make decision-making more open

July 24, 2012 12:48 a.m. | It soon will be much easier to follow Greenfield School Board decision-making because most of the same information board members receive to make its decisions will be online for the public to examine, also.

The School Board decided Monday to post background information on the district website so that residents can be better informed about decisions the board is making.

Only information that must by law be kept confidential will be withheld, Superintendent Conrad Farner said after the meeting.

Bullying, drugs a problem, survey says

July 24, 2012 12:18 a.m. | Greenfield High School has a significant problem with bullying and with students being approached by sellers of marijuana and hard drugs, a student risk survey says.

"This one really jumps out," Principal Paul Thusius said of the students' answers to the question of whether they had been bullied at school in the past year. A much higher percent answered in the affirmative than the average of students in 18 other Wisconsin school districts taking the same survey, he said.

"We will definitely focus on this next year," Thusius said.

In fact, the school has been preparing for months to make a push in the coming school year to curb bullying. The new efforts will be on top of initiatives that were started last year, he said.

Another problem area to which the survey pointed is the availability of illegal drugs. Again, a higher percentage of Greenfield High School students said they had been approached by drug sellers than students who answered the same question in the 18 other districts.

New board member might be familiar face

July 23, 2012 11:48 p.m. | On Aug. 6, the Greenfield School Board members will choose someone to serve on the board and it could be someone with whom they are familiar.

Of the three candidates who said they were interested in the job, one is former School Board member Richard Moze who lost this spring in a bid for re-election and another is Paul Palama who has run twice for the board. Rounding out the list of candidates is Brandon Rosner.

The School Board will interview all three and then pick one to serve until April 2013 when the term of David Richlen expires. Richlen resigned because his family is moving to Franklin.

The School Board received three responses after opening the door to anyone who wants to be considered to fill the vacancy to send in a resume.

The board will ask each candidate the same four questions and then vote with signed ballots so that their choices will be public record.

Budget with levy increase cleared for annual meeting

July 23, 2012 11:26 p.m. | A $49 million preliminary budget for the upcoming 2012-13 school year that calls for a 0.74 percent levy increase got the go-ahead from the Greenfield School Board on Monday for presentation to residents at the Sept. 10 annual meeting.

The proposed levy is more than $25 million.

Although the proposed budget contains money to continue the recreation offerings the district has been trying, there is some feeling on the School Board that those programs should be dropped. They didn't turn out to be the money-makers that school officials had hoped they would be. In fact, they are costing money for taxpayers, said School Board member Cathy Walsh.

The board will talk more about keeping those recreation programs. Many of them duplicate programs the city already offers through the Greenfield recreation department.

Power restored to 1,400 in Greenfield and New Berlin

July 23, 2012 12:40 p.m. | A power outage blacked out parts of Greenfield and New Berlin after a contractor struck an underground cable Monday morning.

About 1,400 We Energies customers lost power around 11 a.m., after the incident near the intersection of S. 99th St. and W. Coldspring Road in Greenfield, utility company spokeswoman Cathy Schulze said.

We Energies crews had power restored after noon, Schulze said.

Piggly Wiggly to take over two Sentry supermarkets

July 23, 2012 11:37 a.m. |  Sentry food stores in West Allis and Menomonee Falls will become Piggly Wiggly supermarkets.

The stores, owned by Ted and Joan Majdecki, will make the switch August 23.

Ted Majdecki said increasing competition in the already tough grocery business was driving his move from Sentry, whose store count has been ebbing, to the larger Piggly Wiggly chain.

"We feel they're a little better wholesaler at this point at 98 stores strong, and at Sentry we're down to 26," he said. "I hope the future for Sentry's fine. They're all friends of mine. But it was a business decision we had to make with sadness and regret."

The Majdecki's have owned the West Allis store for 11 years and the Menomonee Falls location for eight.

» Read Full Article

Little League homerun derby, raffle to benefit Litwicki family

July 20, 2012 10:56 a.m. | The Greenfield Little League has announced that proceeds from its annual raffle and homerun derby will go to the Margaret Litwicki Memorial Fund, set up for the three children of Litwicki, who was stabbed to death late Friday or early Saturday.

One of the children, an 8-year-old boy, plays in the Little League's rookie division. The other children are ages 11 and 6; all three live in Greenfield.

Normally, the proceeds from the raffle and fundraiser go to the Little League, said Jeff Brunner, league vice president. The league also will make a separate donation.

The public is invited to the fundraiser to be held from 5:45 to 8:30 p.m. July 25 at Kulwicki Park, 10771 W. Cold Spring Road., Greenfield. The raffle will include about $400 worth of jewelry donated by Kesslers Diamonds, $300 worth of refinishing work donated by Greg's Refinishing - which specializes in antique furniture - and travel gift certificates.

Tickets will be sold at the park, and the drawing will be at 8 p.m.

» Read Full Article

West Allis hospital stands tall in magazine's rankings

July 18, 2012 4:32 p.m. | Aurora West Allis Medical Center ranked third in the Milwaukee metro area and sixth in Wisconsin in the U.S. News & World Report magazine rankings of hospitals nationwide.

This is the 23rd year the magazine has done the ranking.

Covering 94 metro areas in the U.S., the regional hospital rankings complement the national rankings by including hospitals with solid performance nearly at the level of nationally ranked institutions.

The regional rankings are aimed primarily at people who don't need the special expertise found only at a nationally ranked Best Hospitals or who may not want to travel long distances for medical care. The U.S. News metro rankings give many such patients and their families more options of hospitals within their communities and in their health insurance networks.

The rankings were published by U.S. News in collaboration with RTI International, a research organization based in Research Triangle Park, N.C. Highlights of the 2012-13 rankings will appear in the U.S. News Best Hospitals 2013 guidebook, to go on sale in August.

Church wins rezoning to make Walmart home

July 17, 2012 10:28 p.m. | After a public hearing, the Greenfield Common Council on Tuesday approved a rezoning that would enable the Ridge Community Church to move into the soon-to-be vacant Walmart store at 4500 S. 108th St.

The congregation wants to buy the Walmart and make 60,000 square feet of it into a church and lease out the remaining 50,000 square feet.

Alderman Tom Pietrowski cast the only vote against the rezoning. saying the property is too valuable to take part of it off the property tax rolls.

The pastor promised to voluntarily give a payment in lieu of taxes to make up for the city's loss of tax revenue. But that only maintains funding for the city, not the schools or other property taxing units.

At the hearing, church members said the presence of the church would build business in the area and the city would benefit from the active church in other ways.

» Read Full Article

Man charged in Greenfield murder

July 17, 2012 1:32 p.m. | A Greenfield man was charged today with first-degree intentional homicide in the stabbing death of a woman in the 4400 block of West Morgan Avenue on Saturday.

According to the complaint filed by the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office, Christopher R. Gish, 38, said he was angry with the victim, Margaret Litwicki, for threatening to take their children away. The two lived together.

The victim suffered numerous stab wounds to the neck, head and extremities, according to the complaint.

Oak Creek punches ticket to state

July 17, 2012 6:37 a.m. | The way the Oak Creek baseball team dominated its two WIAA sectional opponents on Monday by a combined 17-1 score, it almost seemed like the Knights were on a mission.

That’s because they actually were.

"This year, this team really rallied,” said head coach Scott Holler. “We lost our booster club president, Tim Ungerecht, when he passed away in the winter. We really rallied around his passing. His son (Tyler) is on the team this year, and his other son played for us last year.

“We’ve dedicated this season to him, and always at the forefront of our minds has been the fact that people like Tim have helped get us to this point, helped the kids when they were younger. He was a great baseball guy, and the guys wanted to do this for him.”

The Knights blanked Greendale, 8-0, in the semifinal game, then shut down streaking West Allis Hale, 9-1, in the sectional championship contest to earn their first trip to the state tournament since 2008.

» Read Full Article

Greendale counters after quick blow

July 14, 2012 9:06 a.m. | When Whitnall’s Sam Mentkowski lined Zack Miller’s first pitch over the left field wall, the Falcons and their fans had reason to feel good about their WIAA regional title game against Greendale on Friday night.

Those positive feelings were jolted just a few minutes later, as the Panthers used four hits and a couple of errors to score six runs in the bottom of the inning and take a 6-1 ead.

Greendale eventually rode that advantage to a 9-5 triumph over its Woodland Conference Black Division rival before a large crowd at Brinkman Field.

The Panthers improved to 17-14 on the season and earned a spot in next Monday’s sectional against top seed Oak Creek on the West Allis Hale grounds. Whitnall wound up at 15-11.

The crowd barely had time to settle back in the seats after the national anthem before Mentkowski belted his first home run of the season. Greendale freshman pitcher Miller, however, quickly retired the next three batters.

» Read Full Article

Offensive outpouring lifts Hale

July 13, 2012 10:05 p.m. | West Allis Hale extended what could be called an up and down season on Friday evening with an up and down 9-7 victory over New Berlin West in the WIAA summer baseball regional final. 

 

Junior Nick Sotiros started Hale off on an upswing with a solo home run to give the visiting Huskies the 1-0 advantage early. Sotiros finished the scoring like it started, hitting a second solo home run in the sixth inning, making his two bombs the difference in the final score. 

“I just got a good pitch and put a good swing on it,” Sotiros said. “The first one I didn’t think was going but it just kept carrying. The second one I got a 3-1 count and put another good swing on it.”

Hale moves above .500 at 16-15 and will continue on to the Monday sectional at its own ballpark.

» Read Full Article

West Allis site planned for possible industrial development

July 11, 2012 7:00 a.m. | The former Yellow Freight truck terminal property, at 11528 W. Rogers St., West Allis, could be the site of a new light industrial building.

The West Allis Community Development Authority, at its Tuesday night meeting, was scheduled to go into closed session to discuss a possible sale of the property. The authority was not scheduled to take any action on the possible sale, said John Stibal, city development director.

The city acquired the 5-acre property a few years ago as part of its effort to redevelop the site.

The prospective buyer, HSI Properties LLC, is considering the Rogers St. site and two other locations for a building with 85,000 to 100,000 square feet, said Ryan Schultz, HSI co-owner. He declined to name the possible tenant for the building, other than to say it's a Milwaukee-area business.

Ringing in Serio: Whitnall moves ahead

July 10, 2012 9:50 p.m. | The WIAA summer baseball tournament kicked off Tuesday, and Whitnall ace Josh Serio was in full playoff mode.

Serio was one out away from pitching a no-hitter over first-round opponent West Allis Central, but his bid was spoiled when Bulldogs sophomore Jason Alvarez smacked a two-out triple to the wall in right center in the top of the seventh inning.

Unfazed, the junior hurler retired the next batter, and the Falcons happily settled for a 5-0 shutout victory and a date in Friday’s regional final against Greendale.

In addition to allowing the lone hit, Serio struck out 14 and walked just one.

“We’re just looking for him to pound the zone,” Whitnall head coach Ben Krey said. “For whatever the reason, the last couple games he wasn’t doing that, he was staying up. So it was very nice to see him working low; he had a good mix.”

» Read Full Article

Fair to add steps to keep fairgoers safe

July 10, 2012 2:56 p.m. | West Allis - The Wisconsin State Fair said Tuesday it has taken a number of steps to keep fairgoers safe and prevent violent incidents like those that marred the fair's opening night last year.

The steps, which fair officials planned to highlight Wednesday morning at a news conference, include the installation of more security cameras and the continuation of a youth admission policy the fair instituted after the disturbances.

The cameras will be monitored from a law enforcement command post that will be staffed around the clock.

Kristin Chuckel, the fair's marketing and media relations manager, said the fair also has been holding monthly law enforcement summits since September to prepare for this year's fair. Among the agencies participating are State Fair, West Allis and Milwaukee police, as well as the State Patrol.

The fair runs Aug. 2-12.

» Read Full Article

Independence Day photo gallery updated

July 04, 2012 11:36 a.m. | We've just updated our suburban Independence Day photo gallery with colorful shots from today's events in Oak Creek and yesterday's parade in Menomonee Falls.

We'll continue to update the gallery throughout the day with more images from the metropolitan area.

Go to photo gallery.

Municipalities issue fireworks, burning bans

July 03, 2012 1:14 p.m. | Several municipalities in southern Milwaukee County issued a temporary ban on fireworks and some burning Tuesday because of severe drought conditions.

Hales Corners, Greendale and Greenfield placed a ban on all outdoor fireplaces, pits, camp fires and private use of fireworks, including caps and sparklers. Franklin's ban on fireworks has been in place since June 15. Contained grills for cooking food is permitted.

Violators will receive public nuisance citations if found lighting fireworks.

Public July 4 fireworks displays are still planned.

West Allis Hale slugger named NOW Softball Player of the Year

July 03, 2012 11:04 a.m. | West Allis Hale junior Rachel Seefeldt has been named the NOW All-Suburban Softball Player of the Year after slugging her way to 12 home runs and 40 RBIs for the Huskies this season.

She is joined on the squad by teammate Sarah Mueller and players from 10 other suburban teams.

Germantown co-coaches Kurt Raguse and Amy Barbiaux were named the coaches of the year.

NOW 2012 All-Suburban Softball Team

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