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Video: How to navigate construction surrounding the 2014 Wisconsin State Fair

July 30, 2014 1:40 p.m. | West Allis — The Interstate 94 freeway ramps and streets around the fair are open to handle the surge of traffic starting Thursday with the opening of the 11-day Wisconsin State Fair.

That's a relief to West Allis Mayor Dan Devine who said, "They told us several times that it all would be open."

Freeway ramps at 84th Street have been closed for the massive Zoo Interchange rehabilitation project, as has the crucial Kearney Avenue that takes traffic coming from the west and exiting at 84th Street into the north end of the fair. The fair extends from 84th to 76th streets.

What will not be open is the 76th Street bridge over Interstate 94, a major route from the north to the fair's 76th Street entrance and to the fair entrance on Greenfield Avenue.

Instead, fair officials recommend taking 70th Street south to Greenfield Avenue and entering at 78th Street.

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National Night Out to be celebrated in Greenfield on Aug. 5

July 29, 2014 3:31 p.m. | Greenfield — For another year, the University of Wisconsin-Madison marching band will top off Greenfield's National Night Out with a performance of its famed Fifth Quarter show.

National Night Out will be from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 5 at Konkel Park, 5151 W. Layton Ave., and the Fifth Quarter show will be at 7:30 p.m.

Police and fire personnel will be on hand with equipment and this year firefighters will demonstrate a rescue from a car by cutting it open and rescuing a dummy inside. That will be at 6 p.m.

Always a favorite is a police dog demonstration at 6:45 p.m.

A child safety seat inspection also will be offered at a drive-in area away from traffic. Firefighters also will show how to install child safety seats.

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No more waiting lists for child care at Greenfield schools

July 29, 2014 3:26 p.m. | Waiting lists to get into the before- and after-school child care program at the Greenfield elementary schools will be wiped out with the School Board approving a contract with the YMCA to provide the service.

On Monday, the board approved a one-year contract with the YMCA after the previous contract with another day care provider expired. The YMCA has enough staff to provide child care for all who want it, said Superintendent Lisa Elliott.

Also, parents will pay as much or less than they had been paying for the service and the YMCA will be able to offer more, Elliott said.

Top 10 things to see and do at the Wisconsin State Fair

July 29, 2014 9:06 a.m. | This year's Wisconsin State Fair is the can't miss summer event of the season. With more than 30 free stages of entertainment, 100 different foods on a stick, and a cornucopia of cream puffs, what more could a Wisconsinite want?

The fair runs Tursday, July 31, through Sunday, Aug. 10, at 640 S. 84th Street, West Allis. Hours are 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 8 a.m. through midnight on Friday and Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on the final Sunday of the fair.

Check out the top 10 things to see and do before you plan your trip to the fair and follow my blog Fair E-tales for the latest and greatest in fair happenings. On Wisconsin!

1. The Wisconsin State Fair History Exhibit

For all the history buffs out there, the Wisconsin State Fair History Exhibit at the south end of the Exposition Center is the place to be. The exhibit includes pieces from iconic fair favorites, such as the original cream puff, Mille's Sausages, the Giant Slide and more. Test your knowledge after checking out the retro displays and take a fair quiz for a chance to win some fairy cool prizes.

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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.

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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.

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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."

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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."

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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.

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