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News & Notes: July 24

July 24, 2012

Anonymous donor gives $10,000 for football program

Greenfield - A donor who wishes to remain anonymous has given $10,000 to the Greenfield High School football program.

Administrators are checking the legal requirements of how to handle the gift in light of Title IX fairness requirements as relates to such things girls athletics and other sports.

"It's really a hard area," said Superintendent Conrad Farner, noting that the donation will definitely free up funds for other programs. "We'll make sure there's equity."

New board member might be familiar face

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

Board member says more teachers left than was reported

Greenfield - 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, he said it doesn't explain the resignations.

School Board to make decision-making more open

Greenfield - 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.

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

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

Klemmer's Banquet Center founder/owner dies

Greenfield - William M. Klemmer Sr., founder and owner of Klemmer's Banquet Center, died July 16 at the age of 77.

The Greenfield business opened as a full-service restaurant in September 1977 as Klemmer's Williamsburg Inn and became a banquet center 12 years later.

A funeral for Klemmer was held July 21 at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in New Berlin.

Retailer announces hiring for new store

Greenfield - Indianapolis-based appliance and electronics leader hhgregg announced it will hire about 180 people to staff its three new stores, including one at the former home of Circuit City at 4585 South 76th St.

They are slated to open this fall.

The positions include commissioned sales associates, managers-in-training, warehouse staff and customer service merchandisers. Applications are available by visiting the "Careers" section on hhgregg's website. To apply online, visit www.hhgregg-jobs.com.

hhgregg is a specialty retailer of consumer electronics, home appliances, computers, mobile products and related services. It operates 212 stores in Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

Committee to review residency requirement

Greenfield - The Greenfield Legislative Committee plans to review the city's 15-mile residency requirement for public employees when it meets at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 20.

All options will be on the table, including eliminating the requirement entirely or having it apply only to department heads to leaving it alone, said Alderman Tom Piestrowski, Legislative Committee chairman and Common Council president.

The committee had intended to discuss it last week but needed more information on the impact of new state legislation, including Act 10, that swept away much of the bargaining power of employee unions, he said.

Any committee recommendations would need Common Council approval.

West Allis hospital stands tall in rankings

West Allis - 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, on sale in August.

Podium donated as Eagle Scout project

Greenfield - An Eagle Scout has donated an awards podium to Greenfield High School that is large enough to honor six winning athletes.

Shaun Fleischhacker built the podium with the help of other members of Scout Troop 600 for his Eagle Scout project. He and the troop officially donated the podium to the school at the July 23 Greenfield School Board meeting.

He told the board that, as a member of the school's swim team, he noticed that other schools have such podiums and he wanted Greenfield to have one too, to enhance its image.

Cities not liable for damages from potholes

Greenfield - A St. Francis woman left a recent Greenfield Common Council meeting disappointed after learning that the city isn't liable for her getting two flat tires from a pothole she hit in the city.

City attorney Roger Pyzyk said that a provision of Act 10 removed any liability cities previously had in regard to damages resulting from potholes. Under the previous law, cities were liable if they ignored potholes.

But Pyzyk added that Greenfield is diligent about attending to potholes when it becomes aware of them.

Grant might mean new world opening to bicyclists

Greenfield - Greenfield will ask the state for a $38,500 matching grant to connect its recreation trail along Beloit Road to Milwaukee County's Oak Leaf Trail that bicyclists can take all over the county, even to the lakefront and into the North Shore.

If granted, the trail segment might be usable next summer. The current Greenfield trail stops at about 117th Street.

Another problem is getting a bridge built in about the same area so that users of the trail can get over Wildcat Creek. A condominium development is responsible for building the bridge. With an improving economy, the bridge might become a reality, Alderman Karl Kastner said.

That would be a wonderful addition to the city, enabling young people to bicycle to the high school, the YMCA and other destinations, he said.

Owners have five days to cut grass, if so ordered

West Allis - The time property owners have to mow their grass has been cut to five days, once West Allis tells them to do so.

The city can order owners to cut their grass if it is longer than six inches. Homeowners had previously had 10 days to comply, but city officials said that is too long, especially in wet weather when grass grows quickly.

The city became noticeably untidy in the wet spring from grass growing like weeds especially at foreclosed homes, officials said.

Old freight property could be worth $6 million

West Allis - A $6 million development might be coming to the former Yellow Freight Terminal property at 11528 W. Rogers St., said Patrick Schloss, community development manager.

The city is working with a development firm that has a tenant needing about 60,000 square feet. Although the firm is looking at other locations, a development agreement that would cement the project in West Allis could come in the next two or three months, Schloss said.

Meanwhile, West Allis is working on cleaning any environmental contaminants at the site.

Booster clubs still able to get parking money

West Allis - Once again, the booster clubs of the city's two high schools will be able to get money from offering parking on city land across from State Fair Park during fair time.

Although a large hotel development has been announced for the redevelopment area, the parking will continue to be available as a revenue source for the groups.

However, this year they will have to split those revenues 50-50 with the city, which is more than they contributed last year. But the city will keep the money in the redevelopment district and use it to get the property onto the tax rolls faster.

Customers longing for Silvers' seafood

West Allis - Lovers of the Long John Silver's products, until recently part of a Taco Bell franchise on 60th Street and National Avenue, will now have to fill there taste needs elsewhere.

Like Long John Silver's in Oak Creek and Burlington, the West Allis restaurant shared a building with Taco Bell. That arrangement was fine for years, because both restaurant brands were owned by the same company, Yum! Brands Inc., based in Louisville, Ky.

But last September, Yum sold Long John Silver's, along with A&W, as part of a strategy to devote more of the company's resources to expand in Asian markets.

The Taco Bell franchisees have expanded into the space that the Long John Silvers occupied in West Allis, Oak Creek and Burlington. The nearest Long John Silver location is now in Saukville, north of Cedarburg.

Junior nationals held at Romine's High Pockets

Greenfield - Romine's High Pockets in Greenfield was host to a prestigious 24th annual Billiard Education Foundation Junior National 9-Ball Championships.

More than 130 junior billiard players, ages 8 to 18, from 28 states Billiard players competed for prizes and the chance to represent the United States at the 2012 World Pool-Billiard Association World Junior 9-Ball Championships.

Romine's High Pockets has 42 pool tables.

Scout earns praise from mayor

West Allis - Boy Scout Michael Willems received an official commendation from Mayor Dan Devine for leading his fellow Scouts in a project to place landscape timbers around the playground in Veterans Park, West Allis.

He did it as an Eagle Scout project.

Ribbon cutting today for Wilson School garden

West Allis - Wilson Elementary School, 8710 W. Orchard St., held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its Wilson School garden July 19.

The Home Depot helped the school build raised garden beds, where students will plant vegetables and flowers.

The school will have plenty of learning activities until Aug. 9 on related to its "green" theme.

Greenfield native on leadership team

Greenfield - The Rev. Scott Wallenfelsz of Greenfield was elected to the leadership team of the Salvatorians who serve in 45 countries and on six continents.

Wallenfelsz was installed as consultor to the U.S. Salvatorian priests and brothers at Queen of Apostles Chapel in Milwaukee.

Salvatorians are a Catholic religious community of priests, brothers, sisters and lay people founded in 1881. Salvatorians serve in parishes, schools, hospitals, nursing homes, prisons and elsewhere.

City objects to streetcar if it means higher bills

West Allis - The West Allis Common Council has approved a resolution objecting to Milwaukee's streetcar plan if utility relocation costs are passed on to non-Milwaukee residents in the form of higher bills.

Some local officials are concerned that relocating underground utility lines used by We Energies, AT&T and Time Warner Cable for Milwaukee's downtown streetcar project will prove costly.

"They can do whatever they want with their money," said West Allis Alderman Dan Roadt, as long as the costs should stay within Milwaukee's borders.

"There are a lot of unknowns here, and we just don't want to absorb it," he said.

Helmet giveaway declared successful

West Allis - More than 60 families participated in the West Allis Health Department's annual Bike Helmet Give-Away June 6 and the department is calling the day a success.

Bicycle helmets were properly fitted for 98 children, who were instructed to wear their new helmets when riding on anything with wheels such as in-line or roller skates, skateboards, scooters and even small tricycles. Parents also were shown how the helmet should be placed to assure protection.

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