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Ozaukee County hopes jurors will donate their fees

Feb. 08, 2011 5:32 p.m. | Port Washington - Ozaukee County residents picked for circuit court duty will be able to donate all or a portion of the juror fee they are paid to help finance court-related or crime prevention services, as part of a voluntary "Generous Juror" program set to begin Monday.

Jurors are paid fees of $25 for a half day or $50 for a full day, plus mileage expenses, Clerk of Circuit Court Mary Lou Mueller said. In 2010, Ozaukee County paid a little more than $50,000 in juror expenses.

A similar program in Eau Claire County received $17,000 in donations from jurors between 2000 and 2010, according to Ozaukee County Board Supervisor Nancy Szatkowski of Mequon.

The County Board's Public Safety Committee each year will select a county service to receive the donations.

Juror contributions in 2011 will go to the county's Criminal Justice Collaborating Council, Szatkowski said. The council's mission is to improve public safety by reducing drug and alcohol offenses.

Animated characters help patients discuss ailments, levels of pain

Oct. 03, 2015 11:13 a.m. | The company's vision initially seems fanciful:

Create applications for health care featuring animated characters that can understand language in all its complexity, from context to regional idioms, detect emotion and recognize facial expressions, perceive differences in personalities, and on top of all that, constantly learn.

To make all this seem even more far-fetched, put the company's base in the second floor of a modest office building on Mequon Road.

Yet iDAvatars is among the companies that have set out to create applications based on one of the most advanced computer systems in the world — IBM's Watson. And IBM has taken note.

"They are one of the most innovative companies we work with," said Lauri Saft, who oversees IBM's partnerships with companies developing applications for the Watson system. "I've seen very few that have moved as quickly as they have."

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Homestead High graduate killed in Afghanistan plane crash

Oct. 02, 2015 7:48 p.m. | An airman from Wisconsin was among the 11 people killed when a U.S. Air Force military transport crashed at a base in Afghanistan, his sister said Friday.

Airman Quinn Johnson-Harris, 21, was a 2012 graduate of Homestead High School in the Milwaukee suburb of Mequon.

Johnson-Harris was among six U.S. service members and five civilian passengers killed in the crash Sept. 25 at Jalalabad Air Field in eastern Afghanistan.

His sister, Fa-tia Johnson, says he was her best friend and she's sad to see him gone. She says his work as a loadmaster was his passion.

"He was an amazing individual, and we really lost one, but you know what? They gained an angel," Johnson said.

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Badger Meter River Park opens in Brown Deer

Oct. 02, 2015 1:28 p.m. | Brown Deer — A grassy, weed-covered lot has been transformed into a public park with walkways and a public launch for kayaks and canoes on the Milwaukee River.

The 2.4 acre Badger Meter River Park is located at 3701 W. Brown Deer Road, just east of the interchange at Brown Deer and Green Bay roads. In addition to adding a kayak and canoe launch, porous parking lot and walkways, the village also planted native prairie grasses and oak savanna trees. A pavilion with picnic tables is planned for the future.

The $230,000 project was made possible with a $40,000 donation from Badger Meter, a fluid measurement and control mechanism manufacturer headquartered off Brown Deer Road. The company, which has eight plants in five countries, has maintained its headquarters in Brown Deer since the 1950s.

Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District contributed $25,000 for a 2,323-square-foot bioswale and 4,705-square-foot parking lot made of porous pavement. The new green infrastructure will capture about 32,000 gallons of water during rain events. The bioswale also helps purify the water, reducing pollutant runoff into the Milwaukee River.

Brown Deer hasn't created a new public park since Fairy Chasm Park in 1991.

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Updated week seven rankings of area prep football teams and players

Oct. 02, 2015 1:00 p.m. | Push for the playoffs is a detailed weekly breakdown of the teams and players in the Lake Country and suburban Milwaukee prep football scene.

Glendale's 27th Street renamed to Sidney Place after homeowners' request

Oct. 02, 2015 9:00 a.m. | Glendale — Eight homeowners on 27th Street will have to get their addresses changed, but they say the paperwork is well worth it.

The Glendale portion of 27th Street was renamed Monday, Sept. 28, by the Glendale Common Council. The new street name, Sidney Place, matches their Glendale neighbors north of the West Como Place intersection.

As required by city ordinances, the new street name was requested by a majority of homeowners on 27th Street. The petition was circulated by resident Nicole Harmelink. By making it clear those eight homes are in Glendale, Harmelink said property values on those homes will go up.

Renaming the street would also make it easier to locate those eight homes on GPS devices. They currently appear as Milwaukee addresses, not Glendale addresses.

The petition was also signed by Police Chief Thomas Czarnyska, who has lived on 27th Street in Glendale for 38 years. While Glendale police know about the geographical quirk of 27th Street, he said the North Shore Fire Department and Milwaukee County law enforcement agencies may not be able to find them using their GPS devices.

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Initial Reaction Podcast: Is Aaron Rodgers really the best QB in football?

Oct. 01, 2015 11:00 a.m. | With a big battle looming for the Badgers, Iowa graduate J.P. Cadorin talks about the dangers the Hawkeyes present. Also, while Aaron Rodgers has been excellent, there is another quarterback who's been just as impressive. And could a prep football powerhouse be left out of the playoffs this year entirely?

Kirkendoll saves day with pick as Whitefish Bay takes NSC grid lead

Oct. 01, 2015 7:39 a.m. | Whitefish Bay defensive back Michael Kirkendoll was on the trainer's cart at midfield fighting off cramps in his calf and straining to put a smile on his face as it seemed each and every one of his teammates came over to congratulate him on his game-saving interception against Germantown on Sept. 25.

Just moments earlier, he had been laying on the ground in the front left corner of the end zone, having outfought a Warhawks receiver for a jump-ball pass with just 6 seconds remaining and Bay holding a tenuous 24-21 lead.

The subsequent celebration was delayed a few minutes as Kirkendoll struggled to get up right away and was tended to by trainers.

When the cart finally came to midfield, his happy teammates were there to greet him as the interception and subsequent victory gave Bay sole possession of first place in the North Shore Conference at 4-0 (5-1 overall). Germantown, which had overcome an early 14-0 deficit, fell to 3-1 and 4-2, respectively.

"He initially caught it," said Kirkendoll of the Warhawks receiver, "but I ripped it out right over his shoulder. We just had to stop them there, and I couldn't have done it without the entire offense and defense giving it their all, too."

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Nicolet boys volleyball team holds off Homestead in NSC thriller

Sept. 30, 2015 9:59 p.m. | The Homestead boys volleyball team, which fought off six match points in the fourth set of its match with rival Nicolet Wednesday, could not fight off a seventh when the Knights went to their strength.

For about the millionth time that night it was a block that in the end provided the decisive point.

The Knights block rotated to account for an attack from the outside and that finished off the entertaining match, 26-24, 25-20, 23-25, 29-27. It was a large part of what coach Brad Kuehl called "the best defensive effort we've had this year."

"What a great high school sporting event," added Kuehl. "It's what high school sports is all about. Each set was hotly contested and these kids just went to battle."

The win improved Nicolet to 3-1 in North Shore Conference duals, just behind league four-time champ Germantown while Homestead fell to 2-2.

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Energized Shorewood swimmers just miss in Woodland meet

Sept. 30, 2015 2:13 p.m. | The Shorewood girls swim team had a very good meet at the Woodland Conference Relays on Sept. 23.

The problem was, was that New Berlin Eisenhower had a great meet and that resulted in a three-point loss for the Greyhounds to the Lions in the final team standings.

"I love that I can put any of swimmers in a pressure situation and through and through, they continue to deal huge swims," said Greyhound coach Tom Miazga. "We fed off each other's energy throughout the night, and again, our team chemistry was infectious. New Berlin Eisenhower has some fantastic talent on their team; they had an incredible meet. Knowing the meet came down to a few close finishes is setting us up to have a fantastic dual meet and even more exciting conference meet (later this month)."

Meanwhile, Brown Deer/USM coach Bob Van Lieshout can only ask "What if?" He had entered the meet with the very real idea that with a few breaks his fast-rising and youthful team could pull a massive upset and sneak away with the title.

But injuries and luck were not on the FalconCats' side and they had to settle for a fifth-place showing.

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Homestead still controls its own fate in NSC football race

Sept. 30, 2015 1:43 p.m. | Hazarding a guess on how the North Shore Conference football race will play out with three games to go is a fool's game at best right now.

Because Whitefish Bay (4-0, 5-1); Homestead (3-1, 4-2); Cedarburg (3-1, 5-1) and Germantown (3-1, 4-2) all control their own destiny.

The race will complicate quickly in the coming weeks as key games include Cedarburg at Germantown on Friday, Oct. 2; Homestead at Bay on Friday, Oct. 9 and Cedarburg at Homestead in the finale on Friday, Oct. 16.

Homestead coach Dave Keel, whose team cruised to a 49-0 victory over Port Washington on Sept. 25, knows that his Highlanders' chances of at least a share of a 15th straight North Shore Conference title hinge on a lot of things and, as noted, they still have a lot of say in how it will look in the end.

"Every day the goal remains the same, to get better," he said. "There are some nice games down the road to look at and think about, but everything right now runs through Bay."

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Whitefish Bay soccer team runs win streak to 9 with rout of East

Sept. 30, 2015 1:43 p.m. | In only his second game back with the team, sophomore forward Matthew Comiskey has made a huge impression on the Division No. 1-ranked Whitefish Bay boys soccer team.

With deft moves and great speed Sept. 24, he scored three goals and had two assists in the Blue Dukes' impressive 5-1 nonconference win against host Wauwatosa East.

"He was on fire tonight," said coach Jeff Worzella. "He's fantastic. That was easily the best game of his high school career."

There was a suspension issue that forced Comiskey to miss the first 10 games of the season but now he is back with a vengeance.

In just a short time, Comiskey, who lettered last season as a freshman for the North Shore Conference champions and WIAA sectional finalists, has become a key cog in what Worzella calls "a very dynamic" offense.

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Parkway Elementary School hosts Color Run to benefit all-inclusive playground

Sept. 30, 2015 12:33 p.m. | Glendale — There are slides and monkey bars and climbing stairs at the playground at Parkway Elementary School, but a group of parents have decided there needs to be more than that.

Many of these things will remain a part of the playground at the school when it is reconstructed, with one very important feature: it will be all-inclusive and fully accessible.

"We have lots of students who really can't enjoy the playground as it is now," said parent Sara Strunk. "There is so much more the space can offer to our wheelchair bound students or our friends on the autism spectrum, so we're really trying to look ahead and create a place where everybody can play together."

To raise funds for the new playground, estimated at about $200,000, the school has organized the first-ever "My School Color Run" on the North Shore on Saturday, Oct. 10.

At a cost of $35 per individual or $45 on race day, the run will feature a 3.1-mile route that incorporates color splash zones where Parkway teachers will be stationed to douse runners in color.

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Sport Shorts: Oct. 1, 2015

Sept. 30, 2015 10:38 a.m. |


The Blue Dukes won their second invitational title of the season when they overpowered Racine Case, 25-21, 25-22, in the final of their own six-team event on Sept. 26.

It was the second straight season Bay has won the event and the third title in four years for the team in the 10-year-old meet.

Coach Beth Stecklein was unavailable for comment on the meet that included Wauwatosa East, Waukesha South, Beloit Memorial and Milwaukee Riverside.

The victory continued a sound season for the senior-dominated squad that includes upperclassmen Lena Stasiak, Claire Elliott, Rachel Perrigo, Sarah McBride, Sophie Shields, Caroline Wright, Kelsie Alling, Dani Fleming and Mackenzie Nelson.

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Homestead girls win North Shore Conference golf title

Sept. 30, 2015 10:13 a.m. | It would have taken something cosmically bad for the Homestead girls golf team to not win the North Shore Conference overall title on Sept. 22 at Washington County in the league finale.

Lightning striking, Jordan Spieth suddenly becoming eligible for runner-up Cedarburg, that sort of thing.

And while it didn't, and the Highlanders wound up with a seven-shot win over the Bulldogs (339-346), there were still some anxious moments.

"It was kind of a weird feeling," said Homestead coach John Krueger. "We finished in the 330s (339 actually) for only the second time this season, but everyone on the team was worried because Cedarburg was playing so well. They were all coming in high-fiving each other and telling each other it was the best they'd ever done."

Still, the Highlanders did win their fourth league title in the last five years and prepared themselves for the upcoming WIAA state series.

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Joanne Lipo Zovic appointed to Shorewood School Board

Sept. 29, 2015 9:18 p.m. | Shorewood — The Shorewood School Board has appointed Joanne Lipo Zovic to serve on the board for the next six months.

Zovic will fill the seat previously held by Rob Reinhoffer, who resigned after more than five years on the board due to personal and family matters. As Reinhoffer said his goodbyes to his colleagues Tuesday night, Sept. 29, Lipo Zovic took an oath of office to serve until April, when that seat — as well as the seat held by Colin Plese — will be on the ballot.

An attorney for 16 years, Lipo Zovic has run her own private practice for the last 14 years. She also teaches classes about negotiation at UW-Milwaukee and Marquette University Law School. Before going to law school, she worked at Chem-Bio Corporation for 12 years, the last two of which she served as president.

Lipo Zovic is also the president of Shorewood Orchestra Boosters and the Shorewood Parent Association. She also serves on the school district's curriculum committee and advancement committee.

Joanne is the wife of Paul Zovic, who served nearly 11 years on the school board and has served nearly six months on the Shorewood Village Board. She said she is aware how much time is involved with serving on the school board, but with three of her four children out of the house, she said she is ready to take on the challenge.

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