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Fox Point wants fire funding package to be doused with time limit

July 10, 2012 11:22 p.m. | Fox Point - If the village has its way, the sun will set over the formula used to determine how much each community pays to support the North Shore Fire Department.

On Tuesday, the Village Board, which has expressed concerns over Fox Point's share of the funding, requested that a three-year sunset clause be added to the latest formula. Village President Michael West will also seek a reduction in the village's share.

The proposed funding formula, an update to a previous version approved in 2007, has been making its way through the seven member communities for approval over the course of the last month. River Hills tabled the proposal in late June to seek a sunset clause, and Shorewood will address the issue in an upcoming meeting.

Less is still more

According to the new formula, as approved by the NSFD Board of Directors in early June, Fox Point would contribute 10.31 percent of the NFSD's operating, maintenance, and capital budgets beginning in the 2013 budget year - down from 10.38 in the previous formula.

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Football coach Drake Zortman leaves Shorewood/Messmer for Homestead

1:55 p.m. | No, Homestead football coach Dave Keel did not come calling on Drake Zortman Don Corleone-style saying, "I have an offer you cannot refuse."

But in the end, this was an offer that Zortman could not refuse as the former four-year head coach at Shorewood/Messmer, author of the Greyhounds' resurrection and return to respectability, has returned to Homestead as the Highlanders' offensive coordinator and a math instructor at the high school.

Zortman spent 13 years at Homestead earlier in his career, serving as the girls basketball coach and working on Keel's staff for about a decade in many capacities until he took the Shorewood/Messmer job four years ago. He split his teaching time between both Messmer and Shorewood and also successfully led the boys golf team at Shorewood the last couple of years.

He accepted the position at Homestead earlier this month.

In keeping with "The Godfather" theme, Zortman did say this was indeed all about family. His wife Jen is also a math instructor at Homestead, and their children go to school in the district. He said he had been in conversations with Shorewood Athletic Director Levar Ridgeway months in advance, keeping him in the loop about a potential career change.

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Senior-heavy Nicolet baseball team showed improvement this season

11:43 a.m. | The Nicolet baseball team is still not back to where it was 10 years ago or even five years ago, but the Knights made strides this summer, staying competitive for the most part in a 9-21 campaign.

"We had a lot of individual successes and improvements," said coach Jason Grodsky. "We didn't have a winning record, but we had many players pushing toward making themselves better, trying to eliminate mistakes and trying to show the way for the younger players. It all contributed to a better team effort in the end."

The Knights' season came to a tough end with a 5-4 WIAA regional semifinal defeat at the hands of Kewaskum on July 14.

By far the single-best high point of the campaign was the Knights' remarkable 5-3 upset of North Shore Conference champion West Bend West on June 29. It was one of only three losses for the Spartans this season.

In that game, senior Ian Greenfield pitched effectively and with composure. It was one reason behind his winning the team's Most Improved award and sharing the Knights' Lance Painter Top Pitcher award with fellow senior Alex Braun.

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Shorewood baseball team struggles with youth

11:23 a.m. | With huge graduation losses from last season to absorb, Shorewood baseball coach Josh Lemke knew it would be an uphill climb this summer, but he was happy with the character and tenacity his team showed in an otherwise difficult 5-21 campaign.

Lemke thought his squad showed its true character in its final game, a tough 3-1 defeat at the hands of eventual WIAA sectional finalist Grafton in a regional semifinal game on July 14.

"Grafton was a very good team, and we played with them, hung with them well," Lemke said. "It showed that if played sound fundamental baseball that we could compete with anybody."

That game was the second sound contest the Greyhounds had played in a week following a 4-0 defeat at the hands of New Berlin Eisenhower in the Woodland Conference tournament on July 7.

Lemke and Shorewood played the summer with only two seniors, pitcher/outfielder/first baseman Joe Franke and all-purpose ace Will Rhodes (he played every position). Everywhere else, the team was young, young, young. Lemke noted that at the power positions of catcher, first base, shortstop and center field, the regular starters were all sophomores or younger.

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Whitefish Bay memorializes woman killed in crosswalk

11:10 a.m. | Whitefish Bay —Two months after Kristen Caves was struck and killed in a Whitefish Bay crosswalk, a new bench erected near the scene of the crash will serve as a tribute to her life and remind passersby of the importance of pedestrian safety.

Caves, 26, of Menomonee Falls, was struck and killed by a car on May 26 while attempting to cross Silver Spring Drive just east of Berkeley Boulevard. The driver of the car apparently waved her across the crosswalk, but when that car was hit from behind, the driver accidentally stepped on the gas pedal and hit Caves. She died two days later.

Caves' death has been difficult on her friends, family and her coworkers at Teklynx International, 409 E. Silver Spring Drive. Several of the employees in the second-story office heard or saw the crash, which only added to the trauma of her death.

"It was a reminder of how fragile life is, and how important your friends and family are," said Laura Henderson, the former general manager at Teklynx.

A graduate of Arrowhead High School, Caves had been working at Teklynk for nearly a year while pursuing an associate's degree at Waukesha County Technical College. She and her fiance Tim Sullivan had planned to marry in August 2016.

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Brown Deer baseball team hung together despite tough season

10:58 a.m. | It was a tough season to be Brown Deer baseball player.

The varsity finished at 4-21 and the junior varsity and freshman teams struggled to win games, but first-year coach Dave Lucre' saw signs of progress and was especially pleased with the way morale was maintained in spite of the adversity.

"The guys improved in some areas," he said.

"The errors per game were still high at the end of the season, but one thing I really liked is how we competed against good teams. All summer long, I kept telling them I appreciate them playing Brown Deer baseball."

The season recently ended for the Falcons with a WIAA regional semifinal loss to Cedarburg, a game where they scored the first two runs of the contest before faltering a bit.

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Shorewood trustee wages unsuccessful campaign for later trick-or-treat times

10:15 a.m. | Shorewood — Does it really feel like Halloween if you are trick-or-treating during the daytime?

That question has been posed many times over the years to North Shore government officials, who are in charge of setting trick-or-treat times in the months leading up to Halloween.

Local village boards and city councils in Milwaukee County typically set their trick-or-treat times from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. the Sunday on or before Oct. 31, which was agreed upon in 2010 by a group of municipal leaders representing the county's 19 communities. If Oct. 31 falls on a Saturday - like it does this year - the regional Intergovernmental Cooperation Council's non-binding resolution allows communities to schedule trick-or-treating on the day of Halloween.

Several North Shore officials have tried to stray from the ICC's position over the years, but few have succeeded. The latest politician to poke that beehive was Shorewood trustee Tammy Bockhorst, who raised the issue at a village board meeting on July 20.

Instead of conforming to the suggested trick-or-treat hours of 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Oct. 31, Bockhorst tried to lobby her fellow trustees to push trick-or-treating a little later, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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Glendale evaluates city hall improvements

July 28, 2015 1:23 p.m. | Glendale — The Glendale Common Council will soon start discussing possible improvements to the city hall/police department building.

John Sabinash, of Zimmerman Architectural Studios, has identified $10.3 million in improvements for Glendale City Hall that could be phased over the next four years. City Administrator Richard Maslowski said the city will not be able to fund all of the projects in Zimmerman's needs analysis, as funding is tight and a number of capital improvement projects are scheduled over the next several years.

The council will start prioritizing the most urgent city hall improvement projects during budget discussions in August or September.

Glendale City Hall was first constructed in 1954. The police department was added in 1963, and another addition was added in 1994. Sabinash said Glendale has "a functionably reasonable building," but it is in need of some updating, like new roofing and windows on the entire building.

The consultant said the improvements could be managed in four phases - the first of which would spend $1.7 million on the city hall portion of the building. The proposal calls for a reconfiguration of city hall's office space, a remodling of the common council chambers and a 952-square-foot office addition along the front of the building, among other improvements.

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'Milwaukee lion' spotted in Glendale

July 28, 2015 11:45 a.m. | Glendale — After a week on the northwest side of Milwaukee, the much-talked-about 'Milwaukee lion' may have made an appearance in Glendale Sunday night.

The 'lion-like' creature described by more than a dozen eyewitnesses over the last week was most recently spotted on 30th Street and Fairmount Avenue on Saturday night. Milwaukee police officers have been searching the area around Lincoln Creek in search of the big cat.

The lion may be traveling northeast, if a call from Glendale police is accurate.

Glendale police received a report of a lion sighting at 11:26 p.m. Sunday in the 5700 block of Crestwood Boulevard, about a mile north of Lincoln Creek. The caller said he saw a tan muscular animal with a long tail walking in the area, and then it took off running north toward Marne Avenue.

Glendale police responded to the call, but officers were unable to locate the animal.

North Shore communities react to state ban on municipal home inspections at time of sale

July 27, 2015 4:03 p.m. | Some North Shore government officials are unhappy about a provision in the new state budget that bans local municipalities from enforcing code requirements at the time of a property sale.

Shorewood, Brown Deer and Bayside are among the North Shore communities that previously required comprehensive code compliance inspections at the time a property is sold. The inspections identified electrical, plumbing and structural issues that need to be changed before the property can change hands.

The Wisconsin Realtors Association requested state legislators to eliminate those inspections, because they were seen as a hurdle to the sale of homes. The law went into effect on July 14.

The law will bring about a significant change in policy for communities like Shorewood, which has had a comprehensive time-of-sale code compliance program since 1980. Communities like Shorewood that have an older housing stock have come to rely upon home inspections at the time of sale to help ensure properties do not fall into disrepair, said Village Manager Chris Swartz.

"Most homes in Shorewood were built in the late teens through early 1930s and are rich in architectural diversity," he said. "This provision eliminates a very effective method we currently have to preserve the integrity of these buildings over the years, which is a top village priority."

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Brown Deer closes on sale of former American TV and Appliance building

July 27, 2015 3:33 p.m. | Brown Deer —The village of Brown Deer closed on the sale of the former American TV and Appliance building for $2.1 million last week.

The 119,000-square-foot building is part of a 6.6-acre lot on the north side of the property that was purchased by Pak Technologies, a blending, packing and distribution company based in Milwaukee. Pak Technologies has already started renovating the interior of the building to turn it into a distribution warehouse.

Brown Deer will provide Pak with $750,000 in assistance over the course of four years. Pak Technologies has guaranteed that the improvements to the property will generate an additional $1.4 million in assessed value. The increased tax revenue from the property will be used to reimburse the village for its contribution.

The Brown Deer Community Development Authority purchased the 10-acre lot at 6700 W. Brown Deer Road for $2.6 million in April 2014. That lot has been divided into three parcels, including a 2.2-acre lot on the southeast corner that will be sold to Aldi for $650,000. Village officials estimate the Aldi's property will be worth $2 million when the building is completed in summer 2016.

The remaining 1.2 acres of land on the southwestern portion of the property will be used for storm water management.

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Woman robbed at gunpoint at Brown Deer bank

July 27, 2015 12:59 p.m. | Brown Deer — Brown Deer police are searching for two suspects who allegedly robbed a 61-year-old Milwaukee woman at gunpoint and stole her vehicle on Sunday, July 26.

In addition to robbing the woman and stealing her car, the two male suspects also allegedly ordered her at gunpoint to withdraw money from an ATM machine at US Bank, 4200 W. Brown Deer Road, at 5:55 p.m. Sunday.

The two suspects - who are estimated to be about 17 or 18 years old - were last seen traveling westbound on Brown Deer Road in a maroon Ford Taurus and a bronze 2013 Buick Encore, which was the woman's vehicle.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Brown Deer Police Department at (414) 371-2900.

Bizarre play leads to Homestead "9" sectional loss to Falls

July 22, 2015 1:08 p.m. | "It was the weirdest way to score a winning run that I've ever seen."

That was the reaction of Homestead baseball coach Ernie Millard after the Highlanders lost a wrenching 3-2 WIAA sectional semifinal decision to Menomonee Falls on July 20 at Cahill Park in Whitefish Bay.

The Highlanders had advanced to the sectional with a 12-2 rout of Kewaskum in the regional final on July 17 and were looking for their second straight state tournament berth.

Falls went on to defeat Grafton, 4-2, for its first state tournament berth since 2008. The Falls win was also a little bit of vengeance for a sectional semifinal defeat at the hands of the Highlanders last season.

Millard wasn't far off in his assertion about the play in the third inning that decided the Highlanders' fate.

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North Shore area baseball teams drop tough regional contests

July 22, 2015 12:48 p.m. | The seasons ended on a competitive but also a bit frustrating note for both the Nicolet and Shorewood baseball teams in WIAA regional play on Tuesday, July 14, while after a promising start, Brown Deer saw its campaign come to an end in a 12-2 decision to Cedarburg that same night.

Nicolet fell to host Kewaskum, 5-4, while Shorewood lost to a good Grafton squad, 3-1. Cedarburg, Kewaskum and Grafton all advanced to regional finals on Friday, July 17.


"We really played hard," said Nicolet coach Jason Grodsky. "Everything we worked on since the beginning of the season was evident. We just didn't pick up the ball when we needed too."

It was too bad really for the Knights (7-19). They had fallen behind 1-0 in the third but then scored four runs in the next three innings, combined with help from a wild pitch, a passed ball and a balk. Adam Plotkin also helped out with an RBI single.

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Whitefish Bay baseball team comes up just short of Falls in regional thriller

July 22, 2015 12:38 p.m. | Maybe the luck of the draw was unfortunate for the Whitefish Bay baseball team when it came off an impressive win over West Bend East on July 14 only to have to face red-hot, eventual state-tournament-qualifier Menomonee Falls in a WIAA regional final game on July 17.

Not that Bay coach Jay Wojcinski was going to make an issue of it, even after the tough as nails, 4-3 defeat that ended the impressive second half of the Blue Dukes' season with a final mark of 21-11.

"Given the way we've been playing the last 20 games or so, no," he said. "We were going to have face them either now or in the sectional anyway, but we felt confident. It's just that we left a small village (of runners) on the bases."

The Blue Dukes had entered the game with a 10-game winning streak. Falls (26-7) would go on to beat Homestead and Grafton in the July 20 sectional at Cahill Park to earn its first state tourney berth since 2008.

Bay gave the Indians and their Illinois scholarship-bound ace Ty Weber all he could handle in the regional final on a hot and humid night at Falls' Trenary Park. The Blue Dukes had baserunners on each of the first four innings, two each in the second and third. A double play got the Indians out of the first inning problem, and Weber strikeouts did the trick in the second and third.

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Brown Deer municipal buildings need improvements

July 22, 2015 11:33 a.m. | Brown Deer —Brown Deer's municipal buildings need $821,156 in improvements, according to a consultant's study.

The village board in March contracted Bray Architects to assess the condition of the Village Hall, police department, library and public works buildings. Michael Hacker, of Bray Architects, presented the needs for those facilities at a village board meeting on Monday, July 20.

The suggested solutions for those needs will be presented to the board in two weeks. No decisions have been made yet.

Of the three buildings studied, the DPW building, which was built in 1966, has the greatest needs. Hacker said the building needs $526,122 in improvements, including a new HVAC system ($210,600) and the replacement of all overhead garage doors ($133,812). The consultant also suggested a vehicle exhaust system ($56,700), the installation of an emergency generator ($57,780) and $54,000 to replace the electrical system and panel boards.

Hacker identified $185,593 in improvements for the Village Hall and police department building, which was built in 1972. The roof of the police department addition built in 1994 needs to be repaired at a cost of $119,124.

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