Ozaukee County Fair books Josh Thompson as first headliner

April 26, 2013 8:41 a.m. | Nashville recording artist Josh Thompson will star Aug. 2 in the first headline concert at the Ozaukee County Fair in 154 years.

The Cedarburg native is known for his hit singles "Beer on the Table" and "Way Out Here."

Wisconsin's own Chasin' Mason opens the show at 6:30 p.m. with their country sounds.

Tickets are $15 and $25 online at the Ozaukee County Fair site. the fair runs July 31 through Aug. 4.

Nicolet student arrested after saying he had a gun

April 25, 2013 3:14 p.m. | A 17-year-old junior at Nicolet High School in Glendale was arrested Tuesday morning after he told a school police officer he had a gun, a school official said Thursday.

The student, who is from Milwaukee, was acting suspicious at the front door of the school about 9 a.m., and fleeing after an employee told him to take off his belt, according to a Glendale police report. The school police officer pursued him and saw him come out of a pedestrian tunnel under Interstate 43 into the school parking lot. When she confronted him, he said he had a gun. The officer drew her firearm, and the student said he was joking. The officer arrested him for disorderly conduct.

The security director later found the knife in the tunnel, and the student admitted it was his, school spokesman Dan Klemencic said. No gun was found. The police report said it was a four-inch butterfly knife.

The student was issued a citation for disorderly conduct, and has been suspended indefinitely from school until a hearing next week. There was no interruption to the school day.

Boy, 15, arrested for sexual assault at Whitefish Bay High School

April 25, 2013 8:33 a.m. | A 15-year-old boy was arrested Friday for second degree sexual assault, a Class C felony, on allegations he forced a girl to perform a sex act at Whitefish Bay High School, 1200 E. Fairmount Ave., about 5:30 p.m. April 18.

According to Whitefish Bay police reports:

The victim reported she saw the boy, whom she knew, between the field house and the main building and when he asked her to walk him to his locker on the second floor, she agreed. However, when they got to the staircase, the boy grabbed her and almost dragged her down the stairs.

She said to him she thought they were going to his locker on the second floor and he said they would later. He then held her at the waist and kissed her. She asked him to stop and he said he would if she performed a sex act and he then forced her to perform oral sex.

She struggled, hit him a few times and she was able to get away. A friend gave her a ride home and once there, she called a few friends and the next day those friends reported the incident to the school's vice principal who called police.

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Glendale firefighter injured fighting garage fire

April 25, 2013 7:02 a.m. | A firefighter was injured while helping to put out a garage fire in Glendale Wednesday night.

A resident on Navajo Ave. called 9-1-1 about 9:30 p.m. after a car caught fire in his garage, which fire companies were able to extinguish quickly, according to a news release by the North Shore Fire Department.

One firefighter received minor injuries during the incident, and a North Shore Fire/Rescue ambulance took him to a local hospital for minor injuries.

The fire caused an estimated $80,000 in damage, including the garage, two cars and other items inside. There was also minor heat damage to nearby houses.

The North Shore Fire Department said the fire probably began in one of the cars and spread to the garage before anyone noticed. The exact cause is under investigation.

Report: Walmart plans Brown Deer store at ex-Lowe's

April 24, 2013 12:00 p.m. | Walmart wants to open a store at the former Lowe's building in Brown Deer, BizTimes.com is reporting.

The article cites unnamed commercial real estate sources, and quotes Walmart spokeswoman Lisa Nelson as saying the company doesn't have anything yet to announce about that location.

Nelson hasn't responded to my request for information.

The roughly 140,000-square-foot building, 6300 W. Brown Deer Road, is under contract, said Nate Piotrowski, village community development director. He declined to name the prospective buyer, saying a development proposal for the building is expected within 30 to 60 days.

Walmart in September closed its discount store at 8700 N. Servite Drive, near the southwest corner of W. Brown Deer Rd. and N. 76th St., when it opened a larger supermarket-discount store at 10330 W. Silver Spring Drive.

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Stage set for Bradley Crossing expansion, Beaver Creek development plans

April 24, 2013 11:37 a.m. | Brown Deer - Proposals for two low-income housing developments are likely to come before the village in light of a Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority announcement last week that both have been approved for tax credits.

Each year, developers submit plans to WHEDA to compete for a limited amount of tax credits which allow recipient developers to offer apartments at a below-market rate to low-income renters. Milwaukee-based developer General Capital, who partnered with Jewish Family Services to open the Bradley Crossing Supportive Housing Community in November, applied for and received tax credits for a 54-unit expansion of Bradley Crossing and a 44-unit rental development at the Beaver Creek site at 60th Street and Brown Deer Road.

"The competition was very stiff," General Capital President Mike Weiss said. "I think it says a lot about Brown Deer and what we've already done in Brown Deer with Deerwood Crossing and Bradley Crossing."

The planned Bradley Crossing expansion retains the 50/50 mix of disability and low income as the original development, Weiss said, while the planned Beaver Creek development would be 75 percent general population and 25 percent disability, with 37 of the 44 units at a low-income rental rate and seven at a market rate. Weiss said General Capital is in the final stages of putting together proposals. While he couldn't say exactly when the proposals will come before the village, he said it would be "sooner rather than later" and that General Capital is shooting for construction in the fall.

General Capital and the village partnered via tax incremental financing in 2007 to build 51 condominiums on the site. General Capital built 10 before the economic collapse of 2008, selling four and eventually renting the other six. The Village Board in January voted to suspend the original 2007 Beaver Creek development agreement temporarily so General Capital could apply for the WHEDA tax credits.

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Parents protest Fox Point-Bayside schedule and staffing changes that would cut art, music programs

April 23, 2013 3:30 p.m. | Fox Point — In the Stormonth Elementary cafeteria Monday evening, a standing-room-only crowd of parents, teachers and students laid into the Fox Point-Bayside School Board over preliminary layoff notices and schedule changes that include cuts to the district’s physical education, art, technology and music programs — known colloquially as “specials” — in the coming 2013-14 school year. 

In total the district issued preliminary layoff notices to 10 staff members last week, primarily at Bayside Middle School, Superintendent Rachel Boechler said in an interview. Due to a combination of class enrollment and scheduling in the coming year, she said, one position will be fully eliminated, three will be reconfigured, and four will be reduced — necessitating the layoff notices, which districts are required by statute to issue to teachers who can’t be guaranteed the same level of employment. Those changes mean a 17 percent reduction in fifth- and sixth-grade physical education, a 38 percent reduction in fifth and sixth-grade art, a 38 percent reduction in DATA (technology) class, and a 38 percent reduction in fifth- and sixth-grade general music, according to documents circulating throughout the community which originated in the district.

Among those who addressed the board was district parent David Braeger, a Milwaukee-area financial sector CEO who has argued in favor of specials with nationwide studies that conclude those programs increase student performance overall. Additionally, Braeger said in an interview that he plans to initiate a recall election for School Board President Debbie Friberg, whose credentials he called into question in light of the proposed changes to specials.

“If I were to tell my (chief operating officer) that we were cutting aspects of my business by 38 percent or more, he would simply conclude that I had failed my employees and the company,” Braeger told the School Board on Monday, earning a standing ovation from the crowd at the conclusion of his speech. “You can correlate that to the fact that you have failed your employees — the teachers, and your company — the district and taxpayer.”

He said if his recall effort is successful he would try to take Friberg’s place.

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Challenge grant to match up to $100,000 in footbridge donations

April 23, 2013 12:54 p.m. | Fox Point - An anonymous donor has issued a challenge to the village and the surrounding North Shore communities: raise $100,000 by Sept. 30 and I'll match it.

According to a news release by Footbridge Friends, the nonprofit organization tasked with raising $655,000 toward the cost of replacing the footbridge that spans a 325-foot ravine between Bridge and Bartlett lanes, the donor will match all new pledges of $5,000 or more as well as significantly increased gifts from previous donors.

"This is an incredibly generous offer that will get us closer to our goal even quicker," Footbridge Friends President Barbara Schwartz said in the release. "It allows donors to double the impact of their pledges. And the sooner we reach our goal, the sooner the Village of Fox Point can begin construction of a new bridge."

Last summer the Village Board authorized a $30,000 payment to Footbridge Friends to get the fundraising effort off the ground. The $30,000 is incorporated in the group's $655,000 goal, half of an estimated $1.25 million replacement of the footbridge.

Opponents of the project calculate that with interest on capital funds borrowed in 2011 for the project, the Footbridge Friends grant, a high estimate of the construction costs and numerous consulting studies paid for by the village since the footbridge was closed in 2010, the total cost of a replacement would be upwards of $3 million.

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Nicolet chooses new superintendent

April 22, 2013 10:48 p.m. | Glendale - Before a crowd of students, staff, and parents, the Nicolet School Board voted unanimously Monday for Robert Kobylski - current Superintendent of the Menasha Joint School District near Appleton - to succeed Superintendent Rick Monroe after he retires on June 30.

After Monroe announced his retirement in December the board hired search firm Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, who whittled the applicant pool to six, whom the board interviewed, choosing three finalists before finally settling on Kobylski.

"(HYA & Associates) told us any of our candidates would have been great for the district," said School Board President Marilyn Franklin. "The decision hinged on which of the finalists would be a perfect fit."

Kobylski, a married father of six, earned a bachelor's degree in economics, as well as both a master's and doctorate in curriculum and instruction from Loyola University in Chicago. He was a commodity trader at the Chicago Board of Trade and a portfolio manager at an Illinois firm before becoming a high school social science teacher in the Chicago Public Schools system, where he later moved on to a number of administrative positions. Upon moving to Wisconsin in 2006 Kobylski became Principal of Cedarburg High School before becoming Superintendent and High School Principal in the Kohler District in 2008, and later the Menasha Joint School District Superintendent in 2010.

He stressed that it would be his job to leverage the high-quality staff at Nicolet to improve the district's already high performance.

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Police apprehend Cedarburg man over school threats

April 19, 2013 3:20 p.m. | A 39-year-old Cedarburg man was arrested Friday on suspicion of leaving a message that referenced school shootings on a crisis line Thursday evening. The Ozaukee Sheriff's department said the suspect left similar messages over the last few days.

Friday morning the Sheriff's office issued an alert and local police departments notified their area school districts.

The call prompted Mequon to station officers at all Mequon-Thiensville School District buildings, Superintendent Demond Means said in an email to parents and guardians Friday.

The academic schedule incorporated an early release before the events, Means said. Elementary students let out at 12:35 p.m. and middle school students were released at 11:55 a.m.; district high schools were not in session Friday.

With squad cars at each school the superintendent felt it was best to notify parents before picking up their children. "Especially with all the things in Boston, I wanted to be proactive."

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WHEDA awards tax credits for Bradley Crossing expansion, Beaver Creek development

April 18, 2013 5:16 p.m. | The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority has approved tax credits for two planned low-income developments in Brown Deer.

According to a list provided by WHEDA, Milwaukee-based developer General Capital Group's planned 54-unit expansion of the Bradley Crossing Supportive Housing Community, and planned 44-unit mix of low-income and disability-friendly housing at the Beaver Creek development site at 60th Street and Brown Deer Road, have both been awarded the full amount of tax credits requested.

With tax credits approved for the projects, the stage is set for General Capital to come before the Plan Commission and Village Board with proposals.

Brown Deer residents turn in petition against rental housing proposal

April 18, 2013 3:26 p.m. | Editor's Note: Petition organizer Don Uebelacker and resident Mike Christopulos have contacted NorthShoreNOW to clarify that the petition, and petitioners, do not oppose low-income housing.  While General Capital's plans are for low-income rental units, Uebelacker stressed that the petition only takes issue with rentals on the site and urges the village to require owner-occupied condominiums, as the original 2007 development agreement stated.

"The condominiums were to be owner occupied and were not to ever become rental units," said Uebelacker. "Back then, and certainly today, the feeling was that Brown Deer has more than enough apartments. Both the residents and the village management wanted the stability of owner occupied units."

Brown Deer - A thousand-strong group of residents is trying to snuff out a rental housing development before it even comes before village officials for consideration, while at the same time a developer is planning low-income and disability-friendly units on the site.

On Monday a group of several dozen neighbors to the Beaver Creek development - which includes the Walgreens at 60th Street and Brown Deer Road, alongside 10 condominiums - delivered a 1,044-signature petition to the Village Board which states their opposition to rental apartments on the site. Petition drive organizer Don Uebelacker said that after planning to collect 250 to 500 signatures, he was shocked to bring in more than 1,000 in a four-week span.

Brown Deer partnered via tax incremental financing with Milwaukee-based developer General Capital in 2007 to build 51 condos at the Beaver Creek site. General Capital built 10 before the economic crash of 2008, after which four sold and the remaining six languished before they were eventually rented, General Capital President Mike Weiss said.

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North Shore grassroots group opposes school voucher expansion

April 17, 2013 11:58 a.m. | Shorewood - Alongside local education leaders and advocates, Assemblywoman Sandy Pasch (D-Shorewood) called for action against Gov. Scott Walker's proposed 2013-15 biennial budget and voucher school expansion on Sunday in what local progressive group Grassroots North Shore dubbed an "emergency town hall budget hearing."

Pasch stood with writer and advocate Barbara Miner, retired Milwaukee Public Schools psychologist David Weingrod, anti-charter school advocate Marva Herndon, Stop Special-Needs Vouchers representative Tracy Hedman, and Whitefish Bay School Board member Cheryl Maranto - who emphasized that her views were her own and not necessarily the board's - on a panel which, by and large, ripped into the governor's budget proposal, criticizing the legitimacy of voucher and charter schools and claiming that the governor's ultimate motive is to expand the voucher program statewide.

In his Feb. 20 budget address, Walker said voucher expansion is about bringing choice to students who otherwise wouldn't have access to quality education.

"For communities where some schools fail to meet expectations, we include an expansion of the parental choice program in this budget," said Walker. "Since wealthy families have a choice because they can pay to send their children to a private school, we give low income and middle class families an opportunity to also choose a viable alternative for their sons and daughters."

The panel described "school choice" as little more than a rhetorical smokescreen for a GOP agenda aimed at expanding voucher and charter schools statewide. They argued that such an expansion, paired with the freeze on school spending in the governor's proposed 2013-15 budget, takes critical funding away from public schools and is a fundamentally skewed set of priorities.

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UWM students re-imagine Capitol Drive corridor

April 17, 2013 11:58 a.m. | Shorewood - A group of urban planning graduate students from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee have a lot of ideas when it comes to rethinking the Capitol Drive corridor from Oakland Avenue west to the river.

The group presented a redevelopment plan at the Shorewood Library on Tuesday. It detailed specific plans for a number of locations, including the site of the old Pig 'N Whistle at the western edge of the village, the Department of Public Works site behind it along the river, and the green expanse fronting the high school campus commonly referred to as the district's "front lawn."

The goal of the plan, the students said, is to increase overall density, revitalize the area, increase population and promote foot traffic.

While the ideas are just that at this point, the students' work could be adopted when the village reworks its master plan next year.

Village Manager Chris Swartz said that when the village someday forms plans to kickstart development in the area, the Pig 'N Whistle and Baker's Square sites likely would be the first to gain their attention.

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Mequon man dies after head-on crash on Granville Road

April 17, 2013 6:52 a.m. | A 40-year-old Mequon man has died as a result of injuries he suffered in a two-car crash that occurred just after 4 p.m. Monday in the area of 10100 N. Granville Road.

The Mequon man was driving north on Granville Road and a 47-year-old Thiensville man was southbound when the head-on crash happened, police said. The Thiensville man was taken to the hospital with injuries not expected to be life-threatening.

The Ozaukee County Sheriff's Department and Mequon Police Department Crash Reconstruction Unit are still investigating the crash.

Bay brainstorming parking restrictions near Little League field

April 16, 2013 4:54 p.m. | Whitefish Bay - Permit parking for residents may become part of the answer to parking issues that have plagued homeowners along the 6300 block of Lydell Avenue during Little League games.

Village administrators are considering a move to permit parking on the east side of the block, which would only allow homeowners to park there, along with stepped up police patrols and parking enforcement in the area during the Little League season. Village Manager Patrick DeGrave said at a Village Board meeting Monday that on recommendation from the Department of Public Works a four-way stop sign at the corner of Lydell Avenue and Devon Street isn't likely.

Village staff will come before the board at its May 6 meeting with suggested parking ordinances for the area. Trustee Jay Miller suggested that both sides of the 6300 block of Lydell be homeowner-only permit parking.

The parking problem came to light in February when the Whitefish Bay Little League brought a proposal for field lights at two of three fields at Craig Counsell Park. Residents came out in droves to air concerns over parking shortages and safety issues during the Little League season. Trustees agreed and voted down the field light proposal, saying any expansion of Little League operation hours could only come after a solution to the parking problem.

Fortunately for the board, Lydell Avenue residents, and Little Leaguers, the Milwaukee Jewish Federation has offered to open up 93 parking spots for Little League participants at its Milwaukee Jewish Day School, located at the north end of the Jewish Community Center campus.

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Former Shorewood schools secretary charged with embezzling $310,000 in special ed funds

April 16, 2013 4:48 p.m. | Shorewood - Donna Sternke, a former secretary at the Shorewood School District, has pleaded guilty to embezzling approximately $310,000 in special education funding from the district, according to federal court records.

The April 11 plea agreement alleges Sternke, who is in her mid-50s, embezzled the money between 1998 and 2011 while serving as a secretary in the Instructional Services and Special Education Department, abusing her purchasing abilities to buy big-screen TVs, household items and gift cards to the Kalahari Resort in the Wisconsin Dells, among other things.

According to the plea agreement, Sternke admitted to federal investigators that between 1998 and 2011 she used the district's computer system to create bogus invoices totaling $310,263.44. For instance, in February 2009, Sternke created an invoice for about $1,600 that she claimed was for an Hewlett-Packard laptop.

"In fact it was for her own 50-inch TV console and 37-inch Sony TV," the plea agreement reads.

By using falsified invoices to get checks from the district business office, Sternke also made in-store payments at Menards, JC Penneys, Target, Walmart, Best Buy, Kohls, American TV, as well as made payments on a personal credit card. She also paid for vacations and household purchases with district funds, often with gift cards.

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Mandel, Bay reviewing options for Consaul Commons

April 16, 2013 4:46 p.m. | Whitefish Bay - Village officials and representatives from developer Mandel Group are considering a number of design alternatives to the open space between the Fox Bay theater building and next door Garrison building, commonly referred to as Consaul Commons.

At the Village Board meeting Monday, representatives from the Mandel Group, who will soon break ground on the upscale apartment complex above the municipal lots at Beaumont Avenue and Consaul Place, presented a series of designs meant to open up the space and facilitate outdoor dining for the two businesses that front the commons.

The Mandel Group's apartment project includes approximately $100,000 for a "status quo" update of the space, explained Mandel Senior Vice President Richard Lincoln. That plan, like the other three presented, removes the curb and hedgerows along the edges of the commons, widening the available area for pedestrians and outdoor diners.

Currently, Consaul Commons has an ovular grassy area with three honey locust trees. The three other plans range in the amount of grassy space which would be covered over with concrete to increase pedestrian and public space. While cost estimates aren't available for the more concrete-centric plans, Lincoln commented that they would be costlier than the "status quo" update, and would require the village to kick in.

"We'd have to have a conversation about how that would be presumably paid for by the village," said Lincoln, noting that the area does fall within two of Whitefish Bay's tax incremental financing districts.

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Whitefish Bay rethinking new DPW building

April 16, 2013 1:32 p.m. | Whitefish Bay - Village trustees may pony up for a new Department of Public Works building to move staffers out of the nearly century-old horse barn the village rents now.

The Village Board on Monday approved a $20,000 payment to a partnership of Kenosha-based Riley Construction and Milwaukee firms Stephen Perry Smith Architects and Pierce Engineering to design a new DPW building at the intersection of Fairmount and Lydell avenues.

In February the Village Board voted to remove an approximately $4.5 million version of the new building from the 2013 capital budget, saying the cost was too high in light of the approximately $100 million the village will spend in the next 15 years for an extensive stormwater and sewer overhaul. Trustees in February charged Village Manager Patrick DeGrave with the task of coming up with a DPW building design which, when factoring in debt repayment for the project, would cost the village less than it would otherwise pay in rent. DeGrave said Monday the new goal is to design an approximately $3.5 million building, which would be around the break-even point in relation to rental costs and, as a result, be taxpayer neutral.

"The most important part (of the design) will be that qualified estimate," DeGrave told the village board, "what it will cost to build it."

John Mann, serving as an Owner's Representative for the village, said he is confident the project can come in at or under budget.

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Shorewood taking stand against governor's school budget proposal

April 12, 2013 2:38 p.m. | Shorewood - School district leaders are calling on community members to lend their support to a letter which says the Gov. Scott Walker's proposed 2013-15 budget threatens the quality of public education.

The district will collect signatures for the letter next week in an effort to sway legislators to revisit the governor's 2013-15 budget proposal, which freezes the state-mandated revenue limit, slightly increases state aid to schools and expands the voucher program which allows students to opt out of low-performing public schools in favor of private schools.

Alongside the letter, addressed to Walker, other legislators, and state committees, is a resolution passed by the School Board earlier this week and a fact sheet outlining the district's successes, budget concessions made in light of Act 10, and risks faced by the district as a result of the governor's proposal.

While other districts have been sending similar letters signed by their superintendents and school board members, Shorewood wants to put the weight of the community behind its version.

"(Cuts resulting from the governor's budget) affect not only the students and teachers in Shorewood's classrooms each day, but the community as a whole," Superintendent Martin Lexmond said in a news release. "We want to give our residents the opportunity to make their voices heard as well."

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View flooding photos of suburban Milwaukee

April 12, 2013 9:36 a.m. | We've just updated our flooding photos from suburban Milwaukee gallery with images taken in Thiensville, Glendale and Shorewood.

Flooding can be seen in a lot of places, especially along the Milwaukee River, Menomonee River and Root River. Check out scenes from along those rivers and other flooding photos from suburban Milwaukee.

Dog sitter charged with operating drug trafficking place in Mequon

April 11, 2013 8:01 a.m. | Mequon - An 18-year-old Mequon man was arrested and charged with maintaining a drug trafficking place and charges are pending for possession of drug paraphernalia at a home where he was dog sitting in the 3000 block of West Donges Bay Road about 10 p.m. March 29.

According to a police report:

Police received a "Tip 411" message earlier telling of a strong odor of marijuana with "a lot of teens" coming and going at the home with the homeowners out of town. At that time, no one answered the door so police left and then returned and now people were seen inside.

When they saw police, many fled, one of them, the dog sitter, Hunter Patnode, returned and let police into the home which was in "disarray" with marijuana and marijuana residue scattered about along with water bongs and pipes with marijuana residue, grinders, scales and beer.

Patnode said "I'm in a lot of trouble."

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Steve Novak donates $100,000 to help Brown Deer build fieldhouse

April 10, 2013 10:27 p.m. | Ever since he was little, current NBA player and former Brown Deer basketball star Steve Novak remembers his father, Falcon Athletic Director Mike Novak, talking about the creation of a grand fieldhouse facility at the school that Mike jokingly referred to as the "Nova-Dome".

Well that wish became reality Wednesday, as Steve Novak helped put the finishing touches on the multi-million dollar school district referendum project by announcing at the dedication ceremony/community pep rally that he had donated $100,000 to the process.

And because of his generosity, the grand fieldhouse facility, replete with four-lane indoor track, rock-climbing wall and a state-of-the-art scoreboard, will have a name in keeping with Mike Novak's long-ago dream.

It'll be called "The Brown Deer Novak Family Fieldhouse".

"My Dad fantasized about building a dome," said Steve from a podium at center-court of the new fieldhouse. "Well ladies and gentlemen, I can tell you dreams do come true. I can't tell you how much this means to have all my Dad's hard work and my family recognized this way."

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Rain leaves rivers rising in southeastern Wisconsin; heavy snow hitting north

April 10, 2013 10:22 p.m. | After three days of rain, rivers throughout southeastern Wisconsin were filled to the top of their banks and there were scattered reports of minor flooding in Sheboygan, Ozaukee, Milwaukee, Kenosha and a few inland counties.

The dam on the Milwaukee River at Thiensville was submerged Wednesday and the river had inundated Village Park. The river was expected to rise another 1 1/2 feet by late Thursday or early Friday, so flooding problems could extend beyond the park, Village Emergency Government Director Andy LaFond said.

In the Town of Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin Emergency Management delivered 2,000 sandbags to Johnsonville Sausage to divert the flooding Sheboygan River away from the factory at county Highway JM, officials said. At least 500,000 sandbags are stored around Wisconsin and can be delivered to flood-threatened communities, emergency management officials said.

The National Weather Service said Wednesday the Root River in Franklin was flooding, as well as the Fox River at Waukesha, Sheboygan River in the city of Sheboygan, the Fox River near New Munster in Kenosha County and the Crawfish River at Milford in Jefferson County. Major flooding was forecast at New Munster by midday Thursday.

It wasn't just southeastern Wisconsin suffering from weather problems.

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Brown Deer schools issue layoff notices

April 10, 2013 11:56 a.m. | Brown Deer - A total of 20 staff members, eight part-time and 12 full-time, have been issued preliminary layoff notices by the Brown Deer School District.

Among them is high school physical education teacher and baseball coach Michael Donahue, who came before the School Board with two other teachers last week to plead his case, bringing with him a crowd of people in a show of support. As of press time, Donahue did not respond to a North Shore NOW request for comment.

In light of the public outcry over teachers' potential layoffs, district administrators have said the preliminary notices are commonplace and don't necessarily equal final layoffs later in the year.

"It's a depressing ritual," Business Manager Emily Koczela said, "but it's something we do every year."

Last year, Koczela said, the district issued notices to eight part-timers and 15 full-timers, later issuing final layoff notices to four employees.

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Mequon Council calls for Attorney General to intervene in Archdiocese bankruptcy

April 10, 2013 10:34 a.m. | Mequon - Approximately $55 million set aside for the perpetual care of cemeteries by the Wisconsin Archdiocese may be used to pay the church's creditors as it goes through bankruptcy, which would shift the cost of maintaining those cemeteries onto local communities.

The Mequon Common Council on Tuesday passed a resolution urging Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen to intervene in the bankruptcy case because, if the Archdiocese's cemetery fund is used to pay creditors, the task and cost of maintaining Resurrection Cemetery would become the city's responsibility.

Resurrection Cemetery spans 215 acres at the corner of Swan and Donges Bay roads, containing two mausoleums, 2,800 graves, and more than 1,500 crypts and niches, according to the resolution. The resolution calls for Van Hollen to represent Mequon, among other Wisconsin communities, and protect the cemetery funding that the Committee of Unsecured Creditors in the case - which includes victims of sexual abuse who have won lawsuits against the church - has requested be used to pay claims.

"That has a couple of implications," Alderman John Wirth said. "That is 200 acres, in our city, near three or four subdivisions, which if it isn't cared for well would reflect badly and impact the property values of those subdivisions."

The aldermen on Tuesday said they empathize with the creditors, abuse victims included. Nevertheless, the cost of maintaining the cemetery would weigh heavy on an already tight city budget.

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MMSD takes emergency measures to prevent overflows

April 09, 2013 10:28 p.m. | The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District took emergency steps at the Jones Island sewage treatment plant Tuesday in an attempt to prevent combined sewer overflows and backups of sewage into residential basements.

At 4:30 p.m., the district started pumping a blend of storm water and sewage out of the deep tunnel system and disinfecting the flow with chlorine at the plant before discharging it to Lake Michigan, MMSD Executive Director Kevin Shafer said. This step provides more space in the tunnel system to store sewage and storm water flowing into it and reduces the risk of overflows.

The district cannot divert more than 100 million gallons a day of wastewater around the full treatment process at Jones Island during a heavy rainstorm, under a state permit.

The process is known as combined sewer overflow treatment since solids settle out of wastewater stored in the tunnel and regulators have determined that is equivalent to primary treatment at the plant. Overflowing combined sanitary and storm sewers in central Milwaukee and eastern Shorewood are directed into the deep tunnel system in a deluge.

At the time this emergency step was announced Tuesday, both the Jones Island and South Shore sewage treatment plants were operating at capacity.

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Young Bay girls slip by North Shore track field for indoor league title

April 09, 2013 9:02 p.m. | Whitefish Bay junior 400-meter track runner Grace Murray is a little unused to the protocols of her new sport. This is her first year out for track and like almost the entirity of her team, she is an underclassmen.

So, she wasn't sure what she had accomplished by holding off a determined charge from a Grafton competitor to bring the 1,600 relay team home to victory in the last race of the North Shore Conference indoor meet Tuesday night at Homestead.

Only when it was announced that the Blue Dukes had won the meet by just four points over the defending champion Blackhawks (113-109) did it become a little more clear to her.

"This was just my second time anchoring a relay," she said, "and right before the race one of my coaches said 'We're looking for leadership on this team. You need to step up and be someone.'"

"I found out I liked doing this (having the responsibility of anchoring a relay)."

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Graduate students to show off plans for redeveloped Capitol Drive corridor in Shorewood

April 09, 2013 4:22 p.m. | Shorewood - A group of University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Urban Planning graduate students will unveil plans for a re-imagined Capitol Drive corridor April 16 as part of a student project that could ultimately help shape the future of the area.

Their project, which focuses on West Capitol Drive between Oakland Avenue and the Milwaukee River, addresses a number of "underutilized" properties which could be redeveloped to increase density, make the area more pedestrian friendly, and bolster the tax base.

"I think the village has a strong vision for where they want to be and where they want to go," said Brian Peterson, one of the students involved on the project. "We're not necessarily reinventing the wheel, just helping them see where the vision would take them."

At the same time, school district leaders see a redevelopment of Capitol Drive as an opportunity to rethink the high school and Intermediate school campus, which straddles Capitol and Oakland, and bisects the business district.

"This kind of project, I think, is going to prompt that kind of planning," Superintendent Martin Lexmond said. "I think this will be sort of a catalyst to get that conversation going."

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Brown Deer to host ribbon cutting, celebration for new facilities

April 09, 2013 3:50 p.m. | The Brown Deer School District will open its new, referendum-funded field house and high school addition Wednesday with a ribbon cutting ceremony and community pep rally.

Ribbon cutting begins at 7 p.m. and refreshments, tours, and activities including a 40-yard dash and rock climbing begin at 7:30 p.m.

Brown Deer High School is located at 8060 North 60th Street. More information is available on the district site: http://www.browndeer.high.schoolfusion.us/

Doctors Park rehab begins with upcoming information sessions

April 09, 2013 2:02 p.m. | Fox Point - After all her time in Fox Point, Claudia Martin says she's still a California girl.

And when she walks down to the secluded beach at the bottom of the bluff at Doctors Park, she can close her eyes and be back.

"It's the only place I feel at home," Martin says.

Maureen Daly of Fox Point has a different take on the isolated stretch of Lake Michigan shoreline.

"You feel like you're up north," Daly says. "You feel like you're in the middle of no place."

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Veteran Shorewood volleyball coach Gemignani to step down

April 09, 2013 9:45 a.m. | Citing the need to spend more time with his family, veteran Shorewood boys volleyball coach Kevin Gemignani has decided to step down from his position.

"It is time to spend my fall afternoons, weekday dinners and Saturdays with my family," he wrote in a mass e-mail on Monday. "In fact, I am typing this e-mail with my daughter, Giana, sitting on my lap, and I am very happy."

Gemignani, who led the Greyhounds to a Woodland Conference championship last fall as well as WIAA state tournament berths in 2000, 2001 and 2005, said that all scheduled commitments for the 2013 season will be honored.

Colleen Mrotek named 2013 Miss Southern Wisconsin in photo gallery

April 08, 2013 11:18 a.m. | Colleen Mrotek of Bay View, Miss St. Francis 2012, was named Miss Southern Wisconsin 2013 on April 7.

The Miss Southern Wisconsin 2013 pageant is an official preliminary event for Miss Wisconsin pageant and was held at the at the Marian Center for Nonprofits.

View Mrotek and the other pageant participants in our photo gallery.

South Milwaukee's Cecilia Margraff crowned Miss St. Francis 2013

April 07, 2013 8:02 p.m. | South Milwaukee native Cecilia Margraff was crowned Miss St. Francis 2013 last night by reigning Miss St. Francis Colleen Mrotek at Saint Thomas More High School in Milwaukee.

The event is in its 49th year and is an official preliminary competition for Miss Wisconsin. Margraff will receive a $2,000 scholarship to the school of her choice.

The Miss Wisconsin pageant is June 16-22 in Oshkosh.

Miss St. Francis 2013 photo gallery

Boy, 17, charged for sexual assault in Homestead parking lot

April 05, 2013 2:24 p.m. | Mequon - Gregory Rounds, a 17-year-old Mequon boy, has been charged with sexual assault of a child under 16 years of age, according to a criminal complaint from the Ozaukee County District Attorney's office.

According to the complaint:

Rounds allegedly asked for and received oral sex from an unnamed 14-year-old girl Jan. 10 in the Homestead High School parking lot after a basketball game.

A Mequon police officer met with the girl's mother on March 10 to discuss the incident. The girl told the officer that Rounds had asked her to perform the act and that she had agreed.

Another officer obtained Homestead surveillance footage which showed Rounds and the girl walking together at the reported time and place of the incident. The officer then spoke with Rounds, who admitted to receiving oral sex from the girl.

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Hamilton's Mackenzie Latt leads NOW All-Suburban Girls Basketball Team

April 05, 2013 12:55 p.m. | Junior Mackenzie Latt from Sussex-Hamilton was voted the NOW All-Suburban Girls Basketball Player of the Year after helping her team to a second consecutive conference championship.

New Berlin Eisenhower's Gary Schmidt was voted as Coach of the Year for taking his squad to the Division 2 state title game.

Read more about them and the other members of the team on the special page highlighting the 2012-13 NOW All-Suburban Girls Basketball Team.

Waukesha marathoner - and disabled firefighter - sues Fox News for defamation

April 05, 2013 12:03 p.m. | A Waukesha County man who retired from the North Shore Fire Department over an arm injury has sued Fox News and anchor Megyn Kelly for their 2011 coverage of the fact he runs marathons while collecting disability payments.

Aaron Marjala's suit, filed in Milwaukee County Circuit Court, also names New York attorney Lee Armstrong, a guest commentator on Kelly's show, and Robert C. Whitaker, the chief of the North Shore Fire Department, as defendants. The action for "defamation per se" seeks unspecified actual, consequential and punitive damages, plus attorneys fees and costs, and any other relief a court may deem "just and equitable."

Marjala is represented by Michael F. Hart and Craig S. Powell of Kohler and Hart.

Marjala worked as a firefighter with North Shore from 2002 until he was determined to be permanently disabled as a firefighter in January 2008, due to nerve damage in  his right arm that persisted despite two surgeries, according to the complaint.

In September 2011, WITI-TV (Channel 6),  Milwaukee's Fox affiliate, broadcast a story highlighting Marjala's continued participation in marathons while on disability. In that report, Whitaker said Marjala's payments "needs to be exposed," and "The system may need some reform," implying that Marjala's case involved fraud or abuse, according to the complaint.

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North Shore election results roundup

April 03, 2013 11:25 a.m. | The April 2 spring election decided 11 contested races throughout Milwaukee's North Shore.  Below are links to NorthShoreNOW's election coverage:

Long-time Alderman Dan Abendroth unseats Mayor Curt Gielow in a neck and neck race, changing the course of development in the city of Mequon.

Incumbents hold out against challengers in the majority of North Shore muncipal contests. Our story centers around the Whitefish Bay Village Board race while including stats from others.

Our school board story centers around the Fox Point-Bayside race, where restaurateur Elizabeth Wick and Nicolet math teacher Mike Weidner won out in a four-way contest between newcomers. Other results included. 

Houpt, Cyrier win Mequon-Thiensville School Board seats

April 02, 2013 11:40 p.m. | Incumbent Mary Cyrier and newcomer Kathryn Houpt were elected to the Mequon-Thiensville School Board Tuesday, defeating challenger Alex Leykin.

Houpt was the top vote-getter with 4,619 votes - 37 percent. Cyrier, who has served on the board since 2006, garnered 34 percent of the vote, or 4,327 votes. There were 3,664 votes cast for Leykin, who brought in 29 percent of the voter.

Board members serve three-year terms and are not paid.

The vote total, according to unofficial results Tuesday:

Kathryn Houpt 4,619

» Read Full Article

Incumbents keep seats on Fox Point Village Board

April 02, 2013 11:22 p.m. | Incumbents Eric Fonstad and Douglas H. Frazer will keep their seats on the Fox Point Village Board for three more years, after defeating newcomer and challenger Terry McGauran on Tuesday.

Frazer was the top vote-getter, bringing in 44 percent of the vote. He received 875 votes, while Fonstad received 650 votes, or 33 percent. McGauran brought in 23 percent of the vote, or 454 votes.

Trustees are not paid.

The vote total, according to unofficial results Tuesday:

Douglas H. Frazer (i) 875

» Read Full Article

Incumbents Barth, Walny re-elected to Bayside board

April 02, 2013 11:18 p.m. | Incumbents Michael Barth and Eido Walny were re-elected Tuesday, defeating newcomers Kelly Herda and Tom Noble.

Michael Barth received 41 percent of the vote - 680 votes - and Walny received 34 percent of the vote, or 565 votes. There were 277 ballots cast for Herda, and 150 for Noble.

Village trustees serve three-year terms and earn $1,200 annually.

The vote total, according to unofficial results Tuesday:

Michael Barth (i) 680

» Read Full Article

Zielinski, Galloway Sherard prevail in Brown Deer School Board race

April 02, 2013 10:50 p.m. | Brown Deer - Incumbent Lisa Zielinski defended her seat on the School Board, and former board member Leslie Galloway Sherard unseated incumbent Barry Godshaw, defeating newcomer Bill Weisgerber in the process.

Zielinski received 29 percent of the vote, Galloway Sherard won 28 percent, Weisgerber brought in 24 percent, and Godshaw received 19 percent.

School board members serve three-year terms and earn $3,100 per annually.

Unofficial results are:

Lisa Zielinski (i) 972

» Read Full Article

Incumbents Baker, Springman defend seats on Brown Deer Village Board

April 02, 2013 10:42 p.m. | Brown Deer - Incumbents Jeff Baker and Gary Springman successfully defended their seats against newcomer Otto Bunge. Village President Carl Krueger ran unopposed for his seat.

Of Brown Deer's 8,513 registered voters, 27 percent came out to vote in the contest. Baker took home 43 percent of the vote. Springman received 38 percent and Bunge brought in 19 percent.

Board members serve for three years and earn $3,100 annually.

Unofficial results are:

Jeff Baker (i) 1,207

» Read Full Article

Weidner, Wick claim spots on Fox Point-Bayside School Board

April 02, 2013 10:34 p.m. | Fox Point - In a four-way contest between newcomers, Elizabeth Wick and Michael Weidner have won out against David Smulyan and Thomas Hayssen, claiming two spots on the Fox Point-Bayside School Board.

Weidner received 31 percent of the vote, followed by Wick at 27 percent, and Smulyan and Hayssen with 21 percent each.

School Board members serve three-year terms and are unpaid.

Unofficial results are:

Michael Weidner 709

» Read Full Article

Abendroth unseats Gielow in Mequon mayoral race by razor-thin margin

April 02, 2013 10:24 p.m. | Mequon - Long-time Alderman Dan Abendroth has unseated incumbent Mayor Curt Gielow in an extremely close contest, edging out Gielow by barely more than half a percent.

Abendroth claimed 50.57 percent of the 7,666 votes cast by Mequon voters. Gielow received 49.37%, 92 votes less than Abendroth.

Unofficial results are:

Dan Abendroth 3,877

Curt Gielow (i) 3,785

» Read Full Article

Linnane, Bockhorst win spots on Shorewood Village Board

April 02, 2013 10:04 p.m. | Shorewood - Incumbent Patrick Linnane and newcomer Tammy Bockhorst bested formed School Board President Paul Zovic, winning two seats on the Village Board.

Bockhorst was the top vote getter, receiving roughly 39 percent. Linnane had approximately 32 percent and Zovic about 29 percent.

Village board members serve three year terms and earn $1,000 per year.

Unofficial results are:

Tammy A Bockhorst 1,767

» Read Full Article

Miller, Fuda win seats on Whitefish Bay Village Board

April 02, 2013 9:44 p.m. | Whitefish Bay - Incumbent Jay Miller and newcomer Carl Fuda defeated newcomers Kevin McMahon and Ken Wysocky by a wide margin, claiming two seats on the Village Board.

Of the 10,306 registered voters in Whitefish Bay, 34 percent came out for the contest.

Board members serve three year terms and are paid $1,200 annually.

Unofficial results are:

Carl J. Fuda 1,946

» Read Full Article

Abendroth, Leszczynski win Mequon aldermanic races

April 02, 2013 9:34 p.m. | Dan Abendroth will retain his seat as the District 1 alderman on the Mequon Common Council, pending results of the Mequon mayoral race. Newcomer John Leszczynski defeated newcomer Jeff Hansher for the District 4 alderman seat.

It was a close race with Abendroth garnering 53 percent of the vote, beating newcomer Robert Strzelczyk. Strzelczyk received 415 votes, while Abendroth received 474. Leszczynski defeated Hansher with 393 votes - or 60 percent of the vote - versus Hansher's 267 votes.

Council members earn $1,800 annually and serve three-year terms.

Unofficial results for District 1 are:

Dan Abendroth (i) 474

» Read Full Article

Prost! Thiensville could boast beer garden this summer

April 02, 2013 3:28 p.m. | Thiensville - If Trustee David Lange has his way, you'll be able to raise a stein this summer at Village Park.

Lange and the Committee of the Whole on Monday began exploring the possibility of using the two octagonal structures at the park for a beer garden modeled after the successful Estabrook Park version, opened last year by Milwaukee County and Old German Beer Hall proprietor Hans Weisgerber III.

"It got me thinking about how we could do this," Lange said.

After Glendale-based Sprecher Brewing Company lost out to Weisgerber in a bid to supply Milwaukee County beer gardens, Lange said, he got in touch with the brewer about the possibility of bringing their beers and sodas to a Thiensville garden.

A cut of the Estabrook garden's profits go to Milwaukee County to help fund maintenance of the parks system. Lange said the fire department, which owns the two octagonal buildings, could similarly receive a commission on sales to help support its budget.

» Read Full Article

'Professional hiker' threatens to send cop to prison

April 01, 2013 12:56 p.m. | A man claiming to be a "professional hiker" tried to turn the tables on a Fox Point police officer by threatening to send the officer to prison while the officer was arresting him.

According to the Fox Point poice report:

The man, age and residence not released, was arrested on disorderly conduct charges after he was seen urinating near bushes at Lake Drive and Dean Road at 7:27 a.m. March 27.

The man told police he was a "professional hiker" hiking Highway 32.

He also said he was a federal judge and intended to send the officer to prison for breaking a "felony law."

Two fight off attempted cell-phone thefts in Shorewood

April 01, 2013 12:36 p.m. | Two people struggeld with a would-be cellphone thief in a pair of incidents about 10 minutes apart last week in Shorewood.

According to the Shorewood police report:

Two attempted robberies were reported by what appeared to be the same male in the 3700 block of North Maryland Avenue about 6:35 p.m. March 22 and in the 1100 block of East Kensington Boulevard about 10 minutes later.

In both events, a male got out of a blue sedan and confronted people sitting in their cars demanding their cellphones.

In the first report, a pizza delivery man was sending a text message when the male opened the door yelling "Gimme your phone." The two males struggled until the robber fled without the phone.

» Read Full Article

Community Watch

» Ozaukee County Fair books Josh Thompson as first headliner 4/26

» Nicolet student arrested after saying he had a gun Updated:  4/25

» Boy, 15, arrested for sexual assault at Whitefish Bay High School 4/25

» Glendale firefighter injured fighting garage fire 4/25

» Report: Walmart plans Brown Deer store at ex-Lowe's 4/24

» Stage set for Bradley Crossing expansion, Beaver Creek development plans 4/24

» Parents protest Fox Point-Bayside schedule and staffing changes that would cut art, music programs 4/23

» Challenge grant to match up to $100,000 in footbridge donations 4/23

» Nicolet chooses new superintendent 4/22

» Police apprehend Cedarburg man over school threats Updated:  4/19

» WHEDA awards tax credits for Bradley Crossing expansion, Beaver Creek development 4/18

» Brown Deer residents turn in petition against rental housing proposal Updated:  4/18

» North Shore grassroots group opposes school voucher expansion 4/17

» UWM students re-imagine Capitol Drive corridor 4/17

» Mequon man dies after head-on crash on Granville Road 4/17

» Bay brainstorming parking restrictions near Little League field 4/16

» Former Shorewood schools secretary charged with embezzling $310,000 in special ed funds 4/16

» Mandel, Bay reviewing options for Consaul Commons 4/16

» Whitefish Bay rethinking new DPW building 4/16

» Shorewood taking stand against governor's school budget proposal 4/12

» View flooding photos of suburban Milwaukee 4/12

» Dog sitter charged with operating drug trafficking place in Mequon 4/11

» Steve Novak donates $100,000 to help Brown Deer build fieldhouse 4/10

» Rain leaves rivers rising in southeastern Wisconsin; heavy snow hitting north Updated:  4/10

» Brown Deer schools issue layoff notices 4/10

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Best Summer Ever


We've made it easy for you to get out and go this summer. From hitting the trails for a bike ride or walk, to where to find beer gardens in the area, to the best places to swim in Waukesha County to the best summer drinks and summer reads, check out our 2016 summer guide.





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