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Waukesha considers pay-for-performance for teachers

Nov. 15, 2012 11:48 a.m. | One of Wisconsin's largest school districts is considering changing its salary structure to reward teachers based on the quality of their performance, rather than on their seniority and education.

The School District of Waukesha may bring on national consultant Battelle for Kids to design a new compensation and benefits system, according to a proposal from the district's administration that emerged this week.

Waukesha's School Board on Wednesday held off on voting on that approximate $77,000 contract until next month because that contract came in late to the lineup of action items, said Christine Hedstrom, assistant superintendent for human resources and labor relations.

But Hedstrom said Thursday she thinks there's a good chance the board will approve that contract next month.

If it does, Battelle for Kids, which is known for working with teachers' unions on issues related to new compensation systems and other school-improvement efforts, would come back in about six months with suggestions for a new compensation and benefits system, Hedstrom said.

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The Spoon restaurant is back in business under new ownership near downtown Waukesha

10:00 a.m. | Rich Sanchez grew up in the kitchen, and now he is giving a new eatery a second chance to grow.

Sanchez, 39, and his business partner, Tanner Janusz, are taking over The Spoon, a counter-service restaurant on Hartwell Avenue, just off Main Street, in Waukesha that serves soups, pies and sandwiches.

The restaurant, which offers carryout orders, opened in December, but then closed in January when its owners found themselves looking for new management in response to their own success.

Sanchez felt willing and able to step in, on relatively short notice.

"My brother was always in the garage with my dad working on cars and such, and I was in the kitchen with my mom," said Sanchez, who grew up in Waukesha and is a 1994 Waukesha North High School graduate.

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New downtown apartment complex part of plan to save Waukesha County Museum

Feb. 26, 2015 5:35 p.m. | A new future could be on the horizon for the Waukesha County Museum.

And more apartments could be coming to downtown Waukesha.

It's all part of a plan that would help save the financially-stricken museum.

Interim Waukesha County Museum chief executive officer Tom Constable said on Thursday afternoon Historic Prairieville Limited Partners, a local developer, will buy the museum's buildings at 101 W. Main St. from the Waukesha County Historical Society and Waukesha County Museum.

Constable said after Historic Prairieville Limited Partners purchases the site, the museum will enter into a long-term lease agreement to remain in the building.

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Waukesha Police Report: Feb. 26, 2015 issue

Feb. 26, 2015 10:30 a.m. | 1 Prescription drugs, an iPod, headphones, a calculator and other miscellaneous items were stolen from a locker room at Gold's Gym, 831 W. Moreland Blvd., prior to 12:45 p.m. Feb. 12.

2 A caller reported that a male was lying under a garbage bag at 1820 Oakdale Drive at 1:14 p.m. Feb. 12. However, police determined the caller was mistaken because when he showed police the bag there was nobody there and no footprints around it. Police said the movement was probably the breeze blowing the bag.

3 An intoxicated male was in the hallway threatening the caller with a broomstick at an apartment at 410 E. Main St. at 6:26 p.m. Feb. 12. The landlord advised the man that he is being evicted. After all of the parties went back into their rooms, the man came back in the hallway and continued the disturbance. He was subsequently arrested.

4 A caller's vehicle was spray-painted at 2330 Michigan Ave. prior to 11:36 p.m. Feb. 12.

5 A caller reported finding a pair of tennis shoes on fire in an alley in the 200 block of Estberg Avenue about 9 p.m. Feb. 13. The man ended up putting the fire out.

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Suspects from Hartland, Oconomowoc charged for their alleged roles in robbery of Waukesha bank

Feb. 25, 2015 4:57 p.m. | Jason Barnhill of Hartland and Lance Keota of Oconomowoc, suspected of holding up a Waukesha bank on Feb. 20, have been charged in Waukesha County Circuit Court for crimes related to the alleged robbery.

Barnhill, 33, was charged as party to a crime of robbery of a financial institution and with misdemeanor bail jumping.

Keota, 26, was charged with felony robbery of a financial institution.

According to the criminal complaint, Barnhill and Keota robbed the Associated Bank, 100 E. Sunset Drive, at gunpoint. Police later discovered the weapon used by the men was an airsoft gun, not a real firearm.

Bank employees said in the complaint that both men entered the bank at about 10:30 a.m. dressed in dark clothes and wearing masks. One of the suspects, identified in the complaint as Keota, was waving what appeared to be a gun; he jumped over the bank counter and stole nearly $5,500 from a teller's drawer, the complaint said.

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Prosecutors seek to deflect move of Slender Man case to juvenile court

Feb. 25, 2015 3:43 p.m. | Waukesha — Prosecutors in the Slender Man stabbing case argue that a defense theory that would require dismissal of adult homicide charges against two girls is a defense that should come into play only at trial.

Both the state and defense have filed briefs before Waukesha County Circut Judge Michael Bohren's decision March 13 on whether to continue the case in adult court or throw it out and let prosecutors refile a lesser charge in juvenile court.

Morgan Geyser, 12, and Anissa Weier, 13, were charged in June with being parties to the crime of attempted first-degree intentional homicide, in the May 31 stabbing of their friend, Payton Leutner, in a Waukesha park.

At a preliminary hearing last week, Geyser's attorney argued that the more appropriate offense is attempted second-degree homicide, because Geyser, diagnosed as suffering from schizophrenia, believed that if she didn't kill her friend, Geyser and Weier and their own families would be killed by Slender Man, a fictional Internet character.

Anthony Cotton, Geyser's attorney, argues that the state failed to prove Geyser did not act on that fear, citing the extensive evidence at the preliminary hearing about Geyser's beliefs and behavior. Attorneys for both girls have said their main concern is to move the case to juvenile court.

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Waukesha police investigating death of man found on sidewalk

Feb. 25, 2015 2:57 p.m. | Waukesha police are investigating the death of a man found on the sidewalk just off West Sunset Drive and South West Avenue Wednesday morning. 

Sgt. Jerry Habanek of the Waukesha Police Department said no fould play is evident in the death.

Officers responded this morning near the McDonald's, 1425 S. West Ave.

No other details were immediately available. 

Waukesha police arrest Associated Bank armed robbery suspects

Feb. 25, 2015 12:11 p.m. | The two suspects accused of robbing an Associated Bank last week have been arrested.

Capt. Ron Oremus said Wednesday morning that charges of robbery of a financial institution for the suspects - Jason Barnhill and Lance Keota - were being referred to the Waukesha County District Attorney's Office.

On Wednesday afternoon the DA's Office charged Barnhill with robbery of a financial institution-party to a crime, a Class C felony, as well as bail jumping, a misdemeanor.

Police said it is believed that approximately $10,000 was stolen in the robbery. Clothing and a fake weapon have been recovered as evidence, Oremus said.

According to police, the men robbed the Associated Bank, 100 E. Sunset Drive, at gunpoint at 10:28 a.m. Friday, Feb. 20. No shots were fired and no one was injured from the incident.

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Waukesha County Board gives staff go-ahead to seek redevelopment proposals on old HHS building

Feb. 24, 2015 9:29 p.m. | The future of the former Waukesha County Health and Human Services building — the one-time Moor Mud Baths Resort — is still unknown.

But the county is now taking the steps to see if a developer could repurpose the historic building, located on the county courthouse grounds in the city of Waukesha.

The Waukesha County Board passed a resolution by a 19-6 vote at its board meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 24, directing county staff to put out requests for proposals (RFP) to essentially advertise the building, one which county staff had wanted to see razed.

The county board's decision came about four months after the board voted to remove $3.3 million from the county executive's capital projects budget — money designated for the demolition of the building. If a developer is found and the building is sold, the old Moor Mud Baths Resort and two subsequent wings would be preserved. The building's east wing — not part of the historical designation — is still scheduled to be torn down.

Every county committee had previously followed staff's recommendation on keeping that money in the 2015 budget so the building could be razed this year. County administration previously said the building would cost about $24 million to make the necessary upgrades.

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Another wine bar could be coming to downtown Waukesha

Feb. 24, 2015 10:25 a.m. | Downtown Waukesha is all of a sudden becoming a wine destination.

Following the approval of a similar establishment earlier this year, a second wine bar, Spring City Wine House, is looking at filling a vacant storefront at 336 W. Main St. — a storefront located within The Clarke Hotel.

Harp & Eagle Ltd., which owns the recently revitalized hotel and its new Clarke Irish Restaurant & Pub, would house the Spring City Wine House.

The business' owners — Tom and Stacy Hockel — are looking to get a conditional-use permit approved by the city's plan commission on Wednesday, Feb. 25.

Wine with technology

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Darrin Malone, final suspect in Waukesha gas station homicide, arrested in Milwaukee

Feb. 23, 2015 8:00 p.m. | More than a month after his alleged role in the fatal shooting of a gas station clerk in Waukesha, Darrin Malone, the third and final suspect in the case, was found this week.

Malone was arrested on Monday, Feb. 23, in Milwaukee, said Kevin A. Carr, the U.S. marshal for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.

Malone, 28, had been wanted by the Waukesha Police Department since the armed robbery homicide on Jan. 13 at the Citgo station, 1445 Whiterock Ave. He has already been charged with felony murder-party to a crime in the shooting death of 65-year-old Saeed Sharwani of the town of Brookfield.

Malone was arrested at a residence in the 4000 block of N. 48th St. on Milwaukee's north side at approximately 2:30 p.m. Monday without incident, the U.S. Marshals Service said in a news release.

The U.S. Marshals Service also said Malone's brother, Jovany Butler, was arrested at the residence.

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Waukesha Police Report: Feb. 19, 2015 issue

Feb. 20, 2015 2:00 p.m. | 1 Tires and rims were stolen off a 2013 pickup at Mission Auto Services, 1230 S. West Ave., prior to 8:13 a.m. Feb. 5.

2 An intoxicated male was trying to talk to the caller's 3-year-old son on the corner of East Broadway and North East Avenue at 3:41 p.m. Feb. 5. When the woman told him to stop talking to her child, he started swearing.

3 An intoxicated man who had a knife was in the warming center at St. Matthias Episcopal Church, 111 E. Main St., at 6:40 p.m. Feb. 5 and threatening "to kick everyone's (expletive)." He was arrested. The center's manager took the man's knife away.

4 The catalytic converter was cut out of an Air Systems Engineers truck at 305 Wilmont Drive prior to 11:28 a.m. Feb. 6.

5 A caller reported a Santa Claus decoration was hanging from what appeared to be a noose at a residence at 1122 Perkins Ave. at 12:04 p.m. Feb. 6. This mannequin has been repeatedly called into police over the last several weeks.

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Golden Gate Restaurant will host annual Chinese New Year festivities

Feb. 20, 2015 12:32 p.m. | In celebration of Chinese New Year, Golden Gate Restaurant in Waukesha will hold its annual festivities. 

A free Chinese Lion Dance Show will take place from 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21, in the restaurant's parking lot within the Golden Gate Centre and inside the restaurant, 1427 E. Racine Ave. 

The event features firecrackers, music and lucky money ($1 to $100 while they last). 

Lucky money is a Chinese New Year's activity where parents give their children red envelopes in the evening, with good wishes for their kids staying healthy in the coming year. Red envelopes always have money in them.

Money put in red envelopes is believed to bring good luck, as red is a luck color.

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Associated Bank in Waukesha robbed at gunpoint by two masked men

Feb. 20, 2015 11:32 a.m. | Police are searching for two men who robbed an Associated Bank at gunpoint Friday morning in Waukesha.

According to a news release from Capt. Ron Oremus of the Waukesha Police Department, two masked men entered the bank, 100 E. Sunset Drive, and one displayed a handgun, jumped the counter and took an undisclosed amount of money just before 10:30 a.m. 

Both then fled the bank, located at the intersection of South East Avenue and East Sunset Drive, and headed southbound on foot toward Big Bend Road. 

Oremus said no shots were fired and no one was injured. Police do not know if a vehicle was involved in the robbery. 

The suspect who displayed the handgun is described as a black male, approximately 5-feet-11 to 6-feet tall, slender build and estimated to be somewhere between the ages of 35 and 40.

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Developer: city's downtown apartment denial tells others 'don't bother coming to Waukesha'

Feb. 19, 2015 9:57 p.m. | Despite revisions made by the developer over the last few months and the city staff giving it its blessing, a 202-unit apartment complex on the site of the old Fox Head Brewery will not be built.

In a tight 8-7 vote last week, the common council declined to rezone the land that would have been redeveloped at 211 and 223 Maple Avenue — a triangle-shaped parcel bordered by Maple Avenue, Williams Street and North Grand Avenue.

The council needed to rezone the site, just west of Carroll University, from a manufacturing zone to a general business planned-unit development to make way for the mixed-use commercial and residential development that would have been named Fox Head Residences.

The fact that the council on Thursday, Feb. 19, did not follow the recommendations of the city's redevelopment authority, its plan commission and planning department baffled developer Terrance Wall of T. Wall Enterprises.

"It seems very odd that the council wouldn't take all of that into consideration," a frustrated Wall said after the meeting. "Why have a planning commission if you're not going to listen to it? Why have a (redevelopment authority) if you're not going to listen to it? What's the point of having planning staff when your staff is telling developers this is what we want to do and then the council shoots it down.

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Fox Head Residences project coming before Waukesha Common Council tonight

Feb. 19, 2015 11:45 a.m. | The developer for the Fox Head Residences will likely find out tonight whether the changes he has made to the proposed apartment complex in Waukesha will be enough to get an approval. 

Plans for the Fox Head Residences, a luxury-style apartment building near Carroll University, will come before the council at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at City Hall, 201 Delafield St.

The last time the project was before the council many aldermen spoke against the apartment, which would be located near Carroll University at the site of the former Fox Head Brewery (bordering Maple Avenue, Williams Street and North Grand Avenue).

The developer – T. Wall Enterprises – then made adjustments to his site plan and plan of operation, reducing the height of the wings of the building from five and four stories to four and three and the number of units from 245 to 202, among other changes.

The city's plan commission gave the updated preliminary site plan its approval at a meeting in January.

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