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Food Pantry of Waukesha County receives milk, dairy products from Golden Guernsey

Jan. 16, 2013 8:26 a.m. | Like many in the community, Karen Tredwell was saddened to hear that the Golden Guernsey plant in Waukesha closed Jan. 5.

"Our concern is for the loss in the community it has created," said Tredwell, executive director of the Food Pantry of Waukesha County. "(Golden Guernsey) was an icon.

"People have lost jobs (112 employees) and they could potentially become clients of ours. From people working at the plant to farmers producing the milk, a lot of people have been hit by this."

But as the leader of the local pantry, she was happy to hear that the products left inside the facility, 2101 Delafield St., are being donated to local agencies across the state, including her pantry at 1301 Sentry Drive in Waukesha.

With the Hunger Task Force in Milwaukee serving as a catalyst and as a partner of the Food Pantry of Waukesha County, the pantry received more than 500 gallons of milk Tuesday as well as dairy products.

» Read Full Article

Late turnovers lead Menasha past Waukesha West in Division 2 state championship

Nov. 21, 2014 5:04 p.m. | Right up until the final quarter of the 2014 football season, Waukesha West was on a championship run.

Menasha used turnovers to its advantage in a fourth-quarter splurge to secure its first state championship and send Waukesha West to a 35-17 defeat at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison on Nov. 21 in the Division 2 state-title game.

The big blow came on West's second play from scrimmage in the final period, with the Wolverines trailing 21-17 but in possession of the ball after a 3-and-out stop. Quarterback Conor Blount's short play-action pass over the middle fell right into the waiting arms of Menasha's Dominic Seifert, who went 32 yards the other way to give Menasha a 28-17 edge.

Two plays later, West fumbled again, and Menasha standout quarterback Tyler Johnson ran the ball on each of the next four snaps, capped by a 26-yard touchdown run that put the game out of reach.

It was a sudden turn of events at a time when it appeared West was gaining the upper hand. Freshman Peter MacCudden, who scored both West touchdowns on short runs in the first half, made his own game-changing play at the 7:30 mark of the third quarter. Johnson completed a pass to Emanuel Jenkins for a 4th and 5 conversion from the West 28, but upon arrival at the 4-yard line, MacCudden stripped the ball away and recovered the loose ball to give the Wolverines possession.

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Waukesha holiday tree-lighting ceremony salutes military on Friday

Nov. 21, 2014 4:30 p.m. | The holiday season, especially with Thanksgiving around the corner, is a time to give thanks.

And giving thanks to veterans and active military personnel will be the theme of the Tree Lighting Ceremony in downtown Waukesha, which takes place at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 21, at The Rotunda, 235 W. Broadway.

Jim Hahn, executive director of the city of Waukesha's Chamber of Commerce, said there will be many ways the ceremony will honor the military.

Military honors

One is by having Cpl. Lester Nustad, 92, a decorated World War II veteran from Waukesha, serve as the ceremony's honorary chairman and flip the switch on the tree.

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Waukesha West takes on Menasha in Division 2 state final

Nov. 21, 2014 11:05 a.m. | For the third time in 11 years and second time in five years, the Waukesha West football team is in a state final game.

The Wolverines hope their trip to Camp Randall Stadium ends the same way the other two ended: with a state title. 

Standing in its way of a Division 2 championship is Menasha, champions out of the Bay Conference, an undefeated squad making its first appearance in a state championship final.

The Division 2 state final is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Camp Randall Stadium. The game is televised on Fox Sports Wisconsin.

Both teams punched their tickets to Madison with one-point victories last week. West edged Waunakee, 21-20, in a state semifinal game and had to withstand a late two-point conversion try and last-second field goal attempt.

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Fast start propels Catholic Memorial past Menomonee Falls in girls basketball opener

Nov. 20, 2014 11:07 p.m. | The Menomonee Falls girls basketball team will clearly be a work in progress this season.

Slowed by early season injuries, the Indians got off to a difficult start against visiting Catholic Memorial Thursday night in their season opener and despite some strong moments, fell to the Crusaders by a 54-42 count.

"Take away the bad start (an 18-4 first quarter deficit) and we did do some good things," said Indian coach Craig Amundson. "What I really liked throughout the game was our work ethic. I was proud of our kids."

The Indians, who will also travel to Nicolet for a 7:30 p.m. tilt on Saturday, will have to be patient until they can get healthier. They had three top-flight freshmen last season in a rebuilding year, but one of them, NCAA recruit soccer player Kylie Sprecher, is out for the season already, while another Marissa Igunbor, was just recently cleared from to practice after struggling with her own health issues and was unavailable yet for Thursday's game.

The third, 5-7 ssophomore Madison Grzesiak, did lead the Indians with 17 points this night and got great help from 6-0 freshman post Jessica Boerner, who contributed 15.

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Waukesha concedes it can't meet deadline for radium-free water

Nov. 19, 2014 4:18 p.m. | Waukesha will be unable to comply with a court-ordered deadline of June 2018 to provide radium-safe water to its customers and will ask for an extension of at least two additional years, city officials concede in a memo prepared in response to a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel inquiry.

More than four years after the city submitted a precedent-setting request to divert Lake Michigan water across the subcontinental divide, the application remains under state review and has not even been forwarded to the other Great Lakes states for their consideration.

Even if Wisconsin and the other seven states approve the plan by this time next year, the earliest date for completing construction of a new water supply service is the summer of 2020, according to the memo written by Water Utility General Manager Dan Duchniak and other officials. The memo was distributed this week to the Waukesha Common Council and Water Commission after the Journal Sentinel filed public records requests on Nov. 13 and sought comment from Duchniak on the need for an extension.

To comply with the court order, the city would stop using deep wells drawing radium-contaminated water from sandstone once a new supply is available.

Despite delays in the application process, Waukesha is not reconsidering its Lake Michigan diversion request, officials confirm in the memo. Cost of the lake water supply is estimated at $206 million.

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Waukesha Police Report: Nov. 20, 2014 issue

Nov. 19, 2014 11:30 a.m. | 1 A caller at 2051 Highland Ave. said they believe a garbage bag at the end of Highland Avenue has evidence of a crime in it at 6:49 a.m. Nov. 7. The caller, however, did not specify why. Police simply disposed of the bag.

2 A caller said he is being threatened by his housekeeper at 1815 Northview Road at 2:21 p.m. Nov. 7. He said the housekeeper, who has lived there for two years, sleeps all day and refuses to clean his house. She told him "there is nothing you can do about it." This has been an ongoing issue with the two not getting along.

3 Tools were stolen from a shed at 401 E. Main St. at 4:39 p.m. Nov. 7.

4 A man wearing dark clothing came out of the woods at 3122 Kisdon Hill Drive at 7:33 p.m. Nov. 7 and began petting the caller's dog as she was outside walking the dog. The man then went back into the woods.

5 A Carroll University public safety officer caught a couple of students who took some of the letters off a sign on campus at the northeast corner of Grand and College avenues at 10:52 p.m. Nov. 7.

» Read Full Article

Girl charged in Slender Man case to get another competency hearing

Nov. 18, 2014 4:43 p.m. | For the second time, a 12-year-old girl charged with trying to kill a classmate to impress the fictional character Slender Man will have her mental state discussed in court by experts.

Morgan Geyser was found incompetent in August after a doctor and psychologist revealed that she still believed in Slender Man and unicorns, thought she could communicate with the Harry Potter villain Lord Voldemort and may suffer from an undiagnosed mental illness.

After weeks of treatment at the Winnebago Mental Health Institute, Geyser had regained legal competency — her ability to fully understand the charges against her and aid in her own defense — according to a state psychiatrist's report.

On Tuesday, however, her attorney, Anthony Cotton, said he challenges that conclusion and asked for another full hearing on that issue. Waukesha County Circuit Judge Michael Bohren set a date for a competency hearing on Dec. 18, the same day as a similar hearing for co-defendant Anissa Weier.

That is when the state psychiatrist, Kenneth Casimir, and defense experts would testify about changes in Geyser's situation, leaving the ultimate decision of whether she's ready to proceed to Bohren.

» Read Full Article

Burlington's city administrator Kevin Lahner selected to same position in Waukesha

Nov. 14, 2014 6:23 p.m. | The city of Waukesha has found its next city administrator.

Kevin Lahner, the city administrator in Burlington, has been selected by Mayor Shawn Reilly and members of the City Administrator Search Committee to replace Ed Henschel as Waukesha's city administrator.

Reilly made the announcement on Friday, Nov. 14.

The common council must approve the search committee's recommendation. That's expected to happen at its Dec. 2 meeting.

Governmental experiences

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Paul Farrow announces for Waukesha County executive

Nov. 14, 2014 11:54 a.m. | Madison — State Sen. Paul Farrow is running for Waukesha County executive, while Rep. Dale Kooyenga has decided he will not seek the position.

Farrow, a Pewaukee Republican and the son of former Lt. Gov. Margaret Farrow, announced his plans late Thursday, after news emerged that County Executive Dan Vrakas would not seek re-election.

"We have proved time and time again, that our pursuit of lower taxes, community involvement, and electing good stewards of the public trust helps build strong communities and a county that we are all proud of," Farrow said in a written statement announcing his plans. "I look forward to continuing that tradition if I have the honor to serve as county executive."

Kooyenga, a Brookfield Republican, said Friday he had been encouraged to run but decided against it.

"After prayer and discussing with my amazing wife, Jennifer, we decided I can best fight for our values and principles by continued service in the Legislature," Kooyenga said in a written statement.

» Read Full Article

30West magazine looking for Waukesha couples to feature in February issue

Nov. 13, 2014 12:42 p.m. | Got a great love story? 30West magazine is looking to feature some Waukesha County couples and their stories in our February issue. Interested in getting featured? Email a photo along with your name, address and telephone number to lakenews@jcpgroup.com with "30West love story" in the subject line. Please also include a brief description of your story. All emails must be received by November 21 to be considered.

Waukesha Police Report: Nov. 13, 2014 issue

Nov. 13, 2014 11:15 a.m. | 1 A caller said he was approached outside House of Guinness, 354 W. Main St., at 12:26 a.m. Oct. 31 by a man asking for money for a cab. The caller gave him $15 and the man then went back into the bar for a drink.

2 A customer's cellphone was stolen at Waukesha County's Habitat for Humanity ReStore, 2120 E. Moreland Blvd., at 11:55 a.m. Oct. 31.

3 A man called the police department, 1901 Delafield St., at 4:22 p.m. Oct. 31 saying an unidentified man keeps calling him and insisting he hit his car and left a note on it. The caller said he had not been in an accident and has no idea what the man is talking about.

4 An iPad was stolen from a house at 2107 Kensington Drive prior to 5 p.m. Oct. 31.

5 A locker was broken into and a wallet, watch and cellphone were stolen at the YMCA, 320 E. Broadway, prior to 7:42 p.m. Oct. 31.

» Read Full Article

Vrakas to retire as Waukesha County exec, sparking likely GOP tussle

Nov. 13, 2014 9:50 a.m. | Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas announced Thursday that he won't be running for re-election in the spring.

The announcement comes some eight months after Vrakas made public the fact that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. He completed treatment in 10 weeks and returned to work full time in June.

Word of Vrakas' impending retirement announcement had several leading Waukesha Republicans scrambling to gauge and, in some cases, lock up support for what will be an open seat. The general election for the nonpartisan office is to be held in April.

Heading the list of potential candidates are Sen. Paul Farrow, a Pewaukee Republican, and Rep. Dale Kooyenga, a Republican from Brookfield. Both are considered rising stars in the party.

"I would say that Farrow is probably the favorite, but this is incredibly early," said one Waukesha Republican. "Dan hasn't even announced that he's not running." 

» Read Full Article

Waukesha County keeps taxes flat in 2015 budget

Nov. 12, 2014 6:10 p.m. | The Waukesha County Board on Wednesday adopted a final 2015 budget with an increase of slightly less than 1% to the general property tax levy.

The total levy stands at $100.49 million for 2015, up $987,100 from this year.

The property tax rate needed to generate the 2015 levy is $2.08 per $1,000 of equalized valuation, down seven cents from this year. The decrease in the rate coupled with a rise in property values will result in no change in the county portion of the December tax bills for most homeowners.

The tax rate and levy were unchanged from the budget recommended by County Executive Dan Vrakas.

Vrakas praised the board for approving a budget that does not increase the property tax burden on homeowners. The final budget "maintains our role as a low tax leader in the state," Vrakas said.

» Read Full Article

Waukesha Common Council approves a 2.73 percent tax levy increase for 2015

Nov. 12, 2014 5:03 p.m. | Waukesha taxpayers will pay more on the city portion of their tax bill in 2015.

The tax levy will be $54.55 million, a 2.73 percent increase from 2014, according to figures provided by city of Waukesha Finance Director Richard Abbott. The common council approved the tax levy increase on Nov. 11.

Abbott said the tax rate per $1,000 of assessed value is $10.43 for 2015, up from $10.19 in 2014. This means a homeowner with an assessed value of $200,000 will pay $2,086 on the city portion of their tax bill, up $48 from 2014.

Pay factor in hike

The total operating budget was about $60.6 million, about a 2.29 percent increase from 2014, which met the Expenditure Restraint Program requirements for limiting spending, Abbott said.

» Read Full Article

Doctor says Waukesha stabbing suspect in Slender Man case now competent to continue

Nov. 12, 2014 11:16 a.m. | Three months after Morgan E. Geyser was found incompetent, a medical expert has determined that the 12-year-old is now competent to face criminal proceedings.

Geyser, charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide, had been receiving treatment at the Winnebago Mental Health Institute since a judge ruled her incompetent in August. She is accused of nearly stabbing her friend to death as a way to prove herself worthy to a fictitious Internet horror character called Slender Man.

Competency is largely based on whether the court determines a defendant has the mental capacity to assist their attorneys in the defense.

Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Michael Bohren revealed in court on Wednesday, Nov. 12, that Kenneth Casimir, a doctor in Appleton who specializes in psychiatry, filed a report saying Geyser now has the mental capacity to understand the proceedings and to assist in her own defense.

"To me, that means she's competent to proceed," Bohren said at last week's hearing.

» Read Full Article

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