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Gunman robs Family Dollar on Broadway, suspect not found

Jan. 17, 2013 10:28 a.m. | A masked man with a gun robbed the Family Dollar, 139 E. Broadway, in Waukesha Wednesday night.

At about 6:50 p.m., employees informed the Waukesha Police Department that a male suspect entered their store, displayed a handgun and demanded money.

After obtaining an undisclosed amount of money the suspect fled. According to police, the suspect is described as about 6-feet tall, average build, wearing a dark jacket, black ski-mask and a gray hooded sweatshirt.

No one was injured in the incident, said Sgt. Joe Hendricks of the Criminal Investigation Division.

The scene was then processed for evidence.

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Friday night standoff with Waukesha police ends without injuries

April 30, 2016 11:41 a.m. | A standoff with Waukesha police ended without any injuries late Friday night, authorities say.

The incident began at about 8:30 p.m. Friday when the Waukesha Police Communications Center received a 911 call from a residence on Pewaukee Road near W. Moreland Blvd. The caller reported a man inside the residence was armed with a handgun and pointing it at someone else inside.

The Waukesha Police Department responded to the scene along with the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department and its armored vehicle. When authorities arrived, one witness left and the suspect ran back inside the home, Lt. Kevin Rice said in an email.

The incident lasted about two hours, and those inside the home were taken into custody without incident, Rice said.

Rice said the incident was still under investigation, but it's believed two men who live inside the home were drinking heavily and arguing.

Waukesha West students learn global lessons up close on service trip

April 29, 2016 5:34 p.m. | On a quest to learn something more in the educational realm of "global competency," nine students found their way to the Dominican Republic in the first service trip sponsored by Waukesha West High School.

Nominated by school staff based on their leadership abilities, respectfulness and interest in a service trip, the students, along with school counselor Leslie Abruzzo and fine arts teacher Katie Acker, spent the majority of their time at the Villa Pajon, an ecolodge in the Central Mountain region of the Dominican Republic, which demonstrated the importance of global citizenship.

Abruzzo started the program this school year as a way for students to gain a better understanding of the global concepts they learn in class, as well as give them an advantage when looking at post-high school opportunities.

From an educational standpoint, the focus is lesson in global competency, defined by national educators as "the acquisition of in-depth knowledge and understanding of international issues, an appreciation of and ability to learn and work with people from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds, proficiency in a foreign language, and skills to function."

The Waukesha School District deems that as an important lesson in today's classrooms, Abruzzo said

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Judge: Prison for Waukesha man who groped teenage girl, threatened her to drop charges

April 29, 2016 11:39 a.m. | London Neal will spend the next 12 years of his life behind bars for attacking and groping and later threatening a teenage girl last spring, a Waukesha County Circuit judge ruled recently.

Neal, 19, of Waukesha was sentenced earlier this month by Judge Michael Aprahamian, according to online court records. In addition to prison time, Aprahamian sentenced Neal to eight years of extended supervision.

Neal previously pleaded no contest to two felony charges — second-degree sexual assault of a child and intimidation of a witness — in March. Both were tied to an incident in which Neal chased down and forcibly groped then punched a then-14-year-old girl while she was walking home last March in the city of Waukesha.

As conditions of his probation, Neal must register as a sex offender and undergo sex offender treatment; cannot have any contact with the victim, her family or their home; is not allowed to have contact with anyone under the age of 18; and must obtain his general education diploma.

Neal was originally charged last March with first-degree sexual assault (contact with a child under age 16 by use or threat of force); and physical abuse of a child while intentionally causing bodily harm.

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Getaway driver gets eight years in prison for role in Waukesha gas station homicide

April 29, 2016 11:35 a.m. | The second of the three individuals involved in the murder of a local gas station clerk during a botched robbery last January was sentenced to prison recently in Waukesha County Circuit Court.

Judge Lloyd Carter sentenced Jerica Cotton, 24, of Milwaukee to eight years in prison and 10 years of extended supervision for her role in the homicide during an April 28 sentencing hearing, online court records show. Cotton pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of armed robbery — even though she was not inside the gas station when the clerk was robbed and killed — in February in exchange for her testimony against Darrin Malone, one of her co-defendants in the case.

Cotton received 469 days credit for time already served, according to court records. Carter also ordered her to jointly pay almost $19,000 in restitution to an insurance company. She began serving her time after the hearing concluded.

As conditions of her probation, Cotton was ordered to maintain absolute sobriety and is prohibited from contacting any members of Sharwani's family.

Cotton, Malone of Milwaukee and Kenneth Thomas of West Allis were charged last January with a host of felonies, including first-degree intentional homicide, in the death of 65-year-old Brookfield resident Saeed Sharwani, the clerk at the Citgo gas station at 1445 Whiterock Ave.

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City of Waukesha revises Great Lakes water plan

April 28, 2016 7:48 p.m. | The City of Waukesha would receive up to an average of 8.7 million gallons a day of Lake Michigan water by midcentury — down 13.86% from its earlier request — to serve a smaller area proposed by Great Lakes officials reviewing the city's plan for lake water.

Waukesha had asked to pump up to an average of 10.1 million gallons a day by 2050, but city officials revised the volume this week after regional officials moved to redraw the service area without portions of three neighboring communities included in the city's request.

Revised service area maps and findings in support of the request were posted on a website — www.waukeshadiversion.org — by the Conference of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers.

"It appears that we're approaching a workable solution for residents of the city," Waukesha Water Utility General Manager Dan Duchniak said Thursday.

The biggest change in the water service area comes with the removal of most of the Town of Waukesha, generally south of Lawnsdale Road.

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Waukesha Farmers Market set to kickoff 2016 season May 7

April 26, 2016 4:55 p.m. | The best word to describe the Waukesha Farmers Market this year might be "new."As in: new name, new location and new, extended hours.

Waukesha Downtown Business Association President Norm Bruce said the changes this year are no cause for alarm. They are instead just an extension of what the WDBA has been doing since it took over the market at the end of the farmers market season in 2012.

The market, which is set to kick off May 7 and run through the last week of October, is now being called the "Waukesha Farmers Market village," based on a new configuration of the vendor booths at the market's new location on the north side of the Fox River, 313 Bank St, across from Riverfront Plaza.

According to Bruce, the new configuration resembles a small village.

Additionally, the market — a public, open-air, producer-only event held on Saturday — will be open this year for an extra hour, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Bruce said.

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Longtime local criminal Julio Alvarez gets prison for robbing Waukesha gas station

April 26, 2016 10:25 a.m. | Julio Alvarez had a criminal history dating back more than a decade and was free on probation for a little less than two weeks when he put on dark clothes, covered half his face with a bandana and robbed a local gas station last May.

Alvarez, 29, of Waukesha was sentenced recently in Waukesha County Circuit Court to seven years in prison for that crime, according to online court records. He pleaded guilty in January to robbery with the threat of force, a class E felony.

He was originally charged last June with robbery and bail jumping for his involvement in the incident.

In addition to prison time, Judge Ralph Ramirez sentenced Alvarez to five years of extended supervision. Both penalties are to run consecutive to Alvarez's current sentence — 20 months behind bars — which was imposed after Alvarez violated the terms of his probation on a previous conviction.

Terms of Alvarez's new probation include a ban on contact with his girlfriend, Deidre Pitsch, who aided him in the robbery, a mandate to maintain absolute sobriety and undergo a mental health evaluation and follow through on any recommended treatment.

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Waukesha police report: April 28, 2016 issue

April 25, 2016 6:54 p.m. | 1 A 12-year-old Horning Middle School student was separated from his classmates around 8:05 a.m. April 15 after he began slamming desks and throwing items around a classroom. The boy's parents were called, but refused to come get him so he was moved to a classroom by himself.

2 Two Waukesha South High School students were reported for inappropriate touching around 8:43 a.m. April 15. The nature of the touching and the genders and ages of the students were not specified, but both were described as "juveniles" in a police report.

3 Staff at Prairie Home Cemetery, 605 S. Prairie Ave., told police around 9 a.m. April 15 that someone is dumping trash in the cemetery after hours and stealing silk flowers. Extra patrols of the area were requested.

4 Two men reportedly stole tool kits from The Home Depot, 2320 Bluemound Road, around 11 a.m. April 15 then fled the store in their car.

5 An unidentified woman tried to fill two fraudulent prescriptions at Walgreens, 2700 Grandview Blvd., around 8:25 p.m. April 15. According to a police report, a doctor's signature on the prescriptions was incorrect.

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Proposed strip mall, eatery could replace Gasthaus restaurant

April 25, 2016 4:50 p.m. | A proposed retail center and restaurant at the site of the well-known Gasthaus restaurant, 2720 N. Grandview Blvd., will be considered this week by a Waukesha panel, but the concept has not received a favorable review thus far from city staff.

According to planning documents, California-based Panda Restaurant Group is proposing construction of a strip mall at the corner of Silvernail Road and Grandview Boulevard — where Gasthaus currently sits — and a Panda Express restaurant across from the plaza. It is not clear whether the Gasthaus restaurant, which functions as a kind of gateway into the city, would be razed if the project earns approval.

The city's plan commission was expected to review and take action on the proposal Wednesday, April 27, after press deadline. City staff, in multiple reports, have outlined problems with the proposal, predominantly citing traffic concerns, and recommended denial of the current plans for the project.

Development and concerns

The proposal calls for the construction of a 9,800-square-foot strip mall featuring three unidentified retail spaces, a coffee shop with a drive-thru and two restaurants on the Gasthaus site. The 2,600-square-foot Panda Express restaurant would be a standalone building, separated from the mall by a parking lot.

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Catholic Memorial principal Bob Hall selected to lead new innovative program at Elmbrook Schools

April 25, 2016 3:45 p.m. | The Elmbrook School District will be pulling from local talent for a new program meant to help juniors and seniors experience real-world, hands-on education.

The district is planning to launch a new Innovation Collaboratory in September 2017 and has selected Catholic Memorial High School principal Bob Hall to serve as executive director of the initiative.

"The first thing that you'll notice when you meet Dr. Hall is just his unbridled enthusiasm and commitment to kids. He's one of those personalities that is all-in," said Elmbrook Superintendent Mark Hansen.

The district's new Innovation Collaboratory will work to create partnerships between Elmbrook students and local businesses and organizations.

Hansen noted that the idea came from a desire to expand the students' opportunities for education outside a traditional classroom setting.

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Severe thunderstorm watch in effect

April 25, 2016 2:47 p.m. | The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm watch, in effect until 10 p.m., for much of Southeastern Wisconsin, including Waukesha, Jefferson, Walworth and Milwaukee counties.

A watch indicates that conditions are right for the formation of severe thunderstorms. Severe storms have not yet been spotted in this area.

Proposed apartment project for Waukesha County Museum remains stalled

April 25, 2016 12:25 p.m. | More than four months have passed since two city panels gave conditional approval to a proposed redevelopment of the Waukesha County Museum site, but the project still has not progressed beyond the planning stage — to the chagrin of city officials and the developer.

At Waukesha's most recent landmarks commission meeting April 6, the latest plans for the project — a high-end apartment complex at 101 W. Main St. — received mixed reviews from commissioners and city staff. The project was initially proposed in February 2015 in part to help the financially struggling museum.

The plans presented this month included an outdoor "plaza" area above a parking garage situated in front of the connector building between the county's former courthouse and jail, both built in the 19th century. The garage was necessary, developer Alan Huelsman said, to accommodate the number of on-site parking stalls required for the project.

Some commissioners expressed disapproval of the new design and suggested a return to the previously approved plans, which called for a 32-unit apartment complex and for the conversion of an old jail into a banquet hall.

Under those plans, the museum would sell the property to Huelsman, who owns local Historic Prairieview Limited, but would still maintain a limited presence by leasing a portion of one building.

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Waukesha School District names new principals at four schools

April 22, 2016 3:25 p.m. | The Waukesha School Board approved three new principals and an assistant principal/athletic director at four Waukesha schools.

The appointments will begin in the 2016-2017 school year.

Here are the appointments, broken down by school:

West High School

Ryan Patt was approved as the new principal of Waukesha West. Patt has been the assistant principal at the high school since 2009. He will be filling the position left vacant by David LaBorde, who is retiring.

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Man sentenced to prison for role in Waukesha gas station homicide

April 22, 2016 2:55 p.m. | Darrin Malone will spend decades in prison for his role in the murder of a local gas station clerk who was fatally shot last January during a botched robbery.

Malone, 29, of Milwaukee was sentenced April 21 in Waukesha County Circuit Court to 25 years in prison and 10 years of extended supervision, according to court records. He was found guilty of felony murder by a jury in February.

Malone was originally charged for his involvement in the killing of 65-year-old Saeed Sharwani with Kenneth Thomas and Jerica Cotton, both of whom testified against Malone in exchange for reduced charges. Thomas, 21, of West Allis was the triggerman; and Cotton, 24, of Milwaukee, was the getaway driver.

Sharwani was a clerk at the Citgo gas station at 1445 Whiterock Ave.

As conditions of his probation, Malone is not allowed to have any contact with Thomas or Cotton or any members of Sharwani's family. Judge Lloyd Carter also ordered Malone to participate in any treatment recommended by his probation officer and pay an undetermined amount of restitution.

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Great Lakes officials trim Waukesha's water request

April 22, 2016 1:10 p.m. | The City of Waukesha's request for more than 10 million gallons a day of Lake Michigan water was cut substantially by representatives of Great Lakes states and provinces meeting Friday in Chicago.

Waukesha's plan to pump up to an average of 10.1 million gallons a day by midcentury will be trimmed to an average of 8.2 million gallons a day after the Great Lakes officials removed portions of three neighboring communities from a future water service area to receive lake water, as a condition of the regional group's acceptance of the request.

Portions of the towns of Delafield and Genesee and generally the southern half of the Town of Waukesha were taken out of the water service area previously delineated by the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission.

Waukesha's requested lake water supply would serve its existing city boundaries, small pieces of the Town of Waukesha, as well as a portion of the City of Pewaukee included under an existing border agreement.

Grant Trigger, a Michigan representative, pushed for the change in service area during two days of meetings in Chicago that began Thursday. He met late Thursday with officials from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to draw up the revised area to be served with lake water.

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