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Downtown Waukesha property owners look to disband BID

Feb. 05, 2013 5:18 p.m. | After a year of controversy, a new downtown Waukesha Business Improvement District Board was just formed.

But could it all be short-lived?

City of Waukesha Mayor Jeff Scrima received a petition from almost 63 percent of downtown property owners requesting that the BID be disbanded.

Property owner Jeff Barta, a co-owner of Nice Ash Cigar Bar in downtown Waukesha, said there needed to be at least 50 percent of the property owners on the petition.

From his understanding on the state statute, the property owners on the petition will address the Plan Commission in the future.

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Preps football photos of the week: Sept. 26

Sept. 26, 2014 10:40 p.m. | Big conference games were a big part of high school football as the season continued in Week 6 on Sept. 26.

Now Newspapers and Lake Country Publications compiled the best photos shared on social media featuring teams from our coverage area, predominantly in Milwaukee and Waukesha counties.

Here's the best sights and sounds from Week 6.

Waukesha Slender Man stabbing victim will be introduced to the world tonight on 20/20

Sept. 26, 2014 11:52 a.m. | For four months, the identity of the 12-year-old Slender Man stabbing victim has been kept private. 

But tonight, in an exclusive interview with ABC World News Tonight anchor David Muir, her family will introduce her to the world during the one-hour season premiere of 20/20.

The telecast, titled "Out of the Woods," begins at 9 p.m. Friday on ABC. 

The girl's parents will speak about the stabbing, which has received national and international attention after the two suspects in the case - two 12-year-old girls - told police that they had plotted for months to kill their friend to prove themselves worthy to a fictional Internet horror character named Slender Man.

“Our family continues our journey of healing," her parents said in a statement. "By allowing us to introduce our little girl, and not by a media outlet, means a great deal to us. For that we are so very thankful to you all.”

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Waukesha Police Report: Sept. 25, 2014 issue

Sept. 25, 2014 12:15 p.m. | 1 A caller reported six teenage girls were playing on the railroad tracks, dancing and taking pictures with their cellphones, at the intersection of Macarthur Road and West St. Paul Avenue at 7:10 p.m. Sept. 12.

2 A man wearing a cowboy hat was trying to break into cars outside a business at 227 W. Main St. at 9:36 p.m. Sept. 12.

3 A man was transported to the Hebron House shelter after police found him sleeping on a picnic table in Bethesda Park, 560 W. Dunbar Ave., at 2:24 a.m. Sept. 13.

4 A caller reported at 8:19 a.m. Sept. 13 that he has ongoing problems with a neighbor who lets cats outside of an apartment at 2125 Kensington Drive. The caller said his neighbor's cats stir up trouble with the other neighborhood cats by coming up to people's screen doors and trying to start cat fights.

5 People were smoking marijuana in an apartment unit at 2111 Kensington Drive about 1:35 p.m. Sept. 13. Police could smell the odor, but no one answered the door.

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Proposed Waukesha County budget keeps property taxes flat

Sept. 24, 2014 4:29 p.m. | Total Waukesha County government spending in 2015 would drop $3 million from this year, to $279.1 million, under a 2015 budget proposed by County Executive Dan Vrakas.

The county's general property tax levy needed to pay more than one-third of projected expenditures would increase slightly less than 1% to $100.49 million for 2015, up $987,100 from the county levy this year, according to budget documents.

Since property values rose about 3% countywide as of Jan. 1 this year, county government can cut its tax rate to generate the higher levy for 2015.

The proposed rate drops seven cents to $2.08 per $1,000 of equalized value. Most homeowners will see no change in the county's portion of their December tax bill.

Though the median home value rose to $246,300 as of Jan. 1, up $7,400, the owner of that home would pay $512 for the county portion of the 2015 tax bill, the same amount as this year. The tax bill impact on specific properties will vary depending on local assessments and changes in property values.

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One year later, former Waukesha Fire Chief Jesse Alba discusses life after demotion

Sept. 24, 2014 2:03 p.m. | Sitting alongside his two attorneys, Jesse Alba cracked a couple of smiles while he waited for a judge to enter the courtroom last week.

But behind that smile is a man whose personal and professional career has been rocked and turned upside down over the last two years.

In a matter of months, he lost his job as Waukesha's fire chief.

Details of a sexual affair were revealed in the most public way.

And he has had to fight every day to regain the trust of his friends and family, especially his wife, Vickie.

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Authorities search for man in Waukesha County

Sept. 23, 2014 7:09 p.m. | Authorities are searching for a man wanted on several warrants who was last seen Tuesday morning in Waukesha County.

Donald Berry, 43, was stopped by a Waukesha County sheriff's deputy responding to a call of a man walking on Interstate 43 near Big Bend at 5:46 p.m. Monday, according to the sheriff's department. Berry gave a false name to the deputy and fled on foot north on I-43, officials said.

At 8:30 a.m. Tuesday the sheriff's department was notified of a man fitting Berry's description running north on Townline Road near Guthrie Road in the Town of Waukesha. Authorities used two police dogs, the Wisconsin State Patrol's aviation unit and officers from New Berlin, Big Bend and the sheriff's department. Despite five hours of searching numerous homes, barns, sheds and fields, Berry was not found.

Berry has a history of violence, including aggravated assault, aggravated battery, armed robbery and home invasion. He's wanted on a Rockford, Ill., police warrant for assault, parole violation in Springfield, Ill., and obstructing an officer in Waukesha County.

Berry has relatives in New Berlin and Waukesha, and authorities believe he may try to get in touch with them.

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Walter Kolb remembered as "dean of Waukesha County Board"

Sept. 23, 2014 3:36 p.m. | Walter Kolb, who served for 22 years on the Waukesha County Board, brought a business sense to every matter taken up by the board, Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas said.

Kolb died Monday following heart valve replacement surgery at Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center in Milwaukee. He was 73.

"We're all very saddened today by the passing of Walter," Vrakas said. "He was the dean of the county board.

"He always would relate how the operations of the county would be done if it were a business -- if it was reflective of good solid business principles," Vrakas added. "He was always that kind of voice - a good conservative business voice."

Kolb was in a position to know. He founded Audio Implements, a division of Wisconsin Ear Mold. The division was a pioneer in making the molded earpieces used by broadcasters nationwide. It was an outgrowth of his business of making hearing aid molds, said his wife, Anita. It started when a traffic reporter for WTMJ radio asked for Kolb's help in making an earpiece that would block helicopter noise  - and stay in his ear - during traffic reports, Kolb's wife said.

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Walter Kolb dedicated life to Waukesha County politics

Sept. 23, 2014 3:12 p.m. | Walter Kolb spent 22 years on the Waukesha County Board and helped make many decisions for the direction of the county.

But his wife, Anita, said his proudest moment came this year and didn't have anything to do with a county board vote. It was when Walter's son, Robert, was sworn in to the county board.

"He was so proud," said Anita, who was there taking pictures of the two. "His heart was about to pop out of his chest, because he was so excited for Robert."

The two Kolbs served on the board together for five months.

Walter Kolb, 73, of the town of Waukesha, died on Monday, Sept. 22, with his family by his side at St. Luke's Medical Center in Milwaukee.

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Poll: Will Arrowhead or Waukesha West win in Week 6 matchup?

Sept. 23, 2014 10:57 a.m. | Week 6 of the preps football season showcases a big Classic 8 Conference matchup: Arrowhead at Waukesha West.

Last year in Hartland, the Warhawks beat the Wolverines, 13-7.

Arrowhead enters the game with a 3-2 league record this year. West is 4-1.


Preps football photos of the week: Sept. 19

Sept. 19, 2014 11:22 p.m. | Big conference games and intercity rivalries were a big part of high school football as the season continued in Week 5 on Sept. 19.

Now Newspapers and Lake Country Publications compiled the best photos shared on social media featuring teams from our coverage area, predominantly in Milwaukee and Waukesha counties.

Here's the best sights and sounds from Week 5.

Party City pulls Slender Man Halloween costumes in Wisconsin

Sept. 19, 2014 2:26 p.m. | Party City has pulled Slender Man costumes from its shelves throughout Wisconsin after an outcry in the wake of the May stabbing of a girl allegedly by classmates seeking to please the fictional character.

"Our thoughts and condolences go out to family and friends of the victim and the entire local community," according to a company statement. "... Party City sells merchandise and costumes for all types of Halloween customers, and nothing we carry is meant to be offensive."

Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser, both 12, are charged in adult court with attempted first-degree intentional homicide in the May 31 stabbing of the girl, also 12, in a wooded area near David's Park on Waukesha's south side. The victim survived the attack.

Weier and Geyser told investigators they were trying to gain the favor of Slender Man.

The Halloween costume depicting the fictional character was found at a Party City store and Spirit Halloween in Brookfield, and drew complaints from some parents, according to local media reports. Both stores there have since stopped carrying the costume.

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Top five picks for this weekend in Waukesha

Sept. 19, 2014 9:27 a.m. | Looking for something to do in Waukesha this weekend?

Here are my top five picks.

1. Friends of Retzer Nature Center's Apple Harvest Festival: The annual fest is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Retzer Nature Center, S14 W28167 Madison St. Admission is $5 per vehicle. The event, of course, features plenty of apple-related foods and drinks as well as an apple market and apple experts will be on hand.

Judging for an apple pie baking contest begins at 11 a.m. Entries are due at 10:30 a.m. A craft fair runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the fest features children's activities, a folk concert with Apple Jam from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Ken Lonnquist & Friends from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

There will also be horse-drawn wagon rides from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and guided nature hikes at 10:15 a.m., 12:15 p.m. and 2:15 p.m.

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Waukesha Police Report: Sept. 18, 2014 issue

Sept. 18, 2014 10:00 a.m. | 1 A woman told police at 1:40 p.m. Sept. 4 that her ex is implanting viruses into her computer and "altering things" at 2703 Coventry Lane. She believed that her ex was monitoring her every move using different proxy servers all over the world. Police said her story was hard to follow and was told to get a restraining order, but she wanted to find other alternatives and take her case "to the FBI."

2 The principal at Heyer Elementary, 1209 Heyer Drive, heard footsteps on the roof of the school at 8:32 p.m. Sept. 4. She said it has been an ongoing problem and that several times over the last several weeks teenage boys have climbed on and off the roof, practicing "Parkour."

3 Police were called at 8:55 p.m. Sept. 4 to talk to a man who has been sitting on a bench outside a business at 227 W. Main St. at the same time a certain female employee is working. The man, who was homeless, told police this is the spot he comes to when he is bored and has nowhere else to spend his time.

4 A woman was grabbed by her boyfriend around the throat and thrown to the ground while she was holding her 2-year-old son at an apartment at 215 Hinman Ave. at 10:08 p.m. Sept. 4.

5 A man was sexually harassing staff at the Waukesha Public Library, 321 Wisconsin Ave., at 2:15 p.m. Sept. 5. The man, was became agitated, left to go to Cutler Park.

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Missing Waukesha woman found unharmed

Sept. 17, 2014 8:36 p.m. | A woman reported missing from a Waukesha nursing home has been located unharmed in Laramie, Wyo., police said Wednesday night.

Mary Eva Whitham, 71, had been missing since 3 p.m. Sunday, police said.

Waukesha County detective Peter Korns charged for domestic-related incident

Sept. 17, 2014 2:00 p.m. | A Waukesha County Sheriff's Department detective has been put on administrative leave after his arrest for a domestic-related incident.

According to a statement from Sheriff Dan Trawicki, Peter Korns was arrested by the Waukesha Police Department on Sept. 8.

Korns, 49, was charged on Sept. 15 with disorderly conduct-domestic abuse, a class B misdemeanor. He will make an initial court appearance on Oct. 6 before Waukesha County Circuit Court Commissioner Thomas Pieper.

He has been with the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department for about 26 years and is assigned to the Detective Bureau.

"Consistent with our normal practice, Detective Korns has been placed on administrative leave and his arrest powers have been suspended pending the outcome of the (Waukesha police) investigation and our internal investigation," Trawicki said.

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