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Schools stay closed in Waukesha on Tuesday due to continued arctic blast

Jan. 06, 2014 1:26 p.m. | Students in the Waukesha School District will have another day off.

Superintendent Todd Gray announced early Monday afternoon that because of the arctic blast that has swept over southeastern Wisconsin the district is closing its schools on Tuesday for the second straight day.

Gray and superintendents in Waukesha County made the decision to cancel school on Monday during a Friday afternoon conference call. 

And with temperatures and wind chills expected to be below zero once again for Tuesday, officials made the decision to cancel school once again.

According to the National Weather Service, Tuesday's high temperature is expected to be minus 1 degree and wind chills between minus 30 and 40.

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Fox Head Residences apartment plan in Waukesha finished after rezoning vote again denied

2:02 p.m. | Terrence Wall took one last chance.

But the council once again was not budging on the Fox Head Residences.

Wall of T. Wall Enterprises was looking at redeveloping the former Fox Head Brewery site just west of Carroll University with a 202-unit luxury-style apartment complex. But in order for that to happen, Wall needed the site at 211 and 223 Maple Ave. rezoned from manufacturing to a general business planned-unit development.

The apartment project appeared dead after the council voted against the rezoning change at its Feb. 19 meeting in an 8-7 vote. However, Alderwoman Kathleen Cummings made a request to have the council revisit the rezoning issue after learning that Wall's updated plans included 60 units dedicated to senior housing.

Cummings previously voted against rezoning the property.

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Mukwonago man killed in forklift accident

12:40 p.m. | City of Waukesha — A 52-year-old Mukwonago man was killed in an industrial accident March 4.

Kenneth J. LaChance was killed instantly when he was struck in the head in an accident involving a forklift at Waukesha Iron and Metal, 1351 E Main St.

The Waukesha Police Department was called to the scene at approximately 9:15 a.m.

Lt. Tom Wagner of the police department said the accident is under investigation and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is involved.

Third time will be the charm when Arrowhead and Waukesha West meet again

12:00 p.m. | The first two times the state-ranked and talented girls basketball teams from Arrowhead and Waukesha West played each other, the stakes were high. It was obvious that the Classic 8 Conference championship would hang in the balance.

The two teams split those meetings, both winning at home. West won the first game, pulling away in the fourth quarter to score a 51-41 victory. But the Wolverines (22-2) couldn't buy a basket most of the second game, and the Warhawks scored a lopsided 50-32 score. AHS (19-5) led by as many as 27 points in the second half. Because of that Arrowhead win, the two longtime rivals ended up sharing the conference title.

Now, the two rivals will clash one more time this season, this time with even higher stakes.

West, ranked fifth in the final AP Division 1 state poll, will battle the 11th-ranked Warhawks at 7 p.m. Thursday at Waukesha South in a sectional semifinal.

"We knew that another game with West was a very strong possibility," said AHS coach Rick Witte. "We split during the conference season, so this is big for both of us. This time, the loser goes home. We know that West has a very good team and is very well coached. At the same time, we're playing our best basketball of the season. These are the kinds of games we want to play in every year."

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Waukesha bank teller charged with skimming from customers' accounts

11:56 a.m. | According to prosecutors, it didn't take long for a Dousman woman to take advantage of the teller job she got at a Waukesha bank last summer.

Within a month after Stephanie Butler began working at Waukesha State Bank in August, money began disappearing from the accounts of customers she helped, according to a criminal complaint that charges her with more than two dozen counts of theft and identity theft.

When customers made withdrawals, Butler would take out more than the requested sums and keep the difference, according to the complaint. After customers noticed discrepancies on their statements and complained, bank officials counseled Butler and began monitoring her more closely.

The bank's internal controls caught up with Butler, and she was fired by the end of September when her drawer was $1,000 short one day. But even after she left the bank, Butler used customers' accounts to pay her own bills, the complaint charges. In all, investigators think she diverted more than $21,000.

Butler used the money to pay her own credit card, utility and auto lease bills, and to buy $300 to $400 of Percocet, a narcotic painkiller. She told police she was addicted and bought the drug in Milwaukee.

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Waukesha Police Report: March 5, 2015 issue

10:00 a.m. | 1 A tablet was stolen from an unlocked vehicle in an underground parking structure at 2729 N. University Drive prior to 10:06 a.m. Feb. 19.

2 A man in a gray hooded-sweatshirt was preaching to customers inside Kohl's, 2200 W. St. Paul Ave., at 8:44 p.m. Feb. 19 and began having a conversation about religion when he was asked to leave by staff. He eventually left the store and waited outside for his girlfriend.

3 A man was arrested because of a domestic disturbance at an apartment at 315 N. West Ave. at 8:46 p.m. Feb. 19.

4 A caller thought a burglary was happening at her residence after she heard glass break in the front of her house at 812 Rock St. at 1:28 a.m. Feb. 20. Police determined the house was all clear.

5 An iPad was stolen from an unlocked vehicle at 1214 Lambeth Road prior to 10:59 a.m. Feb. 20.

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Waukesha man is winner of $1 million Mega Millions prize

March 04, 2015 3:26 p.m. | A Waukesha man is a new millionaire.

Luke Sullivan of Waukesha won the $1 million prize from the Mega Millions drawing on Friday, Feb. 27.

According to a news release from the Department of Revenue, the winning ticket was purchased at a Waukesha Speedway, 400 Summit Ave.

The winning Mega Millions numbers from Feb. 27 were 7, 49, 53, 60 and 64 with a Mega Ball of 4. The Megaplier number was 2.

Sullivan matched five out of five numbers but did not match the Mega Ball. 

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Sprizzo Gallery Caffé closes in downtown Waukesha

March 03, 2015 3:36 p.m. | Downtown Waukesha has lost a local art hotbed and popular restaurant.

After more than 15 years in downtown, Sprizzo Gallery Caffé, a restaurant that hosted artists and musicians, closed its doors on March 1.

Sprizzo's owner Karla Harper confirmed their closing in a lengthy post on the business' Facebook page on Monday.

Harper cites the upcoming road construction in downtown as one of the reasons for closing. Last year, West Broadway to Wisconsin Avenue was closed for a number of months as the beginning of a multiple-year construction project in downtown Waukesha got underway.

This year West Main Street from Clinton Street to Wisconsin Avenue as well as on Maple Avenue (from Main to Wisconsin) will be under construction as a new roadway is constructed as well as new light fixtures are installed and the underground infrastructure is upgraded.

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Senior housing now part of plan for Fox Head Residences in Waukesha

March 03, 2015 2:40 p.m. | The Fox Head Residences appears to have new life.

Twelve days after the Waukesha Common Council rejected a component of a developer's plans that would make way for a 202-unit apartment complex on a site just west of Carroll University, an updated plan will come before the council at Tuesday night's meeting.

According to documents submitted on March 2 by T. Wall Enterprises' attorney, Brian Randall, more than 60 of the units in the East wing building will now be used as senior housing for residents ages 55 and older.

The plans state that no assisted living care or health-related services will be provided, but a catered meal program will be offered if requested by the residents.

The developer has previously said that the apartment complex — which is triangle-shaped bordered by Maple Avenue, Williams Street and North Grand Avenue — was being geared for young professionals, empty-nesters, and Carroll upperclassmen and graduate students.

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

March 02, 2015 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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Attorneys in Slender Man stabbing case make final plea in effort to reclassify offense

March 01, 2015 5:00 p.m. | Kill or be killed.

That is the belief that Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier had and the reasoning that they gave police in interviews on why they executed a plan to stab their former classmate to death last May.

In their own words, Geyser and Weier told detectives when being questioned by police they believed that Slender Man, a fictional Internet horror character, would kill their families and they had to do his bidding so they would be safe.

"It was necessary," Geyser, 12, said repeatedly during a nearly six-hour police interrogation shortly after being arrested last year.

Weier, now 13, said during an approximately three-hour interview, "I was really scared knowing that Slender Man could easily kill my whole family in three seconds" and she told a detective that "some people were going to kill my family unless I did something very bad."

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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, assuming the city can live with more "upscale" apartments as part of a plan that would help save the financially struggling institution.

That's something that isn't clear at this point, given the common council's recent decision on an unrelated, but similar, apartment plan that was ultimately rejected.

Interim Waukesha County Museum chief executive officer Tom Constable said last week that a local developer is willing to buy the museum's buildings at 101 W. Main St. from the Waukesha County Historical Society and Waukesha County Museum.

The sale, however, is contingent on the city giving the apartment project an approval, said Catherine Huelsman, who is part of the development team — Historic Prairieville Limited Partners — that would purchase the museum site.

As part of the redevelopment, the developer would add 42 market-rate apartment units, making room by tearing down two other buildings on the museum's property: the old jail built in 1885 and a connector building built in the 1930s.

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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. 

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