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Sunroom fire in Waukesha

Jan. 22, 2014 7:49 a.m. | Firefighters are on the scene of a fire in a sunroom at a home in the 2000 block of Stonehaven Court, Waukesha.

Family of Milwaukee man killed by Walworth County deputy seeks answers

May 26, 2016 9:24 p.m. | The family of a Milwaukee man shot to death by a Walworth County sheriff's deputy three months ago say they have yet to be provided with information about what led to the shooting.

"All they know is what was reported in the press release by the media," Nate Hamilton of the Coalition for Justice said at a news conference Thursday evening at the grave of Christopher J. Davis in Graceland Cemetery.

Davis, 21, was shot Feb. 24 while sitting in a car in the parking lot of Roma's Ristorante and Lounge in the village of East Troy during what the Walworth County Sheriff's Office called a drug investigation with village police.

According to a news release from the Sheriff's Office, Deputy Juan Ortiz, 30, was assisting village police in the investigation and "discharged his department-issued firearm," striking Davis, after "the driver failed to follow commands" of officers.

The driver took off, prompting a chase that reached speeds of more than 100mph before ending when the vehicle crashed in the area of Durham Place and Hidden Creek Court in Muskego.

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Waukesha School District lauds change in food service provider

May 26, 2016 8:45 p.m. | The Waukesha School District was craving a change for its food service provider, which, as it turned out, spelled doom for a business already beset by difficulties tied an an employee theft.

After more than 20 years with Sodexo, the district will begin using Aramark starting in June. For Sodexo, it was apparently the last straw. The business announced in May that it will close locally.

Every five years districts are required by the Wisconsin Department of instruction to issue a request for proposals from food management services. The district has been using Sodexo since the 1995-1996 school year, but was looking to increase the quality of food and service it provided to students.

In the end, the board voted unanimously to make the switch to Aramark.

Problems with Sodexo

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Retzer Nature Center locked down May 25 due to attempted suicide

May 26, 2016 1:49 p.m. | A 21-year-old woman was flown to the hospital by Flight for Life after an attempted suicide Wednesday, May 25 at Retzer Nature Center.

According to a police report, the woman left a note for her parents in the morning that said she wanted to end her life then apparently drove to the nature center, S14 W28167 Madison St. Her parents told police the woman is pregnant.

Police found her there around 1 p.m. Wednesday carrying a pistol and locked down the park while deputies from the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department attempted to negotiate with the victim.

The negotiations failed and the woman shot herself, the report said. However, scanner traffic indicated the woman was still alive when the Flight for Life helicopter landed.

She was rushed to Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa for treatment.

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Reconstruction of Tenny Avenue in Waukesha prompts short-term closure of nearby intersection

May 25, 2016 10:55 a.m. | More street closures are coming soon and will likely continue to aggravate local drivers who might already feel inundated by the sight of orange construction barrels.

However, the latest closure announced by the city, at College, Racine and Oakland avenues, just south of Buchner Pool, will be short-term.

According to City Project Engineer Katie Jelacic, the intersection of College, Racine and Oakland avenues will be closed from May 31, 2016 to June 3, 2016.

Planning staff said Wednesday, May 25 that intersection will be closed to facilitate the reconstruction of nearby Tenny Avenue, between Newhall and College avenues, which will require the installation of a new sewer.

Several other road projects are also underway along a number of main roads in Waukesha, including Highway 18/Moreland Boulevard, Main Street and Sunset Drive.

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Ex-Waukesha man accused of reckless homicide in heroin overdose death

May 24, 2016 2:25 p.m. | An ex-Waukesha man who called police to report his colleague had fatally overdosed on heroin was the one who provided her with the drug and is facing decades in prison for doing so, according to a criminal complaint.

Derek Engberg, who now resides in Milwaukee, also reportedly tried to revive the woman — 49-year-old Julie Bernal — before emergency personnel responded to his apartment, but couldn't. Bernal was later pronounced dead at Waukesha Memorial Hospital of an opiate intoxication.

Engberg, 25, was charged May 20 in Waukesha County Circuit Court with first-degree reckless homicide. He made his initial court appearance the same day and is being held at the county jail on a $5,000 cash bond.

According to the complaint, Engberg and Bernal drove together to Milwaukee to buy heroin on Dec. 30, 2015. Engberg knew a dealer there and bought heroin from him several times before, the complaint said.

He and Bernal allegedly injected themselves with the drug in a McDonald's bathroom before returning to Engberg's Waukesha apartment on Bluemound Road, where they snorted more heroin, according to the complaint.

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Initial Reaction: Talking with star Waukesha soccer players Dani Rhodes, Emily Cervantes

May 24, 2016 12:05 p.m. | JP sits down with top girls soccer players Dani Rhodes of Waukesha West and Emily Cervantes of Catholic Memorial. JP also begrudgingly talks about the decision facing Wisconsin forward Nigel Hayes, and the guys talk about Cubs-hate in the Milwaukee market and look at a number of WIAA spring sports storylines. Each week, Lake Country/Now sports director JR Radcliffe and Time Warner Cable Sports Channel's JP Cadorin chat about the Wisconsin sports scene, with an emphasis on Milwaukee-area preps. Find the podcast on Stitcher and iTunes.

Blair Innovation Flair creates challenges for all to share

May 23, 2016 5:27 p.m. | The Blair Flair explored new territory, turning the annual event into an extension of an educational theme at the Waukesha elementary school this year.

Dubbed the Blair Innovation Flair, the May 19 event put the emphasis on "innovation," with students dancing, playing, creating and designing their way through a public exhibition of education.

Principal Aida Cruz-Farin said that the school based the day's events on the interest and focus of the students, one of which was innovation, an educational theme at Blair.

Day and night

There were actually two parts to the event — a portion earlier in the school day for students and the two-hour late afternoon fair that was open to the public.

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Construction won't stop Waukesha's annual Memorial Day festivities

May 23, 2016 4:59 p.m. | Construction has slowed traffic in the city, but it won't stop the annual Memorial Day parade from marching through downtown on Monday, May 30.

The Waukesha Allied Veterans Council announced last week that the parade will be rerouted around the road work on Main Street, but the Memorial Day festivities will otherwise continue as planned.

Those festivities include a 9 a.m. river service in front of the State Office Building, 141 N.W. Barstow St., at the Fox River; the parade; and a program at Cutler Park to honor veterans, according to WAVC Secretary Walter Hahn.

During the river service, which will be overseen by women from the Marine Corps League, auxiliary chaplains from local veterans organizations will deliver their Memorial Day prayers. The service will end with the casting of flowers onto the water to honor those who died at sea, followed by a rifle salute and the playing of taps.

The parade line-up begins at 9:15 a.m. at the Schuetze Recreation Center in Frame Park. The parade starts at 10:15 a.m.

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Waukesha police report: May 26, 2016 issue

May 23, 2016 3:35 p.m. | 1Police had to remove an intoxicated 53-year-old man from an apartment complex in the 700 block of Summit Avenue around 8:03 a.m. May 13 at the request of a tenant, who said the man refused to leave. A police report said the man had somehow injured his foot and was "disagreeable with authority," but eventually left the apartment and was transported by ambulance to the hospital.

2A 14-year-old boy was drunk and reclining on the grass outside the Raymond P. Lauer Youth and Family center, 1515 Paramount Drive, around 12:28 p.m. May 13. The teenager, who according to a police report did not think he was intoxicated, refused to come back into the building. The situation was mitigated without police assistance.

3Two males were seen trying to break into a car around 12:39 p.m. May 13 behind St. Joseph's Catholic School, 818 N. East Ave. Both suspects drove away before police arrived but left a screwdriver in the door frame of a van, an incident report said. Police were unable to locate the suspects.

4A three-car accident around 2:29 p.m. May 13 at Brook and East North streets left at least one person injured. A woman cut her chin in the accident, and officers thought a male passenger in one of the other vehicles might have been hurt as well but could not confirm it.

5A resident in the 1000 block of Buena Vista Avenue reported the possible theft of a two-carat diamond ring — valued at $2,500 — from her home around 6:12 p.m. May 13. The resident claimed an in-home caretaker might be responsible for the theft. According to a police report, no other valuables were missing from the home.

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Greats Lakes panel approves Waukesha water application with conditions

May 23, 2016 1:25 p.m. | Waukesha's water diversion application is one step closer to final approval or dismissal following a vote last Wednesday, May 18 from Greats Lake Regional Body officials who affirmed the city's application complies with the Great Lakes Compact.

Specifically, the group voted that the application would comply with the compact if it met certain conditions, such as a reduced service or distribution area and a draw of no more than 8.2 million gallons of Lake Michigan water per day by mid-century.

The application is scheduled to go before the governors of the eight Great Lakes states for a final vote June 21 in Chicago.

"A final decision has not yet been made, but we are hopeful that all the Great Lakes states will agree with the regional body's findings," Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly said. "The citizens of Waukesha need the healthy and sustainable water supply that only borrowing and returning Lake Michigan water can reasonably provide."

Great Lakes conservation groups, which have opposed the application, released a statement the day of the regional body vote that said in part the groups were "disappointed that the regional body did not completely reject Waukesha's flawed diversion proposal."

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Q&A with Jody Landish, Waukesha schools' new assistant superintendent

May 23, 2016 1:22 p.m. | The Waukesha School Board named Jody Landish as the new assistant superintendent of teaching and learning, taking over for Ryan Krohn, who is moving on to a position as the director at The Institute for Personalsized Learning at CESA #1 in Pewaukee.

Landish has a long career in education, having been with the Waukesha School District for 14 of her 20 years as a teacher and administrator.

She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a Bachelor of Science degree and received her master's degree in education at Virginia Tech University. She also holds a Master of Science degree in Education Leadership from Cardinal Stritch University, where she received her principal and curriculum and instruction licenses.

Landish sat down the Waukesha Now to talk about her new role and what the district is doing or could do for students.

What are you most looking forward to as the new assistant superintendent for teaching and learning?

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Old Waukesha reform school will be razed, not reused

May 20, 2016 2:45 p.m. | The Waukesha School District's former environmental education building will soon be nothing more than a memory.

The school board voted unanimously this month to raze the historic building, which has sat vacant since 1997 and has been a topic of conversation since then to find a way to use it, Treasurer Kurt O'Bryan said.

Most recently, the board debated using the building — south of College Avenue between Prairie and Walton avenues, adjacent to the Waukesha STEM Academy's Saratoga campus — as part of STEM programs continued development.

"Over the years there have been attempts to reuse it or lease it out, but those have been to no avail," said Joseph Como, school board president.

Saratoga STEM is crowded and has a waiting list for prospective enrollees. Due to the program's popularity, the district considered using the environmental education building, as well as the Harvey Phillips buildings as sites for possible expansion of the STEM campus.

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Man flown to hospital after attempted suicide in Waukesha

May 20, 2016 11:52 a.m. | A 26-year-old man was rushed to the hospital by Flight for Life around 8:51 p.m. May 19 following an attempted suicide at a Madera Street apartment complex.

According to a police report, the man was taken by ambulance to the nearby Walmart Supercenter parking lot, 2000 West Ave., where a Flight for Life helicopter had landed, then flown to the hospital.

A small crowd of people gathered in the parking lot and watched the incident unfold.

Personnel from the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department assisted in securing the scene.

Sodexo to dismiss 78 employees after losing Waukesha School District contract

May 19, 2016 3:32 p.m. | Several dozen local Sodexo employees will be losing their jobs next month, according to a news release from the state Department of Workforce Development.

According to the release, the food services and facilities management company lost its contract with the Waukesha School District, 201 S. Prairie Ave., and as a result will be laying off 78 of its employees beginning June 15.

Waukesha-Ozaukee-Washington Workforce Development Area Rapid Response will offer Rapid Response services to the affected workers.

Great Lakes group backs Waukesha lake water diversion

May 18, 2016 8:48 p.m. | The City of Waukesha would receive Lake Michigan water, and turn off its deep wells drawing radium-contaminated water from a sandstone aquifer, under a recommendation approved Wednesday by representatives of Great Lakes states and provinces.

The group on a 9-0 vote affirmed that the city's application for a Lake Michigan water supply would comply with terms of a Great Lakes protection compact if numerous conditions the representatives recommended were imposed on the plan.

Minnesota representative Julie Ekman abstained from voting. She did not vote because the state's top officials were continuing to review the regional group's conditional declaration of support and it was not an indication of opposition to the city's request, Ekman said.

Representatives of the eight states and two provinces voted on the declaration during a Wednesday morning conference call.

Two of the conditions recommended by the group include a lower volume of lake water and a smaller distribution area than requested by Waukesha.

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