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Waukesha County schools could cancel classes due to the cold once again

Jan. 24, 2014 2:36 p.m. | With extreme wind chills heading to southeastern Wisconsin once again early next week, superintendents will evaluate whether it's too cold for school.

Waukesha Superintendent Todd Gray said Friday that superintendents across Waukesha County will hold a conference call late Sunday afternoon to decide if they will close their schools on Monday.

Gray said they'll discuss their options at that time but they might not have a decision until very early Monday morning. 

"Right now Monday's forecast at 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. would not necessarily cause us to close," Gray said. "That could change over the weekend."

Gray said a wind chill warning of minus 35 would close the schools but depending on conditions the districts may even consider closing with slightly less wind chills if there are strong wind gusts.

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Waukesha County Museum makeover moves forward as part of apartment plan

Aug. 29, 2015 12:30 p.m. | By the end of 2016, a museum focused on Waukesha's history — including legendary guitarist Les Paul — will likely reopen in much better financial shape as part of a project that will create 41 high-end apartments.

The financially troubled Waukesha County Museum is selling its downtown property, including the historic former courthouse, to a group led by local developer Alan Huelsman, who operates Berg Management Co.

If the project wins final city approvals, the new owners will demolish a building that connects the former jail, built in 1885, to the former courthouse, built in 1893 and known for its 120-foot tower and four corner turrets.

In the connector building's place, Huelsman's group, Historic Prairieville Limited Partners, will develop a five-story apartment building with a section that ties to the courthouse. The $9 million apartment development will be a combination of that new construction and the renovated former jail.

Historic Prairieville will lease the three-story former courthouse to the museum for annual rent of $1.

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Get interesting prep football tidbits and insights with 'First and Short' blog

Aug. 28, 2015 1:03 p.m. | Keep an eye on JR Radcliffe's new blog, "First and Short," for fresh takes on prep football in Lake Country and the Milwaukee suburbs.

Waukesha pools closing for the season

Aug. 28, 2015 10:15 a.m. | While 80 degree days and possibly even a 90 degree day are in the upcoming forecast for Waukesha, the city's pools will close this weekend.

Buchner Pool will close at 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 28. It will open at 3 p.m. on its final day. Horeb Springs Aquatic Center will close for the summer at 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 30. 

Horeb Springs will open at 12:30 p.m. for open swim on Aug. 30.

Although the heat is expected to return mid to late next week, the weekend for the pool's final days should be mild with temperatures in the 70s, according to the National Weather Service. Rain is also likely on Friday and Saturday.

Buchner Pool is located at 330 Spring St. and Buchner Pool is at 223 Oakland Ave

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Waukesha's La Casa de Esperanza opens its new charter school

Aug. 27, 2015 4:00 p.m. | Anselmo Villarreal, president and chief executive officer of La Casa de Esperanza, said he has been concerned about the academic achievement gap faced by low income students and children of color.

"They fall behind and that leads to problems," Villarreal said.

Now, after years of effort to establish a charter school to help overcome this "challenge," one has been created at Villarreal's community-based organization in Waukesha.

The La Casa de Esperanza Charter School, 410 Arcadian Ave., will open its doors on Monday, Aug. 31, with 88 students for 4-year-old kindergarten and 5-year-old kindergarten classes. Villarreal said he expected the school to be at capacity.

Those students will make up four classes (two K4 and two K5) with 22 students in each class. Villarreal said 90 percent of the students were already involved in La Casa de Esperanza's educational programs it offers.

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Updated weekly rankings of area prep football teams and players

Aug. 27, 2015 2:25 p.m. | Push for the playoffs is a detailed weekly breakdown of the teams and players in the Lake Country and suburban Milwaukee prep football scene.

Waukesha Police Report: Aug. 27, 2015 issue

Aug. 27, 2015 10:00 a.m. | 1 Tires on a vehicle were slashed in an underground parking garage at 2108 Macarthur Road prior to 11:41 a.m. Aug. 13. The caller also noticed that there was damage to his apartment door.

2 A caller reported at 3:16 p.m. Aug. 13 that she found a flower sitting on the front seat of her car, but nothing missing, at Kwik Trip, 924 Fleetfoot Drive, a day earlier. That, coupled with an incident weeks earlier in which ago she returned home to the 1700 block of E. Sunset Drive and found items moved around, made her concerned enough to call the police. As a result, police contacted Kwik Trip, where surveillance video observed a man entering her vehicle. Police will follow up on the incident.

3 A man received a letter in the mail from an anonymous person stating his daughter, Anissa Weier, deserves everything that she gets in reference to the Slender Man stabbing case at his apartment at 1520 Big Bend Road at 3:45 p.m. Aug. 13. Weier's father wanted to document the incident in case anything happens.

4 A window was broken on the La Casa de Esperanza building, 410 Arcadian Ave., prior to 4:25 p.m. Aug. 13.

5 A caller reported an intoxicated driver at 1600 E. Main St. at 4:41 p.m. Aug. 13 after a vehicle was driving all over the road and almost hit someone. The driver, who when stopped by police, was not cooperative and became argumentative, admitted to drinking at his nearby employer and having a beer at McDonald’s. A co-worker drove the man home.

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Waukesha woman accused of striking children, husband after night of drinking

Aug. 26, 2015 6:08 p.m. | A Waukesha woman is accused of striking her children with her fists and a plastic stick after coming home from a night of drinking at the Zoo Ala Carte and a local pub.

Amber L. Hergert, 33, is charged with two counts of physical abuse of a child-intentionally causing great bodily harm, two felonies, as well as battery-domestic abuse and disorderly conduct, two misdemeanors, for an incident during the early morning hours on Saturday, Aug. 22, in which she said she doesn't remember because she blacked out.

According to the criminal complaint, an officer responded to a domestic altercation at 3:01 a.m. Aug. 22 at 1454 Cleveland Ave.

The complaint said Hergert was yelling, swearing and using an abundance of profanity toward her husband. Hergert was "extremely belligerent, intoxicated and out of control," the officer said in the complaint.

The couple's three daughters were also outside the residence screaming and crying hysterically, the complaint notes.

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Waukesha hosting National Guard disaster drill training Aug. 28-29

Aug. 26, 2015 3:00 p.m. | Waukesha will be home to a full scale disaster exercise from Friday, Aug. 28, to Saturday, Aug. 29.

According to Capt. Ron Oremus, the National Guard is required to conduct a "validation exercise" to verify its ability to conduct the National Guard Reaction Force (NGRF) mission and was seeking local partners to facilitate their required exercise.

The Waukesha Police Department volunteered to host the full-scale exercise and serve as the lead agency for coordinating civilian emergency response participants.

The scenario involves simulating an EF-5 tornado touchdown in downtown Waukesha.

The exercise will begin at 9 a.m. Friday where officials with the police department and the National Guard will simulate/pretend that the F5 tornado struck Waukesha. The simulation will go through Saturday night. Lt. Tom Wagner said this is not a drill for the public, but rather a command/control exercise for police, fire, the National Guard and hospitals.

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Waukesha again seeks public's assistance in funding downtown holiday lights

Aug. 26, 2015 10:30 a.m. | Christmas may be months away, but, like last year, the city of Waukesha is already in the planning stages to make sure downtown is dressed up for the part.

The city's Community Development Department has kicked off its fundraising campaign for holiday light decorations in downtown, the second year of the campaign.

Sally Kahlfeldt, the special projects coordinator in the community development department, said the city is hoping to replace all of downtown's old light pole decorations, which have become tired-looking over the years.

The city is again opting for fundraisers, since this kind of project is not going to be put in the city budget, Kahlfeldt said.

"We're trying to have an aggressive campaign," she said.

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Initial Reaction Podcast: What stood out on the first week of high-school football?

Aug. 25, 2015 11:25 a.m. | JP and JR talk about the rise of the Franklin Sabers, a big battle between Arrowhead and Homestead, strong wins for Oak Creek and Germantown and other notes from the first week of football. Plus: the guys differ on whether the Packers will survive the Jordy Nelson injury.

Homeless Waukesha man charged with battering woman

Aug. 25, 2015 10:40 a.m. | A homeless Waukesha man on probation for a previous conviction was charged with a felony count of strangulation and suffocation of a woman earlier this month.

Robert Stein, now of 600 E. North St., was also charged with repeat misdemeanor offenses of battery, disorderly conduct and resisting an officer.

According to the criminal complaint, an officer was sent to the dead end of Lincoln Avenue, near 1319 Lincoln Ave., at 3 p.m. Aug. 2 for a disorderly conduct incident at a homeless encampment, in which seven people were living.

A caller, who said Stein had been yelling and swearing at him, took officers to the encampment approximately 200 to 300 yards off the roadway through heavy bushes and a winding dirt trail.

The complaint noted the 53-year-old Stein, who was sitting with the group and appeared to be heavily intoxicated, said he was yelling at the male caller because he was trying to intervene with his relationship with the female victim.

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Waukesha shooting leads to criminal charges against Hartland man

Aug. 24, 2015 2:58 p.m. | Criminal charges have been filed against 34-year-old Hartland resident Dale Schaefer, who was injured Monday, Aug. 17, in a shooting that involved a veteran Waukesha County Sheriff's Department deputy.

According to a news release from Waukesha County District Attorney Sue Opper, Schaefer shot himself in the leg after he disarmed the deputy inside the Waukesha County Juvenile Center.

The gun went off while Schaefer and Deputy Chad Kane-Terhorst struggled for control of the firearm, the release said. It was not immediately clear who had fired the gun, but an investigation into the incident later determined that Schaefer's wound was self-inflicted.

Opper said in the release that Schaefer is facing charges of disarming a peace officer, second-degree recklessly endangering safety and possession of a firearm while intoxicated. An Aug. 21 news release said that Schaefer was recovering from the gunshot wound and in stable condition at a local hospital.

Schaefer made his initial court appearance Monday, Aug. 24, according to online court records. A Waukesha County Circuit Court commissioner set Schaefer's bail at $15,000.

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It was a twister in Waukesha, after all, National Weather Service says

Aug. 24, 2015 1:39 p.m. | While Waukesha didn't see the storm damage that those in Lake Geneva experienced on Tuesday night, a tornado has been confirmed for the southwest corner of the city.

As a result, according to the National Weather Service (NWS), three tornadoes in southeast Wisconsin have been confirmed from Aug. 18.

The NWS said EF-1 tornadoes (winds estimated up to 110 mph) were confirmed in Lake Geneva and two miles southwest of Big Bend (near County Road L and Maple Avenue).

On Thursday, Aug. 20, the NWS said an EF-0 tornado (winds estimated up to 80 mph, but the weakest on the 0-5 scale) hit the southwest area of Waukesha (near the intersection of Genesee Road and Highway 59) on Aug. 18.

According to the NWS, the Lake Geneva tornado was about five miles long and up to a quarter mile wide. It occurred around 9 p.m. and lasted about five minutes.

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Judge enters not guilty pleas as girls in Slender Man case stand mute

Aug. 21, 2015 10:13 p.m. | Waukesha— As two 13-year-old Waukesha girls stood mute in court Friday, a judge entered not guilty pleas for them on charges of attempted homicide in the Slender Man stabbing case.

Waukesha County Circuit Judge Michael Bohren set a joint trial for Oct. 15.

The girls did not speak on their own behalf at their arraignments Friday because the judge has not yet issued his written order denying their effort to have their cases transferred to juvenile court and their attorneys continue to object to the adult jurisdiction.

Bohren ordered prosecutors, as the prevailing party on the reverse waiver issue, to draft an order for his signature "forthwith."

Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier are charged as adults with attempted first-degree intentional homicide, as party to a crime, with use of a dangerous weapon for the near fatal stabbing of a sixth-grade classmate in May 2014.

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Former bookkeeper for Waukesha business allegedly embezzled more than $33,000

Aug. 21, 2015 10:00 a.m. | A 63-year-old woman is accused of embezzling tens of thousands of dollars from a Waukesha business for which she worked as a bookkeeper.

Cheryl M. Schjoth, a 12-year employee of Applied Spectrometry Associates, 2325 Parklawn Drive, was charged with theft in a business setting, greater than $10,000, on Aug. 14 for using company credit cards to fraudulently purchase items over a six-year period from 2007 to 2012.

According to the criminal complaint, ASA had contacted authorities in 2013 after a sales audit revealed Schjoth had allegedly embezzled $33,760.25.

The criminal complaint notes Schjoth, now of New Holstein, used company credit cards to purchase items through the Internet on websites such as Amazon, Office Depot, Quill and

All of the transactions were without the consent of ASA.

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