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Crandell retiring as Waukesha's community development director this summer

Feb. 06, 2014 12:43 p.m. | Longtime City of Waukesha Community Development Director Steve Crandell announced this week he will retire this summer.

In an interview today, Crandell, who has been with the city for 38 years, said he will step down the first week of August.

He started with the city in 1976 as an intern before beginning his career in the Engineering Department. Crandell spent one year there until he moved over to the city's Planning Department. 

Crandell served as the city's planner until he became the community development director in 1998. 

In recent years, Crandell has also served as an interim city administrator on two occasions

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Former Town of Waukesha Supervisor Joe Banske running for District 97 state assembly seat

5:01 p.m. | A second candidate has made it official in the District 97 state assembly race.

Joe Banske, who spent four years as a Town of Waukesha supervisor before being voted out earlier this month, joins City of Waukesha Alderman Aaron Perry in declaring their candidacy.

Banske said last week that he was 80 to 85 percent sure he would run for the seat and after receiving positive remarks at his final Town of Waukesha board meeting from residents he knew he wanted to continue to serve in a larger role. 

"It is official," Banske said on Wednesday. "Last week's town meeting and some of the things the residents said to me both publicly and privately and some of the emails I’ve gotten over the last two weeks started to put the finishing touches on that final 15 percent."

Banske, a mortgage banker/branch partner for Cherry Creek Mortgage, lost to Jim Radke in the Town of Waukesha supervisor's race on April 1 by 73 votes.

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Waukesha Town Chairman John Marek battles car fire in Muskego

2:59 p.m. | Waukesha Town Board Chairman John Marek said he did what anyone else would have done Tuesday afternoon when he saw a wrecked car on fire and dashed into a building, got a fire extinguisher and fought back the flames.

The only fires he had ever seen until that point were in his barbecue grill, he joked Wednesday. But when he saw flames licking out from under a car and in the engine compartment, he knew the fire had to be put out, he said.

The car had just careened into the wall of the Starbucks at Moorland and Janesville roads in Muskego after a collision in the intersection. Another good Samaritan had already helped the 22-year-old Milwaukee woman driver out of the car to safety.

Marek said he wasn't afraid the car would explode.

"I was more concerned about the other people around. I had to put it out," he said.

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Shawn Reilly sworn in as Waukesha's new mayor

April 15, 2014 8:11 p.m. | One era officially ended while another began Tuesday night at Waukesha City Hall. 

After Jeff Scrima presided over his final Common Council meeting, Shawn Reilly was sworn in as the new mayor of Waukesha.

Brian Running was also sworn in as the new city attorney. Running defeated Waukesha Plan Commissioner Rick Congdon in the general election April 1.

Running is replacing longtime attorney Curt Meitz, who is retiring after almost 30 years with the city. 

Reilly, formerly a municipal attorney, easily defeated Scrima (62 to 38 percent) on April 1 to become the new mayor.  

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Fallen incumbents reflect on Town of Waukesha's heated politics

April 14, 2014 4:40 p.m. | Elections haven't been kind to incumbent supervisors over the last 12 months in the Town of Waukesha.

Supervisor Joe Banske lost his supervisor's seat to Jim Radke in the April 3 election. Angie E. Van Scyoc was voted out of the chairman's seat the year before. Both had been voted in together to the board during a recall election in 2010.

Combined with Supervisor Everett German also getting voted out last year and Mike Laska's retirement from the board this year, a new era has begun on the board. At least, it's certainly a shift within the town from four years ago.

"I think this will significantly change the landscape of the Town of Waukesha from a policy and potentially a structural standpoint," Banske said.

So what changed?

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Law enforcement warns of phone scam that bounces people to 911

April 11, 2014 9:30 p.m. | A new scam has caused dozens of unintended 911 calls to Milwaukee police and other law enforcement agencies, beginning about 8 a.m. Friday, prompting officials to issue a warning.

Authorities are urging people to ignore prompts to dial 1 or 112 if they get a phone call or text message saying their bank or credit card was deactivated or suspended, because once they do, those residents are connected with a 911 dispatcher.

Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn said residents have reported receiving an automatic recording such as "your credit card has been temporarily suspended, dial 112."

"We're in the process of trying to understand if someone is trying to take down the 911 system or if somebody has a scam that somehow enriches them by having you call our number or if it's a scam that's gone awry technologically," Flynn said.

The Waukesha County Communications Center had received about 150 of those calls as of noon Friday, but the agency's system had not been overwhelmed and calls for real emergencies were still able to get through.

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Manager of Waukesha Heart Institute finds dead bat in desk drawer

April 11, 2014 11:36 a.m. | A manager of the Waukesha Heart Institute had a frightening surprise waiting for her in her desk drawer earlier this week.

The new manager of the Waukesha Heart Institute, 1111 Delafield St., called police at 9:21 a.m. April 9 after she found a dead bat in a “specimen” bag in her bottom desk drawer.

She suspects it was a disgruntled former employee who was terminated from the business two days earlier, according to the police log.

The business is working on changing locks and passwords.

Another odd police incident in Waukesha included another woman finding strange items left outside her home.

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Golf season officially kicks off for Waukesha County courses on Friday

April 09, 2014 5:17 p.m. | After a long winter, spring is here and it's time to get out the golf clubs in Waukesha.

While all of the Waukesha County Park System’s golf courses are currently open, Waukesha County Board Chairman Paul Decker will kick off the official opening of the Waukesha County Park System’s 2014 golf season at 10 a.m. Friday at Moor Downs Golf Course.

The ceremony will be at the first tee at the City of Waukesha golf course, 438 Prospect Ave.

The other county courses are Naga-Waukee War Memorial, located a half-mile north of I-94 in Pewaukee, W307 N1897 Maple Avenue and Wanaki Golf Course, located in the Village of Menomonee Falls, at N50 W20830 Lisbon Road.

Tee times can be reserved at www.golfwaukeshacounty.com.

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Kramer allegations garner national attention

April 09, 2014 11:30 a.m. | The scandal surrounding state Rep. Bill Kramer made it onto the national stage Tuesday when MSNBC host Rachel Maddow discussed the allegations of sexual misconduct.

Watch Maddow's segment on Kramer below:

Waukesha County Board OKs recycling program with Milwaukee

April 09, 2014 10:35 a.m. | The Waukesha County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved an intergovernmental agreement between the county and the city of Milwaukee for a joint recycling program run by ReCommunity Recycling.

Mayor Tom Barrett has praised the effort as an example of intergovernmental cooperation.

The County Board vote was 21-1. Afterward, Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas released a statement saying the collaboration, which will be headquartered in the Menomonee Valley, will increase recycling, reduce processing costs and enhance revenue.

“This unique public-private partnership will ensure the continuation of tax relief for Waukesha County community partners," Vrakas said.

The agreement is expected to generate $2 million in annual revenue for the city.

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Former Waukesha sheriff's lieutenant pleads not guilty to theft

April 08, 2014 10:30 a.m. | Sarah Massa, a former lieutenant in the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department, pleaded not guilty at an initial appearance April 7 to charges of misdemeanor theft and obstructing an officer.

Massa, 36, resigned from the Sheriff's Department last month while under investigation for stealing prescription pain pills from her ailing grandmother. She was charged in Waukesha County Circuit Court on March 25.

According to the criminal complaint, Massa's grandfather first reported that pills had gone missing from his Waukesha home last year. State authorities were called in to investigate and allegedly caught Massa on tape stealing pills from her grandparent's bedroom, the complaint states.

Massa signed a $1,500 signature bond at the initial appearance and was ordered to not use or possess any controlled substances without a valid prescription. She was also told to have no contact with several relatives identified in the complaint.

She is next expected to appear at a hearing on Tuesday, May 13.

Q&A with new Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly, Pt. 1

April 08, 2014 10:23 a.m. | Shawn Reilly hasn't had a new office in more than 20 years.

But he's more than ready to trade his downtown Waukesha law office for the mayor's office in City Hall once he is sworn in as the city's 34th mayor on Tuesday, April 15.

He won't be moving far — it's less than a mile between the two sites — but it's a big jump nevertheless as it concerns his role in city government.

It's a job Reilly, an attorney at Hippenmeyer, Reilly, Moodie & Blum, S.C., who represented the villages of Eagle and Mukwonago, says he's ready for and he's honored to be leading Waukesha.

Waukesha NOW caught up with Reilly at his Clinton Street law office two days after he won the mayoral election with 62 percent of the vote over first-term Mayor Jeff Scrima. Below is part one of a two-part interview with Reilly on issues facing the city, what his goals are and where he wants the city to be in four years.

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Woman accused of practicing unlicensed dentistry faces restrictions

April 07, 2014 3:23 p.m. | Noemi Aguilera is prohibited from performing unlicensed dentistry and contacting any of her at-home patients pending the outcome of criminal charges of physical abuse of a child and practicing dentistry without a license, Waukesha County Court Commissioner Thomas Pieper said Monday.

Pieper also prohibited the 36-year-old Waukesha woman from possessing any specialized dentistry tools or equipment and scheduled a May 1 preliminary hearing on the charges.

Aguilera, also known as Noemi Lares, improperly installed braces on a 13-year-old boy and an unspecified number of other patients inside her residence at 1517 S. Grand Ave. in Waukesha, according to a criminal complaint.

After the braces were attached to the boy's teeth in March 2013, he subsequently complained of pain and frequent bleeding of his gums, the complaint says.

Two months later, the boy's parents took him to the Waukesha County Community Dental Clinic where a dentist found loose and improperly attached braces and excess cement under the boy's gums. The cement was causing inflammation, bleeding and pain.

Driver in rollover crash arrested on operating while intoxicated

April 03, 2014 5:02 p.m. | An intoxicated driver was arrested late Wednesday night after his vehicle rolled more than 100 feet in a yard at 10:29 p.m. at 2208 Butler Drive.

When police arrived, the officer found a male driver still trapped in the vehicle but was conscious and alert, Capt. Ron Oremus said.

The Waukesha Fire Department removed the driver and it appeared that he was not injured.

Oremus said the vehicle rolled through a yard and landed on its hood next to the house.

The driver was wearing his seatbelt and airbags were deployed. But the man was arrested for a first offense of operating while intoxicated, Oremus added.

Waukesha woman accused of performing dentistry without a license

April 03, 2014 3:49 p.m. | A 36-year-old Waukesha woman has been charged in Waukesha County Circuit Court with physical abuse of a child, a felony, and practicing dentistry without a license after she improperly installed braces on a 13-year-old boy inside her home.

The boy subsequently complained of pain in his teeth and that his gums were bleeding, according to a criminal complaint.

One of the brackets in the braces came loose within two hours of the appointment in March 2013, one of the boy's parents told a police officer.

An adult patient who suffered permanent tooth damage from braces installed by the woman was not willing to seek charges against her, the complaint says.

Noemi N. Aguilera, of 1517 S. Grand Ave., did not have sterilization equipment in the residence and told an officer that she did not think it was necessary to sterilize braces or tools used in the work. She bought her supplies off the Internet, Aguilera told police.

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Feared Waukesha shooting turns out to be students filming action movie scene

April 03, 2014 12:23 p.m. | What was feared to be a shooting between individuals in two vehicles in Waukesha turned out to be high school students filming an action movie for a class project last week.

Police were called after a caller observed a high-school-aged student in one vehicle pull out a gun and point it at the car next to him at 5:09 p.m. March 25 at 2926 River Valley Road.

The caller said it appeared the boy was pretending to be shooting and reported the two vehicles are driving around with a kid on the hood of one of the vehicles.

When police arrived, they did not find a crime scene. 

Instead, police realized the three high school students were shooting a dramatic action movie for a school project and were trying to film some action scenes with a prop gun.

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