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Man injured in Waukesha fire was defendant in nude-filming case

Feb. 16, 2014 10:27 p.m. | A Waukesha swim instructor charged with secretly filming female co-workers undressing is in critical condition after a weekend fire at his home.

Neighbors said that Michael P. Coyle, 34, was severely burned in the blaze at his home Friday night, WTMJ-TV (Channel 4) reported. It appeared the fire started in the garage of Coyle's home in the 1000 block of Motor Ave. and was reported about 9:30 p.m. after a neighbor noticed flames. Police said the fire was quickly extinguished.

Coyle was charged in October with secretly recording two females undressing in the staff bathroom at the Swimtastic Swim School in Waukesha. He's scheduled for a plea and sentencing hearing March 19.

Police were contacted by Coyle's wife after she discovered several hidden cameras made to look like common items, such as car keys and a pen. She plugged one of the devices into her computer and saw that it depicted a woman changing in a bathroom at Swimtastic, where Michael Coyle worked part time as a children's swim instructor, according to court records.

Two women were in various states of undress in the videos. One of the females told an officer that several items she was wearing seemed to date the video to late 2011 or early 2012 when she was 16 years old.

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Waukesha woman allegedly stole $26,000 from parent teacher organization

4:58 p.m. | A former treasurer for the Banting Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization is facing criminal charges for allegedly stealing about $26,000 of PTO funds and using some of the money for personal use.

The woman, 43-year-old Ann Paquette, was charged on Friday, May 1, in Waukesha County Circuit Court with theft in a business setting and could face up to 10 years in prison and $25,000 in fines if convicted.

According to the criminal complaint, several members of the PTO reported the thefts to police in late January and claimed that Paquette had "no legitimate reason" for using the money for her own personal use.

The PTO members presented police with a copy of Paquette's bank records and a spread sheet outlining the discrepancies between deposited PTO funds and checks that Paquette cashed.

They also provided investigators with a letter, signed by several people including Banting Principal Mary Garcia Velez and Paquette, in which Paquette reportedly admitted that she had co-mingled PTO funds with her personal checking account, the complaint said.

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Waukesha County Airport $11 million upgrade finally takes flight

1:50 p.m. | New Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow couldn't help himself in offering the pun of the day at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Waukesha County Airport's construction project.

"I'm excited about the opportunities and looking forward to having this be the takeoff point for economic growth in Waukesha County," said Farrow, flanked by both bulldozers and aircraft, including a plane from World War II, outside the airport terminal on Friday, May 1.

Farrow was one of many county and city officials who expressed their anticipation and excitement for the long-awaited $11 million project. Construction officially began on Saturday, May 2.

The 5,800-foot east-west runway will undergo a complete overhaul. The project also includes improving the runway's lighting, and the new pavement includes a thicker section that will allow aircraft to be less weight-restricted.

Four-phased project

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Waukesha water utility customers report receiving scams

1:03 p.m. | Beware of scammers, Waukesha residents.

According to a notice posted on May 4 on the city of Waukesha's website, customers have called the Waukesha Water Utility to report a scam.

The notice says that over the past weekend, a few customers have received a phone call from someone pretending to represent the Waukesha Water Utility.

The caller, who sounds official, is telling customers that they have an outstanding water bill that needs to be paid immediately or their water would be disconnected.

The scammer is also telling people that their balance needs to be paid with a cashier's check.

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Gov. Walker lays out timeline for District 33 state Senate election

May 05, 2015 4:26 p.m. | There are already two declared candidates for the District 33 state Senate seat.

Now, a timeline to replace outgoing Sen. Paul Farrow, who will end his time as senator to put his sole focus on the county executive position, is in place.

Gov. Scott Walker announced on Tuesday, May 5, that candidates can now begin circulating nomination papers for the senate seat.

Rep. Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield) and Brian Dorow, an associate dean at Waukesha County Technical College, are the first two Republicans to have formally announced their candidacy.

The deadline to file nomination papers is 5 p.m. Tuesday, May 26. Candidates must submit a minimum of 400 signatures to the Government Accountability Board as well as a campaign registration statement.

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Judge orders juvenile evaluations of two girls in Slender Man case

May 05, 2015 10:45 a.m. | Waukesha — The judge in the Slender Man stabbing case on Tuesday ordered Waukesha County's Department of Health and Human Services to assess both young girl defendants as though they were in juvenile court, not charged as adults with attempted first-degree intentional homicide.

Circuit Judge Michael Bohren made the decision in response to a request from attorneys for Anissa Weier, 13, and Morgan Geyser, 12.

Last week, an attorney for Weier asked that Waukesha County's Department of Health and Human Services be required to evaluate her and determine any services she may need, as the agency would do for a child facing delinquency disposition in juvenile court.

Geyser's attorney followed up with a similar request Monday.

Weier's attorney, Joseph Smith Jr., told Bohren on Tuesday that Health and Human Services has agreed to prepare an assessment and report of available services but couldn't do so without a court order. Smith stressed that the agency's staff has special training and experience working with children.

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Parents concerned about junior/senior prank wars in Waukesha

May 05, 2015 10:43 a.m. | It appears students have taken the junior/senior "prank wars" in Waukesha to another level this year.

Some parents, as a result, want extra police presence in their southwest side neighborhoods to prevent further vandalism to their homes.

The most excessive act of vandalism this year appears to have taken place at a house in the 3600 block of Rivers Crossing Drive.

According to the police blotter on April 27, three to four juveniles took toilet-papering to another level.

They not only toilet-papered trees on a man's property, but shaving cream was found on the bushes, syrup and ketchup were poured on the sidewalk, salt and bird seed were scattered on the grass, a clay pot was found smashed in his driveway and fishing line was tied around the house.

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Cause of scrap yard fire at Waukesha Iron and Metal will remain a mystery

May 04, 2015 12:10 p.m. | The cause of the fire that erupted in a scrap pile at Waukesha Iron and Metal last week will be left undetermined.

Fire Marshal Brian Charlesworth said because too many factors could have led to the start of the fire on Wednesday, April 29, the case is closed.

But foul play isn't being considered. "It's not being ruled suspicious," Charlesworth said.

Charlesworth said about 60 to 70 recyclable car parts were on fire when officers arrived to the scene at 1351 E. Main St. during late afternoon, causing quite the scene as smoke billowed more than 50 feet into the air.

Charlesworth, however, said it's tough to determine the cause of the fire because of the unknown materials that were under the vehicles.

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Green Bay Packaging Inc. acquires Baird Display of Waukesha

May 04, 2015 11:48 a.m. | Green Bay Packaging Inc. said Monday that it has acquired Baird Display, a Waukesha-based maker of point-of-purchase displays.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. There will be no employment impact as a result of the acquisition, a Green Bay Packaging spokeswoman said. Baird Display employs about 40 people.

"The acquisition is an excellent fit for Green Bay Packaging," said Will Kress, CEO and president of Green Bay Packaging in a statement announcing the acquisition. "Baird Display is an innovative company that adds to our point of purchase display capabilities and expands our market presence."

Founded in 1933, Green Bay Packaging Inc. is a family-owned company consisting of corrugated container plants, a folding carton division, recycled and virgin linerboard mills, a pressure-sensitive label division, specialty converting operations, timberlands and a sawmill. Headquartered in Green Bay, the company has manufacturing facilities in 14 states.

Baird Display, which began in 1933 as a manufacturer of upscale candy boxes and poker chips, is a provider of custom designed temporary and semi-permanent point of purchase displays to advertising agencies and fulfillment organizations that manage accounts for larger brand-name companies. Distribution of Baird's product is throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America.

Crowd turns out in Pewaukee to raise money for Nepal earthquake relief efforts

May 03, 2015 5:43 p.m. | Pewaukee — The Hindu Temple of Wisconsin was a mixture of heartbreak and hope on Sunday.

Among the most brokenhearted was Nepal native Mithu Shrestha, a Milwaukee-area nurse, who lost a cousin in the horrific April 25 earthquake in her home country.

On Sunday, Shrestha was part of a group of local Nepalese serving up their country's food at the temple during a brunch to raise money for earthquake victims.

"It's very hard," she said. "The people are just devastated over there."

The day's hope was generated by the response to the fundraising event: Turnout far exceeded expectations. Shortly after noon, the parking lot of the temple was packed with cars carrying visitors ready to pay $6 each for a Nepalese meal and, in some cases, to make donations beyond that. The grounds were so full that vehicles had to park across the road in the Costco Wholesale parking lot or at nearby Shepherd of the Hills Church.

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DNR, residents wage counterattack on invasive plant in Little Muskego Lake

May 03, 2015 4:23 p.m. | After the discovery in September of the invasive starry stonewort in Little Muskego Lake, community members and the state Department of Natural Resources are beginning a counter assault on the destructive aquatic plant.

The form of algae was reported for the first time in Wisconsin last year in 506-acre Little Muskego Lake in Waukesha County.

A property owner, Lisa Niles, said she was saddened when she heard about the plant and the effect it has had on other lakes.

"It's really such a fragile ecosystem," said Niles, vice president of the Little Muskego Lake Association. "You hate for something like this to happen. It really upsets the apple cart."

Beginning next month, divers will try to remove all the plants, which are scattered in patches over the 3-acre area of the lake, Niles said.

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Farmers Market, cancer walk highlight downtown Waukesha events

May 01, 2015 7:30 p.m. | It should be a busy Saturday in downtown Waukesha.

It starts with the annual Waukesha Farmers Market returning to the Riverfront Plaza.

The market is from 8 a.m. to noon along the Fox River in downtown between W. Broadway St. and N. Barstow St.

The market is scheduled from the first week in May to the last week in October.

Close to 130 vendors are expected to be on hand, selling everything from produce, baked goods, meats, hot foods, flowers and arts and crafts.

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New downtown candle store will hold grand opening Saturday

May 01, 2015 6:14 p.m. | Fruits of the Spirit Candles, a retail candle store that recently opened at 349 W. Broadway St. in downtown Waukesha, will hold its grand opening on Saturday, May 2.

The store, located in one of The Clarke Hotel’s storefronts, specializes in hand-poured, 100 percent soy wax candles.

The store is operated by Terri Stine, a local candle artisan from the village of Merton, who has been running a candle booth at the Waukesha Farmers Market for several years.

“My customers kept asking me when I was going to open a store,” said Stine, who started her business in 2013. “Now they only have to walk a few steps from our Farmers Market booth, and they are in our newly-renovated retail space.”

The store features all-natural, clean burning, soy-wax candles in more than 30 scents, such as basil sage mint, aromatherapy relaxation, lime citronella and merlot.

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DNR done with review of Waukesha's Lake Michigan request

May 01, 2015 2:43 p.m. | The state Department of Natural Resources will announce next month its decision on whether Waukesha's application for Lake Michigan water complies with a Great Lakes Protection Compact and could be approved by the other seven states bordering the lakes.

Five years after the City of Waukesha first asked the DNR to approve its request to switch to a Lake Michigan water supply, the department's review is over, officials said Friday.

The DNR will publish in June a draft report on the plan's environmental impacts as well as draft documents summarizing state regulators' opinion of the application's compliance with the 2008 protection compact, said Eric Ebersberger, the department's water use section chief in Madison.

The application will be forwarded to the other seven Great Lakes states for their review and approval only if the Wisconsin DNR first signs off on it. The request must be unanimously approved by the eight states, under terms of the compact.

After the draft publications are released, the DNR will open the discussion to public comments on its analysis and the city's proposal for a period of 45 days or longer. The department has indicated it will schedule more than one public hearing at the end of the comment period.

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Investigation: Family behind collapsed Falls building has a history of neglecting properties

May 01, 2015 11:34 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — Executives of the companies that own and manage the partially collapsed North Hills Plaza in Menomonee Falls have a long history of legal troubles and neglecting properties, a Menomonee Falls Now investigation has found.

North Hills Plaza is owned by 1340 East 9th Street Realty Corp. in Brooklyn, New York, whose CEO is Samuel Pinter, according to Waukesha County tax records and information from the New York Department of State. His son, Charles Pinter, is the CEO of Royale Property Management, which oversees North Hills Plaza. Together the Pinters and their affiliated companies have left a wake of rundown properties, according to court records and officials in Texas.

In 2013, unlivable conditions rife with cockroaches, toilets overflowing, spoiled food and a pool so filthy the water was black were reported in inspection reports for a Texas retirement community owned by Samuel Pinter.

A 2004 federal court lawsuit over an alleged $44 million Ponzi scheme names Samuel Pinter as a defendant, and Charles Pinter was ultimately brought into the suit, as well.

In addition, news sources have reported other incidents in which properties owned by Charles or Samuel, or both, were found to be dilapidated and unlivable.

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Waukesha Northstar Players presenting "The Crucible" this weekend

May 01, 2015 10:53 a.m. | The Waukesha Northstar Players are presenting Andrew Miller's "The Crucible" this weekend for its spring play.

After opening on Thursday, April 30, the drama department will continue its performances at 7 p.m. Friday, May 1, and Saturday, May 2, and 2 p.m. Sunday, May 3. 

Ticket prices include $6 for general admission, $3 for students with an ID, and seniors and children 10 years old and younger get in for free. 

You can order your tickets at www.seatyourself.biz/waukeshanorth or at the door the night of the performance. 

The play is held in the R.G. Hein Auditorium at Waukesha North High School, 2222 Michigan Ave.

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