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Waukesha DNR employee charged with stealing cash, trail passes

March 04, 2014 5:46 p.m. | A 42-year-old Wauwatosa woman has been charged with stealing over $12,500 and dozens of recreational passes from the Waukesha office of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Crystal L. Steiner was charged on Thursday, March 27, in Waukesha County Circuit Court with felony business theft. She could face up to 10 years in prison and $25,000 in fines if convicted.

According to the criminal complaint, a detective with the Wisconsin State Capitol Police met with officials from the DNR on Sept. 7, 2012 to discuss an internal investigation into missing funds.

Susan Rice, a section chief for the department, told the detective in the complaint that Steiner was suspected of stealing money as well as trail passes, park stickers and park passes.

Steiner had been hired in January to work as a senior customer service representative at the DNR’s satellite center, 141 W. Bastow St., Waukesha, the complaint states. She handled sales and was responsible for making daily bank deposits and maintaining financial records for the office.

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What's next for water: Officials discuss aspects of Waukesha's plan

June 27, 2016 9:02 p.m. | It won't be easy, or cheap, to get Lake Michigan water flowing through Waukesha's water mains and into residents' homes, state and local officials have said.

But that water will come.

Speaking at a press conference June 22, Waukesha Mayor Shawn Reilly, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, state Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp and County Executive Paul Farrow addressed the next steps in the water diversion process and what residents can expect.

The conference was held one day after an unprecedented vote that granted the city what it has been seeking for more than a decade: a new water supply.

In short, officials said it will be years before residents are drinking Lake Michigan water out of their faucets. And Waukesha's at least $200 million plan to buy water from the city of Oak Creek, build one set of pipelines and pumping stations to divert the water to Waukesha and a second set to return an equal volume of water as fully treated wastewater will result in substantial rate hikes for local water utility customers.

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Woman fined for bringing marijuana to Waukesha court proceeding

June 27, 2016 7:00 p.m. | Shakendra Thomas came to Waukesha County Circuit Court in February with an important responsibility: to testify on behalf of the state in Darrin Malone's murder trial, which was linked to a local gas station homicide.

What she left with, more than four months later, was an $800 fine.

That's because Thomas, 22, was arrested on an open warrant shortly after she left the witness stand Feb. 15 and was carrying marijuana. She pleaded guilty to an amended misdemeanor charge of possession of THC earlier this month, according to online court records.

On June 20, Judge Lee Dreyfus ordered Thomas to pay an $804.05 fine as punishment for the offense. Court records indicate Thomas has until Dec. 15 to come up with the money or provide the court with proof that she has completed 50 hours of community service.

If she doesn't pay or complete the work, she'll have to spend 20 days in jail with work-release privileges, Dreyfus ruled.

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Waukesha West's Jarred Kelenic makes cut for Team USA U18 baseball team

June 27, 2016 7:00 p.m. | The players stood in center field of the Team USA training complex in Cary, North Carolina, and listened for their name. It would qualify as a scene out of the "Hunger Games" series if the characters had been equipped with spikes and a leather glove.

"They brought all 108 of us out there to center field, and we all stood there and listened to the loudspeaker," said Waukesha West incoming junior Jarred Kelenic, 16. "They called our names, one by one. It was pretty nerve-racking.

"The way I did this week, I thought I had a good shot going in, but I was talking to my host dad about it," Kelenic added. "He said, 'Just expect the worst and hope for the best.' I was ready for anything that was going to come at me."

It turned out to be the best. Kelenic was one of 40 choices for the USA Baseball 18U National Team Trials, impressing scouts enough after play in 12 games and two scouting days at the 2016 "Tournament of Stars." Kelenic, a pitcher and outfielder who has played with traveling club teams in Racine and Chicago, now eyes the Sept. 11-15 trials in Houston, Texas, where he can become one of 20 to make the team that will play in the CPABE Pan Am Championships in Monterrey, Mexico, from Sept. 23 to Oct. 2.

Kelenic said he was one of four choices for the trials who have two years of high school eligibility remaining, while the rest are rising seniors. Playing with older kids has never been a problem.

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Summer food service program begins at Waukesha schools

June 27, 2016 5:42 p.m. | The Waukesha School District will be serving up food all summer long.

The district recently announced the sponsorship of the Summer Food Service Program, stressing the importance of offering nutritious meals to children during the summer months.

The Summer Food Service Program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and is administered by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, provides nutritious meals to children during the summer, when free and reduced-price school meals are typically unavailable.

It makes free meals available to children who are 18 or under. Those over 18 years of age who are determined by a state or local public educational agency to be mentally or physically disabled and who also participate in a public or private non-profit school program during the regular school year are also eligible to receive free meals.

"This program fills a void created when school lunches are not available," said Brian Mand, general manager of Aramark, the district's new food service provider. "Helping parents meet the nutritional needs of their children is the strength of this program."

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Waukesha Plan Commission doesn't bite at proposed doggy day care, cites noise concerns

June 27, 2016 2:46 p.m. | Dogs just might be man's best friend — except when they're barking.

At least that was the general sentiment from the Waukesha Plan Commission on June 22, when the panel unanimously voted to table discussion on a proposed doggy day care, in a commercial/industrial area off Sunset Drive, after several commissioners voiced concerns about how the steady din of barking dogs would affect a nearby residential neighborhood.

The vote means the business will be discussed again at an upcoming commission meeting. The next plan commission meeting is scheduled for July 13, but an agenda for that meeting has not been set as of Monday afternoon, June 27.

Pups in 'Paradise'

Owner Lindsey Chiaverotti proposed to house the business, dubbed Doggy Paradise, in the front end of an industrial building at 2510 W. Sunset Drive.

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Waukesha police report: June 30, 2016 issue

June 27, 2016 10:10 a.m. | 1Staff at the Waukesha branch of Wisconsin Community Services, 414 W. Moreland Blvd., reported around 8:47 a.m. June 17 that a man at their facility — with a record of prior drunken driving offenses but who was free on bond — was driving with a prohibited blood-alcohol concentration. Police took the man into custody and called HAWS to remove a dog from the man's car.

2A resident in the 1300 block of Fleetfoot Drive told police around 11:10 a.m. June 17 that someone had scratched his car and dumped sugar all over it. According to a police report, the woman said she believes she knows who did it.

3An anonymous caller told police a man flashed a revolver after the caller did not allow the man to merge his car in front of the caller's around 1:49 p.m. June 17 near Roberts and East North streets. The man did not additionally threaten or follow the caller, according to a police report.

4A man told police he was being "sarcastic" when he told a social worker he had hidden a gun in a Waukesha park and was thinking about using it to kill himself around 3:23 p.m. June 17. The man, a resident in the 1500 block of Summit Avenue, said in a police report he told the social worker he had a hidden gun because the social worker "was annoying him." Officers searched the man's home and found no evidence that he owned a gun, the report said.

5 A resident in the 2400 block of Springdale Road told police she was missing 15 hydrocodone pills after contractors completed some work in her apartment around 5:30 p.m. June 17. A police report did not indicate whether any of the contractors were suspected of the theft.

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Carroll's new Lowry Hall gets final OK from Waukesha Plan Commission

June 24, 2016 11:54 a.m. | One building down, another to go.

That seems to be the attitude at Carroll University, where construction on the college's new science center is nearing completion while the school prepares for the impending demolition — and eventual replacement — of Lowry Hall.

All that planning and work passed another milestone June 22, when Waukesha's Plan Commission unanimously granted final approval to the site and architectural plans for the project, a three-floor, 36,000-square-foot nursing center.

Construction on the new Lowry Hall is scheduled to begin in the coming weeks, said Carroll's senior Public Relations Strategist Jess Owens.

That building and the nearly complete science center, at the corner of North Barstow Street and West College Avenue, are a part of Carroll's three-phase, multi-year, $50 million campaign to improve its science facilities.

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Waukesha native's Smart Program Training targets dementia progression

June 23, 2016 3:11 p.m. | Dr. John DenBoer came home on a mission.

DenBoer, a Waukesha native, has developed a system of cognitive exercises that help prevent or slow the rate of dementia. That system was the subject of his presentation at Avalon Square Senior Living home in downtown Waukesha on Friday, June 24.

The Avalon is a special place for DenBoer, whose grandmother lived there for the last 20 years of her life and where he spent a lot of time as a young boy. He began his presentation with a dedication to her.

"In a lot of different ways we're celebrating her today," he said during the presentation. "She was a really special figure in my life."

New-and-novel approach

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OwnersEdge gives Green Bay business owner an alternative to selling

June 22, 2016 4:33 p.m. | For five days, Steve Elias didn't even open the unsolicited acquisition offer.

Although he wanted to sell his three Green Bay businesses, Elias worried about how a new owner — particularly one looking to consolidate within the industry — might treat his 70 employees. So instead of responding to the sender, Elias remembered a presentation he had heard several years earlier and picked up the phone.

Six months later, Elias is still running his companies, but they've been sold to OwnersEdge Inc., a Brookfield-based employee stock ownership plan holding company that is looking to invest in and build companies in the Midwest.

The presentation Elias remembered was made by Lisa Reardon, president, chief executive officer and chairwoman of OwnersEdge. Reardon had talked about business owners' succession planning, and about how her company sought diversification through acquisitions of companies with leaders such as Elias who want to continue running their businesses.

"Quite honestly, nothing's really changed for me," said Elias, president of Baycom Inc., a provider of wireless voice, mobile data and video equipment to public safety and commercial clients.

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Plea hearing set for Waukesha man accused of pointing unloaded assault rifle at police

June 21, 2016 3:40 p.m. | The case against a Waukesha man who reportedly pointed an assault rifle at local police in January, in an alleged attempt to bait officers into killing him, could soon come to an end.

Dean Stamm, 51, appeared in Waukesha County Circuit Court Monday, June 20, when his attorney, Matthew Huppertz, requested a plea and sentencing date, according to online court records. That hearing is scheduled for Sept. 1.

Stamm stands accused of six felony and six misdemeanor offenses for allegedly pointing a laser sight and an unloaded assault rifle at several police officers who arrived at his home in the 200 block of Douglas Avenue Jan. 24 to perform a well-being check on him.

Stamm's girlfriend requested the check because she was concerned Stamm — who was depressed and had been drinking that day and had easy access to his assault rifle — would kill himself, according to a criminal complaint.

Stamm said in the complaint he wanted the officers to shoot and kill him, a scenario he reportedly described as "suicide by cop."

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Waukesha's water diversion application wins unanimous approval

June 21, 2016 1:26 p.m. | Waukesha will get its water.

In a historic vote, the representatives of the governors of eight Great Lakes states voted unanimously Tuesday afternoon, June 21, to approve Waukesha's request for Lake Michigan water.

"The vote today means the city can now move forward in providing a reliable, sustainable, and safe supply of drinking water for its residents," said Mayor Shawn Reilly following the decision. "We fully respect the specific conditions spelled out by the states and provinces as part of this approval and we are committed to compliance."

The city filed its water diversion application in 2010 in an attempt to meet its long-term water needs and comply with radium restrictions. A lake water supply would replace 10 wells, including seven deep wells drawing radium-contaminated water from a depleted sandstone aquifer.

Waukesha is under a court-ordered deadline to have radium-compliant water by June 2018.

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Mother of girl charged in Slender Man stabbing struggles with daughter's fate

June 21, 2016 11:55 a.m. | Waukesha — The day after their daughter's 12th birthday sleepover, Angie Geyser and her husband, Matt, found themselves in a Waukesha police station, hoping to pick her up and take her home.

Officers had shown up earlier at their house looking for their daughter, Morgan, who had gone with her friends to a park after breakfast.

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"They wouldn't tell us anything," Geyser said, except that one of the girls was hurt, and Morgan and the other girl weren't with her. The parents were told to wait, and an officer stayed until they received notification that Morgan had been found, was OK, and that police just needed her to clear up some questions.

The Geysers headed to the station, assuming that whatever had happened, they would probably have to punish Morgan. Their thought was to cancel a trip to a Star Trek convention.

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Waukesha police report: June 23, 2016 issue

June 20, 2016 2:43 p.m. | 1A train conductor reported seeing a possibly intoxicated woman walking south on the railroad tracks around 7:14 a.m. June 10 near White Rock and Perkins avenues. The conductor told police the woman "barely moved" for the train as it passed her. She wasn't drunk or injured when police found her, according to an incident report.

2A rock was thrown through a third-story Carroll University dormitory window around 10:51 a.m. June 10 in the 300 block of West College Avenue. No suspects or leads were mentioned in a police report.

3A regular customer at a local Mobil gas station, 1709 Summit Ave., reportedly stole an unspecified number of lottery tickets around 2:22 p.m. June 10 from the convenience store. According to a police report, the man, who was not identified, was caught on a surveillance camera stealing the tickets.

4An intoxicated man was shouting at residents who were walking by him around 2:23 a.m. June 11 in the 900 block of North Barstow Avenue. Officers arrived and found the man to be "heavily intoxicated," according to a police report. A cab took the man home.

5Officers delivered several pizzas following a traffic stop around 4:48 p.m. June 11 near Highland Avenue and East Moreland Boulevard. A police report, which did not specify the reason for the traffic stop, said two officers helped a pizza delivery man transport several large pizzas to their destination to "ensure they did not go to waste." The report said the pizza company was thankful for the officers' assistance.

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Waukesha's iconic Gasthaus restaurant to close this weekend

June 20, 2016 11:10 a.m. | The iconic Gasthaus restaurant, which has operated for more than three decades in Waukesha, will close by week's end.

The German restaurant abruptly announced the closure in a June 18 Facebook post, less than two months after Waukesha officials reviewed a proposed development at the Gasthaus site at the corner of Silvernail Road and Grandview Boulevard.

"It is with great sadness that we have to inform everyone that Weissgerber's Gasthaus will be closing its doors for the final time at the end of Saturday June 25, 2016," the post read. "We want to thank all of our loyal guests for 33 years of business."

'With a heavy heart'

The family released a statement regarding the restaurant's closure Monday afternoon, June 20, that read in part: "After a long and painful period of uncertainty about the future status of the Gasthaus, it is now confirmed that the sale of the Gasthaus is actually, and inevitably, going to happen.

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11th-hour effort aims to kill Waukesha water plan

June 19, 2016 4:41 p.m. | A chorus of voices opposed to Waukesha's request for a Lake Michigan water supply is attempting to get the attention of the eight Great Lakes states' governors before they or their delegates meet Tuesday in Chicago for a final vote on the city's unprecedented plan.

Critics raising concerns this month include U.S. and Canadian advisers to the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, mayors of U.S. and Canadian cities within the Great Lakes basin, and conservation and environmental organizations from the region.

Late last month, the Michigan state Senate adopted a resolution opposing the request.

Waukesha is asking the eight states to approve a $207 million plan for diverting lake water across the subcontinental divide between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins and returning an equal volume of water as fully treated wastewater to Lake Michigan via the Root River.

Opponents are attempting to create last-minute doubts about the merits of the proposal since they failed to halt the request in two earlier rounds of technical and environmental reviews by Wisconsin and Great Lakes officials.

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