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Rep. Bill Kramer subject of criminal investigation, DA says

March 25, 2014 3:58 p.m. | District Attorney Brad Schimel confirmed Monday evening that Rep. Bill Kramer is being investigated by a Waukesha County law enforcement agency for potential criminal behavior.

Schimel said via email that no charges have yet been referred to his office and he would not identify which law enforcement agency is conducting the investigation.

“I am not ethically permitted to make extrajudicial statements about a pending investigation that might compromise the right of an eventual defendant to a fair trial or such as would substantially damage the reputation of persons who are not ultimately charged,” he said.

It could not be immediately determined which department is investigating Kramer.

Jennifer Wallschlaeger of the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department said she was not aware of any investigation being conducted by her department.

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Incumbent judge faces challenge from young lawyer in Waukesha County

3:13 p.m. | In Waukesha County, a young lawyer hopes to upset a 12-year incumbent Tuesday for a seat on the circuit court.

Paul Bugenhagen Jr., 34, expects character issues will shorten his long odds to unseat Linda Van De Water.

"It's the number one thing people approached me about, her public conduct" Bugenhagen said in an interview.

"Most voters are looking for people to simply follow the law, be good role models, promote personal responsibility and show good character," he said.

In 2011, Van De Water, 52, was charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct in Racine County after authorities said she confronted an ex-boyfriend outside the home of another woman and kicked and jumped on his car. The next day, according to the complaint, Van De Water confronted the couple at a Brookfield restaurant.

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Waukesha County Museum will temporarily close as part of new plan

1:30 p.m. | A lot of uncertainty has surrounded the Waukesha County Museum in the last few years, and its future, particularly in the old courthouse building in downtown Waukesha, has been questioned.

But through it all, interim Executive Director Tom Constable has maintained that the museum will emerge stronger and have a vibrant future.

"Sometimes you have to take a step back to take two steps forward," Constable said.

Constable has unveiled changes to the museum's operations — it will soon temporarily close — and in its direction, all in the hope that it will set the museum up for long-term financial stability.

The first development came last month when Constable announced that a local developer, Historic Prairieville Limited Partnership, was willing to buy the museum's three-building complex at 101 W. Main St. from the Waukesha County Historical Society and Waukesha County Museum.

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HAWS asking for public support to help seized chinchillas in Waukesha

March 30, 2015 3:00 p.m. | Jennifer Smieja has seen some extreme animal hoarding examples, but what was found inside a Waukesha home earlier this week was something she had not seen in her 17 years at the Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha County.

"Hoarding situations are not unheard of," said Smieja, HAWS' development coordinator. "But this was the largest by far."

Smieja and her organization are now in possession of 331 chinchillas after they were seized on Sunday, March 29, by police from a rental home in the city of Waukesha due to the living conditions being "uninhabitable."

Help needed

HAWS is now asking the community for their assistance in caring for the animals.

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City of Waukesha committee recommends sober server ordinance for bars

March 30, 2015 2:30 p.m. | Will Waukesha be a safer all-around city if a sober server ordinance is adopted? The police department believes so. Downtown bar owners don't feel the ordinance is a bad idea, either.

In addition, there would be other benefits from an ordinance that would force any business with an alcohol license to require its bartenders, bouncers and staff to have a blood alcohol content level less than 0.08, police say.

The common council is expected to vote on the ordinance on Thursday, April 9.

Waukesha Police Chief Russell Jack said the ordinance, which passed in a 4-1 vote by the Ordinance and License Committee on March 23, would assist police in multiple ways.

Jack and other police personnel said if bartenders aren't drinking it would help them better determine who is already intoxicated, help eliminate underage drinking and vandalism around the city, keep bars orderly, and give establishments more credibility when police need to ask questions during an investigation.

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Waukesha robotics team wins regional championship

March 30, 2015 2:08 p.m. | CORE 2062, Waukesha School District's high school robotics team, won the Wisconsin FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition (FRC) regional on March 21 at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panther Arena in Milwaukee.

CORE 2062 is made up of about 40 students. After building the robot for six weeks, they were one of 60 teams that competed in Recycle Rush, a game in which alliances of three robots stacked totes and recycling containers. CORE 2062 was on the winning alliance in Milwaukee and qualified for the World Championship in St. Louis from April 22-25.

Before the international competition, CORE 2062 will compete at the Midwest Regional in Chicago from April 1-4.

The students of CORE come from the Waukesha School District. With 16 mentors, CORE builds two robots every year to prepare for competitions and community presentations.

For more information, go online to

Search locates 2-year-old missing in Waukesha County

March 28, 2015 12:23 p.m. | A 2-year-old from Waukesha County was found safe Friday night after a nearly three hour search.

The young child was reported missing from a home in the Town of Genesee shortly after 4:30 p.m. Friday, the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department said.

Deputies and emergency personnel from the Wales/Genesee Fire Department, Town of Delafield Dive Team, Town of Waukesha Fire Department and Flight for Life all helped search for the child.

A firefighter found the child shortly before 7:30 p.m. near a quarry about one-third of a mile east from the home, authorities said.

The child was cold but not injured, authorities said, and was transported to Waukesha Memorial Hospital for a medical assessment.

Oconomowoc man allegedly caught in Waukesha store bathroom with heroin

March 27, 2015 12:40 p.m. | A 24-year-old Oconomowoc man allegedly locked himself in a discount store bathroom in Waukesha to get high on heroin after a store employee caught him trying to shoplift.

Cameron Hayes was charged on Monday, March 23, in Waukesha County Circuit Court with possession of narcotic drugs and misdemeanor bail jumping — both are repeat offenses.

Hayes could face up to more than four years behind bars and $20,000 in fines, if convicted.

According to the criminal complaint, Waukesha police responded at about 5:40 p.m. Friday, March 20, to Family Dollar, 139 E. Broadway, to a report concerning a man at that location who had locked himself in the store's bathroom and had been vomiting for nearly 90 minutes.

Store employees told police in the complaint that the man had initially walked into the store, grabbed a bottle of cleaner and tried to leave without paying for it. An employee confronted Hayes about the alleged theft and shortly after Hayes walked to the store's bathroom and began throwing up.

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Waukesha Police Report: March 26, 2015 issue

March 26, 2015 1:00 p.m. | 1 A caller found a bullet casing at Grandview Park, 1001 N. Grandview Blvd., at 3:23 p.m. March 12.

2 A woman said she believed her church friend stole one of her books while visiting her at her residence at 1537 Pine St. at 3:34 p.m. March 12.

3 A vehicle's tire was cut and the rim was scratched while she was shopping at Family Dollar, 139 E. Broadway, at 3:55 p.m. March 12.

4 A caller reported at 7:57 p.m. March 12 that a man in an apartment at 406 Wisconsin Ave. has been harassing her in person and has been taking pictures of her children from her Facebook page and posting them to his. The caller again reported the next day the man has now been leaving notes on her door.

5 A caller reported he heard an elderly man in an apartment at 521 W. Dunbar Ave. screaming at 9:06 p.m. March 12. The caller, who was crying, was told by management the apartment building has yellow juniper ants that bite. The caller then thought the man who was screaming was being swarmed or hurt by these ants.

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Kwik Trip being proposed for city of Waukesha's northwest side

March 25, 2015 4:43 p.m. | The La-Crosse-based Kwik Trip, Inc. is proposing the construction of a convenience store, retail facility and fueling station on the city of Waukesha's northwest side.

The developer will present plans to the city's plan commission at its meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 25. 

The requested hours of operation will be 24 hours for all uses, according to plans submitted to the city.

The proposed store is projected to have between 15 and 20 full and part-time employees with two to eight on staff at any given time. 

The facility would be located on the southwest corner of Golf Road and N. Grandview Blvd.

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Facial tattoo helps Waukesha police bust armed robbery suspect

March 25, 2015 3:00 p.m. | Waukesha police have arrested and charged one man suspected of participating in an armed robbery that allegedly occurred in January.

Investigators were able to identify the defendant, 18-year-old Ryan Carroll of Waukesha, by a distinctive facial tattoo reportedly seen by the victim during the incident. Carroll was accused on March 20 in Waukesha County Circuit Court of being party to the crime of armed robbery and misdemeanor bail jumping

He could face up to nearly 41 years behind bars and $110,000 in fines if convicted of the charges.

Police officials told Waukesha Now earlier this year that two males, one white and one black, around 8 p.m. on Jan. 15 stopped a third male walking along Hinman Ave. — near Carroll University — in the city of Waukesha. The suspects pointed a gun at the victim and demanded his watch and wallet.

Both men were wearing scarves over the bottom halves of their faces and were reportedly in their late teens or early 20s. They fled the scene before police arrived.

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The Steaming Cup owners looking to sell downtown coffee shop

March 25, 2015 12:28 p.m. | For more than 10 years, The Steaming Cup has been a staple in downtown Waukesha.

Owners Terry and Kerry McKay want the coffee shop to remain a downtown destination in the future. But they know their time of running the shop at 340 W. Main St. is coming to an end.

The couple posted a message on the company's Facebook page indicating they are "on the short path to retirement."

As a result, the couple is looking to find someone to sell the business to and carry on The Steaming Cup legacy.

"We do not want to close our business," the McKays said in the post. "But we do want to market it to a person(s) with the passion to work the business properly."

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Waukesha bicycle shop Cyclesmith closes its doors

March 24, 2015 1:27 p.m. | Cyclesmith, a full-service bicycle repair shop at 1314 S West Ave. has closed.

A message on Cyclesmith's voicemail for incoming callers states: "We regret to inform you that Cyclesmith has closed" and that the store is "no longer accepting new business."

The message adds the store is "working diligently to complete all remaining work orders."

People with outstanding orders are asked to call the store and leave a voicemail to get a status update on their order or to make arrangements to retrieve the order.

The store's website says the family-owned and operated business had been in Waukesha for more than 10 years.

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Taylor's Peoples Park owners sue construction company for sewer lateral damage in downtown Waukesha

March 23, 2015 9:00 p.m. | Jim Taylor and his brother, Dan, have repeatedly praised the work the construction company did on the road construction near their business, Taylor's Peoples Park, last year.

They loved how the wider sidewalks are more pedestrian friendly, the look of the newly paved roads and new light fixtures outside its restaurant at 337 W. Main St.

But one incident has led the restaurant's owners to file a lawsuit against Advanced Construction Inc.

According to the lawsuit filed in Waukesha County Circuit Court on March 5, Taylor's Peoples Park says Advanced Construction was "negligent in construction and excavation activities, causing damages of $13,080.70."

Sewage problem

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The Sprint Episode Three: WIAA state basketball tournament retrospective

March 23, 2015 6:00 p.m. | The WIAA state basketball tournament featured a number of local entrants, with two bringing home gold balls and another grabbing silver:

Applications flowing in for Waukesha Farmers Market

March 23, 2015 3:30 p.m. | The countdown is underway.

The Waukesha Farmers Market begins in less than two months, and, with recent warmer temperatures around the area, applications from vendors are pouring in so they can get a seat at the table.

"It's a very successful market and vendors want to be part of it," said Norm Bruce, president of the Waukesha Downtown Business Association, the private downtown organization that runs the market.

The process took longer than usual to sprout.

WDBA's initial application had been originally returned to the organization because it did not adequately address security, safety or sanitation, as required by the new special events ordinance, which applies to gatherings of more than 400 people.

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