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Shawn Reilly easily defeats Scrima in Waukesha mayoral race

April 01, 2014 10:53 p.m. | Waukesha has a new mayor.

Challenger Shawn Reilly easily defeated the incumbent Jeff Scrima in Tuesday's general election.

Reilly beat Scrima by about 62 percent of the vote. He garnered 5,899 votes, compared to Scrima's 3,642. 

The win comes after Reilly, who led an agressive campaign, won the primary in February.

Reilly is a longtime municipal attorney in downtown Waukesha and a former president of the downtown Waukesha Business Improvement District.

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Waukesha pastor charged with sexually assaulting child

4:48 p.m. | A 72-year-old school bus driver and pastor in Waukesha has been charged with sexually assaulting a child in his church office.

Peter J. Knebel was arrested Sunday after sheriff's officials say he admitted to an offense while under investigation, as well as violations involving other children in the past.

According to the Waukesha County sheriff's office, Knebel was a pastor at the Fox River Christian Church, and drove a school bus for the Waukesha School District since 2009.

Knebel faces a single count of second-degree sexual assault of a child under age 13, which is punishable by up to 40 years in prison upon conviction.

According to the criminal complaint:

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Ace will no longer be the place in downtown Waukesha

3:38 p.m. | In recent years, locally owned hardware stores have found it tougher to stay in business.

A couple years ago, Robertson Ace Hardware, a mainstay in the village of Wauwatosa, shut its doors due to a challenging economy and big-box store competitors.

National Ace Hardware in downtown Milwaukee recently announced it was going out of business after its owners sold its building.

Now, Olson's Ace Hardware, a staple in downtown Waukesha for 65 years, is the latest local hardware store that will close its doors.

Notable loss

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Waukesha pastor charged with first-degree sexual assault of a child

3:13 p.m. | A Waukesha pastor and former school bus driver, who said he has struggled with lust his entire life, is charged with first-degree sexual assault of a child after allegedly touching a 10-year-old girl's breast at Fox River Christian Church.

Peter J. Knebel, 72, was arrested on Sunday, July 26, and subsequently charged on Monday, July 27, for having sexual contact with a child younger than 13 years old inside his church office, S46 W24130 Lawnsdale Road, Waukesha.

During an investigation, Knebel admitted his involvement, said Lt. Patrick R. Esser of the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department.

Knebel, 2063 Cliff Alex Court South Unit B, Waukesha, also admitted to committing other violations against other children in the past, the sheriff's department said.

Nature of incident

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Waukesha man accused of putting 17-year-old girlfriend in a choke hold

10:15 a.m. | A Waukesha man is accused of putting his 17-year-old girlfriend in a choke hold and then tackling her to the ground outside after chasing her.

Dylan St. George, 20, is charged with attempted strangulation and suffocation, physical abuse of a child and disorderly conduct following a physical disturbance on Friday, July 17, at a residence in the 1800 block of Haymarket Road in Waukesha.

If convicted, George faces up to nearly seven years in prison and $16,000 in fines.

George posted a $750 cash bond on Tuesday, July 21, and is to maintain absolute sobriety and is to have no contact with the victim/witness or their residence listed in the criminal complaint.

A hearing is scheduled for Aug. 6 at the Waukesha County Courthouse.

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Vacant commercial properties create eyesores in Waukesha

July 24, 2015 12:30 p.m. | As you drive north along Highway 59/164, the sign and the large empty building is evident.

It has been for seven years.

As employees of City Hall drive into the office each day the empty building across the street is evident.

It has been for three years.

And as Sentry employees and customers arrive to shop and work on the southwest side of the city the empty properties are evident.

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Molina Healthcare giving out groceries, health kits at La Casa de Esperanza in Waukesha

July 23, 2015 6:00 p.m. | Molina Healthcare, based in Milwaukee, is sponsoring a food pantry in partnership with Feeding America, in Waukesha to assist families and individuals in need.

The health care provider will give away groceries and health kits at La Casa de Esperanza on Friday, July 24.

Molina Healthcare will provide 300 individuals with free groceries and personal care kits on a first-come, first-serve basis to the first 200 individuals (one per person) while supplies last.

Each kit will include a small package of tissue, 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner, a toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, soap, deodorant, a nail file, laundry detergent, bandage strips and a small package of cotton swabs.

The giveaway event, open to the public, runs from 10 a.m. to noon or while supplies last at La Casa de Esperanza, 410 Arcadian Ave.

Waukesha Police Report: July 23, 2015 issue

July 23, 2015 2:00 p.m. | 1 A bicycle was stolen from a closed garage at 1929 Rustic Way prior to 2 p.m. July 9.

2 A drone flew across Highway 164 and was hovering over parking lot of Golden Corral, 1673 Arcadian Ave., at 8:30 p.m. July 9. A caller, who said the drone was flying 15 feet over cars, was concerned someone was doing surveillance. A caller said the drone was also flying low in nearby neighborhoods.

3 A house at 2510 Pendleton Place was egged at 10:47 p.m. July 9.

4 A man said when he was in the shower with his girlfriend someone entered their unlocked apartment at 1933 Madera St. and stole his girlfriend's cellphone at 11:52 a.m. July 10.

5 A caller reported 25 kids were gathering to fight outside the Waukesha Public Library, 321 Wisconsin Ave., at 9:13 p.m. July 10.

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Waukesha man facing charges in three separate criminal cases

July 23, 2015 1:00 p.m. | A 19-year-old Waukesha man is already facing criminal charges in two pending cases. Now he has another.

Gavin Gross was charged July 13 in Waukesha County Circuit Court with misdemeanor disorderly conduct and two counts of felony bail jumping. Gross is facing false imprisonment and armed burglary charges in a separate case and also stands accused of intentionally selling a dangerous weapon to a child.

A criminal complaint filed July 13 says Gross was tracked down and arrested after he allegedly punched his stepfather in the face and threatened him with a lawn stake outside their home on Delafield Street in the city of Waukesha.

According to the complaint, Gross, while clutching the stake in his hand, told his stepfather in "a stern, angry voice" that he was going to hurt him.

The victim also said in the complaint that he heard Gross at one point shout "I'm not going back to prison."

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Waukesha County Fair has best opening day attendance mark in history

July 22, 2015 12:23 p.m. | The 2015 Waukesha County Fair saw mixed results.

While the fair, which ended on Sunday, had its best opening day attendance mark in its 173-year history, overall attendance was down from last year.

The fair's executive director, Shari Black, said 119,104 visitors attended the fair, which ran from Wednesday, July 15, through Sunday, July 19, on the Waukesha County Expo Center grounds in Waukesha.

In 2014, 133,725 attended the fair.

Wednesday's total saw 26,717 people come through the turnstiles. For images from Wednesday see our photo gallery.

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The Suburban 16 Power Rankings: Watt, Niebrugge, and others on the next level

July 22, 2015 11:30 a.m. | (Editor's note: After a late addition putting Anthony Pettis in the top 15, the "Suburban 15" was expanded to the "Suburban 16")

The meteoric rise just continues.

Pewaukee graduate J.J. Watt, once a scholarship tight end at Central Michigan and then a walk-on at the University of Wisconsin, was voted the No. 1 player in the National Football League by the league's players in a poll conducted by the NFL Network.

Higher than Aaron Rodgers (No. 2) and Tom Brady (No. 3). Higher than anyone could have imagined even when he became the 11th overall selection in the 2011 NFL Draft. Even with his second career NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award last year, it's still staggering to think that when the players in the NFL consider who the league's best player is, they turn to Watt.

Sure, all rankings have to be taken with a grain of salt, but especially with the accomplishments of Watt and Jordan Niebrugge, a Homestead graduate who shot an amateur-record round of 67 at the British Open and then tied for sixth in the tourney, there have been some exciting accomplishments racked up by local products. Considering athletes who competed in high school in the Now Newspapers or Lake Country Publications coverage area (and remain active), here's my Suburban 16, where I attempt to rank players based on exposure, impact and post-prep accomplishments.

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Rep. Chris Kapenga easily wins District 33 state Senate seat in Waukesha County

July 21, 2015 10:13 p.m. | Chris Kapenga continues to follow in the footsteps of his predecessor, Paul Farrow.

Both started their careers in the business world and now are establishing themselves in the political world. Kapenga won a seat in the state Senate on Tuesday night — a seat Farrow previously occupied. And Farrow is the top elected official in Waukesha County.

For Farrow and Kapenga, their careers started together in the state Assembly in 2010. Two years later, both then looked at moving on to the state Senate.

It was Farrow's turn first as he edged Kapenga in a Republican primary for the District 33 state Senate seat in 2012.

With Farrow stepping down from the Senate to put his sole focus on his new position as Waukesha County executive, Kapenga (R-Delafield) saw it as his opportunity to take the next step.

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Initial Reaction Podcast: A dumb-sports-fan's guide to the Bucks arena financing situation

July 21, 2015 2:05 p.m. | JP tries his best to explain the machinations behind the state senate voting in favor of a Bucks arena financing plan, plus a lot more from a big week of Wisconsin sports (Favre! Niebrugge!). Also, JP shares his impressions from the WFCA All-Star football game.

Railroad work prompts another road closure in Waukesha

July 21, 2015 11:53 a.m. | Drivers passing over the railroad crossing at Moreland Boulevard at Frame Park are in for a smoother ride in the coming weeks.

However, until then, the roadway will be closed for two weeks and drivers must find a detour.

The construction is being done by order of the Office of Commissioner of Railroads. Katie Jelacic, project engineer for the city, said the entire crossing will be replaced.

The road in both directions will be closed to all traffic. The closure will begin at 9 a.m. Monday, July 27, and is expected to be reopened by 7 a.m. Friday, Aug. 7.

The schedule is weather dependent.

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Waukesha man, a youth church leader, accused of having sex with child

July 21, 2015 10:05 a.m. | A Waukesha man who served as a youth church leader in Racine has been charged with having sex with an underage boy and for using a phone application to meet with another child to have sex.

Diego A. Rodriguez, 20, was charged last month with one count of using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime and three counts of sexual intercourse with a child.

If convicted of all the charges, Rodriguez faces $130,000 in fines and more than 42 years in prison.

Rodriguez is being held at the Waukesha County jail on a $25,000 cash bond. He pleaded not guilty in court on July 2 and waived his right to a preliminary hearing.

His next hearing is scheduled for Aug. 20.

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Menomonee Falls' DeCloux crowned Waukesha County's Fairest of the Fair

July 20, 2015 9:48 p.m. | The Fairest of the Fair of Waukesha County goes to Danielle DeCloux of Menomonee Falls.

DeCloux won the annual Fairest of the Fair competition at the county fair on July 15. The sophomore at UW Oshkosh beat out Talia Spiegelberg of Oconomowoc and Sarah Stock of Mukwonago. DeCloux was first runner-up at last year's competition but said she didn't think she would win this year and "didn't expect this at all."

"I was just really excited," DeCloux said. "Over half my life has been dedicated to the fair, and I'm excited to be a part of something that has been part of my life for over a decade. Wow, I can't believe this actually happened. I never actually thought about it happening, so when it happened I was just like wow."

DeCloux said she wasn't as nervous as last year, and that it was easier the second time around. She also said she was relaxed through the whole process and didn't even think she would win.

"It was nervous excitement," she said. "I wasn't as nervous as I was last year, that's for sure. I didn't feel anxious or nauseous or anything like that; it was nervous energy. I felt like I needed to get up and dance."

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