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

April 16, 2014 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 Republican candidates City of Waukesha Alderman Aaron Perry and Brandon Rosner as well as Chuck Schilling 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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Assembly District 83 candidates agree on taxes, differ on opiate issue

3:37 p.m. | Wisconsin's State Assembly District 83 will have a new face representing it in Madison this election cycle.

Incumbent David Craig (R-Vernon) chose not to run this year for seat, so the position is up for grabs, with four Republican candidates — Karen Schuh of Mukwonago, Steve Whittow and Chuck Wichgers of Muskego and Jordan Karweik of Waterford — squaring off in the Aug. 9 partisan primary to narrow the race ahead of the Nov. 8 general election.

All the candidates, except Karweik, responded to MyCommunityNow's brief questionnaire about their agendas moving forward. Karweik did not return numerous phone and email messages seeking comment.

1. What, in your opinion, is the biggest issue facing the district, and how do you propose to solve it?

Karen Schuh: The issues in my district vary depending on where they live, and if I had to pick one prevailing issue it would have to be lowering their taxes. I would work tirelessly to find ways to reduce taxes and work with other legislators to achieve a lower tax rate for property and business owners.

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Waukesha planning staff mulling another downtown apartment project

3:15 p.m. | Is one more apartment complex what downtown Waukesha needs?

That might be among the questions being pondered by city staff as they review a proposed apartment project just west of the corner of Main and Barstow streets.

The project, dubbed Clearpoint, calls for a five-story, 64-unit apartment building to be built between Main Street Plaza and the former Panos building on a currently vacant lot that was once the site of Walgreens.

Sterling Investments, a Brookfield-based development company, has proposed the roughly 110,000-square-foot project, according to Waukesha planning staff.

The building would have 56 one-bedroom units and eight two-bedroom units, and consists of residential units on top of a concrete podium with two levels of indoor parking. The parking — 98 covered spaces and four surface spaces — would be situated in the lower level and on the first floor, with residences on the second through fifth floors, according to planning documents.

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GOP vice presidential candidate Mike Pence to hold rally at Waukesha County Expo Center

12:29 p.m. | Despite, or perhaps because of, a loss for Donald Trump — the Republican presidential candidate — here in the April presidential primary, Trump's pick for vice president, Mike Pence, will be making his first solo stop on their campaign trail in Waukesha.

The Republican Party of Waukesha County confirmed Pence's appearance Tuesday afternoon, July 26 in an event post on its website.

Pence is scheduled to appear at a rally around 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 27 at the Waukesha County Expo Center, 1000 Northview Road.

Trump, who in Wisconsin lost to Sen. Ted Cruz by a 13-point margin in the spring primary, named Pence as the other half of the GOP ticket in the November presidential election at the Republican National Convention last week.

Wisconsin is considered a battleground state in elections — which means that candidates will frequently make stops here during their campaigns in an effort to sway voters — and Waukesha County is a Republican stronghold.

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Waukesha man accused of spitting on, trying to bite police officers

10:18 a.m. | A surprise nap in a food court bathroom at an area mall for one Waukesha man morphed into an encounter with police and, eventually, criminal charges after the man allegedly spit on and tried to bite two police officers.

The man, Aaron Davis, 33, was charged Monday, July 25, in Waukesha County Circuit Court with throwing or discharging bodily fluids at a public safety worker, misdemeanor disorderly conduct and resisting an officer — all as repeat offenses.

According to a criminal complaint, emergency personnel were called to Brookfield Square, 95 N. Moorland Road, last Friday, July 22, after someone found Davis passed out in one of the food court bathrooms on the west side of the mall.

Brookfield police reportedly believed Davis had been drinking — he smelled like booze and was slurring his words, the complaint said — when they spoke to him and arranged for someone to come pick him up and take him home.

However, when that man arrived, officers discovered he had an active warrant for his arrest and told Davis to wait while they sorted out the issue.

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Waukesha panel OKs La Casa de Esperanza's charter school expansion

July 25, 2016 9:54 p.m. | Anselmo Villarreal's vision for the future of La Casa de Esperanza is coming alive.

The Waukesha Plan Commission recently approved the final site and architectural plans for a charter school expansion at La Casa, 410 Arcadian Ave., that will add 43,452 square feet to the organization's current site.

The plans call for a three-story addition to the existing building to accommodate the growing charter school, which opened last fall with 88 students for 4- and 5-year-old kindergarten classes.

Construction of the addition, which is anticipated to be open by September 2017, is the first in a three-phase $8 million capital campaign to build a state-of-the-art school, said Villarreal, La Casa's chief operating officer.

Commissioners granted unanimous approval to the charter school design plans, and two other procedural items — a street vacation and a certified survey map — for La Casa.

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New Latin American restaurant Arepanitas opens near downtown Waukesha

July 25, 2016 7:40 p.m. | Francisco Mohamed wanted to bring a little Latin American flavor to the Waukesha food scene, and he's done exactly that.

Mohamed, who's from Venezuela, opened his new "Latin fusion" restaurant, Arepanitas, 136 E. St. Paul Ave., on July 14. So far, business has been promising — with some room for improvement, he said.

"Thank God, so far so good," he said, and added that he wanted to continue to get the word out about his small takeout restaurant.

"We need to be in the mind of the people," he explained.

According to its website, the restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.

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Complaint: Waukesha woman, drunk, grabbed gun following phone dispute

July 25, 2016 1:00 p.m. | Don't bring a gun to a cellphone fight might be the lesson learned by one Waukesha woman who's facing criminal charges for allegedly doing just that.

Betty Dyer, 51, was charged Monday, July 18, in Waukesha County Circuit Court with disorderly conduct (use of a dangerous weapon) and possession of a firearm while intoxicated, both misdemeanors. Online court records show she's free on a $2,000 signature bond.

According to a criminal complaint, Dyer grabbed a gun and pounded on one of her neighbor's doors July 16 in the 2100 block of Kensington Drive, demanding to be let in, after the neighbor accidentally damaged Dyer's phone when tossing it to another person.

Dyer reportedly asked the neighbor, a man, to remove his phone number from her device and the man tried to toss the phone to the third neighbor who said she knew how to remove the number. The toss was short and the phone's screen cracked when it hit the ground, according to the complaint.

After the screen broke, Dyer reportedly grabbed her Bersa Thunder .380-caliber handgun and marched over to the man's apartment, insisting he open the door, the complaint said. At one point, according to the complaint, she identified herself as a Waukesha police officer in an attempt to get inside the man's home.

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Waukesha police report: July 28, 2016 issue

July 25, 2016 11:23 a.m. | 1An anonymous caller reported cars were ignoring construction and road closure signs near Delafield Street and Bidwell Avenue around 10 p.m. July 15. According to a police report, one car drove up onto some grass along Bidwell and hit a recycling bin.

2A woman suffered an anxiety attack after allegedly drinking too much "gas monkey tequila" around 11:22 p.m. July 15 at a home in the 1000 block of Aurora Street. The woman was rolling around on the floor, coughing and crying, a police report said, and was eventually taken to the hospital.

3Police arrested an intoxicated man who was urinating in the street and various residents' yards around 4:40 a.m. July 16 near Arcadian and Perkins avenues. According to a police report, the man also got into a physical argument with his female companion, who reported the incident.

4Part of a cylinder of compressed gas, launched accidentally and unintentionally from Waukesha Iron and Metal, blew a hole through the ceiling of the nearby Mander Collision and Glass building, 1604 Manhattan Drive, around 1:10 p.m. July 16. A police report said no one was injured at Mander. The other part of the cylinder landed in a resident's yard about a half mile away.

5Police picked up a bag of needles around 4:09 p.m. July 16 from a resident in the 1500 block of Mohawk Lane who said another man had stashed them in the caller's backyard while the man was fleeing from police about a week earlier.

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Crest owner brings Irish flavor to new venture in downtown Waukesha

July 25, 2016 10:15 a.m. | Opened in May and dedicated to providing a unique experience, The Crest Pub & Grill in Downtown Waukesha showcases its owner's deep experience in Irish fare and desire to establish roots in a new community.

Building on experience

Owner Bruce Russell developed his restaurant chops in various environments, but is most comfortable with casual, lively venues. After establishing two Menomonee Falls-based restaurants, A.J. O'Brady's Irish Pub & Grill and The Mill, he looked at several other locations before deciding that Waukesha was the perfect next step.

"We looked at various locations over a two-year period," Russell said of the former restaurant space. "We kept coming back to this one. We liked what was going on in the city."

Appealing to various tastes

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2016 Waukesha County Fair coverage

July 22, 2016 5:48 p.m. | The Waukesha County Fair, the oldest fair in Wisconsin, is in full swing on the grounds of the Waukesha County Expo Center. 

And our interns McKenna Oxenden and Maddy Heim have been enjoying all aspects the fair brings.

From ranking the tastiest food items at the fair, to being there when the Fairest of the Fair was crowned, to having a good time watching the pig, duck and goat races, a new attraction at the fair. Take a look at their coverage of the fair as well as other staff members' photos and stories, which continues through Sunday, July 24.

Little Farmer's Sheep Rodeo, Lumberjack Show highlight day at the fair


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Video: Animal races, 4-H and a geese champion at the Waukesha County Fair

July 22, 2016 3:44 p.m. |

Woman shows off crafts at fair

By: Madeline Heim

Sheltered from the storm and sweltering heat inside the Waukesha County Fair Exhibit Hall on July 21, Ellen Smith, owner of One of a Kind Beadwoven Bracelets, kept a careful eye and a steady hand on her work.

Smith, who has been crafting since she was 9 years old, was weaving an intricate pattern on a small, traditional Native American loom. As she looped the threads and pointed out another piece of beadwork in her hair that was made by a friend, she described her extensive history with the craft.

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Unpaid fees could keep Waukesha students from graduation ceremonies

July 22, 2016 2:43 p.m. | The Waukesha School District is changing its policy regarding fees for graduating high school seniors.

The new policy, which will take affect at the beginning of the school year, will deny students with outstanding fees from participating in graduation ceremonies.

But that doesn't mean students who owe can't graduate.

"The new policy doesn't prevent them from graduating high school. They get their diploma," Koch said. "What we're looking to do is to capture, where appropriate, the fees that should be paid to the district."

The old policy authorized principals to withhold diplomas from students with outstanding fees, which isn't appropriate, according to Assistant Superintendent of Student Services Joe Koch.

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Waukesha South open art studio gives students opportunity to create

July 22, 2016 12:34 p.m. | The room was quiet except for the hum of the pottery wheel and the soft sound of brush strokes. Each student was deep in concentration, working on a painting, drawing or clay sculpture.

It's the kind of atmosphere you might expect in a professional art studio, except this particular venue has younger, aspiring artists in mind.

The open art studio at Waukesha South High School lets students spend as much time as they want in the classroom to work on art projects they want to pursue during the summer.

Running for four weeks during summer school, the studio is open from 7 a.m. to noon, with students showing up whenever they feel like, and leaving when they feel they are done.

Art 'experience'

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Social media story on the storms rolling through Milwaukee area

July 21, 2016 1:16 p.m. | A social media story of the storms that moved through the Milwaukee area during the morning of July 21.

Resources available to Waukesha County residents during extreme heat

July 21, 2016 9:21 a.m. | Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow is reminding residents of the resources available during the excessive heat warning in effect from noon Thursday, July 21, through 7 p.m. Friday, July 22.

"Excessive heat is the most frequent weather-related danger in southeast Wisconsin," said Farrow. "For this reason, Waukesha County has safeguards in place to ensure that even our most vulnerable residents can stay safe and healthy."

Cooling centers

Dozens of cooling centers and places to cool off are in Waukesha County, such as libraries, malls, or senior dining centers.

·Members of the public may use Waukesha County ice arenas as cooling stations for free. The cost to skate is $6.50 for adults and $5 for seniors and children.

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