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Slender Man stabbing victim's family releases photo of girl

June 24, 2014 10:58 p.m. | Waukesha — With sweatpants and a sweatshirt covering her wounds, the 12-year-old Waukesha girl who was stabbed by two classmates is venturing out in public again. She runs errands with her mother and she recently saw a Disney movie with her dad.

A photo released by the victim's family Tuesday showed the girl from the shoulders down wearing a gray hoodie and holding a thank you card.

A second photo showed the victim's bedroom, where a local artist painted a tree with a canopy of paper hearts. The victim's family had asked supporters to send purple hearts — the victim's favorite color and shape — and thousands poured in from around the world. The family said they were overwhelmed by the support.

"We're entering a new phase," said Steve Lyons, the new spokesman for the family. Lyons, who works as a public affairs adviser for the law firm Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C., is handling media communications for the victim as court proceedings begin for the two suspects, Anissa Weier and Morgan Geyser. The suspects also are 12 and were classmates at Horning Middle School.

Weier and Geyser are accused of stabbing the victim 19 times May 30 in an attempt to become "proxies" of the fictional character Slender Man. They are scheduled for hearings in adult court next week.

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City of Waukesha revises Great Lakes water plan

April 28, 2016 7:48 p.m. | The City of Waukesha would receive up to an average of 8.7 million gallons a day of Lake Michigan water by midcentury — down 13.86% from its earlier request — to serve a smaller area proposed by Great Lakes officials reviewing the city's plan for lake water.

Waukesha had asked to pump up to an average of 10.1 million gallons a day by 2050, but city officials revised the volume this week after regional officials moved to redraw the service area without portions of three neighboring communities included in the city's request.

Revised service area maps and findings in support of the request were posted on a website — www.waukeshadiversion.org — by the Conference of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers.

"It appears that we're approaching a workable solution for residents of the city," Waukesha Water Utility General Manager Dan Duchniak said Thursday.

The biggest change in the water service area comes with the removal of most of the Town of Waukesha, generally south of Lawnsdale Road.

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Waukesha Farmers Market set to kickoff 2016 season May 7

April 26, 2016 4:55 p.m. | The best word to describe the Waukesha Farmers Market this year might be "new."As in: new name, new location and new, extended hours.

Waukesha Downtown Business Association President Norm Bruce said the changes this year are no cause for alarm. They are instead just an extension of what the WDBA has been doing since it took over the market at the end of the farmers market season in 2012.

The market, which is set to kick off May 7 and run through the last week of October, is now being called the "Waukesha Farmers Market village," based on a new configuration of the vendor booths at the market's new location on the north side of the Fox River, 313 Bank St, across from Riverfront Plaza.

According to Bruce, the new configuration resembles a small village.

Additionally, the market — a public, open-air, producer-only event held on Saturday — will be open this year for an extra hour, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Bruce said.

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Longtime local criminal Julio Alvarez gets prison for robbing Waukesha gas station

April 26, 2016 10:25 a.m. | Julio Alvarez had a criminal history dating back more than a decade and was free on probation for a little less than two weeks when he put on dark clothes, covered half his face with a bandana and robbed a local gas station last May.

Alvarez, 29, of Waukesha was sentenced recently in Waukesha County Circuit Court to seven years in prison for that crime, according to online court records. He pleaded guilty in January to robbery with the threat of force, a class E felony.

He was originally charged last June with robbery and bail jumping for his involvement in the incident.

In addition to prison time, Judge Ralph Ramirez sentenced Alvarez to five years of extended supervision. Both penalties are to run consecutive to Alvarez's current sentence — 20 months behind bars — which was imposed after Alvarez violated the terms of his probation on a previous conviction.

Terms of Alvarez's new probation include a ban on contact with his girlfriend, Deidre Pitsch, who aided him in the robbery, a mandate to maintain absolute sobriety and undergo a mental health evaluation and follow through on any recommended treatment.

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Waukesha police report: April 28, 2016 issue

April 25, 2016 6:54 p.m. | 1 A 12-year-old Horning Middle School student was separated from his classmates around 8:05 a.m. April 15 after he began slamming desks and throwing items around a classroom. The boy's parents were called, but refused to come get him so he was moved to a classroom by himself.

2 Two Waukesha South High School students were reported for inappropriate touching around 8:43 a.m. April 15. The nature of the touching and the genders and ages of the students were not specified, but both were described as "juveniles" in a police report.

3 Staff at Prairie Home Cemetery, 605 S. Prairie Ave., told police around 9 a.m. April 15 that someone is dumping trash in the cemetery after hours and stealing silk flowers. Extra patrols of the area were requested.

4 Two men reportedly stole tool kits from The Home Depot, 2320 Bluemound Road, around 11 a.m. April 15 then fled the store in their car.

5 An unidentified woman tried to fill two fraudulent prescriptions at Walgreens, 2700 Grandview Blvd., around 8:25 p.m. April 15. According to a police report, a doctor's signature on the prescriptions was incorrect.

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Proposed strip mall, eatery could replace Gasthaus restaurant

April 25, 2016 4:50 p.m. | A proposed retail center and restaurant at the site of the well-known Gasthaus restaurant, 2720 N. Grandview Blvd., will be considered this week by a Waukesha panel, but the concept has not received a favorable review thus far from city staff.

According to planning documents, California-based Panda Restaurant Group is proposing construction of a strip mall at the corner of Silvernail Road and Grandview Boulevard — where Gasthaus currently sits — and a Panda Express restaurant across from the plaza. It is not clear whether the Gasthaus restaurant, which functions as a kind of gateway into the city, would be razed if the project earns approval.

The city's plan commission was expected to review and take action on the proposal Wednesday, April 27, after press deadline. City staff, in multiple reports, have outlined problems with the proposal, predominantly citing traffic concerns, and recommended denial of the current plans for the project.

Development and concerns

The proposal calls for the construction of a 9,800-square-foot strip mall featuring three unidentified retail spaces, a coffee shop with a drive-thru and two restaurants on the Gasthaus site. The 2,600-square-foot Panda Express restaurant would be a standalone building, separated from the mall by a parking lot.

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Catholic Memorial principal Bob Hall selected to lead new innovative program at Elmbrook Schools

April 25, 2016 3:45 p.m. | The Elmbrook School District will be pulling from local talent for a new program meant to help juniors and seniors experience real-world, hands-on education.

The district is planning to launch a new Innovation Collaboratory in September 2017 and has selected Catholic Memorial High School principal Bob Hall to serve as executive director of the initiative.

"The first thing that you'll notice when you meet Dr. Hall is just his unbridled enthusiasm and commitment to kids. He's one of those personalities that is all-in," said Elmbrook Superintendent Mark Hansen.

The district's new Innovation Collaboratory will work to create partnerships between Elmbrook students and local businesses and organizations.

Hansen noted that the idea came from a desire to expand the students' opportunities for education outside a traditional classroom setting.

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Severe thunderstorm watch in effect

April 25, 2016 2:47 p.m. | The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm watch, in effect until 10 p.m., for much of Southeastern Wisconsin, including Waukesha, Jefferson, Walworth and Milwaukee counties.

A watch indicates that conditions are right for the formation of severe thunderstorms. Severe storms have not yet been spotted in this area.

Proposed apartment project for Waukesha County Museum remains stalled

April 25, 2016 12:25 p.m. | More than four months have passed since two city panels gave conditional approval to a proposed redevelopment of the Waukesha County Museum site, but the project still has not progressed beyond the planning stage — to the chagrin of city officials and the developer.

At Waukesha's most recent landmarks commission meeting April 6, the latest plans for the project — a high-end apartment complex at 101 W. Main St. — received mixed reviews from commissioners and city staff. The project was initially proposed in February 2015 in part to help the financially struggling museum.

The plans presented this month included an outdoor "plaza" area above a parking garage situated in front of the connector building between the county's former courthouse and jail, both built in the 19th century. The garage was necessary, developer Alan Huelsman said, to accommodate the number of on-site parking stalls required for the project.

Some commissioners expressed disapproval of the new design and suggested a return to the previously approved plans, which called for a 32-unit apartment complex and for the conversion of an old jail into a banquet hall.

Under those plans, the museum would sell the property to Huelsman, who owns local Historic Prairieview Limited, but would still maintain a limited presence by leasing a portion of one building.

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Waukesha School District names new principals at four schools

April 22, 2016 3:25 p.m. | The Waukesha School Board approved three new principals and an assistant principal/athletic director at four Waukesha schools.

The appointments will begin in the 2016-2017 school year.

Here are the appointments, broken down by school:

West High School

Ryan Patt was approved as the new principal of Waukesha West. Patt has been the assistant principal at the high school since 2009. He will be filling the position left vacant by David LaBorde, who is retiring.

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Man sentenced to prison for role in Waukesha gas station homicide

April 22, 2016 2:55 p.m. | Darrin Malone will spend decades in prison for his role in the murder of a local gas station clerk who was fatally shot last January during a botched robbery.

Malone, 29, of Milwaukee was sentenced April 21 in Waukesha County Circuit Court to 25 years in prison and 10 years of extended supervision, according to court records. He was found guilty of felony murder by a jury in February.

Malone was originally charged for his involvement in the killing of 65-year-old Saeed Sharwani with Kenneth Thomas and Jerica Cotton, both of whom testified against Malone in exchange for reduced charges. Thomas, 21, of West Allis was the triggerman; and Cotton, 24, of Milwaukee, was the getaway driver.

Sharwani was a clerk at the Citgo gas station at 1445 Whiterock Ave.

As conditions of his probation, Malone is not allowed to have any contact with Thomas or Cotton or any members of Sharwani's family. Judge Lloyd Carter also ordered Malone to participate in any treatment recommended by his probation officer and pay an undetermined amount of restitution.

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Great Lakes officials trim Waukesha's water request

April 22, 2016 1:10 p.m. | The City of Waukesha's request for more than 10 million gallons a day of Lake Michigan water was cut substantially by representatives of Great Lakes states and provinces meeting Friday in Chicago.

Waukesha's plan to pump up to an average of 10.1 million gallons a day by midcentury will be trimmed to an average of 8.2 million gallons a day after the Great Lakes officials removed portions of three neighboring communities from a future water service area to receive lake water, as a condition of the regional group's acceptance of the request.

Portions of the towns of Delafield and Genesee and generally the southern half of the Town of Waukesha were taken out of the water service area previously delineated by the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission.

Waukesha's requested lake water supply would serve its existing city boundaries, small pieces of the Town of Waukesha, as well as a portion of the City of Pewaukee included under an existing border agreement.

Grant Trigger, a Michigan representative, pushed for the change in service area during two days of meetings in Chicago that began Thursday. He met late Thursday with officials from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to draw up the revised area to be served with lake water.

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Longtime Waukesha South athletics director Dan Domach ready to relax

April 22, 2016 10:40 a.m. | Dan Domach was simply the game supervisor for a contest between two teams that did not hail from his own school, but he was swelling with pride, anyway.

The Waukesha South athletics director, who will retire after 20 years as an administrator in the district after the current school year, was hosting Waukesha North and Greendale in a WIAA Division 2 sectional semifinal last year.

Dressed in white shirts broadcasting support for North, representatives from the three public schools in Waukesha – South, North and West – came to the game and stood united and indistinguishable in the stands.

"I was so proud of all three schools, really proud of our kids," Domach said. "I think it was something that doesn't happen a lot of times. When they play against each other, those are really fun games to watch because no matter what the records are between the three schools, you don't know what the final score is going to be. For that particular game, it was really special."

It comes as no surprise that Domach has had a hand in fostering that community spirit on several levels. Even this week, he'll attend WIAA meetings and once again go to bat for South and North as they try to rectify the competitive imbalance his schools face in the talent-heavy Classic 8.

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Initial Reaction Podcast: Realignment in area conferences and the status of girls/women's basketball in Wisconsin

April 21, 2016 10:17 a.m. | JP and JR chat about the impact of realignment in southeastern Wisconsin high-school conferences following the controversial vote April 19. Plus, the guys talk about their least favorite rules in sports (we're looking at you, baseball rainouts) and Norbert Durst of Wissports.net stops by to talk about the state of girls basketball in Wisconsin and women's basketball at UW-Madison. Each week, Lake Country/Now sports director JR Radcliffe and Time Warner Cable Sports Channel's JP Cadorin chat about the Wisconsin sports scene, with an emphasis on Milwaukee-area prep athletics.

Great Lakes leaders to scrutinize Waukesha water diversion bid

April 20, 2016 5:31 p.m. | The City of Waukesha's 13-year quest for Great Lakes water — criticized as unnecessary by regional environmental groups — will be subjected to a final round of scrutiny Thursday and Friday by officials from seven other U.S. states and two Canadian provinces meeting in Chicago.

Those officials will pick apart and question each of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' 17 separate findings that resulted in one conclusion after more than five years of analysis: The city's unprecedented diversion request complies with all requirements of a 2008 federal law known as the Great Lakes protection compact.

Among those findings: Waukesha does not have an adequate supply of water that is fit to drink, due to radium contamination of deep groundwater supplies; and all of the city's water supply options outside of the Great Lakes basin would have adverse effects on wetlands, streams and inland lakes.

The two findings most frequently mentioned by officials from other states at previous meetings as cautions, or sticking points in approving the request are: the volume of water — up to an average of 10.1 million gallons a day — that Waukesha says it will need by midcentury; and the city's larger future water service area, as drawn to comply with state law.

So water volume and service area likely will be the targets of conditions or restrictions offered by out-of-state officials to gain their support of the diversion request.

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Catholic Memorial High School donates $13,000 to Camp Hometown Heroes

April 20, 2016 3:15 p.m. | The Catholic Memorial Haunted House raised $13,000 for Camp Hometown Heroes, the largest student-donation the organization has received.

The CMH Haunted House has been running for eight years. Each year the proceeds raised are donated to a charity or organization that supports veterans and their families.

This year, the students chose Camp Hometown Heroes, a national, free weeklong overnight summer camp for children and siblings of fallen U.S. service members who died in combat, or due to an accident, illness or suicide.

During their visit to camp, which can be the first time for many, the children have the opportunity to openly discuss their feelings and experiences. Through the support of pediatric grief specialists, children partake in art and music therapy programs. There are also optional discussion groups for children who have lost a parent in service.

The high school presented Camp Hometown Heroes with the donation April 14 at a special ceremony.

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