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Waukesha water options to hit pocketbooks

Feb. 25, 2010 9:54 p.m. | Waukesha - Water bills paid by residents four times a year would more than double in the next decade as the city invests in new water sources, officials disclosed Thursday.

Costs of buying Lake Michigan water from Milwaukee and pumping it to Waukesha would push quarterly bills to $142, up $75 from the current charge of $67, according to information released by the Waukesha Water Utility. The utility estimates costs of $164 million to implement a lake water option.

Digging more wells in shallow aquifers not tainted with radium and salt would cost an estimated $174 million to set up. Quarterly bills with that option would climb higher, to $151, said Dan Duchniak, the water utility general manager.

Maintaining the city's deep sandstone wells with radium treatment and using several additional shallow wells to meet demand would cost about the same as the shallow well option. Quarterly bills: $151.

Obtaining federal grants could reduce quarterly bills from $9 to $19 a quarter.

» Read Full Article

Carroll seeks approval for new dorm

Feb. 22, 2010 11:20 a.m. | Waukesha — Carroll University is seeking to build a new four-story student residence hall adjacent to its campus, a university official said Monday.

The Plan Commission is set to take up a request for rezoning and approving preliminary plans for the building, which would have retail space on the first level. The site is on the west side of Grand Ave. north of College Ave.

Carroll will lease the building and have "sole management rights," said Ron Lostetter, the university's chief financial officer.

The university had its largest-ever freshman class this past fall, Lostetter said, but the development of another residence hall was already part of a longer-term plan.

Once completed, about 230 students would be housed in the building.

Waukesha mayoral totals revised because of missed votes

Feb. 18, 2010 11:00 a.m. | Waukesha - City Clerk Tom Neill has released revised vote totals for the Waukesha mayor's primary election Tuesday after discovering that results from two voting machines were not counted.

The results of the election were unchanged, although the gap between first place finisher Jeff Scrima and Mayor Larry Nelson, who finished second, widened slightly.

The two will square off April 6.

The final, official results:

Scrima, 1,830 (35%); Nelson, 1,271 (24%); Darryl Enriquez, 1,039 (20%); Bill Beglinger, 633 (12%); Randy Radish, 427 (8%).

» Read Full Article

Madison official complains about Waukesha virtual school cost

Feb. 18, 2010 10:48 a.m. | A Capital Times blog post from earlier this week highlights complaints from one Madison School Board member about the discrepancy between the amount of state aid his district receives and how much Waukesha's virtual school gets.

Board member Ed Hughes says his district receives about $3,400 per student from the state, while virtual schools (like all schools in the state) get more than $6,000 for each Madison student they enroll through the state's open enrollment program. In addition, he pointed to a recent report by the Legislative Audit Bureau that found that Waukesha spent only $5,558 per child at its iQ Academy in 2007-'08, resulting in about a $500 per-pupil profit for the district.

"The legislature has created a system that sets up very strong incentives for a school district to contract with some corporate on-line operation, open up a virtual charter school, and set about trying to poach other districts' students," the blog post says Hughes wrote in a letter to state Sen. Fred Risser.

An interesting side note: the Madison Metropolitan School District's current business manager, Erik Kass, was instrumental to helping to keep Waukesha's virtual high school open and collecting a surplus when he was the business manager for that district.

Scrima, incumbent Nelson advance in Waukesha mayoral primary

Feb. 16, 2010 10:04 p.m. | Waukesha - Incumbent first-term Mayor Larry Nelson and challenger Jeff Scrima will face off in the April 6 general election after the two came out on top of a five-person field Tuesday.

Scrima, who owns a real estate development firm and aggressively campaigned against Nelson's emphasis on regional cooperation and the push for tapping Lake Michigan for a clean water supply, pulled in 35% of the vote to Nelson's 26%.

Nelson had far-outraised his competitors in campaign donations - nearly $11,000 and most from small contributors, according to finance reports due Feb. 1. His campaign featured several mailings touting progress during his term on issues like replacing the city's radium-tainted water, building a west-Waukesha bypass, benefiting Waukesha through regional cooperation and adding dozens of businesses despite the recession.

Jeff Scrima had used extensive newspaper ads, his Web site and e-mail get-out-the-vote messages to press his contention that Waukesha would lose its independence if it pursued water through the City of Milwaukee. Scrima relied heavily on his own funds to match Nelson's fund raising.

Darryl Enriquez, a retired reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, had hoped to translate his experience in reporting on city government into a job of leading it. He relied heavily on the influence of high-profile names on voters - with endorsements from elected Republicans like Rep. Bill Kramer, County Treasurer Pam Reeves and former county clerk and current School Board member Pat Madden, as well as former mayor Carol Lombardi. He won 19% of the vote.

» Read Full Article

Prep basketball sectional tickets now on sale

Feb. 16, 2010 3:51 p.m. | Tickets are now sale at for the WIAA boys basketball "Super Sectionals" to be played at Marquette University's Al McGuire Center at 12th and Wells Streets in Milwaukee, March 11-13.

This is the fourth consecutive year that Germantown will be co-hosting the event.

Teams from three sectionals will determine state tournament berths at the events. From division I sectional eight, area teams that could be involved include Nicolet, Oak Creek, South Milwaukee and Wauwatosa East and West.

From division I sectional five, potential sectional participants include Germantown, Homestead, and Menomonee Falls.

In addition, the division 2 sectional final will be held at the McGuire Center at 4:15 p.m. Saturday, March 13. This loaded event features many of the state's top-ranked teams including New Berlin Eisenhower, Port Washington, defending state D2 champ Wisconsin Lutheran and Catholic Memorial, along with Brown Deer, Shorewood, Whitefish Bay and New Berlin West.

» Read Full Article

Drive your way to auto show with free tickets

Feb. 16, 2010 10:16 a.m. | The Greater Milwaukee Auto Show starts Saturday, and you could win a pair of free tickets by entering our Twitter contest.

To win, simply follow MyCommunityNOW on Twitter and tweet "I want to win free tickets to the Greater Milwaukee Auto Show from @MyCommunityNOW. RT to win. Details: http://bit.ly/cdQMKE"

A drawing will be held at 10 a.m. Friday for the four pairs of free tickets. Winners must pick tickets up at NOW's Waukesha offices. Winners will be contacted through Twitter before noon on Friday.

For more information on the auto show, visit AutoShowMilwaukee.com.

Stifel exec comments on schools' investment lawsuit

Feb. 15, 2010 10:58 a.m. | Ronald Kruszewski, board chairman and CEO of Stifel Financial Corp. and Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Inc., faced some questions in a television interview last week about the ongoing lawsuit in Milwaukee County circuit court regarding $200 million of risky investments his firm helped sell to five Wisconsin school districts in 2006.

Stifel was sued by the five districts, as was the Royal Bank of Canada, for allegedly misleading school officials into believing their investments were safe. The investments have since lost most of their value and the districts are doubtful they will receive much money back when the investments mature in 2013.

Milwaukee judge William Brash ruled against requests by Stifel and RBC to dismiss the lawsuit.

In this CNBC interview about Stifel Financial's revenue gains in the last quarter of 2009, Kruszewski is asked about the lawsuit.

Here's the meat of his answer: "First of all, we acted as placement agent. We did not structure or make the product; we advised on it. It was a double-A-rated security at the time. And I think it underscores the problem that happened in structured finance. At the time, everybody thought these things were safe and that they were good. And we certainly thought so. And it turned out not to be so."

Want free Bucks tickets for tonight's game? We've got 'em

Feb. 09, 2010 7:29 a.m. | If you're brave enough to head down to the Bradley Center tonight to see the red-hot Milwaukee Bucks take on the Detroit Pistons, we've got a pair of tickets for you.

The first person to e-mail us at mmaley@cninow.com will get the freebies. You have to come to our office in Waukesha to pick them up today.

Public can comment on Waukesha water plan

Feb. 08, 2010 5:14 p.m. | The public is invited to comment on topics to be included in an environmental impact study of Waukesha's pending bid for Great Lakes water.

The Waukesha City Council likely will be asked in March or April to approve submitting an application to the DNR, Mayor Larry Nelson has said. A draft application released last month says the city would buy up to 18.5 million gallons a day of Lake Michigan water to meet demand several decades from now.

The lake water would replace radium-tainted water from the city's deep sandstone wells.

The state Department of Natural Resources will work with Waukesha to complete an environmental study to be included as part of the city's proposed application to divert water out of the Lake Michigan drainage basin, officials said. The application must be approved by the governors of Wisconsin and each of the other seven Great Lakes states.

The environmental impact study would include an analysis of water supply options, as well as alternatives for returning the city's treated wastewater to Lake Michigan, under terms of a Great Lakes protection compact.

» Read Full Article

Waukesha fraud suspect sent officers 'chasing our tails'

Feb. 05, 2010 3:14 p.m. | Waukesha — The former Waukesha County account clerk accused of stealing more than $300,000 donated by seniors for meals at nutrition sites evaded arrest for two days this week after telling a detective the person he was looking for was in another state, a prosecutor said Friday.

The Waukesha County sheriff's detective went to Kham Sisaleumsak's residence Tuesday evening, but she "pretended to be somebody else and sent him looking for her in the state of Minnesota," Assistant District Attorney Jayne Davis Dewire told Waukesha County Circuit Court Commissioner Thomas J. Pieper.

Sisaleumsak gave the detective two addresses in Minnesota where he might find the clerk, Dewire said.

"We involved a lot of law enforcement basically chasing our tails in Minnesota," she said in arguing for Pieper to set Sisaleumsak's bail at $50,000.

Authorities learned Thursday night of the deception and arrested Sisaleumsak, Dewire said.

» Read Full Article

2 forums will feature Waukesha mayoral candidates

Feb. 05, 2010 10:54 a.m. | Waukesha - All five candidates for Waukesha mayor are scheduled to appear together in two forums that are open to the public next week.

On Wednesday, from 3 to 4:30 p.m., Oak Hill Terrace, 1805 Kensington Drive, will host the candidates for brief presentations and questions. Though the event is largely targeted to the senior residents of the retirement center, the public is welcome, said Robert Best, Oak Hill executive director.

On Thursday, several sponsors will hold a forum at Carroll University's Campus Center Ballroom from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Candidates will be provided questions from the sponsors, who include the Waukesha County Environmental Action League, the Waukesha West End Artists Association, the Carroll Student Senate and the League of Women Voters-Milwaukee County. The event is not billed as a debate, said Laurie Longtine, an Environmental Action League board member who helped organize it.

The five candidates squaring off in the Feb. 16 primary are incumbent Larry Nelson and challengers police officer Bill Beglinger, retired journalist Darryl Enriquez, Ald. Randy Radish and developer Jeff Scrima.

Follow us on Twitter for chance to win Bucks tickets

Feb. 04, 2010 2:48 p.m. | Follow us on Twitter and you could win a pair of Bucks tickets to Tuesday night's game against the Detroit Pistons.

All you have do is visit twitter.com/MyCommunityNOW, click the "follow" button, and then post your own tweet mentioning @mycommunitynow and the words "Tweet this for a chance to win Bucks tickets." The deadline to win the tickets is 5 p.m. Friday.

If you're already following us on Twitter, just send us the Tweet - this contest is open to new and existing followers.

At 5 p.m. Friday, we'll randomly select two people from everyone who tweeted "Bucks Tickets" - and they'll each will win a pair to tickets to Tuesday's game.

If you're not already following us on Twitter, do so today. Not only will you get a chance to head to the game, but you'll also be able to stay on top of the latest news, sports, photos and more from the MyCommunityNOW.com Web sites.

Former Waukesha County employee accused of stealing $300,000 from senior meal sites

Feb. 04, 2010 12:58 p.m. | Waukesha — A former Waukesha County account clerk is accused of stealing more than $300,000 donated by senior citizens for their meals at 12 nutrition sites over the last six years, county officials said Thursday.

Kham Sisaleumsak, 44, of Waukesha was charged with 13 counts of felony theft in a business setting. She was arrested at her home Thursday night.

If convicted, she faces potentially decades in prison.

According to the criminal complaint:

Sisaleumsak was responsible for reconciling bank statements of 12 different checking accounts in community banks - accounts into which each meal site manager who collected donations would make daily deposits. She also was responsible for writing periodic checks from those accounts into the county's general fund.

» Read Full Article

Waukesha family escapes house fire

Feb. 04, 2010 10:18 a.m. | Waukesha - Five members of a Waukesha family, including a 4-week-old infant and 18-month-old toddler, escaped from their burning home early Thursday in a fire blamed on careless smoking by a visiting family member, city Fire Marshal Brian Charlesworth said.

The only injuries sustained, he said, were to two people walking near the 702 Linden St. fire who fell on ice and were transported by ambulance to the hospital.

Charlesworth said a visiting cousin of the couple was sleeping on the first level and awoke about 2:30 a.m. She thought she'd left a light on but instead found a fire that started on the porch where she'd been smoking. It had burned through a front wall and went up through the wall to the attic.

She alerted the four upstairs at about the same time an alarm company contacted the family, Charlesworth said.

Twenty-seven crew members from all five stations responded. First arrivals found flames shooting from the front of the home and front porch. The fire, which is considered accidental, was out by 6 a.m., Charlesworth said.

» Read Full Article

Waukesha mayor's fund-raising exceeded rivals through end of 2009

Feb. 02, 2010 12:54 p.m. | Waukesha - Mayor Larry Nelson's campaign kitty outmatches the closest of his four competitors by nearly three to one, according to finance reports filed Monday that cover the last six months of 2009.

Nelson raised $7,833, almost all of it in the last quarter. Four out-of-state contributors donated $500 each. The largest local donation of $250 came from Ford Titus, ProHealth executive. Nelson spent $1,634 on mailing expenses, printing and a fund raiser.

Retired journalist Darryl Enriquez lent his campaign $1,000 and raised another $1,675 since announcing his candidacy. Seven individual $100 contributions, including from the campaign of Waukesha County Treasurer Pamela Reeves, are included. Former mayor Carol Lombardi and her husband, Robert, contributed $50 apiece. Enriquez spent $341 on Web site development, a fund raiser, and printing and office supplies.

Ald. Randy Radish raised $1,921 from five donors, including $648 each from Judith and Gerald Couri of Couri Insurance and $500 from Woodruff, Wis., retirees.

Developer and real estate broker Jeff Scrima reported a $100 loan to himself as his only receipt and spent $15 on campaign checks.

» Read Full Article

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