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Housing may fill Waukesha YWCA site

March 30, 2009 8:14 p.m. | Waukesha - Despite the controversial closing of the YWCA nearly five years ago, residents who gathered Monday in its frigid gym shared heart-warming stories about swimming lessons, basketball games and jogging a few lunch-hour laps around the indoor track.

Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas and Waukesha Mayor Larry Nelson used the setting to announce plans for the next chapter in the property's life: transforming it into a subdivision of 11 to 16 new owner-occupied homes valued at $150,000 to $200,000.

The county and city plan to use $850,000 of a $1.3 million federal neighborhood stabilization grant to acquire the YWCA building, 306 N. West Ave., from Waukesha State Bank.

Building demolition will be financed with city borrowing. A developer will be hired to build single-family houses or condos or sell lots.

Some residents expressed uneasiness at the possibility that the project would be for only affordable housing. Steve Crandell, Waukesha's director of community development, said plans were in their early stages but some of the homes would be "workforce housing units," referring to more affordably priced housing than is typically built in Waukesha County.

» Read Full Article

Drop-Off Center Wednesdays to begin Wednesday

March 30, 2009 1:58 p.m. | The Sentry Drive Drop-Off Center will open on Wednesdays starting this week, Waukesha FYI reports.

Meet the School Board candidates

March 30, 2009 11:02 a.m. | Hear interviews and read questionnaire responses of the candidates for Waukesha School Board on the Journal Sentinel's education Web page.

Another antique store for downtown

March 30, 2009 10:13 a.m. | Dowtown is getting another antique store on April 1, Waukesha FYI reports.

Police seek charges against Acker in two more cases

March 30, 2009 9:22 a.m. | Greenfield police on Monday asked prosecutors to file child sexual assault charges against Daniel Acker that involve two more victims, Greenfield Deputy Inspector Bradley Wentlandt said.

Jacob Manian, a Milwaukee County assistant district attorney, said Monday he hoped to decide this week whether to file charges. Manian would not provide the ages of the victims or say when the alleged assaults may have occurred.

Acker, 61, of Waukesha, was charged Saturday with one count of felony child sexual assault involving a victim who is now 19, but Acker is suspected of molesting numerous children over more than 30 years.

The request for the new charges will contend that both victims were molested multiple times, Wentlandt said.

Wentlandt said there are an additional dozen victims from crimes committed before 1989 that can't be prosecuted. And he said there are 15 to 20 more men believed to be victims who either could not provide sufficient information for charges to be filed or are unwilling to cooperate.

» Read Full Article

Wright St. eyed as Carroll campus walkway

March 28, 2009 3:40 p.m. | A consulting firm is suggesting to Carroll University that Wright St., a sliver of a roadway between S. East Ave. and Charles St., be closed to vehicular traffic, so students could easily navigate the eastern area of campus. Waukesha FYI reports that is among a series of ideas being considered to improve foot traffic on campus.

YWCA plans unveiled

March 28, 2009 3:36 p.m. | Details of a housing development project planned for the site of the former YWCA on West Ave. will be formally disclosed at a press conference Monday at 2 p.m. at the site. Read more in Waukesha FYI.

Swim coach faces $65,000 bail on abuse charge

March 28, 2009 1:50 p.m. | Daniel Acker, the swim coach suspected of years of sexual abuse, will have to post $65,000 cash bail if he wants to be released before an April court appearance on a sexual assault charge, a Milwaukee County court commissioner said during a hearing in intake court Saturday morning.

Acker also asked the county to pay for a defense attorney in his case, but he doesn't immediately quality for one, said an attorney representing him in the morning hearing. He will have to at least try to hire a private lawyer or make another appeal to the county for legal assistance.

Acker, 61, of Waukesha, was arrested Monday while coaching youth swimmers at Frank Lloyd Wright Middle School in West Allis, where he was about to give a swim lesson. A man in his 40s had told police that day that Acker sexually assaulted him from 1971 to 1976, when he was from 11 to 15 years old.

Since then, at least three other men in their 40s - including one who lives in Tennessee - and a 19-year-old man have told police they had been sexually assaulted by Acker when they were minors.

The charge addressed Saturday morning stems from a 2005 incident, when the 19-year-old man was 15. According to the complaint, around August of that year, the boy went to Acker's West Allis home in the 7700 block of W. Rogers St. and the two had sexual contact.

» Read Full Article

Case against Acker came together quickly

March 28, 2009 11:32 a.m. | The following is the sequence of events that led to a charge of second-degree sexual assault against Daniel J. Acker, a longtime swimming instructor for the West Allis-West Milwaukee School District recreation department. Acker is suspected of sexually assaulting young boys for more than 30 years.

He was charged Friday and appeared in court Saturday morning.

The sequence is based on information provided by Greenfield police and the criminal complaint issued Friday in connection with the charge.

Week of March 16: A 47-year-old Greenfield man tells recreation officials that Acker assaulted him and other young boys numerous times when the man was a child.

March 23: A recreation official tells Greenfield police about the allegations against Acker.

» Read Full Article

Waukesha man arrested for sexual assault of a child

March 27, 2009 11:48 p.m. | Police found an immaculate home when they entered Daniel Acker's off-white, two-story Waukesha condo this week to investigate allegations about the suspected pedophile.

He had hidden his darker secrets in the basement.

Lifting the roof off of a model police station, investigators found a dozen photos of children who had been abducted and murdered pasted to the small walls.

"It's bizarre. No one in this agency has seen anything like it before," said Greenfield police Deputy Inspector Bradley Wentlandt, whose department is leading an investigation into allegations that Acker molested a number of young boys dating back to the 1970s.

The investigators found evidence that Acker had a keen interest in murdered boys, although he has not been linked to any deaths.

» Read Full Article

No United Way cuts in Waukesha County

March 27, 2009 5:44 p.m. | Waukesha - The United Way in Waukesha County announced Friday that no cuts would be needed in program funding this year, following an urgent drive to close a fund-raising gap.

Led by a $275,000 challenge grant from business leader Joel Quadracci, the agency reached its $4.5 million funding goal with many other donations from area businesses and organizations.

A $475,000 fund-raising gap had threatened to force painful cuts to United Way grant recipients this year. But board members voted Thursday night to maintain the agency's 2008 funding allocations without any cuts.

Others credited with offering urgent help include ProHealth Care, Rogers Memorial Hospital, Sunset Bank, Marine Bank, We Energies, the Fraternal Order of Eagles and First Bank Financial Centre, among others.

April 3 career fair canceled

March 27, 2009 4:34 p.m. | The NOW Newspapers Career Fair, which had been scheduled for April 3 at the Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, has been canceled and will be rescheduled at a later date

Watch your local NOW community newspaper for details once a new date is announced.

Police identify swimming instructor arrested in sexual assaults

March 26, 2009 8:08 p.m. | A 61-year-old man who works as a part-time aquatics program coordinator for the West Allis-West Milwaukee Recreation Department was in jail Thursday, suspected of sexually assaulting young boys for more than 30 years, authorities said.

Daniel Acker of Waukesha was arrested Monday during a swim practice at West Milwaukee Middle School, said Deputy Inspector Bradley Wentlandt of the Greenfield Police Department. Acker is suspected of assaulting boys between the ages of 7 and 15 from the 1970s to 2008, police said.

Acker is suspected in hundreds of assaults involving dozens of children over the years, police said. Some of the assaults are alleged to have occurred in Greenfield.

Acker has been placed on leave by the recreation department and is being held in the Milwaukee County Jail pending charges.

The recreation department is run by the West Allis-West Milwaukee School District, Superintendent Kurt Wachholz said in a news conference Thursday afternoon.

» Read Full Article

Waukesha police raid results in crack cocaine charges

March 26, 2009 5:00 p.m. | Waukesha - Three people were charged Thursday in connection with crack cocaine sales after police raided a downtown apartment late Wednesday.

Among those arrested was a sex offender who police determined was illegally living in the apartment because it is in an area in which sex offenders cannot reside, Waukesha Police Capt. Mark Stigler said.

Tina M. Bogues, 23, of Waukesha, and Tommy Lee Simpson, 21, the sex offender, were arrested after a search warrant was executed at 319 W. Main St.

Brad A. Pratchet, of Milwaukee, 24, of Milwaukee, was arrested Wednesday sometime after he delivered crack to an undercover detective who had arranged through an informant to buy it from Bogues, according to a criminal complaint filed Thursday in Waukesha County Circuit Court.

Pratchet is charged with manufacturing/delivering cocaine.

» Read Full Article

Sex offender notification

March 26, 2009 3:04 p.m. | Waukesha police posted a sex offender bulletin, Waukesha FYI reports.

Photos of downtown drug bust

March 26, 2009 2:03 p.m. | See photos of the downtown drug bust at Waukesha FYI.

Waukesha County chamber opposes card check bill

March 26, 2009 10:48 a.m. | Waukesha - The Waukesha County Chamber of Commerce has come out in opposition to the Employee Free Choice Act, also known as the "card check bill" that has been introduced in Congress, the chamber said in a statement Thursday.

The chamber's statement called the proposal "heinous legislation."

"The Employee Free Choice Act would deny employees the right to a secret ballot election when deciding whether to join a union," the statement said.

The proposed legislation amounts to "a power grab by union management, which wants to pressure workers into union ranks without the protection of the secret ballot," the statement said.

"The chamber will move forward with a position in opposition to Card Check and mobilize our membership in a campaign to contact U.S. Reps. Sensenbrenner and Ryan and U.S. Sens. Kohl and Feingold," the statement said.

» Read Full Article

Water saver steps into spotlight

March 25, 2009 5:25 p.m. | The winner of a water conservation contest is revealed. Read more in Waukesha FYI.

Waukesha man charged with eight heroin trafficking charges

March 25, 2009 2:35 p.m. | Waukesha - A 32-year-old Waukesha man was charged with eight heroin trafficking charges Wednesday after he was accused of injecting a 16-year-old girl with the drug and dragging her unconscious body to a neighbor's yard.

Waukesha County Court Commissioner Thomas Pieper ordered Phillip A. Brooks held on $50,000 bail and told Brooks that even if he were able to post bail, he would continue to be held on a probation violation on an earlier drug case.

According to the criminal complaint and the police report, a Waukesha man arrived home shortly after 9 p.m. Feb. 11 and saw a girl lying on his front lawn covered in a blanket. He also saw a neighbor, later identified as Brooks, walking back to his residence.

The man asked Brooks what was going on, and Brooks said he came outside to have a cigarette and saw the girl passed out in the neighbor's yard, the police report says.

The neighbor later told police that Brooks appeared to be on drugs. The neighbor asked Brooks whether he knew the girl and Brooks denied it, the police report says. The neighbor woke the girl, who questioned why she was outside and kept calling Brooks by his first name. She was able to get back to Brooks' home.

» Read Full Article

Diversified Insurance moves to Brookfield

March 25, 2009 11:02 a.m. | Diversified Insurance Services will move Friday from its current location in Waukesha to a new headquarters in Brookfield, at 100 N. Corporate Drive.

According to a company news release, the insurance brokerage firm will have "an advanced communications system, a high-tech conference room and training facility" and additional office space in its new building.

Downtown trees geting haircuts

March 25, 2009 10:18 a.m. | City crews this morning are trimming downtown trees along W. Main St.  This just in from Mona Bauer at the Parks  Department. It's a memo to the BID. Read more in Waukesha FYI.

Bomb squad checking device at Retzer Nature Center

March 25, 2009 10:12 a.m. | The Milwaukee County Bomb Squad is at Retzer Nature Center after an employee found a suspicious device in a remote parking lot, Waukesha County Sheriff's Detective Steve Pederson said.

The device is a galvanized pipe with end caps, Pederson said. There is also evidence in the area that other similar devices may have been blown up, he said.

The suspicious device is not near any buildings, Pederson said.

Wales/Genesee Fire Department is also on the scene.

Freeman will stop Monday print edition

March 25, 2009 8:38 a.m. | The Waukesha Freeman announced on Wednesday that it will no longer publish a Monday print edition.

Conley Media, the owners of the paper, also said it would end a Monday print edition of the Daily News of West Bend, which it also owns.

Conley said the Freeman will have a Monday electronic edition that will be made available at no additional cost to subscribers. The last Monday edition will be March 30.

Content normally found in the Monday paper, such as TV listings, comics and other material, will be included in the Tuesday through Saturday print editions. The paper does not publish on Sunday.

Conley said in the announcement that it was taking the action in order to "cut costs and put the papers in a better financial position during the current economic downturn. "Our subscribers will continue to receive the same high-quality community editorial coverage throughout the week. The Monday online edition will provide enhanced sections on business, health, sports and entertainment," said Phil Paige, group publisher.

Grand opening for Menards

March 24, 2009 2:21 p.m. | Beginning Saturday, Menards will hold a nine-day grand opening celebration at its new two-story mega store in Waukesha, 2315 Bluemound Road. Read more in Waukesha FYI.

Spancrete acquires mobile precast company

March 24, 2009 11:44 a.m. | Waukesha-based Spancrete has acquired MobileGreen Precast LLC, the nation's first mobile precast company.

The acquisition enables Spancrete to expand its customer base to the continental U.S., the company said Tuesday.

The mobile precast model involves developing temporary precast plants near a project, reducing transportation requirements and resulting in reduced construction costs, the company said.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

Spancrete Group Inc. is a provider of architectural and structural precast concrete products to the Midwest construction industry. The company operates five precast concrete plants in Wisconsin, Illinois and Florida, Spancrete Machinery Corp. in Waukesha, and American Concrete Pipe Co. in Green Bay and Milwaukee.

Waukesha police chief announces retirement

March 24, 2009 11:42 a.m. | Waukesha Police Chief Les Sharrock is retiring as of Aug. 3.

Sharrock, 67, submitted a letter to the Police and Fire Commission on Monday notifying them of his retirement plans.

Sharrock has been in law enforcement for 43 years, 30 years as chief. He was named chief in Waukesha in 1996. He came from Moorhead, Minn., replacing Chief Thomas Stigler.

Waukesha County bar rates Supreme Court candidates

March 24, 2009 11:18 a.m. | Which candidate for Wisconsin Supreme Court received a higher rating from the Waukesha County Bar Association? Read more in Proof and Hearsay.

Charges filed in George Webb knife fight, police chase

March 23, 2009 4:43 p.m. | Waukesha - A knife fight early Sunday at a George Webb restaurant escalated into a high-speed police pursuit of a 24-year-old suspect who crashed his car and had to be subdued with a Taser, police reported.

The suspect, Keith A. Goodlad, 25, of Waukesha was charged Monday with a fifth offense of operating while under the influence, operating while under the influence-causing injury, fleeing police, resisting an officer, disorderly conduct and bail-jumping.

Police responded at 2:24 a.m. to a fight involving a knife at George Webb on E. Sunset Drive. When they arrived, officers saw a vehicle leaving the scene that a witness said was one of the fight suspects, police said.

The suspect with the knife was arrested at the scene without injury.

Officers attempted to stop the vehicle but it took off at a high rate of speed. A pursuit of 1.5 miles occurred before the vehicle crashed at the corner of Grand and Estberg avenues, police said.

» Read Full Article

Authorities ID victim in Town of Ottawa crash

March 23, 2009 2:31 p.m. | A Waukesha man killed in a weekend motorcycle accident has been identified as James E. Zamber.

The 43-year-old man was killed Sunday when his motorcycle left the road and crashed into trees on county Highway D in the Town of Ottawa.

The Waukesha County Sheriff's Department said Zamber was not wearing a motorcycle helmet.

A passing motorist found Zamber on the side of the road and called authorities about 4:30 p.m. Sunday, according to the sheriff's department.

Victim in Waukesha motorcycle crash identified

March 23, 2009 10:24 a.m. | Waukesha - The motorcycle driver killed in an accident at a downtown intersection was identified Monday morning as LeRoy W. Hood, 58, of Waukesha.

Hood was driving a three-wheel custom motorcycle about 5 p.m. Sunday when he collided at E. Main and Pleasant streets with a sport utility vehicle. Hood died at the scene when he was trapped under the vehicle, police reported.

The passenger on the motorcycle was not seriously injured. No one in the other vehicle was injured. The investigation is continuing.

Full Moon bar brawl brings police

March 20, 2009 5:28 p.m. | Waukesha police were called to the Full Moon tavern early Friday after patrons began throwing chairs and bottles and the fight inside the bar spilled into the street, Police Capt. Mark Stigler said.

Three Waukesha men were arrested in the brawl, he said. Each man is accused of disorderly conduct and one of the men is accused of obstructing an officer.

Officers were called to the bar at 200 Madison St. at 1:05 a.m. and after arriving found numerous people fighting inside and outside the bar.

All three men were booked and released, Stigler said.

Police were also called to the bar just before 11 p.m., Thursday for a man involved in a verbal altercation with another person in the bar's parking lot. The man, 28, of Waukesha was arrested on suspicion of disorderly conduct and taken into custody for a probation violation, Stigler said. He's being held in the Waukesha County Jail.

County retains top bond rating

March 20, 2009 2:24 p.m. | Waukesha County has received a triple A bond rating, the highest possible rating, from Moody's Investor Service and Fitch Ratings for the 21st consecutive year. That puts Waukesha County in elite company, Waukesha FYI reports.

Scouts to collect food

March 20, 2009 1:28 p.m. | The Potawatomi Area Council’s annual Scouting for Food “Good Turn” kicks off with bag distribution on Saturday, March 21, and concludes with the donated food pick-up on Saturday, March 28. Read more in Waukesha FYI.

Victim in Waukesha crash fatality identified

March 19, 2009 3:20 p.m. | The 85-year-old victim in a fatal car crash Wednesday evening in Waukesha has been identified as Phyllis L. Vick of Waukesha.

Vick suffered no apparent injuries in the crash, leading police to speculate that she may have died prior to her car leaving the road and crashing into a light pole at 8 p.m. on N. Grand Ave. near Carroll St.

The passenger in the vehicle was treated and released at the scene.

New HAWS shelter breaks ground

March 19, 2009 3:05 p.m. | The Humane Animal Welfare Society (HAWS) of Waukesha County, Inc. will start their facility expansion with a groundbreaking. Read more in Animal Magnetism.

Gold's Gym coming to Waukesha

March 19, 2009 12:17 p.m. | A Gold's Gym will go into the old Sentry supermarket in Waukesha, Shop Talk reports.

Recycling tonnage down

March 19, 2009 10:32 a.m. | Is it a bad economy and people are buying less? Are people using less packaging? The Waukesha County Recycling Office reports that the tonnage of recycled materials gathered last year in Waukesha was down 4,3% in 2008 when compared to the previous year. Read more in Waukesha FYI.

Woman, 85, dies in Waukesha crash

March 18, 2009 10:26 p.m. | An 85-year-old woman died Wednesday night after the vehicle she was driving crashed into a light pole in Waukesha, according to the city's Police Department.

The woman's identity and place of residence had not been released.

The crash occurred about 8 p.m. on N. Grand Ave. near Carroll St., police said in a news release.

A passenger was treated at the scene, police said. The woman was taken to Waukesha Memorial Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

The crash is under investigation.

Waukesha police invoke sex offender registry law

March 18, 2009 6:04 p.m. | Waukesha - Waukesha police for the first time invoked an ordiance limiting where registered sex offenders can live, Capt. Mark Stigler said Wednesday.

Michael R. Donovan, 53, was arrested at his residence at 241 E. Park Ave., at 8:30 p.m., Friday.

His residence is within 750 feet of Cutler Park, Stigler said. Under the residence restriction ordinance, registered sex offenders may not reside within 750 feet from a school, park, playground, day care center or recreational trail.

The fine is $802.

Donovan was convicted in 1992 of first degree sexual assault of a child.

» Read Full Article

More than just Waukesha looking for lake water

March 18, 2009 3:29 p.m. | Waukesha has company in its quest for Lake Michigan water. Read more in Waukesha FYI.

Lawyer change in Twisted shop case OK'd

March 18, 2009 1:57 p.m. | Waukesha — A judge on Wednesday granted a defense attorney’s request to withdraw from representing Scott Ziegler, the convicted sex offender accused of luring troubled teens into a life of sex and drugs through his shop Twisted.

 Mark S. Rosen said there has been a complete breakdown in the attorney-client relationship and Ziegler had become hostile and abusive. Read more in Proof and Hearsay.

A look at the new Menard's

March 18, 2009 11:26 a.m. | Read Shop Talk for a look at the huge new Menard's on Blue Mound.

Waukesha West makes it 8 straight at Academic Decathlon

March 17, 2009 8:52 p.m. | Waukesha West High School won its eighth straight title at the state Academic Decathlon championship in Madison on Tuesday, earning a trip to next month's national competition.

Academic Decathlon pits nine-student teams against one another in a series of tests on academic subjects, interviews, speeches and written essays. Each team includes contingents of three students who have A grade averages, three with B averages and three with C averages.

Twenty teams compete in the state competition, based on their performances at local and regional events.

Out of a possible 60,000 points, Waukesha West won with a score of 49,138, said the team's coach, Duane Stein.

A West senior, 17-year-old Jeff Spence, set a new state record for the highest individual score, earning 9,128 points out of a possible 10,000, Stein said.

» Read Full Article

Waukesha County golf courses set to open

March 17, 2009 5:26 p.m. | Waukesha County's Naga-Waukee War Memorial and Moor Downs Golf Courses will open for the 2009 season Wednesday.

Naga-Waukee is a quarter-mile north of I-94 in Town of Delafield, W307-N1897 Maple Ave., (262) 367-2153.

Moor Downs is located at 438 Prospect Ave., Waukesha, (262) 548-7821. To reserve your tee time log on to www.waukeshacountyparks.com.

Wanaki Golf Course, N50-W20830 Lisbon Road, Menomonee Falls, will be opening soon. Call (262) 252-3480 for information.

Purchasing or renewing ID cards provide discounted greens fees. Waukesha County residents pay $20 and non-residents pay $40.

Waukesha police still seeking man accused in beating, arson

March 17, 2009 5:04 p.m. | Waukesha - Waukesha Police Capt. Mark Stigler said authorities are still looking for 25-year-old Michael H. Mack, the man accused of beating a woman before threatening to burn down a home that later caught fire with three children inside.

The victim is in a safe, undisclosed location with her children, Stigler said.

Anyone with information about Mack is urged to call Crime Stoppers at (888) 441-5505 or the Waukesha Police Department at (262) 524-3831. He was last seen in a 1988 green Pontiac Bonneville with temporary plates in the rear window.

Felony charges have been filed and an arrest warrant issued for Mack, of Waukesha. He is charged with arson, four felony counts of first-degree reckless endangerment, misdemeanor battery and bail jumping, according to a criminal complaint filed in Waukesha County Circuit Court.

Mack is accused of punching the woman early Monday at a local hospital where she had sought treatment for a respiratory ailment and then threatening to burn down her home, the complaint says.

» Read Full Article

Former 'Twisted' shop owner wants new attorney

March 17, 2009 2:39 p.m. | The attorney representing Scott Ziegler, the convicted sex offender accused of luring troubled teens into a life of sex and drugs through his shop Twisted, wants to withdraw from the case less than a week before it is scheduled to go to trial.

Mark S. Rosen says there has been a complete breakdown in the attorney-client relationship and Ziegler is unhappy with the representation he has received, according to a motion to withdraw that Rosen filed in Waukesha County Circuit Court.  Read more in Proof and Hearsay.

Darrow vs. Darrow: Father draws distinction amid son's financial troubles

March 17, 2009 2:32 p.m. | Waukesha-based Darrow Automotive Inc., which its creditors are trying to force into Chapter 7 bankruptcy, has no financial affiliation or business relationship with the Russ Darrow Group, according to a statement released Tuesday by Menomonee Falls-based Darrow Group.

Darrow Group, founded in 1965, operates 15 new car dealerships in the Fox Valley and southeastern Wisconsin, a used-vehicle finance company, and a nationwide fleet and leasing company. It is owned by Chairman and CEO Russ Darrow Jr., and his youngest son, Mike Darrow.

Darrow Automotive, which operates dealerships in Illinois, North Carolina and Georgia, is owned by Russ Darrow III.

"While it is extremely unfortunate that my eldest son, Russ Darrow III, is dealing with severe financial difficulties in his own business, it is equally important to differentiate his company from our Wisconsin car dealership group that I started 44 years ago, the Russ Darrow Group," Darrow Jr. said in a statement.

Darrow Group, which has over 500 employees "is very healthy," the statement said.

Big new Menard's opens

March 17, 2009 2:02 p.m. | Mayor Larry Nelson christen's the new Menard's on Blue Mound. Read more in Waukesha FYI.

Court sides with Carroll over labor

March 16, 2009 4:58 p.m. | Waukesha-based Carroll University, a Presbyterian-affiliated college in southeastern Wisconsin, is exempt from certain labor rules because of its religious affiliation, a federal appeals court ruled Friday.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington also reaffirmed a test to determine whether a religious university could consider itself exempt from the jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Board.
 
At issue was whether the Presbyterian-affiliated Carroll was obligated to enter into collective bargaining with its faculty’s union, in accordance with a labor board an NLRB demand.
 
The university in 2004 argued its faculty members were managers, which would make them ineligible to form a union. It later amended its argument to say the labor board NLRB has no jurisdiction over the school.
 
In a unanimous decision, the three-judge panel of the appeals court agreed with Carroll’s argument over jurisdiction. With that decision, the judges said they didn’t need to rule on the staff-manager question.
The Supreme Court previously had determined that church-operated schools don’t have to comply with labor board NLRB regulations.
 
If the NLRB did have jurisdiction, it could find itself inquiring “into the good faith of the position asserted by the clergy-administrators and its relationship to the school’s religious mission,” the Supreme Court said. Such an inquiry would violate the First Amendment, it concluded.

Three children safe after arson fire follows domestic battery

March 16, 2009 9:10 a.m. | Waukesha police this morning are looking for a 25-year-old man accused of beating up a woman before threatening to burn down a home that later caught fire with three children inside.

Police said the children were not injured during the fire, which was reported at 6:27 a.m. in the 300 block of Darlene Drive, according to Waukesha Police Capt. Mark Stigler. The other side of the duplex was occupied by four people at the time the fire was started.

Stigler said the suspect, Michael H. Mack, is accused of beating up a woman who had sought treatment at a local hospital for an unrelated health reason. At the hospital, he allegedly threatened to burn her home.

Police are calling the fire an arson today.

They are continuing their investigation of the case while actively looking for Mack. He is wanted on four counts of recklessly endangering safety, being a felon in possession of a firearm and arson to an occupied building, all felonies.

» Read Full Article

Rock veterans to headline Waukesha County Fair

March 13, 2009 3:52 p.m. | Three veteran rock bands - the Black Crowes, the Gin Blossoms and REO Speedwagon - will headline the Miller Lite Main Stage at the Waukesha County Fair this summer.

Often compared to the Rolling Stones, the Black Crowes, who helped re-energize the sound of deep South blues-rock in the '90s, will perform at 8 p.m. July 17. Tickets are $15.

The Gin Blossoms scored a string of hit singles in the mid-'90s, including "Hey Jealousy," "Follow You Down" and "Found Out About You." Tonic opens the July 18 show at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10.

REO Speedwagon will close the stage at 6 p.m. July 19. A product of Champaign, Ill., REO has been a frequent visitor to Wisconsin since its run of early '80s hit singles such as the chart-topping "Keep on Loving You" and "Can't Fight This Feeling." Tickets are $15.

Tickets go on sale April 1 at the fair's Web site, www.waukeshacountyfair.com. All of the fair's Miller Lite Main Stage shows are included in the gate admission ticket. The tickets for individual shows are for the limited number of reserved seats close to the stage.

West students honored in C-SPAN video contest

March 12, 2009 5:50 p.m. | Waukesha West students earned honors in a national C-SPAN documentary video competition. Read more in the School Zone.

Should team be Milwaukesha Iron?

March 12, 2009 12:23 p.m. | Milwaukee's new arena football team, the Milwaukee Iron, could just as well be called the Milwaukesha Iron, Darryl Enriquez writes in Waukesha FYI.

St. Patty's deals downtown

March 11, 2009 3:09 p.m. | St. Patrick’s Day specials are at participating businesses throughout Historic Downtown Waukesha. Specials include traditional Irish meals, special deals and free live Irish music. Read more in Waukesha FYI.

Whitnall finds new principal in Waukesha

March 10, 2009 10:48 a.m. | Whitnall High School's next principal is Anthony Brazouski, a former teacher who has been the acting principal at Waukesha North High School

Brazouski begins work July 1. He replaces Joel Eul, who resigned in January but will stay on the job until the end of the school year.

The Whitnall School Board unanimously approved Brazouski's contract Monday night.

Brazouski also has also served as an assistant principal at Waukesha North and Waukesha West. He taught at Nicolet and South Milwaukee high schools.

He has a bachelor's degree from Marquette University and a master's from Cardinal Stritch University.

Downtown biz stays active

March 09, 2009 2:14 p.m. | The Saturday art crawl drew healthy attendance, despite rain earlier in the day. Read more in Waukesha FYI.

Police investigating disappearance of Waukesha mother

March 07, 2009 3:34 p.m. | Waukesha police are investigating the disappearance a 29-year-old mother who has not been seen since Jan. 5 when a family member saw her leave with an unknown person or persons.

Police said that Renee Marie Redmer has not been located after an extensive investigation by police around the state. Redmer has two small children.

According to online court records, Redmer appeared in Waukesha County Circuit Court on the day of her disappearance to enter a plea on a misdemeanor charge of cocaine possession. Court records say a not-guilty plea was entered.

Anyone with information about her should call Waukesha police at (262) 524-3831.

Waukesha water-saving winners share conservation tips

March 06, 2009 10:34 p.m. | Waukesha - In Brisbane, Australia, where recurring droughts make water as valuable as oil, Helen Momin learned a thing or two about conserving.

The lessons serve her well in Waukesha, the water-thirsty community she and husband Samad now call home.

The couple are among 15 households named as winners in the water-saving contest launched a year ago by the Waukesha County Water Conservation Coalition. More than 250 households participated in the contest of Waukesha Water Utility customers.

"I simply applied water-saving ways in Brisbane to here," said Momin, who let her lawn go dormant in the dry summer with the confidence it would rebound in fall. "It's about saving water and realizing the need to save the resource."

The winners will collect prizes at the annual Water Wise conference at Carroll University from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Participants will learn about water conservation, improving water quality, maintaining the water supply and advocating on water issues.

» Read Full Article

Waukesha man accused of trying to start meth lab

March 06, 2009 5:54 p.m. | Waukesha - A Waukesha man was charged Friday with attempting to start a methamphetamine lab, a plan that authorities say was thwarted because an astute hardware employee saw instructions he was carrying in the store.

Derek J. Haines, 24, told police that he was glad he was stopped because he was afraid he might blow up himself or someone else while trying to manufacture the drug, according to the criminal complaint.

Haines was caught Wednesday after he was inside Ace Hardware in the 100 block of W. Main St. carrying a printout from a Web site listing the items he needed to build a clandestine drug lab, the complaint says. The employee saw the paper and called police.

Police recovered from Haines' car starter fluid and concrete cleaner, which was allegedly stolen from the store. Officers searched the man's apartment and found a mixture of Ritalin tablets and gasoline in the freezer, the complaint says.

Haines has also been charged with delivery of prescription medication, bail jumping, and maintaining a drug house, all felonies. He is charged with misdemeanor bail jumping, theft, illegal possession of prescription drugs and possession of drug paraphernalia.

» Read Full Article

Update: Waukesha police and fire lines restored

March 06, 2009 10:30 a.m. | The 911 line and other phone lines for the Waukesha Police and Fire Department have been restored, Police Capt. Mark Stigler said Friday morning.

Both departments were affected by a TDS Telecom failure, he said. According to a TDS spokeswoman, the phone switch station in New Berlin is not operating properly, which caused the Milwaukee area to lose service.

Waukesha woman gets 4 years in prison in theft case

March 05, 2009 5:02 p.m. | Waukesha - A Waukesha woman who was convicted of stealing more than $25,000 from her olive-importing employer was sentenced Thursday to four years in prison.

Ellen J. Schroeckenthaler, 52, filed false claims that olive pits had broken or cracked people's teeth, and then cut checks totaling several thousand dollars that she had acquaintances cash for her, according to the criminal complaint. Schroeckenthaler, who worked for Seville Imports in Waukesha, also filed false expense reports and pocketed the money, the complaint states.

She told authorities she cooked up the two schemes because she wanted to help her son with college expenses and her brother-in-law who was out of work, according to court records.

Schroeckenthaler was charged with two counts of felony theft. She pleaded no contest to the charges in December and was found guilty by Waukesha County Circuit Judge Linda Van De Water.

In addition to the prison term, Van De Water on Thursday ordered Schroeckenthaler to serve four years of extended supervision when she is released from prison.

Waukesha County United Way narrows funding gap

March 04, 2009 6:12 p.m. | United Way in Waukesha County is trying to raise about $80,000 this month to avoid making cuts in grant funds to participating agency programs.

Two more businesses have offered donations - $5,000 from James Imaging Systems and $2,000 from First Bank Financial Centre - as part of a challenge grant issued by Quad/Graphic's The Windhover Foundation.

United Way in Waukesha County said its projected $475,000 shortfall would require across-the-board funding cuts of 8% to 10% to participating programs.

The Windhover Foundation pledged to donate $275,000 with a challenge to the community to raise the remaining $200,000.

ProHealth Care responded with a $100,000 donation. Rogers Memorial Hospital donated $4,000. The United Way has received at least $3,000 from county residents.

» Read Full Article

Police say hardware store employee spotted meth lab in the making

March 04, 2009 6:04 p.m. | Waukesha - An astute hardware store employee helped police stop a methamphetamine lab in the making, Capt. Mark Stigler said.

The employee at Ace Hardware called police at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday because he noticed a customer was purchasing items commonly used to build a methamphetamine lab, Stigler said.

Police were able to arrest the 21-year-old Waukesha man at the store in the 100 block of W. Main St. The man was carrying a printout from a Web site that listed what he needed to build the clandestine drug lab, Stigler said.

The man admitted to police his intentions and police then found other items for the lab in the man's car and in his south side apartment, Stigler said. The lab was in the beginning stages.

The man was booked and released. Police are reviewing possible charges.

Waukesha drafting ordinance on mandatory sick pay

March 04, 2009 4:20 p.m. | Waukesha - The Common Council has directed City Attorney Curt Meitz to draft an ordinance that prohibits city government from dictating wage and benefit packages to private business.

The move is a response to the November referendum initiative approved in Milwaukee that requires businesses to provide up to nine sick days to employees.

The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce is fighting the mandatory sick leave ordinance in court, and the Waukesha County Chamber of Commerce has urged all communities in Waukesha County to pass pre-emptive ordinances.

The Waukesha ordinance would prevent a local referendum on wages and benefits from being put to ballot. Ald. Peggy Bull suggested Tuesday night that the council defer action until after the courts ruled on the Milwaukee issue but the council moved ahead with crafting the ordinance. Once drafted, it would require Common Council approval for it to become law. Several suburban communities, including Franklin, Grafton, Menomonee Falls and Cedarburg, have passed similar ordinances.

Bank employees raise funds for Women's Center

March 04, 2009 4:20 p.m. | Marine Bank employees in Pewaukee, Franklin and Wauwatosa branches raised $500 to support The Women’s Center’s free programs and services in Waukesha to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and abuse.

 

The “Give from the Heart Campaign” ran four weeks and allowed employees to wear jeans on Thursdays if they donated $5 to the fund-raiser. The bank also held a fund-raising raffle.

City administrator gets a raise

March 04, 2009 12:02 p.m. | The Common Council Tuesday night approved a 2.95% increase in the annual 2009 salary of City Administrator Lori Luther, Waukesha FYI reports.

Just say no to stimulus?

March 04, 2009 11:58 a.m. | Three Waukesha aldermen want the city to just say no when it comes to applying for federal stimulus cash of up to $2.1 million to improve transit. Read more in Waukesha FYI.

Waukesha agrees to $55,000 penalty for missing deadline on radium

March 03, 2009 10:06 p.m. | Waukesha - The city agreed Tuesday night to pay $55,000 in penalties for violating the state's deadline to reduce radium levels in its drinking water, making it the third water utility in Wisconsin to pay forfeitures for such an infraction.

The water utility and state Department of Justice reached a tentative agreement that aims to settle the state Department of Natural Resources' effort to bring Waukesha water into compliance with radium safe-water standards.

The Common Council unanimously approved the stipulation that avoids further litigation and hefty penalties that could have exceeded six figures.

Another key element to the agreement is a requirement that Waukesha comply with safe-water standards by June 30, 2018. The stipulation allows the utility to use its noncompliant water wells only four months a year as it moves toward full compliance. If it surpasses four months, the stipulation will shorten the deadline for full compliance to just three years.

The city has spent $13.5 million to rid its water of radium, a naturally occurring substance often found in aging deep wells that has been linked to cancer. The city has drilled three new wells into the shallow aquifer that is free of radium and set up radium removal plants.

» Read Full Article

Waukesha North student accused of bringing ecstasy to school

March 03, 2009 4:00 p.m. | A 14-year-old boy was arrested at Waukesha North High School Tuesday morning after he was accused of bringing ecstasy to school, Police Capt. Mark Stigler said.

The boy could face a juvenile delinquency petition for bringing an illegal narcotic on school grounds, Stigler said.

Clerk at Waukesha clinic investigated for embezzlement

March 03, 2009 4:00 p.m. | Waukesha - A billing clerk at a Waukesha clinic is under investigation in connection with the theft of $171,175 between May 2005 and September 2008, according to court records.

Waukesha police are investigating the woman on suspicion of embezzlement. Subpoenas have been issued seeking records from two banks where she has accounts, according to court records.

Affidavits filed in Waukesha County Circuit Court with the subpoenas state that two doctors who own Quality Addiction Management, 2422 N. Grandview Blvd., and five other clinics reported to police that they believed the clerk failed to deposit cash receipts in the clinics' bank account.

The clerk had been employed with the clinic since December 1993. The doctors suspected something was amiss when the clerk was reluctant to train another employee on billing matters, court records state.

The doctors reviewed records and found that some deposits were missing for June, July and August of 2008.

» Read Full Article

Nelson recommends raise for Luther

March 02, 2009 5:26 p.m. | Mayor Larry Nelson will recommend to the Common Council Tuesday that City Administrator Lori Luther be given a 2.95% raise, increasing her annual salary from $112,000 to $115,304. Read more in Waukesha FYI.

Update: I-94 lanes reopened at Zoo Interchange

March 02, 2009 5:20 p.m. | A semitrailer truck that was stuck under an overpass at the Zoo Interchange this afternoon has been removed, and all westbound lanes of Interstate 94 are now open, according to the Milwaukee County sheriff's office.

Westbound traffic on I-94 had been restricted to the right emergency lane after the truck struck the bridge about 1:40 p.m., according to the state Department of Transportation.

No injuries were reported, according to the sheriff's office.

Waukesha, DNR agree on radium fine

March 02, 2009 5:10 p.m. | The Waukesha Water utility and state Department of Natural Resources reached a tentative agreement Monday afternoon on a fine to settle prosecution over radium in the local drinking water, Mayor Larry Nelson said.

Settlement details will be disclosed after the Common Council considers and approves it. The agreement will go to aldermen for a vote Tuesday.

The agreement likely will contain a fine of below six figures. The action stems from the city not meeting a DNR-set date of late 2006 to have city water within federal standards for radium levels in publicly consumed water. Radium levels often were double the federal allowable standard.

Waukesha was one of 29 water utilities that were not compliant by that date. The continued lack of compliance of Waukesha and Fond du Lac prompted the state to forward their cases to the state Department of Justice for prosecution.

Fond du Lac agreed to pay $35,000 to settle its case.

» Read Full Article

Suspects in armed robbery sought

March 02, 2009 3:43 p.m. | Waukesha police are seeking two suspects in a Sunday evening armed robbery of a man in the 2000 block of Kilps Drive.

The victim had parked across the street from his residence and was walking to his door when two men pulled up in a vehicle, and one robbed him of his wallet at knife point, police said.
 
The suspects fled in a vehicle, police said.
 

Semi stuck under overpass in Zoo Interchange

March 02, 2009 3:34 p.m. | The westbound lanes of I-94 at southbound U.S. Highway 45 in the Zoo Interchange are closed to traffic because of a semi stuck in an overpass, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

According to a news release from the department, all westbound lanes of traffic are blocked and traffic is restricted to the right emergency lane only.

The semi has been stuck since about 1:40 p.m. and the lanes will probably be closed through the rush hour.

Motorists are urged to use alternate routes to avoid delays and exercise caution.

Dresser Waukesha to supply engines to Indonesian firm

March 02, 2009 12:20 p.m. | Waukesha - Dresser Waukesha, known locally as Waukesha Engine, said in a statement Monday morning that it will supply engines for power generation projects designed and installed by EuroAsiatic, a Jakarta, Indonesia-based company.

The value of the agreement and whether new jobs will result was not included in the statement. Representatives of Dresser Waukesha could not immediately be reached for comment.

"This is an exciting, developing market that is poised to require a lot of equipment to meet the growing need for energy," Lloyd Beauchamp, vice president of sales for Dresser Waukesha, said in the statement.

Projects involved in the agreement are on-site power generation plants in Indonesia and southeast Asia.

A downtown dog run?

March 02, 2009 11:35 a.m. | Establishing a central city dog walk and park are in early discusssion by a downtown group looking at the southwest potion of the riverwalk and little used areas of the Bethesda Springs Park. Read more in Waukesha FYI.

Police issue sex offender notification

March 02, 2009 11:32 a.m. | The Waukesha Police Department, in cooperation with the Sex Offender Registration Committee, is releasing information on a registered sex offender returning to the community. Read more in Waukesha FYI.

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