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Speaker Vos considering expulsion if Bill Kramer doesn't quit Legislature

March 30, 2014 12:36 a.m. | Madison — Disgraced state Rep. Bill Kramer should resign or his fellow lawmakers will have to consider making him the first Wisconsin lawmaker to be expelled from office in nearly 100 years, two of the Legislature's top leaders said Saturday.

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) said that he found the criminal sexual assault charges filed against the Waukesha Republican on Friday to be credible, and that he was disturbed by the former Assembly majority leader's seemingly flippant reaction to them.

"Bill Kramer should do the honorable thing and resign," Vos said. "When I read the report filed by the (police and prosecutors), it didn't seem to me like there was much remorse."

Vos said aides are now researching the legal process that would be used to expel a lawmaker ahead of a meeting of the Assembly's GOP leaders on Tuesday or Wednesday. Only once in the state's history have legislators taken the step of ousting one of their colleagues.

Friday's charges stemming from an incident three years ago moved forward after more recent incidents surfaced involving two other women, one a legislative aide and the other a lobbyist. Kramer is accused of groping the staffer and harassing the lobbyist while at a fundraiser in Washington, D.C., last month.

» Read Full Article

Rep. Bill Kramer charged with sexual assault in 2011 case

March 28, 2014 10:04 p.m. | Madison — Rep. Bill Kramer has been charged with two felony counts of second-degree sexual assault on allegations of groping a female legislative staffer in Muskego three years ago, raising anew the question of whether he will be able to remain in his post until the end of his term.

The charges issued by a Waukesha County prosecutor come one month after Kramer, 49, was accused of groping another aide and sexual harassing a lobbyist in a separate recent incident after a Washington, D.C., fundraiser. On Monday, the Waukesha Republican filed paperwork saying he would not run for re-election but so far has not stepped down from his post, which he holds until January.

Deputy District Attorney Debra Blasius filed the charges Friday, alleging that Kramer had grabbed the breasts and groin of a legislative staffer in Muskego after a Republican event at a bar there. He has his initial appearance scheduled for April 14.

A certified public accountant and attorney with a degree from Duke University Law School, Kramer now faces the most serious legal issue of his career — each count of sexual assault carries a potential penalty of up to $100,000 in fines and 40 years in prison.

Jim Gatzke, Kramer's attorney, said Friday that he believes his client will be exonerated.

» Read Full Article

Waukesha Alderman Aaron Perry seeking 97th Assembly District seat

March 28, 2014 11:03 a.m. | In the days after the embattled Rep. Bill Kramer announced he won't seek re-election for his state assembly seat, there haven't been a shortage of interested candidates.

Three local officials have said that they are considering the position, while one (Alderman Aaron Perry) has announced his candidacy for the 97th Assembly District seat.

Perry, who has lived in Waukesha since 2009, has been an alderman in the City of Waukesha for the last year. He represents the city's 12th district on the city's southwest side.

The other three who have expressed interest in the position includes Alderwoman Kathleen Cummings, Alderman Adam Jankowski and Town of Waukesha Supervisor Joe Banske.

If just one of them also declares their candidacy, there would be a Republican primary on Aug. 12.

» Read Full Article

Waukesha DA: Sexual assault charges referred for Rep. Bill Kramer

March 26, 2014 12:28 p.m. | District Attorney Brad Schimel said Wednesday that charges of sexual assault against Rep. Bill Kramer were referred to his office by the Muskego Police Department.

Schimel said via email that he could not comment on the nature of the allegations, which are being reviewed by a deputy district attorney in his office.

"It will be reviewed quickly, but I have no way of knowing whether or not any charge will be issued, nor can I say whether there might be any further investigation required, so I could not predict a timeline at this point," he wrote.

Kramer, a lifelong resident of Waukesha, was removed as majority leader earlier this month by Assembly Republicans after accusations that he sexually harassed one woman and inappropriately touched another while in Washington, D.C.

Gov. Scott Walker and others have called on him to resign. He filed paperwork Monday with state election authorities saying he would not be running for re-election.

» Read Full Article

Woman dies after vehicle strikes tree in Town of Waukesha

March 26, 2014 11:10 a.m. | A 37-year-old woman from Helenville died after her vehicle hit a tree in an early-morning crash in the Town of Waukesha. 

The crash occurred at 12:15 a.m. Wednesday when the woman's vehicle hit the tree head-on on Merrill Hills Road, south of Kame Terrace. 

According to Lt. Bryan Ulm of the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department, the car had severe front-end damage and the lone occupant was found unresponsive and trapped in the car.

She was pronounced dead at the scene, Ulm said in a news release.

The initial investigation indicates the car was traveling northbound on Merrill Hills Road and after cresting a hill, it appears the driver failed to negotiate the slight right curve and crossed the southbound lane, left the roadway and struck the large tree, Ulm said in a news release. 

» Read Full Article

Waukesha County Board approves shared medical clinic with school district, city

March 25, 2014 7:46 p.m. | Two down, one to go. 

Thirteen days after the School District of Waukesha approved an intergovernmental agreement for a shared medical clinic with the city and county, the Waukesha County Board joined them in going ahead with the proposal. 

After a healthy discussion with many stating pros and cons of the agreement, the board voted 19-4 in favor of the shared clinic during a board meeting Tuesday night. 

Now, all that waits is the city to vote on the agreement.

The onsite health clinic, which would be available to employees of the three entities and their families, is estimated to save the county about $3 million, the school district $3.4 million and the city $1.2 million for a total of about $7.7 million over the five-year period, the length of the joint agreement.

» Read Full Article

Former Waukesha County Sheriff's lieutenant charged with obstruction, theft

March 25, 2014 6:44 p.m. | A former lieutenant with the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department was accused Tuesday of obstructing state authorities investigating her for prescription pill theft.

Sarah L. Massa, 36, was charged Tuesday, March 25, in Waukesha County Circuit Court with misdemeanor theft and obstructing an officer, both misdemeanors.

She could face 18 months in prison and $20,000 in fines if convicted.

According to the criminal complaint, Waukesha Police contacted state authorities last year about the theft of opiate medication from the McDermott residence at 1501 Pewaukee Rd., Waukesha.

Massa was suspected of stealing the medication, which was prescribed to her grandmother, Leona McDermott, to treat pain related to terminal cancer, the complaint states.

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Rep. Bill Kramer subject of criminal investigation, DA says

March 25, 2014 3:58 p.m. | District Attorney Brad Schimel confirmed Monday evening that Rep. Bill Kramer is being investigated by a Waukesha County law enforcement agency for potential criminal behavior.

Schimel said via email that no charges have yet been referred to his office and he would not identify which law enforcement agency is conducting the investigation.

“I am not ethically permitted to make extrajudicial statements about a pending investigation that might compromise the right of an eventual defendant to a fair trial or such as would substantially damage the reputation of persons who are not ultimately charged,” he said.

It could not be immediately determined which department is investigating Kramer.

Jennifer Wallschlaeger of the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department said she was not aware of any investigation being conducted by her department.

» Read Full Article

Hobby Lobby in Waukesha opening this week

March 25, 2014 3:26 p.m. | The Hobby Lobby store, part of The Shoppes at Fox River located at W. Sunset Drive and Oakdale Drive, is open and will hold a grand opening ceremony at 9 a.m. Monday. 

The 55,000-square-foot retail store is the first of its kind in the Milwaukee metro area and 14th location in Wisconsin.

The store’s grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony is open to the public.

Local officials and representatives from the city’s Chamber of Commerce and other business leaders will attend the ceremony at the store, 1160 W. Sunset Drive, Suite 104.

Hobby Lobby, headquartered in Oklahoma City, is a privately-held national retail chain of craft and home décor stores.

» Read Full Article

Waukesha woman accused of jewelry theft on heels of drug theft case

March 25, 2014 10:23 a.m. | A Waukesha woman, already facing charges in a burglary and theft of painkillers at a co-worker's house, has been charged with stealing more than $100,000 worth of jewelry from her estranged family members.

Amanda L. Michell, 35, was charged Friday with theft of the jewelry and is due in court Thursday for a preliminary hearing.

According to a criminal complaint, Michell entered through an unlocked door to a family member's Brookfield home when no one was there and stole jewelry from a safe. The homeowners suspected someone they knew committed the theft because one of their two large Mastiff dogs is not friendly to strangers.

Michell and her boyfriend pawned the jewelry, police say. The homeowners told investigators they used the jewelry as an investment tool and that the total value of the stolen items was $121,292.75.

Michell told police she was desperate for money to take care of her children and denied that she stole to support her drug habit, according to court records.

» Read Full Article

Tight contest expected in Waukesha mayoral race

March 25, 2014 12:41 a.m. | Contested races for mayor are on the ballots in seven cities across the Milwaukee area on April 1.

Incumbent mayors seeking re-election and their challengers will be on the spring general election ballot in five cities: Waukesha, South Milwaukee, Brookfield, Muskego and West Bend. Mayors in Franklin and Delafield did not seek another term in office, so voters in those cities will choose between two candidates without direct experience on the job.

Primary elections were held Feb. 18 in Waukesha and South Milwaukee, and those races became more competitive after incumbents placed second in both cities.

Waukesha Mayor Jeff Scrima is asking voters to hire him for a second four-year term. But he faces a significant challenge from attorney Shawn Reilly, top vote-getter in the primary even though it is his first campaign for public office.

Scrima said his opponent offers voters only "negativity and sarcasm," while he has a track record. During his four years, the city has held property tax levy increases below the rate of inflation, and local employers created more than 700 new jobs, he said.

» Read Full Article

Rep. Bill Kramer, accused of groping aide, won't seek re-election

March 24, 2014 11:50 p.m. | Madison — Rep. Bill Kramer — stripped of his leadership post earlier this month amid allegations of groping a legislative aide — will not seek re-election.

The Waukesha Republican filed paperwork Monday with state election authorities saying he was not running for re-election.

Kramer is accused of groping a legislative aide and making crude remarks to a lobbyist in February while in Washington for a fundraiser. Assembly Republicans removed him as majority leader soon after.

His aides have said he has checked himself in to an unspecified treatment program.

Kramer's district is overwhelmingly Republican, and the GOP is widely expected to retain the seat in the November elections.

» Read Full Article

Former D Mo's chef charged with stealing half brother's identity

March 21, 2014 8:39 a.m. | He was known as Ramon Antonio Mitre-Hernandez to law enforcement and “Chef Tony” to patrons at the former D Mo’s Italian Pasta & Chop House in The Clarke Hotel. Police now say that neither name was his.

Milwaukee resident Daniel Morales has been accused of using his half brother’s identity to commit crimes, collect unemployment checks and rack up debts.

Morales, 35, was charged Thursday, March 13, in Waukesha County Circuit Court with five counts of identity theft, for which he faces 30 years in prison and $50,000 in fines if convicted.

According to the criminal complaint, Ramon Mitre-Hernandez reported the alleged identity theft to City of Waukesha Police last September.

He told an officer in the complaint that he had been receiving notices from the IRS and the Department of Workforce Development about unpaid back taxes. The notices said his unemployment checks would be intercepted to pay the debts.

» Read Full Article

Waukesha man sought on charges of child enticement

March 19, 2014 3:51 p.m. | A warrant has been issued for a 23-year-old Waukesha man accused of trying to coerce two teenage girls into having sex with him last year.

Derrick Jones was charged Friday, March 7, in Waukesha County Circuit Court with two counts of child enticement. His last know address is 352 Wisconsin Ave. #17.

According to the criminal complaint, Waukesha Police was contacted last November by one girl’s mother, who reported that her 14-year-old daughter had been receiving harassing text messages from a man who identified himself as “Chevelle.”

The daughter told a detective that the man, identified as Jones, had tried to coerce her into performing oral sex on him in a retail store bathroom over the summer, the complaint states.

The detective reviewed Facebook messages sent between the daughter and her friend, age 13. The friend told the detective in the complaint that Jones had also propositioned her during the summer.

» Read Full Article

Town of Waukesha clerk-treasurer abruptly resigns after just one month

March 17, 2014 11:57 a.m. | For the second time in three months the Town of Waukesha is in search of a clerk-treasurer.

Clerk-treasurer Jeanne O’Brien's resignation Friday comes just one month after being hired by the Town Board.

She replaced former clerk-treasurer Jamie Salentine, who resigned at the end of 2013.

O'Brien informed the Town board members in an email on Friday afternoon that her resignation would be effective immediately. She did not give a specific reason for her departure.

"I would like to thank the Town Board for allowing me to serve the residents of the Town of Waukesha," she wrote in an email to the board at 4:01 p.m. Friday. "Please consider this my formal resignation."

» Read Full Article

Waukesha West finishes second at state academic decathlon meet again as Wilmot wins title

March 17, 2014 11:19 a.m. | For 11 years, the Waukesha West Academic Decathlon team was state royalty.

No one could knock them off their perch as state champions.

But that has now changed.

New Berlin Eisenhower was the first when it took home the title last year, forcing West to settle for second place.

This year it was Wilmot Union's turn as it was crowned state champions at last week's state academic decathlon competition, which took place Thursday and Friday in Wisconsin Dells. 

» Read Full Article

Exotic fruit brings police to a Waukesha apartment complex

March 16, 2014 9:02 a.m. | What was feared to be urine throughout a Waukesha apartment building and possibly a meth lab, turned out to be exotic fruit in the complex.  

Police responded to an apartment complex at 304 W. Newhall Ave. at 6:46 p.m. March 9 because the caller smelled a strong odor of possible cat urine in the whole building, the police log notes. 

The caller said it is “wafting into her apartment.”

The woman told police that she Googles other things that could smell like cat urine and it indicated a meth lab, so the caller was now concerned about a meth lab in the complex, the police log says.

When police arrived they didn't find cat urine or a meth lab. Police found that the “pungent aroma” was in fact coming from an exotic fruit in the upper level of the complex.

» Read Full Article

Waukesha County sheriff's lieutenant resigns, state authorities refer charges to D.A.

March 12, 2014 1:27 p.m. | A lieutenant with the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department resigned last week, but a criminal investigation by state law enforcement continues.

Jennifer Wallschlaeger, a spokewoman for the sheriff's department, said Sarah Massa resigned from the force on Wednesday, March 5. 

Wallschlaeger confirmed that the former lieutenant is currently being investigated by the Department of Justice's Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) for unspecified reasons.

The investigation was referred to the DCI by the Waukesha Police Department. Dennis Angle, deputy chief for the department, said in December that he had received a complaint against Sarah Massa and he chose to refer it to state authorities. 

Sarah Massa is married to former City of Waukesha police officer Chris Massa, according to marriage records.

» Read Full Article

Waukesha police officer resigns after allegations he sexted wife

March 12, 2014 11:33 a.m. | A Waukesha police officer resigned last month after he became the subject of an internal investigation for allegations of sexting with his wife while on duty, department officials said Wednesday.

Chris Massa resigned from the department Feb. 25 and gave his reason as a desire to pursue different endeavors. However, at the time of his resignation, he was under investigation for department rule violations related to personal conduct and photo-video recordings, Chief Russell P. Jack said in a news release.

Massa was accused of sexting — sending sexually oriented text messages or photos from a cellphone — in private areas of the department while he was on the job.

"The evidence that initiated the investigation was brought to our attention and was located on his wife's phone," Jack said. "No other personnel or citizens were involved in our investigation."

Massa opted to resign before being interviewed about the matter, which resulted in the investigation being closed, he said.

» Read Full Article

Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas diagnosed with prostate cancer

March 11, 2014 12:28 p.m. | Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas announced Tuesday that he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and will soon begin treatment.

In a news release, Vrakas said that several weeks ago his doctors told him that his prostate-specific antigen levels were abnormally high.

Additional testing and a biopsy showed that Vrakas, who has been county executive since 2005, has cancer.

"It is not believed the cancer has spread beyond my prostate," Vrakas said. "I feel lucky the cancer was detected when it was, and that I will soon begin treatment and get on the path to recovery."

Vrakas, who was born and raised in the City of Waukesha and is a graduate of Waukesha South High School, will receive care from local doctors, in addition to treatments at the Scripps Proton Therapy Center in San Diego.

» Read Full Article

Waukesha domestic violence investigation turns out to be 'rough sex'

March 07, 2014 2:35 p.m. | What was thought to be a video of domestic violence in the City of Waukesha turned out to be consensual rough sex streamed live through a PlayStation 4 U-Stream. But before the error was discovered, multiple cities and detectives investigated.

The strange incident began when Capt. Ron Oremus of the Waukesha Police Department received a voice mail from a news station in Madison asking whether police knew about a live streaming video in which a man was physically abusing a woman for a significant period of time.

An Internet director at the news station told Oremus that the incident was streaming live through PlayStation 4 U-Stream. Through using the profile information from the PlayStation site and with research on other social media sites such as Facebook, the news station thought it knew who the suspect was.

The station sent Oremus an email with the information, which included a couple of YouTube links showing clips of the recorded video. Two additional emails were received later from individuals who had either seen or learned of the video.

Detective Dave Carpenter, who specializes in digital forensics, contacted YouTube and Facebook to obtain more information and learned the identity of the alleged victim.

» Read Full Article

AG candidate Brad Schimel to give Bill Kramer donation to charity

March 05, 2014 3:54 p.m. | This is how you know you've officially become toxic as a politician:

Other politicians start rejecting or giving away your donations.

State Rep. Bill Kramer, who was ousted from his leaderhip post this week, gave $500 to Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel -- a GOP candidate for attorney general -- in November. It's the only political donation Kramer made from his campaign account in the second half of last year.

A Schimel spokesman said Tuesday that he will not be keeping the cash from the Waukesha Republican. 

"Schimel is donating the Kramer (money) to charity," said Schimel campaign aide Darrin Schmitz, who did not identify the nonprofit.

» Read Full Article

Teen charged with selling handgun to minor

March 05, 2014 12:13 p.m. | A 17-year-old Waukesha boy was charged last week with allegedly selling a handgun to another teenager for $250 in cash.

Brandon Loll, 164 N. Moreland Boulevard, was charged on Thursday, Feb. 27 in Waukesha County Circuit Court with providing a dangerous weapon to a person under age 18 and possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under age 18.

According to the criminal complaint, Waukesha police officers were dispatched at 9 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23, to a residence on Scott Avenue in Waukesha after receiving reports of a threat.

The police met with a 16-year-old boy, identified as S.R. in the complaint, who said he had found a note outside his bedroom window which read: “You’re going to die snitch n*****.”

It was revealed after further investigation that S.R. and another teen, identified as J.L, had been involved in several local burglaries, the complaint states.

» Read Full Article

Waukesha DNR employee charged with stealing cash, trail passes

March 04, 2014 5:46 p.m. | A 42-year-old Wauwatosa woman has been charged with stealing over $12,500 and dozens of recreational passes from the Waukesha office of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Crystal L. Steiner was charged on Thursday, March 27, in Waukesha County Circuit Court with felony business theft. She could face up to 10 years in prison and $25,000 in fines if convicted.

According to the criminal complaint, a detective with the Wisconsin State Capitol Police met with officials from the DNR on Sept. 7, 2012 to discuss an internal investigation into missing funds.

Susan Rice, a section chief for the department, told the detective in the complaint that Steiner was suspected of stealing money as well as trail passes, park stickers and park passes.

Steiner had been hired in January to work as a senior customer service representative at the DNR’s satellite center, 141 W. Bastow St., Waukesha, the complaint states. She handled sales and was responsible for making daily bank deposits and maintaining financial records for the office.

» Read Full Article

Milwaukeeans share paczki on social media

March 04, 2014 10:58 a.m. |

It's Fat Tuesday, which means paczki for a lot of Milwaukeeans.
 
Coworkers brought boxes full of the annual treat into offices around the suburban area. People lined up to wait for theirs despite the snow.
 

Here's a look at how some people are celebrating in the MyCommunityNOW social media story.

St. Louis College of Pharmacy adds to reward into Kapusniak killing

March 04, 2014 9:25 a.m. | The St. Louis College of Pharmacy has contributed a $10,000 reward fund for anyone who provides information leading to the arrest or conviction of the person who shot and killed a pharmacy student from Waukesha.

The fund supplements a $1,000 reward fund created by CrimeStoppers in connection with the fatal shooting of Nicholas Kapusniak, 20, of Waukesha.

Kapusniak, a graduate of Catholic Memorial High School in Waukesha and a third-year student at the pharmacy school, was shot and killed early Saturday as he and his fellow fraternity brothers were at a backyard party.

Witnesses told police someone in a white sedan traveling along a nearby alley fired gunshots at the group. One of those shots struck Kapusniak, who was taken inside the home but died at the scene.

St. Louis police say the investigation into the shooting is continuing.

» Read Full Article

Student from Waukesha killed in apparent drive-by shooting in St. Louis

March 02, 2014 10:25 p.m. | In high school at Catholic Memorial in Waukesha and in pharmacy school in St. Louis, Nicholas Kapusniak was known as a happy-go-lucky young man who always wanted to help others.

Early Saturday at a party in the backyard of a home in St. Louis, Kapusniak, 20, was shot and killed in what appears to be a drive-by shooting.

Kapusiak was a student at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy. He was a 2011 graduate of Catholic Memorial High School.

According to the St. Louis police report, Kapusniak was standing with a group of friends at the back of a home at 12:55 a.m. Saturday when a person traveling in a white sedan fired gunshots from a nearby alley.

Kapusniak was shot in the upper left side of his torso and was carried into the home, where he was pronounced dead by emergency personnel.

» Read Full Article

Community Watch

» Speaker Vos considering expulsion if Bill Kramer doesn't quit Legislature Updated:  3/30

» Rep. Bill Kramer charged with sexual assault in 2011 case Updated:  3/28

» Waukesha Alderman Aaron Perry seeking 97th Assembly District seat 3/28

» Waukesha DA: Sexual assault charges referred for Rep. Bill Kramer 3/26

» Woman dies after vehicle strikes tree in Town of Waukesha 3/26

» Waukesha County Board approves shared medical clinic with school district, city 3/25

» Former Waukesha County Sheriff's lieutenant charged with obstruction, theft 3/25

» Rep. Bill Kramer subject of criminal investigation, DA says 3/25

» Hobby Lobby in Waukesha opening this week 3/25

» Waukesha woman accused of jewelry theft on heels of drug theft case 3/25

» Tight contest expected in Waukesha mayoral race 3/25

» Rep. Bill Kramer, accused of groping aide, won't seek re-election Updated:  3/24

» Former D Mo's chef charged with stealing half brother's identity Updated:  3/21

» Waukesha man sought on charges of child enticement 3/19

» Town of Waukesha clerk-treasurer abruptly resigns after just one month 3/17

» Waukesha West finishes second at state academic decathlon meet again as Wilmot wins title 3/17

» Exotic fruit brings police to a Waukesha apartment complex 3/16

» Waukesha County sheriff's lieutenant resigns, state authorities refer charges to D.A. 3/12

» Waukesha police officer resigns after allegations he sexted wife 3/12

» Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas diagnosed with prostate cancer 3/11

» Waukesha domestic violence investigation turns out to be 'rough sex' 3/7

» AG candidate Brad Schimel to give Bill Kramer donation to charity Updated:  3/5

» Teen charged with selling handgun to minor 3/5

» Waukesha DNR employee charged with stealing cash, trail passes 3/4

» Milwaukeeans share paczki on social media 3/4

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