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Waukesha bank held up

April 29, 2010 5:44 p.m. | Waukesha police were searching Thursday afternoon for a man who held up the First Federal Bank, 134 Wisconsin Ave.,  shortly before 2 p.m.

The man fled the bank after demanding and receiving cash.

No weapon was displayed, but the man kept one of his hands concealed during the robbery, according to a news release from the Waukesha Police Department.

The man was wearing blue surgical gloves. He was described as white, between 20- and 30-years-old, about five-feet, nine-inches tall, weighing about 200 pounds, with blue eyes and a thick brown beard and eyebrows. He also was wearing a long-sleeve blue shirt and jeans and a light green baseball hat with an orange logo.

Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to call (262) 524-3820.

Kinex Medical to cut 56 jobs in Waukesha

April 29, 2010 5:22 p.m. | Waukesha-based Kinex Medical Co. LLC is outsourcing its patient billing business, resulting in the loss of 56 jobs, a company official said.

The move was made in response to lower sales because patients are delaying or deciding not to have orthopedic surgeries, said Mike Daane,company president.

The company on Thursday filed notice of the layoffs with the state Department of Workforce Development.

The patient billing business is being taken over by a Missouri company that specializes in medical billing.

Kinex is a privately held company.

» Read Full Article

Homicide trial in Waukesha overdose death delayed

April 29, 2010 1:56 p.m. | Waukesha - The homicide trial of a Waukesha man charged with giving a fatal dose of morphine to a fellow drug user was postponed Thursday.

Jason M. Earhart's trial had been set for May 4, but his attorney asked for a delay because a witness would not be available.

The trial is now set for Sept. 14.

Earhart, 30, told police he didn't feel responsible for the death of Thomas R. Pike II, 29, according to a criminal complaint.

"No, you don't understand what it's like to be a user. This is what we do. We share drugs," Earhart allegedly said.

» Read Full Article

Bonding for new Carroll dormitory endorsed

April 29, 2010 1:50 p.m. | Waukesha - Developers of a second dormitory building for Carroll University could get financing help through tax-exempt bonds issued in the wake of Midwest flooding - in addition to other city assistance approved earlier this month.

The city Finance Committee on Wednesday unanimously recommended approval of an initial resolution of city intent to issue up to $12 million in industrial revenue bonds for the second phase of Pioneer Hall by developer Clysmic Properties. The Common Council is expected to act May 4.

The bonds are part of the disaster relief passed by Congress after severe flooding in the Midwest in 2008. Wisconsin's share is $3.8 million. Last year, Gov. Jim Doyle signed an executive order determining that commercial projects built in a county that suffered flooding would be deemed to be replacing business lost to the disaster.

The bonds could be subject to a voter referendum if one was forced by petition.

Clysmic Properties, under managing partner Alan Huelsman, built a four-story dormitory hall on College Ave. near Grand Ave. on the site of a long-closed rubber factory. It opened in 2008 with 66 four-bedroom suites. Carroll leases the building.

» Read Full Article

Forum to focus on affordable housing

April 28, 2010 1:16 p.m. | Waukesha - A free forum providing information on affordable housing will be held from 10 to noon May 8 at the Steinhafels Furniture and Mattress Store, W231-N1013 Highway F.

It has been arranged by a group of organizations interesting in expanding the supply of affordable housing, including the Waukesha County Affordable Housing Task Force and SOPHIA, a non-profit social justice advocacy network. The keynote speaker will be Bernie Juno, executive director of the emergency shelter Hebron House of Hospitality in Waukesha.

Information will be offered on homes for employees through employer-assisted housing programs, on the purchase of affordable homes with low fixed interest rates, and on how individuals can help encourage the availability of affordable housing.

A continental breakfast will be served at 9:30 a.m.

Dane County man guilty in crash that killed Waukesha man

April 27, 2010 11:46 a.m. | Waukesha — A 20-year-old Dane County man was found guilty Tuesday of second-degree reckless homicide in connection with a crash Dec. 1 in Vernon that killed a man and injured a woman riding in his car.

Christopher M. Conner was convicted by Waukesha Circuit Court Judge J. Mac Davis after Conner entered a no contest plea to the charge. As part of a plea agreement, three other charges - homicide by vehicle-use of controlled substance, cause injury-operate-controlled substance and possession of marijuana - were dismissed but will be considered by Davis when he sentences Conner on June 25.

Conner faces up to 15 years in prison and 10 years of extended supervision when he is released from prison.

Conner, of McFarland, was driving about 1:40 a.m. Dec. 1 and lost control of his car. The vehicle left the roadway and drove into a ditch on the north side of Cheri Ave. at Sunset View Drive, according to a criminal complaint filed in Waukesha County Circuit Court.

The vehicle rolled several times and struck a tree.

» Read Full Article

Waukesha County groups adopt uniform system for handling sexual assaults

April 26, 2010 4:06 p.m. | Waukesha - Waukesha County officials - from police and prosecutors to nurses and advocates for women - have announced a uniform sexual assault reporting protocol that aims to benefit both victims and law enforcement.

With multiple agencies coming together on how each is responsible for handling these cases, a good system becomes a much better one, officials said.

"This is a proactive step to make our community better," District Attorney Brad Schimel said. "Our goal is to know the truth, to do it expeditiously, but to do that in a way that is sensitive to victims."

Waukesha Memorial Hospital in 2007 created a team of 10 specially trained nurses on call day and night to help examine and treat victims of sexual assault with the care needed to preserve crucial evidence for court.

Two more nurses have since been added, program supervisor Elizabeth Huffman said.

» Read Full Article

Former White Rock principal in Waukesha retires

April 26, 2010 2:52 p.m. | Waukesha - Dorothy Smith, who was the principal of White Rock Elementary School before she was removed from her position in late January, has retired, according to Waukesha School Superintendent Todd Gray.

Gray said the official date of Smith's retirement was March 11. She had been an administrator for eight years and was with the district for 21 years, he said.

Smith is the only African-American principal in the system and is also bilingual. White Rock is the district's oldest bilingual school but it has been on the chopping block, which has raised protests from parents, who are mostly Latino.

Smith said she had already put in her papers for retirement and had planned to retire at the end of the year, but the retirement date was pushed up.

"It was a mutual decision," she said.

» Read Full Article

Armed robbery at Waukesha Golden Corral investigated

April 26, 2010 11:12 a.m. | Waukesha - Waukesha police are investigating a reported armed robbery at the Golden Corral Restaurant on Waukesha's east side shortly before its midnight closing Sunday.

Capt. Dennis J. Angle said an employee said a male in a dark hooded sweatshirt, bandana, gloves and sweat pants entered at 11:39 p.m. when only the employee was left in the restaurant. The suspect implied he had a weapon, escorted the employee to the office and ordered him to open the safe before escorting him to the bathroom and punching him in the head.

The employee then called 911. He was not injured, Angle said, and an undisclosed amount of money was taken. Anyone with information should call police at (262) 524-3820.

Idea for regional recycling center re-emerges

April 26, 2010 11:01 a.m. | Wauwatosa - Talk of creating a recycling facility to serve Wauwatosa, Milwaukee and Waukesha County is resurfacing.

The hope is that a regional facility could be more cost-effective for the municipalities. Three years ago, a consultant hired by Waukesha County suggested building a regional facility. The consultant's report proposed various options.

At the time, the county was deciding whether to replace its facility; Milwaukee wanted to relocate its facility in the Menomonee Valley to open that site to development; and Wauwatosa was pondering what to do with its facility, which had been heavily damaged by fire.

Initially, building a facility in Wauwatosa was considered.

Now, officials think that retrofitting Milwaukee's sorting facility at 1311 W. Mount Vernon Ave. would be more cost-effective, Wauwatosa Director of Public Works Bill Kappel said Monday.

» Read Full Article

Waukesha West Academic Decathlon team finishes fourth at nationals

April 26, 2010 9:51 a.m. | The nine-student team from Waukesha West High School placed fourth overall at last week's U.S. Academic Decathlon competition in Omaha, Neb.

West's team placed behind schools from California, Arizona and Illinois in the overall results, but finished first among Division II schools.

Even though the school missed out on the top prize, its students garnered plenty of individual awards. West student Dylan Verden posted the highest score at the competition, which pits teams of students against each other in an array of tests, essays, interviews and speeches.

Other students on the team were: Ben Clark, Noah Ford, Anuraag Girdhar, Josh Graham, Yuwei Jiang, Zach Taylor, Tim Truong and Katharine Tyndall.

This was West's ninth straight year of competing in the national meet, which it won in 2002.

Another Waukesha neighbor worries about water-well plans

April 23, 2010 11:00 a.m. | Town of Mukwonago - Town officials have sent a message to the City of Waukesha applauding its decision to seek Lake Michigan water but expressed "grave concerns" about the city's plans to potentially place shallow wells on a parcel in the neighboring Town of Waukesha.

In a letter this week from Mukwonago Town Chairman Dave Dubey, the town said, "As a neighboring municipality, we wish to express our communities' grave concerns regarding the potential adverse impacts on the ground water situation within Mukwonago, should the City of Waukesha move forward with placement of shallow wells on the Lathers property in the Town of Waukesha."

The city has voted to condemn land formerly owned by Fred Lathers and proposed for development by Fiduciary Real Estate Development Inc. - seeking about 12 acres for placement of shallow wells as a back-up supply to Lake Michigan water, which the city wants as its primary supply. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources last week closed on the purchase of 60 adjacent acres, part of an eventual 200-acre expansion of the Vernon Marsh.

While the Town of Waukesha is preparing a wellhead protection ordinance that seeks to impose controls over any city-drilled wells, the Town of Mukwonago has now added its voice to the fray.

Dubey's letter said the town applauds the city's foresight in seeking Lake Michigan water as a permanent solution to its state-ordered requirement to reduce cancer-causing radium from its water supply.

» Read Full Article

Town of Waukesha panel calls for tougher rules on city wells

April 22, 2010 10:18 p.m. | Town of Waukesha - Town plan commissioners are calling for even tougher limits on any public wells drilled - like those contemplated by the City of Waukesha - than regulations contained in a draft ordinance they reviewed Thursday.

Waukesha is under state orders to reduce radium, a cancer-causing agent, from its water supply by 2018. It is applying to get water from Lake Michigan. That's a lengthy process that requires approval of Wisconsin and seven other states, as well as negotiations with Milwaukee, Oak Creek or Racine, the potential suppliers.

However, the city is proposing a redundant water system - primarily shallow wells in the Town of Waukesha - should there be a failure in the Lake Michigan pipeline or delivery system.

The town is proposing a "wellhead protection ordinance" as part of zoning revisions that would allow public wells to be drilled only as a conditional use in institutional zones - primarily where the town hall and churches are located - and in a new category of mixed commercial / residential uses. None of those zones yet exist, and none are yet planned for the site where the city is aiming to drill wells.

The city has voted to condemn a parcel in the town for shallow wells near the Vernon Marsh, but has been negotiating a settlement since then that divides the land between the city, the Department of Natural Resources for Vernon Marsh expansion, and developer Fiduciary Real Estate Development Inc.

» Read Full Article

County Board rejects Waukesha's water plan

April 22, 2010 12:58 p.m. | The Milwaukee County Board voted Thursday to oppose Waukesha's plan to use county streams to send treated wastewater to Lake Michigan, with concerns raised over potential pollution and flooding damage.

The board's 13-3 vote came after supervisors said waiting to take a stand on the plan was unwise. Waukesha officials had asked Milwaukee County to hold off on a decision for a month so they could make a detailed presentation of a plan to purchase lake water from the City of Milwaukee and pipe back treated effluent to the lake via Underwood Creek.

County Executive Scott Walker said he would veto the board's move, calling it a "knee-jerk reaction that flies in the face of regional cooperation." Nonetheless, enough supervisors oppose the Waukesha water plan now to override a Walker veto.

Waukesha wants lake water because of radium pollution in its underground water supply.

Waukesha has already submitted its lake water plan to the state Department of Natural Resources for approval but did not discuss it with Milwaukee County until opposition began to surface this month, said Supervisor John Weishan Jr.

» Read Full Article

Jury takes 30 minutes to convict Mukwonago man in murder of Waukesha woman

April 21, 2010 2:18 p.m. | Waukesha - David A. Wapp killed Samantha Peterson, stabbing and cutting her 37 times in the chest, neck and arms on Sept. 5.

It took a jury, which viewed pictures of Peterson, 21, and her wounds Wednesday morning, less than 30 minutes to find Wapp, 29, guilty of first-degree intentional homicide.

The penalty is a mandatory life term in prison and Wapp will be sentenced on June 9 by Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge J. Mac Davis.

At that time, Davis will decide if Wapp will ever be eligible for parole.

The case went to the jury about 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, and by noon, jurors had informed Davis that they had reached a verdict.

» Read Full Article

Target CEO will be Carroll University graduation speaker

April 21, 2010 9:33 a.m. | Gregg Steinhafel, chairman , president and chief executive officer of the big-box retailer Target Corporation, will serve as keynote speaker at Carroll University's May 9 graduation ceremony.

Steinhafel graduated from Carroll in 1977 Carroll graduate and he was named Target's president in 1999.

Trial begins in Waukesha homicide case

April 20, 2010 4:30 p.m. | Waukesha - A prosecutor told a jury Tuesday that evidence will show that David A. Wapp had no other intention than to kill Samantha L. Peterson when he pulled out a folding knife while they quarreled in a car in September.

"What will happen in that car is horrendous," Assistant District Attorney Kevin M. Osborne said during the start of Wapp's trial in Waukesha County Circuit Court on a charge of first-degree intentional homicide.

Wapp, 29, stabbed and cut Peterson, 21, his ex-girlfriend, sometime after 10:30 p.m. Sept. 5 in Waukesha after she swore at him and told him to get out of her car, Osborne told the jury during his opening statements.

After stabbing her in the chest repeatedly, Wapp left the car and returned to the vehicle a few minutes later, Osborne said. Peterson was making sounds, and worried that neighbors would hear her, Wapp then repeatedly stabbed her in the neck, Osborne said.

"The evidence will show David Wapp stabbed Samantha Peterson 37 times," Osborne said.

» Read Full Article

Credit ratings lowered for 2 school districts with risky investments

April 19, 2010 4:42 p.m. | Two of five Wisconsin school districts that made risky investments in 2006 to help fund post-retirement liabilities have had their credit ratings downgraded, and all five will be monitored for potential future downgrades by Moody's Investors Services.

The credit ratings for the West Allis-West Milwaukee and Whitefish Bay school districts were lowered by Moody's after a European bank called millions of dollars of loans undertaken by district-run trusts. The action could raise the interest rate that the taxpayers in the Whitefish Bay district pay on $22.6 million in debt that voters authorized in November 2009 for building renovations.

Although the credit ratings were not lowered for the Kenosha, Kimberly and Waukesha school districts, which also operate trusts that took out millions of dollars of loans, their ratings could be affected if the districts do not appropriate money toward honoring their moral obligations to repay DEPFA Bank, the credit agency warned.

All five districts were placed on Moody's watch list for possible downgrades last month after DEPFA seized $5.6 million from the districts' trusts and called the loans, about two years after the accounts technically fell into default.

Altogether, the five district-run trusts were lent $165 million by DEPFA that was used to help purchase $200 million in complex investments called collateralized debt obligations that are now believed to be virtually worthless. Alleging they were misled in the transactions, district officials have sued Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. Inc. and the Royal Bank of Canada in Milwaukee County Circuit Court to rescind the investments.

» Read Full Article

Highway X widening set to begin in Waukesha

April 19, 2010 3:22 p.m. | Waukesha - Work started this week on the widening of a busy stretch of county Highway X on Waukesha's west side, where construction will be done while the road stays open to travelers through a combination of existing and temporary lanes.

About 18,900 to 20,700 vehicles per day use the 1.8-mile section, between Harris Highland Drive in the city to just north of state Highway 59 in the Town of Waukesha, said Ed Hinrichs, project engineer for Waukesha County.

The $12 million project will expand Highway X - a continuation of St. Paul Ave. that turns into Genesee Road - from two lanes to four lanes. It will taper back to two lanes on St. Paul Ave. and also on the south end, to the two-lane bridge over Pebble Creek.

Hinrichs said that bridge wasn't included in the plans because of the as-yet-to-be determined configuration of the west Waukesha bypass now under study. However, the project includes a new bridge structure over the Glacial Drumlin Trail and railroad tracks between Kensington and Macarthur roads.

Initial work will involve grading and paving gravel shoulders for their use as travel lanes.

» Read Full Article

Insanity plea dropped in Waukesha homicide case

April 14, 2010 12:20 p.m. | Waukesha — A man charged in the brutal stabbing death of a 21-year-old Waukesha woman in September withdrew his plea of not guilty by reason of mental disease Wednesday.

The attorney for David Wapp, 29, told Waukesha County Circuit Judge J. Mac Davis that a psychiatrist who interviewed Wapp and reviewed records concluded there is no indication that Wapp had a major mental illness at the time Samantha L. Peterson was killed.

Wapp is charged with first-degree intentional homicide in connection with the Sept. 5 slaying and has pleaded not guilty. He is scheduled to go to trial Tuesday and faces life in prison if convicted.

Peterson died after being stabbed and cut 36 times by Wapp, who reportedly snapped when she told him to get out of her car during an argument outside his aunt's home in Waukesha, according to testimony at a preliminary hearing in September.

At the conclusion of that hearing, a court commissioner found probable cause to believe that a felony had been committed and ordered a trial for Wapp.

» Read Full Article

Last 3-person town board in Waukesha County to end

April 14, 2010 12:10 p.m. | Town of Waukesha - The last remaining three-member town board in Waukesha County will disappear next spring after town residents at the annual meeting Tuesday voted overwhelmingly to expand the board to five members.

Town Chairman Robert Tallinger Sr. said an ordinance making the change requires Town Board approval, which he expects in the near future.

A draft ordinance spells out how the change would happen. Four supervisor seats and the town chairman's job would be up for grabs next spring. Candidates who file nomination papers by early January would indicate which seat they're running for, with two carrying two-year terms and two with one-year terms. Those winning one-year terms would be up for election again in the spring of 2012, with the seats then carrying two-year terms.

The chairman's term continues as two years.

Town of Waukesha supervisors currently are paid $6,857.50 a year while the chairman is paid $13,187.50 annually.

» Read Full Article

ProHealth Care CEO Titus announces retirement plan

April 14, 2010 11:04 a.m. | Ford Titus, president and chief executive officer of Waukesha-based ProHealth Care, intends to retire April 25, 2011 - his 65th birthday, the company said Wednesday.

ProHealth Care is Waukesha County's largest employer.

During Titus' 42 years with ProHealth Care in a number of leadership positions, the organization has grown in size and scope. Its Waukesha Memorial Hospital has grown to become the third-largest hospital in the Milwaukee area.

"I am confident that ProHealth Care is well-positioned for continued growth and am ready to turn over the organization to an experienced leader who will continue our traditions of strong relationships with physicians, community partnerships, financial strength, operational excellence, and putting employees, patients and their families first," Titus said in the statement.

The search for Titus' successor will begin immediately and will be managed by national search firm Korn/Ferry International, ProHealth Care said.

» Read Full Article

Milwaukee County panel opposes Waukesha's plan for wastewater effluent

April 13, 2010 12:24 p.m. | Milwaukee County would go on record opposing the use of Underwood Creek and other county streams for treated sewage effluent from Waukesha, under action endorsed by a County Board panel Tuesday.

The board's parks committee voted 4-2 to oppose Waukesha's plan to use the streams as a means to return Lake Michigan water the western suburb wants to buy. The full County Board will take up the question April 22.

Milwaukee County supervisors said the effort to block the sewage discharges was needed to protect the streams from erosion and pollution. Supervisors accused Waukesha of attempting an end-run around Milwaukee County in an effort to advance the cheapest option for return of purchased lake water.

"You have been sidestepped on this process," Supervisor Patricia Jursik told members of the panel.

"We've been treated purely as an afterthought," said Supervisor Theo Lipscomb.

» Read Full Article

Recall petitions target Town of Waukesha supervisors

April 12, 2010 5:08 p.m. | Town of Waukesha - A citizens group upset with two-thirds of the Town Board is close to getting the signatures it needs to recall Town Chairman Robert Tallinger Sr. and Supervisor Stephen Smart, an organizer said Monday.

The object of citizens' scorn - a February 2-1 board decision that paves the way for the City of Waukesha to drill shallow wells near the Vernon Marsh - is also likely to be discussed Tuesday at the town's annual meeting beginning at 7 p.m.

Joseph Banske, an organizer of Concerned Citizens of the Town of Waukesha, said members of his group have collected about 1,000 signatures on recall petitions since the effort was registered April 5. The group has until 5 p.m. June 4 to collect 1,123 signatures, which is 25% of the number of votes cast by town voters in the last gubernatorial election, Clerk Kathy Karalewitz said.

The reason for the recall, which must be stated on the petitions, is the officials' "negligence in protecting and promoting the Town of Waukesha's water supply."

The board in February approved a land division of a parcel along Highway I south of Foxvale Court that would give control of 13 acres to the city. Waukesha has plans for three to five shallow wells there as a back-up to water the city wants from Lake Michigan. The city is under court order to reduce radium levels in its drinking water, so the city's looking for a new water supply.

» Read Full Article

Waukesha's Hebron House hopes to build new shelter

April 12, 2010 4:00 p.m. | Waukesha - Hebron House of Hospitality would replace its downtown emergency shelter with a new two-story building under plans scheduled to go before the Plan Commission.

Bernie Juno, executive director of Hebron House, said the board of directors originally considered remodeling its shelter - once a single-family home and then a business before its conversion to an emergency shelter 27 years ago. But because of the amount of patchwork renovations and the age of the structure, the board has decided to build new on the old foundation.

The Plan Commission is scheduled to consider a conditional use permit, site plan and architectural approval at its 6:30 p.m. meeting Wednesday at City Hall.

Hebron House houses about 35 people - families and women who need emergency shelter. Juno said the existing house has two big fireplaces that obstruct efficient space use and traffic flow. Plans call for one extra bedroom - six instead of five - with a dorm room for women to be larger. The new building would have four bathrooms instead of 2 1/2 now. It would house up to about 40 people, Juno said.

"We're full all the time," Juno said. "We probably have the longest waiting list (about 75 people) we've ever had in our history."

» Read Full Article

Waukesha council approves negotiations on plant expansion

April 09, 2010 11:06 a.m. | Waukesha - The Common Council unanimously gave the go-ahead Thursday for negotiations to begin on economic incentives for a $42 million expansion of the Waukesha Electric Systems Inc. manufacturing plant in Waukesha.

At least 100 new jobs could be created at Waukesha Electric with an average wage two and a half times the minimum wage, company officials have said. The company employs about 500 in Waukesha.

The memorandum of understanding approved Thursday says Waukesha would provide $9 million in tax incremental financing incentives. The financing would be repaid over time with property taxes generated on the plant expansion.

With the council's approval in hand, city and company officials will negotiate a development agreement, which again would need council approval. Eventually, officials from Waukesha County Technical College, the Waukesha School District and Waukesha County must approve creation of the TIF district because taxes on the increased property value resulting from expansion are not shared with the overlying taxing authorities until the city's financing is repaid.

Waukesha council agrees to seek Lake Michigan water

April 08, 2010 10:36 p.m. | The Waukesha Common Council placed the city's search for a radium-free water supply into the hands of Wisconsin and the other seven Great Lakes states on Thursday when it agreed to ask those states for permission to buy Lake Michigan water.

Waukesha steps into uncharted territory, with no guarantee of approval, by becoming the first community to request a diversion of water out of the Great Lakes drainage basin under restrictions imposed by a 2008 regional compact. Each of the eight states must approve the diversion before Waukesha could buy water from Milwaukee or another municipal supplier.

On a 14-1 vote, the council approved sending the application first to the state Department of Natural Resources for consideration. Ald. Eric Payne cast the only no vote.

Ald. Rick Tortomasi, a member of the city's Water Commission, said voting against the application "would be a disservice to our residents."

All this week, an increasing number of local business representatives, including the Waukesha County Chamber of Commerce, have issued public statements urging the council to select a lake water option as the best solution for the city's future water needs.

» Read Full Article

Updated: Scrima unseats Nelson in Waukesha mayoral race

April 06, 2010 10:42 p.m. | Waukesha - Political newcomer Jeff Scrima, who ran a scrappy campaign built on objections to Waukesha's search for radium-free water at Milwaukee's Lake Michigan shore, unseated first-term incumbent Mayor Larry Nelson Tuesday by a commanding margin.

Scrima, who also came in first in the five-way February primary, won with 58% of the vote to Nelson's 42%.

"Obviously the voters wanted a change in leadership, and I certainly accept their decision," Nelson said. "I'm very proud of what I accomplished during the last four years. The feedback I've gotten the past few weeks has been very positive. It may just be a year when people give newcomers a chance and throw incumbents out.

Nelson said he thought the race would be closer.

"We worked hard, but this is part of politics. I'm obviously disappointed."

» Read Full Article

Nelson concedes Waukesha mayoral race

April 06, 2010 10:04 p.m. | Waukesha - Waukesha Mayor Larry Nelson conceded to challenger Jeff Scrima shortly after 9 p.m. Tuesday after his own unofficial tally of poll results told him he was losing by a substantial margin.

Final unofficial totals had not yet been posted by the city clerk's office, but political newcomer Scrima was winning by about a 60-40 split.

"Obviously, people wanted a change," he said. "Politics is a lot of pendulums swinging back and forth."

Nelson said he called Scrima and left a message on his cell phone but had not spoken to him directly.

A more complete update will post this evening.

Waukesha Chamber urges city to approve water contract

April 06, 2010 6:10 p.m. | The Waukesha County Chamber of Commerce, in a statement issued Tuesday evening, is urging the Waukesha Common Council to approve a draft application for a Lake Michigan water supply for the city.

The Waukesha Common Council takes up the issue on Thursday.

"Years of science-based research have gone into identifying Lake Michigan as the best sustainable source of radium-free water for the City of Waukesha," the chamber said. "Chamber members who are concerned about this issue should contact their Waukesha Common Council member prior to Thursday night to express their views."

Waukesha, city unions agree to wage freezes, job guarantees

April 05, 2010 3:50 p.m. | Waukesha - The city has reached a tentative agreement with all 10 of its local labor unions that provide for a wage freeze this year and 1.5% average increases in each of the following two years.

City Administrator Lori Curtis Luther said eight of the labor unions have ratified the agreements and votes by two others are expected soon. The Common Council will act on them Thursday night.

As part of the 2011 and 2012 contracts, employees will increase their share of health insurance premium contributions, deductibles and prescription drug copayments. The savings in these contributions will offset what Luther termed the modest increase in wage costs those years.

The contracts cover about 400 of the city's 550 full-time employees.

"I think it's significant that all the units agreed to a wage freeze in 2010 and to very moderate wage increases for 2011 and 2012," she said. "The represented employees were very understanding of our difficult economic climate and the tone of our discussions was cooperative and respectful on both sides."

» Read Full Article

Police identify body found in Fox River

April 05, 2010 3:08 p.m. | Waukesha - A man's body found floating in the Fox River in Waukesha on Saturday has been identified as that of 33-year-old Waukesha resident Matthew D. Newman, according to Waukesha police.

The Waukesha County medical examiner's office has ruled the death accidental, and investigators do not suspect foul play, police said.

A jogger discovered Newman's body in Frame Park about 7:30 a.m. Saturday, police said.

Body found floating in Fox River in Waukesha

April 03, 2010 5:45 p.m. | Investigators said they did not suspect foul play after the body of a dead man was discovered Saturday morning, floating in the Fox River.

"The investigation is ongoing, all indications are that the death was accidental," Waukesha Police Sgt. Gerald F. Habanek said in a statement.

Earlier, police said a jogger discovered the man about 7:30 a.m. in Frame Park in the 1200 block of White Rock Ave. The man apparently was in his early to mid-30s, according to police.

Waukesha schools, teachers starting arbitration

April 02, 2010 12:35 p.m. | The Education Association of Waukesha, which represents teachers and other certified staff in the Waukesha School District, has filed for arbitration, the district has announced.

The action comes after the union and Waukesha School Board were not able to agree on several issues relating to the teachers' 2009-'11 contract, including changes to the salary schedule, health insurance and early retirement. The dispute between the two sides also failed to be resolved by the help of a mediator from the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission.

Arbitration has been relatively rare for teachers contracts in recent years, given that the qualified economic offer law allowed districts to avoid arbitration by offering teachers a 3.8% annual increase in compensation. With last year's elimination of the QEO law and a rough economic climate, however, more districts are anticipating that they will go to arbitration to settle disputes with teachers.

The Waukesha School District has posted copies of the preliminary final offers from the union and the school board on its Web site. (A warning: the documents are difficult to understand without a copy of the existing contract, which the district does not provide on its Web site.)

UPDATE: The school district has placed a copy of the teachers contract for 2007-'09 on its Web site.

Community Watch

» Waukesha bank held up 4/29

» Kinex Medical to cut 56 jobs in Waukesha 4/29

» Homicide trial in Waukesha overdose death delayed 4/29

» Bonding for new Carroll dormitory endorsed 4/29

» Forum to focus on affordable housing 4/28

» Dane County man guilty in crash that killed Waukesha man 4/27

» Waukesha County groups adopt uniform system for handling sexual assaults 4/26

» Former White Rock principal in Waukesha retires 4/26

» Armed robbery at Waukesha Golden Corral investigated 4/26

» Idea for regional recycling center re-emerges 4/26

» Waukesha West Academic Decathlon team finishes fourth at nationals 4/26

» Another Waukesha neighbor worries about water-well plans 4/23

» Town of Waukesha panel calls for tougher rules on city wells 4/22

» County Board rejects Waukesha's water plan 4/22

» Jury takes 30 minutes to convict Mukwonago man in murder of Waukesha woman 4/21

» Target CEO will be Carroll University graduation speaker 4/21

» Trial begins in Waukesha homicide case 4/20

» Credit ratings lowered for 2 school districts with risky investments 4/19

» Highway X widening set to begin in Waukesha 4/19

» Insanity plea dropped in Waukesha homicide case 4/14

» Last 3-person town board in Waukesha County to end 4/14

» ProHealth Care CEO Titus announces retirement plan 4/14

» Milwaukee County panel opposes Waukesha's plan for wastewater effluent 4/13

» Recall petitions target Town of Waukesha supervisors 4/12

» Waukesha's Hebron House hopes to build new shelter 4/12

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