Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus, widely criticized over the conduct of elections in her county, announced Saturday she has decided not to seek re-election in November.
But the embattled clerk said in a prepared statement that she would not relinquish "any authority or responsibility" for upcoming elections through the end of her term because "I am the Waukesha County constitutional officer charged with the responsibility of elections."
After problems in the election earlier this month, Nickolaus reportedly agreed under pressure from County Executive Dan Vrakas to cede election responsibilities to her deputy for the upcoming recall races.
Her campaign manager said Saturday she "never ever agreed to hand over the responsibility given to her constitutionally as clerk" to administer the elections. "Kathy is still in charge," said the manager, Dan Hunt, adding Nickolaus was unavailable for comment.
The deputy clerk will serve as liaison between municipal clerks and county clerks, oversee election result processes and make sure the results are reported to the Government Accountability Board, Hunt said.» Read Full Article
It’s time for some spring cleaning.
With many events taking place in downtown Waukesha next weekend, the Waukesha Business Improvement District feels it’s time to beautify and tidy up the area with a “Downtown Cleanup Day.”
The area-wide cleanup is from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. today.
People participating are advised to check in at the BID Office, 802 N. Grand Ave., on the corner of N. Grand and South St.
Anyone under the age of 18 must be with a parent.» Read Full Article
Waukesha - The Town Board has denied a zoning change that would have allowed a proposed Walgreens pharmacy and Aldi grocery development at Sunset Drive and Highway X.
The vote Thursday night to deny was 4-1, with Supervisor Brian Fischer casting the lone dissenting vote.
Mark Lake of MRED-Cummings Commercial Development Corp. could not be reached for comment Friday about options available to him, including whether annexation to the city of Waukesha, which the property adjoins, is under consideration.
The developer has been working with owners of a half dozen properties for nearly four years on acquiring their homes and building the commercial development, which is across the highway from Fox Run Shopping Center to the north and Waukesha State Bank to the east. The Shoppes of Fox River are slightly farther east, along Sunset Drive.
Residents have spoken out against the development, which borders a 50-home subdivision in the Town of Waukesha.» Read Full Article
The Waukesha Police Department and the Waukesha County Sheriff's K9 Unit were at Catholic Memorial High School today.
But it was only for a brief lock-down drill.
The drill, which began at 10 a.m., lasted 15 minutes and involved the Waukesha Police Department, the Waukesha County Sheriff's K9 Unit and the Catholic Memorial Staff.
CMH is located at 601 E. College Ave.
The Family Service of Waukesha will honor National Child Abuse Prevention Month by holding its third annual fundraiser for Family Service of Waukesha's C.A.R.E. Center (Child Advocacy Resources and Empowerment Center).
The event is from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday at The Big Yellow House, 726 N. East Ave., in downtown Waukesha.
Guests will enjoy an evening of hors d’oeuvres, wine, hospitality and an opportunity to tour and meet with program staff. Presenting sponsors will be Attorney Linda Coyle and Gastroenterology Specialists.
The goal of The C.A.R.E. Center is that child abuse victims (physical, sexual and/or neglect) in Waukesha County will experience safe, compassionate child-focused services in a more highly coordinated and effective manner than was previously available.
"Court can be scary for kids, especially victims of abuse," said Brad Schimel, Waukesha district attorney and C.A.R.E. spokesman, who plans on attending the fundraiser. "Keeping them out of the court and off the witness stand provides them with the safety and comfort any kid deserves."» Read Full Article
Waukesha - Hebron House of Hospitality Inc. will close its winter emergency shelter for men at the former school on Northview Road and Grandview Blvd. on Monday.
A search is already under way for a new location next year, said Bernie Juno, executive director.
The school, formerly a public elementary school and a private Christian school, was recently sold for potential use as a satellite church. Juno said she has not been in contact with the purchaser, who is unknown to her, to see if Hebron House could use the space again next winter.
"We don't have a home for next year," she said.
Meanwhile, St. William Catholic Church donated $10,000 to the shelter this week, the results of a Lenten collection. Children donated more than a dozen blankets they made, as well, and Juno said they will be given to children at Hebron's shelters.» Read Full Article
Waukesha - Oops.
A jury coordinator for Waukesha County circuit courts missed a step that her boss said she hasn't missed in 18 years - summoning county residents to the courthouse for jury duty Tuesday.
As a result, four scheduled jury trials in the criminal and traffic division had to be rescheduled because there were no jurors available to hear them.
Kathleen Madden, clerk of circuit court, said the unfortunate mistake was quickly appreciated when the jury assembly room was all but empty at 7:45 a.m. Tuesday. The only potential jurors to show up were a few whose service had been delayed earlier and they'd been told to return on Tuesday.
Her clerk realized her mistake and informed the judges, whom Madden said were very understanding. It is unusual to have that many criminal trials in a day, she said.» Read Full Article
Waukesha - The Waukesha Police and Fire Commission has rejected a suggestion from the Common Council that it limit its search for the city's next fire chief to candidates from within the department.
Once again, it will ask the council to approve spending $16,900 on a consultant - Voorhees Associates - to conduct the candidate search.
On April 17, the council split 7-7 on whether to approve the spending request, with one alderman absent. Mayor Jeff Scrima broke the tie, rejecting the payment.
Dan Owens, chairman of the Police and Fire Commission, said Tuesday that the commission is asking city finance officials to calculate how much has been saved by leaving the chief's position vacant since Fire Chief Allen La Conte retired in early March after a 34-year career.
While the council controls the purse strings, the commission is independently responsible for hiring the police chief and fire chief, as well as their subordinates. Voorhees was the consultant used to review candidates for police chief when Russell Jack, a current department commander, got the job.
More citizen volunteers are needed to check the health of Waukesha County rivers and creeks.
Volunteer monitors currently check segments of 13 streams, said Jayne Jenks, a conservation specialist with the Waukesha County Parks and Land Use Department.
Those waterways include the Pewaukee, Bark and Scuppernong rivers, Brandy Brook, and nine streams: Battle, Coco, Deer, Genesee, Jericho, Mason, Pebble, Scuppernong and Spring. More could be added to the list if additional monitors step forward.
A one-day training session is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. May 12 at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha field station off Waterville Road. Call Jenks at (262) 896-8305 to register for the training day.
Bring your own lunch, and hip boots or waders if you have them. If not, please provide Jenks with your shoe size.» Read Full Article
Shoppes at Fox River, on Waukesha's southwest side.
Opus Development Corp. will break ground this month on the shopping center's addition, which eventually will total 150,000 square feet, Opus said Friday. The first part of that expansion will include more than 47,000 square feet of retail space.
The Shoppes at Fox River, 1180 W. Sunset Drive, opened in July 2009. The first phase has about 273,000 square feet, including a Target, and a Pick ‘n Save.
Carroll University is getting close to the end of its nationwide drive to collect 50,000 meals for the hungry.
The effort is part of the university's second annual National Day of Service food drive.
They've collected about 15,000 so far, but will make a big push during the next two days. They're collecting meals at the Carroll University Campus Center, 101 N. East Ave., Waukesha, from Friday 9 a.m.-8 p.m. through Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
On Saturday, local musicians and Carroll alumni Candice Truesdell-Nokes and Mark Truesdell, otherwise known as The Spirals, will perform from 10:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. as part of the collection effort. A Feeding America truck will be on campus to take the meals.
As my colleague Nancy Stohs noted last week, Carroll teamed up with Target Corp. and Feeding America. Twelve local businesses are serving as official collection sites. Carroll alumni in five other states are leading collection efforts.» Read Full Article
The Waukesha SportsCards and Sports Memorabilia shop has hosted many past and current Milwaukee Brewers players over the years.
And with the team home for a nine-game homestand, two Brewers players will be at the popular sports memorabilia store this weekend.
Brewers closer John Axford will hold a public signing from 11 to noon Saturday, and he will be followed by rightfielder Corey Hart’s noon to 1 p.m. signing.
Tickets for Axford range from $15 to $55, while Hart’s tickets are $10 to $60.
After these signings, the next public signing at Waukesha SportsCards is with Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. May 10.» Read Full Article
It’s looking more and more official by the day.
With just a little more than a month away before the 30 Gibson Les Paul decorated guitars will be unveiled to the public as part of the Waukesha Gibson GuitarTown Project festivities, a website (waukeshaguitartown.com) dedicated to the project has now been launched.
The Waukesha GuitarTown logo is at the top of the website along with images of four decorated guitars for the project.
On the website’s homepage, it also gives a quick overview of the project and has nine tabs at the top of the website, including the locations that the 10-foot guitars will be in downtown Waukesha, the 30 artists who were selected for the project for the 20 regular-sized guitars and the 10, 10-foot tall fiberglass guitars as well as contact information, how to support/sponsor the project and a listing of the upcoming events.
Viewers can also see most of the artists’ progress painting the guitars through the website.» Read Full Article
Waukesha - The search for a new city fire chief is back to square one with the Common Council's refusal to spend $16,900 for a recruiting firm to search for candidates.
The council was split 7-7, Tuesday night and Mayor Jeff Scrima broke the tie, rejecting the payment to Voorhees Associates, the recommended search firm. Ald. Brian White was absent.
Aldermen opposing the expense said they did not see the necessity of paying a consultant to search outside the department for candidates because enough qualified candidates were already within the department.
Ald. Andy Reiland suggested that a new bid be sought from consultants with an aim toward getting assistance in evaluating in-house applicants only. However, Ald. Joan Francoeur pointed out that the Police and Fire Commission, which is politically independent and picks the next chief, can only be offered the suggestion.
Fire Chief Allen LaConte retired in early March after a 34-year career with the city. Steve Howard has been serving as interim chief while the search for a permanent replacement continues.
Waukesha - Waukesha police reported shortly after 2 p.m. that the intersection of East Ave. and Highway 164 was open to traffic about six hours after a trailer hitch malfunction separated a trailer and the massive transformer it was carrying from the tractor, blocking the busy intersection.
Several attempts to move the trailer failed primarily because of the weight, and crews feared it might take a couple of days to ship in a specialized trailer from another state.
However, workers were able to finally connect the trailer and move it far enough down the road so it was no longer blocking the intersection.
Oremus, who initially reported the transformer's weight at 225,000, updated the information, saying it weighed 140,000 pounds - or 70 tons. The combined weight of the transformer, trailer and tractor was 243,000 pounds, he said.
The transformer was bound from the former Waukesha Electric - now SPX Transformer Solutions - to Oklahoma. Traffic was temporarily rerouted during the intersection closure.
The intersection of Highways 164 and 59 was blocked to traffic early Tuesday morning by a 100-ton generator on a trailer. No injuries were reported.
Waukesha - Waukesha County will hold a prescription drug collection at seven sites around the county from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 28.
A consortium called Waukesha County Drug Free Communities is sponsoring its fourth collection in order to prevent prescription drug abuse and accidental poisonings, as well as to keep unused drugs from being flushed into local waterways.
The collections will be at the Brookfield Recycling Center, Community Memorial Hospital in Menomonee Falls, the D.N. Greenwald Center in Mukwonago, the Muskego Police Department, Oconomowoc Memorial Hospital, the Waukesha County Technical College campus in Pewaukee and Waukesha State Bank's downtown Waukesha headquarters.
For more information, including directions to the collection sites, see www.waukeshacounty.gov/drugcollection.
Was anyone looking for their missing donkey?
Mark Hess, operations manager for the Humane Animal Welfare Society in Waukesha (HAWS), was asking himself that question when a wandering stray donkey came into his life last week.
"The typical response for most people that have animals is they usually begin to panic when they realize their pets are missing," Hess said on Friday. "They are like part of your family."
On Saturday, the mystery was solved.
A Waukesha family reclaimed its miniature donkey, which was staying at the HAWS shelter since it was first discovered missing April 11 on Highway 59 in the Town of Genesee, where it was roaming around in someone's yard.» Read Full Article
You’ve heard of stray dogs and cats. But in the Lake Country area it’s been stray donkeys this week.
And as of Friday morning, the owners of the donkeys are still M.I.A.
“I’ve been doing this for so long (36 years) and normally we get a call from the owner by now,” said Mark Hess, operations manager at the Humane Animal Welfare Society in Waukesha.
Two donkeys were found wandering the streets in Waukesha and Jefferson counties – one on Wednesday on Highway 59 in the Town of Genesee and the other was located on Thursday in Oconomowoc before it was tracked down on Main Street in Ixonia at a veterinary clinic parking lot.
The first donkey is in the ownership of H.A.W.S., 701 Northview Road in Waukesha.» Read Full Article
Battle of the Burbs contest have spoken and New Berlin has been tabbed the best place to live in the suburban Milwaukee area.The voters in MyCommunityNOW's
The second-seeded Waukesha-county suburb cruised past No. 1 Wauwatosa with 65 percent of the vote to 35 percent.
Congratulations to Mark Klug of Greendale, who was randomly chosen from all voters to receive a $100 gift card. Kudos are also in order for William Smith of Waukesha, who will receive a $50 gift card and Jennifer Phelps of New Berlin, who will receive a $25 gift card.
Thanks to all of our voters for taking part in the contest.
Hunger is a problem that no countries are immune to.
It can be a tough battle to win, but Carroll University is doing its part to help in this effort.
Since the beginning of April, Carroll has been trying to collect 50,000 meals in its second annual National Day of Service food drive.
This is after the food drive collected 25,386 meals in 2011, clearly surpassing their 10,000-meal goal.
However, to reach its 50,000-meal goal, it will need the community to step up, because as of Thursday, Heidi Miller, assistant director of alumni relations, said only about 10,000 meals have been collected.» Read Full Article
Eleven days after the Republican presidential candidates were in the spotlight in Waukesha, the GOP U.S. Senate hopefuls now have the stage.
The Republican candidates seeking to represent the GOP Party and replace the retiring Sen. Herb Kohl will debate tonight at the Waukesha County Expo Center, 1000 Northview Road.
Doors open at 5:30 p.m., a general reception with a cash bar is at 6 p.m. and the debate begins at 7 p.m.
The candidates scheduled to be at the debate are Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald (R-Horicon), Madison businessman Eric Hovde, former congressman Mark Neumann and Rhinelander physical therapist Kip Smith.
Missing from this group is the highest profile candidate, Tommy Thompson. The former Wisconsin governor will be at an out of state fundraiser.» Read Full Article
In anticipation of a large crowd, next Tuesday’s Waukesha Common Council meeting has been moved from its usual location of the Council Chambers at City Hall to Waukesha North High School.
The meeting, scheduled for 7:30 p.m., will be held at the school’s auditorium, 2222 Michigan Avenue.
Mayor Jeff Scrima said in an interview Tuesday that the Waukesha Police Department made the request to have the meeting be moved because of the expected increase in attendance.
Scrima said the Council Chambers can fit approximately 150 people, but added the Police Department expects to have more than double that number at the meeting.
The main reason for the increased crowd is because this is the first time the public can voice its opinion on the feasibility study that was released last month on the possible consolidation of the City of Waukesha’s Communication Center with the Waukesha County Communication Center.» Read Full Article
The inhabitants of a Waukesha apartment complex were told to find alternate accommodations this weekend after a two-alarm fire prompted the evacuation of the 12-unit building Saturday afternoon.
City of Waukesha Fire and Police Departments were dispatched to 343 Coolidge Avenue Saturday at about 1 p.m. to address the fire, which extended into the attic of the building, according to a news release from Waukesha's fire department.
All residents were evacuated with no injuries; two firefighters sustained minor injuries that didn't require transport, according to the release.
Waukesha Police and Fire investigators are conducting the investigation but didn't have damage estimates for the building as of Saturday night, Battalion Chief Joseph Vitale said in an interview.
The Red Cross was on the scene to help the approximate 19 residents of the complex find alternate housing, he added.
A four-month multi-faceted reconstruction project is set to begin next week in the City of Waukesha, N. and S. West Avenue, closing traffic.
According to the City of Waukesha’s Engineering Department, the project limits are the north side of the Dunbar Avenue intersection and the south side of the West Newhall Avenue intersection.
Construction, scheduled to begin Monday, consists of the replacement of sanitary sewer, water main, storm sewer, pavement, curb and gutter and traffic signals.
N. and S. West Avenue will be closed to through traffic, while West College Avenue at West Avenue will be open to through traffic. The intersection of College Avenue and West Avenue will be controlled by stop signs for all directions.
A detour will be posted using the streets of Wisconsin Avenue, West St. Paul Avenue, N. and S. Prairie Avenue and West Sunset Drive.» Read Full Article
Like the rest of the state and county, the City and Town of Waukesha leaned heavily in favor of Mitt Romney in the Republican Presidential Primary held on Tuesday.
Romney, the party’s front-runner to challenge President Barack Obama in November’s general election, garnered 5,449 votes in the City of Waukesha or 57.9 percent of the 9,403 votes cast in the Republican section.
Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum was next with 2,847 votes, followed by U.S. Rep. Ron Paul with 680 and former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich had 322.
Despite already having bowed out of the race months ago, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman each got some votes with Bachmann getting 38 and Huntsman 28.
There were 39 votes in the Uninstructed Delegation and Write-In categories.» Read Full Article
The Waukesha Business Improvement District and the Waukesha Downtown Business Association are partnering to put on the day's festivities.
As part of Carroll University’s Bike Week, world traveler Scott Stoll will speak tonight on the campus about his adventures and his search for happiness and the meaning of life.
Stoll, a Waukesha native, will discuss his experiences at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Dorothy Goff Frisch Recital Hall of Shattuck Music Center at the Carroll University, 218 N. East Ave, in Waukesha.
The event, scheduled to go for about an hour and a half, is free and open to the public.
In the early part of the 2000s, Stoll traveled nearly 26,000 miles for 1,461 days (four years) in 50 countries on six continents on his bike to find happiness.
After returning in 2005 to Waukesha, he wrote a book titled, “Falling Uphill” and a short film was also made about his adventures.» Read Full Article
Waukesha's 15-member Common Council remains intact for another year.
In the only aldermanic race on the ballot in the City of Waukesha, Ald. Richard Hastings soundly defeated challenger Ron Kading Tuesday for the District 12 seat.
Hastings garnered 545 votes or 69.2 percent of the votes, compared to Kading's 243 votes or 30.8 percent.
An election for the District 12 seat took place this year - it wasn't supposed to take place until 2013 - because the former alderman, Charles Lichtie, stepped down from the position in early 2011 one year after being elected.
As a result, Hastings was appointed to the position by the Common Council last year.» Read Full Article
Waukesha - It took persistence - and a second trip to her Waukesha polling place - by a 63-year-old Waukesha woman to vote Tuesday. But she said her 87-year-old mother who couldn't make the trip back was disenfranchised by a poll worker who asked to see a photo ID.
Wisconsin's new voter ID law was in place for the February primary but not for Tuesday's general election after a judge ruled it was unconstitutional. The photo ID requirement is on hold while the matter is appealed.
The woman, who asked not to be identified because she and her mother were embarrassed, said she ended up calling the Government Accountability Board for help.
Kevin Kennedy, executive director of the board, confirmed Tuesday that the incident happened.
The woman said she and her mother had moved to Waukesha last May and registered to vote at Waukesha City Hall in January. They went to their Waukesha West High School poll Tuesday but were asked to show identification - which her mother hadn't brought with her. Her own driver's license had an out-of-date address on it, she said.» Read Full Article
Waukesha - Mayor Jeff Scrima's New Day in Waukesha Fund - set up to fulfill his promise of returning half his mayoral salary to the community - is prepared to donate $23,312 for restoration of the canopy structure at the Farmers Market area.
The Common Council is scheduled to accept the donation during its 7:30 p.m. meeting Thursday, with the Finance Committee set to make a recommendation earlier that evening.
Scrima had announced during the 2012 budget debate that he would partner with the Business Improvement District on the project, so tax support for it was trimmed during the council's budget deliberations.
Earlier this year, Scrima and his charitable fund advisory committee provided $15,160 from the New Day in Waukesha Fund for the purchase of seven 10-foot-tall guitar sculptures that - along with three others and 20 regulation Gibson Les Paul guitars - are being transformed into art objects, part of a Waukesha GuitarTown public art project. The guitars will be staged in locations mostly along Main St. Scrima has also announced intentions to fund a gateway sign between North St. and St. Paul Ave. near Moreland Blvd. In an email Monday he said the fund balance, which he so far has not provided, will be sufficient to pay for that "and possibly other projects."