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Slain brothers, wife in Lafayette County were retired dairy, hog farmers

April 29, 2013 11:00 p.m. | Darlington - A quiet town that residents describe as a close-knit family struggled Monday to grasp how a triple homicide that took two brothers and a wife could have happened - and why.

The victims - Gary, Chloe and Dean Thoreson - were well-liked along the half-dozen roads that make up Wiota, a town of less than a thousand people just east of Darlington in Lafayette County.

"For something like this to happen in our community is unheard of," said Steve Brenum, a former town board supervisor who has lived in Wiota all his life. "It feels like they've taken something from us that you'll never get back. It turns your stomach."

Gary Thoreson, 70, his wife Chloe Thoreson, 66, and his brother Dean, 76, were identified Monday by the Lafayette County Sheriff's Department as the three victims found slain Sunday morning at their home. A relative discovered the bodies.

Dean lived nearby, at the home where he, Gary and their oldest brother Everett grew up, neighbors said. Everett still lives just minutes away.

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Waukesha West academic decathlon team takes ninth at nationals

April 29, 2013 2:43 p.m. | The Waukesha West academic decathlon team finished ninth overall and second among Division II schools at the national academic decathlon championships last weekend.

It was the team's 12th straight appearance at nationals, which took place this year in Minneapolis.

While the team didn't win the title, West had one of the shining stars of the event.

Senior Thomas Redding achieved gold medal in math with the highest score in that subject among all the decathletes and earned $1,000 in scholarship money for his efforts in the competition.

Waukesha West was second at last month's state competition behind New Berlin Eisenhower. 

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Waukesha man suspect in triple homicide over weekend

April 29, 2013 9:00 a.m. | A 31-year-old man from Waukesha has been detained as a person of interest in a homicide investigation that took place in Lafayette County over the weekend.

Waukesha Police Criminal Investigations Division Lt.Tom Wagner sent a release Monday morning stating the department assisted Lafayette officials in detaining the suspect who was taken into custody at 2:52 p.m. Sunday without incident.

Wagner said the suspect was then turned over to Lafayette County, after being detained at the Waukesha Police Department.

According to reports, three people were found dead Sunday morning in a rural home in Lafayette County which is in the western part of the state. A family member discovered the bodies after a man was reported missing since Friday. The victims' names have not been released.

A truck owned by one of the victims was reported missing and Waukesha police found the truck parked at an apartment complex. According to reports, the suspect did not know the victims.

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Town of Waukesha postpones decision on water service area

April 26, 2013 8:16 a.m. | The Waukesha Town Board has postponed until April 29 a vote to reconsider how much land to include in the City of Waukesha's water service area.

The city set an April 30 deadline - next Tuesday - for town officials to establish a boundary for the service area in the town. Designation of the service area is a necessary step in the city's request for Great Lakes water.

Owners of property within the service area would have an option of connecting to city water or sewer services if they encounter problems with a private well or septic field.

In late January, the Town Board decided to include only a small northern portion of the town in the service area.

Town Chairman John Marek was elected April 2 on a platform to include most of the town in the city's water service area. He is pushing the board to rescind its earlier vote.

Steve Miller, Billy Gibbons serve on Waukesha Les Paul exhibit board

April 25, 2013 9:52 a.m. | Steve Miller of the Steve Miller Band, Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top, and Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers are among the stars who will serve on the board for the new "Les Paul Experience" exhibit at The Waukesha County Museum

The Les Paul Experience Artist Advisory Board will consist of 22 musicians, recording engineers, producers, music journalists, and corporate partners from around the country.

The co-chairs of the board also include Les Paul's son, Rusty Paul, Henry Juszkiewicz, CEO of Gibson Guitar Corp., and Sam Llanas co-founder of The BoDeans.

The exhibit is set to open to the public June 9, and it spotlights the life and work of Paul, the master guitarist and music innovator.

Callaway charged with murder, manhunt continues

April 24, 2013 11:52 a.m. |  A warrant was issued Thursday for the arrest of Eddie Callaway, charged with shooting his girlfriend Shanel “Nani” Negron Monday evening outside their shared home on N. Moreland Boulevard. His bail has been set at $1 million.

 Callaway, 26, was charged on Thursday, April 23 in Waukesha County Circuit Court with first-degree intentional homicide, accused of shooting Negron, 24, at approximately 7:15 p.m. Monday. He fled the scene in Negron’s 2002 Ford Taurus, license plate number 394TVK.

In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, the police said they are "processing/prioritizing" many leads and tips and the investigation was ongoing. The search for Callaway continues.

Negron was an employee in Carroll University’s food service PIT and was the mother of a 3-year-old child. Police said Tuesday the child was being cared for, but would not provide further details. Callaway was not the father of Negron’s child.

According to the criminal complaint, a woman said she was driving northbound on Moreland Boulevard when she saw a black male, believed to be Callaway, shove Negron out of a house and reach for something with his right hand. She heard, “pop, pop,” and saw Negron fall straight backward outside 518 N. Moreland Boulevard.

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Police continue search for homicide suspect Eddie Callaway

April 23, 2013 10:43 a.m. | Waukesha Police Chief Russell Jack said at a press conference Tuesday morning that police are still searching for the 26-year-old suspect who is believed to have shot his live-in girlfriend during a domestic dispute Monday evening.

Eddie CallawayJack said that the 24-year-old victim, Shanel A. Negron, was a mother with a 3-year-old child. Eddie Callaway, the suspect in the murder that took place Monday evening, was not the father. 

According to a news release, Waukesha Police squads responded at 7:15 p.m. on Monday, April 22 to the intersection of North Moreland Boulevard and Summit Avenue after receiving reports of shots fired. Jack said Negron was pronounced dead at the scene, shot once in the head.

"No stone will be left unturned in our search for him," Jack said.

Jack said Negron and Callaway were believed to be living together and police are investigating the death as a domestic violence incident.

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Waukesha murder suspect, Eddie Callaway, still at large

April 23, 2013 7:47 a.m. | Police have identified Eddie Callaway, 26, of Waukesha as the suspect in the murder of a woman at Moreland Boulevard and Summit Avenue at 7:16 p.m. Monday.

Eddie Callaway

 Eddie CallawayWaukesha Capt. Ron Oremus said the 24-year-old woman was pronounced dead at the scene from gunshot wounds. Reports indicate it was a domestic dispute that lead to the homicide. 

Callaway fled in a four-door, 2002 Ford Taurus, registration 394TVK. He is believed to be armed and dangerous.

Police are looking for any information on Callaway’s whereabouts. If anyone encounters him, call 911 and do not attempt contact If anyone has information about his location, contact the Waukesha Police Dispatch Center at (262) 524-3831.

Waukesha police investigating a homicide at Moreland and Summit, seeking anyone with information

April 22, 2013 9:24 p.m. | Capt. Ron Oremus reported around 9:30 p.m. Monday that the Waukesha Police Department is currently responding to/investigating a homicide.

 

"We have very little for details and details will not be available for quite some time, but if you could see if anyone witnessed a possible argument, fight, or shooting in the area of Summit Avenue and Moreland Boulevard, please have them call our desk officer at (262) 524-3780 with any information," Oremus wrote in an email to media.

 

According to information from the captain, a possible suspect description is a black male wearing a gray hoodie.

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Waukesha police to seek charges against man in standoff

April 22, 2013 4:36 p.m. | Waukesha police are recommending felony charges for a 44-year-old Waukesha man whom officers shot early Sunday for allegedly rushing at them with knives, police said Monday.

The man, who is now conscious and talking after surgery for multiple gunshot wounds, may face a charge of recklessly endangering safety in the first degree, police said. The investigation will be completed early this week and referred to the District Attorney's office.

According to police, the man threatened an elderly couple at a home on the 500 Block of Spring Crest Circle. The couple called police about 1:45 a.m. Sunday and said he had refused mental health assistance earlier and said he would jump off a bridge. The man himself then called police saying he was armed with knives and holding a man hostage.

While police were outside the residence, police say, he came out and ran at them with the knives. Three officers fired 14 rounds of gunfire and one less lethal round at him. The officers - a 27-year-old in his fifth year of service, a 27-year-old in his first year of service, and a 24-year-old in her first year of service - are now on paid administrative leave.

An initial investigation concluded that officers shot in self-defense and acted within the law, police said in a news release.

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Waukesha police, deputies shoot possible suicidal man

April 21, 2013 10:52 a.m. | Officers from City of Waukesha and the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department shot a man early Sunday while investigating a possible suicidal person who police say had taken a man hostage.

Police were called about 1:45 a.m. Sunday to the 500 block of Spring Crest Circle and were told that a 44-year-old man refused voluntary mental health assistance earlier in the day and had talked about jumping off a bridge, according to a Waukesha police news release.

The callers, an older couple, were in the residence with the man when officers arrived, and the caller said the man had armed himself knives and threatened to "cut throats." The man then called emergency dispatchers himself and said he was holding a man hostage and was armed with two knives. The female caller was able to leave the residence, police said.

The man, still armed with knives, then left the residence and charged at officers, ignoring orders to stop and drop the weapons, police said.

Officer shot the man in "defense of their lives," the news release stated.

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Two Milwaukee men sought in heroin overdose death

April 19, 2013 12:52 p.m. |  Warrants have been issued for the arrest of two Milwaukee men charged with allegedly providing the heroin that killed 27-year-old Waukesha resident Samuel E. Lueck last February.

Terry M. Tibbits, Jr. and Rozerick E. Mattox were each charged on April 18 in Waukesha County Circuit Court with first degree reckless homicide, delivery of drugs.

According to the criminal complaint:

Leuck’s roommate Gary B. Sweezey reported to the Waukesha Police Department in the early morning of Feb. 15 that he believed his roommate, Lueck, was dead of a drug overdose.

Lueck was found by police in his bedroom, surrounded by syringes, a tourniquet, a “cooker” used to heat heroin and his cellphone.

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Man accused of watching pornography in Waukesha McDonald's

April 19, 2013 12:35 p.m. | A 23-year-old Waukesha man was charged with carrying a concealed weapon after a McDonald's manager called police alleging the man was masturbating to pornography in the restaurant.

Nicholas P. Godejohn was charged on April 17 in Waukesha County Circuit Court with carrying a concealed weapon and disorderly conduct, which carries a combined maximum sentence of one year in prison, $11,000 in fines, or both.

According to the criminal complaint:

Officers from Waukesha City Police were dispatched on March 11 to the McDonald’s Restaurant, located on 1635 E. Main St. in Waukesha, after receiving reports that a man was acting disorderly in the restaurant.

The restaurant manager told police that he walked by the man and saw that he was allegedly watching pornography with a hand down his pants. He said it looked like the man was masturbating.

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Town of Waukesha holds off on water service area decision

April 18, 2013 11:01 p.m. | The City of Waukesha will have to wait one more week to hear the Town of Waukesha's final decision on its participation in the city's future water service area.

This is a result of the Town of Waukesha Board, before a standing-room-only crowd at Town Hall, not taking action on an item Thursday night to reconsider a previous decision the board made to include just a small portion of the town in the city's future water service area.

After hearing many comments for and against reversing a vote the board made at a Jan. 24 board meeting, Supervisor Joe Banske revealed that he received a phone call from City of Waukesha Water Utility General Manager Dan Duchniak an hour and a half before Thursday's meeting to discuss the issue with the town further.

As a result, Banske said he, new chairman John Marek, Duchniak and other officials involved will now meet next week to discuss options for all involved parties.

Since the other board members did not have a problem with that, the decision most in attendance came for was postponed.

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Jesse Alba named Waukesha's new fire chief

April 18, 2013 10:49 p.m. | For 27 years, Jesse Alba has worked his way through the fire department ranks.

With the Waukesha Police and Fire Commission naming him Waukesha's new fire chief on Thursday, he's now reached the pinnacle.

Alba, one of four finalists the PFC was considering, has served as Waukesha's assistant chief of operations since 2011.

Before that, Alba was deputy chief of training and emergency medical services for Waukesha for eight years, was a deputy chief/shift commander with the City of Brookfield from 2000-04 and was a firefighter/equipment operator/lieutenant with Waukesha from 1986-2000. 

Waukesha Assistant Fire Chief Steve Howard, who also applied for the fire chief position, had been serving as the interim fire chief since Allen LaConte retired in March 2012.

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Carroll University students raise money to cover man's lockdown ticket

April 18, 2013 3:46 p.m. | Two Carroll University students raised enough money Thursday to pay a ticket given to the 50-year-old man who carried an airsoft gun and caused a campus lockdown Tuesday.

Seniors John Heavey and Emily Kammerud decided to organize an online collection Thursday for Michael Wiedemann of Waukesha, who was given a $303 ticket by Waukesha police for disorderly conduct. The online page raised $360 in donations as of 10 p.m. Thursday. Heavey and Kammerud were inspired to raise the money after an interview with Wiedemann aired on WTMJ-TV (Channel 4).

"I almost felt like he was being a little exploited when they asked if he had anything to say to Carroll University students when it was clearly an accident," said Kammerud, a commercial and fine arts student.

The lockdown lasted about 90 minutes Tuesday after Wiedemann was seen by two students near the Kilgour-Trailblazer Tennis Center at 10:33 a.m.

Wiedemann has said he had found the airsoft gun, which shoots plastic pellets, in the trash and wanted to sell it to a friend. He was arrested Tuesday after local police, the FBI and an armored rescue vehicle circled his apartment.

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Town of Waukesha meeting lasts less than six minutes after board doesn't vote on new legal representation

April 18, 2013 10:30 a.m. | A special Town of Waukesha Board meeting was called Wednesday afternoon to look at removing its legal representation services and consider naming a new firm.

But Supervisor Joe Banske said that meeting was adjourned less than six minutes after it started as the board did not take action on the item after he read a motion that included the statement he did not "prefer to participate in a deceptive meeting practice."

Banske said he and new supervisor Larry Wolf and Mike Laska voted to have the meeting adjourned, while new chairman John Marek and supervisor Brian Fischer voted against it.

Marek, who defeated Angie E. Van Scyoc in the April 2 election for the chairman seat, is looking to appoint a new firm to represent the Town.

The attorneys at de la Mora & de la Mora, based in Elm Grove, currently represent the Town. 

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Town of Waukesha holds special meeting Thursday as water service annexation issue heats up

April 17, 2013 6:10 p.m. | Town of Waukesha - Owners of more than 1,000 acres of property are poised to seek annexation to Waukesha unless the town board includes more land area in the city's future water service area, newly elected Town Chairman John Marek said Wednesday.

"This is a travesty for the town," Marek said of the potentially dramatic shift of land to the city through annexations requested by town property owners.

The town board has scheduled a special meeting Thursday, but Marek is not optimistic the board will reverse a late January decision to place only a small northern portion of the rural community in the city's service area.

A change in course is possible after an April 2 election for town chairman became a referendum on whether to rescind the board's earlier action. Incumbent Town Chairman Angie Van Scyoc lost the race to Marek.

Marek won with a pledge of putting most of the town in the service area as an insurance policy for residents. Property owners who encounter well problems or failing septic systems should have the opportunity to connect to municipal services, Marek said.

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Man who caused lockdown at Carroll University is ticketed

April 17, 2013 3:22 p.m. | The man who walked around Carroll University with an air-soft gun Tuesday, causing the campus and several nearby schools to lock down, was ticketed for disorderly conduct, Waukesha police Capt. Ron Oremus said Wednesday.

Police arrested Michael Wiedemann, 50, of Waukesha on Tuesday after surrounding his apartment building a few blocks from campus, and his weapon was found to be nonlethal. Along with local police, an armored rescue vehicle and the FBI responded to the scene.

Wiedeman will pay a $303 municipal ticket, and the case is closed, Oremus said.

Oremus said that if the firearm had been real, Wiedemann could have been charged with carrying a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school. His behavior was also alarming because he was carrying the gun in his hand, rather than slung over his shoulder.

"That's enough to warrant police contact," Oremus said.

Waukesha employees accused of theft could face charges by May

April 17, 2013 1:16 p.m. | Three City of Waukesha employees being investigated for theft could face charges as early as May, District Attorney Brad Schimel said via email.

The Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department has referred charges to the DA for three individuals employed by the City of Waukesha’s Public Works Department and a partial investigation is still ongoing, a spokesperson for the department said.

Schimel said that the individuals are presumed innocent at this time and it is too early to say whether he will issue charges, or what charges will be considered.

He said the alleged thefts were of an “ongoing nature” and the total amount allegedly stolen exceeds $10,000. According to Wisconsin Statutes, theft exceeding $10,000 is considered a Class H felony, carrying a maximum prison sentence of six years.

Schimel said he was not aware of any allegations of extortion or bribery in the case and the DA’s review should be completed by mid-to-late May.

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Carroll University ends lockdown after finding man's gun shoots nonlethal pellets

April 16, 2013 11:50 p.m. | Waukesha - Carroll University was locked down for 90 minutes Tuesday after a man was reported walking with a gun on campus.

But the lockdown was lifted when police found the man at his apartment, and the weapon turned out to be an airsoft gun that shoots plastic pellets.

The incident happened as the nation was on edge the day after fatal bombings at the Boston Marathon.

The 50-year-old Waukesha man surrendered without incident when police, tipped off by witnesses, surrounded his apartment building a couple blocks from campus.

The weapon later was found and determined to be similar to a BB gun and not designed to be lethal, according to Waukesha police Capt. Ron Oremus. "These guns are often designed to look identical to real firearms and short of handling it, it is nearly impossible to tell the difference," he said.

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Flood watch in effect

April 16, 2013 10:59 a.m. | It's sunny now, but gray skies are expected to move back into the area Wednesday, with 2 to 3.5 inches of additional rain expected by Friday morning. 

The National Weather Service has issued a flood watch for much of Southeastern Wisconsin, including Waukesha County. Major flooding is possible on area rivers, including the Rock and Fox. The Weather Service cautions that water will collect in low-lying areas that are already saturated, leading to flooding in areas even away from waterways. 

Recount in District 11 confirms Patton the winner over Miller

April 12, 2013 4:28 p.m. | The recount is complete and it confirmed that Roger Patton is officially the winner of the District 11 aldermanic election.

Patton won with 203 votes, as challenger Lenny Miller, who requested the recount, had 195 votes.

Patton, the incumbent, gained one vote in the recount, while Miller's total did not change.

His total was 194 on Election Night but received one more vote once all the late absentee ballots came in, City of Waukesha Deputy Clerk-Treasurer Gina Kozlik said. 

Kozlik also added that because there were less than 1,000 total votes cast in the election and 10 votes separated the candidates, the previously reported  $25 fee that Miller would have to pay for the recount was waived. 

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Waukesha School Board unanimously approves David LaBorde as principal at Waukesha West

April 11, 2013 2:50 p.m. | When David LaBorde was hired as principal at Waukesha West following the abrupt resignation of David Towers in January, he didn't view himself as an interim principal.

"I come to work not with a mind-set of an interim anything," LaBorde said.

It's a good thing because he will be the principal moving forward after the Waukesha School Board on Wednesday unanimously approved him to be West's permanent principal. 

LaBorde previously spent 15 years as the principal at New Berlin West Middle and High School.

The School Board also named Brian Schlei, a physical education and health teacher at Waukesha North High School, the school's new athletic director/assistant principal for the 2013-14 school year.

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Don't put propane tanks in recycle bins, Waukesha County officials warn

April 11, 2013 1:38 p.m. | Waukesha County officials are reminding residents not to place propane cylinders in household blue recycling bins after workers at the county recycling facility found more than 100 in the first week of April.

Propane tanks can cause explosions during the recycling facility's baling process when materials are compressed by hundreds of pounds of pressure. Even when cylinders are empty, they remain pressurized and can explode when compacted.

In 2011, a cylinder exploded at the facility and caused a small fire. No one was injured.

Propane cylinder manufacturers usually include a tag with disposal information. Residents also can find local propane tank dealers to dispose of the cylinders at waukeshacounty.gov/recycling.

Flood warning for Waukesha

April 10, 2013 4:04 p.m. | The Fox River in Waukesha has reached flood levels. Flood stage is 6 feet, and the river level at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday was 6.1 feet.

At 6 feet, the river spreads into parks and lowland areas in the city, according to the National Weather Service. There are no known flooding effects to homes or streets.

With only two active supervisors, Town of Waukesha cancels board meeting

April 10, 2013 3:36 p.m. | With only two active Town of Waukesha Board supervisors before the new supervisors are sworn in next Tuesday, Thursday's joint Plan Commission and Town Board meeting has been canceled.

The meeting is rescheduled for 6:30 p.m. April 18 at Town Hall, W250 S3567 Center Road.

Supervisors Joe Banske and Mike Laska met Thursday and decided not to add any interim supervisors (2 and 4) or Town chairman for the period of April 10 to the end of the day April 16 upon being sworn into office.

"We see no urgent need to do so and we felt unwarranted to act," Banske said Wednesday after reading a statement at a special 1 p.m. Town Board meeting.

Next week, Banske and Laska will be joined by re-elected supervisor Brian Fischer and new chairman John Marek and supervisor Larry Wolf after they are sworn in on Tuesday.

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MMSD takes emergency measures to prevent overflows

April 09, 2013 10:28 p.m. | The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District took emergency steps at the Jones Island sewage treatment plant Tuesday in an attempt to prevent combined sewer overflows and backups of sewage into residential basements.

At 4:30 p.m., the district started pumping a blend of storm water and sewage out of the deep tunnel system and disinfecting the flow with chlorine at the plant before discharging it to Lake Michigan, MMSD Executive Director Kevin Shafer said. This step provides more space in the tunnel system to store sewage and storm water flowing into it and reduces the risk of overflows.

The district cannot divert more than 100 million gallons a day of wastewater around the full treatment process at Jones Island during a heavy rainstorm, under a state permit.

The process is known as combined sewer overflow treatment since solids settle out of wastewater stored in the tunnel and regulators have determined that is equivalent to primary treatment at the plant. Overflowing combined sanitary and storm sewers in central Milwaukee and eastern Shorewood are directed into the deep tunnel system in a deluge.

At the time this emergency step was announced Tuesday, both the Jones Island and South Shore sewage treatment plants were operating at capacity.

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Downtown Waukesha jewelry shop robbed Tuesday afternoon

April 09, 2013 1:59 p.m. | Krumrich's Jewelers in downtown Waukesha was robbed early Tuesday afternoon.

According to Capt. Ron Oremus of the Waukesha Police Department a subject entered the store at 12:36 p.m. and displayed a semi-automatic style handgun and demanded money.

He left the store, 234 W. Main St., on foot after obtaining an undisclosed amount of cash.

The suspect is described as a white male about 6 feet tall, thin build, early 20’s, with about a day’s worth of whiskers, wearing a black hoodie and jeans.

Oremus said officers made a check of the surrounding area, but did not locate the suspect. There is no suspect vehicle information available at this time, Oremus said.

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It's official: Waukesha downtown BID will be terminated

April 08, 2013 5:39 p.m. | The downtown Business Improvement District is officially no more.

Community Development Director Steve Crandell confirmed Monday that more than the required 50 percent of the property base value that represents the downtown district remained on the petition to have the taxing district disbanded.

In total, Crandell said 100 of the 154 properties were included on the petition, which totaled about $31.6 million, 59 percent of the value. 

The BID's 2013 base value is about $52.9 million.

A petition was filed in February to have the BID disbanded after property owners did not like how the new BID Board would be using its tax.

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FAA delays closure of Waukesha County Aiport's control tower to June 15

April 05, 2013 3:43 p.m. | It was just two weeks ago that the Federal Aviation Administration said that 149 airport control towers, including Waukesha County’s Crites Field, would begin a four-week closing period April 7.

Kurt Stanich, airport manager, said the Waukesha County Airport was on the third batch of closures scheduled for May 5.

But that decision, Stanich said, has been pushed back until June 15.

In a press release released by the FAA today, it said the additional time will allow the agency to attempt to resolve multiple legal challenges to the closure decisions. 

“Extending the transition deadline will give the FAA and airports more time to execute the changes to the National Airspace System,” the release said.

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Miller will request a recount in Waukesha's District 11 aldermanic election

April 05, 2013 2:33 p.m. | Eight votes were all that separated Roger Patton, the incumbent, and his challenger Lenny Miller in Tuesday’s District 11 aldermanic election.

Given the razor-thin margin, 202 votes to 194, Miller said Friday that he will request a recount.

“With it being so close, I just want to rule out any errors or voter machine malfunctions,” Miller said. “Every vote counts.”

The votes must be canvassed, which will be done on Monday, City of Waukesha Deputy Clerk-Treasurer Gina Kozlik said.

Miller will then send a recount petition to the clerk’s office.

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Waukesha marathoner - and disabled firefighter - sues Fox News for defamation

April 05, 2013 12:03 p.m. | A Waukesha County man who retired from the North Shore Fire Department over an arm injury has sued Fox News and anchor Megyn Kelly for their 2011 coverage of the fact he runs marathons while collecting disability payments.

Aaron Marjala's suit, filed in Milwaukee County Circuit Court, also names New York attorney Lee Armstrong, a guest commentator on Kelly's show, and Robert C. Whitaker, the chief of the North Shore Fire Department, as defendants. The action for "defamation per se" seeks unspecified actual, consequential and punitive damages, plus attorneys fees and costs, and any other relief a court may deem "just and equitable."

Marjala is represented by Michael F. Hart and Craig S. Powell of Kohler and Hart.

Marjala worked as a firefighter with North Shore from 2002 until he was determined to be permanently disabled as a firefighter in January 2008, due to nerve damage in  his right arm that persisted despite two surgeries, according to the complaint.

In September 2011, WITI-TV (Channel 6),  Milwaukee's Fox affiliate, broadcast a story highlighting Marjala's continued participation in marathons while on disability. In that report, Whitaker said Marjala's payments "needs to be exposed," and "The system may need some reform," implying that Marjala's case involved fraud or abuse, according to the complaint.

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Carroll University collecting meals for the hungry through April 13

April 05, 2013 11:58 a.m. | Carroll University in Waukesha is again sponsoring a nationwide effort to collect meals for the hungry. In two years, the effort has raised 60,000 meals; the goal this year is 35,000 meals.

Donations of non-perishable food can be dropped off from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. through Friday, April 12, in the lobby of Carroll’s campus center, 100 N. East Ave. in Waukesha (Sunday hours: 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.), and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 13 in the center’s parking lot. Other locations in Wisconsin and their hours of collection are listed at www.carrollu.edu/alumni/food. Visitors to the site can also purchase meals online.

Donations additionally can be made to any local food pantry; in that case, donors are asked to fill out a simple form to have their donation included in the total.

Waukesha man convicted of providing drugs in overdose deaths

April 04, 2013 7:26 p.m. | Rarely is the court’s compassion and its sense of justice in such synchronicity as it was Thursday evening in room C219 of the Waukesha County Courthouse.

Shortly after the completion of the Drug Treatment Court, presided over by Judge William Domina every Thursday, Waukesha resident Kevin Cobus was found guilty by a jury of his peers on two counts of first-degree reckless homicide by delivery of drugs.

The Drug Court and the Len Bias Law under which Cobus was prosecuted are the carrot and stick used by the criminal justice system to curb the malignant growth of narcotic drug abuse in Waukesha County.

The 1989 law, which allows the state to prosecute dealers who provide drugs to individuals who die of an overdose, was named after college basketball phenom Len Bias, who died of a cocaine overdose shortly after being picked up by the Boston Celtics in the 1986 draft.

The Drug Court allows high-risk criminal offenders the opportunity to enter a rigorous drug treatment program, which requires constant monitoring and regular court appearances to track progress. If participants, primarily heroin addicts, complete the program, they have the opportunity to have their charges reduced or even dropped.

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Friday's prescribed burn ban at Prairie Home Cemetery postponed

April 04, 2013 2:18 p.m. | The Prairie Home Cemetery postponed a prescribed burn of about 12 acres of the cemetery’s prairie habitat for Friday.

Midwest Prairies LLC, of Milton, was scheduled to have a professional crew of workers at the cemetery, 605 S. Prairie Ave., to conduct the burn.

But Brenner said due to wind conditions it has been delayed.

Brenner said Prairie Home Cemetery installed a prairie habitat several years ago with a portion being used for natural burials and another adjoining portion is a reserved area. The natural habitat has environmental advantages such as not requiring weekly mowing and regular herbicide applications, which Brenner said can be costly. 

But prescribed burns are one aspect of a prairie’s rejuvenation, which takes place every three to five years.

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Pastor donates life savings for new church building

April 03, 2013 4:38 p.m. | Waukesha - Leading by example, True Life Church Pastor, Rev. Michael Hook, has invested his retirement life savings in his church’s new building campaign. The campaign has raised more than $500,000 in two years - $100,000 of it coming directly from Hook - according to a church board member.

“Lives will be changed in this new facility, impacting believers for future generations,” Hook said. At 61,

Hook is only a few years from retirement. When asked about his plans for the future, now that he has donated his savings, Hook said, “I’ll do what I’ve always done after pastoring 39 years, trust God to provide.”

The new building, at 1615 Silvernail Road, will be dedicated Saturday, April 6, with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 1:45 p.m. Church Trustee and Building Campaign Director Caroline Jens, is scheduled to speak about the success of the campaign. A worship service starts at 2 p.m. and is open to the public.

Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas is scheduled to attend the ribbon cutting. Several local pastors are scheduled to speak during the service, including the son of the founding pastor, Ed Arrington, and church district superintendent, John Putnam.

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Waukesha GuitarTown artists pick up 10-foot tall guitars

April 03, 2013 2:51 p.m. | Guitars are popping up all over downtown Waukesha.

Volunteers returned the 10-foot tall guitars from last year’s GuitarTown project from their indoor location to their outdoor resting place on Monday for the spring and summer. Those guitars are part of an outdoor walking tour in downtown.

And on Wednesday, the 15 new large fiberglass sculpture guitars that will be part of GuitarTown 2013 arrived from Nashville, Tenn.

The professional and student artists at local schools picked up their guitars at the Leather Restoration Company in downtown Waukesha.

The artists will now decorate their oversized guitar before it is clear-coated and unveiled in June during the opening weekend of Friday Night Live, a summer music series in Waukesha.

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DA hopes that 4th time is a charm in alleged domestic abuse stabbing

April 03, 2013 1:23 p.m. | The Waukesha County District Attorney’s Office has filed charges for the fourth time against a 26-year-old Waukesha woman accused of stabbing her husband twice in September 2011, believing he was cheating on her.

The woman, who will not be identified to protect the alleged victim’s identity, was charged on April 2 in Waukesha County Circuit Court with first-degree recklessly endangering safety, substantial battery with a dangerous weapon, disorderly conduct and felony bail jumping.

Assistant District Attorney Lesli Boese has charged the woman for the same crime three separate times in the past two years, but every time the charges were dismissed without prejudice by the presiding judge, meaning the state could charge the woman again.

The most recent charges, filed in November, were dismissed by the Judge Donald Hassin, Jr. on March 28, mere days before the case was supposed to go to trial. According to online court records, the prosecutors were having issues managing a witness for the case.

According to court records, the original charges filed against the woman in September 2011 were dismissed after the woman’s husband, the primary witness in the case, refused to testify without a Dari interpreter. Dari is a modern Persian dialect, spoken in some parts of the Middle East.

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Waukesha teenager charged with stealing home safe

April 03, 2013 11:44 a.m. | A 19-year-old man has been charged with allegedly breaking and entering into a Waukesha woman’s home on March 23 to steal a safe belonging to her son.

The man claimed that he stole the safe because it contained $80, drug paraphernalia and approximately a half ounce of marijuana and he split the ill-gained profits with two other men.

Waukesha resident Dustin J. Biersack was charged on March 29 with burglary of a building or dwelling, a felony that carries a maximum penalty of over 12 years in prison, $25,000 in fines, or both.

According to the criminal complaint:

City of Waukesha Police were dispatched to the home of Diane Howard at 822 Beechwood Ave. shortly after 1 a.m. on March 23 after receiving reports of vandalism.

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Election results make it official in uncontested races in Waukesha

April 02, 2013 11:35 p.m. | With no challengers to their seats, it was just a formality for four aldermen in the City of Waukesha and one in the Town of Waukesha on Tuesday.

Alderman and Common Council President Joe Pieper (District 4), Alderman Paul Ybarra (District 5), Alderwoman Kathleen Cummings (District 9) and Alderwoman Joan Francoeur (District 14) all were officially re-elected to new three-year terms.

There were a small amount of write-in votes in all four elections but none to seriously challenge the incumbents.

With their re-election and after the four incumbents who had challengers getting re-elected, the City of Waukesha's 15-member Common Council remains almost intact.

The only changes are with District 12 and 15 due to those aldermen not seeking re-election.

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Payne is new District 15 alderman in City of Waukesha

April 02, 2013 10:51 p.m. | Duane Paulson's replacement is the 29-year-old Cory Payne.

Payne won a seat on the Common Council when he defeated challenger Russel Stewart, 295-167, in the District 15 aldermanic election Tuesday.

Paulson, who has served on the Common Council since 2010 and is a Waukesha County supervisor, is not seeking re-election.

Perry wins District 12 aldermanic seat in City of Waukesha

April 02, 2013 10:44 p.m. | Aaron Perry is the new District 12 alderman.

Perry, who received 59 percent of the vote, beat Gary Krivos (41 percent), 286-198, for the aldermanic position.

He replaces Alderman Richard Hastings, who was not seeking re-election.

Patton edges Miller by eight votes in District 11

April 02, 2013 10:34 p.m. | The District 11 aldermanic result shows that every vote truly does count.

Incumbent Roger Patton edged challenger Lenny Miller by eight votes, 202-194, to retain his seat on the Common Council.

Like District 8, the Patton vs. Miller ballot was a rematch from the 2010 election.

Patton won the five-person primary over Miller by 44 votes in February.

Miller was hoping he would close the gap since there were more than 90 votes for the three primary candidates who were eliminated.

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Skinner upends Vitale again in District 8 aldermanic race

April 02, 2013 10:26 p.m. | Three years have passed and the results are the same.

In a rematch from the 2010 election in the District 8 aldermanic race between Alderman Vance Skinner and Emanuele Vitale, the incumbent Skinner cruised to a victory over his challenger once again in a 441 to 240 vote.

Skinner, a restaurant owner in Waukesha, unseated Vitale three years ago.

Vitale had served six terms (18 years) on the Council and was attempting to regain a seat.

However, with his big victory, Skinner gets another three-year term on the Common Council. 

Jankowski keeps his aldermanic seat in District 6

April 02, 2013 10:21 p.m. | Adam Jankowski, the incumbent, defeated Marga Krumins, 176-90, to retain his District 6 aldermanic seat on the Common Council.

Jankowski, who received 66 percent of the vote, has served District 6 since last summer when the Council chose him over Krumins after the death of Alderman Brian White.

Krumins, who garnered 34 percent of the vote, attempted to get on the Council once again but came up short with the voters this time.

She also ran unsuccessfully for the 97th Assembly District seat against Rep. Bill Kramer (R-Waukesha) last fall. 

Thieme rolls to victory in Waukesha's District 1 aldermanic race

April 02, 2013 10:17 p.m. | Alderman Terry Thieme easily retained his District 1 seat on the Common Council.

The incumbent, who also rolled in the primary, had 410 votes (69 percent) compared to challenger Mark Myers' 182 votes (31 percent).

Wolf unseats German for supervisor's seat

April 02, 2013 9:24 p.m. | Everett German lost his supervisor's seat to challenger Larry Wolf in the Town of Waukesha Tuesday.

Wolf received 1,529 votes, while German had 1,169 votes.

Wolf will join a Town Board that includes Brian Fischer, who ran unopposed Tuesday, Mike Laska, Joe Banske and new Town Chairman John Marek, who defeated Angie E. Van Scyoc today for her seat.

Like Marek's win, Wolf's victory shows the Town residents wanted change on the board as both incumbents came up short in retaining their seats. 

Marek defeats Van Scyoc in Town of Waukesha chairman election

April 02, 2013 9:04 p.m. | The Town of Waukesha has a new chairman.

Challenger John Marek defeated incumbent Angie E. Van Scyoc by almost 200 votes, 1,502 to 1,309, in the general election Tuesday.

Marek, a general contractor/real estate investor, had no prior political experience but ran an aggressive campaign against Van Scyoc.

Van Scyoc, who owns a management consulting firm, had served on the board since 2010 when she took over the chairman position after winning a recall election.

Before that, she served on the Town of Waukesha Plan Commission for 18 years.

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Two Waukesha men charged in major cocaine, marijuana bust

April 02, 2013 3:36 p.m. | Two Waukesha men were charged with allegedly selling thousands of dollars worth of cocaine and marijuana to a confidential informant working with county law enforcement over the past two months

Raul H. Alonso, 36, and Otilio Benitez Gonzalez, 32, were charged on March 29 in Waukesha County Circuit Court with 13 drug offenses altogether.

Gonzalez was charged with six counts of delivering cocaine, four counts of delivering marijuana, and two counts of maintaining a drug trafficking location.

Alonso was charged with maintaining a drug trafficking location, possession with intent to deliver marijuana and possession with intent to deliver cocaine.

According to the criminal complaint:

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Trial begins for Waukesha man charged with supplying heroin in two drug overdose deaths

April 01, 2013 11:51 a.m. | A 12-person jury was being selected Monday in the trial for a Waukesha man accused of supplying heroin to two people who died from a drug overdose.

Kevin S. Cobus, 28, was charged last year with two counts of first-degree reckless homicide/deliver drugs as a party to a crime in the deaths of Jamie L. Hansen, 24, of Muskego and Cody C. Riggs, 26, of Delafield. 

According to prosecutors, Cobus allegedly assisted Riggs and Hansen in purchasing heroin.

Hansen died July 12, 2011 and Riggs on Jan. 6, 2012 from drug overdoses.

Opening statements were scheduled for later Monday with the trial continuing throughout the week at the Waukesha County Courthouse.

Community Watch

» Slain brothers, wife in Lafayette County were retired dairy, hog farmers Updated:  4/29

» Waukesha West academic decathlon team takes ninth at nationals 4/29

» Waukesha man suspect in triple homicide over weekend 4/29

» Town of Waukesha postpones decision on water service area 4/26

» Steve Miller, Billy Gibbons serve on Waukesha Les Paul exhibit board 4/25

» Callaway charged with murder, manhunt continues 4/24

» Police continue search for homicide suspect Eddie Callaway 4/23

» Waukesha murder suspect, Eddie Callaway, still at large 4/23

» Waukesha police investigating a homicide at Moreland and Summit, seeking anyone with information 4/22

» Waukesha police to seek charges against man in standoff 4/22

» Waukesha police, deputies shoot possible suicidal man 4/21

» Two Milwaukee men sought in heroin overdose death 4/19

» Man accused of watching pornography in Waukesha McDonald's 4/19

» Town of Waukesha holds off on water service area decision 4/18

» Jesse Alba named Waukesha's new fire chief 4/18

» Carroll University students raise money to cover man's lockdown ticket 4/18

» Town of Waukesha meeting lasts less than six minutes after board doesn't vote on new legal representation 4/18

» Town of Waukesha holds special meeting Thursday as water service annexation issue heats up 4/17

» Man who caused lockdown at Carroll University is ticketed 4/17

» Waukesha employees accused of theft could face charges by May 4/17

» Carroll University ends lockdown after finding man's gun shoots nonlethal pellets Updated:  4/16

» Flood watch in effect 4/16

» Recount in District 11 confirms Patton the winner over Miller 4/12

» Waukesha School Board unanimously approves David LaBorde as principal at Waukesha West 4/11

» Don't put propane tanks in recycle bins, Waukesha County officials warn 4/11

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