Waukesha - After a 90-minute meeting behind closed doors, the Common Council unanimously voted Tuesday night to strip newly elected Mayor Jeff Scrima of any supervisory authority over City Administrator Lori Curtis Luther.
Without discussion or explanation, aldermen amended Luther's employment agreement so that the Common Council evaluates her, recommends and votes on her salary and is her direct supervisor. The amended language also requires Luther to meet with the council and committee chairs on a regular basis.
In an interview Monday, Luther said she had expressed concerns about the terms and conditions of her employment with Common Council President Paul Ybarra. He brought the matter before the full council.
Luther said she wouldn't say that friction between herself and Scrima was at the bottom of her concerns. However, Luther has publicly been at odds with him, for example, questioning his secretly taping a meeting between herself, Scrima and two attorneys.
Scrima declined to cite specifics of their relationship.» Read Full Article
Waukesha - The Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, in a letter to a regional business group, reaffirms its recommendation that Waukesha should switch from deep wells to Lake Michigan for its water supply.
Waukesha's application for a Great Lakes water supply is consistent with the findings of the commission's preliminary regional water supply plan, SEWRPC Executive Director Ken Yunker says in a letter to representatives of the Sustainable Water Supply Coalition.
An advisory committee studied possible options for four years before selecting a Lake Michigan supply for Waukesha, according to Yunker. The advisory committee did not recommend continued use of deep or shallow wells, or a combination of wells drawing water from deep and shallow aquifers.
The commission letter was distributed to city officials Monday in an attempt to build support for restarting state review of Waukesha's application, coalition executive director Brian Nemoir said.
"City officials need assurance that all possible options have been studied," Nemoir said.» Read Full Article
Waukesha - La Casa de Esperanza is hosting a three-day Fiesta Waukesha in Frame Park this weekend featuring food and entertainment along the banks of the Fox River.
It is the agency's largest fund raiser of the year. It will run from 4 to 11 p.m. Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, and 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Sunday.
Admission is free, but tickets are sold for food and wristbands for carnival rides cost $15.
Fiesta Waukesha is underwritten by the Waukesha State Bank. It will include performances by Ballet Folklorico Mexico, feature a number of area bands, free Salsa dance lessons, a pepper eating contest at half-time of the US World Cup game broadcast Saturday, free children's activities, a raffle, and an international marketplace.
Carl Zach Cycling Classic. The free rides are courtesy BeneCo of Wisconsin Inc.Waukesha - Waukesha Metro Transit will offer free bus rides Sunday on all routes and on Metrolift in coordination with the
The bus system will not operate on Sunday, July 4, though services as usual will be provided Saturday and Monday during the holiday weekend.
Waukesha - Seventh District Ald. Peggy Bull, who has nine months left on her three-year term, is the target of a recall.
Frank Greuel and Wayne Dahnke, listed as officers of a recall committee called Concerned Citizens of District 7, registered the start of the effort on Thursday. Organizers have 60 days to get 384 signatures to force a recall election, according to city Clerk-Treasurer Tom O'Neill.
The stated reason for the recall is that "Alderwoman Bull is not adequately or appropriately representing the interest or view of her constituents."
Neither Greuel nor Dahnke could be reached for comment Friday.
However, Bull said she had been working with Greuel over several months, particularly on the issue of a new transitional living center for sex offenders that is on the same street - Darlene Drive - as Greuel's property.» Read Full Article
Waukesha County Chamber of Commerce and the Waukesha County Action Network, formed in 2005 to press for action on public policy issues, are merging as a new Waukesha County Business Alliance, spokesmen for both groups announced ThursdayWaukesha - The 92-year-old
The combined organization will have 900 members and will have a greater impact on public policy issues, allow for increased financial support for advocacy and will allow for efficiencies in administration, organization leaders said.
Suzanne Kelley, Waukesha County Chamber of Commerce president, will lead the new alliance.
"The Chamber and WCAN have shared missions of advancing economic growth and maintaining an excellent quality of life in Waukesha County through a strong, vibrant and engaged business community," she said in a statement. "Their complimentary agendas made joining forces a natural evolution for the two organizations. Their common goal is to most effectively represent the sizable and diverse Waukesha County business community."
WCAN President Margaret Farrow, a former lieutenant governor and founding member of WCAN, said Waukesha County has about 12,000 businesses and the second highest equalized value in the state, making it a strong contributor to southeastern Wisconsin's vitality.» Read Full Article
Five Wisconsin school districts that borrowed money from a European bank to make bad investments did not pay a $466,000 interest payment owed by their trusts this week, according to a lobbyist representing the bank.
DEPFA Bank seized $5.6 million from the districts' trusts in March and demanded that they immediately repay $165 million that had been lent to them in 2006 to help them purchase the $200 million in investments that now are believed to be virtually worthless. The money in the trusts held by the five districts - Kenosha, Kimberly, Waukesha, West Allis-West Milwaukee and Whitefish Bay - previously had been used to pay quarterly interest payments to the bank.
But, while the bank insisted that the districts should have taken on their trusts' obligation, an attorney for the five districts said district officials were only required to consider whether to honor their agreement with the bank once a year during the budget cycle. All the districts already had commenced deliberations for their 2010-'11 budget cycles without DEPFA raising the interest issue, attorney C.J. Krawczyk said.
"The budget calendars were long known to DEPFA and, if they wanted to tack on still one more quarterly payment, it seems to me that should have been something they should have taken the initiative to do," he said.
The districts have sued the two investment banks - Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. and Royal Bank of Canada - involved with creating the investments and selling the district trusts. The lawsuit, which is pending in Milwaukee County Circuit Court, alleges that the banks misled district officials into believing that the risky securities were actually safe investments in high-grade corporate bonds.
state-of-the-county speech to County Board members Wednesday night, praising such efforts as the county's alcohol treatment court, its recent swine-flu clinics, its business climate and several county budget-saving measures.Waukesha - Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas delivered an upbeat
Waukesha County created the state's first alcohol treatment court in 2006 and this year celebrated its 100th graduate. Vrakas noted several other counties had established similar courts since then.
On the H1N1 clinics, Vrakas said that more than 500 county employees and volunteers vaccinated about 16,000 county residents. At the same time, the clinics under-spent the budget by $105,000 because it relied on county staff rather than outside nursing pool staff, clerical support and paramedic services, he said.
Vrakas credited county government's emphasis on its employee wellness program with helping to limit health insurance cost increases last year to less than 2%. More than 500 employees participate in biometric health screening and many others participate in fitness and wellness information programs, he said.
"Investing in employees is one of the most crucial things an employer can do to improve and sustain a successful workplace," he said. "The health of employees, in many ways, dictates the success and longevity of a business."» Read Full Article
Waukesha - The Waukesha County Board Wednesday unanimously approved an advisory referendum Nov. 2 that seeks to stop legislative transfers from the state transportation fund for other general budget purposes.
The question on the November ballot throughout Waukesha County will read: "Should the Wisconsin Constitution be amended to prohibit any further transfers or lapses from the segregated transportation fund?"
Ultimately, a state constitutional amendment would require passage by the Legislature in two consecutive sessions and then a binding statewide referendum - a process that would take at least through 2013.
Other counties in Wisconsin are taking a similar tack, pushed by a coalition of groups including the Transportation Development Association, the Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association and the Wisconsin County Highways Association.
Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas proposed the referendum.» Read Full Article
It's the opening day of Summerfest, and it's also your chance to win some free Summerfest tickets.
All you need to do is follow @MyCommunityNOW on Twitter and tweet the following: "Follow @MyCommunityNOW and RT this for a chance to win a pair of #Summerfest tickets."
We will be giving away a total of five pairs of tickets in two random drawings. The first drawing will be held at noon tomorrow. The second drawing will be held at noon on Wednesday. You have to tweet the message only once to be entered in both drawings.
Winners will be contacted on Twitter and will need to pick the tickets up at our office in Waukesha.
Waukesha - The Waukesha County Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday started rallying its members to sign an online petition in support of the Waukesha Common Council's April 8 decision to seek a Lake Michigan water supply.
Chamber representatives will present the petitions to the council at its June 29 meeting, said Brian Nemoir, executive director of the Sustainable Water Supply Coalition.
The coalition, which represents more than 50 employers in the city and county, including ProHealth Care, Waukesha Memorial Hospital and Quad/Graphics, created the online petition distributed Wednesday, Nemoir said.» Read Full Article
Olivia Teehan scored the crucial goal in a shootout this afternoon to give the Homesteads girls soccer team a win over Waukesha West in a WIAA Division 1 quarterfinal game at the Uihlein Soccer Park.
The shootout came after the game was scoreless after regulation and two overtime periods.
In the shootout, Aubrey Quick scored first to make it 1-0, but Waukesha West answered with a goal to tie it up.
Lindsay Jagla scored to give the Highlanders a 2-1 advantage, while West missed its scoring chance, which set up the opportunity for Teehan to nail the winning shot.» Read Full Article
The game went to overtime before West's Caysi Shouse scored the game-winning goal about 6 minutes into the extra time.
Senior defender Amanda DuPont netted two goals for Ike.
A team from the Journal Sentinel placed first Thursday in the annual spelling bee benefiting the Literacy Council of Greater Waukesha.
The three member-team successfully spelled C-A-M-A-R-I-L-L-A - a word used to describe a group of unofficial, secret advisors - to take first place. A team from the Mukwonago Public Library was the runner-up. Spellers representing last year's winning team, the Waukesha County Museum, finished third.
Other participants in the 18th annual event were teams from the Waukesha Public Library, Clarcorp Industrial Sales, Metal Tek, The Equitable Bank, the Waukesha County Federated Library System, Waukesha County Technical College and tutors from the Literacy Council.
The Literacy Council provides one-on-one tutoring in reading, writing, spelling, math and English as a second language to people who live or work in Waukesha County.
For the second time in as many years, the New Berlin Eisenhower girls soccer team saw its season end against Waukesha West.
The Lions fell, 4-3, in overtime to the Wolverines in the team's sectional semifinal this afternoon at Eisenhower.
Senior defender Amanda DuPont netted her first two scores of the season for the Lions, the second of which came with less than 4 minutes left in the second half to force overtime.
But Wolverine forward Caysi Shouse dribbled through traffic and and scored the game-winning goal, which just barely clipped the fingertips of goalie Kelsey Braatz, at the 6:05 mark in overtime.
Kaley Shandley put the Lions ahead, 1-0, midway though the first half on a corner kick score and DuPont's first goal, a 30-yard direct kick, gave Eisenhower a 2-1 lead at halftime.» Read Full Article
Waukesha - Waukesha County Judge Richard Congdon - a governor's appointee who was defeated in his first election for the seat in April - has not applied for reappointment to another vacancy.
Thursday was the deadline for applicants seeking appointment by Gov. Jim Doyle for the circuit court judgeship being vacated by Judge Paul Reilly.
Reilly was elected to the appeals court and will take office in August.
The governor's office released the list of applicants for appointment to Reilly's seat as of 5 p.m. Thursday, though other applications postmarked Thursday may come in later, a spokesman said.
The applicants are:» Read Full Article
Waukesha — State Department of Natural Resources Secretary Matthew Frank told Mayor Jeff Scrima Wednesday in a letter that the department will not begin reviewing Waukesha's application for a Great Lakes water supply until the mayor and other city officials stop their search for other possible sources.
A 2008 Great Lakes protection compact requires a municipality seeking lake water to demonstrate "there is no reasonable water supply alternative" other than the lakes, Frank says in the letter.
Though the city's application documents repeatedly state that lake water is the only sustainable water supply option available to Waukesha, the mayor has publicly stated his preference to continue evaluating other options, such as more wells, the Fox River and even continuing to remove radium from water pumped out of deep wells in a sandstone aquifer.
"The city must confirm that Great Lakes water is in fact the only long term sustainable water option," Frank says in the letter.
The Common Council approved submitting the application on April 8, and it was delivered to the DNR on May 20. Scrima, however, criticized a Great Lakes application in his successful campaign for mayor. He was elected April 6, defeating first-term mayor Larry Nelson, who championed the Great Lakes application.» Read Full Article
Waukesha - City Attorney Curt Meitz has rejected Mayor Jeff Scrima's demand for a detailed summary of all changes made to the content of Waukesha's application for Great Lakes water between its approval by the Common Council on April 8 and its delivery to state environmental officials on May 20.
No substantial changes were made to the application so Meitz did not send the final document back to the council for review before it was submitted to the state Department of Natural Resources, Meitz says in a memo responding to Scrima's June 1 request for a copy of the application with highlighted changes.
"Had there been any substantive changes, I would have advised that the application go back to the common council for explanation and approval," Meitz says in the June 8 memo. His memo was released publicly Wednesday.
In a telephone interview, Meitz described revisions to the document as nothing more than "rearranging the furniture" and "changing the format."
"The technical, engineering document approved by the council was molded into a legal document," he said. Such a revision was needed to emphasize how the city's request to purchase Lake Michigan water would comply with state law and a Great Lakes protection compact, according to Meitz.» Read Full Article
Waukesha - Just four days out of prison, David A. Wapp savagely murdered his ex-girlfriend on Sept. 5 after they quarreled in her car.
Moments after he attacked Samantha Peterson, Wapp, with blood on his hands and shirt, told an acquaintance, "I stabbed her, I killed her bro. I'm going to go to prison for the rest of my life."
On Wednesday, that prediction came true. Waukesha County Circuit Judge J. Mac Davis sentenced Wapp, 30, to life in prison with no possibility for parole for killing Peterson, 21, of Waukesha.
Wapp, who has a long and violent criminal record, stabbed and cut Peterson 37 times in the chest, neck and arms in two separate attacks the night of Sept. 5.
"He's a dangerous man, and they don't offer any treatment anywhere on this earth for what he's got, what he is. David Wapp is evil," Davis said after hearing Peterson's mother and friends call for the harshest sentence possible and Wapp's relatives asking for some leniency.» Read Full Article
Milwaukee Common Council President Willie Hines has weighed in on New Berlin’s controversial affordable housing project proposed for the Waukesha County suburb’s City Center.
In a statement, Hines reminded New Berlin that part of Milwaukee’s agreement to provide New Berlin with Lake Michigan water required New Berlin to “take a hard look at housing demographics and public transportation alternatives.”
The Milwaukee Common Council has an adopted policy that links water sales to affordable housing and public transit.
That policy has Waukesha Mayor Jeff Scrima wary of obtaining Lake Michigan water from Milwaukee. Scrima has said he is worried that a water contract with Milwaukee would allow that city to intrude in Waukesha affairs.
Waukesha is seeking a lake supply so that it can halt use of deep wells pumping radium-tainted water out of a sandstone aquifer.» Read Full Article
Waukesha - Dennis C. Marth, who in September 2007 was released to live in Waukesha with strict supervision under the state's sexual predator law, has asked a judge to free him from the law's restrictions.
A trial on Marth's petition is scheduled for 9 a.m. Friday before Waukesha County Circuit Judge William Domina.
Marth, 49, was imprisoned for the sexual assault of two boys, ages 4 and 5, nearly 25 years ago. As he approached his mandatory prison release date, prosecutors sought his commitment to secure inpatient treatment on the grounds that he was a sexually violent person, and a jury agreed in 2001.
Waukesha County Judge Kathryn Foster eventually allowed Marth to be released with supervision under the civil commitment order, and he has been living on Buena Vista Ave. near the courthouse since September 2007.
The supervision order included treatment services, electronic monitoring, satellite tracking, mandatory escorts outside his residence for the first year, face-to-face visits from a corrections agent and a list of four dozen rules he had to follow.» Read Full Article
The Wilde Automotive Group has opened a new Honda sales and service facility at the Highway 18/164 intersection in Waukesha.
The newly completed facility is 50,000 square feet and covers 8 acres, the company said in a statement Friday. The dealership has also added 25 people total to its sales and service departments at the new facility.
"We are excited to more than double the size of our previous facility, as well as our inventory, and be able to offer these new amenities, to ensure the best possible customer experience, at our new dealership," Jim Reifenrath, general manager at Wilde Honda, said in the statement.
A man who allegedly robbed a Waukesha bank while wearing surgical gloves was arrested after police found the gloves outside the bank and DNA on them was matched to the man, Waukesha police said Thursday.
Paul E. Tusa of Sun Prairie told investigators he randomly picked the First Federal Bank, 134 Wisconsin Ave., for the robbery while driving east on I-94 on April 29, police said.
A police officer found the gloves outside the bank. The gloves were sent to the State Crime Laboratory for testing, eventually yielding the match, police said.
Town of Waukesha - Town Clerk Kathy Karalewitz said Thursday that she will certify petitions for a recall election of Town Chairman Robert Tallinger Sr. and Supervisor Stephen Smart and on Monday ask the Town Board to approve election dates.
A group calling itself Concerned Citizens of the Town of Waukesha organized the recall because the two voted in favor of a land division that could eventually lead to the City of Waukesha's drilling of shallow wells in the town, near the Vernon Marsh. More than 1,800 signatures were filed on petitions accusing the two of negligence in "protecting and promoting the Town of Waukesha's water supply."
A July 13 election is planned, Karalewitz said. Tallinger's and Smart's names will automatically be on the ballot, along with any other candidates who file nomination papers by 5 p.m. on June 15.
If three or more candidates, including the incumbents, are on the ballot, the July 13 election will serve as a primary election to narrow the candidates for each office to two. The general election would then be held Aug. 10.
Karalewitz said candidates can begin circulating nomination papers, which require from 20 to 100 signatures of eligible voters, on Friday.» Read Full Article
Waukesha - A teacher accused of sexually assaulting a girl was ordered to stand trial Thursday after a Waukesha police detective testified the teacher admitted during questioning that he had sex with the girl on a number of occasions.
Bryan F. Wendt, 27, an Oconomowoc School District teacher, was charged May 24 with two counts of second-degree sexual assault of a child and two counts of child enticement-sexual contact.
Not guilty pleas were entered on his behalf after Thursday's preliminary hearing in Waukesha County Circuit Court.
Wendt met the girl when he was a student teacher at the Waukesha School District's Central Middle School in the spring of 2008, according to court records.
They developed a friendship and it turned sexual in the summer of 2009, according to the criminal complaint and testimony from Detective Richard Haines. The complaint says the sexual assaults occurred between Aug. 17, 2009, and May 14, 2010.» Read Full Article
Waukesha - Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas wants county residents to speak up in an effort to prevent lawmakers' use of the state transportation fund to balance the state budget.
In an ordinance sent to the County Board on Thursday, Vrakas is seeking an advisory referendum in November that would call for an amendment to the Wisconsin Constitution requiring that "all transportation funds collected or received be used solely to fund Wisconsin's transportation system and infrastructure."
Citing the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, the ordinance says the state has transferred about $1.2 billion from the segregated transportation fund to the state's general fund in the past decade and replaced $800 million of it with general obligation bonds. As a result, the amount available for transportation purposes was reduced by $400 million while use of bonding to fund ongoing operations puts the state in a "precarious position," the ordinance states.
Debt service on those bonds must come from the general fund, which hurts its ability to fund other aid programs for counties, it continues. The practice also hurts the state's bond rating, the ordinance says.
The state's segregated transportation fund is financed primarily from the state's gas tax and vehicle registration fees.» Read Full Article
Waukesha - A man charged with homicide in the death of a fellow drug abuser was ordered Wednesday to appear at a court hearing on accusations he failed to comply with pretrial drug treatment.
The Waukesha County Circuit Court hearing for Jason M. Earhart is set for June 14.
According to online court records, the pretrial drug treatment program notified the court on Tuesday that Earhart, who is free on $20,000 bail, has failed to comply with its program.
He had been ordered to disclose his history of abusing opiates to a doctor and to participate in a "cognitive restructuring" treatment program.
Earhart, 30, of Waukesha is charged with first-degree reckless homicide. He gave a fatal dose of morphine to Thomas R. Pike II, 29, according to a criminal complaint.» Read Full Article
Waukesha - The Waukesha Common Council has unanimously agreed to buy a former City of Pewaukee fire station on 3.8 acres at Northview and Meadowbrook roads for $475,000.
The property would serve to extend the adjacent 22-acre Meadowview Park site. The building, approximately 3,900 square feet, would be used as a maintenance facility for future park development and also for other west side parks and city buildings.
Purchase of the property, approved Tuesday night, was anticipated in this year's capital improvements budget and would be financed from $320,000 in developer fees and $155,000 in general obligation borrowing.
Waukesha - Mayor Jeff Scrima is demanding that water utility staff highlight all changes made in a city application for a Great Lakes water supply between the time the Common Council approved the plan on April 8 and when it was submitted to state environmental officials six weeks later.
In a June 1 letter to Water Utility General Manager Dan Duchniak, Scrima criticizes the utility for submitting the final application without a second approval by the council or the mayor's signature, even though Duchniak had described all changes as minor.
"I believe this is a public policy mistake," Scrima says in the letter. "Waukesha residents and taxpayers have not been able to see the final plan before it entered the review process."
Scrima's letter asks Duchniak to provide him and the council with a "side-by-side redlined guide" to the changes by June 15.
"If you did require the final application to come back for review before the Common Council, it would have demonstrated to the citizens of Waukesha, Southeastern Wisconsin and the other states that Waukesha's application was drafted and approved as transparently as possible."» Read Full Article
Waukesha - The Literacy Council of Greater Waukesha will hold its first Read-a-Thon June 19 at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha campus, 1500 N. University Drive, as part of the first annual Southeast Wisconsin Festival of books.
The Read-a-Thon runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. that day and is targeted to involve the entire family, Literacy Council board President Robert Black said.
Readers of all ages can collect pledges for their reading time using forms available at local libraries, the council office at 217 Wisconsin Ave., Suite 16, in Waukesha, or downloaded from either of two Web sites - the literacy council's at www.waukeshaliteracy.org or the Festival of Books site at www.sewibookfest.com.
Money raised will buy books or other program materials for students seeking to become literate. Each year more than 250 students meet weekly with volunteer tutors.
Waukesha - Drivers can learn about planned improvements at Highway 18 (Summit Ave.) and N. Grandview Blvd. - along with temporary disruptions to their travel patterns during summer construction - at a public informational meeting from 5 to 7 p.m. today at Waukesha City Hall, 201 Delafield St.
The intersection, which sees about 14,500 vehicles per day through it, is scheduled for wider pavement and an additional lane in each direction, new curb and gutter, sidewalks, traffic signals and street lighting. Through traffic in both directions now shares a lane with turning traffic. Margaret Liedtke, a city engineer, said separate through-traffic lanes will be added on Summit and Grandview.
Bids are due next week and construction is likely to start in July, with completion anticipated in September, Liedtke said. Traffic will be rerouted along a detour during construction.
Gov. Jim Doyle is seeking applicants for appointment to the Waukesha County Circuit Court judicial vacancy that will occur Aug. 1 when Judge Paul Reilly moves to the District 2 Court of Appeals.
Applicants must be members in good standing of the Wisconsin State Bar and must live in Waukesha County at the time of the appointment. Applications are due June 10 to Libby Gerds, appointments director for the governor.
Reilly was elected in April to serve a six-year term as an appellate judge. Whoever is appointed to succeed him would face re-election next spring.
The Steak 'n Shake restaurant on Kossow Road in Waukesha closed Friday after just a few years in operation. The area's only other Steak 'n Shake, on N. 124th St. in Wauwatosa, remains open.
The Waukesha location was the second franchise unit for Joe Denis, who operated both locations. The Wauwatosa restaurant, next to Lowe's Home Improvement center, opened in 2007.
The hamburger chain started in Illinois in 1934 and has something of a cult following among fans of its burgers and shakes. But that devotion never caught on in Waukesha, where the restaurant was positioned between a Target store and CarMax.