The state Department of Natural Resources neglected Milwaukee this week when it solicited public comments from southeastern Wisconsin residents on Waukesha's request to buy Lake Michigan water, Milwaukee Ald. Michael Murphy said Friday.
In a news release, Murphy scolded DNR officials for not coming to Milwaukee to hear citizens' concerns about Waukesha's proposal to discharge its treated wastewater to Underwood Creek if it gains approval to buy lake water.
The creek empties into the Menomonee River which flows through Milwaukee's Valley Park neighborhood, Menomonee Valley and harbor, Murphy said.
Public hearings on Waukesha's request for lake water were held this week in Pewaukee, Wauwatosa and Sturtevant.
"Where's the public hearing for Milwaukee," Murphy asked in the news release. "Milwaukee residents also deserve a public hearing because they have a right to know" how the city's proposal will impact them in terms of water quality and possible flooding, Murphy said.» Read Full Article
Franklin's late lead disappeared in a heartbeat, so the Sabers went to work on a new one with an explosive eighth inning, as the Sabers baseball team defeated Waukesha West in the WIAA state quarterfinals Thursday, 14-7.
Franklin (24-7) will meet fellow Greater Metro Conference entrant Marquette (22-9) this evening in the semifinals at Bukolt Park in Stevens Point. The winner of that game advances to tomorrow's championship game.
The Sabers held a 7-4 lead in the seventh, and after a successful appeal when a West runner tagged and advanced a base, Franklin still had a 7-5 lead with two outs and nobody on. But Jeff Neuman singled for West, and Alex Lawrence delivered a dramatic two-run homer to tie the game and force extra innings.
But Franklin was undeterred, with nine consecutive batters reaching base in the eighth and seven runs scoring overall. Joel Kornhoff, who had just nine hits all season, finished the day with three hits -- including a grand slam in the big frame.
That game had everything -- intereference, clutch home runs, errors, lack of pitching," said Franklin coach Jim Hughes, celebrating a birthday Thursday. "Boy we can play a lot better than that. It was not as good a defensive game as we could have had. We even had coaches forgetting how many outs there were -- that one's on me."» Read Full Article
Waukesha - More than 120,000 visitors stopped by the 169th Waukesha County Fair held July 20-24 at the county Expo Grounds, the fair announced Thursday.
Evening attendance numbers were "impressive," according to fair officials who credit the high attendance to the Miller Lite Main Stage acts, which included the Beach Boys, Ted Nugent, Creedence Clearwater Revisited and Collective Soul.
The 2011 attendance of 121,441 compares with 97,246 in 2010, when torrential rainfall hampered fair attendance, and 132,097 in 2009.
The fair is the oldest county fair in Wisconsin and the largest event in the county, according to the fair's website.
Wauwatosa - Keep Waukesha wastewater out of Underwood Creek, several Wauwatosa residents told state Department of Natural Resources officials at a hearing Wednesday at Hart Park.
They urged the DNR to require the City of Waukesha to discharge its wastewater directly into Lake Michigan, rather than the creek, if the city is given permission to buy lake water in the future.
Waukesha is asking Wisconsin and each of the other seven Great Lakes states to approve its request for lake water so that it can abandon deep wells delivering radium-contaminated water from saturated sandstone. A 2008 Great Lakes protection compact would require Waukesha to return most of the water to Lake Michigan in the form of treated wastewater.
In its application, Waukesha said its preferred discharge location is Underwood Creek at Krueger Park in Brookfield, immediately south of Blue Mound Road, because of its proximity to Waukesha. The creek is a tributary of the Menomonee River, so the city's wastewater would flow downstream to the harbor and out to the lake.
Two discharge options discussed in the application - a pipeline to the Root River or a pipeline to the lakeshore - would cost more and would have more construction-related environmental impacts than the shorter pipeline to Underwood Creek, the city's application said.» Read Full Article
Waukesha - The Waukesha County Board has given the go-ahead to opening some of Waukesha County's more remote undeveloped parkland to hunters.
In a unanimous vote Tuesday, and without public comment either for or against, the board revised parks rules that will lift a nearly 60-year ban on hunting.
Dale Shaver, director of parks and land use, said staff will identify the areas that qualify and attempt to post them on the county's website by fall. One logical starting point, he said, would be greenways such as along the Fox River in the Town of Vernon.
Hunters would not have access to parks with active recreation like hiking and camping, such as in Naga-Waukee or Minooka, he said.
The county is dropping its long-held ban because of a change in state law that makes land purchase grants using state Stewardship Program funds contingent upon opening the land to hunters, fishermen and other recreational interests.» Read Full Article
Waukesha County Backpack Coalition will collect school supplies for low-income students Saturday, July 30.The
In 2010 the group collected more than 1,600 backpacks filled with supplies. Officials expect there to be more need this year, according to a news release.
The Fill the Bus event will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Walmart, 411 Pewaukee Rd., Pewaukee; Sam’s Club, 600 N. Springdale Rd., Waukesha; and Walgreens, 423 Merton Ave., Hartland. Volunteers will be collecting items, putting them in school buses and passing out lists of needed items.
Waukesha West's baseball field is a notorious mosquito haven, and when night fell at the lighted field during the WIAA summer baseball sectional final Friday, players and fans alike found themselves immersed in a battle with the little bugs. Maybe one of them was on the home team's side.
When Muskego starter Peter Jewell tried to brush one away while standing on the mound in the fourth, he was called for a balk that brought home a run and broke a 4-4 tie. The Warriors never scored again off starter Jeff Neuman and reliever Brandon Berghoefer, and West's 5-4 victory moved the Wolverines back to the WIAA state tournament for a second straight season.
A first-inning bunt parade jumpstarted what became a 4-0 lead, and after Muskego tied the score, West allowed just one hit in the final three innings after re-taking the lead.
"We somehow scraped one out there." said West coach Chad Montez. "We got two guys on and you don't usually ask a four-hitter to bunt. He got it down and we got our fifth run on the balk there. It's just a whirlwind. I'm so proud of the guys here and so blessed to have such great players and coaches with me. It was a very good baseball game and entertaining to watch."
The Wolverines will face Franklin with a 12:30 p.m. game at Bukolt Park in Stevens Point in the state quarterfinals Wednesday.» Read Full Article
Waukesha - During his sentencing hearing Friday afternoon, disbarred lawyer Peter T. Elliott had the chance to make a statement in his defense.
Taking a sip of water and clearing his throat, Elliott apologized, saying he regretted frightening two tellers at a Town Bank branch in Wales during a robbery last year.
"I know there isn't anything I can say to make anything better for anyone," he said.
Elliott, 62, of Summit, was sentenced Friday to five years in prison for robbing the bank last year.
Elliott must serve the prison sentence and an additional five years of extended supervision after he completes a 10-year federal prison sentence handed down in November for bilking a trust account.» Read Full Article
The loss of critical video evidence was an honest error, not an intentional coverup of police abuse, Waukesha Police Chief Russell Jack said Thursday as the police response to a simple noninjury car accident escalated into a maelstrom of suspicions about police misconduct, political payback and slanted journalism.
Jack issued a statement Thursday in response to a Waukesha Freeman column Wednesday about a judge's finding that police acted in bad faith when they let two squad car recordings of a 2010 arrest be deleted, despite specific defense counsel requests that they be preserved. Based on that, Waukesha County Circuit Judge Kathleen Stilling dismissed a resisting arrest charge against a Wauwatosa man.
Jack said the Freeman column was not based on fact and "contained the biased personal viewpoints of a journalist connected to the incident through friendship and an outgoing judge" who had sought Police Department support before her defeat in the April election.
He also released a summary of an internal investigation concluding various officers had been counseled, and procedures changed, as a result of the case, but that the recordings were purged only because of mistaken misclassification, and not with any intent to keep them out of court.
"Corrective actions have been taken, officers were held accountable, and new procedures are now in place to ensure this does not happen again," the release said.» Read Full Article
Waukesha - Steve Crandell, the city's community development director, should get a temporary pay boost while serving as acting city administrator under a recommendation from the Common Council's Human Resources Committee Wednesday.
Crandell will fill in after Aug. 5, when City Administrator Lori Curtis Luther leaves to become the county administrator of Peoria County in Illinois. Crandell also was acting administrator for about eight months in 2007 before Luther was hired in December of that year.
Luther is paid about $117,600 a year. The committee recommended Crandell be paid at that rate while performing those duties, amounting to about $800 more a month.
The Common Council is scheduled to take final action at its Aug. 4 meeting.
Crandell told the Human Resources Committee that while he can perform functions of both jobs, he is not interested in seeking the city administrator's job full time. Crandell has also been appointed to serve on a team that in the coming months will negotiate a proposed purchase agreement for Lake Michigan water with Milwaukee, Oak Creek or Racine.» Read Full Article
Waukesha - With construction bids already in hand and a required zoning change approved Wednesday by the Waukesha Common Council, Waukesha County officials are poised to start preliminary work on a new health and human services office building.
The County Board's Public Works Committee will meet Friday to approve final bids, said Allison Bussler, director of public works. Bids opened in mid-June came $3.4 million under a $36.7 million budget for the new office building and a grounds maintenance building.
On Wednesday, the Common Council voted 11-2 to rezone 5 acres, just enough land on the Moor Downs Golf Course to accommodate the building. The vote came after months of discussions between city and county officials over the project's impact on a golf course that is a designated historic landmark. It once was the site of Moor Mud Baths spa and resort hotel at the start of the 20th century.
The county is planning to build a 137,000-square-foot building along Riverview Ave. at the courthouse campus, to the east of the existing office building, to house human services, public health, veterans services and the Aging and Disability Resource Center.
First the county must remove an existing garage that houses groundskeeping operations and relocate them into a new service building to be constructed on land adjacent to the golf course, behind residences along Riverview and Buena Vista avenues.» Read Full Article
Waukesha - Chris Long approached the podium in a small courtroom in the Waukesha County Courthouse.
Behind him Tuesday morning sat his mother, Margaret Long, and other family members. To his left sat Chad Lurvey, in an orange jumpsuit, beside his attorneys and three sheriff's deputies. Lurvey had been convicted of killing Long's younger brother, Andrew of Milwaukee, and Brian Lazzaro of Mukwonago, nearly nine years ago in a dispute over drugs and money, and was awaiting his sentence.
Chris Long testified that he prayed for healing. But he didn't extend the wish to Lurvey.
"May your life be painful and filled with regret," he said to Lurvey.
After listening to the testimony from Long and others, Waukesha County Circuit Judge Patrick C. Haughney sentenced Lurvey to two life sentences without the possibility of parole.» Read Full Article
Two apartment buildings, totaling 66 units, have been proposed for downtown Waukesha, and are seeking city Plan Commission approval.
Developer Ken Miller, of Kendal Group Ltd., wants to build the 36-unit Kendal Lofts at 456 W. Main St.
Kendal Group would raze the former O'Brien Photography building, and replace it with a four-story apartment building with underground parking, said Mike Hoeft, city planner.
Miller said he hopes to begin work next year, and have the building completed by fall 2012. He said the two-bedroom apartments would have monthly rents of around $1,150.
Just a few blocks away, at 212 W. North St., developer Mark Thatcher, working with Green Bay-based Lexington Homes Inc., is proposing a two-story building with 30 apartments and underground parking, according to Hoeft and Rob Ernest, Lexington president.» Read Full Article
Waukesha - When Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus said in May that she intended to start providing unofficial election night results broken down by municipality - something that might have flagged the kind of snafu that earned her notoriety after the Supreme Court election this spring - she did not mean all municipal results.
Nickolaus told the County Board's Executive Committee on Monday that she'll change her reporting practices based on advice from the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board.
When pressed in committee by Supervisor David Swan as to whether she'd return to past practice of showing results for municipalities, even if the state elections officials don't suggest it, she said, "Not at this point."
Swan later said Nickolaus' answer was a disappointment. He had hoped she would provide the public with one-stop service for finding results on election night, like a number of other counties do, including Ozaukee, Washington, Racine and Dane.
A spotlight has shone on Nickolaus since she failed to include any of the 14,000 city of Brookfield votes in her unofficial April 5 election night report of results - a mistake that reversed the Supreme Court election outcome until she corrected the error two days later in a news conference.» Read Full Article
Waukesha - A former Dane County deputy district attorney who is now a criminal defense attorney has notified the JoAnne Kloppenburg campaign that he is investigating the campaign's April 20 complaint accusing Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus of misconduct in carrying out her election duties during the spring election for state Supreme Court.
Melissa Mulliken, manager for the Kloppenburg campaign, said Wednesday she had recently been notified by attorney Tim Verhoff that he was following up on the complaint she filed with the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board.
She had urged the board to appoint a special investigator so that an objective, thorough investigation would be ensured. The board has apparently done so, Mulliken said.
Neither Verhoff nor board spokesman Reid Magney would confirm the appointment or comment. The board and its staff are bound by confidentiality requirements involving elections complaints.
Verhoff served in the Dane County district attorney's office beginning in 2000 as an assistant, then as deputy district attorney, before leaving in January to join attorney Corey Chirafisi in a new Madison law firm.» Read Full Article
The man shot by a sheriff's deputy in the town of Middleton earlier this week is from Waukesha, authorities said Wednesday.
Geoffrey Herling, 51, was in stable condition Wednesday after being shot multiple times Tuesday, the Dane County Sheriff's Office said. Herling was shot after refusing to drop his weapons and firing shots at deputies.
According to the sheriff's office:
Deputies initially went to the Road Star Inn, where Herling was staying, at 2:45 p.m. Tuesday in response to reports of shots fired in the hotel's parking lot. When they arrived, hotel employees told them that the suspect was inside one of the hotel rooms.
Herling told deputies that he would not surrender. While the deputies were in the hallway of the hotel outside of the man's room, Herling suddenly entered the hallway armed with a handgun and shotgun. The deputies ordered him to drop his weapons, but Herling fired at least once, causing one of the deputies to shoot at him.» Read Full Article
Due to railroad construction, N. West Avenue at the Wisconsin and Southern Railroad crossing will be closed beginning Monday.
Waukesha - Beginning Thursday, Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas will host three town hall meetings to explain county finances and to get citizen comments about county services and spending as county managers begin to shape next year's budget.
The sessions will begin at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Delafield City Hall, 500 Genesee St.; 9 a.m. July 21 at the Waukesha branch of Mukwonago Citizens Bank, Les Paul Parkway and Center Road; and at 6 p.m. July 25 at the Waukesha County Courthouse, 515 W. Moreland Blvd., Room 350, Waukesha.
None of the sessions is likely to get specific about what cuts, if any, will be made to specific programs since the budget is still taking shape.
Information will be presented on where the county spends its $268 million budget, where it gets its revenue, and how property taxes of about $100 million - 43% of income - is divided among services.
The county faces a $2.5 million loss in aid due to the new state budget. But it expects a $2.4 million saving from pension costs now borne by county employees thanks to a new law limiting public employee collective bargaining.» Read Full Article
Waukesha - After poorly sealed and torn ballot bags became one source of concern during the recent Supreme Court recount, Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus plans to introduce new, more secure bags.
She said the bags are made of tougher plastic and are comparable to bags used by banks, with an adhesive tape closing that would reveal signs of tampering. Ballots from individual polling places are bagged after they're counted on election night and stored either at municipal halls or with the county clerk until results are final and uncontested.
During the statewide recount this spring, in which Justice David Prosser's win over Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg was affirmed by a 7,004-vote margin, poorly sealed ballot bags were a common problem. Some saw the gaps as evidence of potential tampering; others said it only showed that poll workers had difficulty cinching overstuffed bags with plastic straps.
Nickolaus said with the new bags, "the poll worker doesn't have to try and work a plastic seal around the bag."
Nickolaus showed off the sample bag at last week's annual convention of county clerks in Rusk County and many responded favorably, she said.» Read Full Article
La Fuente is seeking City of Waukesha approval for a new restaurant in the building formerly occupied by Steak 'n Shake, on Kossow Road just south of Blue Mound Road.
This would be the third location for La Fuente, which now operates Mexican restaurants in Milwaukee at 625 S. Fifth St. and 9155 W. Blue Mound Road Rd. La Fuente opened the west side location last year in the former location of Monreal's El Matador.
Steak 'n Shake closed both of its Milwaukee-area locations last year.
La Fuente's Kossow Road proposal is on the agenda for the Waukesha Plan Commission Wednesday. A liquor license application also is pending with the city.
A Waukesha neighborhood is on edge following a pit bull attack.
That seven year old pit bull mix remains at the Waukesha Humane Animal Welfare Society Friday night. Her fate, is up in the air.
Neighbors of the dog's owner are doing all they can to make sure sugar doesn't come home.
Jen Schutta loves dogs. Her family has two.
But as a mom, she says her neighbor's pit bull terrier has to go.» Read Full Article
Waukesha Community Development Director Steve Crandell will take on the additional duties of interim city administrator as officials begin looking for someone to replace Lori Curtis Luther, Common Council President Paul Ybarra said Thursday.
On Wednesday, the Peoria County Board in Illinois voted to hire Luther as its next county administrator.
Luther is expected to begin her new job Aug. 5, Peoria County officials said.
She will be paid an annual salary of $145,000 and a $500 per month auto allowance, under terms of a 31/2-year contract approved by the board at a special meeting Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Luther confirmed in a statement that she had been selected for the Peoria County post. She did not refer in the statement to conflicts between her and Waukesha Mayor Jeff Scrima over a Common Council-approved application for Lake Michigan water.» Read Full Article
The Peoria County Board in Illinois voted Wednesday to hire Waukesha City Administrator Lori Curtis Luther as its next county administrator.
Luther is expected to begin her new job Aug. 5, Peoria County, Ill., officials said.
She will be paid an annual salary of $145,000 and a $500 per month auto allowance, under terms of a 3-½ year contract approved by the board at a special meeting Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Luther confirmed in a statement that she had been selected for the Peoria County, Ill., post. She did not refer in the statement to conflicts between her and Waukesha Mayor Jeff Scrima over a Common Council-approved application for Lake Michigan water. In June 2010, the Common Council stripped the mayor of any supervisory authority over her, having her report to and be evaluated by members of the council.
"I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the positive relationship that I have shared with the council, staff and the entire Waukesha community," Luther said. "I am very proud of our accomplishments and will miss Waukesha."» Read Full Article
The Swallow School Board tapped Waukesha West High School principal Melissa Thompson to be the school’s next superintendent.
Thompson will replace outgoing administrator Jeff Klaisner after serving at Waukesha West for three years.
"She has such a great district perspective," said Swallow School Board President Karen Trimble. "She’s very strategic. She’s a planner. She has just all of the qualities that the board was really looking for in advancing the school from good to great."
Trimble said that the Board liked Thompson’s legal and policy background, something she said the other finalists for the position did not have.» Read Full Article
Waukesha City Administrator Lori Curtis Luther has been tentatively selected to be the new administrator for Peoria County, Illinois, she announced Tuesday.
The selection is still subject to former approval by the full Peoria County Board, Luther said in a statement.
Luther, who recently was a finalist for a city manager position in Columbia, Mo., has clashed with Waukesha Mayor Jeff Scrima. The city's Common Council stripped Scrima of oversight responsibilities of Luther, who cited conflicts over the city's state policy of pursuing a Lake Michigan water source to remedy problems with radium-contaminated city water and Scrima's opposition to the Great Lakes water application.
The Peoria Journal Star has the story.
Waukesha's application to buy Lake Michigan drinking water is "sufficiently complete" to begin a detailed analysis of the city's claim that it has no other reliable or sustainable option in the future, state environmental regulators said Friday.
The state Department of Natural Resources will publish a notice of its decision next week and schedule three public hearings on the application; one each in Waukesha, Milwaukee and Racine counties, said Eric Ebersberger, the department's water use section chief.
In a joint letter to several Wisconsin environmental groups, DNR Water Division Administrator Ken Johnson said Friday that the department expects to ask for additional information from the city as it studies environmental impacts of the application.
Waukesha has requested buying an average of 10.9 million gallons a day of lake water from one of three lakeshore municipalities: Milwaukee, Oak Creek or Racine. Maximum daily use might reach 18.5 million gallons a day in summer.
Water Utility General Manager Dan Duchniak greeted the state's decision on the completed application with enthusiastic approval.» Read Full Article