Cuddles, a stuffed animal and gift store, is closing its doors after more than 30 years of operating in downtown Waukesha.
With owner Sally Shoemaker retiring, the store will close on Thursday, July 31.
Shoemaker has been holding a retirement sale over the last few days and will until Thursday at the 231 W. Main St. store.
For many years, Cuddles was located at the Five Points on Broadway Street, where The Clarke Hotel is now located.
In 2009, however, the shop moved into Martha Merrell's Books on Main Street.» Read Full Article
Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas has been giving presentations on the county's budget over the last couple of weeks.
Today, he'll hold another meeting with county residents - just not in person.
Vrakas, who is active on social media, will host a virtual Town Hall meeting through Twitter from 2 to 3 p.m. Wednesday.
The county executive said the virtual Town Hall meeting is being done in an effort to increase communication and citizen engagement and make county government more accessible to residents.
Vrakas encourages anyone who has questions regarding Waukesha County and the 2015 Waukesha County budget to tweet them to his Twitter handle, @CoExecDanVrakas, between now and the conclusion of the virtual Town Hall meeting.» Read Full Article
A thunderstorm once again left behind major damage in Waukesha.
It wasn't as widespread as last month when high winds uprooted many trees across the city and county and left thousands without power.
But one image from last night showed the similarity to the June 30 storm.
An ash tree was completely uprooted near the curb and fell onto a ranch home in the 300 block of N. Greenmeadow Drive.
As a result, city of Waukesha Forestry workers were seen Wednesday morning cutting down the branches from the storm that toppled the tree and brought down a number of branches near Waukesha North High School on Tuesday night.» Read Full Article
Cemeteries aren't often the place teenagers go to learn to drive.
But the Prairie Home Cemetery was the site where one Waukesha parent took her daughter to practice driving.
The driving lesson, however, went south quickly and resulted in a police presence at the Waukesha cemetery.
According to the police blotter, a tree and brass flag holder inside Prairie Home Cemetery, 605 S. Prairie Ave., were damaged after a girl, who was learning how to drive from her mother, lost control of the vehicle prior to 9:21 a.m. July 22.
The car also crashed into some headstones.» Read Full Article
A jury trial has been ordered to begin Oct. 28 for state Rep. Bill Kramer (R-Town of Waukesha) on sexual assault charges, online court records show.
Kramer, the former No. 2 lawmaker in the Assembly, was charged in March with two felony charges of second-degree sexual assault stemming from an incident three years ago.
According to the Waukesha Freeman, Kramer's attorney Eduardo M. Borda said Friday that Kramer will fight the allegations that he shoved a woman into a car, tried to kiss her, touched her indecently and made inappropriate comments to her outside a Republican Party event at a Muskego tavern in 2011.
The assault charges were filed this spring after Kramer drew widespread criticism for allegedly harassing two other women, one a legislative aide and the other a lobbyist, in a more recent case.
Kramer is accused of groping the staffer and harassing the lobbyist while at a fundraiser in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 26.» Read Full Article
Waukesha — A Waukesha School District committee voted unanimously Friday to reject a parent's motion to ban the book "Looking for Alaska" from schools.
Ellen Cox filed the request after her daughter, a student at Waukesha South High School, brought graphic sexual content in the book to her attention.
Cox told the district's Consideration Committee that students can get life lessons from books that don't glorify profanity, drug and alcohol use and sex.
"We didn't give teachers permission to expose our kids to these things," Cox said, adding that she plans to appeal.
Committee member Maria Trainor said books such as "Looking for Alaska" help people think about the variety of issues that are prevalent in diverse cultures.» Read Full Article
The selection of dance music at one downtown Waukesha bar apparently led to a couple fighting and police having to intervene.
According to the police blotter, Waukesha police responded to a domestic disturbance call after someone reported a man and a woman fighting at 151 E. St. Paul Ave. at 8:47 p.m. July 19.
The caller said it appeared that the woman hit the man and was yelling for him to get away from her as they walked through the Waukesha State Bank parking lot near the Riverwalk.
Police, however, learned that the man and woman, who were both heavily intoxicated, were fighting over what song to dance to at the Salty Toad in downtown Waukesha earlier in the night.
The man’s story, however, changed multiple times and there wasn't enough criteria for a domestic arrest.» Read Full Article
Political debates can no doubt get heated around here.
But in Waukesha a political discussion was mistaken for a fight that led to a police call.
According to the police blotter, a caller was passing by and heard a lot of screaming coming from an address in the 400 block of Madison St.
But upon police arriving at the residence at 11:33 p.m. July 11, officers didn't find anyone fighting. They just heard a loud conversation about politics.
For other strange calls to police as well as thefts and burglaries, see Waukesha NOW's weekly police blotter page.
Waukesha County Fair officals are calling it one of the best attended fairs in its 172 year history.
“We had an amazing fair this year," said Shari Black, the fair's executive director. "Finally the weather cooperated with us."
Comfortable temperatures and no rain helped significantly boost attendance figures from last year, Black said.
Black said 133,725 people attended the annual five-day event, which wrapped up Sunday on the Waukesha County Expo Center Grounds.
This total is about 45,000 more people than last year, when heat advisories were issued for the first three days and rain on the final day caused the main concert to be canceled.» Read Full Article
The proposed expansions to The Shoppes at Fox River on Waukesha's southwest side will come before the Plan Commission for final approval Wednesday night.
The commission is scheduled to review and act on a final site plan and the architectural planned unit development review of the project, located on the west side of Sunset Drive on the corner of Chapman and Spring City drives. The proposed expansion could bring in six additional retail/dining outlets.
The developers of The Shoppes at Fox River have not revealed who the interested new tenants are for the site but did drop a few hints at a recent Common Council meeting.
Edward Wizner, the vice president of development/redevelopment for Ramco Gershenson Properties Trust, said "a large sporting goods store" could come to the shopping center as well as a well known national restaurant.
Wizner said he couldn't disclose the tenants until a lease is signed or until all the necessary approvals are given.» Read Full Article
1 Items were stolen from an open garage and vehicles were gone through at 2602 Meadowbrook Road overnight July 10-11.
2 A locked van was broken into at 2708 Sussex Lane prior to 8:11 a.m. July 11.
3 A recently evicted tenant at 312 Randall St. stole a lawn mower from the property around 11:30 a.m. July 11.
4 Police were called due to young kids riding go-karts and tractors in the road on the corner of East Wabash Avenue and South Charles Street around 12:40 p.m. July 11.
5 The air-conditioning units were vandalized at Waukesha Skateland, 1931 E. Main St., prior to 3:18 p.m. July 11.» Read Full Article
The family of Shane Needles filed a wrongful death lawsuit on July 9 against the Wisconsin Taekwondo & Fitness Academy, according to court records. The lawsuit claims there was a lack of supervision.
Needles was a student at Lake Country School.
The pond is on private land near Delafield and Golden Lake Roads, the station reported on its website.
For now, residents can find comfort in the idea that authorities believe they have cleared recent home burglary incidents, as well as theft incidents at Waukesha South High School.
The three Waukesha teenagers that were arrested for the recent string of burglaries on the city's southwest side were each charged with multiple felony counts last week in Waukesha County Court.
If convicted, Johnathon Lilteich, 17, Harley McKay, 18, and Collin Hoya, 18, face up to 12 years and six months in prison and $25,000 in fines on each of the five burglary counts.
McKay and Lilteich were also charged with possession of a firearm by a felon, a penalty that can result in a fine of $25,000 and up to 10 years in prison. The two were previously found delinquent of felonies and prohibited from possessing firearms, according to the criminal complaint.
Lilteich is being held at the Waukesha County Jail on a $100,000 cash bail, while McKay and Hoya are being held on a $50,000 cash bail.» Read Full Article
The 2014 Waukesha County Fair Marshal Bob Weise represents the true meaning of dedication and commitment. His pride for the Waukesha County Fair continues to grow as his granddaughter, Robyn Wittkopf, was crowned fairest of the fair on opening day of this year’s fair.
Weise grew up and still resides in Pewaukee. He attended his first fair in 1950 where he showed sheepand cattle. “I haven’t missed a fair since,” says Weise. Except for when he was serving in the armed forces in 1963, Weise has truly been a dedicated fairgoer.
During his time at his 66 attended county fairs, Weise has supplied over 350 sheep, exhibited over 100 livestock, and has trucked over 600 animals to the fair. Not to mention the over 40 neighborhood kids he supplied with animals during more than 70 years of farming in Waukesha County.
Weise’s three children have shown dairy sheep and beef at the Waukesha County Fair, along with his seven grandchildren that show chickens, pigs, goats, dairy, and sheep.
To celebrate his honor as the 2014 Waukesha County Fair Marshal, Weise’s family made t-shirts to commemorate all of his fair contributions and show how much they love their “papa” for all that he has done.» Read Full Article
Primary elections are quickly approaching in Waukesha County.
To better know the candidates and learn their positions for two of the contested races, the Waukesha County Business Alliance is hosting two forums.
The Alliance’s Southside Business Council program will host candidates for the 97th Assembly District on Friday, July 18, for a candidate forum and meet-and-greet.
The forum is from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at Culver’s, 840 W. Sunset, Waukesha. The program is free to attend. Pre-registration is available online, but not required. Information is available at www.waukesha.org.
The WCBA has also invited all candidates for the 97th Assembly District to complete a questionnaire with their positions on important issues. Answers from that questionnaire will be available on Wednesday, July 23, at www.waukesha.org.» Read Full Article
The results are in! Robyn Wittkopf, 19, of Pewaukee has won the 2014 Waukesha County Fairest of the Fair competition, followed by Danielle DeCloux of Menomonee Falls as first runner up and Karli Hintz of Waukesha as second runner up.
“I’m ecstatic. I am so honored to be a part of this,” says Wittkopf. Wittkopf has been active in the Waukesha County Fair and 4H for 10 years. She has shown sheep, knitting, sewing, scrapbooking, food, poultry, rabbits, and has also volunteered with the fair throughout the years. Wittkopf is going to be a sophomore at the University of Dubuque where she is perusing a career in pediatric oncology.» Read Full Article
Scott Wimer was attempting to get oxycodone pills from the pharmacy at W. Greenfield Ave. and S. Sunny Slope Road when he pulled a shotgun on the pharmacist June 9, according to a story posted on the station's website.
After trying to use a Taser on Wimmer that didn't work, the pharmacist gave him 21 of the pills. Wimmer says he took them during a standoff with police in an attempt to kill himself, according to the station.
Wimmer was prescribed oxycodone and Vicodin after being injured on his welding job. He became addicted and couldn't afford doctor visits, the station reported.
Two additional teenage male suspects have been arrested in connection to the recent burglaries on the southwest side of Waukesha.
This came just a day after a 17-year-old boy, linked to the same burglaries, was arrested.
The two new male suspects are 18 years old. All three are Waukesha residents.
According to a news release from the police department on Wednesday, multiple charges have been referred to the Waukesha County District Attorney's Office, including multiple burglary counts, attempted burglary, armed burglary, felon in use of pepper spray and a felon in possession of a firearm.
The suspects in many cases entered the homes while people were sleeping last week on the southwest side of the city.» Read Full Article
The featured event for opening night of the Waukesha County Fair is the Fairest of the Fair competition.
A winner will be chosen from the five finalists at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Leinie Lodge Stage.
Winners of the countywide competition are selected on the basis of personality, communication skills, school and community activities, professional appearance, knowledge of and experience with the Waukesha County Fair.
Last year's Fairest of the Fair, Cecilia Heberling of Big Bend, will crown a new Fairest of the Fair. Heberling will also share her experiences as the county's Fairest of the Fair while the judges deliberate on Wednesday.
The 2014 Wisconsin Fairest of the Fairs, Kaitlyn Riley, from the Crawford County Fair, will also attend the competition and share her experiences as the state's Fairest of the Fair.» Read Full Article
A 17-year-old linked to a recent string of burglaries in the city of Waukesha was taken into custody on Monday, July 14.
According to a news release from the Waukesha Police Department, at approximately 3 p.m. Monday, the Waukesha Police Department arrested a suspect believed to be responsible for several recent burglaries on the south side of the city.
A search warrant was subsequently conducted at a residence in the 300 block of Douglass Avenue. The search closed down portions of the street and brought out the SWAT Team. According to Lt. Tom Wagner, the police department recovered the majority of the items taken in the burglaries, including stolen guns.
Police did not release the name of the suspect. Police said the burglaries included several occupied residences where homeowners were sleeping.
The investigation is ongoing, but Wagner said police believe the suspect is responsible for at least five recent burglaries. The suspect was scheduled to appear Wednesday, July 16, on the charges in court.
Only minor injuries resulted from a plane crash this week in Waukesha.
The small passenger plane crashed near the 300 block of Bluemound Road just before 1 p.m. Sunday, July 13. The two people aboard the plane were treated by the Waukesha Fire Department on the scene.
The Federal Aviation Administration responded to the scene to assist in the investigation. The investigation is ongoing and the cause of the crash has not been determined, according to a news release from the police department.
Police did not release the names of the people involved in the crash.
A 17-year-old from Waukesha who police believe may have been responsible for at least five recent burglaries was arrested Monday, officials said Tuesday.
Officials arrested the teen, identified as a white male, about 3 p.m. and searched a residence on the 300 block of Douglass Ave., according to a news release from Waukesha police.
The majority of the items taken in the burglaries, including stolen guns, have been recovered, police said.
Officials are not releasing the identity of the suspect, who allegedly burglarized the south side homes, many of which had sleeping homeowners.
The suspect is expected to appear in court Wednesday.
An incident in a Waukesha neighborhood required heavy police presence Monday afternoon.
Police shut down a portion of Douglass Avenue, near the intersection of Douglass Avenue and S. Grand Ave., during the late afternoon.
In addition to police presence, members of the SWAT Team were on scene at a residence.
Waukesha police have not released any details on the incident. Waukesha NOW has a call into the police department.
Two people suffered minor injuries when their plane crash-landed in a Waukesha field Sunday afternoon.
The single-engine plane landed shortly before 1 p.m. near the 300 block of Bluemound Road, about one mile from the Waukesha airport, according to Waukesha police. Both people were treated for minor injuries at the scene by the Waukesha Fire Department. Their names were not released.
The 1976 Piper is registered to the Waukesha-based Fox River Flyers Club.
The FAA is investigating the cause of the crash.
Waukesha — A Milwaukee businessman uttered a racial slur to describe President Barack Obama during a news conference Wednesday in Waukesha City Hall that was organized by Wisconsin business leaders as part of a national call for immigration reform.
"I'm not seeing anybody doing anything," said Dagoberto Ibarra, who ran for alderman in Milwaukee's 8th District in 2004. "This is the most useless Congress in the last eight years ... because a (N-word) is in charge."
Ibarra also accused Republicans of being Nazis and the tea party of being similar to the Ku Klux Klan, and he said Democrats had done nothing to fix the country's immigration laws.
The racial slur against Obama came at the end of an impassioned speech in which Ibarra criticized the failure of both political parties to produce comprehensive immigration reform, a failure he attributed to discrimination against Latinos.
"If you're white you're OK," he said. "If you're not white, you're selling drugs, you're smuggling, you're no good."» Read Full Article
Longtime Hebron House of Hospitality Inc. executive director and founder Bernie Juno retired from her position this week.
Juno has been with the Hebron House of Hospitality, the largest nonprofit provider of services to the homeless men, women and children in Waukesha County, for more than 30 years.
Her retirement will be taken in two parts, she said.
As of Tuesday, Juno has taken on a new transitional role as the Hebron House of Hospitality strategic projects consultant. The position is part time.
The second phase will be a full time retirement with a date to be determined.» Read Full Article
Community members and aldermen are anxious to find out what the future tenants of The Shoppes at Fox River will be.
But the developer who was in attendance at last week's common council meeting wouldn't budge.
"That's a tough one because most of the retailers we're working with will not allow us to disclose their name or even put their name on a site plan until a lease is signed," said Edward Wizner, the vice president of development/redevelopment for Ramco Gershenson Properties Trust. "It's difficult because we don't even own the land yet.
"So it's a little bit of a Catch 22, but we have begun those discussions in earnest."
However, Wizner did drop some hints about some of the interested parties for the growing shopping center on the west side of Sunset Drive.» Read Full Article
A judge on Tuesday stayed his recent order that a 12-year-old Waukesha girl charged with trying to stab a classmate to death undergo a psychiatric examination meant to determine if she could raise an insanity defense.
According to online court records, Waukesha County Circuit Judge Michael Bohren stayed his July 1 order "pending further order of the court."
Late Thursday, the girl's attorney had filed a motion asking that Bohren reconsider the examination, saying it was premature and could jeopardize Morgan Geyser's Fifth Amendment rights against self incrimination.
Deputy District Attorney Susan Opper said she could not comment on the court's action, and that no hearing date had been set to her knowledge. The next scheduled court appearance in the case is Aug. 1.
Two doctors who have done more limited evaluations of Geyser have concluded she is incompetent, meaning she may not fully understand the proceedings and is not able to aid in her defense. At a July 1 hearing, Opper had asked for a hearing on Geyser's competency.» Read Full Article
Longtime Waukesha County Circuit Judge Donald Hassin Jr. has announced he will retire.
In a letter Monday to Gov. Scott Walker, Hassin wrote it has been a privilege to serve for the past 20 years and that his retirement would be effective Sept. 30.
Walker's office is now seeking applicants for appointment to Hassin's seat. Anyone selected to fill out Hassin's term would face election in April. Applications are being accepted until 5 p.m. July 24, according to the governor's office.
damaging storms earlier this week continues.The cleanup in the aftermath of the
Power took more than 48 hours in some cases to be restored across the city as traffic signals at major intersections remained out as well as shopping centers.
Besides the lost power, many trees were lost due to the storm.
Department of Public Works Director Fred Abadi said his department is helping the Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department in cleaning up Districts 1 and 3 on the northeast side of the city as those areas were hit the hardest.
"We're just working on getting the city property cleaned and sidewalks open as there are still trees hanging in streets," Steve Dziekan, city garage street supervisor, said on Thursday.» Read Full Article
Waukesha — A judge on Wednesday ordered an examination of whether mental disease or defect will be an issue in trial for one of two 12-year-old girls charged with trying to kill a classmate in a bizarre quest to please a fantasy character named Slender Man.
At the hearing in Waukesha County Circuit Court, it was revealed that two doctors who have interviewed Morgan Geyser have concluded she is not legally competent to proceed with her trial.
Prosecutors then took the unusual step of asking to move forward now with a further examination over whether mental disease or defect could be her ultimate basis for a not guilty plea in the case.
Her attorney, Anthony Cotton, objected, saying no plea has been entered and no formal finding of probable cause to proceed to trial has been issued.
Nonetheless, Waukesha County Circuit Judge Michael Bohren ordered the examination.» Read Full Article
The number of We Energies customers in southeastern Wisconsin without power was down to about 320 Wednesday night, two nights after storms left nearly 120,000 without electricity.
Officials with the utility hope to have all power restored to the remaining customers by midnight, We Energies spokesman Brian Manthey said.
The outages stemmed from the band of severe thunderstorms that rolled through the region Monday night. By Tuesday evening, just under 12,000 customers were without power.
The remaining power failures late Wednesday were concentrated in Waukesha County, Manthey said.
Wind gusts reaching 60 to 70 mph did much of the damage, and lightning also created problems as it struck trees and utility equipment, he said.» Read Full Article
Two Blood Center of Wisconsin donation centers are closed at a time when the group already faces a decrease in O-negative and platelet donations.
The downtown Milwaukee donation center and the Waukesha Donation Center will remain closed throughout Wednesday, according to a news release from the Blood Center.
The Milwaukee location is closed because of a 12-inch water main break on Wisconsin Ave. between W. 16th and W. 18th streets, and the Waukesha location remains without power after storm damage earlier in the week.
Anyone who wants to donate can do so until 7 p.m. Wednesday at the center's Declaration for Donations Blood Drive at State Fair Park on the 600 block of S. 84th St. The group also has donation centers in Wauwatosa, Brown Deer, Greenfield, Racine and Kenosha.
Morgan E. Geyser, one of the 12-year-old suspects who allegedly tried to kill her friend to please an Internet horror character, was found not competent to continue with a trial, according to a doctor’s evaluation.
This was revealed when Geyser, charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide for allegedly stabbing another 12-year-old Waukesha girl 19 times in May, appeared Wednesday morning in a Waukesha County Courtroom.
The judge, Michael Bohren, has now ordered that Geyser be evaluated for mental disease or defect at the time of the offense. The request was made by Deputy District Attorney Susan Opper, who said “timing is essential” and added that it’s better to do it now, before a not guilty plea is made and the case proceeds.
Anthony Cotton, of Kuchler & Cotton, S.C., who is representing Geyser, had opposed that evaluation, saying he and his client haven’t entered any type of plea yet.
Two competency reports were filed with the court. Cotton said one was filed at the defense’s request and a second was done by a Wisconsin Forensic Unit doctor. Results of that examination were sealed. Cotton said the reports drew the same conclusion.» Read Full Article
The city of Waukesha is in search of a new city administrator.
Waukesha City Administrator Ed Henschel announced at Tuesday night's common council meeting that he is retiring at the end of the year.
Henschel has served as the city's administrator since the fall of 2012.
"It’s been a wonderful place for me to essentially end my 40-year municipal career," Henschel told the members of the common council at the end of the meeting. "It's been an exciting career."
Henschel said he made the decision that he was going to step down "quite some time ago," but added it was emotional when he recently typed up his resignation letter.» Read Full Article
This week's storm that brought heavy winds and rain through the region made its impact felt in Waukesha.
The city was littered with tree branches, large and small, and power outages were widespread, including at the Shoppes at Fox River and numerous traffic signals along busy roads, by the time the storm passed late Monday, June 30.
At the Shoppes, located off Sunset Drive, the parking lot and buildings were mostly dark, except for Pick 'n Save and Target, into Tuesday morning. Near downtown, the Waukesha YMCA sent out an email announcing it was closed Tuesday due to power outages.
As of Tuesday afternoon, We Energies spokeswoman Jessica Williamson said there were still about 4,100 customers without power. She said power for more than 4,200 customers had been restored.
Williamson said she had hoped to have all the power restored in Waukesha by 11 p.m. Wednesday, July 2.» Read Full Article