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Probe continues into collision of bicyclist, Waukesha squad car

Aug. 30, 2010 3:02 p.m. | Waukesha - The Wisconsin State Patrol trooper who is reconstructing the July 13 accident in which a Waukesha police squad struck a bicyclist crossing Highway 164 said Monday that the case is still under investigation.

Trooper Matthew Johnson, the reconstruction specialist, said Monday that once his report is done, it will be forwarded to the Waukesha County district attorney's office for review.

Travis Weber, 17, of Waukesha, the bicyclist who suffered life-threatening injuries and was transported by Flight for Life to Children's Hospital, is no longer a patient there, a spokesman said. His mother, reached by telephone Monday, declined to comment on Weber's injuries, current condition or whether he was home.

The state accident reporting form filed by Waukesha police states that the squad car driven by officer Ian DeKarske left skid marks before striking the bicyclist at the uncontrolled intersection of Lincoln Ave. and Les Paul Parkway - Highway 59/164 - but the distance of the marks was not given.

Waukesha police said DeKarske, 24, was responding to assist another officer in a non-emergency manner, without lights or siren, when the accident occurred. The speed limit on that stretch is 45 mph. The accident form does not say how fast DeKarske was traveling.

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Discrimination settlement proposed

Aug. 30, 2010 11:58 a.m. | Dresser Waukesha, known locally as Waukesha Engine, would pay $1.1 million to settle a racial discrimination lawsuit, an agreement between the plaintiffs and company proposes.

The engine manufacturer also would take steps aimed at preventing discrimination in hiring, with an outside monitor reviewing the firm's performance.

The settlement would resolve a lawsuit filed in 2008 by several African-Americans who alleged they were discriminated against in hiring and promotions.

The case has been preliminarily approved as a class action. More than 300 black job applicants who unsuccessfully applied at Waukesha Engine potentially stand to share in $650,000 the company would pay.

The plaintiffs' attorneys would get $300,000 for the class action, plus $165,000 for their representation of six current and former Waukesha Engine employees who brought individual claims.

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Suspect, 27, dies from self-inflicted wound in Waukesha

Aug. 26, 2010 3:04 p.m. | A robbery suspect who shot himself in the head Wednesday night during a standoff with police at a Waukesha hotel died Thursday, police said.

Waukesha police learned about 5 p.m. Wednesday that Corey J. Kuehl, 27, of Watertown was inside a room at the Extended Stay America hotel at 2520 Plaza Court, according to a news release from the Police Department. Kuehl, a suspect in an armed robbery that occurred in Watertown, had a handgun and refused to leave his room, the release says.

Officers entered the room after hearing a gunshot and found that Kuehl had shot himself, according to the release. Kuehl was flown by helicopter to Froedtert Hospital, where he died Thursday.

DOT to hold meeting on Waukesha road work

Aug. 24, 2010 5:48 p.m. | Waukesha - The Wisconsin Department of Transportation will hold a public informational meeting Thursday to present planned improvements at the intersection of Highways 59 and 164 at East Ave.The meeting is scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. at Waukesha West High School, 3301 Saylesville Road. Displays will show existing conditions and planned improvements. Project designers will be available for questions.

The project involves adding acceleration and deceleration lanes, dual left-turn lanes onto westbound Highway 59, lengthening turn lanes and reconfiguring existing right-turn lanes to allow for easier merging from right turns.

Construction is scheduled to begin in 2011.

Should a Wisconsin city change its name for Ke$ha?

Aug. 24, 2010 11:50 a.m. | If you’re into pop music, you’ve probably heard of Ke$ha, whose popularity has exploded in the past year.

And if you’re from the area, you’ve perhaps heard of the City of Waukesha.

Can you see where this is going?

Radio host Andy Riggle a.k.a “Riggs” WRNW-FM 97.3 “RadioNOW” has asked Waukesha Mayor Jeff Scrima for a favor in advance of Ke$ha’s show at The Rave in Milwaukee on Thursday.

“I am requesting that for this Thursday ONLY – the city of Waukesha be known as ‘WauKe$ha’ in honor of our good friend Ke$ha performing just down the road, Riggs writes in an open letter to the mayor. “There is no need for any fancy plaques, or gaudy ceremonies, unless you feel the need to coordinate.”

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Ex-teacher sentenced in sex assault of student in Brookfield

Aug. 20, 2010 6:14 p.m. | A former Waukesha County teacher who sexually assaulted one of his students in 1990 was sentenced Friday to seven months in jail as a condition of a three-year probation term.

Ronald A. Schaefer, 49, of Skokie, Ill., pleaded guilty in July to third-degree sexual assault. After serving his jail term in Waukesha County, Schaefer could have his probation transferred to Illinois. Waukesha County Circuit Judge William Domina agreed with the recommended probation sentence, but added the condition of a year in jail, though he stayed the final five months, meaning Schaefer could serve additional time depending on his behavior.

In addition, Domina ordered Schaefer to register as a sex offender and not work as a teacher or coach with any children under age 18. He will begin his jail term on Monday. Schaefer was charged in May 2006 after a then-30-year-old woman told Brookfield police she had had a sexual relationship with Schaefer when she was in eighth grade. Schaefer taught and coached at Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church and School, N87-W16171 Kenwood Blvd., Menomonee Falls, at that time. The assaults took place in Brookfield.

"It took a lot of courage, strength and character for her to stick with this," District Attorney Brad Schimel said of the victim, noting the case has taken four years and gone through three judges to reach a "very good result."

"Each time a victim like this withstands adversity, it makes us a better justice system," Schimel said.

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Win free tickets to a la Carte at the Zoo

Aug. 20, 2010 6:56 a.m. | Want to "feast with the beasts" this weekend?

We have some free tickets to the Journal Sentinel's a la Carte at the Zoo - and they're yours if you visit our Facebook page and tell us what you like most about the Milwaukee County Zoo.

The first 10 people who post a comment on the page will earn the pair of tickets. There is one catch, though. It's too late to mail them out, so you have to stop by our Waukesha newsroom sometime before 6 today to pick them up.

For details, check us out on Facebook.

Waukesha OKs incentives for Weldall expansion

Aug. 18, 2010 11:52 a.m. | Waukesha - The Common Council has unanimously approved financial incentives for a plant expansion at Weldall Manufacturing that promises to create 75 manufacturing jobs.

The metal fabricator is planning a 76,000-square-foot addition to its plant at 2001 S. Prairie Ave. to allow for expansion of the company's product line.

According to the agreement, Waukesha would provide $975,000 in financing to offset construction. The funds would be repaid over a period up to 14 years from property taxes on increased value resulting from the project.

Until the financing district is closed out, the additional tax base is not shared with overlying taxing districts such as schools and the county.

The city is projecting a value of $6.5 million when the project is complete. Company officials list the value of the plant at $3.85 million.

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Recall candidate files papers to challenge Waukesha alderman

Aug. 18, 2010 11:26 a.m. | Waukesha - A single candidate filed nominating papers by Tuesday's deadline to challenge Ald. Peggy Bull in a Sept. 14 recall election.

John Kalblinger, an industrial and management systems engineer employed by ProHealth Care, is the challenger. Bull is serving her second three-year term as an alderman in the south side 7th District. She has eight months remaining of her term.

A citizens group led by Frank Greuel and Wayne Dahnke organized the recall with the general explanation that Bull hadn't represented the interests of her constituents. Greuel has been a leading critic of a transitional group home for sex offenders that located in the district this year. Both serve on Kalblinger's campaign committee.

Whoever is elected at the fall primary must stand for re-election in April to continue serving.

Waukesha County to audit election equipment

Aug. 18, 2010 11:46 a.m. | Waukesha - The County Board's Executive Committee has ordered an audit of the county clerk's election equipment and system beginning with the September primary despite several memos she sent to the committee over the weekend defending her practices and resisting the move.

County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus has maintained that as the one in charge of elections, she is responsible for the security and operation of the system. However, other county officials say they worry about the integrity of the old equipment and the system she's using and whether she has adequate backup.

County Corporation Counsel Thomas Farley told the committee Monday that as an elected official with responsibility for elections, "If she wants to keep everything secret, she probably can.

"I don't know if that's wise or what she should do, but if she wants to and the public is satisfied that that's what they want - someone who keeps everything secret - that's up to them."

The issue came to a head when Nickolaus removed the election results collection and tallying system from the county computer network this spring and installed it on standalone personal computers in her office. She has said they are backed up with redundant systems.

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Waukesha mayor given time to recruit painting volunteers

Aug. 17, 2010 11:36 a.m. | Waukesha - The bare walls at city hall will stay bare awhile longer.

The Building and Grounds Committee agreed Monday to give Mayor Jeff Scrima the chance to recruit volunteers to paint the hallways as he said he intended to do.

Ald. Roger Patton initially wanted the committee to hire a painter to finish the job Scrima started when he had all the artwork - mostly historic pictures of the city - removed two months ago. The faded walls and bare hooks have prompted some complaints about its appearance.

"Maybe there will be a snowstorm of volunteers," Patton said Tuesday.

Ald. Eric Payne, committee chairman, said Tuesday that the committee is asking the mayor to complete the job in 30 days. In addition, he said, the Public Art Committee wants to re-hang the works in a different arrangement. Payne's committee had no objections.

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Waukesha man charged with killing best friend

Aug. 12, 2010 5:10 p.m. | Waukesha - A 24-year-old Waukesha man was charged with first-degree intentional homicide Thursday in the shooting death of his best friend.

Steven P. Osburn faces life in prison if convicted in the Aug. 6 slaying of Zachary S. Gallenberg, 23, of Waukesha.

A bullet struck Gallenberg on his upper left side near his collar bone, according to a criminal complaint filed in Waukesha County Circuit Court.

According to the complaint and Waukesha police, Osburn had called police at 3:34 a.m. Aug. 6 and said that he had been assaulted by his best friend and that if police did not come, he would shoot or kill his roommate.

A woman who witnessed the shooting told police that Gallenberg had hit Osburn in the face twice, the complaint says.

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Last chance to win State Fair tickets on Facebook

Aug. 12, 2010 8:04 a.m. | With just a few days left of the Wisconsin State Fair, you still have time to score free tickets from NOW Newspapers.

All you have to do is "like" NOW Newspapers on Facebook and respond to our last status update and tell us your favorite story from our papers this week.

A random drawing will be held at 8 a.m. Friday and announced on Facebook.

Winners will receive a four-pack of tickets to the fair, which begins runs to Sunday. Winners will have to pick up the tickets in our Waukesha office, 1741 Dolphin Drive, Suite A, 53186.

Recall candidate registers in Waukesha

Aug. 11, 2010 6:00 p.m. | Waukesha - With next Tuesday's deadline looming for candidates seeking to unseat Waukesha Ald. Peggy Bull in the 7th District, one person has stepped forward this week.

John Kalblinger registered as a candidate Tuesday but still had not filed nominating signatures Wednesday.

He could not be reached for comment. Frank Greuel of Concerned Citizens of District 7, who sought the recall on the grounds that Bull was not representing the interest or view of her constituents, chairs Kalblinger's campaign committee. Another "Concerned Citizens" representative, Wayne Dahnke, also is a committee member. Greuel said Kalblinger works for ProHealth Care.

The election will be Sept. 14, the same date as the partisan fall primary. If more than two challengers appear with Bull on the ballot, the election would be settled only if one got more than 50% of the vote.

No foul play suspected in Waukesha death

Aug. 10, 2010 2:12 p.m. | Waukesha - No foul play is suspected in the death of an apparently homeless man who was found Saturday afternoon in a stand of trees on Canadian National Railroad depot property between Arcadian Ave. and Broadway St.

The man, identified Tuesday as Dean Stebbins, 50, suffered from diabetes, and that could have been a factor in his death, Police Lt. Ron Oremus said.

An autopsy was conducted by the Waukesha County medical examiner's office and results are pending. Oremus said another homeless man had talked with Stebbins briefly earlier in the day.

Homicide charge planned in Waukesha shooting

Aug. 09, 2010 5:08 p.m. | Waukesha - A 24-year-old Waukesha man remained jailed on Monday on $500,000 bail in connection with the shooting death Friday morning of his best friend.

Prosecutors intend to file a homicide charge against Steven P. Osburn in connection with the slaying of Zachary S. Gallenberg, 23, of Waukesha, according to an affidavit filed in Waukesha County Circuit Court.

Based on the affidavit, a judge determined there was probable cause to hold Osburn while authorities prepare the case against him.

According to the affidavit by Waukesha Police Detective Jeff Italiano:

Osburn called police at 3:34 a.m. Friday saying that he had been assaulted by his best friend and that if police did not come, he would shoot or kill his roommate.

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Man found dead in Waukesha may have had health issues, police say

Aug. 09, 2010 2:30 p.m. | Waukesha - A 50-year-old man found dead Saturday in a wooded area near an old train depot in Waukesha may have been homeless and had health issues, according to a preliminary investigation by Waukesha police.

Police are not yet releasing the man's name because the investigation is ongoing, Lt. Ron Oremus said Monday.

Police received a call at 4:37 p.m. Saturday that a body had been found near the Canadian National Railway station at 120 E. Broadway, between Arcadian Ave. and E. Broadway.

The caller, who told police he had seen the man about an hour earlier, had kicked him and he did not move, according to a police dispatch report.

The caller had said he had talked with the man about two hours earlier, the report stated.

Fall primary to include recall election of Waukesha alderman

Aug. 06, 2010 11:42 a.m. | Waukesha — The Common Council on Thursday officially set Sept. 14 - the regular fall primary date - for a recall election of 7th District Ald. Peggy Bull. Candidates can register and circulate nominating petitions immediately, until 5 p.m. Aug. 17.

The city clerk-treasurer this week certified that recall organizers had enough signatures to trigger the recall.

In other action Thursday, the council agreed to hire Graef-USA Inc. to develop a comprehensive master plan for the central city at a cost of $186,147. The current plan was developed in 1998.

According to Community Development Director Steve Crandell, about 90% of the recommendations - such as reduction of one-way streets and "way-finding" signs throughout the city - were among the results.

The 13-month study will include at least three public meetings along the way.

Council OKs expansion of Waukesha Electric Systems

Aug. 06, 2010 11:32 a.m. | Waukesha — The Waukesha Common Council on Thursday approved a development agreement and project boundary that provides financial incentives for a previously announced $40 million expansion of Waukesha Electric Systems Inc. on the promise of 265 new manufacturing jobs by 2014.

The company is getting $9 million in tax incremental financing incentives toward its plant and operations expansion at 400 S. Prairie Ave. The expansion is planned so the company can produce a new line of large transformers.

Under tax incremental financing, taxes raised on new development is used to pay off debt incurred to promote the development. Only when the district is dissolved - in this case, up to 20 years later - is the higher tax base shared by overlying taxing districts such as schools and the county.

According to city records, the company has also obtained $12.45 million in federal tax credits and up to $4 million in job hiring tax credits from the Wisconsin Department of Commerce.

According to city records, 177 of the new jobs will pay between $35,000 and $50,000 and 77 will pay more than $50,000 a year. Up to 100 of the jobs are scheduled for creation in 2011.

Man calls police before slaying

Aug. 06, 2010 10:38 a.m. | Waukesha - The caller on the phone with a police dispatcher seemed agitated.

It was 3:34 a.m. Friday, and he was claiming that he had been assaulted twice by his best friend. If police did not come, he said, he was going to kill someone, according to the Waukesha Police dispatch record.

He called again, said he had been assaulted once more and told a dispatcher he was going to shoot or kill his roommate.

In the background, the dispatcher, who reassured the caller that officers were on their way, could hear another male yelling, "I bought booze and you're quitting on me now."

Minutes later, the caller carried out the threat and shot the man at a residence in the 2000 block of Cliff Alex Court on Waukesha's south side, according to police and the dispatch records.

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