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Waukesha man gets 28 years in death of friend

Aug. 24, 2011 5:28 p.m. | Waukesha - A 25-year-old Waukesha man was sentenced Wednesday to 28 years in prison for the shooting death of his best friend last year.

Steven P. Osburn told a judge he was sorry for killing Zachary S. Gallenberg, 23, of Waukesha early on Aug. 6, 2010, and that he wishes he could take back his actions on that alcohol-fueled night.

"But your honor, in life there are no reset buttons," Osburn told Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Mark Gundrum.

He told Gundrum it was painful to see the "hurt and devastation" that he caused to Gallenberg's and his own family and that he would never forgive himself for taking Gallenberg's life.

However, Osburn also told Gundrum that he felt threatened by Gallenberg, who earlier had struck him twice in the face, at Osburn's Waukesha residence in the 2000 block of Cliff Alex Court South.

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Waukesha County executive appoints chief of staff

Aug. 24, 2011 2:48 p.m. | Waukesha - Shawn Lundie, a former staff assistant to three Republican lawmakers, has been hired as chief of staff for Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas.

Lundie, 38, worked in the district and Washington offices of U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner from 1998 to 2005, including as his district coordinator in Brookfield. He was chief of staff for state Sen. Ted Kanavas from 2005 until the end of last year, when Kanavas left office. Since then he has worked in the office of 33rd District Sen. Rich Zipperer.

"I grew up in Delafield and all of my work experience has been serving elected officials in Waukesha County," Lundie said.

The Kettle Moraine High School graduate first knew Vrakas as his state representative, a position Vrakas held from 1990 until his election as county executive in 2005.

Succeeds Nowak

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Waukesha panel rejects mayor's referendum plan

Aug. 23, 2011 12:04 p.m. | Waukesha - Mayor Jeff Scrima is batting 0-for-2 before Common Council committees he asked to consider his proposal for holding a referendum on any major city building project costing more than $50 million.

The Ordinance and License Committee Monday unanimously rejected his plan to put capital projects like the potential water supply project between Waukesha and Lake Michigan to voters in a referendum.

Ald. Steve Johnson, committee chairman, said committee members questioned the impact of such a policy when public improvements are mandated and affect the health and safety of residents. Waukesha is under a 2018 deadline to bring its water supply into compliance with federal standards for radium content.

It was the second committee to reject Scrima's idea. The Finance Committee earlier voted 3-2 against it.

Scrima had asked both committees to consider the referendum policy, which would require a citizen vote on the estimated $164 million or higher plan to bring Lake Michigan water to Waukesha through Milwaukee, Oak Creek or Racine. Scrima has publicly fought to sidetrack the plan. In calling for a referendum, he has said citizens know best how to spend their money.

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Waukesha police nab synthetic pot from 4 stores

Aug. 22, 2011 8:02 p.m. | Waukesha - Police confiscated about $7,000 in synthetic marijuana from four retail outlets Monday after two teenagers showed up at Waukesha Memorial Hospital with adverse reactions to the product.

The substance, a blend of herbs and chemicals that mimics the effects of marijuana when smoked, is marketed under brand names such as K2, Cloud 9, Genie and Spice and often marked as incense.

It's sold in 3-gram packs for up to $45.

Its effects have also been linked to harmful side effects, including increased heart rate and blood pressure, vomiting, tremors, seizures and extreme anxiety.

Sold legally in some areas, its sale is banned in Waukesha, where police said the two teenagers showed adverse reactions to a synthetic chemical found in a product called Purple Magic.

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Attorneys spar over depositions in Town of Waukesha plowing dispute

Aug. 22, 2011 5:48 p.m. | Waukesha - With the Waukesha Town Board and its snowplowing contractor knotted in a court fight over last year's road clearing costs and current contract, a Waukesha County reserve judge Monday stopped short of considering sanctions sought by the contractor's attorney against the town.

However, Judge Patrick Snyder warned that a lack of cooperation could still lead to sanctions in the future.

Attorney Dean Richards, representing contractor Eric S. Jacobson Grading Co., sought to quash the town's subpoenas of 14 snowplow drivers who worked for Jacobson because he said town attorney Hector de la Mora failed to give the required 10-day notice - or any notice - to him of planned depositions.

Most of the depositions were scheduled for this week.

Shortly before Monday afternoon's court hearing, Richards said he received a message on his Blackberry from de la Mora saying the depositions had been canceled. The judge said Richards could make the request for sanctions again later before Waukesha County Circuit Judge J. Mac Davis, who normally presides over the case.

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Nicolet shines in coach's debut

Aug. 19, 2011 10:53 p.m. |

Senior Bryce Bowen scored two touchdowns, returning both a blocked punt and an interception back for scores leading the Nicolet Knights (1-0) over Waukesha South (0-1) in the 2011 football opener, 41-28. The victory gave new head coach Brad Kozaczuk a double shower in cooler water and avenged last year's opening night overtime loss to the Blackshirts.
 
Knights quarterback Brandon Kappell, a senior, was 5 for 9 in the air for 51 yards and a touchdown to go along with a 20-yard touchdown run that opened the scoring. Waukesha South also scored on the first drive when sophomore Isaish Pitchford scored on a 12-yard run to even the game at 7-7. From there Nicolet took control, leading 21-7 at the half after Bowen's first score.
 
Senior Corey Broussard ran for 205 yards on 24 carries and three touchdowns for Waukesha South. For the Knights, it was junior Treland Jenkins leading the way with 133 yards and a touchdown on just 8 carries

Greenfield defeated by Waukesha North

Aug. 19, 2011 10:48 p.m. | Greenfield stumbled early in its season opener at Waukesha North, and by the time the offense found a rhythm, it was too late. The Northstars handed Greenfield its fourth consecutive season-opening loss with a 27-10 victory Friday night.

North scored on the game’s first possession on a nine-play, 48-yard drive capped by senior C.J. Blackburn’s 7-yard touchdown run. Blackburn, pulling double duty at wide receiver and running back, also scored the second of North’s four touchdowns on a 25-yard scamper with 4:57 left in the first half.

North senior running backs Kermit Hernandez and Jake Thein added second-half rushing touchdowns to build a 27-0 lead. Greenfield got on the board midway through the fourth quarter on senior running back Andy Lucas’ 1-yard touchdown run, and senor kicker Alex Bosl connected on a late 32-yard field goal.

Greenfield was without senior right tackle and Northern Illinois commit Josh Ruka, who was out with an ACL sprain. Ruka is expected back for next week’s matchup with Pewaukee.

CMH rallies past Bulldogs

Aug. 19, 2011 10:12 p.m. | After West Allis Central raced out to an early 18-0 lead on the road, Waukesha Catholic Memorial roared back with 39 unanswered points to defeat the Bulldogs, 39-18, at Carroll College to open the 2011 football season on Friday.

Central started off fast as senior Joe Fogl sprung free to block a punt, and  teammate Jerrell Muse picked up the ball and took it 15 yards for the game’s first score. On Memorial's second play from scrimmage following the blocked punt, senior Zach Michalski undercut his defender, intercepting the ball and taking it 50 yards for a touchdown.

Central was clinging to a one-touchdown lead midway through the fourth quarter but as time wore down, so did the Bulldogs' offensive and defensive lines. Memorial quarterback Charlie Walsh gashed the defense for big plays with both his feet and arm. Three quick strikes by Memorial in the less than four minutes turned a seven point deficit to a comfortable victory.

We're tweeting live tonight from high school football games, and you can too

Aug. 19, 2011 10:04 a.m. | You can follow the opening Friday night of high school football action as Journal Sentinel, NOW and Lake Country reporters tweet from high school football games throughout the area.

You can add to our coverage of the games by sending your own tweets with the tag #wisfb to add it to our running feed.

After the games, check out the football scoreboard and statistics page, produced in partnership with WisSports.net.

Before the games begin, you can take a look at the prospects for area teams in our football preview stories, which are featured on the Suburban Sports Roundup page.

Waukesha aluminum foundry to fire all 87 employees

Aug. 16, 2011 5:12 p.m. | Westwood Aluminum Castings Inc. expects to terminate all 87 of its employees by Friday, the Waukesha foundry said Tuesday in a notification to the state Department of Workforce Development.

The company operates a 200,000-square-foot plant at 1242 Lincoln Ave. and has been in business since 1923, according to its website. Originally known as Quality Aluminum Castings, the firm became Westwood in 1997. In 2009, the website says, Westwood was purchased and a new management team installed.

Efforts to reach company executives Tuesday were unsuccessful.

Firm to design Les Paul exhibit at Waukesha museum

Aug. 13, 2011 4:48 p.m. | Waukesha - In the works for more than eight years, a permanent exhibit about the life and career of music legend Les Paul at the Waukesha County Museum is getting a little closer to becoming reality.

The museum announced that it has hired BRC Imagination Arts of Burbank, Calif., to design the exhibit to commemorate Paul, known as the Wizard of Waukesha.

Paul, a Waukesha native who died in August 2009 at the age of 94, was lauded as a pioneer for his creation of the solid-body electric guitar and for inventing overdubbing and multitrack recording techniques.

A 1988 inductee in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Paul was a star of television and radio in the early 1950s with his wife, Mary Ford, with hits such as "Tennessee Waltz," "How High the Moon" and "Vaya Con Dios."

BRC Imagination has an extensive background in museum design and exhibits. Among its clients are the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, the Texas State History Museum, Louisiana's Old State Capitol political history museum, The Museum of Liverpool, the Arizona Science Center and NASA's Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex.

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Waukesha health clinic plans advance

Aug. 11, 2011 11:06 a.m. | Waukesha - The Waukesha Plan Commission has approved plans to turn two buildings in the North Street Market shopping center, which has stood largely empty since it was built in 2005, into a community health clinic.

The panel on Wednesday gave architectural approval to a 1,200 square foot addition that will combine two 8,000-square foot buildings. No Common Council action is needed. A land split that divides the two buildings from a third in the shopping center is still needed. Clinic owners are buying the two buildings on North St. west of Barstow St. from developer Bryce Styza's partnership, which still owns the third building occupied by several small businesses.

Sixteenth Street Community Health Center and ProHealth Care are partnering to open a primary medical care clinic intended to serve low-income, uninsured and underinsured Waukesha area residents. A $2.6 million federal grant to the Sixteenth Street center and a $2 million fundraising campaign by the Waukesha Memorial Hospital Foundation will finance the project.

Ald. Roger Patton unsuccessfully asked to have approval of the project, which is in his district, tabled for two weeks because one business at the center, Jimmy John's sandwich shop, had parking concerns. However, the shopping center is next to the Waukesha Transit Center which has 500 parking stalls, many of them empty most days.

Waukesha's Wildeck acquires Ladder Industries

Aug. 10, 2011 2:58 p.m. | Waukesha's Wildeck Inc. said Wednesday it has purchased Ladder Industries Inc., a Goodyear, Ariz., designer and manufacturer of customized platforms, stairs and ladders.

The acquisition adds 30 employees to the roughly 100 Wildeck currently has, marketing director Hue Schlegel said. He declined to disclose the purchase price.

Wildeck makes custom industrial steel work platforms, freight lifts and safety-guarding products. Ladder Industries, with plants in Goodyear and in Sacramento, Calif., is known for building specialized platforms used in airplane and helicopter maintenance.

"It's a product line that really complements everything we manufacture here at Wildeck," Schlegel said. He said the acquisition also opens markets for Wildeck on the West Coast, where Ladder Industries is strong.

SEC charges brokerage firm with defrauding five districts

Aug. 10, 2011 12:18 p.m. | U.S. securities regulators have charged a St. Louis-based brokerage firm and a former executive with defrauding five Wisconsin school districts by selling them risky investments that were unsuitable for the districts' purposes, according to a complaint filed in a Milwaukee federal court.

In the complaint, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission alleges that Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. and then-senior vice president David Noack created a program to help the school districts fund post-retirement benefits for employees by investing in complex financial instruments. The school districts established trusts and borrowed money to invest about $200 milllion in notes linked to the performance of those instruments, known as collateralized debt obligations, in 2006.

According to the SEC's complaint, Stifel and Noack misrepresented the risk of the investments and failed to disclose material facts to the school districts.

When global markets crashed in 2008, the investments became virtually worthless, but generated significant fees for Stifel and Noack, according to the complaint.

The five Wisconsin districts - Kimberly, Kenosha, West Allis-West Milwaukee, Waukesha and Whitefish Bay - sued Stifel and the Royal Bank of Canada in Milwaukee County circuit court for fraud. The parties were involved in settlement talks last month.

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Waukesha water use below projections

Aug. 09, 2011 4:04 p.m. | The City of Waukesha's water use declined for the fifth consecutive year in 2010 to an average daily demand of 6.69 million gallons a day, records show.

Actual demand was 1.21 million gallons a day less than the 2010 estimate included in the city's request for Great Lakes water.

The higher estimate, provided by a consultant in mid-2009, was based on projections of increasing water use on several fronts that didn't come to pass, said Nancy Quirk, technical services manager for the Waukesha Water Utility.

A wet summer in 2010 marked by flooding throughout the region dampened the need for lawn sprinkling while a weak economy stymied forecasts of a surge in industrial and commercial water use and stalled construction of new residential subdivisions, Quirk said.

But significantly lower water use than estimated in 2010, just one year into the city's projections for future water needs, shows why the state Department of Natural Resources must scrutinize each assumption in Waukesha's application, said Eric Ebersberger, the DNR's water use section chief.

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Released sex offender faces new charges

Aug. 08, 2011 2:22 p.m. | Waukesha - Six weeks after a convicted sex offender was released under a judge's order from state supervision, the man - Dennis C. Marth - attempted to entice several boys for sexual contact at Hartland's Nixon Park, newly filed charges allege.

He is facing four counts of felony child enticement, each carrying a 25-year prison term or $100,000 fine, or both. Marth, who is being held in the Waukesha County Jail, appeared in court Monday, where bail was set at $250,000. A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Aug. 17.

Marth, 50, of Sussex, was released from intensive state supervision May 31 by Judge William Domina based on testimony in a one-day trial. A year earlier, Domina had denied his release despite similar testimony.

Marth initially was convicted of molesting two boys, ages 4 and 5, about 25 years ago. Before his mandatory release date, Waukesha County prosecutors sought to have him committed to intensive treatment at the secure Sand Ridge Treatment Center and, after a trial, a jury agreed. A judge granted him supervised release under a civil commitment order in 2007 - the first such case under the law in Waukesha County and one of 18 in the state at the time.

His release then sparked an outcry and prompted Waukesha city officials to adopt residency restrictions on sex offenders that have since been tightened further.

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Waukesha site pitched for convention center

Aug. 05, 2011 6:48 p.m. | Waukesha - A 6-acre downtown site along the Fox River between Waukesha State Bank and Barstow St. and across from the city's transit center on St. Paul Ave. is being pitched as a potential location for a new convention center hotel, according to Mayor Jeff Scrima.

In an email late Friday afternoon, Scrima distributed a survey on behalf of Partners in Development, which prepares market demand and feasibility analysis for developments by others or itself.

Scrima said the site is a step ahead of others because of the RiverWalk, the transit center with plentiful parking, and a site that is close to downtown shopping, restaurants and arts. He said he contacted the Florida-based firm after referral from other convention center developers.

In his cover letter for the business survey prepared by Partners in Development, Scrima asked for feedback on a potential development and encouraged recipients to forward the survey to others.

John Weeman, a former Hilton Hotels Corp. development manager and founder of Partners in Development, said Friday that in addition to Scrima's distribution, the survey is also being sent out by Carroll University. About 1,200 surveys were being circulated, he estimated.

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Waukesha to begin water negotiations this month

Aug. 04, 2011 9:48 p.m. | The City of Waukesha will begin negotiating Aug. 25 with Oak Creek and Racine for purchase of Lake Michigan water, officials said Thursday.

Negotiations with Milwaukee might get under way in the fall, but Waukesha will have to make a few promises first.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Common Council President Willie Hines Jr. on Thursday asked Waukesha officials to commit to negotiating a separate intergovernmental agreement before Milwaukee begins costly and time-consuming preparations for negotiating a water sale.

The agreement must include a provision for paying Milwaukee for water service that would be in addition to the cost of water, according to a letter from Barrett and Hines to Waukesha Mayor Jeff Scrima, Common Council President Paul Ybarra and Water Utility General Manager Dan Duchniak.

The intergovernmental agreement also must include an industry noncompete clause, which is a commitment from each city not to lure existing businesses away from the other.

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