Henschel tells Council to take a measured approach to BID issue while he and Scrima develop solution
After accusations and resignations have been rampant within Waukesha's downtown Business Improvement District, downtown business owners and former BID Board members have pleaded that the Common Council get involved.
Two aldermen asked for the Council to discuss the removal of the BID Board two weeks ago.
Now, tomorrow's Common Council agenda states that recommendations will be made to Mayor Jeff Scrima for his appointments to the BID Board.
But last Friday, new city administrator Ed Henschel sent out a memo to the Common Council "suggesting that the Council take a measured approach to the issue and allow the mayor and I the time necessary to develop a longer range solution to provide the support to our downtown."
Henschel said members of the Common Council have contacted him and Scrima pressing for an immediate appointment of a new board.» Read Full Article
Are you in the Homecoming spirit, yet?
Well, there's plenty of opportunities with three homecomings at area schools this weekend.
Carroll University is one of them and there will be activities and gatherings for reunion classes all weekend.
As a result, Barstow Street will be closed from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. from just south of Schneider Stadium to just south of Cook Street.
The parade starts at 1 p.m. Saturday with the lineup beginning on Martin and South streets.» Read Full Article
A Waukesha County judge Thursday denied a bid to suppress a statement Brian Pierick gave to investigators regarding a child enticement case.
Pierick, 49, of Sun Prairie, is charged with felony child enticement and publicly exposing his genitals, in connection with text messages he sent to a 17-year-old Waukesha boy in late 2010. He is the business and domestic partner of Timothy D. Russell, a former top aide to Gov. Scott Walker while Walker was Milwaukee County executive.
The evidence against Pierick surfaced during a secret John Doe investigation into Walker aides and associates that resulted in embezzlement charges against Russell.
Pierick's trial was moved to Jan. 12.
Russell wasn't charged in connection with the child enticement, but is listed as a co-conspirator of Pierick's in attempting to lure the 17-year-old into Russell's van for a sexual encounter. The boy declined to enter the van.
United Way in Waukesha County has set a goal of raising a record $5 million annually by the end of its 2014 campaign, the charitable organization announced Thursday.
The group also wants to recruit 500 volunteers to serve as readers, tutors and mentors, labeling the dual targets "Strive for Five."
To date, the organization's fundraising high point was nearly $4.9 million in 2008, "so we are confident that we can set a higher standard for philanthropy in Waukesha County moving forward," Executive Director Jayne Thoma said in a news release.
United Way in Waukesha County hopes to raise $4.5 million by the end of its 2012 campaign, board President Paul Melnick said.
Department of Natural Resources on Thursday confirmed epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) was found in tissue samples from dead deer in Dane, Sauk and Waukesha counties.The
The department last week reported similar findings from dead deer in Columbia and Rock counties. The outbreak of the disease is the first recorded in Wisconsin since 2002, when 14 dead deer were linked to EHD in Iowa County.
The disease has been confirmed in 178 dead deer in Wisconsin this year, said Eric Lobner, DNR wildlife supervisor.
That number is expected to increase. The DNR is receiving calls daily with additional reports of dead deer, Lobner said.
The EHD-positive deer samples were confirmed in testing at Michigan State University’s Diagnostic Center for Population & Animal Health. Additional tests of deer from Columbia, Iowa, Jefferson and Marquette counties are pending and expected in the next week or two.» Read Full Article
Waukesha - Spending on Waukesha County government services and construction projects would drop 3.8% to $273.7 million in 2013, under a budget proposed by County Executive Dan Vrakas.
The bottom line - an overall cut in county government spending of $10.9 million next year - was achieved by spending less on major capital construction projects than this year.
Financial challenges from rising vehicle fuel prices, increased spending on adult jail inmates and reductions in investment income were more than offset by reducing the capital budget by $12 million, according to budget documents.
Cutting county spending will lessen the property tax burden on home and business owners, Vrakas said.
"Last year, we were able to freeze taxes on a median valued home," he said in comments before the County Board.» Read Full Article
The Waukesha County Manufacturing Alliance is sponsoring a series of opportunities for high school students and their parents, college students and educators to tour local manufacturing facilities.
Tours will take place Oct. 5 and will take place at Aries Industries, Inc.; Cooper Power Systems; Dickten Masch Plastics; DUECO, Inc./UELC; GE Energy Waukesha gas engines; Generac; Magnetek; MetalTek International; Power Test; Rentapen, Inc.; Stanek Tool; Tailored Label Products; Waukesha Metal Products; and Weldall Manufacturing.
Tours require advance registration with the manufacturer. Information regarding the tour content and registration information can be found at www.waukesha.org
Registration is due by Oct. 3.
The program is a response to manufacturers' ongoing concerns about attracting and retaining the next generation of workers. Shortages exist for engineers, CNC operators, welders, building maintenance technicians, automation technicians and a host of other family-supporting careers. There are currently openings for these positions in Waukesha County and with the anticipated retirement of more baby boomers over the next decade, the demand will continue to grow, the Manufacturing Alliance said in a statement.» Read Full Article
The town of Brookfield's request to incorporate as a village has been sent back to the Wisconsin Department of Administration after mediation failed between the town and neighboring municipalities.
City of Brookfield Attorney Karen Flaherty today confirmed the move. She said that Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge James Kieffer lifted the stay on the state's review of the incorporation Sept. 20.
Flaherty said she has not heard a timeline for the Department of Administration to review and decide any next steps in the matter.
The mediation was held between the town and nearby municipalities including the cities of Brookfield and Waukesha and the village of Sussex to iron out consolidation issues.
In order for the town to become a village, it needs a required minimum of four-square-miles of contiguous territory. The town, seeking to protect itself from annexation, has petitioned to annex 288 acres in the town of Waukesha.» Read Full Article
The Harlem Ambassadors, a world-basketball traveling show, is all about putting on high-flying entertainment with its slam dunks, ball-handling tricks and comedy routines.
But the team is also about their message of staying in school, staying off drugs and fostering racial harmony.
They promote this message during their stops at schools during their tours.
The tour will come to Waukesha South High School on Wednesday night.
While the Harlem Ambassadors will probably be new to most in attendance, its opponents on the Waukesha Wonders team are familiar names.» Read Full Article
Authorities cordoned off an area in Waukesha early Monday after finding a suspicious package at a motor sports store and requesting assistance from Milwaukee County's bomb squad.
The suspicious item turned out to be a homemade doorstop fashioned by the owner by Action Power Sports on Travis Lane near Highway 59.
According to a news release:
Police went to the store at about 11:20 p.m. after a burglar alarm was sounded. Officers found a broken window. The officers called for backup and the K9 unit. An entry team found the suspicious package on the ground just inside the broken window. The package was the size of a large phone book, with two smaller packages taped together. It was wrapped in duct tape. An armored car and the Waukesha County Regional Bear Cat, which is an armored vehicle, were deployed.
The key holder was reached as Milwaukee County bomb squad arrived on scene. The owner said the item was a doorstop. Nevertheless, Milwaukee's unit sent a robot up to the package. It confirmed that it was indeed a doorstop.
Waukesha - Waukesha city officials expect to have a Lake Michigan water purchase plan in hand by the end of October, and it appears Oak Creek is the front-runner to become the preferred supplier.
Water Utility Commission President Dan Warren declined to comment Wednesday on whether the commission or Common Council in back-to-back closed door meetings Tuesday stated a preference for Oak Creek or Racine as the supplier.
Dan Duchniak, water utility general manager, said both the commission and council gave him their recommendations on which community had the best offer but he did not disclose whether it was Oak Creek or Racine.
The timetable calls for the Waukesha Common Council and the preferred supplier's city council to approve by the end of October a formal memorandum of understanding that summarizes details of an eventual water agreement.
Only Oak Creek is capable of meeting Waukesha's timetable.» Read Full Article
the staff quit, and now nearly the entire board of directors has resigned, too.Waukesha - First
Eleven of 13 members of the downtown Waukesha Business Improvement District Board have quit - the majority at Tuesday night's Common Council meeting in emotional statements over the controversy that has pitted board member against board member, and board member against staff.
Former Executive Director Meghan Sprager resigned recently, issuing a scathing letter that accused some board members of creating unrelenting conflict and a hostile work environment. On the heels of those charges, board leaders survived a board vote of no-confidence, prompting two board members to quit in protest.
Tuesday night, with the Common Council set to take up a referral by council members Eric Payne and Kathleen Cummings seeking removal of the entire board, other board members used the public comment period to announce their departures.
Mayor Jeff Scrima on Wednesday declined to answer a question about when he would appoint new board members, or what process he would use to find replacements. Those who resigned, he said in an email, "are still committed to our vibrant downtown, and we look forward to the new opportunities this will bring."» Read Full Article
Waukesha - The Waukesha Fire Department began three days of training today on a farmhouse scheduled for demolition next month near S. Oakdale Road and Highway 59.
Firefighters from all five of the city fire stations will be rotated through the training site Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday between 8:15 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Battalion Chief Joe Hoffman said individuals with respiratory or medical problems that may be irritated from exposure to smoke are asked to close their windows and avoid the areas around the training site, in the 2200 block of S. Oakdale Road.
The property is owned by the Waukesha School District.
Waukesha - Waukesha County Sheriff Dan Trawicki has discontinued visitation at the county jail on Monday through Thursday nights, affecting attorneys visiting their clients and the general public seeking to visit a jailed family member or friend.
Sheriff's Inspector Eric Severson said the move was made as a cost-saving measure - one of several proposed for the 2013 budget that will help the department meet its tax levy target from the county executive. A three-month survey of visits shows that more than 50% of the time, there's one or fewer visitors during that period, Severson told the Criminal Justice Collaborating Council on Monday.
Jail Administrator Michael Giese said because a clerical position was vacant - the person who greets the public, makes certain they have proper credentials and links up the video visitation - the department decided to keep it vacant rather than lay a new employee off.
Visitation effective at the start of this month is from 7:30 to 11 a.m. and 12:30 to 4 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, visitation continues from 5:30 to 9 p.m.
"It's going fine," Giese said, adding that there have been no complaints so far.» Read Full Article
Nuck correctly selected the winner in four out of five high school football games and was the closest to predicting the final score of the Marquette vs. Brookfield Central contest.
He wins a pair of tickets to Marcus Theatres. Movie passes will be given away to one winner each week and three winners at the end of the regular season will receive a gift card to Bartolotta restaurants worth $100, $50 or $25.
You can join the more than 700 people who have already signed up for the fun by registering at www.mycommunitynow.com/pigskin. You can register using your Facebook account and the game is fully playable through a smart phone.
NOW sportswriters John Rech and Tom “Sky” Skibosh lead the VIP competition. Reigning Miss St. Francis Colleen Mrotek is a game back.» Read Full Article
After two heart-breaking losses earlier this season for the Mukwonago football team, the Indians looked destined for a third.
Waukesha Catholic Memorial drove down the field to score to pull within one point late in the fourth quarter. But Memorial’s fake extra-point attempt fell short as the Indians prevailed, 14-13, on Friday night at Carroll University.
“I told the guys we've got to break the glass,” said Mukwonago coach Clay Iverson. “We finally were able to break though tonight and get that win.”
After struggling to find any consistency on offense for close to 55 minutes, Memorial strung together a nine-play drive that packed as much excitement in one drive that many experience in a whole game. On fourth down needing four yards, quarterback Pat White dumped off a short pass to Matt Hubley that needed a measurement and required multiple officials to confirm the first down.» Read Full Article
Muskego needed to make a statement as the new kid on the block in the powerhouse Classic 8 football conference. Facing a daunting schedule that pitted the Warriors against the league’s annual powers to open the 2012 season, Muskego entered Friday’s game with losses to Arrowhead and Mukwonago and looked at Waukesha West without the services of star running back David Kucharski.
Down 28-27 with just 3:08 left in the game, the Warriors quickly turned gloom into a startling 41-28 victory.
“The kids really responded,” said a jubilant coach Ken Krause. “We are a team, not a one man show. Our theme is unity, family and brotherhood and we’ve faced adversity all season. We don’t make excuses – we didn’t have a returning starter from last season and have four kids out for the season with injuries. So many players have stepped up … I had 22 fresh starters tonight. This is one of the top three wins since I came to Muskego.
"I am proud of the kids and coaches. We are getting better playing great teams – next week it’s Catholic Memorial.”
Neither team showed much strength on defense, as ground games ate up yardage through the first half and into the third quarter. With Kucharski, the Warriors 6-4, 210-pund running back held out of the starting lineup by Krause, junior Peter Roy truly rose to the occasion. Carrying the ball 20 times in the first half for 79 yards, he led his team to a 20-15 intermission lead. He scored touchdowns on runs of fou yards, 20 yards and one yard.» Read Full Article
The Common Council is going to get involved.
At the request of Ald. Kathleen Cummings and Ald. Eric Payne, Waukesha's Common Council will discuss and recommend the removal of the 13-member downtown Business Improvement District Board at its Tuesday meeting.
Over the last month Council members have watched as downtown business owners, BID board members and its former executive director have aired their dirty laundry in public.
Board members have accused other board members of bullying and others voted no-confidence in the current leadership at a recent meeting.
While individuals on the Board and in downtown have said that these aren't new problems, everything erupted after Meghan Sprager resigned from her position as executive director and sent out a resignation letter that cited a hostile work environment.» Read Full Article
Visit www.mycommunitynow.com/pigskin to register for the contest and take your best shot at winning the weekly prize of a pair of tickets to Marcus Theatres. Three winners at the end of the regular season will receive a gift card to Bartolotta restaurants worth $100, $50 or $25.
This week's featured games are: Germantown vs. Cedarburg, Greendale vs. Pewaukee, New Berlin West vs. New Berlin Eisenhower, Mukwonago vs. Catholic Memorial and Marquette vs. Brookfield Central.
Time-Warner Cable sportscaster JP Cadorin moved into a tie for the top spot among VIP pickers with his performance last week. He is a game ahead of Colleen Mrotek, the reigning Miss St. Francis, who fell back a bit last week after debuting at 5-0.
Need some help handicapping the games? Visit the Push for the Playoffs for a capsule look at area teams, statistics and more.» Read Full Article
Waukesha - A potential change in how Waukesha County provides shelter care for troubled boys and girls isn't going to be proposed in County Executive Dan Vrakas' 2013 budget, but a study of potential agencies that could provide the service is ongoing and could still come before the County Board next year.
Director of Administration Norman A. Cummings said that six viable proposals are under study after the county solicited requests for information from 195 agencies last month. Some of the responses came from agencies that already operate other residential facilities in Waukesha County under contract with the Department of Health and Human Services.
Waukesha County closed its locked unit for court-judged delinquent juvenile girls this year as a way to save money, paying Washington County to house them instead. Cummings said the county expects to continue to keep its locked wing for delinquent boys in operation for now. The Juvenile Court is not part of the search for alternatives.
In surveying other counties, Cummings said Kenosha County, for example, has 20% fewer juveniles in shelter care than Waukesha County yet spends less than half on the service, for which Kenosha County contracts.
"It tells us its worth looking at," he said.
General Electric Co. announced that it has hired 115 people at its gas engine business in Waukesha in the past 18 months, bringing its workforce at the site to about 680 people.
The announcement was made as part of a ceremony for the company's $3.1 million investment in its engineering center.
Gov. Scott Walker and local economic development officials attended the ceremony Wednesday afternoon for the renovated 22,000-square-foot engineering center.
GE said about 100 people work in engineering at the company's Waukesha operations.
The former Waukesha Engine makes natural gas engines used in oil and gas fields, factories and utilities worldwide.» Read Full Article
Gov. Scott Walker will be in Waukesha Wednesday to “unveil a significant local economic development” at the GE Energy Gas Engines Facility, 1101 W. St. Paul Ave.
The event begins at 3:30 p.m. and will celebrate job growth at the facility since early last year when GE acquired Waukesha Engines.
Waukesha Mayor Jeff Scrima, GE Energy’s Waukesha Gas Engines President Brian White and other local economic business leaders will be on hand for the event.
According to a news release by GE, Wednesday’s event will include both an “investment announcement” as well as information about local jobs added since GE took over.
Town of Waukesha - Owners of Five Diamonds Inc., the Town of Waukesha youth baseball complex that has yet to find peace with its neighbors since opening this spring, are seeking annexation to the City of Waukesha.
Owners Tom Kelenic and Greg Beatty have been seeking Town Board approval to extend operating hours and lights since being issued a conditional use permit.
Neighbors and some Waukesha Town Board members say the owners haven't lived up to conditions they agreed to, with games, loudspeakers and lights lasting past the approved closing time.
The owners accuse neighbors of harassment, taking videos of children playing if games run long, and having to shut down games before they're over.
Attorney J. Steven Tikalsky, representing Five Diamonds, notified the town of the owners' petition for annexation by letter a week ago.» Read Full Article
Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards, officer Savan Lenda, Mayor Stephen Scaffidi and U.S. Attorney James Santell today released dash-cam video from the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin shootings that took place Aug. 5.
The video, taken from Lt. Brian Murphy's and Lenda's vehicles, shows Murphy's arrival, his immediate care of the victims - whose images are blurred - and his contact with gunman Wade Michael Page.
It shows that Murphy was able to fire a round at Page before he was taken down. The video then cuts to Lenda's vehicle as it enters the temple parking lot, stops and backs up.
"I've got a man in the parking lot with a gun," Lenda says in the video. Lenda's windshield is then hit by a bullet. Lenda returns six shots, and Page falls to the ground. One extra shot, believed by the FBI to be the fatal self-inflicted shot, is heard.
Santell confirmed that the FBI's investigation showed Lenda's headrest was hit by the bullet that struck his vehicle.» Read Full Article
First it was the executive director.
Then it was her assistant.
Now board members are resigning.
The Waukesha Business Improvement District continues to lose those affiliated with its organization that represents the downtown, citing numerous frustrations with the current board leadership.
A few weeks after BID Executive Director Meghan Sprager announced her resignation due to a “hostile work environment” and bullying from board members, two members have now followed her lead as did her assistant, John Ward.» Read Full Article
Karas picked all five games correctly and came the closest to predicting the final score of the Marquette vs. West Alls Hale game. He wins a pair of tickets to Marcus Theatres and has a shot at being one of the three winners at the end of the regular season. Each of those winners will receive a gift card to Bartolotta restaurants worth $100, $50 or $25.
Next week's featured contests, which are now open for picking, are: Germantown vs. Cedarburg; Greendale vs. Pewaukee, New Berlin West vs. New Berlin Eisenhower, Mukwonago vs. Catholic Memorial and Marquette vs. Brookfield Central.
Need some help handicapping the games? Visit the Push for the Playoffs for a capsule look at area teams, statistics and more.
Big time opportunities were presented to both Waukesha West and Kettle Moraine on Friday.
But only West took advantage of them, winning 23-0 on the road to improve to 2-1 overall and 2-0 in league play.
West’s tenacious play helped create four turnovers.
“Whenever the turnover ratio goes in your favor, you have a great chance of winning,” West coach Steve Rux said. “Whether it’s forced turnovers or unforced turnovers, we want to take that and run with it.”
The unforced turnover occurred when West punted and the Kettle Moraine return man could not hold on. West senior captain Dylan Chmura pounced on the ball at Kettle Moraine’s 10-yard line.» Read Full Article
Register now for the chance to each week win a pair of tickets to Marcus Theatres. Three winners at the end of the regular season will receive a gift card to Bartolotta restaurants worth $100, $50 or $25.
Colleen Mrotek, the reigning Miss. St. Francis, joined the fray this season as a celebrity guest picker and rolled to a 5-0 record in the first round. She was joined in the ranks of the undefeated by NOW sportswriter John Rech and contestant Jeff Slusar, who won movie tickets by predicting the exact final score of the Brookfield Central vs. West Allis Hale tiebreaker match up.
This week's featured contests are: Catholic Memorial vs. Arrowhead; Brookfield Central vs. Sussex Hamilton; Cedarburg vs. Whitefish Bay; Oak Creek vs. Franklin and Marquette vs. West Allis Hale.
Need some help handicapping the games? Visit the Push for the Playoffs for a capsule look at area teams, statistics and more.» Read Full Article
Want to know which high school football teams are headed toward a WIAA postseason bid and who might be among the also-rans?
Visit Push for the Playoffs each week at www.mycommunitynow.com/push as Lake Country Publications/NOW Newspapers sports director JR Radcliffe sizes up the playoff chances of all area teams. You will also find standings, area statistical leaders, a player of the week and more.
Waukesha - Waukesha resident and taxpayer Edmund Henschel starts work Monday morning as Waukesha's new administrator after a yearlong search and a unanimous confirmation vote Tuesday by the Common Council.
"I'm excited," he said Wednesday. "This is my community. I live here."
He'll be paid $140,000 a year, get five weeks of vacation, dental and life insurance benefits equivalent to those provided other employees and up to $500 a month as reimbursement for Medicare supplemental health insurance.
Human Resources Committee Chairman Ald. Joan Fancoeur called Henschel a bargain in that there would be no relocation expenses, the savings on medical benefits and less than expected costs for recruiting a candidate.
"I think his appointment is a tremendous coups for this city," she said.» Read Full Article
Waukesha - Leaders of the downtown Waukesha Business Improvement District disregarded calls for their resignation Tuesday, despite what some members described as failed leadership and a scathing tell-all letter about them released by departing executive director Meghan Sprager.
In the end, the board rejected, 9-3, a statement of no-confidence in Board President Norm Bruce and Vice President Lynn Gaffey.
However, the board also rejected Bruce's suggestion that he, Gaffey and other Executive Committee members oversee day-to-day operations of the BID office during transition to a new director. Instead, the board voted 11-1 to have Stephen Kassens, a board member who had been considered for president last year, oversee the transition along with Bruce and board treasurer Ron Lostetter.
"I don't think we've ever had in the history of the BID such a difficult situation as this," said board member and downtown developer and property owner William Huelsman.
He suggested Bruce and Gaffey resign their offices, but not their board membership, and that Sprager stay on for at least six months to continue managing the affairs of the district, which supports business retention and downtown improvements through a self-taxing arrangement.» Read Full Article
MyCommunityNOW Pigskin Picks contest and predicted the exact final score of the Brookfield Central vs. West Allis Hale tiebreaker match up.Congratulations are in order for Jeff Slusar, who correctly picked the winners of all five games in this week's
Slusar wins a pair of tickets to Marcus Theatres and is among the leaders as we head into the second week of the contest. Three winners at the end of the season will receive a gift card to Bartolotta restaurants worth $100, $50 or $25.
Colleen Mrotek, the reigning Miss St. Francis, proved her football prowess by picking all five games correctly. She is joined atop the VIP rankings by NOW sportswriter John Rech, who also enjoyed an undefeated week.
This week's games are now available for picking. Featured contests are: Catholic Memorial vs. Arrowhead; Brookfield Central vs. Sussex Hamilton; Cedarburg vs. Whitefish Bay; Oak Creek vs. Franklin and Marquette vs. West Allis Hale.