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Brookfield East, Waukesha West soccer photos now online

Oct. 29, 2010 6:59 a.m. | The top-ranked Brookfield East soccer team posted a 2-0 victory over Waukesha West yesterday at Uihlein Soccer Park in Milwaukee in a state quarterfinal game and we've just posted Peter Zuzga's photo gallery with all the action from the contest.

Brookfield East will play today at 5 p.m. against Marquette in the semifinal game. The Hilltoppers advanced with a 4-1 victory yesterday over Kenosha Bradford.

The title game is at 2 p.m. on Saturday and will be against the winner of the Appleton North vs. Eau Claire Memorial match up.

Go to photo gallery.

East blanks Waukesha West, advances to state semi-finals Friday

Oct. 28, 2010 3:11 p.m. | The top-ranked Brookfield East Spartans shut out Waukesha West, 2-0, Thursday afternoon in the opening game of the WIAA State Soccer Tournament at Uihlein Park.

Senior captain Evan Griffin put the Spartans on the board at the 8 minute, 57 second mark, when he took a shot straight on in front of the goal and drilled it into the top right corner of the net for a 1-0 lead.

"The ball came to me and I knew if I kicked it there were guys in front of me and it would have been deflected," Griffin said. "So I passed it back to Peter (Horner). He then either passed it or took a shot and it was deflected back to my foot and I had a rip."

East coach Herbie Dundun was thrilled with the quick goal.
"I always said the game is about momentum," he said. "That gave us the momentum and then it was about retaining it and we did that for quite a while.

East then put the game away when senior Conner Hansen got the ball to senior captain Andy Raymonds in front of the net and he kicked in the shot at 12:39 for a 2-0 advantage.

» Read Full Article

Vrakas to run for Waukesha County executive re-election in spring

Oct. 28, 2010 11:00 a.m. | Waukesha — Before voters have a chance to get past Tuesday's election, Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas is well on his way to preparing for the one after that, in April.

Vrakas, who became county exec in a special election in 2005, announced Thursday that he'll run for re-election in the spring.

Citing the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance listing of Waukesha County as the lowest in per capita spending among all Wisconsin counties, Vrakas said his campaign would focus on maintaining the county's reputation for low taxes and spending, and high-quality services at low cost through innovation and efficiency.

Unlike Tuesday's election, the spring ballots are for nonpartisan offices.

Waukesha County Board puts off study of future of courthouse

Oct. 27, 2010 3:56 p.m. | Waukesha - The Waukesha County Board has voted to remove a $250,000 study of the courthouse - whether to remodel it or replace it, temporarily relocating employees in either case - from the county's five-year capital plan, otherwise adopted as proposed by County Executive Dan Vrakas.

Supervisor Robert Hutton made the motion to strike the courthouse study, planned for next year, and the County Board agreed on a 14-8 vote. Hutton's next move would be to propose an amendment to the 2011 operating budget to remove the funds.

Only the first year of the five-year capital plan has an impact on the budget and tax levy. Budget amendments will be considered by the Finance Committee Nov. 3. County Board action on the full budget is scheduled for 9 a.m. Nov. 9.

Hutton also targeted a $36 million Health and Human Services building proposed to start in 2012 and rest room renovations in county parks. The County Board voted to leave both items in the plan.

The courthouse, at 515 W. Moreland Blvd., was built in 1959.

» Read Full Article

Follow the WIAA football playoffs live tonight

Oct. 26, 2010 6:46 p.m. | We're only a few moments away from kickoff in this season's WIAA football postseason and there is no better way to keep up with all the action in the first round than to check visit Preps Plus Playoff Central.

The special page features a tweeter feed with live updates from our reporters and fans at the games, a video roundtable previewing the first round, a poll and much more.

Go to Preps Plus Playoff Central

Waukesha Salvation Army boosts Red Kettle goal

Oct. 26, 2010 12:56 p.m. | Waukesha - When the Salvation Army's Red Kettle campaign kicks off Nov. 5 in Waukesha County, the agency is hoping that bell ringers can bring in $365,000 this Christmas season - about $15,000 more than they raised last year.

Counting expected donations made directly to Salvation Army in addition to the Red Kettle Campaign, the Waukesha chapter hopes to raise its highest Christmas fund total ever - $535,000, the agency announced.

The Salvation Army uses about 16,000 volunteers to staff the red kettles stationed throughout Waukesha County until Dec. 24. Commanders Ron and Carol Lemirand said hundreds of spots are still open and volunteers can sign up at www.waukeshasalvationarmy.org.

Higher demand for services - from nights in the homeless shelter to community meals to Christmas toys for children - accounts for the higher fund-raising goal.

Waukesha Mayor Jeff Scrima is scheduled to ring the first bell of the Red Kettle campaign at Pick 'n Save, 1535 E. Moreland Blvd., Waukesha, beginning at 10 a.m. Nov. 5.

6,000 without power as storms move through area

Oct. 26, 2010 9:13 a.m. | About 6,000 We Energies customers in southeastern Wisconsin were without power as of about 9 a.m. because of powerful storms and strong winds moving through the region, a company spokesman said.

About 1,300 customers were without power in Sturtevant, where a tornado may have touched down just before 8 a.m., We Energies spokesman Brian Manthey said. Several power lines were down in the area, he said.

About 1,700 customers near Somers in Kenosha County were also without power, Manthey said. The possible tornado that caused the damage near Sturtevant was reported to have passed near Somers while traveling north.

Meanwhile, We Energies crews have restored power to some customers in other areas. Only about 25 customers in Wauwatosa were still without power as of 9 a.m., down from about 1,200 customers around 7:40 a.m.

Scattered outages were also reported in Walworth and Jefferson counties.

» Read Full Article

Grab a seat at our prep roundtable as we preview the football postseason

Oct. 25, 2010 2:07 p.m. | The high school football playoffs begin tomorrow night at 7 p.m. and you can get insight into some of the top matchups in our video roundtable as NOW's David Cotey and Steven Tietz are joined by the Journal-Sentinel's Mark Stewart.

The video, a blog and more are also available on Preps Plus Playoff Central page, which will be updated with game stories and photo galleries throughout the postseason.

Go to video.

Gingrich in Waukesha Tuesday

Oct. 25, 2010 10:50 a.m. | Newt Gingrich and radio host Mike Gallagher will appear at a rally on Tuesday night at the Waukesha Expo Center to support Wisconsin Republican candidates.

Waukesha is one stop on the "Job Here, Jobs Now Tour," which is also stopping in Phoenix; San Diego; Las Vegas;  Sioux City, Iowa; Collinsville, Ill.; Manchester, NH; Harrisburg, PA; Lima, OHJacksonvilleAtlanta, and Greenville, SC

The gubernatorial campaign of Scott Walker said Walker will be at the event.

Here's more information on the rally.

Muskego, Waukesha West soccer photo gallery now online

Oct. 22, 2010 10:38 a.m. | We've just posted NOW photojournalist C.T. Kruger's photo gallery from last night's WIAA Divison 1 soccer sectional semifinal between No. 4 Waukesha West and No. 1 Muskego.

Waukesha West earned a 4-3 victory and advanced to a sectional final Saturday at No. 2 Kettle Moraine.

Go to photo gallery.

Follow live from WIAA headquarters as football brackets are made

Oct. 22, 2010 3:32 p.m. | Be sure to check in with Lake Country Publications' JR Radcliffe today as he tweets from the war room in Stevens Point as WIAA staff members put together the football playoff brackets.

The WIAA worked into the early morning hours to determine the postseason field and expects to have the brackets finished later today.

Go to Preps Alcove.

Is the Chupacabra demon lurking in Waukesha?

Oct. 21, 2010 3:40 p.m. |

Those burning eyes. That dragon tail. The scales. What stalks Waukesha County after dark?

Abby Lorenz, of Oconomowoc, tells Animal Magnetism that Rob Braun of Wales, who works for her husband at Ellison Technologies in Pewaukee, took this chill-raising photo and asked her to identify it..""Rob said that the animal only came out at night and would sit on its haunches like a kangaroo while it sat with its paws up and ate the crab apples." (Yes, the specter of the Waukesha County Kangaroo raises its head yet again.)

Lorenz sent the photo to The Wildlife in Need Center in Oconomowoc for possible identification. Sheryl Cummings, a spokeswoman for the center, sent out a press release on the photo, asking with tongue possibly implanted in cheek, whether the picture  "may point to the existence of the elusive and legendary El Chupacabra residing in southeastern Wisconsin."

Now, El Chupacabra has been a fixture of Hispanic folklore for years, and reported sightings of this demonic goat-taster have usually come from Mexico or Puerto Rico. Wisconsin isn't known as prime Chupacabra turf. And the animal was seen gulping fruit, not blood.

» Read Full Article

New Waukesha DMV center to debut Monday

Oct. 21, 2010 11:58 a.m. | Waukesha - The state Division of Motor Vehicles customer service center on West Ave. in Waukesha is closing its doors and a new one is opening starting Monday on Golf Road west of Highway T.

The building, with quick freeway access and energy efficient construction, offers customers 75% more space, improved lighting and expanded parking, according to the Department of Transportation's announcement.

About 2,500 to 2,900 customers per week are expected to use the facility.

The center will operate from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays; and 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursdays.

The former center at 400 S. West Ave. operated for 27 years.

Waukesha answers questions about Lake Michigan water supply plan

Oct. 20, 2010 5:31 p.m. | Waukesha -- The Water Utility has posted a "frequently asked questions" publication on the city website to provide information on the city's request for a Lake Michigan water supply, Water Utility General Manager Dan Duchniak said.

Residents will find brief answers to 14 questions. Among them: "Why does the city need a new source of supply for drinking water?" and "What drinking water supply alternatives did the city consider?"

Information contained in the answers was taken from the May 20 Great Lakes Water Application.

The "frequently asked questions" publication was distributed to residents attending an Oct. 18 public meeting at City Hall.

The state Department of Natural Resources is reviewing the city's request. Wisconsin and each of the other seven Great Lakes states must approve the plan, under terms of a Great Lakes protection compact.

Waukesha Walmart to open Nov. 3

Oct. 20, 2010 4:11 p.m. | The new Walmart on Hwy. 59 in Waukesha will open November 3, according to a sign posted at the old Walmart on Hwy. 164.

The older store will close when the new one opens. A clearance sale is underway now at the Hwy. 164 store. I visited the store Tuesday and found many shelves already bare in the general merchandise areas.

The new Walmart in Muskego will open Oct. 27, at W159S6530 Moorland Rd.

Crites Field in Waukesha awarded security grant

Oct. 20, 2010 12:14 p.m. | Waukesha - Crites Field, the Waukesha County airport, has been awarded nearly $740,000 in state and federal funds for construction of new vehicle access gates intended to increase security, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation announced Wednesday.

Improvements to the airport's perimeter fencing will not only increase security but also reduce the potential for drivers ending up in unfamiliar territory on the airport grounds, said Andrew Trimble, airport development engineer with the Bureau of Aeronautics.

The Federal Aviation Administration is providing $719,458 while the state and Waukesha County are each paying $18,930 toward the project. Construction is expected to be done by late fall, Trimble said.

Crites Field, a reliever airport to Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee, has about 63,000 takeoffs and landings a year.

Waukesha bans fake pot

Oct. 19, 2010 10:36 p.m. | The Waukesha Common Council Tuesday night voted 14-0 in favor of an ordinance that bans the sale and possession of a substance said to produce a high similar to marijuana.

With one member absent, the council voted to ban the substance sold under various names, including K2, Spice, Yucatan Fire, Citron and Genie, council president Paul Ybarra said.

The ordinance includes fines of $400-$1,000 for the possession of the substance and $500-$1,000 fines for its sale and distribution, Ybarra said.

The ordinance states that synthetic chemical cannabinoids are potentially dangerous to users because of irregular potency - up to 100 times greater than marijuana - that can produce heart palpitations, hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, seizures, panic attacks, increased agitation and vomiting.

Waukesha council to act on synthetic pot ordinance

Oct. 18, 2010 6:20 p.m. | Waukesha - When the Common Council considers an ordinance banning the sale, use and possession of fake pot Tuesday night, aldermen will be asked to impose a stiffer penalty than the $100 to $500 fine imposed by Milwaukee last week.

As drafted, the Waukesha ordinance would carry a $500 to $1,000 fine - plus the cost of prosecution - for anyone found to sell, display for sale or deliver synthetic chemical cannabinoids known by such names as K2, Spice, Yucatan Fire, Citron and Genie, among others. Each day a violation continues would constitute a separate offense.

Fines for possession range from $400 to $1,000 under the proposal, together with the cost of prosecution.

Aldermen earlier this month unanimously directed the city attorney to prepare a ban on the substance so it could be acted on Tuesday without committee review or the usual multiple readings.

The ordinance states that synthetic chemical cannabinoids are potentially dangerous to users because of irregular potency - up to 100 times greater than marijuana - that can produce heart palpitations, hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, seizures, panic attacks, increased agitation and vomiting.

» Read Full Article

Ex-teacher convicted in Waukesha sex assault case

Oct. 18, 2010 5:10 p.m. | Waukesha - A former teacher who had sex with a 15-year-old girl was convicted of second-degree sexual assault on Monday after entering a no-contest plea to the charge.

Bryan F. Wendt, 27, of North Prairie, is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 14 by Waukesha County Circuit Judge Mark Gundrum.

Wendt had been charged with two counts of second-degree sexual assault of a child and two counts of child enticement-sexual contact in connection with having sex with the teen, whom he met and taught while he was a student teacher in the Waukesha district.

As part of a plea bargain, one of the sexual assault charges and the two child enticement counts were dismissed.

At the time of his arrest in May, Wendt was a physical education teacher at Summit Elementary and Park Lawn Elementary in the Oconomowoc School District. He was placed on leave after his arrest, and he resigned from the district in July.

» Read Full Article

Area bands win at state

Oct. 16, 2010 9:36 p.m. | Whitewater - The Waukesha North High School marching band won its fourth consecutive Wisconsin State Music Association championship Saturday and Greendale High School its sixth consecutive title in their respective divisions.

Waukesha North outscored its crosstown and arch-rival Waukesha West in Class AAAA, the large school division, in competition held at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

Oak Creek took third in the division, while Hamilton-Sussex was fourth, Germantown sixth and Mukwonago, seventh.

Greendale continued to dominate the Class AA division. Finishing second in the division was West De Pere while Fort Atkinson was third. New Berlin Eisenhower was fourth and Whitnall High sixth in the competition held at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

In Class AAA, Cedarburg High School placed third, behind first place River Falls and second place Merrill.

» Read Full Article

Girls state tennis photo gallery now online

Oct. 16, 2010 7:04 a.m. | The best girls high school tennis players in the state took to the courts yesterday for the second day of the state tournament and NOW photojournalist Peter Zuzga was there, creating this photo gallery of all the action from the Nielsen Tennis Stadium in Madison.

Highlights included defending Division 1 state champion Aly Coran of Homestead winning three matches and advancing to today's semifinal round along with teammate Elizabeth Konon, who also won three matches. Homestead's doubles teams also fared well, as the duos of Carly Peck and Sophia Lococo and Dani Merar and Mardee Merar advanced to the semifinal round.

Competitors from Brookfield Central, Brookfield East, Nicolet, Waukesha South, Whitefish Bay, Greendale and Arrowhead are also featured in the gallery.

Go to photo gallery.

Ex-teacher to plead no contest

Oct. 15, 2010 3:00 p.m. | Waukesha - A former teacher charged with sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl intends to enter a no-contest plea Monday and avoid taking the case to trial later this month.

Bryan F. Wendt, 27, was charged in May with two counts of second-degree sexual assault of a child and two counts of child enticement-sexual contact in connection with having sex with the teen, whom he met and taught while he was a student teacher in the Waukesha district.

Then in July, Wendt was charged with violating the conditions of his bail after he contacted the girl through the social networking site MySpace and the two met in North Prairie, where he was living.

During a hearing Friday in Waukesha County Circuit Court, Wendt's attorney, Paul Bucher, said that he had discussed possible defenses with Wendt and that it was Wendt's desire to enter a no-contest plea to one count of second-degree sexual assault of a child.

Such a plea would result in Wendt being found guilty.

» Read Full Article

Panel asks YMCA, Waukesha commission to explore moving landmark gas station

Oct. 15, 2010 11:08 a.m. | Waukesha - An administrative review board Thursday put off ruling whether the Waukesha Landmarks Commission correctly designated a small former gas station a local landmark and instead "strongly encouraged" the commission and the Waukesha Family YMCA, which owns the building, to work together on getting it moved.

The board also sent the matter back to the Landmarks Commission so it could determine under what circumstances the building could be moved. Assistant City Attorney Miles Eastman said in an interview that the Landmarks Commission had found in July that part of its historic value was in its location in a residential neighborhood, and little time was spent discussing a potential relocation.

If the sides can't find someone willing to preserve it and move it before Jan. 17, 2011, the review board will make a decision either upholding or reversing the landmark designation that day, the order states.

The YMCA appealed the landmark designation of the small Tudor Revival style structure that was built in 1929 as a gas station designed to look like a house. The landmark status came after the Y bought the property for $152,000 with the intention of tearing it down to provide green space, parking or a site for future development.

The Y is seeking to build specialty housing on the site that would cater to individuals afflicted with multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia and severe arthritis.

» Read Full Article

Jury convicts Brookfield man of murdering girlfriend

Oct. 14, 2010 8:42 p.m. | Fond du Lac — A Brookfield man who admitted burning his girlfriend's body is now convicted of murdering her.

Jurors Thursday found 37-year-old Brandon Mueller guilty of first-degree intentional homicide.

The jury also found Mueller guilty of mutilating a corpse - a crime he and his attorney agreed Mueller was guilty of.

Mueller was charged with strangling 28-year-old Renee Redmer of Waukesha on Jan. 7, 2009, inside the Fond du Lac apartment of Mueller's mother.

In closing arguments, District Attorney Dan Kaminsky pointed out that Mueller did not seek help for Redmer and burned her body after letting it freeze in a garage for more than two weeks.

» Read Full Article

Federal grant to expand Waukesha County Alcohol Treatment Court

Oct. 14, 2010 4:10 p.m. | Waukesha - Waukesha County's Alcohol Treatment Court - Wisconsin's first when it started in 2006 - has won a $1.2 million, three-year federal grant that will allow the program to reach more convicted drunken drivers.

Until now, the program served those convicted of a third offense for operating while intoxicated. With the new funds, the court now will target those with fourth offenses as well.

"We will be working with 50 additional fourth-OWIs per year over three years," or 150 more, said Rebecca Luczaj, coordinator of the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, which applied for the grant.

Particularly encouraging, Luczaj said, is that some of the funds can be used to pay for substance abuse and mental health treatment for those participants who have no other way of paying for them.

The grant, which runs through September 2013, will pay for two more case managers, doubling the number now provided by Wisconsin Community Services, which operates the program under a contract with Waukesha County.

» Read Full Article

Waukesha west bypass routes narrowed

Oct. 14, 2010 1:42 p.m. | Waukesha - Waukesha County officials have narrowed potential west-Waukesha bypass routes for further study, largely returning to the one officially mapped for decades along Highway TT and Meadowbrook and Merrill Hills roads.

Public Works Director Allison Bussler said alternatives farther west, starting at I-94 and Highway SS, and farther east, along Highway T (Grandview Blvd.), have been removed from further consideration.

The proposed west-Waukesha bypass would link I-94 on the north with Highway 59 on the south.

Waukesha County is preparing an environmental impact study of the project, due for completion next spring, and is using an advisory group as well as general public input and technical experts to arrive at a recommendation.

Based on the analysis so far, Bussler said, variations of the remaining route have also been eliminated - including a portion that would have bisected the Kame Terrace Subdivision off Merrill Hills Road and a segment that would have followed Townline Road on the west side of Merrill Hills Country Club.

» Read Full Article

Lawyer for cyclist hit by squad car files claim

Oct. 13, 2010 5:16 p.m. | Waukesha - An attorney representing the bicyclist hit and injured July 13 by a Waukesha police squad car while he crossed Highway 164 has filed a notice of claim against the Waukesha Police Department and Officer Ian DeKarske.

The notice, precursor to a lawsuit and filed Tuesday by Mark L. Thomsen of Cannon & Dunphy, says DeKarske was breaking the law by speeding without emergency lights or sirens activated.

DeKarske "acted in reckless disregard to the rights of Waukesha's citizens using the roadway," the notice reads. "If Officer DeKarske would have followed the law as is required of his fellow citizens, Travis (Weber) would have easily cleared the intersection before Officer DeKarske even got to the intersection."

The claim said Weber, 17, suffered a head injury, a serious cut to his chin, a broken right femur and a deep wound to his left calf. He was released from Children's Hospital of Wisconsin on Aug. 9 and still undergoes therapy, Thomsen said.

Medical bills so far total about $315,000. The claim was filed on behalf of Weber and his mother, Cynthia.

» Read Full Article

Waukesha schedules public meeting on Great Lakes water bid

Oct. 12, 2010 5:12 p.m. | Waukesha - The Water Utility has scheduled a public meeting Monday at City Hall to discuss the city's request for a Great Lakes water supply.

City staff and consultants who participated in studies recommending the purchase of water from Lake Michigan will answer citizens' questions during an open house and at a separate panel discussion. The open house is scheduled from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.; the panel discussion immediately follows in the Common Council meeting room.

In late August, Common Council President Paul Ybarra asked Water Utility Commission President Dan Warren to schedule a town hall meeting Oct. 18 to discuss the plan.

Ybarra's request came a few days before the state Department of Natural Resources released a city consultant's estimates of the costs of building pipelines to Oak Creek and Racine if either community would sell lake water to Waukesha.

Connecting to Milwaukee would cost an estimated $164 million, according to the city's application. The application did not disclose that hooking up to Oak Creek is estimated to cost $261 million. A Racine connection, due to the longer distance, would cost an estimated $312 million.

» Read Full Article

No charges in squad car crash with cyclist

Oct. 11, 2010 12:34 p.m. | Waukesha - Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel has decided not to issue charges against either a Waukesha police officer or the bicyclist crossing Highway 59/164 who was struck by the squad car and seriously injured July 13.

Because the bicyclist, Travis Weber, 17, of Waukesha, had no bicycle light or reflectors while riding in darkness, "a citation could certainly be issued against the bicyclist; however, he was very seriously injured," Schimel said. "It seems that there is no point in trying to send any message to the bicyclist about safe operation. Certainly, the consequences he has suffered as a result of his actions should be sufficient."

A Wisconsin State Patrol accident reconstruction report estimated that Waukesha Officer Ian DeKarske was traveling 57 mph on the six-lane divided state highway where the speed limit is 45 mph.

He was not found to be using his cell phone or his squad's mobile computer immediately before the crash, according to the accident reconstruction report. He was responding in a non-emergency fashion - without red lights or siren - to assist other officers for a report of a suspicious person who had broken into a woman's car while she was inside the West Ave. PDQ.

In a letter to State Trooper Matthew Johnson, who investigated the accident, Schimel wrote, "I cannot find it unreasonable that the officer would be traveling a moderate amount over the posted speed limit to respond to that location, and I do not believe that the circumstances warranted the officer activating emergency equipment as he proceeded southbound."

» Read Full Article

Michigan Memories Lake Express photo contest winners announced

Oct. 08, 2010 8:38 a.m. | Congratulations to Carla Rentas of Muskego who submitted a photo taken at Holland State Park in Michigan that was judged by our panel to be the best picture of more than 100 submissions to our Michigan Memories photo contest, sponsored by the Lake Express High Speed Ferry.

Carla wins a Lake Express prize package that includes round-trip tickets for two adults, two children and one vehicle on the high-speed ferry, and a two-night stay at the Hampton Inn in Muskegon, Mich.

Our second-place winner is Kendra Bradford of Greendale, who submitted a photo of her daughter enjoying a sunset along the banks of Luke Superior. The second-place prize includes round-trip tickets for two adults and a vehicle on the ferry.

Brookfield's Ryan Furness submitted a photo of a sunfish caught on a beautiful day on the Sunset Lake in Iron River and won the third-place prize, a round-trip ticket for an adult on the ferry.

Visit the contest page to see the three winners and browse the more than 100 submissions we received. Thanks to everyone for participating.

General Electric acquires Dresser Waukesha

Oct. 06, 2010 10:50 a.m. | General Electric Co.'s $3 billion purchase of Dresser Inc. combines one of the largest companies on the planet with a company prospering from a boom in the natural gas exploration business, industry watchers said Wednesday.

The agreement also joins two companies with a decades-long presence in Waukesha County.

What the deal means for the 600 people who work for Dresser's Waukesha division remains to be seen.

The companies' lack of overlapping business, though, tends to point to a diminishing of consolidations sometimes seen in acquisitions and mergers, said Ken Brusda, president and managing director of North Star Asset Management in Menasha. "I think it's not one of those where there's a whole lot of overlap," he said.

In some deals, the companies are involved in similar or the same business segments, he said. "Then you'd have to worry about where the consolidation is going to be taking place. That may not be as big an issue in this deal."

» Read Full Article

Waukesha water commissioners appointed

Oct. 05, 2010 10:18 p.m. | Waukesha - After unanimously voting to expand the city Water Utility Commission by two members to resolve a dispute between mayor and aldermen over who was best to fill a single vacancy, the Common Council was only slightly less united in filling the seats Tuesday night.

Without discussion, the council unanimously reappointed Dan Warren, a 21-year member of the commission and its longtime chairman who had asked for another term. Aldermen also unanimously and without discussion appointed Joseph Piatt, a Carroll University associate professor of life sciences whom Mayor Jeff Scrima had initially proposed to replace Warren.

In choosing between two others - William Boyle, a retired civil engineer, and Jennifer Wall, an attorney specializing in family practice and law partner of part-time assistant city attorney Julie Gay - the council appointed Boyle on a 10 to 5 vote. Wall was Scrima's choice.

Several aldermen praised both Wall and Boyle. Some said they believed a deal was struck at the last council meeting when there were only three candidates - Warren, Piatt and Boyle. Others said the Water Utility already is well-served by the city attorney's office and two consulting environmental attorneys. Wall's supporters said she offered diversity - as the only female commissioner - as well as legal expertise.

Ald. Rick Tortomasi, who sits on the Water Utility Commission, pointed to Boyle's expertise and his availability, since he's retired.

» Read Full Article

Waukesha seeks K2 ban

Oct. 05, 2010 9:30 p.m. | Waukesha — The Waukesha Common Council has directed the city attorney's office to draft an ordinance banning the sale of K2 - described as a "fake pot" - that council President Paul Ybarra called "a ticking time bomb" because of its spread and potential impact on users.

At their Common Council meeting Tuesday night, aldermen unanimously indicated support for a ban. An ordinance with penalties could be enacted at the next council meeting.

Ybarra said three stores in Waukesha currently sell it and that anyone can buy it and smoke it legally.

"They can get as high as a kite and the police can't do anything about it," he said.

The synthetic cannabinoid was initially developed by a researcher seeking a relief for use by patients with AIDS or MS or getting chemotherapy, Ybarra said. It's sprayed on a potpourri of vegetative material, but usually inconsistently so some portions are higher in content, said police Sgt. Gerald Habanek, who supervises the narcotics and vice squads.

» Read Full Article

Fourth person nominated for Waukesha water panel opening

Oct. 04, 2010 4:28 p.m. | Waukesha - Mayor Jeff Scrima has thrown a fourth hat into the ring for appointment to the Waukesha Water Utility Commission if the Common Council, as expected, expands citizen membership on the panel Tuesday night.

At the council meeting Sept. 21, aldermen indicated they would support adding two members to the five-person commission as a way to bridge differences with the mayor over who should be appointed. Scrima has been critical of the commission's pursuit of Lake Michigan water to satisfy a state-ordered reduction of radium in the city's water supply.

Under the compromise, all three potential appointees under consideration last month could have been accommodated - 21-year commissioner Dan Warren, who was supported by some for reappointment because of his institutional knowledge and experience; Carroll University educator and scientist Joseph Piatt, who was Scrima's choice to replace Warren; and William Boyle, a retired civil engineer.

Boyle said Monday he had never considered withdrawing his name, as Ald. Paul Furrer erroneously stated at the council meeting. Boyle submitted his name to Common Council President Paul Ybarra and said he had never talked to the mayor about the appointment.

"I'm not a political person," he said. "I'm interested in serving the city as a civil engineer."

» Read Full Article

Community Watch

» Brookfield East, Waukesha West soccer photos now online 10/29

» East blanks Waukesha West, advances to state semi-finals Friday 10/28

» Vrakas to run for Waukesha County executive re-election in spring 10/28

» Waukesha County Board puts off study of future of courthouse 10/27

» Follow the WIAA football playoffs live tonight 10/26

» Waukesha Salvation Army boosts Red Kettle goal 10/26

» 6,000 without power as storms move through area Updated:  10/26

» Grab a seat at our prep roundtable as we preview the football postseason 10/25

» Gingrich in Waukesha Tuesday 10/25

» Muskego, Waukesha West soccer photo gallery now online 10/22

» Follow live from WIAA headquarters as football brackets are made 10/22

» Is the Chupacabra demon lurking in Waukesha? 10/21

» New Waukesha DMV center to debut Monday 10/21

» Waukesha answers questions about Lake Michigan water supply plan 10/20

» Waukesha Walmart to open Nov. 3 10/20

» Crites Field in Waukesha awarded security grant 10/20

»  Waukesha bans fake pot 10/19

» Waukesha council to act on synthetic pot ordinance 10/18

» Ex-teacher convicted in Waukesha sex assault case 10/18

» Area bands win at state Updated:  10/16

» Girls state tennis photo gallery now online 10/16

» Ex-teacher to plead no contest 10/15

» Panel asks YMCA, Waukesha commission to explore moving landmark gas station 10/15

»  Jury convicts Brookfield man of murdering girlfriend 10/14

» Federal grant to expand Waukesha County Alcohol Treatment Court Updated:  10/14

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