Waukesha - A Waukesha County recycling plant manager said residents are tossing propane bottles into their recyclables, including some that still contain gas and pose a danger of explosion to workers.
Fifty-five bottles were pulled from the metals recyclables just this week, and at least a dozen were full of gas, said Jim Lewis, plant manager with the agency that contracts to provide Waukesha County recycling.
"This could have caused a major explosion," he said.
This past summer, a small explosion and fire resulted at the plant, apparently caused by the compaction of a one-pound propane cylinder in a baler at the materials recycling facility plant, 220 S. Prairie Ave. Quick response by the Fire Department and facility workers limited damage, and no one was injured.
Karen Fiedler, Waukesha County's solid waste supervisor, said residents should not place propane cylinders in recycling bins, whether empty or partially filled. Information is available on their proper disposal from retail stores where the items were purchased or at the Wisconsin Propane Gas Association website at www.wipga.org.
Workers pulled 55 propane bottles from materials slated for recycling at the Waukesha County Materials Recycling Facility this week, according to a release from the facility.
"This could have caused a major explosion," said plant manager Jim Lewis, whose employer, ReCommunity Recycling, operates the facility under contract with Waukesha County.
This summer, fast response by the fire department and quick thinking by recycling facility staff minimized the damage from a small explosion that was apparently caused by the compaction of a 1-pound propane cylinder in the baler at the MRF, 220 S. Prairie Ave., Waukesha. The resulting small fire was quickly controlled; no one was injured.
Small propane tanks are apparently being placed in residents' recycling bins or at municipal dropoff sites and then delivered to the recycling facility. "During processing, materials are compressed under hundreds of pounds of pressure in order to form a large bale for shipping. Even when propane tanks are empty, they rmain pressurized and can explode when compacted," said Waukesha County Solid Waste Supervisor Karen Fiedler.
For information on proper disposal of propane cylinders contact the retail store where the item was purchased or visit the Wisconsin Propane Gas Association website at www.wipga.org For more details on what can be recycled, visit www.waukeshacounty.gov/recycling or call (262) 896-8300.
The WIAA state playoffs across many sports are hitting the home stretch and teams in Waukesha are right in the thick of it.
From boys soccer, to boys and girls volleyball, to cross country, to football, the city has many teams trying to keep the dream of a state title alive.
The Catholic Memorial boys soccer team is one of them. The Crusaders, at state for the sixth straight year, faces Fox Valley Lutheran at 3 p.m. Friday in a Division 2 semifinal game at Uihlein Soccer Park in Milwaukee. These teams know each other quite well and both are no stranger to this environment, as it’s a rematch of the last two state championship games. Lutheran won in 2009, while Memorial got revenge in 2010.
In volleyball, it was business as usual for the top-ranked Catholic Memorial girls volleyball team on Thursday night, as it breezed past St. Thomas More, 25-15, 25-9, 25-16 in a sectional semifinal match. Aly Dawson led the Crusaders with 12 kills, Tia Johnson paced Memorial with 15 assists, while Lindsey Casper had a match-high 14 digs.
Now, the only team standing in Memorial’s way of getting to state for the fourth straight year is none other than Kettle Moraine Lutheran. The match is at 7 p.m. Saturday at Milwaukee Lutheran.» Read Full Article
The city’s Finance Committee will meet for the final time Thursday night to review the executive budget at the City Hall Common Council Chambers.
The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
At the center of this year's budget was the garbage fee that was initially in place. But the Finance Committee unanimously rejected that $136 fee at its Oct. 20 meeting and now must look for other ways to bridge the $2.7 million needed to keep a tax freeze.
Mayor Jeff Scrima has said that because the fee was rejected, significant city services will have to be cut such as in the police and fire departments if no taxes are to be raised. Other Waukesha aldermen have said they can look for other ways to avoid significant cuts.
There will be two more Common Council meetings (Nov. 1 and Nov. 8) before the the budget will be finalized at its meeting on Nov. 15.
The Waukesha Reads program is winding down this week, but there are still many events to attend.
Local author Henry Zecher, who recently published a biography of one of the American theater’s great icons, William Gillette, highlights today’s schedule.
He will present his slide program at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Waukesha Public Library in the library’s Community Room.
This year’s Waukesha Reads is revolving around a mystery theme, as the program’s book is “The Hound of the Baskervilles” by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Zecher’s book, “William Gillette, America’s Sherlock Holmes,” was published in March 2011 and it fits in with the theme of the Waukesha Reads program, as Gillette is best-remembered as the personification of Sherlock Holmes.» Read Full Article
Expanding two buildings and adding new technology to two areas in the city are the main items scheduled for tonight’s Plan Commission meeting at City Hall.
The commission will see the site plan and architectural review and consider approving plans for a 3,190-square foot addition to the existing Waukesha Iron and Metal office building at 1351 E. Main St.
They will do the same for a 431-square foot building on the existing concrete foundation on the rear of the Trinity Logistics Corporation at 403 Midland Ave.
Two conditional use permits will also be discussed to swap antennas and equipment for wireless communication on the existing towers at 900 Sentry Drive and 2520 Meadowbrook Road to provide 4G technology to those areas.
At the referral of Ald. Joan Francoeur, Julie Gay of the City Attorney’s office will also address the Federal Fair Housing Act in relation to the zoning code.» Read Full Article
Waukesha - The Waukesha County Board reconsidered its earlier rejection of County Executive Dan Vrakas' proposed business loan program Tuesday night, tweaking some of the details and then approving it on a 15 to 8 vote.
The Small Business Leverage Loan Program will be established beginning Jan. 1 at $300,000 in tax funds and will provide loans of up to $50,000 to eligible companies in existence at least a year. Targeted businesses would be in manufacturing, technology, suppliers of local manufacturers and similar job creators, the type that are considered to have higher growth potential and higher pay levels.
Initially proposed to be interest free for three to five years, each loan will now carry a 3% annual interest rate, based on an amendment by the board. Supervisors also established a sunset on the program after three years. The program will be administered under contract by the nonprofit Wisconsin Women's Business Initiative Corp.
Last month, the board rejected the program on a 13-9 vote.
Vrakas proposed the program as an economic initiative for the county to help expanding companies that are highly leveraged, often asset rich but cash poor. In the past, second and third mortgages were often used to fill funding gaps, a market that has dried up with declining property values and tighter lending regulations.
Nick Timber is a college student by day. But at night, he turns into a monster called "Graack."
Timber is part of a 152-member staff at the Wisconsin Feargrounds, one of the nation's top haunted attractions located at the Waukesha County Expo Center.
Liz Mistele, 26, works at a preschool and grew up being terrified of haunted houses. She plays "Pandemonium" at the Feargrounds and admits "it's different being on the scaring end rather than on the receiving end."
Read about Timber, Mistele and other actors at the haunted attraction, who trade in their day jobs for a chance to scare the daylights out of people, in Thursday's Waukesha NOW newspaper and on the Waukesha NOW website.
Waukesha - With more people needing help because of job losses, with $100,000 cut in its other funds targeted to the needy and with the red kettle bell ringing campaign set to start in less than two weeks, The Salvation Army of Waukesha is appealing for volunteers to step up for hundreds of kettle shifts.
This year's holiday campaign goal has been set 2.5% higher than the $640,000 raised during Christmas 2010. Of that amount, the agency hopes to raise $400,000 from red kettle donations, slightly more than a year ago.
Maj. Carol Lemirand of The Salvation Army said it takes 16,000 volunteer bell ringers to staff all the kettle locations around Waukesha County, and if the agency can't find enough volunteers, it must hire people to staff them. Volunteers can register online at www.waukeshasalvationarmy.org.
The campaign kicks off Nov. 4 and runs through Dec. 24.
Lemirand said her agency staff hears stories daily from families struggling to make ends meet either because of reduced work hours or unemployment.
While there were a couple hiccups, it was mostly another stellar all-around weekend for high school athletes in Waukesha.
Team and individual state berths were on the line at WIAA cross country sectional meets and Waukesha schools snatched many of them up.
The Waukesha South boys earned a spot at state this weekend in Wisconsin Rapids after finishing second at the West Allis Hale Sectional at Greenfield Park. The Blackshirts were led by junior Brad Woodford’s second place individual performance, but the team’s depth was on display, as they were the only team to have all seven of its runners in the top 50. South finished with 89 points behind only champion Brookfield Central’s 67.
Waukesha North finished fourth with 131 points, but will be represented at state by junior Jacob Jodat, who finished fifth at the sectional race to pace the Northstars.
On the girls side, Waukesha West punched its ticket to state after a second-place showing as well on Saturday at Greenfield Park. The Wolverines (54 points) were narrowly defeated by Brookfield Central (50) for the sectional title, but like Central had five runners in the top 20. West was led by junior MaKenna Stelpflug (fifth), senior Laruen Sigfred (sixth) and freshman Maria Gesior (eighth).» Read Full Article
Waukesha sits outside the Great Lakes basin, and its precedent-setting pursuit of lake water has captured the public's attention, judging from more than 100 citizen comments posted online by the state Department of Natural Resources.
"It was refreshing to see just how interested people are in the application," said Eric Ebersberger, DNR water use section chief in Madison. He manages the department's review of Waukesha's first-of-its-kind diversion request.
The city wants to buy several million gallons a day of lake water and pump it over the subcontinental divide so that it can abandon a water supply with unsafe levels of radium.
As part of the review process, the DNR last week released a summary of comments and its responses on the department's website.
Some citizens were alarmed that Waukesha was even asking, or that its quest might open the door for diverting lake water to more distant, water-short cities.» Read Full Article
Kettle Moraine senior Trey Dowling still doesn’t know which team is better. His or Waukesha West.
He can ponder that all he wants on his way to the WIAA Division 1 state boys soccer tournament.
The Lasers earned a trip by defeating the Wolverines, this year’s Classic 8 Conference champion and a state qualifier a year ago. Kettle Moraine won the match, 2-0, getting a goal in each half.
“We knew we’d run into them again," Dowling said. "Last year it was us versus them. This year, it was us verses them. This year they got us in conference, so we really wanted this one today. I don’t think either team is better than the other team. Tonight, we wanted it and got some bounces. Both teams are great teams."
If there was a difference in the two teams this time around, Waukesha West head boys soccer coach Giuliano Oliviero might have figured it out.» Read Full Article
A 61-year-old Waterford man was arrested at Waukesha City Hall Friday afternoon after he barged into Mayor Jeff Scrima's office and demanded to speak with the mayor about a permit dispute, police said.
The man, identified as a contractor who owns a building company, first went to the city's building inspector's office because he was upset about a permit application that was denied in June, Waukesha police Sgt. Jerry Habanek said.
According to Habanek, the man started yelling before storming over to Scrima's office, where he demanded to speak with the mayor. After being told he would need an appointment the man saw Scrima in his office, barged in, threw a folder on the mayor's desk and started screaming.
Scrima called police, who arrested the man without incident, Habanek said.
"He was not your normal, 'I-got-a-problem-can-you-help-me?' kind of guy," Habanek said.» Read Full Article
Some fall sports teams are done for the year, but there are still many Waukesha area teams fighting for state championships.
And many of them were at it on Thursday night and will be once again over the weekend.
On the soccer scene, while the Waukesha West boys team (21-2-4) cruised in its opening two playoff games, they were pushed to the limit against fourth-seeded Sun Prairie in a sectional semifinal game Thursday night.
But after a 1-1 tie in regulation, the Wolverines defeated Prairie in a 4-2 shootout to continue their season.
Now, with a state berth on the line, West faces second-seeded Kettle Moraine in a sectional final at 4 p.m. Saturday. It will be a rematch from earlier in the earlier when West, the Classic 8 conference champions, outlasted the Lasers, 2-1, on Sept. 6. It was Kettle Moraine’s only conference loss of the year.» Read Full Article
Waukesha - A planned demonstration of the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department's new $260,000 armored vehicle was hijacked by a real-life tactical incident.
Deputy Inspector Eric Severson said the vehicle, a military-type truck bought with federal Department of Homeland Security funds and money seized from drug dealers, was called into service just as it was being driven from the county's fleet garage to the courthouse complex for the demonstration planned Thursday afternoon for county supervisors and the news media.
While he did not know all the details, he said the Bearcat, as it is called, was summoned by Waukesha police to an incident involving a man with a gun at the Stop-N-Go convenience store at the corner of St. Paul and S. Washington avenues.
Waukesha Police Sgt. Jerry Habanek said the call shortly before 2 p.m. involved a man who was sitting in his car, reportedly with a gun in his lap, at the gas pumps for about 30 minutes. The city's SWAT team in its vehicle and the county's new Bearcat responded, with the man's vehicle sandwiched between the two. Severson said the "intentional accident" didn't damage the Bearcat.
Charges referred» Read Full Article
Waukesha - Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas' proposed small-business loan program, rejected last month by the County Board, could get a second chance next week.
Supervisor Dave Falstad, one of 13 supervisors to vote against the $300,000 tax financed program, will ask for reconsideration at the board's meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the courthouse.
Nine supervisors supported the plan in September, but County Board Chairman Jim Dwyer, who was among them, said three supervisors - Ted Rolfs, Pamela Meyer and Jean Tortomasi - were absent for the vote and two of them have indicated support for the plan. If all 25 supervisors are present Tuesday, 13 votes would be necessary for reconsideration and passage.
The Small Business Leverage Loan Program would have provided no-interest loans of up to $50,000 to highly leveraged eligible companies in existence at least a year that need temporary gap financing. Businesses targeted for the loans would be in manufacturing, technology, suppliers of local manufacturers and similar job creators.
The $300,000 comes from tax funds returned to the county by communities who close out tax incremental financing districts with surpluses. Under tax incremental financing, communities keep all the property taxes on new development in a designated area until public investments that helped spur that development are fully paid off.
With four meetings on the schedule, there likely won’t be too many parking spots available around Waukesha City Hall Thursday night.
The Waukesha Transit Commission, the Board of Public Works, the Water Commission and the Finance Committee will all hold meetings within an hour of each other.
But the one that will have everyone talking are the developments at the Finance Committee, which takes place at 6:30 p.m. at the Common Council Chambers inside City Hall. The Committee will discuss and come to a consensus on what to do about the proposed $136 annual garbage fee that was included in the 2012 city budget, which was released a few weeks ago.
City officials, such as Interim City Administrator Steve Crandell and Mayor Jeff Scrima, said a fee was enacted in order to have no tax increases and to avoid cutting city services after the state took away $3.6 million in aid for the upcoming year.
Scrima said should the Finance Committee say no to the budget and fee, they will have to specifically define where the $1.2 to $2.7 million in cuts will come from, whether it is in employees, equipment or services.» Read Full Article
No one said winning back-to-back state titles was going to be easy for the Waukesha West Wolverines.
After a few delays, the WIAA high school football playoff brackets were finally revealed Tuesday and the Wolverines are in a region loaded with contenders.
And despite being the reigning Division 1 state champions, undefeated at 9-0 and the second ranked team in the latest Associated Press state poll, West was not awarded a No. 1 seed in its eight-team region.
West, the second seed, will open at home against Janesville Parker (6-3) at 7 p.m. Saturday.
While the Wolverines are the Classic 8 Conference champions, it doesn’t appear that it will be a cakewalk back to Camp Randall Stadium in Madison for the state title game because standing in the way of them just getting to the semifinal round are five teams ranked in the state.» Read Full Article
It’s the weekend and there isn’t a shortage of activities in Waukesha this weekend.
For all those Halloween lovers, the haunted houses at the Wisconsin Feargrounds are open from 6:45 to 11:30 p.m. tonight and Saturday and run on weekends in October, concluding on Halloween night. The houses are located on the Wisconsin Expo Center Grounds.
Catholic Memorial High School’s Halloween Haunted House also opens from 7 to 10 p.m. tonight at the school’s old rectory building located at 601 E. College Ave.
But if sports are your preference, than you’re in luck and it’s not because the Milwaukee Brewers are playing this weekend.
That’s because it’s the final night of the high school football regular season. And while the battle of Waukesha that pits North (3-5) vs. West (8-0) might not be that close on the scoreboard, the atmosphere between these two cross-town rivals should be electric. In my experience, records are usually thrown out the window with two rivals.» Read Full Article
Waukesha - An attempt to reverse Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas' budget proposal that would close the girls' secure detention section of the Juvenile Center failed to win support of the County Board's Health and Human Services Committee Thursday.
Supervisor Janel Brandtjen, chairman of the committee, proposed a budget amendment that would restore funds for the operation, but her motion failed on a 3-4 vote in committee. She said after the meeting that she didn't know whether she would independently pursue the amendment with the full County Board.
Vrakas proposed closing the unit because the number of girls held at the center has dropped to about 30 a year, compared with 127 a year five years ago. The budget calls for contracting with Washington County's unit in West Bend for the service, with transportation back and forth provided by Waukesha County.
Health and Human Services Director Peter Schuler defended the closing, saying he saw no change in the trend toward fewer girls being held in secure detention. He also said that "Washington County will do a good job."
Contracting for the girls' detention space would save nearly $200,000, according to Vrakas' budget proposal. Some of that would be used to fill other gaps created in the health and human services budget, including replenishing funds for programs aimed at keeping troubled youth out of more expensive correctional and residential care facilities.» Read Full Article
The City of Waukesha’s Finance Committee will hold a special meeting to review the 2012 budget that was released last week at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the City Hall Common Council Chambers. It will be televised on TV 25.
Waukesha’s budget does not include an increase in the tax levy and now includes a garbage pickup fee.
It also includes a 2.43 percent spending decrease when compared to last year and the city eliminated $3.6 million from its budget due to reductions in state aid. We’ll take a further look at the 2012 budget in next week’s Waukesha NOW.
The Waukesha Public Library Board will also meet at 4:45 p.m. on the 2nd Floor Board Room to discuss and take action regarding modifications to the 2012 budget. The board will also give an update on plans they have for promoting and celebrating their 2011 Wisconsin Library of the year honor.
An update will also be given on the 2011 Waukesha Reads program, which kicked off a couple weeks ago and goes until the end of the month.» Read Full Article
Click on the video link to see raw video of the crash scene from TODAY'S TMJ4 viewer Bryce Jurss.
WAUKESHA - Four people were hospitalized Thursday morning after a five-vehicle crash where one vehicle caught fire.
Waukesha County Sheriff's deputies had to close I-94 eastbound near Highway 83 due to the crash.
The on-ramp from Highway 83 to I-94 eastbound was also closed.
The crash happened at about 6:50 a.m. Thursday morning. Crews re-opened at least one lane around 7:35 a.m. and the entire freeway was re-opened around 8:15 a.m.» Read Full Article
Fans have filled Miller Park all season. With the Milwaukee Brewers continuing its march toward the World Series, there sure isn’t going to be an empty seat in the house now.
It showed this weekend when close to 90,000 walked through the turnstiles to see the Brewers score two huge playoff victories – one in a tense elimination game that kept their season going and the other in a come-from-behind win over their division rivals, giving them an early lead in the National League Championship Series.
Jubilation filled the air as confetti fell inside Miller Park after Nyjer Morgan’s game winning hit in the 10th inning over the Arizona Diamondbacks. Thunderous roars could then be heard after Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder powered the team past the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday.
These will be historic images and scenes that Brewers fans remember for quite some time just as the 1982 team has been etched into people’s memories.
Since these moments don’t happen too often and since tickets are at a premium, Waukesha NOW wants to see if you were in attendance to capture the playoff atmosphere with your friends and family.» Read Full Article
Waukesha - With a court dispute over a contractor's snow removal services for the Town of Waukesha last winter moving ahead at a seemingly glacial pace, the Town Board is set to hire a new snowplowing contractor at a special meeting Thursday even as the fight continues over whether its existing contract is valid.
Waukesha County Circuit Judge J. Mac Davis settled some preliminary questions in the case Wednesday - including denial of a request that contractor Eric S. Jacobson Grading Co. be paid $176,000 in funds already set aside by the Town Board toward the $355,477 that he says he's still owed for last winter's services.
Attorney Doug Hoffer of the town's law firm, de la Mora & de la Mora, objected to the payment, saying it was only intended as full settlement of the disputed bill. Jacobson's attorney Dean Richards argued unsuccessfully that the amount could be paid while the parties argued before a jury how much more was owed.
Davis said too many facts were in dispute and the arguments too "murky" for him to release the funds, which the town has deposited with the clerk of courts.
Davis allowed the town's attorney three months to question up to 14 of the firm's subcontracted snowplow drivers. Davis granted additional time, but only after criticizing the attorney's subpoena seeking 56 types of information from one subcontractor, Jacobson's brother, as overly broad and burdensome.» Read Full Article
According to Waukesha County Sheriff Detective Steve Pederson, a Waukesha man who has been missing for three weeks was found Wednesday morning.
William Willems, 67, who was last seen on Sept. 12, was found 25 miles away from his Waukesha home in downtown Milwaukee.
Milwaukee Police found Willems after someone saw TMJ4's story about him going missing.
"William Willems was located in the City of Milwaukee this morning and is being reunited with family members," Pederson said.
Pederson then thanked the local media for its help on locating Willems, as he said the Sheriff's Department had many calls from the public after there were many broadcasts about Willems going missing.» Read Full Article
The statistics on breast cancer are startling.
About one in eight women in the United States (12 percent) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.
In 2010, an estimated 207,090 new cases of invasive breast cancer were expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 54,010 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer. About 39,840 women in the U.S. were expected to die in 2010 from breast cancer, though death rates have been decreasing since 1990.
These decreases are thought to be the result of treatment advances, earlier detection through screening and increased awareness.
Nonetheless, those statistics still show that many people are inflicted by this disease. It’s stricken mothers, sisters, grandmothers, friends, co-workers and while not as prevalent, it hits males as well.» Read Full Article
Waukesha - Eight new Dodge Grand Caravans, purchased 10 months ago with $186,192 in federal stimulus funds, are sitting unused in storage at a county park because Waukesha County has found no takers for its proposed workers' van pool program.
Public Works Director Allison Bussler said transit officials have been pitching the program to employers, whose workers could drive and ride the county vans to and from work for a fee.
So far, not a single minivan has been put into service.
The vans arrived last December and January, were titled and outfitted with special transit logo decals, and then were stored for the winter at the Waukesha County Expo Center. When they had to be cleared out for the county fair, the vans were moved by convoy to a barn at Mukwonago County Park.
"They are certainly not being hidden away," Bussler said. "They are in storage to protect them."» Read Full Article