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Nicolet opens season at 2-0 with victory over Wauwatosa East

Aug. 26, 2011 11:22 p.m. | Nicolet's football team used a dominant fourth quarter to pull away from a relentless but winded Wauwatosa East team, emerging victorious 28-10 at Hart Park in Wauwatosa on Friday.

The game’s first half was marked mostly by methodical ball control offenses facing down sure-tackling defenses.
 
East drew first blood. After forcing a Nicolet punt, the Red Raiders worked their way downfield from their own 35, picking up yardage with a steady stream of first-down runs and timely third down passes culminating in a 38 yard field goal.


"(East's) offensive line came out firing every play. That’s probably their strongest part,” said Nicolet linebacker Alex Walker. "(Junior running back Mike) Meade is one tough little runner. He’s low to the ground, but tough to bring down.”

 
Third downs were all about quarterback Kyle Vnuk. The tall lanky Red Raider snuck through the line for one first down, then threw for two more to senior Vince Cupertino (16 yards) & junior Shaquille Redding (10 yards).
 
“He’s good,” Nicolet coach Brad Kozaczuk said. “Junior, big kid, great arm, and only going to get better.”
 
But the next four drives fizzled and stalled for both teams. Swarming defensive fronts reined in and collapsed on interior run plays. Neither side could buy enough time or string together enough passes to mount a significant air attack.
 
“Both defenses were playing well,” Kozaczuk said. “Both run a three front, which means bringing blitzes from lots of different places and angles. Makes it really tough for offensive lines.”
 
Nicolet senior quarterback Brandon Kappel agreed.

“Their D line was great, and they’ve got fast guys on the perimeter, especially (senior linebacker Will) Monreal. They should have a good year.”
 
Nicolet got its first break just before half. Facing fourth down with 2:54 remaining, the snap sailed over East’s punter.  Six plays later, Nicolet was in the end zone. Kappel picked up the last seven yards and touchdown on a pair of quarterback keepers.
 
The third quarter featured more back and forth stalemate.
 
After junior Tyler Crass intercepted a pass at the Nicolet 12, the Knights went deep.
 
Kappel escaped a collapsing pocket and heaved a bomb down the right sideline. He found Walker all alone. The senior pulled the pass in, galloping 71 yards for the score.
 
Nicolet appeared to be in good shape. But after forcing a punt on the ensuing drive and rushing for a first down, the Knights fumbled the snap. East recovered and six plays later, the Red Raiders were in the end zone. 
 
Vnuk threw a 6-yard bullet through the tightest of traffic to senior Josh Smentek, who tumbled forward into the end zone on the fourth quarter’s first play to make the game 13-10.
 
But that was the beginning of the end for East. Led by junior linebacker Hunter Crass and senior lineman Bernard Stutts, Nicolet tightened the screws. East’s final fourth quarter possessions resulted in a punt, a turnover on downs and an interception (junior Delton Clay) .
 
 “In the first half we had multiple opportunities to take over,” said Wauwatosa East coach Jake Wolter. “But we gave up some situation spots we shouldn’t have. When third and longs turn into first downs, you’re in trouble. You can’t live off of that.”
 
Nicolet turned the tables at the 7:30 mark in the fourth quarter. A quick bursting punt return and pair of East penalties put Nicolet near East’s 10. Four plays later, Kappel rolled out and found Tyler Crass in the corner of the end zone.
 
We got gassed,” Wolter said. “A lot of guys were playing both ways, and on special teams. They got gassed. And when we got down on the scoreboard, their heads sank a little bit.”
 
The Knight buried the Red Raiders once and for all at the 5:00 mark. On a play-action fake, Kappel rolled to his right, and found a wide open Nolan Wagner on the goal line. The pass hit the junior right in the numbers. He cradled it with two hands and backed into the end zone for the final score.
 
 “Our running game was effective, when we executed it,” Wolter said. “Our passing game was not bad. We’ve just got to get a little more wind and cash in at some key moments.”
 
“We had to find our feet a little bit,” said Nicolet coach Brad Kozaczuk. “But we got more intense as the game went along. We faced adversity and found a way to overcome it.”  

Anodyne Coffee plans to open location in Wauwatosa Village

July 29, 2016 3:50 p.m. | Locally-owned Anodyne Coffee Roasting Co. has plans to open a cafe along Harwood Avenue in the Village of Wauwatosa.

The cafe would move into a vacant spot next to Niemann's Candies and Ice Cream at 7471 Harwood Ave. According to a letter sent to city staff by owners and couple Matthew McClutchy and Lacee Perry, the location next to Niemann's is strategic.

"We respect the tremendous near 100-year-history of Niemann's Candies and Ice Cream," the letter said. "Anodyne will complement what they do and add to that tradition by creating a similar, long term business serving its neighbors and visitors to the Village of Tosa."

The coffee shop would offer brewed coffee, espresso, tea and other drink options. Food selections would include bagels, soup, quiche and yogurt. A diverse craft beer and wine (by the bottle or glass) are also included on the proposed menu.

The business, which also sells wholesale coffee, already operates retail cafes in Bay View, Walker's Point and inside the Milwaukee Public Market.

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Initial Reaction Podcast: Menomonee Falls baseball virtuoso Ty Weber and Big Ten Media Day

July 29, 2016 12:45 p.m. | The guys welcome in Ty Weber, who pitched Menomonee Falls to a second straight WIAA baseball championship with a superb state-tournament performance. Plus, JP and JR talk about revelations (or lack thereof) gleaned from Big Ten media day and offer some thoughts on the Milwaukee Brewers as they approach the trading deadline. Each week, Lake Country/Now sports director JR Radcliffe and Time Warner Cable Sports Channel's JP Cadorin chat about the Wisconsin sports scene, with an emphasis on Milwaukee-area preps. Find the podcast on Stitcher and iTunes.

Wauwatosa West girls basketball coach Ashley Imperiale resigns

July 26, 2016 11:00 p.m. | Wauwatosa West girls basketball coach Ashley Imperiale has resigned to pursue an administrative position within the school district.

The former Greendale High School star took over the Trojans' program in 2012 after spending one season as a co-coach with Ron Gavinski.

Wauwatosa West went 33-64 in Imperiale's four years at the helm. The program won a playoff game in three of Imperiale's four seasons, making the regional final in 2014 and 2015.

The Trojans went 4-20 last season and finished last in the Woodland West at 3-13. After defeating Milwaukee North, 70-29, in its playoff opener, Wauwatosa West fell 46-25 to rival Wauwatosa East in a regional.

Imperiale started at Greendale from 2003-2007 and was a three-time Woodland Conference Player of the Year. She led the Panthers to a 22-3 mark and a trip to the WIAA state semifinal as a senior in 2007. She went on to play collegiately at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee from 2008-2011.

Store owners, police weigh in on string of protests at Mayfair mall

July 26, 2016 9:45 a.m. | Protesters have a right to demonstrate, a right to raise their hands and the right to have a voice. Just not inside Mayfair Mall.

That's according to longtime shop owner Abdel Khalek, who runs Egyptian International Art on the mall's first level.

The Egypt native shared those thoughts after demonstrators took to the mall, 2500 N. Mayfair Road, to protest for the third time in recent weeks July 23.

Police estimated that between 70 and 80 people congregated inside the mall around 2 p.m. that day, said Wauwatosa public information officer Lt. Brian Zalewski, forcing the mall to close.

According to various media reports, demonstrators called for justice for Jay Anderson, Jr., who was fatally shot by a Wauwatosa officer June 23 at Madison Park

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Tosa police will not release squad video of officer-involved shooting

July 25, 2016 7:23 p.m. | Jay Anderson, Jr.'s family is demanding more answers after seeing footage of his fatal shooting by a Wauwatosa police officer.

Based on what he saw in the video, Jay Anderson, Sr. says his son had his hands up and was trying to talk to the officer when he got shot, though the father said he won't be completely sure what happened unless he can see the rest of the interaction.

District Attorney John Chisholm and Chief Deputy District Attorney Kent Lovern met with the family and their attorney Thursday to show them a 20-second clip of the shooting and to let them listen to several minutes of police dispatch transmissions.

Chisholm then announced he would not object to the Wauwatosa police making the recordings public.

However, Anderson said he doesn't believe the clip of the June 23 shooting tells the whole story.

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Wauwatosa school district files lawsuit against WIAA over conference realignment

July 25, 2016 10:30 a.m. | The Wauwatosa School District has filed a lawsuit against the WIAA over the conference realignment plan approved by the WIAA Board of Control in April, set to take effect in the 2017-18 school year.

With the lawsuit comes a request for an injunction to stall the realignment plan, which rearranges several schools in the greater Milwaukee area within the Classic 8, Wisconsin Little Ten, Greater Metro, Woodland and North Shore conferences. The legal maneuver seeks to compel the WIAA to scrap its current proposal and start anew.

Wauwatosa was among the districts seeking relief from the current conference alignment in the first place, but Tosa feels its two high schools (West and East) are left in even worse positions following the changes.

In the approved realignment plan, Wauwatosa West would move from the Woodland West to the Greater Metro. Wauwatosa East would stay in the Greater Metro, a league that will only get tougher with the addition of perennial state powerhouse Germantown. Initially, Tosa was hoping for a reverse maneuver, sending East to join West in the Woodland.

"It is really about the future competitive nature of Wauwatosa athletic programs and the ability to remain competitive and field teams," Wauwatosa School District Superintendent Phil Ertl said. "I think, ultimately, we looked at the process that went into place to get to the decision the WIAA came to as being problematic.

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Protest over fatal shooting forces brief closure of Mayfair Mall

July 23, 2016 5:17 p.m. | Wauwatosa —Protestors demanding justice for the June killing of Jay Anderson by a Wauwatosa police officer marched through Mayfair Mall on Saturday, briefly forcing its closure, Wauwatosa police said.

No arrests were made. Wauwatosa Police Sgt. Kyle Strands said the protestors disbanded without significant incident.

"There wasn't any behavior that warranted any arrests," Strands said.

Strands said an exact count of protestors wasn't available, but it was likely in the dozens. The protest began at about 2 p.m.

A Mayfair Mall security director declined to comment at the scene.

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Reports into fatal Wauwatosa police shooting delivered to DA

July 22, 2016 6:43 p.m. | The Milwaukee County district attorney's office announced Friday that it had received the final investigative report into the fatal shooting of 25-year-old Jay Anderson by a Wauwatosa police officer.

Milwaukee police led the investigation to fulfill a state law that requires a team of at least two investigators from an outside agency to lead investigations of officer-involved deaths.

According to a statement, District Attorney John Chisholm and Chief Deputy District Attorney Kent Lovern met with members of Anderson's family and their legal representatives and shared the evidence collected by the Milwaukee Police Department.

The evidence includes recordings of officer dispatches before and after the critical incident, video of the incident and reports by the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner and the Wisconsin State Crime Laboratory.

The DA's office did not release a timetable for determining whether the police officer would be criminally charged.

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Social media story on the storms rolling through Milwaukee area

July 21, 2016 1:16 p.m. | A social media story of the storms that moved through the Milwaukee area during the morning of July 21.

Business Spotlight: Cranky Al's has grown from desperation to a Wauwatosa institution

July 20, 2016 11:55 a.m. | Susie Brkich never expected to make donuts.

"It came out of sadness," she said. "We had lost everything with a different business venture. It was one of those things. I was racking my brain. What could we do?"

After looking around her new neighborhood -- Brkich and her husband, Alex, moved from Chicago to Milwaukee to start their other restaurant – the idea came.

"I said, 'I think we should do donuts.' And he said, 'Are you crazy?' But I saw all the kids in the community, all the walking traffic, and there were no donut shops."

Then, on a trip back to Chicago, Brkich helped a woman find her car. To say thanks, the woman gave her donuts.

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Initial Reaction Podcast: Wisconsin Badgers football, WIFCA All-Star game

July 20, 2016 10:29 a.m. | Future football stars in Wisconsin were on the table this week when Ben Worgull of the Badger Nation stopped by to talk about the state of the Badgers gridiron team, which begins in earnest Sept. 3 with a battle at Lambeau Field against LSU. Ben also talked Badgers basketball recruiting and JP and JR discussed the WIFCA All-Star game, featuring a couple future Badgers last weekend. Plus, the baseball state-tourney field is set. Each week, Lake Country/Now sports director JR Radcliffe and Time Warner Cable Sports Channel's JP Cadorin chat about the Wisconsin sports scene, with an emphasis on Milwaukee-area preps. Find the podcast on Stitcher and iTunes.

Michaelis leads Wauwatosa East past rival West in regional

July 20, 2016 9:48 a.m. | It had been quite some time since the Wauwatosa East baseball team last celebrated a WIAA playoff victory. The fact the Red Raiders' first postseason win since 2007 came over their crosstown rivals made it even sweeter.

A complete-game gem by Spencer Michaelis led sixth-seeded Wauwatosa East to a 3-1 win over 11th-seeded Wauwatosa West in a regional semifinal game July 12 at Breitlow Field.

"With the crosstown matchup, we know that we were in for a battle," Red Raider coach Pete Schwichtenberg said. "That is exactly what we got."

Wauwatosa West strikes first

The Trojans took a 1-0 lead on an RBI single by Logan Scharf that scored Jake Hronek in the top of the second.

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Milwaukee County Chargers earn overtime win over Muskego

July 20, 2016 9:15 a.m. | There's still six weeks to play in the Midstates Football League regular season, but the playoff race is already taking shape.

The Milwaukee County Chargers helped their playoff chances July 16 by pulling out a 27-20 overtime win over the Muskego Hitmen.

Chargers strike first

After dropping their first two games, the Chargers have won two straight to pull into a tie with Muskego for the third and final playoff spot from the Northern Division.

Three plays into Muskego's opening drive, Charger linebacker Steve Vitale intercepted a pass and returned it to the Muskego 11-yard line. The turnover led to a 9-yard touchdown pass from Shannon King to Jordan Cosby to put Milwaukee County up 7-0.

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Activists push DA for disclosure on police killing in Wauwatosa

July 19, 2016 6:26 p.m. | About 30 community activists crowded into Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm's office Tuesday to press for the disclosure of information on the killing of Jay Anderson by a Wauwatosa police officer.

The officer, whose name has not been made public, shot Anderson on June 23. Anderson had been sleeping in his car in Madison Park. The Wauwatosa police department said the officer feared for his safety when he saw that Anderson had a gun.

The group of activists, which included representatives from various community organizations and Sen. Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee), presented a letter to Chisholm demanding that he release the dashboard video of the shooting and other info.

"They had no right to do that to [Anderson]," activist Rodney Robbins said.

Chisholm told the group that he has not yet received all findings from Milwaukee police, who are investigating the shooting to comply with a state law requiring that outside agencies investigate police-related deaths.

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Video: How a Pokémon Go newbie experienced the craze playing in Wauwatosa

July 19, 2016 4:10 p.m. | There's a new game grabbing the attention of young people in Wauwatosa and thrusting them into the great outdoors. It's called Pokémon Go.

Curious about the new game that's encouraging people to get active and make new friends, I downloaded the app on my iPhone and got to work. Alongside photographer C.T. Kruger, I hit the streets of Wauwatosa to uncover exactly what makes this game so appealing.

About Pokémon

But first, here's a little background information on Pokémon: it's a media franchise that was created in Japan in 1995. It's centered on fictional creatures called "Pokémon," which humans, known as Pokémon trainers, catch and train to battle each other for sport. The franchise began as video games and now includes animated television shows, movies, comic books, toys and trading cards.

I was never much of a fan of Pokémon growing up, but I remember Pokémon being a big deal when I was about 8 years old in the late 1990s. My friends would bring plastic Poké balls to school and launch them throughout the hallways; the Pokémon television show would play in the background during playdates at friends' houses; and Pokémon trading cards were hot show and tell items.

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