Sectional tennis photos now online

May 29, 2009 10:01 a.m. | We've just posted NOW photojournalist Peter Zuzga's photos from Thursday's boys tennis sectional hosted by Brookfield Central. Participants from Central, Brookfield East, Franklin, Greendale, Menomonee Falls, Oak Creek, Wauwatosa East and Whitnall are featured.

More Open Enrollment students could solve district's budget gap

May 28, 2009 8:24 a.m. | The Wauwatosa School District will use 270 additional Open Enrollment students to help patch an anticipated $1.6 million budget shortfall next year.

Officials called an emergency School Board meeting for Wednesday night to address the potential budget gap, an expected product of looming reductions in state aid.

Each additional Open Enrollment student represents an estimated $6,300 revenue boost, for a total of $1.7 million in extra income. Funds from the seats are intended to preempt other cost-cutting alternatives, like program or staff reductions.

The extra students will be added at all educational levels for the 2009-10 school year, effectively increasing class sizes across all district elementary, middle and high schools. Previously, the district has only accepted Open Enrollment students at the elementary level.

Currently, about 1,000 students are on the district’s Open Enrollment waiting list. Student services staff will begin notifying the students tomorrow, officials said.

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Speedy graffiti removal difficult when many sites hit

May 27, 2009 11:48 a.m. | Three Milwaukee County parks that fall within Wauwatosa's borders were the sites of break-ins and vandalism in the past week.

On May 19, three men in their early 20s were arrested for trespassing after they were found skateboarding in the wading pool at Hoyt Park, 1800 Swan Blvd.

According to a Wauwatosa Police Department report, They ran and hid in a changing area in the pool house when squad cars arrived. They said they had been filming their skateboarding, but knew they should not have been there.

The wading pool was the site of problems at Jacobus Park, 6501 Hillside Lane, prior to 8 a.m. May 25. A smiley face and the letters "TRE" and "PNA" were spray-painted on several sides of the building next to the pool, according to police. Damage is estimated at $500.

County Parks Director Sue Black said crime is a drain on budgets and resources. Staff members try to adhere to a 24-hour graffiti removal policy, but with numerous sites being vandalized it becomes difficult to stay on top of the mess.

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Teen burglars hit Village business two nights in a row

May 27, 2009 8:56 a.m. | Two Milwaukee teenagers have been arrested for breaking into a Village business on two consecutive nights and taking bicycles, computers and a van.

According to a Wauwatosa Police Department reports:

The boys, ages 17 and 15, ransacked several offices of Team Sports, 6228 W. State St., on May 16. Among the items they took were keys to the company van, which they drove through a gate on the property.

The managers at the sports managing and marketing business had not even had a chance to identify all of the items that had been taken when the burglars struck again May 17.

This time, they opened every door and drawer and took two bicycles, several pairs of sunglasses, two desktop and two laptop computers and numerous other items.

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Despite questions, panel backs naming rights policy

May 27, 2009 8:12 a.m. | A divided Common Council committee has approved a policy to regulate the selling of naming rights to public property – the last hurdle before the measure goes to the full council for consideration.

On 5-3 vote, the Community Development Committee on May 26 back the proposed ordinance even though some members said there were still some outstanding issues and at least one questioned whether the measure was even necessary.

Alderman Robert Dennik made a motion to have the city attorney provide a legal opinion on whether the city should have a naming rights policy and if the proposed document authored by Aldermen Don Birschel and Dennis McBride fit the bill.

"I just think some of this is kind of overkill," said Dennik, who did not specify what language he opposed.

On a tie vote, his motion failed.

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New drunken driving task force makes 30 arrests

May 27, 2009 7:44 a.m. | The initiative that started this spring to crack down on drunken driving in the Milwaukee resulted in 30 more arrests on Saturday night.

Members of the 13 law enforcement units that make up the Southeast Wisconsin Drunk Driving Task Force pulled over 190 motorists and issued 161 citations for a variety of traffic violations.

Wauwatosa police made five drunken driving arrests targeting streets like Blue Mound Road. Two of the people nabbed had prior drunken driver arrests on their records.

The task force will next be deployed on Friday, June 5. Its efforts are highly publicized to prevent people from driving under the influence of alcohol, according to the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department.

Plans for Aldi store on Burleigh move forward

May 27, 2009 7:26 a.m. | After two failed attempts, Aldi may soon find one of its discount grocery stores making its way into Wauwatosa.

The city's Community Development Committee Tuesday night recommended granting a conditional permit to Continental Properties to build a 16,000-square-foot Aldi at Burleigh Square near 124th and Burleigh streets.

The city's Plan Commission backed the development earlier this month.

The Common Council must approve the permit, which it is expected to do Tuesday, before the project can go any further.

The proposed project had met little objection, which was a surprise to some staff who heard opposition to previous Aldi plans in Wauwatosa and neighboring communities like the town of Brookfield.

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Couple donates $10 million to Medical College

May 27, 2009 6:56 a.m. | Medical College of Wisconsin has received $10 million to invest in highly sensitive equipment that can identify changes in a body's molecules that may provide insight on the development of diseases such as cancer.

Doctors Robert and Patricia Kern provided the funds, which rank as the largest single private donation given to the school, according the college. The Kerns founded Generac Power Systems, a Milwaukee area generator manufacturer.

The money will go toward developing a mass spectrometry innovation center on the Wauwatosa campus. Eventually, school officials expect scientists will see improvements in medical diagnoses and treatments and have a better understanding of the human body's systems due to the research this donation will support.

As part of the donation, the Medical College will recruit leading scientists from around the world to work with the sophisticated technology.

Clerks won't sell booze to man; he's arrested for OWI after leaving store

May 27, 2009 6:48 a.m. | A 54-year-old Milwaukee man was arrested for his fourth drunken-driving offense and driving with a revoked license after clerks at a Wauwatosa grocery store refused to sell him alcohol Sunday afternoon.

According to a Wauwatosa Police Department report:

The man was highly intoxicated and acting disorderly in Metcalf's Sentry Foods, 6700 W. State St., so workers would not allow him to purchase any alcohol. He got upset and drove off in his vehicle.

But officers stopped him a couple of blocks away. When they asked him to exit his vehicle to perform sobriety tests, he had difficulty standing on his own.

His blood-alcohol content was 0.25, more than three times the legal limit.

Tool thefts take pricey toll on The Home Depot

May 26, 2009 6:34 p.m. | A 36-year-old Milwaukee man who is accused of taking thousands of dollars in tools from Milwaukee-area The Home Depot stores was arrested Friday in Wauwatosa.

During the past month, police say he and another man have taken tool kits from the Wauwatosa, West Allis, Grafton, Kohler, Waukesha and West Bend stores.

According to the Wauwatosa Police Department report:

The men did not change their routine. One entered a store and grabbed a cart. He would put a piece of plywood down, then load up with tool kits and head out the rear emergency door to an awaiting vehicle driven by the accomplice. The men took $36,000 in tools from just the Wauwatosa store in May.

On the most recent attempt, an employee saw the man heading out and stopped him. The man got flustered and abandoned the cart, which was loaded with nearly $1,100 in tools.

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Two arrested after allegedly injecting heroin in mall parking lot

May 26, 2009 6:32 p.m. | Two people were arrested for heroin and drug paraphernalia possession after a security guard saw them shooting up in the Mayfair Mall parking lot last week.

According to a Wauwatosa Police Department report:

Officers found 28 small bags of the drug and six syringes in the vehicle at 7 p.m. May 18.

A 17-year-old Hartland boy and a 20-year-old Nashotah man were waiting in the car while a friend shopped in the mall. They decided to "cook" some heroin with a lighter and inject the drugs in their arms.

The man said he had been used heroin three or four times per day and used his unemployment checks to pay for the drugs.

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Father-son duo arrested for picking fight

May 26, 2009 6:22 p.m. | A father and son were arrested for disorderly conduct after they tried to start a fight at a residence in the 6600 block of Revere Avenue on Wednesday night.

According to the Wauwatosa Police Department report:

Officers took a 16-inch metal baton and an industrial knife off the 46-year-old Wauwatosa father, who said he had driven his son to the residence in a show of support.

The 17-year-old son had planned to beat up a few boys who he said had made sexual comments about his younger sister.

The boys he wanted to fight stayed in the house when he arrived, but he sent them threatening text messages.

Pharmacist's suspicions lead to prescription fraud arrest

May 26, 2009 6:20 p.m. | A 32-year-old Wausau man who had been obtaining fraudulent narcotic pain pill prescriptions for 10 months was arrested at a Wauwatosa Walgreens last week.

According to the Wauwatosa Police Department report:

The man dropped off a prescription for 120 pills May 19. The pharmacist became suspicious when she saw he had a similar prescription filled only a week earlier.

The doctor listed on the prescription said he was a pediatrician, and he did not have a patient by that name. However, the man's wife had worked for him as a nurse, but her job had been terminated.

A check into the man's prescription records showed he had been obtaining fraudulent prescriptions since July 2008 and charging his insurance company for the drugs.

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Woman accused of biting mall security officers

May 26, 2009 6:16 p.m. | An 18-year-old Milwaukee woman was charged with battery and retail theft after she bit two security guards at Macy's in Mayfair Mall last week.

According to the Wauwatosa Police Department report:

Security staff watched Jamie Jackson rip a price tag off a $30 hat and put it on her head. As she walked out the store, they approached her and asked her to come with them. She resisted and started kicking. Then she bit two of the guards, breaking the skin in one instance. The Fire Department responded to check out their injuries.

She was referred to the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office, but she failed to appear in court Friday.

Man charged with fourth drunken-driving offense

May 26, 2009 3:54 p.m. | A 40-year-old Waukesha man has been charged with his fourth drunken-driving offense and driving with a revoked license in Wauwatosa.

Wauwatosa police pulled over Rene Salina for speeding and driving erratically at 72nd Street and Blue Mound Road on Sunday morning.

According to the police report:

Salinas could not recall his address or phone number when an officer questioned him about 1 a.m. He failed all sobriety tests and urinated on himself, then refused to submit to a blood-alcohol test.

Officers found three beer bottles in his vehicle.

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Memorial Day photos now online

May 26, 2009 11:48 a.m. | Veterans of Foreign War Post 6498 conducted a Memorial Day ceremony at the final resting place of brothers Edwin and Ernest Yakish. was at the event and captured images from the proceedings in this photo gallery.

Group aims to raise $100,000 for Hart Park renovations

May 23, 2009 9:34 a.m. | Wauwatosa - A volunteer organization is trying to raise $100,000 for Hart Park renovations by selling "sponsorships" to new bleacher seats at the park.

The cost to engrave on a seat the name of a person, group of people, business or organization is $200. The group hopes to sell 500 sponsorships by July 1.

Hart Park is undergoing a $4 million renovation. Funds raised will be used toward the cost of the renovation, which includes new tennis courts, a renovation of the stadium and a new track.

For more information or to sponsor a seat, call David Brinker in the mayor's office at (414) 479-8900 x5605 or email

Gypsy moth spraying on tap

May 22, 2009 1:42 p.m. | A red and white twin-engine plane will be flying low over the area bounded by 81st, 76th and Wright streets and North Avenue as it sprays for gypsy moths as early as 5:15 a.m. tomorrow.

Gypsy moths quickly strip leaves off trees, damaging the trees severely. The plane will spray a 55-acre area where the caterpillar population has been found.

People with severe food allergies or asthma may react to the spray, so they are encouraged to stay indoors.

If there is a lot of rain or wind, the spraying will be postponed.

The state has set up a hotline, (800) 642-6684, to inform residents where and when spraying will occur.

Girls fourth, boys last at GMC Outdoor

May 20, 2009 9:50 a.m. | Wauwatosa East saw the girls finish fourth and the boys last at the Greater Metro Outdoor Championships Tuesday afternoon at Quad Park.

Brookfield Central ran away with the girls title with 230.50 points, followed by Brookfield East (109), Menomonee Falls (86.50) and the Red Raiders (67).

Menomonee Falls scored 167.50 points to beat Marquette (150) for the boys title, while Tosa East scored 15.50 behind seventh place West Allis Central (35).

Claire Gordee won the 400-meter dash in 58.46 seconds and Hannah Weinberg-Kinsey won the high jump, leaping 5 feet, 2 inches for the girls.

Jacob James took third in the 3,200 run in 9 minutes, 58.20 seconds and Curtis Salter took fifth in the 400 (51.99) for the boys' top finishes.

Girls streak ends at 14; boys take third

May 20, 2009 9:42 a.m. | The Wauwatosa West girls saw their amazing string of Woodland Conference Championships snapped at 14 Tuesday when they finished second to Brown Deer at Greendale.

The girls finished second with 123 points behind the Falcons 134. The boys finished third (99.5) behind Whitnall (124) and Greendale (115).

The Trojan girls have won the indoor, relays and outdoor league title the past four years before taking second on Tuesday.

Ashlee Ballinger won the high jump with a leap of 5 feet, 2 inches for the Trojans only win.

On the boys side, Ira Howard won the 100 meter dash (11,21 seconds) and the 200 (22.77); Kevin Gorman won the 400 (50.86) and the 800 relay (1:30.88) all took first.

Hart Park stadium bleachers 'for sale'

May 19, 2009 3:46 p.m. | Mayor Jill Didier, with help from a committee of Wauwatosa residents, hopes to sell 500 Hart Park stadium bleacher seats by July 20.

She officially launched her "get benched" fundraising campaign today. Groups, businesses, families and individuals can have their names engraved on a bleacher seat for the price of $200.

Donors will be able to engrave up to 22 characters, but the committee will review and approve all messages, Didier said in a news release issued this afternoon.

Proceeds will go toward the cost of replacing the stadium, tennis court and track.

Construction is already under way on the Hart Park athletic facilities improvements. Crews have been pulling out the old bleachers and removing pavement at the tennis courts, City Administrator James Archambo said in his weekly newsletter.

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Senior center honors three members

May 18, 2009 7:50 p.m. | Three Hart Park Senior Center members were recognized for their service to the center at a May 13 dinner.

Edith Hoffmann accepted the Distinguished Service Award for her volunteerism, including her involvement with the Music from the Hart group, since the center opened a decade ago.

Nancy Wenten took home the Heart of the Hart Award for 2008. In her years at the center she has held many offices, served as Program Committee chairwoman and volunteered many hours.

Agnes Tutkowski received the Volunteer of the Year Award with 123 recorded hours, during which she worked at the reception desk and tracked participation statistics.

Police arrest woman weighed down with liquor

May 18, 2009 7:40 p.m. | A woman who jumped in the Milwaukee River earlier this month to evade police after she shoplifted at T.J. Maxx was arrested again for retail theft this week – this time for taking gin from Buy Rite Liquor in Wauwatosa.

According to a Wauwatosa Police Department report:

The 37-year-old homeless woman entered the store, 6002 W. North Ave., about 8:30 p.m. May 11. She was wearing a hood over her head and carrying a tote bag. She waited until the sales clerk was distracted by a customer, and she put three bottles of gin in her bag and hurriedly left the store.

Officers found her in the area. When she saw the squad car, she tried to run, but the bottles were clanking and weighing her down.

A check of her criminal history showed 14 prior arrests, including an open case with Milwaukee Police Department, so she was arrested for bail jumping. She said she was suicidal and shoplifted to keep busy so she would not harm herself. After she had jumped in the river a few nights earlier, she had been taken to Aurora Sinai Medical Center for a mental evaluation.

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'Grab-and-run' thieves hit Macy's

May 18, 2009 7:36 p.m. | Two men took about 30 designer T-shirts from Macy's at Mayfair Mall in what Wauwatosa police are calling a "grab-and-run" on Saturday evening.

According to a Wauwatosa Police Department report:

Sales staff heard the security sensor go off, then saw a man running out the door with his arms full of merchandise toward another man who stood holding open the door of a car parked right outside the store entrance. They threw the merchandise in the backseat, jumped in the vehicle and sped off.

Store management estimate the value of the clothing at $1,500 to $3,000.

Beer, candy stolen from golf course clubhouse

May 18, 2009 7:34 p.m. | A thief took sixty golf balls, a dozen golf gloves, 70 candy bars, 60 beer cans, 40 beer bottles and 40 snacks from the Hansen Golf Course clubhouse Friday night.

According to a Wauwatosa Police Department report:

The superintendent of the Milwaukee County golf course, 9800 Underwood Parkway, arrived to find a clubhouse window broken and the sales area cleaned out of more than $600 in merchandise.

The trash can had been dumped out, so officers suspect the thief used the trash bag to haul the loot.

Drunken driving crackdown results in 22 arrests

May 18, 2009 7:34 p.m. | Twenty-two more drunken drivers were arrested on Milwaukee area roads as part of a cooperative effort among 13 law enforcement agencies.

Many of the officers participating in the Southeast Wisconsin Drunk Driving Task Force enforcement activities Friday said many of the arrests coincided with "happy hour," according to a news release from Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office.

Four of the 22 arrests were made in Wauwatosa, Wauwatosa police Lt. Tim Sharpee said.

In addition to the drunken driving arrests, 126 citations were issued by task force agencies for traffic violations.

The task force will hold its next drunken-driving enforcement effort Saturday night. Agencies are giving residents a heads up in hopes they will stay off the road if they have been drinking.

Build-A-Bear Workshop fined for violating child labor laws

May 18, 2009 4:16 p.m. | The Labor Department reported Monday that Build-A-Bear Workshop Inc. has paid penalties for violating child labor laws following investigations at five locations, including at Mayfair Mall in Wauwatosa.

St. Louis-based Build-A-Bear paid $25,600 for violations involving employees ages 16 and 17 regularly loading and operating trash compactors. In addition, three employees younger than 18 operated and rode a freight elevator. The department said the incidents are prohibited by regulations meant to promote safety and prevent workplace injuries among employees who are minors.

Other Build-A-Bear outlets included in the investigation were in Wichita, Kan.; Grandville, Mich.; West Des Moines, Iowa; and Aurora, Ill.

Build-A-Bear issued a statement Monday that said the violations involved 14 minor employees at the five stores over a 28-month period ending in April 2008.

"Importantly, no one suffered any injuries from performing these tasks," Jill Saunders, the company's director of bear and public relations, said in a statement. "Following receipt of the results of the audit, in September 2008 Build-A-Bear Workshop implemented a policy of only hiring individuals who are 18 years of age or older."

Eight Sendik's stores will offer online ordering

May 13, 2009 2:30 p.m. | Sendik's Food Markets will launch an online ordering service this year, co-owner Ted Balistreri said Wednesday.

The chain of eight Sendik's stores will put its entire inventory online but will not offer delivery, Balistreri said in an interview after a speech to the Milwaukee Jewish Federation.

The Sendik's service will be the second of its kind in the area in the past decade. In 2001, Pick 'n Save offered an online order service that required shoppers to pick up orders curbside at the stores. Pick 'n Save dropped the program a year later after it was not well received by customers.

"Our approach will be completely different," Balistreri said. The Balistreri family operates stores in Whitefish Bay, Mequon, Grafton, Wauwatosa, Elm Grove, Franklin, Greenfield and Germantown.

Peapod, a national online grocer, delivers orders in the Milwaukee area and southeastern Wisconsin from a distribution center in northern Illinois.

Council needs to make a decision on cash-strapped WEDC

May 13, 2009 10:30 a.m. | The Wauwatosa Economic Development Corp. will be out of money in little more than a month's time, WEDC board secretary Lisa Mauer told a Common Council Committee of the Whole last night.

The committee met to hear a consultant's presentation on recommendations for handling economic development within the city. One of the suggestions is to dissolve the WEDC in its existing form and move it under the direction of the city's Community Development Department.

However, the consultant recommended keeping the existing WEDC structure operating through 2009 to allow a transition period.

"The Common Council needs to immediately make a decision if it's going to provide any intermediate funding for WEDC," Mauer said. "We will be out of funds at the end of June."

WEDC board members hope to make some decisions as to how it will wrap up its operations at its next meeting Tuesday, May 19, but there are lots of unknowns at this time, she said.

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Powell's plea hearing set for today

May 13, 2009 10:20 a.m. | Wauwatosa East High School football and basketball player Barett Powell is expected to appear in Milwaukee County Children's Court today on a plea hearing in connection with armed robbery and false imprisonment charges handed down by a judge last week.

Powell, Wauwatosa East basketball player Larry Bradley and Milwaukee Vincent High School basketball player Dezmond Gosa were arrested May 1 after they allegedly invaded a home in the 6100 block of Martin Road with a realistic-looking BB gun and demanded money from the homeowner and her son.

Gosa is also due to appear in court today. Bradley's plea hearing is scheduled for Friday.

Committee OKs ground rules for selling naming rights

May 13, 2009 9:18 a.m. | With a few changes, the city's Community Development Committee Tuesday voted in support of an ordinance proposed by Alderman Dennis McBride that would set some rules as to when it is appropriate to sell naming rights to city property.

Aldermen Thomas Herzog suggested removing language that could prohibit just about any group that at least one person would argue is "intolerant" from the document.

"If this wording stays in there, the Boy Scouts couldn't sponsor anything because some people have called them intolerant," Herzog said.

The committee also rejected a requirement for a two-thirds vote of the Common Council to approve a naming request. Instead, a simple majority would be needed.

The general consensus among committee members was that a naming rights policy was warranted. The draft ordinance defines city property as buildings, grounds, parks and open spaces besides streets and spaces within them that are controlled by the city.

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Police Department helps in drug trafficking bust

May 12, 2009 6:34 p.m. | The Wauwatosa Police Department has been working with numerous state, federal and local law enforcement agencies to bring down a drug trafficking ring that has crossed state lines.

This morning, 15 people were arrested in Milwaukee after the agencies executed 10 search warrants this morning, according to a news release from Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen issued this afternoon

The 18-month investigation uncovered an organization that distributed significant amounts of drugs throughout the Milwaukee metropolitan area.

Wauwatosa Police worked with Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Milwaukee County Sheriff's and District Attorney's offices and Milwaukee and West Allis police departments

This was the culmination of a year and one-half long investigation into a multi-state drug trafficking organization that was responsible for distributing significant amounts of controlled substances.

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Woodward: Papers will struggle, but news will survive

May 12, 2009 6:20 p.m. | Wauwatosa - One of America's best-known journalists said Tuesday that newspapers will continue to struggle, but that as news organizations they will survive, perhaps delivering their product in a way yet to be devised.

Bob Woodward, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter and best-selling author, also said there are signs that Barack Obama's administration will be more transparent than George W. Bush's, but it is too soon to know for sure.

Woodward spoke to more than 300 people at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

The luncheon was held to raise money for the Wauwatosa Public Library Foundation.

In an interview, Woodward, 66, said he is confident that a new approach to delivering the news will emerge.

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New president takes the reins of School Board

May 12, 2009 10:44 a.m. | Anne Fee will take over as president of the Wauwatosa School Board after the election of board officers on May 11.

Jon Ray will now serve as vice-president, Michael Meier as treasurer and Mary Jo Randall as clerk.

Superintendent Phil Ertl will serve as secretary to the board.

Both president and vice-president may not be eligible for more than two consecutive terms. Both Ray, former president, and Randall, former vice-president, had served two consecutive terms in their positions.

Their terms as officers began May 11 and will end May 2010.

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Mother spoils burglar's day

May 11, 2009 6:26 p.m. | Even though Mother's Day had officially ended an hour earlier, a mom living in the 12000 block of West Dearbourn Avenue will remember the day for years to come as the time when she fought off a burglar.

According to a Wauwatosa Police Department report:

The woman was half asleep on the couch with her sick 2-year-old son in her arms at about 1 a.m. Monday.

When she heard the screen door slam, she figured her husband had gone outside for a cigarette. But then she heard chairs being moved and drawers being opened. She put her son down on the couch and went into the kitchen, where she saw a man wearing a ski mask only a few feet away.

She quickly pushed him in the chest, and he fell onto the kitchen table, which collapsed under his weight. Frightened, he got up and ran out of the house.

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Car accident leads to marijuana arrest

May 11, 2009 6:06 p.m. | A 23-year-old man and 18-year-old woman, both of Milwaukee, were arrested for marijuana possession with intent to deliver after their vehicle struck a light pole in the 6600 block of West North Avenue at 4:45 p.m. May 3.

According to a Wauwatosa Police Department report:

The woman was cited for failing to keep her vehicle under control and driving without a license.

She said the vehicle door opened as she was driving and when she reached over to close it, she lost control of the vehicle. The car hopped the curb and struck the pole. The vehicle's front end was severely damaged, and it could not be driven.

As they were waiting for a tow truck, the driver cleared out a few items from the backseat, including 7.2 grams of marijuana.

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Man arrested for drunken driving on his way to liquor store

May 11, 2009 6:00 p.m. | A 49-year-old Milwaukee man was arrested for his fourth drunken-driving offense and driving after his license had been revoked in the 6000 block of West Blue Mound Road after he was seen driving without any headlights on Saturday night.

According to a Wauwatosa Police Department report:

The man said he had been drinking at home and was on his way to the liquor store just before 9 p.m.

He fell and struck his head on the ground during field sobriety tests. He also complained of chest pain, so he was taken to Froedtert Hospital for tests.

He refused to submit to a blood-alcohol test.

Truck driver foils thief from car break-ins

May 11, 2009 5:58 p.m. | A semi driver entering a construction site in the 3800 block of North 124th Street saw a man trying to pry open the door of a work vehicle about 1 p.m. Tuesday.

According to a Wauwatosa Police Department report:

Initially, the driver thought the man had been locked out of the vehicle, but when he approached, the man quickly walked back to his vehicle and drove off.

Later, the semi driver saw the same man breaking into a different vehicle. Again, the suspect ran to his truck. But this time he had trouble starting it.

The man threw a screwdriver at the semi driver to try to scare him away. The semi driver opened a door on the man's vehicle and took out two stolen tool kits before the suspect sped off, leaving skid marks behind.

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Boys arrested after attempted purse snatching

May 11, 2009 5:48 p.m. | Two 14-year-old Wauwatosa boys were arrested for theft after they allegedly took a purse from a shopping cart while the owner was loading groceries into her car at Pick 'n Save, 6950 W. State St., at 9:05 a.m. May 4.

According to a Wauwatosa Police Department report:

The boys grabbed the purse and ran, and the woman took off after them, dialing 911 as she ran. They dropped the purse before they entered an apartment complex on St. James Court.

An officer driving in the area saw two boys matching their descriptions walking in the 7100 block of Milwaukee Avenue. They said they had spent the night at their grandmother's and had to go home to get ready for school so they were truant. Later, they said they ran home to change out of what they had been wearing when they took the purse.

Tosa committee to discuss naming-rights ordinance

May 11, 2009 2:32 p.m. | Wauwatosa - The Common Council's Community Development Committee on Tuesday will discuss a proposed ordinance that would establish a process for naming city properties such as buildings, parks and stadiums.

Among other things, the ordinance would require council approval if the donation made for the naming rights would exceed $5,000.

Political and religious organizations, including churches, would be prohibited from purchasing naming rights.

Mayor Jill Didier is trying to sell naming rights to tennis courts and other facilities being renovated at Hart Park.

Panel recommends County Grounds land sale to UWM

May 11, 2009 2:00 p.m. | University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's plans for a new engineering campus in Wauwatosa, which supporters say will help to create more tech-related jobs, took a big step forward Monday.

The County Board's Economic & Community Development Committee recommended on a 4-2 vote that Milwaukee County sell 72 acres to a UWM affiliate for $13.55 million. The proposal goes to the full board May 21 for its consideration. The land is on the Milwaukee County Grounds, east of U.S. Highway 45 and north of W. Watertown Plank Road.

UWM officials say the campus would draw more research funding for the engineering college, which would help create jobs throughout southeastern Wisconsin. The new buildings initially would house graduate programs from the College of Engineering & Applied Science, with undergraduate programs remaining at the main east side campus.

Other buildings would be constructed by companies developing research centers at the campus, as well as a possible hotel and retail outlets to serve people working at the new buildings, said Bruce Block, UWM Foundation chairman.

Most of the committee debate focused on whether the Wauwatosa site should be developed, or preserved mainly for green space. That mirrors a separate discussion over whether UWM should build its proposed School of Freshwater Sciences on 1.67 acres on downtown Milwaukee's lakefront.

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Tosa East athletes charged in armed robbery case

May 06, 2009 3:56 p.m. | Wauwatosa East High School athletes Larry Bradley and Barett Powell and Milwaukee Vincent High School athlete Dezmond Gosa were each charged in Milwaukee County Children's Court this afternoon with two counts of attempted armed robbery and one count of false imprisonment.

Under state statute, the felony charges fall into the category of Serious Juvenile Offenses, disqualifying them from some of protections of typical juvenile cases and leaving them open to more serious penalties.

NOW is naming the teens because of the serious nature of the offense and potential penalties.

The charges came after the three 16-year-old boys were arrested for invading the home of an alleged drug dealer and his mother in the 6100 block of Martin Road on May 1.

According to Wauwatosa police reports:

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Wauwatosa, church settle tax lawsuit

May 06, 2009 1:28 p.m. | Wauwatosa - The city has agreed to settle a lawsuit over property taxes by refunding $144,000 to a church foundation and agreeing to exempt the parcel involved from any future property taxes.

The action was approved Tuesday night by the Common Council.

The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Foundation, which is affiliated with Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 9400 W. Congress St., sued the city in June.

The suit is over a parcel at N. 92nd and W. Congress streets that is owned by the foundation, Assistant City Attorney Beth Aldana said Wednesday. The suit was filed after the city assessed a total of $175,000 in property taxes on the land for 2007 and 2008.

The taxes were assessed because the church already owns 10 acres that are exempt from property taxes, which is allowed under state law, Aldana said.

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State rules lead to shutdown of fish-nibbling salon at Mayfair

May 06, 2009 10:02 a.m. | State officials have forced the shutdown of the fish-nibbling skin care salon at Mayfair Mall after a month of operation, the owner of the business said Wednesday.

Gerald Williamson, owner of Doctor Fish Magnifique, said he closed his business after the Department of Regulation & Licensing told him he could be fined thousands of dollars if he remained open.

Williamson said he was told employees needed cosmetologist licenses because they do such things as put sanitizer and lotion on customers' feet.

People practicing cosmetology without a license in Wisconsin can be fined $100 to $5,000 and jailed for 10 to 90 days.

A Regulation & Licensing spokesman said the department has been investigating Doctor Fish Magnifique and "communicated to the business the findings that we would be prepared to present to the secretary . . . for possible formal action."

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Raises could be withheld from some problem city workers

May 06, 2009 9:35 a.m. | The Wauwatosa Common Council Tuesday approved a measure to allow the city to withhold annual cost-of-living pay raises from nonunion employees whose performance is rated as unsatisfactory.

The ordinance amendment delegates discretion to the city administrator to make the final decision where performance problems exist.

Employees who opposed the change said they were not against holding people responsible for their performance, but they believed city departments already have in place policies and methods of discipline such as verbal and written reprimands, demotions and unpaid days off.

Withholding a cost-of-living increase after issuing a reprimand counts as double discipline, some employees contended.

Not so, said Assistant City Attorney Beth Aldana. State statute defines discipline as suspension, reducing rank and firing.

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Berdan approved as new 7th District alderwoman

May 06, 2009 9:04 a.m. | Cheryl Berdan was sworn in last night as the newest member of the Wauwatosa Common Council.

On a vote of 10-3, with aldermen Dennis McBride, Linda Nikcevich and Jerry Stepaniak in opposition, she was appointed to fill the 7th District vacancy on the council when Atis Purins resigned in February.

Her appointment remains in affect until April 2010, at which time an election will be held to fill the remaining two years of the term.

Berdan has served on the city's Civic Celebration Committee and organized the Fourth of July parade for the past five years.

Tosa council to vote on pay issue

May 05, 2009 5:16 p.m. | Wauwatosa - The Common Council tonight is expected to vote on a proposal that would allow city supervisors to withhold cost-of-living pay raises from non-union employees whose work is rated as unsatisfactory.

The city already plans, beginning in the fall, to allow supervisors to withhold "step" pay raises – which are given based on how long an employee holds a job – if a non-union employee's performance is unsatisfactory.

The city has 90 non-union employees and 340 full-time-equivalent employees who are represented by unions. Withholding raises from union employees would have to be agreed to in contract bargaining.

East's Williams verbally commits to UW-Superior

May 05, 2009 2:54 p.m. |

Wauwatosa East senior basketball star Eric Williams, who initially was looking at junior colleges, verbally committed to the University of Wisconsin – Superior on April 30.

Williams, the 17th ranked player in the state according to, helped the Red Raiders to the WIAA Division 1 state championship as a junior with a 26-1 record and then played a key role this season in leading the team to an 18-5 record and an appearance in the sectional championship game.

Williams, who made several big shots for Tosa East with the game on the line the past two years, was selected to the Associated Press, WBCA all state teams as well as the NOW All-Suburban and Greater Metro Conference Basketball Teams. He averaged 13 points, five rebounds and three assists this year.

"I really liked my visit and feel comfortable with the coaches and players on the team," said Williams in a release from UW-Superior which announced his agreement. "I am excited to work hard on and off the court, and I know the coaches and my teammates are going to help me become the best I can be.

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Officers will target traffic violations in neighborhoods, parkways

May 05, 2009 1:56 p.m. | The Wauwatosa Police Department is putting two new traffic grants to use to make neighborhoods and parkways safer for bicyclists and pedestrians.

Officers on bicycles and motorcycles will be watching out for speeders in areas that residents tend to use for recreation. They will also stop and speak to children on aspects of bicycle safety, said Lt. Tim Sharpee.

With spring soccer season under way, officers will be paying close attention to the Menomonee River Parkway between Swan Boulevard and Harwood Avenue, a stretch that sees cars lining both sides of the street and children walking to and from vehicles.

Come mid-June when school lets out for the summer, officers will also target neighborhoods where kids are likely to be riding bicycles.

The $4,000 in grants were awarded by the state in an effort to eliminate vehicle-pedestrian accidents. Officers will be targeting vehicles that speed, don't follow traffic signs or streetlights and other violations in areas where pedestrians and bicyclists are present. Because the grant is not a significant dollar amount, the project will be supplemented by paid on-duty officers throughout the summer

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7th District aldermanic seat to be filled tonight

May 05, 2009 1:30 p.m. | The Wauwatosa Common Council is poised to vote tonight on a selection committee's recommendation of Cheryl Berdan to fill a vacant 7th District aldermanic seat. But a competitor for the appointment had written a letter urging city officials to support the runner-up candidate.

Peter Hart, a 7th District resident who came in third as the committee narrowed down the field, is asking council members to vote for Robert Sigrist, who came in second to Berdan.

He wrote about concerns that relevant professional and practical experiences were not given proper consideration. Sigrist most recently worked as manager of New Berlin's Inspections Services Department, and Berdan is employee as a Milwaukee County Courthouse receptionist.

During the interview process, committee members said they put emphasis on volunteerism and community involvement. Berdan has been in charge of the city's Fourth of July parade for the past five years, whereas Sigrist has served on the city's Design Review Board in the past.

"I respect Ms. Berdan's community involvement, however, after further review I believe Mr. Sigrist would bring a more balanced set of skills to the council," Hart wrote.

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City taking applications for vacant aldermanic seat

May 05, 2009 11:32 a.m. | The process is under way to fill the final vacancy on the Wauwatosa Common Council.

The city clerk is now accepting letters of application and resumes from 8th District residents who would like to be considered for the position of alderman, to fulfill a portion of Craig Maher's unexpired term.

The deadline to submit applications is 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 27, with candidate interviews scheduled to occur Thursday, June 4.

The mayor has appointed a committee of sitting aldermen to conduct the interviews. The following council members have been chosen to serve on the committee: Peter Donegan, Jacqueline Jay, Jill Organ, Don Birschel and Robert Dennik, who was appointed in March to fill the other 8th District seat.

The committee will recommend a candidate for appointment, but the council will need to vote. The new alderman will serve on the council until April 2010 at which time an election will be held for the remaining two years of the term.

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Two Tosa East athletes arrested in armed robbery home invasion

May 05, 2009 11:32 a.m. | Two well-known Wauwatosa East High School athletes were among the three teens arrested for armed robbery Friday afternoon.

The boys were scheduled to go to a basketball tournament in Indiana, but they allegedly decided to hit up a local marijuana dealer for cash first.

Three 16-year-old boys - two from Wauwatosa and an athlete at Milwaukee's Vincent High School - were apprehended after they allegedly invaded a home of a woman and her 18-year-old son in the 6100 block of Martin Drive.

According to Wauwatosa Police Department reports:

One of the Wauwatosa boys was packing for the trip to Indiana when the other Wauwatosa boy called several times and asked to borrow a BB gun. He said he was looking to get some money that was owed to him and told his teammate if he brought his ski mask he would get paid to serve as a lookout.

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East wins GMC mini-meet; Lancers third, Tosa fifth

May 05, 2009 7:23 a.m. | Brookfield East won Monday's Greater Metro Conference mini-meet at North Hills Country Club.

East's Kevin Haack was the medalist with a 35, as the Spartans edged Maquette, 150-153, to win for the first time in three conference meets.

Kyle Henning finished tied for second (36), while Mike Herrmann shot a 38, C.J. Caliendo a 41 and Nate Ellis a 43.

Brookfield Central was third (163) behind Phil Bartel (38), Ryan Hinz (41), Evan Anderson (42), Jack Wartman (42) and Justin Rowe (44).

Wauwatosa finished fifth for the third straight meet (178). Austin Kautzer shot a 42, followed by Chris Zachman (45) and Pete Jarosz (45) Jack Melkovitz (46) and Jake Lake (46).

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Three arrested after talk of gun at mall

May 04, 2009 9:20 p.m. | Two men, ages 21 and 22, and a 17-year-old boy, all of Milwaukee, were arrested for disorderly conduct after officers heard them mention having a gun at Mayfair Mall on Saturday evening.

According to a Wauwatosa police report:

Security guards overheard the three people arguing outside Macy's and heard several comments about a gun. The older man and boy started making fists and bouncing around like they were going to start boxing. Soon about 15 people had gathered around the pair.

Due to public safety concerns, seven squad cars arrived. Officers tried to get the crowd to disseminate, but no one would listen and the officers threatened to use pepper spray on the group.

Quickly, the older man got on his cell phone and yelled repeatedly, "Get to the car and ditch the gun, the cops are here."

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Man robbed at gunpoint in home invasion

May 04, 2009 6:14 p.m. | A man was struck in the head with a gun by robbers during a home invasion in the 1300 block of North 63rd Court early Thursday morning.

According to a police report:

The homeowner had fallen asleep on the couch while watching television, but he woke up when he felt a hard hit to his head at 12:30 a.m. Two men were in the home - one was pointing a gun on him, while the other tried to take the flat-panel television off the wall. Then they asked him where he kept items such as a home computer, jewelry and cash.

They ended up taking about $9,000 in items, plus a 2002 Ford Thunderbird, valued at $28,000.

The car had been parked in by a Kia, which the robbers apparently did not believe was worth the effort, because they took the keys and moved the Kia onto the street before they left in the Thunderbird.

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Tosa East's Williams commits to UW-Superior

May 01, 2009 8:59 p.m. | Wauwatosa East senior Eric Williams, ranked 17th in Wisconsin's Class of 2010 by, has orally committed to play basketball at UW-Superior.

Williams helped Tosa East win the 2007-'08 state championship with a 26-1 record. Last season, the Red Raiders went 18-5 and advanced to a sectional final as Williams averaged 13 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists per game.

"I really liked my visit and feel comfortable with the coaches and players on the team," Williams said. "I know the coaches and my teammates are going to help me become the best I can be."

"Eric is a great athlete and over time will have the ability to play as many as three different positions for us," Superior coach Dave Buchanan said. "He can drive it and shoot it, and is a very talented defender."

Hottenstine to Duluth: Minnesota-Duluth, a Division II school, has announced the signing of Bay Port senior Jake Hottenstine. The 6-3 swing man scored 25 points in 24-1 Bay Port's 64-60 overtime loss to eventual state champion Madison Memorial in a semifinal of the Division 1 state tournament.

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Third person arrested in Tosa armed home invasion

May 01, 2009 7:15 p.m. | Two armed robbery suspects attempting to force a Wauwatosa woman to withdraw cash from an automated teller machine were arrested Friday when the woman used a cell phone to alert authorities, police said.

A third suspect was later taken into custody at the woman's residence, where he was believed to be holding the woman's 18-year-old son hostage, according to Wauwatosa police Lt. Dominic Leone.

According to Leone, who spoke with reporters on a video on the WTMJ-TV (Channel 4) Web site, three armed robbers entered the woman's home in the area of W. Martin Drive and N. 62nd St. shortly after 11:30 a.m.

Two of the robbers took the woman to a nearby ATM, where she managed to call police while the two waited for her to withdraw money, Leone told the reporters.

"Apparently these suspects didn't check to see if she had a cell phone," Leone said.

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Wauwatosa's public works director named top of his field

May 01, 2009 1:58 p.m. | Wauwatosa Public Works Director William Kappel has been recognized as one of the top professionals in his field by the American Public Works Association.

Each year, the association selects 10 people from its more than 39,500 members. Kappel was recognized for his more than 40 years working in this sector from a sanitation worker in 1967 to his existing position. As Public Works Director, he oversees the Engineering, Parks and Forestry, Fleet and Traffic and Operations divisions and creates an annual capital plan that in 2009 amounts to $25 million.

Kappel counts as among an even smaller pool of winners from Wisconsin. He's only the 12th in the state to receive the award since its inception in 1960.

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Best Summer Ever


We've made it easy for you to get out and go this summer. From hitting the trails for a bike ride or walk, to where to find beer gardens in the area, to the best places to swim in Waukesha County to the best summer drinks and summer reads, check out our 2016 summer guide.



Hidden Tosa


"Hidden Tosa" is a semi-regular feature where our Wauwatosa reporter explores the closed down and closed off parts of Wauwatosa.