Restaurant owner pleads guilty to tax charges

June 29, 2009 5:32 p.m. | The chef and owner of Il Mito restaurant in Wauwatosa has pleaded guilty to filing false tax returns and structuring bank transactions, according to federal court documents.

Michael Feker, formerly known as Mohammad Daghighfekr, entered a guilty plea to the two counts last week. He is set to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman in October.

Federal sentencing guidelines call for eight to 14 months in prison, according to the plea agreement. The prosecutor is recommending a sentence of four months in prison and four months of home confinement, it says. Feker agreed to pay $37,000 prior to sentencing. He may face other fines as part of the sentence.

The prosecutor and Feker's attorney did not immediately return calls for comment.

Feker has operated restaurants in Milwaukee for nearly a decade, including Il Mito when it was on W. Virginia St. and Los Mitos on N. Jefferson St.

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Marquette University High School honor rolls now online

June 29, 2009 12:41 p.m. | We've just posted the latest honor roll lists for Marquette University High School.

Not only will you find the complete list of outstanding area students, when you click on a student's name, you'll see a printable honor roll certificate. and Marquette University, which sponsors the honor rolls, would like to congratulate the local students for their outstanding achievements. We also welcome honor rolls for local elementary and middle schools - both public and private. If you don't see your child's school on this list, ask your school to e-mail its honor roll to

Power restored to more than 600 homes in Wauwatosa

June 27, 2009 8:50 p.m. | Power has been restored to all but 76 customers in Wauwatosa, according to We Energies spokesperson Barry McNulty.

About 700 homes in Wauwatosa were affected by the power failure that occurred earlier this evening, McNulty said. Power lines were down due to some fallen trees, he said.

Homicide charges sought in fatal crash that closed U.S. Highway 45

June 27, 2009 4:20 p.m. | A 27-year-old Milwaukee woman and her 29-year-old husband have been arrested and recommended for homicide charges in connection with a fatal accident that shut down U.S. Highway 45 for several hours Saturday, according to the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department.

According to the department:

The woman was driving a red Ford Focus shortly before noon northbound on the highway as she argued with her husband. Near Mayfair Road, she lost control of the car, crashing into a black sport utility vehicle on its left side and then a motorcycle on the car's right.

The impact caused the motorcycle to explode and sent the motorcyclist off a bridge and onto Underwood Parkway. The 54-year-old West Milwaukee motorcyclist was declared dead at Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa.

Neither the 30-year-old Franklin woman driving the SUV nor her 2-year-old son, who was a passenger in the vehicle, was injured.

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Brookfield Central, Wauwatosa East baseball photos now online

June 25, 2009 11:55 a.m. | We've just posted photos from Brookfield Central's 12-0 victory over Wauwatosa East on Wednesday.

Vukmir to challenge Sullivan for 5th District Senate seat

June 25, 2009 10:16 a.m. | State Rep. Leah Vukmir, R-Wauwatosa, announced this morning that she will run for the state's 5th District Senate seat.

Creating jobs and providing core services in an efficient way are her top priorities, she said.

"Wisconsin has lost 130,000 jobs in the last year," she said in a news release from the Friends of Leah Vukmir. "We need a senator who cares about getting people back to work instead of figuring out how to squeeze more tax revenue from our families and employers."

Vukmir, who was first elected to the state Assembly in 2002, made the announcement at Gilles Frozen Custard.

The 5th Senate District includes portions of the cities of Milwaukee, Wauwatosa, West Allis and Brookfield and the villages of West Milwaukee and Elm Grove.

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Motorcyclist collides with car on Mayfair Road

June 24, 2009 10:26 a.m. | A 52-year-old Milwaukee man is in serious condition at Froedtert Hospital after his motorcycle collided with a car on Mayfair Road at Center Street this morning.

Wauwatosa Police Department was called to the accident at 7:50 a.m., and they remain on the scene said Lt. Dominic Leone. Early investigations show the motorcycle driver was southbound on Mayfair Road when a 66-year-woman turned her car in front of him. He did not have time to react.

The motorcyclist was wearing a helmet.

District decides West band director will spend most of his of time at high school

June 24, 2009 9:34 a.m. | Wauwatosa West High School's band director will not be spread as thin next year as anticipated, a group of 25 parents and students learned Tuesday evening.

District officials have dropped plans to send Richard Smith to Madison Elementary School for a portion of the school day. However, he will spend 20 percent of his time teaching music lessons at Whitman Middle School.

The group had been vocal at recent School Board meetings about keeping Smith full time at West. They fear his time would be limited to plan for activities like parades and perform duties like selecting new music.

District officials said they are looking into additional staffing for the 2010-11 school year, which would provide more flexibility in scheduling and hopefully attract more students to sign up for band.

Foundation awards $30,000 for upcoming year

June 23, 2009 2:46 p.m. | The Education Foundation of Wauwatosa recently awarded 17 grants totaling $30,070 to teachers in the Wauwatosa School District for classroom programs for the 2009-10 school year.

The grants will allow teachers to purchase learning gadgets and enrichment supplies that the district's budget does not cover.

At the elementary level, some of the grants will go toward audio recorders to help students talk through the writing process, read-at-home program materials that include art activities to increase comprehension, physical education equipment to fight childhood obesity, drama materials that allow kindergarteners to play the role of scientists, microscopes for looking at specimens, and a program that incorporates cooking with science, health and math lessons.

At the middle-school level, materials to make at-risk students more independent learners and a drumming program to explore African and Latin-American culture are among the programs grants will help fund.

The high schools will be buying electronic simulation software to work on problem solving and improve learning retention in global studies, history and American public policy classes; appliances and supplies to teach special education students independent-living skills; and mobile data collection equipment to use for outdoor science labs at Wauwatosa East High School.

Breakfast to be served daily at Roosevelt school

June 23, 2009 2:16 p.m. | Roosevelt Elementary School students will have the option of starting off the school day with breakfast this fall. The Wauwatosa School District is expanding its morning food service.

Roosevelt will be the first elementary school in the district to offer breakfast, said representatives of food service provider Sodexo School Services. But more schools likely will be added to the program as Sodexo completes a needs analysis at each facility.

The breakfast program got its start last fall at Wauwatosa West High School, where between 50 to 55 mostly low-income students participated. They typically qualified to buy breakfast at a reduced price or received free meals based on family income levels.

A few other changes are in the works for the district's food service program. All elementary schools soon will do away with Styrofoam food trays. They will be replaced with reusable baskets thanks to an environmentally friendly program piloted at a few schools.

In addition, business class students will work with food service managers to create marketing plans to allow them to apply their skills in a real-life setting.

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School district approve tax levy, expects changes

June 23, 2009 11:10 a.m. | Numbers presented during Wauwatosa School District’s budget hearing Monday did not provide a very clear picture, due to many unknowns regarding the state budget.
But the School Board unanimously approved the 2009-10 budget because it is required to have one in place by July 1.
As of right now, the budget calls for a $43.4 million property tax levy, an 8.59 percent increase over the $40 million levy for the current budget. Property tax rates would increase to $8.09 per $1,000 of equalized property value, a hike of 64 cents per $1,000 of value.
The tax increase stems from an anticipated $1.5 million drop in state aid, said John Mack, district business services director.
He estimates the actual tax levy will come in a lower, at about a 5 percent increase, after the state approves its budget.
At this time, school officials said they do not foresee having to make any layoffs or significant cutbacks, but they are coming up with options to reduce the budget if the state’s budget results in less funding than anticipated.

Tosa West concession and bathroom work to cost $525K

June 23, 2009 11:03 a.m. | Wauwatosa West High School will be getting new concession and public restroom facilities at its athletic fields.
The Wauwatosa School Board on Monday approved the $525,000 low bid from Ray Stadler Construction Co. School officials said they expect about $350,000 to come from the district’s capital funds and the remainder from fundraising.
The concession/restroom building counts as the first project to result from the recommendations made in spring 2006 by an athletic field planning committee.
Work is scheduled to begin in July and be completed in October.

Teens arrested for forging $20 bills

June 23, 2009 10:27 a.m. | Three Brookfield teens have been arrested on felony counts of forgery after they passed counterfeit bills at a grocery store in Brookfield and a fast-food restaurant in Wauwatosa.

Police said two of the teens, both 19, used fake $20 bills to make separate purchases at Pick ’n Save, 17295 W. Capitol Drive, on June 16. A cashier thought the purchases were suspicious and examined the bills, which had the same serial number. The cashier then determined the bills were fake by using a counterfeit detector pen.

An employee at the store recognized the two men and police made contact with them. They admitted to printing up the counterfeit money.

A third 19-year-old man later was arrested for forgery after police learned he had purchased the paper the bills were printed on and had driven the other two men to the grocery store.

Wauwatosa police said the suspects used fake bills from the same source at Burger King, 3880 N. 124th St., the same day.

Vodka theft leads to foot chase, swim in river

June 23, 2009 8:52 a.m. | A swim across the Menomonee River apparently was part of a 37-year-old Milwaukee man's strategy for evading arrest after he allegedly tried to steal vodka from a Wauwatosa grocery store Wednesday evening.

Aaron Taylor has been charged with retail theft, resisting arrest and bail jumping.

According to a Wauwatosa Police Department report:

Taylor tried to hide five bottles of vodka, worth $154, under his shirt at Metcalf's Sentry Foods, 6700 W. State St., at 8:41 p.m.

As he tried to leave the store, a security guard approached Taylor, so he took off running. He dropped the bottles in the parking lot, where a police officer joined the foot chase. Taylor ran down the embankment, swam across the river and hid in bushes on the other side until officers found him. However, he said he had been walking by the river and had fallen in, hit his head and was confused as to what he was doing there.

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Man arrested for being drunk while driving daughter to school

June 23, 2009 8:48 a.m. | A 42-year-old Milwaukee man with a blood-alcohol content more than four times the legal limit drove his daughter to school Thursday after partying all night long.

Wauwatosa police arrested him for drunken driving after they received reports of a vehicle striking a curb in the 7000 block of Maple Terrace at 12:10 p.m. Thursday.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

The driver said he went to a party at 10 p.m. and drank until he returned home at 11 a.m. He had a nearly empty bottle of whisky in his vehicle.

When he got home, he wanted to go to bed, but his daughter asked for a ride to school; he said he didn't want to let her down.

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Leff's Lucky Town hit by drive-by eggings

June 22, 2009 4:08 p.m. | Leff's Lucky Town has been the victim of drive-by eggings four times in little more than a week.

In each incident, three to five men in a black, older model Volkswagen threw eggs at the building, new patio and patrons seated outdoors between 10 and 11 p.m.

Staff at Leff's Lucky Town, 7208 W. State, said they did not report incidents that occurred June 14, 16 or 18. But when the egging happened again Saturday night, they decided it needed police attention, according to a Wauwatosa Police Department report.

Patrons' cars parked across the street at Hart Park also were egged.

Feedback sought on Mayfair Mall area roadwork

June 19, 2009 11:56 a.m. | Wauwatosa — State transportation officials are inviting public feedback on plans for rebuilding portions of Highway 100 alongside Mayfair Mall.

A public meeting is scheduled for 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Mayfair Mall, Room G150.

According to the state Department of Transportation, highway planners intend to reconstruct Highway 100 between Burleigh Road and Walnut Road - a stretch that includes entrances to the mall.

That work is scheduled to begin in July, stop temporarily in November, resume next April and be completed next June.

The project also includes a bridge rehabilitation and road resurfacing south of Walnut, scheduled to start in 2011.

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District gets additional $4,600 in special education aid

June 19, 2009 11:00 a.m. | Wauwatosa will get an additional $4,655 in special education aid from the state and federal government to help cover extra costs from the 2007-08 school year.

The money comes from $5.4 million in combined state and federal funding that will be split among 111 school districts and a handful of other educational agencies, according to a news release from the state Department of Public Instruction. The aid is estimated to benefit 878 special education students with severe or multiple disabilities.

West band supporters rally against cutting directors' hours

June 19, 2009 10:28 a.m. | About 20 Wauwatosa West High School band students and their parents gathered last night to again speak out against a district staffing decision that will cut the band director's hours by 30 percent this fall.

Student Alex Steiner spoke alongside his father, arguing that the band program will suffer if director Richard Smith's position is cut to part time. "The quality of our band will likely decrease significantly," he said.

Parent Donna Pfaff has been spearheading a grass-roots effort via e-mail to rally supporters against the decision. Pfaff said parents and students will attend Monday's School Board meeting to assert their opposition to the plan and to show that they "aren't going away." They've also scheduled a meeting with Superintendent Phil Ertl Tuesday.

"The only way we're going to be heard by the administration is if we go to Mr. Ertl himself," Pfaff said.

Because of declining band enrollment, district administrators plan have Smith spend just 70 percent of his time at West. The remainder of his hours would be spent teaching music at Whitman Middle School and Madison Elementary School.

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Tosa East math teacher convicted of drug charge

June 18, 2009 5:36 p.m. | Waukesha — A 25-year veteran Wauwatosa East High School teacher was convicted Thursday of misdemeanor drug possession in Waukesha County Circuit Court.

Roger K. Payne, 47, pleaded guilty Thursday to marijuana possession, drug paraphernalia possession and obstructing an officer.

Payne was arrested in his City of Pewaukee home in December after Payne called police Nov. 20 to report a theft of $1,500. Payne named a 21-year-old man as a suspect in the theft of the money from Payne's condominium on Wild Oats Drive. When detectives questioned the man about the missing money, he told police he took a quarter-pound of marijuana, not cash, according to a criminal complaint.

He told police that Payne would regularly host parties for underage people, including former students, according to a police report.

Police searched Payne's condo Nov. 20 and seized $6,400, four bongs, four glass pipes, numerous bags of marijuana, a magazine about marijuana and four pornographic movies, according to a search warrant.

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City's AAA bond rating reconfirmed

June 18, 2009 4:46 p.m. | City officials secured a 1.7 percent average interest rate on $9.4 million it is borrowing to fund the construction of a replacement for Fire Station No. 1.

The low rate was aided in part by the city's recently reconfirmed AAA bond rating. Moody's Investors Services on Tuesday confirmed the highest possible rating for the city.

Construction is expected to get under way in mid-July on the two-story, 29,500-square-foot station, which will be located at 1601 Underwood Ave. When finished, it will offer more space for apparatus storage and maintenance and training activities, modern mechanical systems and sustainable design features.

Common Council members Tuesday unanimously approved the $9.4 million in borrowing, along with $5.3 million in borrowing to fund the cost of capital projects. The second loan, one the city takes out each year, was borrowed using a Build America federal subsidy for a 2.9 percent average interest rate.

Jim Archambo, city administrator, said ongoing economic turbulence has municipal bond investors looking to governments with higher bond ratings, since they usually represent a lower financial risk.

District's suggestions make Senate budget

June 18, 2009 3:22 p.m. | State senators last night approved their version of the state's 2009-11 state budget, which included provisions to protect school districts and taxpayers suggested by the Wauwatosa School Board.

State Sen. Jim Sullivan on Tuesday negotiated provisions into the 2009-11 state budget that would protect school districts from being forced to overspend as a result of union negotiations.

With the planned July 2010 removal of the qualified economic offer, which prevents teachers unions from seeking arbitration if they are offered a salary and benefit package increase of at least 3.8 percent, Wauwatosa officials feared arbitrators could order districts to borrow short term to fund pay raises.

Sullivan, a Wauwatosa Democrat, said he answered these concerns by adding language to the state budget that would force arbitrators to consider a district's economic condition and revenue cap when settling union contracts. The proposal also would exempt districts' fund balances from being used to pay for settlements.

The provisions were based on a recent recommendation from the Wauwatosa School Board, though board members and district administrators initially asked for more stringent rules that would have frozen school districts' short-term borrowing at current levels. Sullivan said he disagreed with that part of the initial recommendation because it was too absolute.

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Wilke appointed 8th District alderman

June 17, 2009 12:10 p.m. | Eighth District Alderman Robert Dennik congratulates new 8th District Alderman Jason Wilke moments after Wilke was sworn into office.Jason Wilke last night was sworn in as 8th District alderman, marking the first time since March that the Wauwatosa Common Council has seen all 16 seats filled since Wilke's predecessor, Craig Maher, vacated the seat.

As expected, the council unanimously approved Wilke's appointment without discussion. A selection committee on June 11 recommended Wilke over five other candidates.

The new alderman's family was present to snap photos as he took the oath of office and shook hands with fellow 8th District Alderman Robert Dennik.

Wilke will serve as alderman until April, when the position will be up for election and voters will choose their own alderman. Until then, Wilke will receive normal aldermanic pay, which is $350 per month.

Solar panel recommendation put on back burner

June 17, 2009 11:26 a.m. | A plan to put solar panels on the Wauwatosa Public Works Building roof has been moved to the back burner because officials favor energy improvements with a greater return on investment.

Alderman James Krol said the city wants to use its energy efficiency grant dollars on improvements that will save enough money to cover their own cost within a 10-year period.

"At this time, the solar panels do not get us into that category," Krol said.

The panels still will be considered in an upcoming study planned to compare possible energy improvements in city facilities. However, Krol said, the city will prioritize improvements that have quicker returns, pushing solar panels "further down on the list."

The first of these improvements will be a $70,000 upgrade to lighting fixtures at the Public Works Building. Krol said new high-output fluorescent bulbs will provide at least $14,000 in annual energy and maintenance costs, enough to cover the cost of the upgrade in five years.

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Disaster drill continues for local hospitals, public safety staff

June 17, 2009 7:19 a.m. | First responders in hazardous material suits worked alongside U.S. military personnel and hospital officials at area hospitals Tuesday and will continue the operation Wednesday as part of a community disaster drill.

That's why visitors to local hospitals might see military personnel, vehicles and tents Wednesday. Some people trying to get to Froedtert Hospital during the day Wednesday will face a detour.

Ten area hospitals are participating in the drill, according to Froedtert officials. Officials are trying to get the word out so that the exercise, dubbed "Red Dragon," doesn't spark concern that a real disaster is happening.

The drill, which will simulate a dirty bomb explosion at a sporting event, is designed to determine whether area emergency workers are prepared to respond to mass casualty events that require decontamination. It also will assess the military's ability to support local civilian authorities in case of such an emergency. One hundred mock victims will be sent to participating hospitals, and military personnel will set up decontamination camps on hospital grounds.

This is expected to be the largest such drill in the country this year, according to a news release from Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, with the participation of 3,000 military personnel, representatives of federal agencies including FEMA and the FBI, and local firefighting and police authorities. The exercise is the culmination of yearlong military training in disaster management focused on responding to a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear incident. Army reservists from throughout the country are expected to participate.

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Traffic moving again on southbound Highway 45

June 15, 2009 5:42 p.m. | Two lanes of southbound U.S. Highway 45 have now been cleared and are open, after a semitrailer truck rolled over onto a pickup truck near W. Blue Mound this afternoon.

A Wisconsin Department of Transportation camera shows traffic moving and the truck pulled over to the right.

Repeated calls and an email to Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Kim Brooks have not yet been returned.

To see video on WTMJ-TV (Channel 4), click here.

Wauwatosa East, West graduation photos posted

June 15, 2009 11:45 a.m. | We've just posted photos of the Wauwatosa East and West graduation ceremonies, which were held Saturday.

Oak Creek, Tosa East baseball photos now online

June 15, 2009 10:52 a.m. | We've just posted photos from Oak Creek's 8-1 victory over Wauwatosa East at Breitlow Field this weekend.

Sheriff's deputy arrested for drunken driving

June 15, 2009 10:50 a.m. | A Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office deputy was arrested for drunken driving and endangering safety by possessing a dangerous weapon in Wauwatosa on Wednesday morning.

According to a Wauwatosa Police Department report:

Scott Kuhtz, 46, of Wauwatosa, was pulled over in the 7300 block of North Avenue at 9:14 a.m. after another driver reported a reckless driver that tried to ram his vehicle.

When an officer approached his vehicle, Kuhtz identified himself as a sheriff's deputy. Police took a Glock handgun from his shoulder holster before performing sobriety tests.

His blood-alcohol was 0.21, nearly three times the legal limit.

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Worker injured in hit-and-run

June 13, 2009 10:48 a.m. | A 20-year-old Michigan man was taken to Froedtert Hospital after he was struck by a hit-and-run driver while he was doing survey work at 60th Street and Wisconsin Avenue on Thursday. He was conscious when paramedics arrived, but he complained of leg and hand pain. He was treated for a torn patella, injured finger and swelling and lacerations around his left eye.

The man, who had been wearing a bright yellow safety vest, was trying to get a Global Positioning System signal when he was struck, according to Wauwatosa police. A co-worker who sitting in their work vehicle said he heard the sound of heavy braking, so he looked out the window and saw the victim on top of the vehicle hood. When he fell off and onto the street, the driver took off.

The co-worker described the vehicle as a red or maroon Ford Taurus.

Naming rights policy heads back to council

June 10, 2009 12:14 p.m. | Wauwatosa's Community Development Committee on Tuesday reached a decision, for the third time, on the details of a proposed ordinance regarding the sale of naming rights for city property.

But the 5-3 vote on the latest version of the ordinance does not come any closer to unanimous support, one of the reasons the Common Council had referred the issue back to the committee.

Under the revised ordinance, which now goes back to the council for consideration, city staff members would conduct market research to determine appropriate pricing only after an offer is made. This would ensure staff time is not spent constantly updating pricing lists. Public Works, which has the heads of most city departments serving on its board, would handle any sales with a value less than $5,000, whereas approvals for naming rights with a value of $5,000 and more would require a majority vote of the council.

For much of the committee meeting, motions failed 4-4. The two camps could not agree on two aspects of the proposed ordinance: the dollar amount significant enough to warrant council approval and how many votes it would take to approve a naming rights sale.

The ordinance's author, Alderman Dennis McBride, pushed for a $5,000 threshold so residents would have an opportunity to comment to their elected officials about any offer with that or greater value. In addition, he argued that a naming rights sale should require approval by two-thirds of the council.

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City's solar power plan raises eyebrows at panel meeting

June 10, 2009 10:38 a.m. | Wauwatosa staff has recommended spending energy efficiency grant dollars to put solar panels on the Public Works Building roof, an expenditure that would reduce energy bills and serve as a visual reminder to residents that the city is trying to go green.

The Budget and Finance Committee on Tuesday took up a proposed spending plan for the $220,000 in grant funds that will be coming to the city by way of the federal economic stimulus package. Several committee members questioned whether a photovoltaic roof was the best way to use $190,000 of the funds, especially when they heard the payback would be $3,000 per year.

If the city installed the solar panels, the roof would convert the sun's power into electricity, which We Energies would buy for about $3,000 per year, City Administrator James Archambo explained. The energy corporation gets "green credits" from the government for using alternative power sources.

"That's a terrible investment no matter where the money is coming from," Alderwoman Jill Organ said.

At that rate, it would take the city at least 63 years to make back the money spent on the roof, while the typical useful life of the roof is 25 years.

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Naming rights debate to continue Tuesday

June 08, 2009 5:54 p.m. | Wauwatosa's Community Development Committee on Tuesday will continue to debate the details of a proposed ordinance regarding the sale of naming rights for city property.

Last week, the Common Council sent the proposal back to the committee because of a disagreement about whether the council should get involved in naming rights decisions when transactions reach the $5,000 realm or city staff should handle anything less than $25,000.

The proposed policy's author, Alderman Dennis McBride, said he feels the dollar amount threshold is the most important aspect of the document because it gives residents a chance to voice their opinions and the council an opportunity to weigh in on naming rights.

"This is city property, so we want to make sure the name is appropriate," he said. "City government never goes wrong with more public opinion."

Too many possibilities for naming rights - for instance a tennis court or stadium score board - could fall between the two dollar amounts, he said.

Man who racked up $28,000 in fines arrested

June 08, 2009 4:30 p.m. | A Wauwatosa homeowner who allegedly has been evading police to keep from paying more than $28,000 in outstanding fines for building code violations was arrested last week.

For three years, Wauwatosa building inspectors tried to get Jerome Goodman to fix some minor violations at his property at 3229 N. Knoll Terrace. After many visits to the property and the increasing of fines, Goodman made the repairs. But he failed to show up in court to bring the case to conclusion, and he has not paid off the fines connected to the 41 violations.

Now he sits in jail, a stay that could last up to 560 days if he cannot pay off his fines.

According to a Wauwatosa Police Department report:

Police got a tip that Goodman had been living in his home - he also has a Pewaukee residence - so an officer responded to the residence Wednesday evening.

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Boobytrap at Hoyt Park snares squad car

June 08, 2009 4:28 p.m. | Vandals continue to target Hoyt Park, this time apparently setting a trap that damaged a police car.

Wooden planks with nails sticking out were put down across a path used primarily by police and park workers. One of the nails got lodged in a squad car tire and split it in half. The officer had to wait for a tow truck.

According to a Wauwatosa Police Department report:

At 11:44 p.m. Thursday, an officer noticed that the chain had been loosened on the pool house, 1800 Swan Blvd., so he drove around the facility. After he heard the tire pop, he saw the boards, which were covered by weeds in an attempt to hide them. On the underside, "anarchy" was written on the boards.

Although the path is not open for public vehicle use, many people use it for walking and bicycling.

Armed robber hits convenience store, then heads to George Webb

June 05, 2009 6:16 p.m. | A 26-year-old West Allis man accused of robbing a convenience store and then grabbing a bite to eat at a nearby George Webb was arrested Thursday, Wauwatosa police said.

According to a Wauwatosa Police Department report:

The clerk was preparing for to close the Open Pantry Citgo, 11216 W. Blue Mound Road, at 10:51 p.m. Tuesday, when a man wearing a bright orange ski mask and camouflage clothing entered the store carrying a switchblade knife.

The robber demanded money, so the clerk handed him some cash and he fled. A customer was able to get to get the robber's license plate number.

After leaving the gas station, the robber went to a nearby George Webb to eat, and to dispose of the mask and knife. He allegedly told officers he needed money to support his heroin habit.

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Wilke likely pick for 8th District alderman

June 05, 2009 2:56 p.m. | The founder of the Park Ridge Neighborhood Association may become the newest member of Wauwatosa's Common Council.

Jason Wilke received the most votes from a selection committee Wednesday night to fill the vacant 8th District seat. Craig Maher previously served in the position, but he resigned in March.

The committee's recommendation for the appointment will go to the full council June 16 for action.

Wilke's appointment would result in a full council for the first time since December. The other 8th District seat and a 7th District seat were filled by appointments in recent months.

Throughout the appointment process, committee members have emphasized their interest in finding candidates who have been involved in the community.

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Swine flu confirmed at multiple Tosa schools

June 04, 2009 3:32 p.m. | Cases of swine flu have been confirmed at several district schools, including Whitman Middle School, an official said.

Sally Roepe, district nurse, said infections have been confirmed at Whitman, but would not release the locations of other cases.

"We've had (confirmed cases at) more than one school," Roepe said, adding: "It's not being limited to just one location. It's in the community."

Lori Nielsen, nursing supervisor for the Wauwatosa Health Department, would likewise not confirm locations, citing concern about panicking residents.

Nielsen and Roepe said letters have been sent home to parents at schools where cases have been confirmed, informing them of the fact and advising preventive measures, like proper hand-washing techniques.

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Naming rights debate continues

June 03, 2009 11:18 a.m. | The debate on setting policy to guide naming rights for city property continued with the Wauwatosa Common Council on Tuesday sending the issue back to the committee level to hash out more details and to try to get a stronger consensus of support.

Alderman Thomas Herzog, who was among those who voted 5-3 against the most recent version of the proposed policy at last week's Community Development Committee meeting, said he "was generally in favor," but he had some sticking points like the dollar amount that would require council approval.

"We should get this right before we hastily move this forward," he said. "There's no time crunch."

Herzog received support from the majority of the council with a 10-5 vote to refer it back to the CDC for discussion Tuesday night.

Mayor Jill Didier floated the idea of naming rights earlier this year, but she has not been pursuing any sales. Rather, her focus has been on selling bleacher seats at the Hart Park stadium.

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Tosa Tonight concerts kick off June 24

June 02, 2009 3:38 p.m. | Tosa Tonight has announced the lineup for its 2009 summer concert series, the first at the new Rotary Performance Pavilion in Hart Park.

The series starts with a performance by Swing Nouveau & the Empty Suits from 5:30 to 9 p.m. June 24.

On July 15, Stealin' Strings & Marc Ballini will take the stage, Five Card Studs will perform during Tosa's Night Out on Aug. 4, and Gaelic Storm & Screaming Orphans will play Aug. 12. All performances are free and open to the public.

Food and beverage will be available for purchase; proceeds will benefit the amphitheater building fund.

Initial pavilion construction has been finished, but grading work that will eventually provide a bowl-like seating area will have to wait until at least August, after the rainy season has passed.

Fire station construction delayed

June 02, 2009 2:20 p.m. | Construction on the new Wauwatosa Fire Station No. 1 has been delayed so utility lines can be relocated.

A groundbreaking ceremony likely will be held in mid-July, Fire Chief Dean Redman said. Previously, city officials had expected construction to get under way June 10.

The city is replacing the more than 80-year-old building on Underwood Avenue with a new facility on a neighboring property.

The new 29,500-square-foot, two-story station will offer more space for training and apparatus storage and maintenance. It will feature modern mechanical systems and sustainable design elements, Redman said.

Tosa considers naming rights measure

June 02, 2009 6:26 a.m. | Wauwatosa - The Common Council tonight is scheduled to vote on an 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.

Last month, the council's Community Development Committee voted, 5-3, to recommend that the ordinance be approved.

Madison Park splash pad vandalized

June 01, 2009 9:40 p.m. | The new splash pad at Madison Park has not even been used yet and already vandals have damaged it.

According to a Wauwatosa Police Department report:

Contractors working on the project for the Milwaukee County Parks Department completed work May 22 on the splash pad, which sprays water so young children can run through it to cool off in the summer heat.

By Tuesday, the water shower portion had been damaged. Contractors suggested people may have been pulling on the equipment or hanging from it.

Damage is estimated at $3,000.

» Read Full Article

Woman gets jolt when car barrels into her house

June 01, 2009 9:36 p.m. | A Wauwatosa woman was knocked out of her chair Thursday evening when a car crashed into the corner of her home in the 11100 block of Maple Lane.

According to a Wauwatosa Police Department report:

A woman was changing lanes when she struck a curb. Her tire blew out, and she lost control of her car, jumped a curb and drove into the southwest corner of the house.

The impact of the crash forced the 35-year-old homeowner out of her seat, and she struck her foot on a coffee table. She was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

The vehicle's driver and passenger were not hurt. The driver was cited for failing to control her vehicle.

Man arrested for driving getaway vehicle after La Tarte robbery

June 01, 2009 5:40 p.m. | A 22-year-old Waukesha man has been arrested for driving a getaway vehicle after a strong-armed robbery at a Wauwatosa bakery Tuesday.

Witnesses told police they saw his partner in the crime, who has not yet been arrested, run from La Tarte, 6742 W. Wells St., and jump into a waiting vehicle. They were able to provide police with the license plate number and a description of the driver.

According to Wauwatosa Police Department reports:

A man entered the store, ordered a croissant and handed a $5 bill to the owner. As she opened the cash register to get his change, the customer reached over the counter and into the cash drawer.

The man pushed the register toward the owner and she fell on the floor, followed by the cash drawer. The man came around the counter, stepped over the business owner and took money.

» Read Full Article

Man arrested for lewd comments to teen girls

June 01, 2009 5:18 p.m. | A 21-year-old Milwaukee man was arrested for disorderly conduct for making sexual comments, on three occasions, to girls walking near Wauwatosa East High School.

According to Wauwatosa Police Department reports:

On Tuesday, two 16-year-old girls were walking near 74th and Lloyd streets when the man pulled up in his vehicle, asked them to have sex with him and told them to get in the vehicle. They walked away, and then told their parents about the incident.

The next day different girls were walking home from school when he again pulled up in a car, this time at 74th Street and Hillcrest Drive, and made lewd comments.

The girls were able to provide officers with his license plate number, and a traffic officer stopped him Thursday afternoon.

» Read Full Article

Theft of baby food leads to criminal charges

June 01, 2009 5:06 p.m. | A 37-year-old Milwaukee man who took more than a dozen cans of baby formula from Pick 'n Save, intending to resell the products, was charged with retail theft Thursday.

Prentiss Grimes remains in custody and has been prohibited from entering Pick 'n Save stores.

According to a Wauwatosa Police Department report:

Grimes concealed 12 cans of baby formula, valued at $169, in his heavy winter coat and started to walk out the door. Security guards approached him, and, as he began to run, cans starting falling. They recognized him from a surveillance video that showed a man taking six cans of formula the day prior.

He told police he expected a citation, but officers said that with 12 arrests for retail theft since March 2008 on his record, they would be taking him to the Milwaukee County Criminal Justice Facility. A background check showed Grimes previously had been arrested in West Allis, St. Francis, Hales Corners, Wauwatosa and Shorewood, and he had outstanding warrants in the latter two cities.

» Read Full Article

Clifton Gunderson accounting firm moving headquarters to Wauwatosa

June 01, 2009 11:56 a.m. | Employment by Clifton Gunderson in the Milwaukee area will increase as the top-25 accounting firm relocates its headquarters from Peoria, Ill. to Wauwatosa.

The move, announced last year, coincides with the rise of Krista McMasters to the position of CEO. McMasters, whose appointment was effective Monday, has long worked from the firm's Milwaukee office.

With McMasters' taking over - she is the first woman to head a top-25 accounting firm, according to Clifton Gunderson - jobs such as general counsel have been shifted to Wauwatosa.

"It will expand the number of employees that we will have in our Milwaukee office," spokeswoman Jen Dirks said. "...Kris would love her executive team here."

Nearly 130 professionals work for Clifton Gunderson here. Nationwide, the professional staff totals more than 2,000 in 45 offices.

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Community Watch

» Restaurant owner pleads guilty to tax charges 6/29

» Marquette University High School honor rolls now online 6/29

» Power restored to more than 600 homes in Wauwatosa Updated:  6/27

» Homicide charges sought in fatal crash that closed U.S. Highway 45 Updated:  6/27

» Brookfield Central, Wauwatosa East baseball photos now online 6/25

» Vukmir to challenge Sullivan for 5th District Senate seat 6/25

» Motorcyclist collides with car on Mayfair Road 6/24

» District decides West band director will spend most of his of time at high school 6/24

» Foundation awards $30,000 for upcoming year 6/23

» Breakfast to be served daily at Roosevelt school 6/23

» School district approve tax levy, expects changes 6/23

» Tosa West concession and bathroom work to cost $525K 6/23

» Teens arrested for forging $20 bills 6/23

» Vodka theft leads to foot chase, swim in river 6/23

» Man arrested for being drunk while driving daughter to school 6/23

» Leff's Lucky Town hit by drive-by eggings 6/22

» Feedback sought on Mayfair Mall area roadwork 6/19

» District gets additional $4,600 in special education aid 6/19

» West band supporters rally against cutting directors' hours 6/19

» Tosa East math teacher convicted of drug charge 6/18

» City's AAA bond rating reconfirmed 6/18

» District's suggestions make Senate budget 6/18

» Wilke appointed 8th District alderman 6/17

» Solar panel recommendation put on back burner 6/17

» Disaster drill continues for local hospitals, public safety staff Updated:  6/17

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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.