Next Wauwatosa mayor could earn $30K

June 29, 2011 1:04 p.m. | Whoever wins the next mayoral election could be looking at a salary of $30,000, a figure that would reflect the first raise given to the position in 27 years.

The Employee Relations Committee on Tuesday recommended, on a 3-1 vote, an increase from the existing mayoral pay of $22,500. The Common Council will need to vote on the matter July 5; if approved, the raise would not go into effect until after the April 2012 election.

Alderman Peter Donegan, committee chairman, estimated the value of mayoral job duties - appointing members to committees and commissions, breaking ties, holding veto power on council votes, representing the city at political and ceremonial events, and more - at $70,000 for a full-time position.

The job has never been officially designated as full- or part-time, but he said he expects Tosa's mayor to work 20 or fewer hours per week.

Alderman Brian Ewerdt suggested a $35,000 salary, but the motion failed.

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Fight about Facebook posts erupts at Mayfair

June 29, 2011 12:08 p.m. | A fight between two 23-year-old Milwaukee women at Mayfair last week resulted in hair scattered on the floor, nearly two dozen punches thrown and a bleeding eye, according to a Wauwatosa police report.

Also from the report:

One of the women was shopping at Journeys shoe store when the second entered, yelling about Facebook, at 6:32 p.m. June 22.

She pulled the first woman out of the store by her hair and punched her repeatedly, resulting in an eye injury.

Security guards arrived and pulled them apart.

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Man charged again with weapon possession

June 29, 2011 10:58 a.m. | For the second time in about a week, a 32-year-old Wauwatosa man is facing weapon possession charges.

Three fire arms, 47 knives and a loaded rifle magazine were recovered Sunday afternoon from Jason Falkenstein's bedroom in the basement of his uncle's home in the 2600 block of North 111th Street, according to a Wauwatosa police report.

On Monday, he was charged with misdemeanor carrying a concealed weapon and bail-jumping. He remains in custody while a doctor determines if he is mentally competent to proceed.

Also according to the police report:

Falkenstein's family said he had been acting paranoid, hadn't slept much since his first arrest and was threatening to kill his girlfriend. Since he had been charged for possession of a semi-automatic pistol a week earlier, family members worried he might have access to other weapons.

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Man in purple hat accused of Wauwatosa Pick 'n Save thefts

June 29, 2011 10:54 a.m. | John Henry Smith Jr., 51, of Milwaukee has been charged with misdemeanor retail theft. He is accused of violating probation from a prior theft charge and taking liquor valued at $734 from Pick 'n Save, 6950 W. State St., two days earlier.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

Grocery store personnel had been on the lookout for a man wearing a distinctive purple hat who had been taking liquor. He showed up at a checkout counter at 12:57 p.m. with an empty cart.

He tried to keep the cashier distracted while his accomplice - Charles Adams, 42, of Milwaukee, who has been charged with the same crime - pushed the full cart out the door.

The duo was loading a car when security approached, so they ran. Smith got on a bus but was arrested when he exited at 60th and Vliet streets.

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Teen arrested for battery, another for drug possession

June 29, 2011 10:14 a.m. | A 16-year-old Milwaukee boy was arrested for battery after he punched and split the lip of a man in a Village parking lot last week, according to a Wauwatosa police report.

Also from the report:

A man was leaning against a pillar in the underground parking lot next to Noodles & Company, 7700 W. State St., with his bicycle on the ground next to him at 3:14 p.m. June 23. The boy approached and grabbed the bicycle handlebars, to which the owner said, "That's a bad idea."

The boy put the bike down, walked up to the owner and said, "You want to throw up hands?" Before the man could answer, the boy punched him at least a dozen times and split his lip.

As police looked for the boy, they received an alert about five boys breaking into a vehicle in the 7200 block of Honey Creek Parkway. The battery suspect was among the group.

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Marquette's seventh-inning rally whips Red Raiders

June 28, 2011 8:02 p.m. | Marquette rallied for four runs in the seventh inning Tuesday night at Breitlow Field to beat Wauwatosa East, 7-5, and prevent a huge upset.

Trailing 5-3, the Hilltoppers opened the seventh with a bloop single to center by Dan Flatley and then Adam Vanucci followed with a seeing-eye single to center field.

East coach Matt Dahlstrom then pulled starter Tracy Johnson and brought in Ben Carpenter. Carpenter then walked Nolan Peterson to load the bases and struck out Brandon Johnson, but then walked Nathan Siudak to bring in a run and cut the score to 5-4.

Carpenter then threw a wild pitch scoring Vanucci and tying the game at 5-5. Marquette the scored the winning runs on a fielder's choice which scored Peterson and Siudak scored on Willie Bolles' grounder.

The Hilltoppers led 3-0 when the Red Raiders exploded for five runs off Joe Bartoletti in the fourth.

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Jefferson principal, other teachers hired

June 28, 2011 2:14 p.m. | The Wauwatosa School Board last night approved the hiring of several new employees, including a new principal at Jefferson Elementary and a new band director at Wauwatosa West.

The new hires are:

Stephanie Jajtner, principal, Jefferson Elementary, $95,000

Matthew Byers, associate principal, Wauwatosa West, $76,000

Guy Kammerer, band director, Wauwatosa West, $71,800

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Tosa School Board approves spending plan

June 28, 2011 1:46 p.m. | Members of the Wauwatosa School Board on Monday again credited district employees for making sacrifices to help the district present a balanced budget for 2011-12.

The board, on a 6-0 vote, approved a financial plan that calls for $8 million less in spending in the next school year. Board member Sharon Muehlfeld was excused from the meeting.

Wauwatosa was able to bridge the gap thanks to concessions from all its employees. Union and non-union employees alike will see a pay freeze for 2011-12, and employees will have to pay more toward their retirements and participate in a high-deductible health care plan.

Board member Phil Kroner said the district's administrators worked hard to develop a budget in light of the massive cuts in revenue authority that were part of the state's 2011-13 biennial budget. He also praised the employees for making sacrifices to help bring a balanced budget to the district.

Thanks to the hard work of administrators and the concessions by employees, next school year will look "virtually the same" as last year, he added.

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Couple says teen pulled gun on them in Mayfair parking lot

June 28, 2011 1:43 p.m. | A teenage boy pulled a gun and threatened a couple in the Mayfair parking lot last week, according to a Wauwatosa police report.

Also from the report:

The Brookfield couple got out of their car and began to open the trunk, and then they heard a loud stomp and indistinguishable noise. The teen caught the couple off guard, and he and the car owner exchanged words at 1:57 p.m. Wednesday.

When the teen got six or seven cars away, he pulled a gun from his pocket and said "Do you wanna die?" and "Do you want me to kill your wife?"

The couple ran into the mall and called the police.

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Change made to Tuesday 'Dragon Tales' at library

June 27, 2011 7:06 p.m. | The Wauwatosa Public Library program, "Blue Dragon Tales: A Remarkable Conservation Story from the Caribbean," for kids ages 5 to 12 has been postponed until Aug. 2, to accommodate the presenter's trip to Grand Cayman Island to further study the iguanas that are the subject of the story.

Instead, children in grade four and higher can attend "Blue Dragon Tales: Fantasy, Myth and Today" from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m. tomorrow at the library. Wauwatosa resident Martin Tierney, a former co-owner of a fantasy board game company and avid reader of fantasy and science fiction, will present a program about dragons. He will trace the evolution of dragons from mythology to popular literature. Registration is not required, but questions can be directed to the Children's Library at (414) 471-8486.

Liquor permit needed before East Tosa can get down

June 27, 2011 7:04 p.m. | Management of Juniper 61 restaurant wants to bring another summer celebration to North Avenue.

Calling it the East Town Get Down, the party would start small with a food, drink and live music under tents in the parking lot from 1 to 8 p.m. Aug. 20. But before the restaurant can start roasting the pig and mixing up the sangria, the city's Legislation, Licensing and Communications Committee has to take up the request Tuesday night to extend its liquor license to the parking lot for the event.

Juniper 61, 6030 W. North Ave., already got the OK from the Board of Public Works last week to hold the outdoor party.

The organizers wanted to keep the inaugural Get Down simple, but they would like to add a family bike ride and involve other East Town businesses in the future.

Tosa School Board to vote on budget Monday

June 26, 2011 9:48 a.m. | The Wauwatosa School Board on Monday will vote on a budget that calls for $81.3 million in spending for 2011-12, a decrease of about $8 million from 2010-11.

Much of the savings will come with a salary freeze for all employees, who also will participate in a new high-deductible health care plan and contribute more toward their retirements.

The salary freeze will offset some of the cuts the district will see in revenue authority as part of the state's 2011-13 biennial budget. Wauwatosa expects to lose about $3.1 million in state aid for 2011-12, including $2.4 million in equalization aid and $724,000 in aid for the Chapter 220 program, which allows Milwaukee students to attend suburban schools.

The district's tax levy will stay about level, and Wauwatosa officials have said they expect the school portion of residents' property taxes to stay steady or see a slight decrease for 2011-12, but final figures won't be known until enrollment and state aid are finalized in the fall.

The School Board on Monday also will discuss School Choice voucher legislation, virtual schools and benefits for administrators. A full agenda and supporting materials can be found here.

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Heideman's hit sparks West's 1-0 win over East

June 25, 2011 10:50 p.m. | Senior Kyle Heideman's RBI-single in the fourth broke up a scoreless tie and gave Wauwatosa West a 1-0 victory over Wauwatosa East this afternoon before a packed house at Breitlow Field.

Tosa East senior Will Westley and Tosa West senior Paul Gerhartz hooked up in an old-fashioned pitchers duel, as the game was scoreless through the first three innings.

Jacob Boudreaux then singled to center to lead-off the bottom of the fourth for the Trojans. Gerhartz then singled to rightfield, moving Boudreaux to second and they both moved up a base when Tyler Gross grounded out to second.

Heideman then came up and ripped a single to center to score Boudreaux with the game's only run and move Gerhartz to third.

Westley then walked Travis Hudson to load the bases, but East shortstop Ben Carpenter nabbed Josh Kundinger's grounder up the middle, stepped on second and threw to first for a double play to get out of the inning.

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While playing, girl sees man who broke into her home

June 21, 2011 4:36 p.m. | Remember the drunken man who broke into a Wauwatosa home in April and was found sleeping in the mother's bed?

Her daughter sure does, and when the girl saw him walk up as she played outside with her friends at 3:23 p.m. June 14 she ran away and called 911, according to the Wauwatosa police report.

Also from the report:

The 51-year-old Milwaukee man was walking in the 7300 block of West Garfield Avenue when the girl spotted him. However, he was gone when police arrived.

It didn't take officers long to track him down. He was sitting on a bench in front of Walter's bar, 6930 W. North Ave.

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Macy's security guard attacked by theft suspects

June 21, 2011 4:32 p.m. | A Macy's security guard was attacked by two men he suspected of theft Saturday. 2:44 p.m.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

Two men had their arms full of merchandise and appeared ready to flee the Mayfair location of Macy's about 2:44 p.m. Saturday.

A security guard chased them as they ran out of the store, and the men proceeded to drop all the merchandise at the door, past the point of payment. The agent tackled one of the men, but the other suspect and another man, who ran out of the van that seemed to be waiting for the two theft suspects, attacked the agent. They kicked him in the head and back of the neck until he let go of the man he'd tackled.

All three men got into the van and drove away.

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Officer orders man from car at gunpoint, finds semi-automatic weapon inside

June 21, 2011 4:26 p.m. | A 32-year-old Milwaukee man was arrested for carrying a concealed firearm, violating a gun-free school zone and endangering the safety of others by use of a dangerous weapon.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

The man called his parents at midnight Sunday, telling them he was concerned people may be trying to harm them. His parents informed police that a dark-colored sedan was circling the block - the 2600 block of North 111th St. - which turned out to be their son.

He began yelling to police, "They're after me." He then told the officer he had a gun, and the officer ordered him out of the car at gunpoint. A semi-automatic gun was found in the car; the hammer was cocked with the safety off.

The gun was not licensed to the man, and it was later learned that the man bought the gun from a cook at a local burger restaurant.

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Honor roll page updated

June 20, 2011 10:49 a.m. | We've just updated our honor roll page with the latest lists of academic achievers from area schools.

The schools updated are: Forest Park Middle School (Franklin), Greenfield Middle School, Homestead High School, Marquette University High School, Martin Luther High School, Menomonee Falls High School, Muskego High School, Oak Creek-Franklin West Middle School, Oak Creek High School, St. Francis High School and St. Matthew School (Oak Creek).

Go to honor roll page.

Kratzer's walk-off double sparks Red Raiders win over Hale

June 17, 2011 8:14 p.m. | Wauwatosa East's Bryce Kratzer's 2-run walk-off double sparked the Red Raiders to any exciting 5-4 win over West Allis Hale tonight at Breitlow Field.

With Hale (4-6, 4-8) leading 4-3 going into the bottom of the seventh, Steffen Uhrich walked off reliever Tony Machowski to start the inning. Ben Carpenter then smashed a one-bouncer to Hale third baseman who threw to second to try and get Uhrich, but the ball got by the second baseman putting runners on first and second.

Kratzer then came in and slammed a long double off the wall in leftfield scoring both runners for the win.

Kratzer would have been the losing pitcher, as he allowed three earned runs in 3.1 innings, before running into a control problem in the fifth. With one out, he hit a batter and then walked two Huskies to load the bases.

Tracy Johnson then came in and allowed an RBI-single to DH Nick Sotiros, who had two doubles, an RBI and two runs scored earlier in the game to give Hale a 4-2 advantage.

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Redistricting: Plan aims to make aldermanic districts similar in size

June 17, 2011 4:24 p.m. | Some Wauwatosa residents may find themselves represented by different aldermen or heading to a new site to vote next year as the city adjusts boundaries to compensate for population shifts identified in the 2010 U.S. Census.

The Redistricting Committee has posted maps showing existing and proposed boundary changes on the city's website and the public can provide comment at 7 p.m. June 23 at City Hall, City Clerk Carla Ledesma said.

"The populations of the existing aldermanic districts range from a low of 5,425 residents (District 1) to a high of 6,283 residents (District 4)," according to a letter she wrote to Common Council members. "The proposed changes to aldermanic district boundaries were made with the goal of creating aldermanic districts as close in population as possible to 5,799.50 persons."

No Common Council members will be redistricted due to the adjustments as their homes still remain within the specific aldermanic districts' borders, Ledesma said.

Some of the changes come in an effort to straighten out boundary lines, but typically adjustments are meant to balance out existing populations or plan for future growth.

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Mayor raising re-election campaign funds

June 16, 2011 7:43 p.m. | Wauwatosa Mayor Jill Didier will hold a campaign fundraiser next week, but she said she's still contemplating whether to run for re-election.

"I should have been holding fundraisers for the last three years, but I haven't because I've been busy," she said.

If Didier does decide to announce her candidacy, she'll have funds available, she said.

"I'm still considering all the options," she said.

The group organizing the fundraiser calls itself Citizens for Jill Didier an they're calling the gathering set for 5 to 7:30 p.m. June 23 at the Rosebud Cinema the "Taste of Tosa."

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Spotlighted-Spangled Banner now waves

June 15, 2011 12:12 p.m. | The Grand Old Flag that flies at the center of the Washington Highlands neighborhood just became more majestic.

Thanks to a donation by resident Emily McNulty, spotlights now illuminate the American flag that has been posted at the roundabout at Washington Boulevard and Washington Circle for 50 years.

Residents of the Washington Highlands' 374 homes, as well as McNulty's family and friends, gathered Tuesday evening to celebrate Flag Day with a dedication ceremony. The lighting serves as a tribute to McNulty's late husband Truman, who died in 2004.

"He'd come home late and he'd say you're not supposed to fly at the flag at night unless it's lit," said daughter Mary Kay McNulty.

Truman was a World War II veteran, enlisting in 1942 for officer training school. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Corps flying in China and Burma. He later served in the Army Reserve and became a military judge. Truman retired as a colonel, so patriotism was important to him, his wife said.

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Mayoral salary bump again up for debate

June 15, 2011 11:38 a.m. | Should the Wauwatosa mayor get paid more?

That question was vigorously debated within the city 18 months ago.

But with the next mayoral election coming next spring, the topic is back - and it looks to be no less contentious this time around.

Several aldermen who attended the Employee Relations Committee meeting Tuesday called the mayor's pay of $22,500 annually - a salary that hasn't changed in 27 years - an embarrassment, pointing out it is far less than a living wage. Had that salary kept pace with inflation over the years, the mayor would now earn more than $50,000.

At the same time, they admit it's hard to justify boosting a salary when the city faces a $2.6 million budget shortfall and many of its constituents are struggling through their own economic pressures.

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Tosa Schools settles final contract

June 15, 2011 1:02 a.m. | The Wauwatosa School District has reached an agreement with its final union group negotiating a new contract. It's a move Superintendent Phil Ertl said was integral to the district being able to present a balanced budget for 2011-12.

The School Board on Monday approved the agreement with the Wauwatosa Educational Support Association - the group representing the district's administrative assistants - on a 6-0 vote. Board member Anne Fee was excused from the meeting.

Wauwatosa earlier had reached interim agreements with its teachers union and the unions representing its educational assistants and janitors to help bridge a $6.5 million budget deficit for 2011-12. The agreements with those groups include a pay freeze for the next school year, a shift in retirement contributions from the district to employees and participation in a high-deductible health care plan.

The deal with the administrative assistants includes those same provisions, but reaching the agreement proved more contentious than with the other groups. As the administrative assistants' contract runs through the 2012-13 school year, they did not have to agree to any concessions, board member Mary Jo Randall said.

However, in an effort to gain the concessions, the district said it would furlough employees for 20 to 24 days or outsource their work entirely. The union filed a grievance, and the two sides eventually agreed on the concessions.

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Heroin mailed to local organization

June 15, 2011 12:40 a.m. | Heroin was sent to a Wauwatosa organization collecting money on behalf of New Jersey police Tuesday.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

360 Direct, 12040 W Feerick St., a clearinghouse for nonprofit and charitable organizations, received a shipment for the New Jersey Police Officer Foundation about noon June 7. When opening the envelopes, white powder was found by one of the employees.

The Wauwatosa Police Department contacted police in New Jersey, who said they were familiar with the sender of the envelopes.

The powder - which came in wax bindles stamped in red ink with "White China" or "Cowboy" - tested positive for heroin.

Tosa gets look at proposed schools budget

June 15, 2011 12:38 a.m. | Wauwatosa residents would pay about the same in school taxes as they did last year, under a budget proposed to the Wauwatosa School Board on Monday.

Overall, the district would spend nearly $8 million less than it did in 2010-11, with much of that savings coming from salary freezes for all employees, who also would participate in a high-deductible health care plan and contribute more toward their retirements.

That would help offset a drastic reduction in per-pupil taxing authority, a proposal that is part of Gov. Scott Walker's 2011-13 biennial budget.

Wauwatosa's total expenditures would be $81.3 million in 2011-12, an 8.9 percent decrease from the $89.2 million the district spent in 2010-11.

Those expenditures include money spent by the Wauwatosa Recreation Department, which is part of the school district.

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Panel: North and 72nd not right spot for day care

June 15, 2011 12:34 a.m. | East Tosa's stretch of North Avenue isn't the place for a day care center, the Wauwatosa Plan Commission said Monday.

Darneshia Jackson had requested a conditional-use permit to operate a day care center with up to 30 children enrolled in each of two shifts at 72nd Street and North Avenue. The building was last occupied by Curves.

The proposal called for an asphalt parking lot with a playground on it.

Mayor Jill Didier, commission chairwoman, said she was concerned about taking away parking spots and providing a safe dropoff area.

Jackson answered that she expected to transport most of the children and employees herself, so there would not be a great need for parking or a dropoff site.

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Gavinski named Tosa West girls basketball coach

June 14, 2011 2:17 p.m. | They say good things are worth waiting for, so you can understand how happy Ron Gavinski is.

The 55-year-old Gavinski has been named head coach of the Wauwatosa West girls basketball team this week, his first head coaching job in a long career of being a successful assistant.

“I can’t tell you how excited I was,” he said when offered the job by athletic/activities director Nathan DeLany. “This gives me a chance to take a program in a direction that I want to.

“I was very fortunate to work with Jerry Hastings at Greendale. What he and I did together, the kids bought into and I believe our kids will buy into it at Tosa West too.”

Gavinski will also quick to praise former coach Mike Pietrowiak, who he worked with the past few years, as his JV coach.

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Highlands Cafe looks to expand building, menu

June 14, 2011 12:28 p.m. | The owner of a Washington Highlands restaurant is looking to grow the eatery's space and menu.

Business owners Sandy Murphy and Brett Swider plan to expand Highlands Café into the adjoining vacant storefront at 60th and Vliet streets, which would increase space for eight to seating for 52 indoors, plus outdoor seating for 20 in front of the restaurant.

A couple of neighbors worried about the lack of parking, which Community Development Director Nancy Welch said falls below city standards. However, many of the customers walk from the Highlands, so some concessions can be made, she said.

Plan Commission members agreed Monday. The request next goes to the Community Development Committee for consideration on June 28.

Commissioner Jody Lowe lives near the café and said additional street parking can be found if people are willing to walk a bit farther. She pointed to Highlands Café, as well as Cold Spoons Gelato and Meritage restaurants, as getting this area on the city's eastern border some attention for its dining options, and said the benefits to the community outweigh the growing pains.

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Indian grocery may move to larger building

June 14, 2011 12:26 p.m. | The owner of an Indian grocery store in Wauwatosa is looking to move into a larger, neighboring office building.

"The Indian population is in the metro Milwaukee area, so this is about keeping up with demand," said Dinesh Sanghavi, owner of Indian Groceries & Spices at 10633 W. North Ave.

He has applied for a conditional-use permit to relocate and expand into the vacant three-story North Brook Executive Center, 10701 W. North Ave.

The proposal submitted to the Plan Commission on Monday called for minor upgrades to the building's exterior that will update its 1960s look.

"That building has been a dated eyesore for a long time now," Commissioner Gloria Stearns said.

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Railroad worker, local drivers stop suicide attempt

June 14, 2011 10:06 a.m. | Four men put a stop to a suicide attempt when they pulled a person off the railroad tracks at 115th Street between Watertown Plank and Potter roads on Friday afternoon.

Brian Olson, a Canadian-Pacific Railroad track foreman, was stationed at the crossing when the 49-year-old Wauwatosa man approached and asked when and where the next train was expected to arrive. The man then headed to the north track and laid down, he said.

Olson had given a westbound train clearance to cross, so he ran from his vehicle to the tracks. Luckily, another truck had stopped and the occupants helped Olson pull the man off the track.

“It was pretty scary,” he said. “I didn’t know how far away the train was. The gentleman decided he wanted to end his life. I couldn’t let that happen.”
The suicidal man resisted the rescue attempt, but the group, which soon included a couple more drivers, got him off the tracks and restrained him until police arrived, Olson said. Meanwhile, Olson made a run back to his truck and called to stop the train, which was less than a half-mile away at that point.

Olson marveled at the timing, saying he had let an Amtrak train cross less than 10 minutes before the man’s arrival. With the train traveling at 60 mph, the man likely wouldn’t have survived that impact, he said.

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Current recycling arrangement may continue for another six months

June 14, 2011 9:56 a.m. | The Public Works director is asking Waste Management for an extension of its curbside recycling pickup as a group of DPW laborers, dispatchers and supervisors look at changes to all garbage, recycling and yard waste disposal services offered in Wauwatosa.

The Public Works group likely will not be ready to implement changes in service by Dec. 31, when the contract with Waste Management is set to expire.

Public Works Director Bill Porter has suggested a six-month extension of the contract that requires twice a month curbside pickup of recycled materials. The Budget and Finance Committee tonight will discuss the contract extension and forward a recommendation to the full Common Council for action the following week.

The Public Works group is expected to bring options, including fully automating garbage and recycling collections, forward as the city prepares its 2012 budget.

Six females ticketed on theft allegations at Mayfair mall

June 13, 2011 5:34 p.m. | Six females, ranging from ages 13 to 21, were arrested and ticketed on allegations of stealing clothes and other items valued at $1,179 from the Boston Store at Mayfair mall over the weekend, according to a Wauwautosa Police Department incident report released Monday.

According to the report:

The females met in what was a planned theft in the Polo section of the Boston Store, grabbed as much clothing as they could carry and fled to a Chrysler waiting in the parking lot. Three of the females ran to the car and put merchandise in the car, while two dropped merchandise in the parking lot. All six, including the driver, ran away, attempting to elude police. All were caught.

Another car, according to the report, was thought to be waiting for the females; however, the car left the lot and was not found.

Police recovered 170 items, according to the report.

Teens accused of arranging shoplifting spree on Facebook

June 13, 2011 5:14 p.m. | Five teens from Milwaukee filled their arms with 170 pieces of clothing at Boston Store at Mayfair and made a run for it Thursday night.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

The teens, females ranging in age from 13 to 19, said it was a bit of a coincidence they ended up at the same store at the same time. They said some of them were only familiar with each other via Facebook, but when parents were called they gave permission for one father to pick up all the teens from the Police Department.

A 17-year-old girl called herself "a booster," stealing and reselling merchandise for half price to make money. The group mostly took infant and toddler clothing, and tried to get away with merchandise valued at nearly $4,200.

The teens told officers they arrived at the mall planning to shoplift, but online discussions had them going to different stores. When they all ended up at Boston Store, they made a snap decision to grab and run, one teen said.

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Free car seat safety check, installation taking place Thursday

June 13, 2011 5:10 p.m. | Parents and caregivers of little ones can make sure car seats are correctly installed in their vehicles at Wauwatosa Fire Station 1, 1601 Underwood Ave., on Thursday.

The Safe Kids Southeast Wisconsin Coalition will host a free Booster and Car Seat Safety Check from 3 to 6 p.m. Statistics show that more than 90 percent of car seats are not properly installed, which put kids in danger.

Certified car seat technicians will make certain seats are correctly installed and that they are appropriate for the age and size of the child. No appointments are necessary.

For information, go to

Mt. Tosa condos might become assisted-living apartments

June 13, 2011 1:02 p.m. | The condominium market remains in the dumps, so the developer of the Mt. Tosa Neighborhood wants to switch plans and offer assisted-living apartments instead.

Helmut Toldt, president of Brookfield-based Toldt Development, has asked modify the developer's agreement with the city to allow construction of 67 single- or studio-unit assisted-living and memory care rental units instead of the previously planned 40 two-bedroom condos.

Toldt already has broken ground on Cedar Glen, an 80-unit senior apartment facility at the former city landfill site at 113th Street and Walnut Road. That project has qualified for tax credits.

The portion of the project to be discussed by the Plan Commission at 7 p.m. today would be a subsequent phase, adjacent to Cedar Glen, for the "continuum care" building, dubbed Oak Park Place. The application submitted to the Wauwatosa Community Development Department breaks down the new proposal to 31 one-bedroom and 16 studio apartments categorized as assisted living and 20 apartments for people with dementia. A staff of 40 people would provide round-the-clock care.

Toldt has not responded to a reporter's request for an interview.

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Watertown Plank reconstruction starts today

June 13, 2011 10:15 a.m. | Watertown Plank Road reconstruction will start about three weeks earlier than planned, with the contractor hired to do the work authorized to begin today, Elm Grove officials announced today.
“We were notified last week that the Wisconsin DOT has approved the contractor’s contract and schedule and authorized them to start work as early as today, June 13, which is three weeks earlier than anticipated," Village Manager David De Angelis said.
Menomonee  Falls-based Super Western won the contract with a bid of nearly $1.3 million.
The project consists of a complete reconstruction of 0.64 miles of the road, including new storm sewer, curb and gutter, sidewalks and decorative lighting. The project is scheduled to be completed on Nov. 11.
While there will be lane closures during construction, through-traffic will be maintained in one direction through the downtown business district, village officials said. Work will be done initially with flagmen but then traffic will be
transitioned to eastbound traffic only through the downtown area with all other traffic being detoured through the Village.
“During construction I encourage everyone to make a special effort to patronize our local businesses. It is important for all residents to help keep our local businesses viable during this disruption,” Village President Neil Palmer said.
Weekly updates on construction progress and schedule will be posted on the village’s website,

Boxing center eyes Tosa location

June 12, 2011 9:34 p.m. | Boxing has become much less about competition and more about physical and mental fitness, said a Waukesha gym owner who wants to open a facility in Wauwatosa.

"There are times when it's 80 percent women in the gym and 20 percent men and the women do it better because they focus and get into it," said Oscar Medina, who already runs a center in Waukesha.

Medina plans to operate Medina Boxing Camp at 10848 W. Wisconsin Ave. to offer boxing fitness workouts, strength and agility exercises, and competition boxing training

First, boxing coach Medina will have to go before the Plan Commission on Monday and Community Development Committee on Tuesday. Those panels will make a recommendation to the Common Council.

If the approval process goes smoothly, Medina plans to open in mid-July.

» Read Full Article

Woman accused of theft, attacking guard at Mayfair

June 12, 2011 9:26 p.m. | A 22-year-old Milwaukee woman was arrested at Macy's at Mayfair for retail theft and battery, after attacking a security guard Wednesday.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

She had put merchandise in her bag, but when the security guard confronted her about 5 p.m. she got upset and started to flail her arms, so the guard tried to put her in a "bear hug." She began to resist and scream.

She punched and kicked him in his legs and then bit his wrist and upper leg, refusing to let go. The guard hit her on the head to try to get her to stop. The security guard suffered swelling and bleeding from the attack.

The woman has had several prior incidents of resisting arrest, and she will be going to the district attorney's office Friday. She is accused of attempting to steal $290 in clothing.

Wauwatosa student discipline case won't be handled criminally

June 12, 2011 9:24 p.m. | The parent of a Lincoln Elementary School student who said he was disciplined by spending 35 minutes in a storage closet has decided not to press charges and allow the school district to handle the situation.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

In early May a student alleged a music teacher had grabbed him by the back of his shirt, scratching him and accidentally hitting his head on a rail before making him spend class time in the closet. He had been disruptive during class with another student who was sent to the cafeteria, the boy told police. The principal and School Board were made aware of the allegation and other issues between the teacher and student.

On Wednesday the boy's father told police he was going to leave it up to the school district how to deal with the teacher.

Tosa schools budget being present Monday

June 12, 2011 9:20 p.m. | Wauwatosa School District administrators will present the district's 2011-12 budget at the School Board meeting at 7 p.m. Monday at the Fisher Building, 12121 W. North Ave.

District officials said earlier this spring that Wauwatosa could have faced a budget shortfall of $7 million if the cuts proposed in the state biennial budget are not offset by savings in the budget-repair bill.

Interim agreements with the district's unions and non-represented employees - including a pay freeze for 2011-12, higher retirement contributions and participation in a high-deductible health-care plan - are expected to save the district millions of dollars. The agreement with the teachers alone is expected to save Wauwatosa $4 million.

The School Board also will vote on an interim agreement with the final group of unionized employees, the district's administrative assistants.

Monday's agenda and background materials can be found <a href=""> here</a>.

Grandma accused of leaving toddler on porch while she went drinking

June 12, 2011 9:08 p.m. | A 45-year-old Wauwatosa woman was arrested for neglecting her 18-month-old grandchild; she is accused of leaving the child sleeping on the porch outside her home while she went to a bar.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

A bartender said the woman acted disorderly and was already highly intoxicated when she arrived at 1:56 a.m. Wednesday. She couldn't keep her balance and was demanding a drink five minutes before bar time. After she was denied the alcohol, she grabbed a customer's beer and drank his entire glass.

Police took her home, where the woman's boyfriend refused to let her inside and asked where the child was. Her grandson was found sleeping on the porch wrapped in paper towel. She nearly fell holding him, and police grabbed him away. The boy is the child of the woman's daughter, who is away completing basic training for the military.

The Bureau of Child Welfare took custody of the child.

Thank you for reading NOW newspapers - oh, and win prizes

June 08, 2011 3:04 p.m. | It's easy to consume news nowadays, and it's just as easy to share news.

So share your news consumption!

Be creative. Be wacky. Be simple. But show us how you consume news from NOW and you can win free prizes. We also want to see our readers and thank you for reading NOW Newspapers.

Take a picture of you reading a NOW paper or website and share it with us on social media. You can post it to MyCommunityNOW's Facebook page or mention @MyCommunityNOW on Twitter.

On Thursdays starting tomorrow, you can post to those places and be entered in a chance to win a pair of Marcus Theatres movie passes. A winner will be chosen and notified each Friday.

» Read Full Article

Tosa being billed as Innovation Parkway

June 08, 2011 12:10 p.m. | In Wauwatosa, all major roads lead to a parkway.

That revelation came while mapping out areas ready for development projects, Mayor Jill Didier said. The Menomonee, Underwood and Honey Creek parkways cover a significant portion of Wauwatosa.

As a result, the city is "branding our economic development marketing efforts as Innovation Parkway," she said.

Wauwatosa is looking for development projects in a down economy and competitive greater Milwaukee market so city officials held a gathering June 1 to roll out the marketing campaign to more than 130 people, many of whom work in construction, finance and development-related fields.

"Now we're looking at how do we make a buzz around Wauwatosa," the mayor said.

» Read Full Article

Man arrested for burglary after wife calls cops

June 08, 2011 11:32 a.m. | A 55-year-old Milwaukee man was arrested for burglary and battery after he broke into a Wauwatosa home and took collectible figurines, then later injured an officer at the police station.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

The man's wife called police about 8 p.m. June 1, because she was worried about the stolen property he had brought into his home at 90th Street and Mount Vernon Avenue, just across the border in Milwaukee. She found about 30 Lladro figurines, which are Spanish porcelain figurines valued at several hundred dollars each, in the basement.

He said he had been out walking and saw a home in the 400 block of North 89th Street in Wauwatosa that looked abandoned. He tried a door and found it unlocked, so he entered and found a display case full of figurines. He said he made a few trips back and forth to collect the items but he only planned to keep them safe for the owner.

Police checked out the home and found a hoarding situation with items blocking walking paths, making it difficult to get around. The house also had cobwebs, a thick layer of dust and raccoons could be heard running around. The 49-year-old woman who owns the home hasn't lived there for several years, neighbors told officers.

» Read Full Article

City may face $2.6 million budget gap in 2012

June 08, 2011 11:26 a.m. | Wauwatosa anticipates facing a $2.6 million budget gap in 2012, but the numbers are changing daily as legislators make changes to Gov. Scott Walker's proposed state budget.

"No matter who is the governor, that's never the budget that's adopted," Finance Director John Ruggini said.

Last week, Ruggini gave the Budget and Finance Committee a synopsis of the city's budget picture for 2011 after crunching the numbers for the first quarter. He also made projections for next year's budget.

The state budget likely will limit the city's ability to increase the tax levy other than to account for new growth. That is expected to keep a levy increase in Tosa to about 0.05 percent, or $200,000. Beyond that, other sources of revenue are projected to increase 1.26 percent next year, and that just won't keep pace with expenditures that are increasing by 4.3 percent, he said.

Simply doing business another year will bring with it cost-of-living salary increases that will trickle down to increased overtime, Social Security and pension costs. Inflation of medical costs likely will drive up the city's health insurance costs about 9 percent.

» Read Full Article

Tosan accused of threatening to kill stepdad

June 08, 2011 11:10 a.m. | A 23-year-old Wauwatosa man has been charged with disorderly conduct, domestic abuse and use of a dangerous weapon after he allegedly arrived home high and threatened to kill his stepfather.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

When police arrived at a home in the 3200 block of North Knoll Terrace at 10 p.m. May 31, Shundale Dixon was pacing back and forth while arguing with family members outside. He had dried blood on his hands.

Dixon was ordered to the ground, but refused to comply. Instead he went back into the home. When he came toward an officer, a stun gun was used on him. A folding knife was found in Dixon's pocket.

His stepfather said the young man pulled a knife and pointed it at him, then threatened to kill him.

» Read Full Article

Team effort - and a little luck - saves life

June 08, 2011 10:42 a.m. | A city employee keeping watch over Hart Park helped save the life of a man participating in the Scottish Highland Games on Saturday morning.

About 11 a.m., Jim Fork, a custodian/laborer for the city, overheard one of the event coordinators say a man had collapsed. The weather was hot, and the park was extremely busy.

"I said 'Someone is having a heart attack in my park?'" he recalled. "Then I asked if anything was being done to help that individual."

Jumping into action

Someone asked whether an automated external defibrillator, a machine that can shock a heart back into a normal rhythm, could be found on the property. Fork ran and retrieved the AED locked inside the Muellner Building, handed it off and followed to find the 49-year-old bagpiper from Illinois who was ill.

» Read Full Article

Sons of Union Veterans hope to donate flagpole to cemetery

June 07, 2011 5:30 p.m. | The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War is charged with caring for the graves of Civil Wars veterans, and the local chapter wants to do just that by donating a flagpole to Oak Hill Cemetery.

The cemetery at 114th Street and Capitol Drive is home to two Civil War veterans: Private Johann Bahler of Company I, Wisconsin Infantry, and Levi Halsted, surgeon with the 7th Wisconsin Light Artillery. Halsted also is known as the Wauwatosa pioneer who built the Little Red Store in 1854, the community's first railroad station and post office.

For the past 15 years, the Col. C.K. Pier Badger Camp One and Auxiliary have helped maintain Oak Hill Cemetery, group chaplain Deacon Dean Collins explained in a letter to the city. With the help of Boy Scout Troop 61 from Mother of Good Counsel Catholic Parish in Milwaukee, the group has trimmed hedges, pulled weeds, planted flowers, picked up garbage and remounted fallen gravestones. The cemetery has been the site of five Eagle Scout projects, including one that erected the wooden fence that surrounds the property.

Prior to work sessions, the groups raise a flag and say the Pledge of Allegiance - and each time, they use a makeshift flagpole fashioned from plumbing pipes.

After fundraising, the groups want to donate the nearly $1,800 it will cost to buy and install an aluminum flagpole to Wauwatosa.

Neighbor dispute turns into all-out brawl, police say

June 07, 2011 5:18 p.m. | A broom, rocks, pepper spray, hedge-clippers and a knife were all featured weapons in a brawl between neighbors near 60th Street and Garfield Avenue last week, according to a Wauwatosa police report.

Also according to the report:

The 15-year-old son living in the upper unit of the home took out the garbage about 10 p.m. June 1 and noticed an empty can of lighter fluid inside. He suspected the downstairs neighbors had used it, so he and his mother went to talk to them.

The lower-level residents immediately got confrontational, denying use of the lighter fluid and yelling profanities. The mother called the landlord because there have been ongoing troubles between the neighbors.

Meanwhile, the 50-year-old Wauwatosa man living downstairs called his sister, a 47-year-old Milwaukee woman, who drove over to the home. She ran into the lower unit and grabbed a broom, which she later used to hit the teen several times.

» Read Full Article

City needs to market its events more successfully, alderwoman says

June 07, 2011 5:12 p.m. | Alderwoman Linda Nikcevich says turnout at some city events and interest in Wauwatosa's vaccination clinics and other services has dipped now that community members aren't getting a city newsletter delivered to their doors.

In a letter sent to city officials today, she suggested City Hall pump up its marketing and public relations to better promote Wauwatosa activities and to keep the media well informed.

Other communities have branded messaging and marketing literature to promote living and recreational opportunities, and Nikcevich said she feels Wauwatosa is lagging behind.

The Common Council already has a Legislation, Licensing and Communications Committee, which reviews the city's quarterly newsletter before publication. It is available for electronic delivery.

The city stopped issuing paper copies of its quarterly newsletter - with the exception of a few copies posted in places like the library and Hart Park Senior Center as well as by special request - this year. While the printed newsletter went out to about 15,000 homes, only 270 people have subscribed to the electronic newsletter.

» Read Full Article

State track and field photo gallery now online

June 06, 2011 2:16 p.m. | We've just updated the photo gallery from Peter Zuzga and Todd Ponath with more action from all divisions in this year's state track and field meet in La Crosse.

Brookfield East won the boys Division 1 competition with 57 points to 39.33 for Arrowhead. Bradley Tech was tops in the girls Division 1 meet, outpacing Arrowhead, 64-40.

Go to photo gallery

Bluemound reconstruction begins

June 05, 2011 10:06 p.m. | Reconstruction of Bluemound Road has started just as the 70th Street bridge replacement project reaches completion.

The pavement, curb and gutter will be replaced on Bluemound Road (also known as Highway 18) between Mayfair Road and the Brookfield border at 124th Street.

One lane of traffic will remain open in each direction, but parking will be eliminated in front of local businesses. For the duration of construction - expected to last through December - parking restrictions along side streets will be relaxed.

Starting this week, the 70th Street railroad crossing south of State Street will be closed so a raised safety median can be installed, according to the Village Business Improvement District weekly update. During this time, all access to Hart Park will be off 72nd Street. Completion should coincide with the end of the 70th Street bridge reconstruction project.

While the bridge project was delayed due to wet spring weather, it looks like it should be done in time for Hart Fest on June 17 and 18, according to the city Engineering Department.

» Read Full Article

Days Inn clerk robbed at gunpoint

June 03, 2011 2:46 p.m. | A clerk at the Days Inn was robbed at gunpoint early Monday morning.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

The nightshift clerk was watching television in the office when a man walked into the hotel, 11811 W. Bluemound Road, and asked for a room. The clerk checked the computer for vacancies; when he looked up he saw a gun pointed at him.

The robber told him, "Give me all your money, or I'm going to shoot you in 10 seconds."

The clerk handed over money while the robber counted backward from 10. The robber fled at 2:39 a.m.

» Read Full Article

Wauwatosa considers 21-day waiting period for used goods

June 03, 2011 9:48 a.m. | A city panel's recommended ordinance change seeks to find the balance between protecting crime victims and supporting local businesses.

After discussing for a few months the rules for secondhand dealers who buy and sell items in the city, the Community Development Committee this week recommended having secondhand dealers electronically report to police all items purchased with a value of $50 or greater, then enforcing a 21-day waiting period before the goods can be sold.

Those business owners who insist on turning in cards detailing product information, instead of using electronic reporting, would face a 30-day waiting period, incur a fee and have the responsibility of delivering the paperwork to the police station.

Police had pushed for a 30-day waiting period for all transactions in hopes that more stolen goods would be discovered before they are sold and walk out the door. It often takes theft and burglary victims time to inventory stolen items, and detectives need time to investigate leads, officials said.

However, the 21-day hold for electronic transmissions counts as the longest period instituted by a municipality so far, and provides some incentive to make the process simpler through online reporting, said Alderwoman Jill Organ, committee chairwoman.

» Read Full Article

State tennis photo gallery now online

June 03, 2011 8:29 a.m. | We've just published a photo gallery from NOW's Peter Zuzga and Lake Country Publications' Todd Ponath featuring action from the opening round of the state individual tennis tournament.

The matches continue today with semifinals and finals on Saturday from the Nielsen Tennis Center in Madison.

The gallery features competitors from Arrowhead, Brookfield Central and East, Homestead, Muskego, Nicolet, Waukesha South, Wauwatosa East and Whitefish Bay.

Go to photo gallery.

Man robbed on walk home from bar

June 01, 2011 4:40 p.m. | A Wauwatosa man was robbed by two teens while walking home from a bar early Sunday morning.

According to Wauwatosa police:

The victim, who had met friends at Club Tap, left the tavern at 92nd Street and North Avenue at 1:30 a.m. While walking east on North near 85th Street, he was approached from behind by the two teens.

One boy had a revolver and demanded his wallet and watch, while the second held the 34-year-old victim from behind. They took off running and the man lost sight of them.

The victim, who police said appeared intoxicated, told authorirties he didn't get a good look at the robbers' faces and could only offer a limited description. He said the suspects were both black males, between 16 to 19 years old with thin builds about 5-foot-5 inches to 5-foot-7 inches tall and wearing dark colored shirts.

Fire chief OK with small staffing cut

June 01, 2011 11:12 a.m. | Wauwatosa fire officials are recommending a two-person staffing cut, changes to the management structure and taking a backup ambulance out of service in response to a review of the Fire Department.

For most of the fall, a study of the Fire Department's operations by the International City/County Management Association was met with controversy. When new Chief Rob Ugaste claimed his role, he spent his first two months on the job going over each page of the report with the department's two assistant and four deputy chiefs.

The Fire Department managers presented their response to ICMA's 17 suggestions for improvement during the Budget and Finance Committee meeting Tuesday. Aldermen were generally supportive of the recommended changes, which would save at least $180,000 in employee costs, but they asked to take some time to review the matter.

It's a delicate balance between looking for efficiencies and cost savings and ensuring residents' safety through continued emergency services, Alderman Dennis McBride said.

Changes at Station 2

» Read Full Article

School lunch prices going up in fall

June 01, 2011 10:28 a.m. | The price of school lunches will increase slightly for Wauwatosa's middle and high school students next year.

Students in the district's elementary, middle and high schools paid $2.25 per day for the lunch program this year. But that number will increase to $2.35 at the middle and high schools in 2011-12, thanks to changes in federal regulations, said Steve Youngbauer of Sodexo, the district's food service provider.

Lunch prices will not increase at elementary schools.

There also will be no increase in the price of school breakfasts, which are offered at several sites across the district: both high schools, Longfellow Middle School, and Roosevelt, Underwood and Washington elementary schools, said De Gitzlaff of Sodexo.

Sodexo also plans to renovate the cafeteria at Wauwatosa West High School this summer. The food-service provider has completed three major renovation projects since partnering with the district in 2007, including a recent two-year project to improve the cafeteria at East High School.

» Read Full Article

Surge of retirements could hit city soon

June 01, 2011 9:22 a.m. | A quarter of the city's employees are likely to retire within the next five years.

In 2011, 25 employees are expected to end their service to Wauwatosa. Within the next five years, 112 employees are expected to retire, according to a report by Michael Loy, city health and productivity coordinator.

This follows a decade that saw 134 retirements.

The Employee Relations Committee on Tuesday postponed discussion about retirement trends due to time constraints, but the topic could be back on the table in two weeks.

At this time, 38 Wauwatosa employees meet full retirement eligibility for the state retirement system. Another 78 employees could retire early and receive a reduced benefit, an option few people choose.

» Read Full Article

Wauwatosa makes new push to attract development

June 01, 2011 7:00 a.m. | Wauwatosa is making a new push to attract development, with the creation of a Community Development Authority and a marketing campaign that promotes the city's development areas.

Some of that marketing will occur at an event that begins at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at the newly renovated Grand Hall at Hoyt Park Pool,1800 Swan Blvd., where city officials will meet with developers, lenders and business leaders.

Among the items for discussion will be the new Community Development Authority, which the Common Council approved in April. It replaces the Housing Authority and Redevelopment Authority, and is designed to help streamline city action on development proposals, said Mayor Jill Didier.

"The focus is now on pulling all the pieces together," Didier said.

Also, city officials will be discussing Wauwatosa's development areas, which are being marketed as the Wauwatosa Innovation Parkway. That plays off the city's parkways near Honey Creek, Underwood Creek and the Menomonee River, which are close to most of the development sites.

» Read Full Article
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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.