Tosa drafts weapons ban for municipal buildings

Sept. 28, 2011 10:10 a.m. | Weapons have no place in City Hall.

That was the consensus of the city's Community Development Committee, which on Tuesday recommended Wauwatosa create an ordinance banning weapons from municipal buildings, with the exception of those carried by law enforcement officers.

A state law that allows people to carry concealed weapons with a license goes into effect Nov. 1. However, municipalities have the power to overrule that and prohibit concealed and openly carried weapons within its buildings.

The same state law prohibits anyone from bringing weapons into a school.

Alderman Eric Meaux likened the library - located in the same building as City Hall - to a school with children and an expectation of safety.

» Read Full Article

Get your sports video fix in our Prep Sports Primer

Sept. 27, 2011 7:53 p.m. | Join sports director JR Radcliffe for this week's Prep Sports Primer, the fastest 90 seconds in local high school sports.

JR takes a look at some of the top stories in the area, including the 6-0 Muskego football team, some dominant efforts by the Brookfield Central girls cross country team and more.

Go to video

See last week's primer

Senior center likely to fall short of cash in 2012

Sept. 27, 2011 2:38 p.m. | The proposed 2012 budget plan for Hart Park Senior Center leaves the organization $35,000 short of being able to fully fund its current programs and services.

One solution is for the Budget Committee to take the money from elsewhere in the city budget and fill the hole, but panel members didn't jump at that option Thursday.

Committee members want to see a longer-term plan for the center that could include anything from privatization, embarking on fundraising campaigns or reducing hours and increasing fees to its users.

Those discussions won't be accomplished in time to plan the 2012 operating budget, so the committee said it would revisit the funding request after it tackles other areas of the budget.

"This issue has to evolve more," said Alderman Michael Walsh, the committee chairman.

» Read Full Article

City to spend money to save money

Sept. 27, 2011 1:20 p.m. | The mayor's budget calls for funding $250,000 in capital projects through a new internal granting process.

Under the system, departments will be able to apply for funds to make a one-time purchase that helps reduce costs or create long-term efficiencies, Mayor Jill Didier explained.

The proposed budget funds several such requests.

Electronic meeting prep

The city clerk's office is set to receive agenda management software that will streamline the process of creating and distributing meeting information for the Common Council. E-readers or electronic tablets (likely an alternative brand to the iPad) would be purchased for council members to view meeting documents. The same vendor would be asked to provide technology for streaming meetings online.

» Read Full Article

Man stabbed during fight with girlfriend

Sept. 27, 2011 12:18 p.m. | A 20-year-old Milwaukee woman was arrested for stabbing her boyfriend during a fight at his Wauwatosa home about 2:30 a.m. Saturday.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

The man was holding a towel to his head, but blood was streaming down his face and covered his clothing. He said he had been robbed and stabbed in Milwaukee, but on the way to Froedtert Hospital he changed his story to say he was attempting suicide.

The man has cerebral palsy, and his mother said he couldn't physically stab himself. She said the relationship between her son and his girlfriend had been violent in the past two years.

His girlfriend eventually said she was trying to leave and he got angry, so she "poked" him in the head with a knife. She also told officers where the knife was hidden. She said they decided to come up with the robbery story before calling paramedics.

» Read Full Article

Tosa considers targeted approach to sewer repair

Sept. 27, 2011 12:16 p.m. | Looking for ways to minimize the cost of sanitary sewer system repair, the Department of Public Works is hoping to pilot a targeted approach to fixing leaky laterals on private property.

The public works director pitched the idea to the Budget Committee on Thursday.

For $1.5 million - a third from Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District and the remainder from city funds - about 200 of the leakiest private laterals could be replaced, repaired or relined, Public Works Director Bill Porter said.

The program would determine whether significant gains can be made with targeted fixes. If so, that could cut down on overall costs and give the city more time to address spots with smaller leaks.

"We could provide much more relief much more quickly," he said.

» Read Full Article

Boys report being followed by man with gun after leaving movie theater

Sept. 27, 2011 10:40 a.m. | A man with a shotgun chased two boys in East Tosa on Sunday night, according to a Wauwatosa police report.

Also in the report:

The boys, ages 13 and 14, left Rosebud Cinema about 9 p.m. and walked to Washington Elementary School, where they were going to get picked up by a family member.

They saw a vehicle stop across the street. The man driving rolled down the window and stared at the boys. They didn't think much of it and kept walking until they got to 67th Street and Garfield Avenue. There, they saw the same car.

This time the driver got out and they saw he was holding a gun, which they said they could see and hear him pumping.

» Read Full Article

Bus stop at 60th and North being confused for public toilet

Sept. 27, 2011 9:56 a.m. | People are using the corner of 60th Street and North Avenue as their personal toilet.

In the last two months, 11 complaints - most of which have resulted in arrests - have been made about people urinating near the bus stop.

The latest problems came in the last week.

According to Wauwatosa Police Department reports:

A 50-year-old Milwaukee man waiting at the bus stop decided to take a bathroom break, sans bathroom, at 8 p.m. Sept. 22.

» Read Full Article

Wauwatosa to consider tax increase, borrowing to pay lawsuit settlement

Sept. 27, 2011 9:10 a.m. | Wauwatosa residents could see the city portion of their taxes increase 11 percent to cover an $8.4 million payment to Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare.

Increasing taxes is one option, but not the recommended one, to pay back the money spent by the city earlier this month on a court settlement with the health care system, according to a letter from city Finance Director John Ruggini to the Budget and Finance Committee.

This summer, the state Supreme Court found in favor of Covenant Healthcare that a portion of the outpatient health care facility property at 201 N. Mayfair Road should be tax-exempt. The city reached a settlement, agreeing to refund $6.2 million in taxes and pay $2.2 million in interest.

The city used liquid investments to pay the settlement, but those funds will need to be replenished. About $4 million will be the city's responsibility, and the remainder will come through charge-backs from other taxing entities, including the Wauwatosa School District, that will also need to find a way to refund their portions.

Tonight, the city's Budget and Finance Committee will have to determine how to cover the settlement payment. Staff members have provided three options.

» Read Full Article

Emerald ash borer likely in Tosa, though not yet seen

Sept. 27, 2011 9:10 a.m. | The emerald ash borer likely has made its way into Wauwatosa - it just hasn't been discovered yet, Parks and Forestry Superintendent Ken Walbrant said.

With 30,000 city trees and thousands more on private properties, it's hard to believe the invasive beetle isn't feeding on tissues under the bark of ash trees in Tosa, he said.

Every time arborists remove trees, they check for evidence of emerald ash borer beetles, and, so far, have found none. But most infestations look like root damage from construction and aren't very identifiable until five years after the bug starts feeding.

The city started offering chemical treatments a little more than a year ago to combat the invasive beetle. In 2010, crews treated about 500 trees. Walbrant would like to see a higher number next year to better protect Wauwatosa trees.

Panel to consider Glenview road improvements tonight

Sept. 27, 2011 8:58 a.m. | People living along Glenview Avenue between Bluemound Road and Wisconsin Avenue have made it clear they prefer the state's plans for road improvements to an alternative floated by the city.

Tonight, the city's Traffic and Safety Committee will decide if it agrees.

A neighborhood meeting earlier this month was attended by 34 property owners as well as representatives of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and the Wauwatosa Engineering Department.

During that meeting, two alternatives were presented about how to improve Glenview so it can handle heavy traffic from the medical campus and from Zoo Interchange reconstruction.

The DOT brought forward a revised plan - an earlier proposal to widen the roadway prompted fears about the safety of children walking to school and property encroachment - that maintains existing road width and limits traffic to two through-lanes in each direction with a bi-directional turn lane in the center of the street. Upgraded traffic signals would be installed at the intersections with Bluemound and Wisconsin, and all street parking along this stretch of Glenview would be prohibited.

» Read Full Article

City playing catch-up on tree pruning

Sept. 27, 2011 8:24 a.m. | It takes the Forestry Department twice the recommended time to prune the city's trees.

Industry standard is a seven-year cycle to ensure optimal forest health, but Wauwatosa's schedule creates a 14-year cycle to prune 30,000 trees at this point, Parks and Forestry Superintendent Ken Walbrant told the Budget Committee last week.

He would like to split the difference.

"We're staffed at an optimistic 10-year pruning cycle," he said.

There are several reasons for the delay, he said. Understaffing is one. The more than 1,000 tree maintenance requests coming in from property owners is another. In addition, the farther behind crews get in pruning, the more likely it is that trees will become diseased or die, requiring attention.

» Read Full Article

Former Wauwatosa West basketball coach Landisch loses battle with cancer

Sept. 26, 2011 11:37 a.m. | Former Wauwatosa West boys basketball coach Mike Landisch lost his year and a half year battle with cancer Sunday night.

Landisch, 31, is survived by his wife, Colleen, daughter, Makenna, and son, Caden, who was born in August. He was placed in hospice four weeks ago.

The Wauwatosa community and beyond, embraced the likeable Landisch, who discovered he had kidney cancer in January, 2010. There were several fundraisers set up to help him and his family battle medical bills.

Landisch's final season as a coach was one of the best in the school's recent history.

The Trojans finished with an 11-6 Woodland Conference record and a 15-11 overall mark and they won their first regional championship since 1996.

» Read Full Article

Wauwatosa firm wins military energy technology contract

Sept. 26, 2011 10:48 a.m. | Telkonet Inc. said Monday it has won a contract to supply its energy management platform to residence halls for a U.S. military academy.

The $226,000 contract will outfit the buildings with a "SmartEnergy" suite, Telkonet said, that will allow the military academy to monitor and control each room's heating and air conditioning system -- leading to energy and cost savings to reduce heating and air conditioning in empty rooms.
Telkonet is a Wauwatosa energy control management provider. It was selected as technology provider for an energy service company that has been working at the military academy on infrastructure and efficient energy use. Telkonet said it's working with the same company on other military installations and several upcoming project opportunities.
“We’re pleased to have been selected to perform this upgrade as part of our strategic partnership," said Jason Tienor, Telkonet chief executive. "We’re also confident the cadets will appreciate the comfort improvements and the Academy will find enormous value in the reduced energy and maintenance cost.”
The contract is another example of Wisconsin firms competing to win business from the Pentagon as part of the military's strategy to cut use of petroleum and move toward using less energy and powering more with renewable energy. Last week, see this recent story discussing how other state firms are involved -- as the Defense Department invests more in clean energy.

Medicine collection, document shredding offered Saturday

Sept. 23, 2011 1:46 p.m. | Wauwatosa residents can bring medications and personal documents to the City Hall parking lot, 7725 W. North Ave., for safe disposal from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

Tosa United, a coalition of the city's Health and Police departments and the Wauwatosa School District, is collecting expired or unused prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

Residents are urged to clean out their cabinets and turn unneeded or expired medications in. This keep drugs out of local waterways and prevents children from digesting them.

Proper disposal also can prevent prescription drug abuse by teens. Teens who obtain pills that don't belong to them often find the drugs in their homes or the homes of friends or baby-sitting clients.

Also from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Wauwatosa Crime Stoppers will host document shredding to help residents protect their identities. Bring up to three boxes of confidential and personal household papers, such as old checks, pre-approved credit card offers, banks and credit card statements, bills and any other documents that contain personal information.

» Read Full Article

Wauwatosa police union may look to courts to answer bargaining dispute

Sept. 21, 2011 10:21 a.m. | The Wauwatosa Police Union and its supervisors have filed a claim disputing the city's interpretation of a portion of the state budget bill. If the city denies the claim, the police groups would have the right to sue.

City administrators say they have to bargain with police and fire unions over health care premium contributions. Meanwhile, the law gives municipalities the authority to make design changes to employee health care plans, said Beth Aldana, city human resources director.

The police have a different understanding of the law.

"We feel that we should still be able to bargain with the city, as we always have in the past, over what our premium, co-pay and deductible amounts will be," said Luke Vetter, police union president.

Wauwatosa police aren't the only public workers questioning the interpretation and looking to the courts to outline exactly what the words "health plan" entail. Milwaukee and Green Bay workers have filed similar actions.

» Read Full Article

Repair bill for Wauwatosa sewer system could be $84 million

Sept. 21, 2011 8:35 a.m. | Fixing sewer problems in East Tosa could cost as much as $84 million, consultants told the city's Budget and Finance Committee last week.

The area, which encompasses 5,000 households and 14,000 feet of sewer pipes, has experienced repeated basement backups during rainstorms and fails to meet standards set by Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District.

Ideally only wastewater should enter the city's sanitary sewer system, but for myriad reasons - from leaky laterals and foundation drain connections on private property to leaky manholes or pipes on the public side - a lot of rainwater seeps in.

"This is pretty widespread in this basin," said David Perry, consultant with Brown & Caldwell, the firm hired by Wauwatosa to study basement flooding problems and develop strategies for mitigating the problems.

Decisions to be made

» Read Full Article

Electronics top library spending list

Sept. 20, 2011 10:08 p.m. | As Library Director Mary Murphy considers how to spend her book budget for 2012, she expects to spend fewer dollars on print and more on electronic media.

The Wauwatosa Public Library is way beyond other local communities when it comes to digital downloading, she said. Access to eBooks comes through participation in a statewide consortium. By paying more to the group, a larger number of titles would be made available electronically to local readers.

Owners of Amazon's Kindle are shut out from accessing library eBooks at this point. Amazon only permits paid downloads from its website.

"I'm hopeful that they'll revise their thinking," Murphy said.

There's also an industrywide debate on how to charge and circulate eBooks to ensure publishers get royalties. For instance, one publisher wants libraries to pay after every five reads for each title, which would prove cost-prohibitive for libraries, Murphy said.

» Read Full Article

Group of teens arrested after allegedly picking fight in Wauwatosa

Sept. 20, 2011 4:13 p.m. | Six teens were arrested for disorderly conduct and prowling after they attacked two boys and robbed them of their cell phones Friday night.

According to a Wauwatosa police report:

An 18-year-old man from Milwaukee and some friends were playing basketball at a Milwaukee school when they got word a friend had been jumped at a Wauwatosa West High School football game. They drove to Alioto's, 3041 N. Mayfair Road, where they met up with additional friends in the parking lot at about 10 p.m.

Someone in the group pointed to two boys, ages 14 and 15, standing at a bus stop across the street and said they must have been involved in the attack on their friend. The group ran across Mayfair Road, forcing drivers to hit their brakes to avoid striking the teens.

Members of the group jumped the younger boys, threw them to the ground, punched and kicked them and took their cell phone. The boys waiting for the bus said they had been on their way home from the football game and had no idea why they were attacked.

» Read Full Article

State Street traffic flow to change as RR work happens Tuesday

Sept. 20, 2011 2:40 p.m. | The traffic signals on State Street at 68th and 70th streets will be flashing red Tuesday while a railroad maintenance project is completed.

Canadian Pacific Railroad will be working on the bungalow that houses its signal equipment at 70th and State streets, said Bill Porter, city public works director. It was damaged during an accident with a high lift earlier this year.

Work is expected to be completed by the evening traffic rush, he said.

The crossing gates at 68th Street will continue too function as normal, but the gates at 70th Street will not operate during this time. Flagmen will be onsite while work is under way. Railroad traffic will be slowed down approaching the flagmen, and engineers will sound horns to give warning of approaching trains.

Man accused of attempting to lure teen into car

Sept. 20, 2011 12:38 p.m. | A 54-year-old Wind Lake man has been arrested for an attempted child abduction in Wauwatosa last week.

According to a Wauwatosa police report:

A 17-year-old girl was walking home from school when she noticed a vehicle following her. When she got to the 11800 block of Diane Drive, the driver stopped and got out of the vehicle. He said: "Hey baby, come home with me. Get in the car. I'll drive you home later."

She turned and walked away, but he grabbed onto her arm and started pulling her. She was able to pull away and run.

Her father said she was visibly upset when she arrived home at 3:10 p.m.

» Read Full Article

Robbery spree covers three counties

Sept. 19, 2011 6:12 p.m. | A masked man has captured the attention of police, not just because of the number of armed robberies he has committed - 15 so far, all in the past month - but the unusual geographical breadth of his hits.

He has covered eight police jurisdictions in three counties, hitting gas stations and liquor stores near freeways and highways in the greater Milwaukee area. And he's not working alone; after the robberies, he jumps into the passenger seat of a getaway vehicle.

"What is kind of unique here is the fact that it's spread out in such a wide range of jurisdictions, from Ozaukee to Waukesha County, Milwaukee County," Milwaukee police Lt. Kenneth Grams said Monday. "So that's fairly . . . I'm not going to say unique, but that's not real common."

The man started his armed robbery spree just before 10 p.m. Aug. 18 at the S&M Petro Mart on Stevenson St. in Milwaukee.

Since then, the man has committed 14 more nighttime robberies, police said. All the stores are within a mile of major highways, and all the robberies except one occurred between 8 and 11 p.m. Three of the robberies were repeats at stores he previously had hit, Grams said.

» Read Full Article

Eisenhower finally breaks through

Sept. 16, 2011 11:59 p.m. | With the football season passing its halfway point Friday night, a palpable urgency could be sensed at Wauwatosa West High School.

Both the host Trojans and visiting New Berlin Eisenhower were coming off back-to-back close Woodland Conference losses and could ill-afford a third.

Shaking off a sluggish start, the Lions roared to a 31-10 victory, evened their record in the Woodland at 2-2 and, most importantly, rediscovered their mojo in the process.

"It always helps to win a game," said Eisenhower coach Jeff Setz. "Hopefully, our guys will start believing again that we have a good team and a good future. It's those tough losses where you really start questioning yourselves and questioning what your doing, but tonight's win gets us back on track."

Early on, it seemed Eisenhower had yet to recover from its 2-point loss to Greendale the week prior. Costly penalties and turnovers kept the game scoreless for nearly the entire first quarter.

» Read Full Article

Spartans alone at the top

Sept. 16, 2011 11:30 p.m. |  

On paper, a 29-0 win might look perfect. For Brookfield East head coach Tom Swittel, his team’s victory over visiting Wauwatosa East on Friday night was anything but.

“Far from perfect,” Swittel said. “We left way too many points on the field. We had a touchdown called back on an illegal contact, we made a lot of mistakes, and we have plenty of work to do.”

And the Spartans’ perfect 5-0 record?

“We could lose our next four games,” Swittel added. “We have four very, very tough games coming up. The minute we think we’re good, we’re not. We don’t look at our ranking or anything like that.”

While the Spartans may not be perfect, they were closer to it than the Red Raiders. The Spartans defense limited Tosa East to 71 yards passing and negative-8 rushing. The Red Raiders defense kept them in the game early, but mistakes and a struggling offense became too much to overcome.

“That’s the story of our season,” said Tosa East head coach Jake Wolter, whose team dropped to 1-4 and 0-3 in the Greater Metro Conference. “It’s not our defense that’s losing these games for us. They’ve kept us in every game, but you can’t keep putting them in those positions. It’s turnovers, bad punts and giving away short fields. Every score we gave up tonight came on a short field.”

The Spartans were led offensively by junior running back Zach Schober, who rushed 31 times for 158 yards and two touchdowns, including the game’s first score midway through the first quarter. Schober said the heavy workload started to wear him down late in the game.

“To be honest, I did feel the fatigue a little bit,” he said. “We didn’t pass the ball much tonight, so I started to feel it a little in the fourth quarter.”

But by that point, the hole was too deep for the Red Raiders. Brookfield had built its 29-0 edge by the end of the third quarter and played a ball-control game with heavy substitutions in the fourth.

Defensively, the Spartans were led by 6-foot-4, 215-pound defensive lineman Alec James, who also chipped in offensively with an 11-yard touchdown run and a 19-yard scoring catch. James was relentless in the pass rush all night, utilizing an arsenal of bull rushes and spin moves at the line of scrimmage as Brookfield stymied a passing attack that posted 231 yards against West Allis Central a week ago.

“That’s a Division I player,” Wolter said. “I’m not looking forward to watching the film and seeing how many times our quarterback had to pick himself up. But I am looking forward to watching that kid play years down the road.”

For as dominant as James was, he was equally humble.

“It’s never just about me,” James said. “It’s always our offensive line, they make everything develop. Even on the touchdown run, I really didn’t have to do anything at all. The blocking popped it wide open, and I just ran.”

After five weeks, the Spartans have proven to be a powerful force. Sitting alone atop the Greater Metro Conference, they have notched four shutouts and have outscored their opponents 195-13. 

» Read Full Article

Power lines find no paths of least resistance

Sept. 14, 2011 11:50 a.m. | The list of potential routes for two new American Transmission Co. high-voltage power lines has been narrowed to four, but one of those paths would be too close for comfort for one Wauwatosa family.

"A transmission line would go in the right of way through our front yard," Jenny Wisniewski said during a public information session on the project Monday at the Civic Center. "Having two small children, I'm not willing to put them at risk."

Jenny and her husband, John, who live on Walnut Road, are concerned about potential health risks associated with electro-magnetic fields. Plans call for burying lines four feet underground in that area.

Other drawbacks include removing a number of old growth trees and a possibility of decreased property values along the street.

"It would drastically change the charm and aesthetics of neighborhood, Jenny Wisniewski said.

» Read Full Article

Tosa eyes weapons ban in all city buildings

Sept. 14, 2011 11:28 a.m. | As the date nears for the state's concealed carry law to go into effect, the city is considering banning all weapons from its buildings.

Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill into law that allows people to carry concealed weapons with a license beginning Nov. 1. However, individual property owners - from business owners to churches - can decide to prohibit people entering their facilities while armed.

As the owner of city buildings, the Wauwatosa Common Council has the power to ban concealed and openly carried weapons, City Attorney Alan Kesner told the Community Development Committee on Tuesday. By creating an ordinance, only police would be allowed to enter city buildings armed.

When it comes to building operations, staff has the authority to handle many changes administratively. However, the controversial nature of concealed carry and a specific mention of the building owner - in this case the people who have chosen the aldermen to represent them - led him to put the decision to council members.

Due to the late hour when discussion got under way, the committee decided to hold off on significant consideration for two weeks. In the meantime, they hope to receive feedback from constituents.

» Read Full Article

City finds it's overpaying DPW workers, clerks

Sept. 14, 2011 11:18 a.m. | A study of public works laborers and clerical positions has shown that the city is often paying more than 20 percent above market value - in some cases as much as 50 percent more - for employees in these job categories compared to other public- and private-sector employers.

City administrators on Tuesday recommended implementing a two-tier pay system so they could begin adjusting pay rates as they fill vacant positions. Wage reductions would only come with new hires, so existing employees wouldn't experience pay cuts, Human Resources Director Beth Aldana said.

The Employee Relations Committee unanimously supported the effort to bring city employees' pay in line with market rates. Next week the matter will go to the full Common Council for consideration.

"There's a sense of urgency on these adjustments," said Alderman Peter Donegan, committee chairman. "We have huge financial responsibilities to take care of."

Taxpayers are looking for the city to cut its compensation costs, but that he doesn't want to "exploit" the opportunity to reduce pay, especially in a weak job market, Donegan said. He respects the city's employees too much to make overly dramatic adjustments. These employees are already paying more toward health insurance and their pension plans.

» Read Full Article

Automated garbage trucks, iPads for aldermen in city budget proposal

Sept. 14, 2011 11:02 a.m. | New garbage trucks for automated collection, iPads to put in the hands of Common Council members and technology that will make employee timecards obsolete and help schedule time off are among the expenditures outlined in the proposed 2012 executive budget.

While it sounds like some heavy spending, each of those purchases will result in savings for Wauwatosa, City Administrator James Archambo said.

Archambo, Mayor Jill Didier and Finance Director John Ruggini put together a budget that calls for a $36.5 million tax levy, or a zero-percent increase.

"Every budget is difficult, but we worked together to make the numbers work," Didier said.

For the average homeowner, the city portion of the tax bill would cost $145 per month.

» Read Full Article

Hazardous household waste collection on tap

Sept. 13, 2011 7:44 p.m. | Clean out the garage, basement and storage shed and bring items for disposal to Wauwatosa City Hall from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District will hold its annual hazardous household waste collection in an effort to keep substances from antifreeze and fluorescent light bulbs to paint and gasoline from polluting local waterways. For a full list of accepted items, go to

Items will be disposed of at no charge for Milwaukee County residents. Businesses aren't permitted to use the drop off.

In fall cleanup mode? Here's a heads up for more disposal opportunities. Unused medications will be collected by Tosa United and the Wauwatosa Crime Stoppers will offer document shredding services at City Hall on Sept. 24.

Open Pantry robber may be suspect in 12 cases

Sept. 13, 2011 1:10 p.m. | The man who robbed Open Pantry at gunpoint Saturday night is suspected of committing a dozen similar crimes in the Milwaukee area.

According to a Wauwatosa police report:

A man wearing a homemade green mask with holes cut for the eyes walked into Open Pantry, 11216 W. Bluemound Road, at 9:17 p.m. Saturday and made his way directly to a cash register.

He pointed a silver revolver with a long barrel at the clerk, yelling, "Give me all your money, and hurry up!"

After she handed over an undisclosed amount of cash, the robber ran out of the convenience store.

» Read Full Article

Teacher, chef honored for foodservice education

Sept. 13, 2011 1:06 p.m. | The Wisconsin Restaurant Association will honor a Wauwatosa teacher and a local chef for their contribution to education to foodservice education.

Wauwatosa East High School family and consumer education teacher Barb Bruesewitz has been named the High School Educator recipient for the 2011 Salute to Excellence Award. She instructs students in the ProStart curriculum, a two-year college preparatory course designed to teach high school students the skills needed for a career in the restaurant and foodservice industry. Annually, students participate in state culinary competitions during the Wisconsin Restaurant Expo.

Jason Tofte, executive chef at Eddie Martini's, was chosen at the ProStart Mentor of the Year. He's worked with upperclassmen as part of Wauwatosa East's culinary arts program on culinary techniques, knife skills, sanitation and time management, and he has coached the team before the expo competitions.

The Salute to Excellence awards will be presented Oct. 9 at the Heidel House Resort in Green Lake.

Tosa man robbed at gunpoint on walk home from bus stop

Sept. 13, 2011 1:00 p.m. | A man was robbed at gunpoint in the alley behind his Wauwatosa home last week.

According to a Wauwatosa police report:

The man rode the bus to 60th Street and North Avenue. When he exited, he saw three men standing around talking but didn't pay much attention to them.

As he walked home, he heard footsteps behind him and saw the men from the bus stop out of the corner of his eye, so he picked up the pace. He had reached the concrete slab behind his home in the 2300 block of North 63rd Street when one of the men yelled to him to stop. He turned around and saw one of the men held a semiautomatic handgun pointed at the ground.

A second man said: "Give us all your money. Go slow and don't make any sudden movements."

» Read Full Article

Man flees police, tossing money as he goes

Sept. 13, 2011 12:58 p.m. | A burglar threw dollars and bank deposit slips as police chased him from Mayfair, across North Avenue and into a residential neighborhood Friday night.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

Officers were responding to a possible fight at the mall at 10:45 p.m., when a man in the parking lot saw the squad car and started to run. A foot chase through the parking lot and into the parking garage ensued, and the man climbed over a 5-foot concrete barrier. Then he lost his footing, sliding down a hill toward North Avenue.

As he crossed the busy road, he threw a large amount of money in the air. When he reached the M&I Bank parking lot, he tossed more money and deposit slips.

After scaling two residential fences, the 18-year-old homeless man was eventually stopped in the 2200 block of North 106th Street.

» Read Full Article

Mo's Irish Pub may soon offer breakfast

Sept. 13, 2011 12:30 p.m. | Steel cut oatmeal, an Irish breakfast and even Lucky Charms cereal are some of the possible menu items coming to Mo's Irish Pub.

The city's Plan Commission on Monday fielded a request by restaurant owner Johnny Vassallo to allow Mo's to open at 8 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays so it can service the breakfast crowd.

Mo's, 10842 W. Bluemound Road, already has experience with the morning meal, which the restaurant serves when it opens early each St. Patrick's Day. But the early opening has always required a special approval from the Common Council.

Repeated customer requests for regular breakfast hours led restaurant managers to seek permanent modification of weekend operating hours, said Debra Stephenson, chief operating officer of the Mo's restaurant group.

The commission unanimously voted in support of the request. It next moves to the Community Development Committee.

» Read Full Article

Liquor store's request for lounge up for discussion tomorrow

Sept. 12, 2011 4:20 p.m. | When one drugstore chain was allowed to sell liquor, numerous other drugstores, national chain retailers and convenience stores put in their applications. Following the smoking ban, the city received plans from bars and restaurants wanting smoking patios where liquor could be served.

Some members of the Wauwatosa Common Council called it "the ripple effect" or "a slippery slope" - but regardless of the buzz word, it's a reality that once one business receives an approval, it's extremely hard to say no to others, Alderman Dennis McBride said.

On Tuesday, he opposed the precedent that granting a tavern license to liquor store Tosa Wine & Spirits would set.

"I'm amazed that we're even considering this," he said. "It's a colossally bad idea."

Some council members agreed with him, while others admitted to confusion about local and state laws. On a vote of 8-7, the issue got sent back to the Community Development Committee for further consideration.

» Read Full Article

Rotary donates flagpole for performance pavilion

Sept. 12, 2011 4:04 p.m. | Two years after local Rotary clubs raised more than $1 million and built the performance pavilion at Hart Park, the city looks to be receiving another gift.

This time, Wauwatosa Rotary Club wants to donate a flagpole on the east side of the pavilion. The group sent a letter to the city asking for permission to install a pole and put a light on top of the pavilion to shine on the flag as it flies at night.

The city would be responsible for providing the flag and electricity for the light. Public Works Director Bill Porter recommends the city accept the donation; the matter goes to the Board of Public Works next Monday.

Tosa's Yards of Distinction winners named

Sept. 12, 2011 4:02 p.m. | Nearly 30 properties caught the attention of the Wauwatosa Beautification Committee this summer. Their landscaping work earned them a spot on the list of 2011 Yard of Distinction award winners.

"We recognize these gardens in order to foster beautiful, well-kept yards throughout the community," said Kathy Lichter, contest chairwoman. "We feel it adds to the community sense of Wauwatosa, as well as making it a more desirable place to live."

Nominations come in by phone and email, and also are made by people who stop by the committee's booth at the Tosa Farmers Market. Committee members also drive the city looking for standout yards.

Winning properties showcased a combination of colors and textures; a mix of annuals, perennials and shrubs; and a tasteful use of yard art.

"We pay attention to yards that have been recently improved, whether they have been homeowner or professionally installed," Lichter said.

» Read Full Article

With governor watching, WAC holds on

Sept. 10, 2011 12:03 a.m. |  

West Allis Central used an opportunistic defense and timely turnovers to stop a furious Wauwatosa East rally and emerge with a 28-21 victory on Parents Night in West Allis.
With Governor Scott Walker on hand to see his sons Matt and Alex in action for the Red Raiders, East found itself trailing early in the fourth quarter, 21-14.
Things looked good for the Red Raiders, though, when linebacker Will Monreal threw Central running back Troy Brown for a loss, then sacked junior quarterback Dakota Behrs on a fourth down attempt at the 7:17 mark.
East quickly marched downfield, picking up three straight first downs: a sideline pass to senior Vince Cupertino, a quick run by senior running back Michael Meade and a sneak by junior quarterback Kyle Vnuk.
But with 5 minutes to go, the game turned once and for all in the Bulldogs’ favor, courtesy of a pick-six by Central senior defensive back Brian Hoppe.
Hoppe snared a Vnuk pass at Central’s 20 yard line, raced down the sideline, outran the crowd, and ended up in a footrace with Vnuk. The lanky quarterback caught him by the shoulders, but Hoppe shook him off, sidestepped one last tackle at the 5-yard line and bounced into the end zone. After the PAT, Central led, 28-14.
East was far from done, though. After tossing a pair of incomplete passes, Vnuk lobbed a soft bomb down the right sideline that junior wide receiver Shaquille Redding ran beneath, hauled in, and took down to the 10-yard line. Vnuk found Redding again on the next play, this time in the corner of the end zone, making the score 28-21.
On the ensuing Central drive, East sacked Behrs, stuffed sophomore running back Dushon Glover and forced an incomplete pass.
With 2:41 remaining on its own 33-yard line, the Red Raiders abandoned the run. Facing 4th & 4, Vnuk hit Cupertino for a 6-yard gain and first down. Three plays later his second fourth-down pass attempt sailed incomplete,  broken up by a pair of defensive backs jumping Cupertino’s out route.
Though Central managed to strip less than a minute off the clock after taking over on downs, the clock still ran out on East. Vnuk’s desperation pass at 0:02 found its way into the arms of Bulldogs senior Eric Vis.
“What went wrong was we shot ourselves in the foot again,” East coach Jake Wolter said. “Bad reads, holding the ball too long. Footing slips, bad protection. Penalties and mental mistakes. We snapped the ball over our punter’s head in the first and gave them a free touchdown.
“When we execute, we’re fine,” he added. “That’s the name of the game. Not to take anything from Central. But nobody's really stopped us. It’s been ourselves stopping ourselves. It’s frustrating.”
The run-up to the fourth quarter lacked the excitement of the final period. The teams combined for 15 drives in the first half, resulting in seven punts, three turnovers-on-downs and two turnovers.  The teams' opened the second half with four consecutive punts.
Both teams were quick to credit the others' defense.
East “brought a lot of people, and sometimes they confused our line,” said Central senior left guard Jacob Spenner. “We kept talking over and over about it. We had to push, get the running game going. Without it, there’s no passing game.”
For much of the evening, it was an old-fashioned slugfest, with two teams battling for essentially 30 yards of turf, with a medley of missed pass opportunities and short runs, interspersed with timely sacks and turnovers.
Central jumped to an early 7-0 lead after that bad snap on a punt. Behrs, making his first start for the Bulldogs, threw a third-down bullet into Hoppe’s chest three plays later.
The Bulldogs stretched the lead to 13-0 after recovering a fumble on East’s 22-yard line. Glover needed only three carries to get to the end zone, dragging multiple East defenders with him en route.
East finally got on the board in the second quarter courtesy of its defense. The defensive line caught Brown in the backfield, and returned the loose ball for a touchdown to make it 13-7.
Central struck again midway through the fourth quarter. An electric punt return by Hoppe – 48 yards, with a touchdown-saving tackle from junior James Kenagy – put Central at East’s 23. Three plays later, Behrs split the seam to Hoppe, who bounced off one defender and muscled another into the end zone, reaching across the goal line clutching the ball with both hands.
“This isn’t the Tosa of the last three years,” Central coach Dex Rodriguez said. “This is a darn good football team. Last week they played (Menomonee) Falls to a draw. This is a good team. They came at us. Blitzed the heck out of us.
“But we came back at them. We had turnovers at the right times and came out with the W.”
Wauwatosa East falls to 1-3 with the loss and will face undefeated Brookfield East next week. West Allis Central moved to 2-2 with the victory and will face Menomonee Falls next week.

Karweik's score wins it for Whitnall

Sept. 09, 2011 11:53 p.m. |

Keying in on Whitnall’s explosive big-play offense that had put up 85 points in its last two contests, a stifling Wauwatosa West defense made the Falcons scratch and claw for every yard Friday night.
But thanks to workhouse back Travis Karweik and an equally stout performance from the Falcons defense, it still wasn’t enough.
Karweik rushed for 114 tough yards on 32 carries, including the decisive one-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-goal in overtime to propel host Whitnall to a 13-10 Woodland-Black conference victory.
“Tonight was a knock-down, drag-out, fight; they have some speed over there and were able to match up with us on the perimeter,” said Whitnall head coach Rob Leboeuf. “They were going to make sure we had to work it down the field and take away our vertical shots.”
Whitnall (3-1, 3-0) didn’t need to take any shots down the field on its first possession, opening the game on a bruising 18-play, 80 yard touchdown drive capped by a one-yard Karweik run that chewed up most of the first quarter.
But Tosa West (1-3, 1-2) would answer with a touchdown of its own in the second quarter, with junior Mickey Morgan scooping up a backward pass from quarterback Jared Morzinski to tie the score at 7. Players on both sides appeared to stop as they anticipated an incomplete pass call while Morgan fielded the bounce and scampered into the end zone for a 22-yard scoring run to knot the score.
While Tosa West would continue to move the ball on the ground behind a multitude of backs, the Trojans struggled to finish drives against the Whitnall defense, stalling out inside the Falcons 10-yard line just before halftime and again in overtime when they settled for a 25-yard Morgan field goal to take a brief 10-7 lead. Sophomore Greg Lewis led the Trojans with 62 yards on eight carries.
The Trojans pass offense also struggled, with Morzinski passing for just 37 yards on four of seven passing.
“We talked to our defense about taking big plays away and we were able to do that; they have played well all season and done everything that we’ve asked of them,” said Wauwatosa West head coach Matt Good. “We just need to find ways to finish our blocks and put more points on the board.”
That defense was able to cool off red-hot Whitnall quarterback Luke Mentkowski, holding him to 110 passing yards after he had thrown for 685 yards and five touchdowns in victories over Cudahy and St. Francis coming into Friday’s contest.
“They have a really good defense, and they seemed to know what we were doing," Mentkowski said. "They were bringing blitzes up the middle and forcing me out of the pocket.vBut our defense won us this game today. They played a great game.”
With just three returning starters on offense from last year, Whitnall moved to 3-0.
“I’m proud of our guys and the way we have started the season, especially with the youth and some of the injuries that we have,” said Leboeuf. “We are really optimistic about the future but we also have a lot of things to fix.”
Both teams will play at home next Friday, with Whitnall hosting Greenfield and Wauwatosa West taking on New Berlin Eisenhower.

For 10 days, you can dine well in Tosa

Sept. 09, 2011 8:26 a.m. | Zesty enchiladas at Hector's Mexican Restaurant, juicy prime rib from Open Hearth or a salty giant pretzel washed down with a beer at Leff's Lucky Town. Hungry yet?

Feed those cravings and more by participating in 10 Days in Tosa, a dining event featuring Wauwatosa Chamber of Commerce member businesses.

Here's how it works: Buy a dining access card for $10. Then Sept. 12 through Sept. 21 head out to one of 21 restaurants and each time the cardholder will enjoy a promotion that offers a savings of at least $10.

"You could put together a real interesting 10 days," said Meg McKenna, chamber executive director.

From fine dining to casual meals and family entertainment, there are a variety of options, she added. The promotion varies with each establishment from $10 off any check over $40 at Blue's Egg and Maxie's Southern Comfort to buy one get one theater ticket free and a concession discount at Rosebud Cinema Drafthouse.

» Read Full Article

Future Walmart sites in Wauwatosa, Greenfield sold

Sept. 08, 2011 7:00 a.m. | A 63,000-square-foot former Jewel-Osco store in Wauwatosa that will be remodeled for a Walmart supermarket and other retailers has been sold for $5.1 million to an investors group.

The building, at 3850 N. 124th St., was sold by ASP Realty Inc., a subsidiary of Jewel-Osco's corporate parent, Supervalu Inc., to Capitol 124 LLC, according to documents filed with the Milwaukee County register of deeds.

Wauwatosa city officials earlier this year approved plans for a 38,000-square-foot Walmart Neighborhood Market at that location. Gatlin Development Co., which is developing the building, will seek other retailers for the remaining space.

I contacted a Walmart spokeswoman to find out when the supermarket will open but haven't heard back yet. 

Also, the 17.2-acre Green Fields Golf Center driving range and miniature golf course, east of S. 108th St. and just north of W. Layton Ave., Greenfield, has been sold to Walmart Real Estate Business Trust for $7.4 million, according to the register of deeds.

» Read Full Article

Search for burglary suspects ends in standoff

Sept. 07, 2011 10:46 a.m. | Two men have been charged with burglarizing a Wauwatosa home following a standoff with police in Milwaukee last week.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

A resident interrupted the burglary of his home in the 1800 block of North 72nd Street about 8:45 a.m. Aug. 30. He saw a man run to a vehicle and drive off with a computer and electronics items valued at $9,100.

While police were tracking the vehicle, a second burglary was reported involving a similar vehicle. The resident of the 1800 block of North 72nd Street heard the doorbell ringing. Not wanting to deal with solicitors, she ignored it until she started hearing the loud bang of a person trying to force the door. When the man at the door saw her, he took off.

Police spotted the vehicle in Milwaukee. Ramone Baker, 23, of Milwaukee, allegedly got out of the vehicle and ran, eventually entering a Sherman Boulevard home. A woman was seen waving her arms and yelling from the foyer. She said she didn't know the man who had just arrived.

» Read Full Article

Mailman robbed at gunpoint while making rounds

Sept. 07, 2011 9:54 a.m. | A mailman was held up at gunpoint while on the job in the 2400 block of North 62nd Street on Saturday.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

The postal carrier saw two men dressed all in black pass him. A few moments later, he heard a voice behind him say, "Give me all your money." He turned around and saw a man pointing a semiautomatic handgun in his face. The robber again demanded money, but the postman told him he didn't have any.

The robber ran across the street, where a second man was watching and waiting.

Semitrailer theft ring believed to have hit Tosa

Sept. 07, 2011 9:52 a.m. | A semitrailer that was stolen from Wauwatosa a few weeks ago turned up in Michigan on Sunday, leading police to believe it's the latest work of a theft ring.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

A 53-foot trailer filled with $100,000 in antifreeze and windshield washer fluid products went missing from the former Total Logistics Control lot, 11400 W. Burleigh St., between Aug. 19 and Aug. 22.

On Sunday, the Michigan State Police recovered the semitrailer - albeit emptied - at a rest stop along Interstate 275. It had been attached to a tractor stolen from West Allis.

Milwaukee police have been investigating other trailer thefts since early this year. A group of people have been stealing loaded semis in the Milwaukee area, clearing out the contents then abandoning them in Michigan.

» Read Full Article

Cause of fatal fire will never be known

Sept. 02, 2011 11:58 a.m. | Extensive fire damage and the structural collapse of the home at 1430 N. 119th St. make it impossible to determine the cause of the fire that killed John K. Lorentz, 50, on Aug. 18, officials have said.

According to a statement released by Wauwatosa Fire Chief Rob Ugaste:

The state fire marshal has concluded the investigation, which did determine that the fire began in the northeast portion of the second floor.

The medical examiner's report states that Lorentz died of smoke inhalation and thermal injuries. A toxicology report is pending.

Medical lab evacuated after chemical spill

Sept. 02, 2011 11:46 a.m. | Employees were evacuated from the Wheaton Franciscan Health Care central laboratory, 11020 Plank Court, just before 3 p.m. Thursday because of a chemical spill, Wauwatosa Fire Chief Rob Ugaste said.

Franciscan spokeswoman Anne Ballentine said no one was injured. Seventy lab associates were evacuated, as were 15 people from an adjoining business.

Laboratory employees told fire officials the solvent Clear Rite 3 spilled when a machine malfunctioned. Clear Rite 3 is a chemical used in tissue processing and staining, according to a website for the product.

The chemical started to smoke and the Wauwatosa Fire Department was called. The Wauwatosa and Milwaukee Hazardous Material teams responded.

Hot and warm zones were established and a decontamination shower was set up as a precaution, Ugaste said. Wauwatosa Haz Mat technicians entered the building using self-contained breathing apparatus. Inside, they monitored air quality and evaluated the spill area. In addition, they moved some of the remaining chemical into a drum where it could be safely sealed.

» Read Full Article
Older Archives: October 2016 | September 2016 | August 2016 | July 2016 | June 2016 | May 2016 | April 2016 | March 2016 | February 2016 | January 2016 | December 2015 | November 2015 | October 2015 | September 2015 | August 2015 | July 2015 | June 2015 | May 2015 | April 2015 | March 2015 | February 2015 | January 2015 | December 2014 | November 2014 | October 2014 | September 2014 | August 2014 | July 2014 | June 2014 | May 2014 | April 2014 | March 2014 | February 2014 | January 2014 | December 2013 | November 2013 | October 2013 | September 2013 | August 2013 | July 2013 | June 2013 | May 2013 | April 2013 | March 2013 | February 2013 | January 2013 | December 2012 | November 2012 | October 2012 | September 2012 | August 2012 | July 2012 | June 2012 | May 2012 | April 2012 | March 2012 | February 2012 | January 2012 | December 2011 | November 2011 | October 2011 | September 2011 | August 2011 | July 2011 | June 2011 | May 2011 | April 2011 | March 2011 | February 2011 | January 2011 | December 2010 | November 2010 | October 2010 | September 2010 | August 2010 | July 2010 | June 2010 | May 2010 | April 2010 | March 2010 | February 2010 | January 2010 | December 2009 | November 2009 | October 2009 | September 2009 | August 2009 | July 2009 | June 2009 | May 2009 | April 2009 | March 2009 | February 2009 | January 2009 | December 2008 | November 2008 | October 2008 | September 2008 | August 2008 | July 2008 | June 2008 | May 2008 | April 2008 | March 2008 | February 2008 | January 2008 |

Community Watch

» Tosa drafts weapons ban for municipal buildings 9/28

» Get your sports video fix in our Prep Sports Primer 9/27

» Senior center likely to fall short of cash in 2012 9/27

» City to spend money to save money 9/27

» Man stabbed during fight with girlfriend 9/27

» Tosa considers targeted approach to sewer repair 9/27

» Boys report being followed by man with gun after leaving movie theater 9/27

» Bus stop at 60th and North being confused for public toilet 9/27

» Wauwatosa to consider tax increase, borrowing to pay lawsuit settlement 9/27

» Emerald ash borer likely in Tosa, though not yet seen 9/27

» Panel to consider Glenview road improvements tonight 9/27

» City playing catch-up on tree pruning 9/27

» Former Wauwatosa West basketball coach Landisch loses battle with cancer 9/26

» Wauwatosa firm wins military energy technology contract 9/26

» Medicine collection, document shredding offered Saturday 9/23

» Wauwatosa police union may look to courts to answer bargaining dispute 9/21

» Repair bill for Wauwatosa sewer system could be $84 million 9/21

» Electronics top library spending list 9/20

» Group of teens arrested after allegedly picking fight in Wauwatosa 9/20

» State Street traffic flow to change as RR work happens Tuesday 9/20

» Man accused of attempting to lure teen into car 9/20

» Robbery spree covers three counties 9/19

» Eisenhower finally breaks through 9/16

» Spartans alone at the top 9/16

» Power lines find no paths of least resistance 9/14

View All Posts Got a tip? Welcome rss

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.