Sebena memorial fund established

Dec. 29, 2012 7:46 p.m. | The Wauwatosa Peace Officers Association, or WPOA, has set up a memorial fund for Officer Jennifer Sebena, who was shot to death in the Village of Wauwatosa on Christmas Eve.

Those wishing to show support can do so by making donations to the "Officer Jen Sebena Memorial Fund" at any branch of Focus Credit Union. There are two branches in Wauwatosa: 3180 N. 124th St., Suite A and 1530 N. 68th St. There is also a branch in Menomonee Falls, at N88 W14930 Main St.

Donations can be made via check, cash or debit transfer.

The WPOA said they are grateful for the outpouring of support from the community and other police branches.

Family, friends, officers remember Jennifer Sebena

Dec. 29, 2012 1:00 p.m. | Jennifer Sebena always went the extra mile to make those around her happy, according to family and friends.

They recalled her infectious smile that could put light in the darkest corner of a room. Whether it was through her involvement with high school students via her church, volunteering through charity or becoming a police officer for Wauwatosa, she dedicated herself to others.

Sebena's funeral was held at Elmbrook Church on Saturday and was filled with hundreds of fellow officers, firefighters, family and friends. She is survived by her mother Violet Gerhat, her father Jack Wernitznig, and brother Jacob Wernitznig.

Sebena, age 30, joined the Wauwatosa Police Department in January 2011 after graduating from MATC's police academy. Her time with the force was ended on Christmas Eve when she was shot to death outside of the Wauwatosa Fire Station. Her husband Benjamin Sebena was charged with the crime and would later tell police that he shot her, according to the Milwaukee County criminal complaint.

Becoming an officer was something she pursued with a passion and dedication that matched her care for others, according to friend and former coworker Barbara Lundin.

» Read Full Article

Looking for something to do this winter? Check out WhatNOW

Dec. 28, 2012 12:34 p.m. | Winter can feel pretty long in Wisconsin, especially once all the holiday hoopla is over.

In that spirit, MyCommunityNOW invites you to check out our special WhatNOW? section for some tips on how to stay busy this winter. You'll find a list of stories on interesting winter activities, a map of some great places to spend time this winter and more.

We also invite you to share your own ideas on what you like to do during the winter. Your comments may appear in a future issue of NOW newspapers.

WhatNOW? A guide to staying busy this winter.

Husband charged in Tosa officer's murder

Dec. 27, 2012 7:46 p.m. | Benjamin Sebena has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide in Milwaukee County Circuit Court this afternoon. He stands accused of shooting his wife, Wauwatosa police officer Jennifer Sebena five times on Christmas Eve morning, police chief Barry Weber and Wisconsin Department of Justice Director of Field Operations David Spakowicz during in a news conference.

Benjamin Sebena confessed to killing his wife, according to the criminal complaint. It goes on to say he told officers he had been stalking his wife for several days and that on the day he shot her, he had waited several hours for her.

He shot her after she left Fire Station No. 1, where she had taken a break, it says.

He also told officers that as he shot her, she reached for her gun. He took that gun and shot her in the face three times with it. He said that he wanted to make sure that she was dead so she wouldn't suffer, the complaint states.

A Wauwatosa officer was sent to look for Jennifer Sebena about 5 a.m. Monday, after she failed to respond to a dispatcher. Jennifer Sebena was found outside the backdoor of the Wauwatosa Fire Department.

» Read Full Article

Slain officer's husband jailed; police seek homicide charge

Dec. 27, 2012 8:12 a.m. | Benjamin Sebena last night was booked into Milwaukee County Jail on a tentative charge of first-degree intentional homicide relating to the death of Wauwatosa police officer Jennifer Sebena, his wife, on Dec. 24, the Wauwatosa Police Department and state Division of Criminal Investigation announced today.

Jennifer Sebena's body had been found near Wauwatosa Fire Station No. 1 in the Village; she had been shot multiple times, according to Tosa police Lt. Gerald Witkowski.

Check for continuing coverage. 

Wauwatosa officer's funeral scheduled for Saturday

Dec. 26, 2012 9:24 p.m. | Funeral services will be held Saturday for Wauwatosa Police Officer Jennifer L. Sebena, who was fatally shot Monday while on duty in the village, police announced Wednesday.

Visitation will be from 9 a.m. until noon at Elmbrook Church, 777 S. Barker Road in Brookfield, where a service will immediately follow.

Interment will be held after the service at Wisconsin Memorial park, 13235 W. Capitol Drive, Brookfield.

Jennifer Sebena becomes 263rd police officer to die in line of duty in Wisconsin

Dec. 24, 2012 8:52 p.m. | Law enforcement officers said Wednesday morning they are following multiple leads as they try to put together the facts about what happened to Wauwatosa police officer Jennifer Lynn Sebena in the moments before her death on Christmas Eve.

Sebena, 30, was found dead near Fire Station 1, 1601 Underwood Ave., about 5 a.m. Monday. She had been shot multiple times, Wauwatosa Police Lt. Gerald Witkowski said.

When a dispatcher attempted to send Sebena out on a call and didn't get a response, another officer was sent to investigate.

The officer found Sebena's body near Harmonee and Underwood avenues, Witkowski said. The area was searched, but no suspects were found. The Wauwatosa Police Department would not confirm whether she was found in her squad car.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation is leading the case.

» Read Full Article

Wauwatosa churches impacted by death of police officer

Dec. 24, 2012 3:46 p.m. | Trinity Episcopal Church, 1717 Church St. in Wauwatosa, announced it was cancelling the 4 p.m. children's service and Christmas Pageant on Monday. The church is in the area cordoned off in the wake of the shooting of a Wauwatosa police officer.

The church still plans a night-time service.

Wauwatosa Avenue United Methodist Church, 1529 Wauwatosa Ave., announced it was planning on having both worship services Monday.

"But we may not be able to park in our parking lots, at least for the first service" scheduled at 4 p.m.

"We are advising people to plan on entering the church through our front doors - off the courtyard," officials said on the church website.

» Read Full Article

BloodCenter of Wisconsin seeks donors to make up shortfall caused by storm

Dec. 21, 2012 9:48 a.m. | Blood donors and blood drive organizers canceled many appointments yesterday, and the BloodCenter of Wisconsin now estimates there will be a shortfall of more than 1,000 units of blood over the next few days, the organization announced in a news release.

BloodCenter is asking that anyone who is able to safely keep a scheduled donation appointment do so. Appointments are available for Saturday, Sunday and Monday for those who want to help.

Call (877) 232-4376 or visit

The Wauwatosa BloodCenter donation location, 8733 Watertown Plank Road, has extended its hours until 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 22, in hopes of meeting the need.

Because platelets are critically important, the Wauwatosa location also will be open by appointment only for platelet donors on Sunday, Dec. 23.

» Read Full Article

Tosa police: Drunken driver thought he was in Whitefish Bay

Dec. 19, 2012 10:36 a.m. | A Whitefish Bay man thought he was still in Whitefish Bay after he was pulled over in the 2100 block of Wauwatosa Avenue at 10:51 p.m. Dec. 13, according to Wauwatosa police.

Also in the police report:

Police caught the man after a driver reported a vehicle striking multiple curbs and weaving in and out of traffic.

The man alluded to his status as CEO of a company twice on the trip to the police station and asked the officer if he cared.

While he was being booked, he mentioned knowing the Milwaukee County executive. He also said he'd mention the officer's "good work" during the stop. When going over the paperwork, he asked if there could be any leniency on the documents. He also asked the officer if there was any "professional discretion" that could be used.

» Read Full Article

Social media users share images of today's snowfall

Dec. 18, 2012 1:48 p.m. | Snow. It's here, whether you're ready for it or not. And social media users shared a bunch of photos as it began to fall Tuesday.

Read the story and see the photos of snowfall today.

Visit Today's TMJ4 for more on today's snowfall and a winter storm watch later this week.

Tosa police arrest man who missed court because he was too high

Dec. 18, 2012 11:16 a.m. | Police arrived at a Wauwatosa apartment to find a man and woman arguing about the man being too high to go to a court hearing about a drug-related offense. He was arrested shortly thereafter for possession of narcotics and bail jumping.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

Police found the 21-year-old Wauwatosa man bent over, pale and coping with what appeared to be an opiate-induced stupor. He was mumbling, apparently apologizing for being so high.

His grip on reality apparently tightened when police asked him if he had any drugs on him. He pulled a pill bottle out of his jacket and dashed to the bathroom.

To the officers, he seemed to be moving in slow motion. The officer simply walked up between him and the bathroom.

» Read Full Article

Man experiences the pitfalls of drunken driving, police said

Dec. 18, 2012 11:16 a.m. | A 21-year-old Milwaukee man was down in the pits after drunkenly driving into one at 2:46 a.m. Dec. 10.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

The man was on the side of the 1000 block of Mayfair road trying to flag down police when he was picked up. Police, who had a call about an upside-down car lying in the 12-foot deep pit, asked him if it was his.

He said no at first, but then admitted it was his car. When asked where it was, he said "over yonder."

He had a hard time discerning which direction he was driving when the car fell in the pit.

» Read Full Article

Wauwatosa police say drunken driver caused five-car accident on Mayfair Road

Dec. 18, 2012 10:57 a.m. | A five-car collision was the scene of a drunken-driving arrest last week.

According to the Wauwatosa police report:

A 45-year-old Milwaukee man was said by witnesses to be driving 70-80 MPH in the 1700 block of North Mayfair Road when he slammed into a car trying to change lanes at 2:19 p.m. Dec. 10.

That car caromed off his and into another car, causing a chain reaction of bent steel and broken glass.

A 50-year-old man was sent to the hospital as a result of the accident.

» Read Full Article

NOW bloggers talk about Newtown shooting

Dec. 17, 2012 9:27 a.m. | There have been a lot of national gun-related shootings this year, but Friday's in Newtown, Conn., took the country by surprise perhaps more than any other.

And several of the NOW bloggers took up their virtual pens to share their thoughts on the latest tragedy.

  • Tom Ceparski of Oak Creek writes of the conflict he feels being a father of a young girl and a gun owner.
  • Tom Gaertner of Wauwatosa writes that he spent time cleaning his firearms after his hunting season.
  • Lester Schultz of the North Shore believes it is time to do something about gun control.
  • Karen Waldkirch of Wauwatosa says we need to look at ourselves in order to change the culture in America.
  • Robin Zdroik of Greenfield thinks we should look inward to do the best that we can.
  • Kevin Fischer of Franklin wonders what would happen if shooter Adam Lanza were alive.
  • TJ Meyers-Jansky of West Allis reminds us that the shooting occurred because of human choices.

Milwaukee County Zoo welcomes first jaguar cubs since 1975

Dec. 13, 2012 2:48 p.m. | The Milwaukee County Zoo has announced the arrival of two jaguar cubs.

These are the first jaguar cubs displayed at the zoo since 1975, according to a statement.

The cubs were born here Nov. 13 to Stella, and father Pat. They are nursing, sleeping and "even hissing and scratching," according to the statement. They will be visible to the public via video feed, any time the zoo is open, said spokeswoman Jennifer Diliberti. See the Milwaukee County Zoo jaguar cam here.

"We always wait a few weeks to announce a significant birth to make certain that the cubs are viable and healthy, and that the mother is taking proper care of them," she said.

The cubs will nurse until they are 5 or 6 months old, and will sample meat at about 5 weeks of age.

» Read Full Article

Germantown, Hamilton the top-ranked teams in NOW's Roundball Rankings

Dec. 12, 2012 11:59 a.m. | The defending Division 1 state champion Germantown boys basketball team has won 32 games in a row and finds itself atop the MyCommunityNOW/Lake Country Roundball Rankings.

The Hamilton Chargers are the top-ranked girls team and are coming off a 64-10 victory over West Allis Central in the Greater Metro Conference opener.

In addition to the top five boys and girls teams in the area, Roundball Rankings includes a player of the week, poll, area scoring leaders and more.

Second baseball diamond proposed for Breitlow Field

Dec. 12, 2012 11:52 a.m. | A second baseball diamond at Breitlow Field was proposed at the Wauwatosa School Board meeting Tuesday.

The single diamond at Breitlow Field, on the grounds of the Fisher Building, 12121 W. North Ave., is not adequate to meet growing demand for playing time by an increasing number of players, said buildings and grounds manager Tom Kulczewsi.

The $1.3 million proposal would create a second diamond, with the infield made of FieldTurf, a durable artificial surface that dries quickly even under heavy rain, resulting in fewer canceled games. The turf also would allow base paths to be adjusted to create a smaller diamond for softball and youth leagues. Both the existing diamond and the planned new diamond would have the artifical surface.

As this was a first hearing, the board took no action, but board members and Superintendent Phil Ertl reacted positively to the plan.

Board member Phil Kroner noted the cost, saying the district could fund a $50,000-a-year incentive program for teachers for more than 20 years for that much money.

» Read Full Article

Stranger in Wauwatosa yard was looking for hidden marijuana

Dec. 11, 2012 8:33 a.m. | A Wauwatosa homeowner received an unexpected request at 6:24 p.m. Dec. 3. A man asked him if he could look through the backyard for marijuana he was hiding from police, according to a Wauwatosa police report.

Also from the report:

The homeowner saw an SUV and a squad car sitting outside his house in the 2500 block of North 65th Street and, thinking nothing of it, he ignored it and sat down.

His doorbell rang. He went to investigate and, seeing no one outside, sat down again. About five minutes later, the bell rang again.

Thinking something was up, the man went to his backyard to find a man looking through his window. He walked out and confronted the man, asking what he was doing in his backyard.

» Read Full Article

Woman robbed at gunpoint while waiting for bus in Wauwatosa

Dec. 10, 2012 4:18 p.m. | While waiting for a bus in the 9200 block of West Congress Street at 1:40 p.m. Dec. 6, a man in shorts walked up to a woman while pulling his hooded sweat shirt over his face, reached into his pocket and pulled out a large black revolver, according to a Wauwatosa Police Report.

Also from the report:

The man seemed nervous, shaking the gun pointed at the woman's chest.

"Give me your phone," he demanded, she told officers.

The Milwaukee woman hastily complied, and the robber jogged off. The woman said he came from an apartment complex near the bus stop, but went in a different direction.

» Read Full Article

View photos, videos of tree lightings in southeast Wisconsin

Dec. 10, 2012 8:53 a.m. | Tree lightings are one sure sign of the holiday season, even if snow has yet to come out.

Get in the festive mood with photos and videos from social media users from tree lighting ceremonies in southeast Wisconsin.

View the story here. Do you have photos from tree lightings in southeast Wisconsin that you would like to add to the story? Contact Dan Polley at

Red Raiders take advantage of short-handed East

Dec. 07, 2012 11:00 p.m. |

It was a typical Brookfield East-Wauwatosa East boys basketball game. Knockdown, drag ‘em, defensive battle, not pretty to watch.

In the end Tosa East came alive on the boards and used a 16-2 run in the third and fourth period to rally for a 41-36 victory at home.
The Spartans, who are playing without star guard/forward Brian Smith (ankle) and post Mike Nowak (elbow), lost point guard Ryan McBride with 5 minutes, 32 seconds left in the third quarter. The gutsy McBride returned with 2:45 left in the period after having his leg worked on.
Then to make matters worse, Jake Wiesmueller, East’s top 3-point shooter, and 6-foot-7 inch Jonathan McGinley, spent the night running in and out of the lineup in foul trouble.

“It was a game of runs,” Spartans coach Matt Malett said. “You try to minimize theirs and maximize ours and they got us when it counted. We’re hobbled, but nobody feels sorry for us. The Greater Metro Conference isn’t going to feel bad for us. They are going to try to go for the jugular when they can. 

“We scrapped, but we had 14 offensive rebounds given up. That’s not going to win in this conference.”

The Tosa East big men took over in the second half, Derrick Hurt on the boards and Ben Mihelich and Kyle Vnuk in the scoring column and it was too much for the Spartans to overcome. 

With the Spartans leading 26-18 with 5:24 left in the third quarter, Vnuk hit a 3-pointer, Hurt drop in 1-of-2 free throws and Vnuk and Mihelich scored before Brookfield East’s Steven Tongas scored on a beautiful reverse layup to make it 28-26 after three.

But the Red Raiders weren’t through, as Mihelich opened the final period with a basket and a free throws, Hurt but in a rebound and Ben Carpenter nailed a 3-pointer to end the 16-2 run and put Tosa East up, 34-28,

A steal and a basket and a free throws by Wiesmueller and two free throws by McBride cut the lead to 36-33 with 35 seconds left before the game turned into a free-throw contest in the final 30 seconds.
“We knew it was going to be a battle,” Tosa East coach Tim Arndorfer said. “It always is with Brookfield East. Even with a limited roster, Matt has them playing fundamentally well; smart basketball. We were pretty flat in the first half, especially on offense. At halftime we said our defense has to help our offense, which I think it did in the second half.”
The Red Raiders pressure defense in their big run took advantage on the short-handed Spartans.

“With a limited bench you’re going to wear down," Arndorfer said. "We wanted to come out endline to endline in the second half, hopefully wear them down, cut the lead and then see what happens in the fourth.”
Mihelich led all scorers with 15 points while Wiesmueller had 13 in limited minutes.
But the big story in the game was McBride, who played most of the game on one leg.

“He’s a senior that wants it badly,” Malett said. “He’s one of the toughest kids around. No one can question his toughness. I applaud him for his effort tonight. So much of our offense is dependent on him. When he’s hobbled and the other team sees that they try to exploit that a little bit.” 

Arndorfer also praised the Spartans senior point guard.

“What impresses me most is he’s always in control,” he said. “He never forces anything. He’s a true team player. I think he’s a guy who makes everyone else on his team better. Those are hard guys to find. 
“And the great performance he put on especially after going down with that ankle, says something about his heart. He’s a special player.”

Community Watch

» Sebena memorial fund established 12/29

» Family, friends, officers remember Jennifer Sebena 12/29

» Looking for something to do this winter? Check out WhatNOW 12/28

» Husband charged in Tosa officer's murder 12/27

» Slain officer's husband jailed; police seek homicide charge 12/27

» Wauwatosa officer's funeral scheduled for Saturday 12/26

» Jennifer Sebena becomes 263rd police officer to die in line of duty in Wisconsin Updated:  12/24

» Wauwatosa churches impacted by death of police officer Updated:  12/24

» BloodCenter of Wisconsin seeks donors to make up shortfall caused by storm 12/21

» Tosa police: Drunken driver thought he was in Whitefish Bay 12/19

» Social media users share images of today's snowfall 12/18

» Tosa police arrest man who missed court because he was too high 12/18

» Man experiences the pitfalls of drunken driving, police said 12/18

» Wauwatosa police say drunken driver caused five-car accident on Mayfair Road 12/18

» NOW bloggers talk about Newtown shooting 12/17

» Milwaukee County Zoo welcomes first jaguar cubs since 1975 Updated:  12/13

» Germantown, Hamilton the top-ranked teams in NOW's Roundball Rankings 12/12

» Second baseball diamond proposed for Breitlow Field 12/12

» Stranger in Wauwatosa yard was looking for hidden marijuana 12/11

» Woman robbed at gunpoint while waiting for bus in Wauwatosa 12/10

» View photos, videos of tree lightings in southeast Wisconsin Updated:  12/10

» Red Raiders take advantage of short-handed East 12/7

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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.