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Weekend fire destroys two Village of Mukwonago garages

Nov. 07, 2012 12:34 p.m. |  The Mukwonago Fire Department was called to Andrews Street Saturday just as daylight savings switched the time over to 2:01 a.m. for a garage that had caught fire. 

On scene, fire department crews were met by Town and Village of Mukwonago Police who had been the first to arrive, and discovered that the fire had spread to the neighboring garage, Deputy Chief Andy Wegner said. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. 

The garage that initially caught fire was just about a pile of ashes when the fire department arrived. Luckily, the second garage was made mostly of brick which helped contain the fire. However, the heat from the second garage burning was so strong that the siding of the corresponding home started to melt. Crews were able to keep the situation under control to prevent the home from starting on fire. 

The fire burned through power lines near the scene, and around a half dozen residents were without power for three to four hours. As soon as emergency crews cleared the scene, We Energies arrived and repaired the power lines. 

Mutual aid was provided by Eagle, Vernon, Tess Corners, Town of Waukesha, a squad from North Prairie and the North Prairie auxiliary canteen unit. Dousman, Wales Genesee and Big Bend Fire Departments provided  station coverage while the Mukwongo department was on scene. 

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Big Delafield meetings Tuesday

May 04, 2015 11:40 p.m. |  City of Delafield - City officials are anticipating possibly a large crowd and lively debate at two meetings during the afternoon and evening of Tuesday, May 5, about a multi use biking/hiking path that is slated to be built along with the reconstruction of Genesee Street (Highway C) from Mills Street to Oakwood Road.

Residents living on the east side of the street are expected to strongly urge the committee recommend that the path be placed on the west side of the street, near where the St. John's Northwestern Military Academy is located.

The residents object to a proposal to place the path on their side of the road because of the number of trees that would have to be destroyed in order to make way for the path. In addition, in some areas the path would be running near homeowner's property lines.

However, city officials and some members of the committee have pointed out that it is less costly to locate the path on the east side of the street and most of the trees that might be destroyed as a result of the path construction are in the city right of way and not on homeowner's private property.

In addition, city officials have said they will try to avoid any older, high quality trees that are in the way.

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Village Square senior center finally approved

May 04, 2015 10:47 p.m. |  City of Delafield - It took the Common Council 15 minutes during its May 4 meeting to finally resolve nearly 15 years of debate over the Village Square shopping center.

The council uanimously approved a recommendation from the Plan Commission for the development of a 123,000 square foot, 124 unit living center that provides independent, assisted, and memory care facilities for seniors that will be located on the west side of the shopping center.

The senior living center can be built as a result of an agreement reached last week between the city and United Properties Inc., of Bloomington, Minnesota, the owners of the shopping center.

The agreement amends an out of court settlement between the city and the original developers of the shopping center that restricted the types of businesses and the heights of buildings at the shopping center.

The out of court agreement ended court battles over zoning issues that arose when the shopping center development was first proposed in 2002.

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Delafield says no to sharing county election costs

May 04, 2015 10:25 p.m. |  City of Delafield - The Common Council has unanimously decided not to help the Waukesha County Clerk's office pay for new election equipment to be purchased by the county for the city.

Mayor Michele DeYoe said the Monday, May 4,  vote was a show of support by the city to smaller neighboring municipalities who are objecting to being asked to share in the cost of the equipment.

The council voted uanimously on April 20 to contribute about $3,100 towards the purchase of about $10,000 in  new equipment.

The new equipment includes a vote tabulator and modem that automatically counts the ballots and transmits the vote totals directly to the County Clerk's office.

However since that vote, DeYoe and City Clerk Gina Gresch said they have learned about the other communities objections to being asked to help pay for the equipment.

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UPDATE: Oconomowoc Mayor to resign May 5

May 04, 2015 9:31 p.m. |  UPDATE: From City of Oconomowc Mayor Jim Daley: 

"To say that serving as the Mayor of Oconomowoc for over the past five years has been an incredible and humbling opportunity would not do justice to the honor I have been given by being allowed to serve our community.

In the past five years we have entered a unique period of transformation for Oconomowoc.  Our downtown went from a 40%  vacancy rate when I took office to being nearly 100% occupied today.   By promoting the new residential features of our downtown, not only has our tax base been benefited, but arguably more importantly we have the beginnings of a downtown population that will create the necessary foot traffic and spending patterns to allow our downtown to remain relevant for years to come.  While not everyone has agreed with these changes, it is vital in our growth as a community to move in this direction as downtown’s everywhere battle the “Big Box” retail format as well as the emerging relevance of Internet sales.  Taxes have gone down and quality of life has increased.  In short, I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish as a community in the past five years and think the foundation is in place for a much better future for Oconomowoc.

It is a great honor to be recognized as a community in the many, many ways we have over the past several years for the progress we have made.  Oconomowoc has become a regional and state-wide leader in setting the example for other communities to follow.  We have received a multitude of awards and recognitions too numerous to list. Governor Walker’s appointment of myself to the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission is just another community-wide recognition for the progress we have made.

While I look forward to the opportunity and challenges ahead in helping Wisconsin be a better place, it would be a lie to say that I won’t miss the opportunity to serve the people of Oconomowoc directly.  I’ve never had a better job, and I will miss it terribly moving forward, but I look forward to remaining your neighbor and experiencing the bright future that Oconomowoc has in store for it."

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Waukesha man airlifted after Dousman motorcycle crash

May 04, 2015 4:29 p.m. | A 23-year-old Waukesha man was taken by emergency air transport to Aurora Summit Hospital for treatment of serious injuries after an accident that took place Monday, May 4. According to the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department, the 23-year-old was driving a motorcycle on Highway 67 when he was struck by a truck coming out of a driveway near Highway 18. There were two occupants in the truck; neither were injured. All lanes of Highway 67 south of Highway 18 were closed in both directions, for approximately two hours, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. The accident remains under investigation.

Good food to eat and make at home

May 04, 2015 4:13 p.m. | There will be lotsa pasta cooking at the St. Joan of Arc Pasta Dinner starting at 5:30 p.m. Friday at St. Joan of Arc School, 120 Nashotah Road, Nashotah. Cost is $5 for adults, $3 for children and students and free for children age 3 and young. Beer and wine will be available for $3.

Host of a PBS cooking show and author of several cookbooks, Alamelu Vairavan, will present Healthy Indian Cooking with Alamelu at 1 p.m.  Saturday at the Delafield Public Library, 500 Genesee St., Delafield. Explore, learn and taste the range of flavors found in healthy Indian cuisine. Vairavan, emphasizes easy to prepare aromatic and flavorful foods. A book signing will follow.

The Madison Area Concert Handbell Ensemble will perform at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 210 E. Pleasant St., Oconomowoc. The group is one of the largest and finest handbell ensembles in Wisconsin with numerous octaves of bells and chimes. The concert is free. Call (262) 567-5001 or visitwww.splco.org for more information.

Outdoor Composting to Suit Your Site Workshop will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday at NuGenesis Farm, N68 W33208 County Road K, Oconomowoc. A presentation handout, composting pamphlets from the Wisconsin DNR and weather permitting, a short outside demo and tour of NuGenesis will all be included. A $15 donation is recommended. 

Boucher steps in to complete Mukwonago supervisor term

May 04, 2015 11:36 a.m. | Lyle Boucher, a former candidate for town of Mukwonago supervisor, was appointed to complete the term of former supervisor Tom Stefanowski, during a special town board meeting on April 30.

Stefanowski was elected town chairman on April 7.

According to Administrator/Clerk-Treasurer Kathy Karalewitz, Boucher was nominated by Supervisor Peter Topczewski and received votes from Karalewitz, Topczewski and Supervisor Richard Wrasman.

Supervisor Ruth Ann Nicoson nominated former supervisor James Hintz, who received only a vote from Nicoson.

Gail Yerke was also nominated to complete the term, Karalewitz said.

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New principal named at Nature Hill

May 02, 2015 12:09 p.m. | Pending approval from the School Board, the Oconomowoc Area School District has announced that  Jason Curtis, district Coordinator of Secondary Education, will become the new principal of Nature Hill Intermediate School, effective July 1. 

“As we searched for a successor to Mike O’Connor, we looked for a leader of the caliber we have come to expect at Nature Hill,” said Roger Rindo, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools. “Jason has the experience and instructional background to continue to drive excellence in all areas of the school.”

New bleachers? Shiny lockers? School challenges intensify

May 01, 2015 5:03 p.m. | It didn't take long for the video to go viral.

Arrowhead High School in Hartland had just completed new $662,000 locker rooms for its basketball teams, and posted a time-lapse look at what it billed as "the best high school locker rooms in the country."

Long tagged as the "University of Arrowhead" by those who are either jealous or critical, the school actually created locker room facilities that many colleges could not approach.

District officials defended the work, saying the old locker rooms were crumbling and a private anonymous donor had picked up more than half the cost. Superintendent Craig Jefson explained it was a sign of the times.

"Look at society," Jefson said. "They emphasize sports."

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Beautiful art blooms at Gallery Night

May 01, 2015 3:00 p.m. | Spring is in the air! And that means beautiful art is blooming in downtown Oconomowoc as they celebrate Spring Gallery Night from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday.  

Shops will stay open late to host artists, live music and carriage rides throughout downtown.

And while it’s still only spring, the Summer Farmers Market will begin at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the municipal lot, Cross and Collins Street, Oconomowoc. Vendors will be selling produce and other local items until noon.

Saturday is Indie Bookstore Day across the country and Books & Company, 1039 Summit Ave., Oconomowoc is celebrating with a day of food, activities, live music, giveaways and a visit from book character Froggy. Stop in anytime between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m.

While books are being celebrated, pets are the focus of the HAWS Pet Walk and K-9 Karnival from 9 a.m.  to 2 p.m. Saturday at Sussex Village Park, Main Street and Weaver Drive, Sussex. Pets and their people can walk the trails and run the agility course, watch a demo by the Waukesha County K-9 Unit, enter the raffle and participate in contests together. Pet microchips and nail trims will be available for a small donation.

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Opper confirms Kraus plea deal

May 01, 2015 11:56 a.m. |  Waukesha - Waukesha County District Attorney Susan Opper has confirmed that her office is in negotiations with a lawyer for former Lisbon Town Clerk Elizabeth Kraus over a possible plea bargain on the felony misconduct and credit card fraud charges that were filed againts her earlier this year.

According to a county sheriff''s department investigation, Kraus purchased nearly $20,000 in personal services and merchandise with town credit cards.

She made the purchases in 2014 after she had been appointed by the town board as interim clerk/administrator replacing former administrator Jeff Musche whio had resigned following an extended illness.

Opper confirmed her office has been in discussions with Kraus's attorney Marcus J. Sengstock about a possible plea agreement.

However, Opper said she could not discuss the details of the negotiations but indicated that requiring Kraus to repay the town will be included as part of any sentencing deal.

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Investigation: Family behind collapsed Falls building has a history of neglecting properties

May 01, 2015 11:34 a.m. | Menomonee Falls — Executives of the companies that own and manage the partially collapsed North Hills Plaza in Menomonee Falls have a long history of legal troubles and neglecting properties, a Menomonee Falls Now investigation has found.

North Hills Plaza is owned by 1340 East 9th Street Realty Corp. in Brooklyn, New York, whose CEO is Samuel Pinter, according to Waukesha County tax records and information from the New York Department of State. His son, Charles Pinter, is the CEO of Royale Property Management, which oversees North Hills Plaza. Together the Pinters and their affiliated companies have left a wake of rundown properties, according to court records and officials in Texas.

In 2013, unlivable conditions rife with cockroaches, toilets overflowing, spoiled food and a pool so filthy the water was black were reported in inspection reports for a Texas retirement community owned by Samuel Pinter.

A 2004 federal court lawsuit over an alleged $44 million Ponzi scheme names Samuel Pinter as a defendant, and Charles Pinter was ultimately brought into the suit, as well.

In addition, news sources have reported other incidents in which properties owned by Charles or Samuel, or both, were found to be dilapidated and unlivable.

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Oconomowoc celebrates spring with Gallery Night tonight

May 01, 2015 11:20 a.m. | The Downtown Oconomowoc Business Association will sponsor its annual Spring Gallery Night from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, May 1. There will be live music, silent auction, food and beverages, Hoofbeat Express wagon rides and student art displayed from Oconomowoc High School throughout the downtown area. For more information, visit www.downtownoconomowoc.org.

Sussex Main Street closure

May 01, 2015 11:14 a.m. |  Sussex - A block long segment of the village's maint street will be closed for about three weeks as workers reroute Spring Creek including removing a 500 foot long failing culvert that has been buried for decades beneath private business parking lots.

Main Street will be closed between Kneiske Drive and Waukesha Avenue ( Hwy. 74) begnning on Monday, May 4, according to Village Engineer Judith Neu.

Detour signs directing traffic  to Silver Spring Drive and Highway 74 will be posted and access to all local businesses will be open, according to Neu.

Village officials began noticing several years ago that the culvert, and the asphalt surface above it, were beginning to fail.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is requiring the village remove the culvert and open the creek to day light.

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Kraus plea deal pending?

May 01, 2015 10:44 a.m. |  Waukesha - Former Lisbon Town Clerk Elizabeth Kraus, who  has been charged with felony official misconduct and credit card fraud, is apparenlty attempting to negotiate a plea agreement with the Waukesha County District Attorney.

County Circuit Cour Judge Michael J. Aprahamian has scheduled a May 22 hearing on the plea arrangement and possible sentencing for Kraus who allegedly used town credit cards to purchase nearly $20,000 in personal services and merchandise including a dog

Kraus's attorney, Marcus J. Sengstock, told Lake Country Publications "there are still some things to be worked out" following a court hearing on Friday morning, May 1.

During the hearing Sengstock indicated that one of the issues being discussed is how much money Kraus will have to repay the town and how she will make the payments as part of her sentence.

Newly elected Town Chairman Joe Osterman, who attended the brief hearing, said he was not surprised Kraus was attempting a plea agreement but he said town officials are not aware of the details of the negotiations between Kraus and the district attorney's office.

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