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Fourth annual Municipal Chili Cook-Off this weekend

Nov. 08, 2012 12:00 p.m. |  Add a little spice to your weekend with the fourth annual Municipal Chili Cook-Off from 2-4 p.m. Nov. 11 at Kettle Moraine High School, 349 N. Oak Crest Dr., Wales. Entry with 2 or more nonperishable food items or a cash donation. For more information call  (262) 968-3968.

Lake Country celebrates National Night Out

July 26, 2016 2:15 p.m. | Several Lake Country police departments are taking part in the National Night Out campaign that aims to improve community-police relationships through food and events.

Take a look at what's planned in your area.


WHAT: The Oconomowoc Police Department is partnering with Target to host events at the YMCA at Pabst Farms for activities and food.

WHEN:5 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 2.

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Town of Lisbon to get mobile app, new website

July 26, 2016 1:18 p.m. | Town of Lisbon — The town plans to launch a mobile app along with a new website.

Through the app, residents can pay taxes and get access to town board and plan commission packets and agendas.

Currently, the town uses Point and Pay through Waukesha County for tax payments, but the app would allow the town to develop more online payments independent of the county. Town Treasurer Nicole Theys said that during tax season, residents can sometimes make more than five online bill payments per day.

"The app will link them to all the information on the site," explained Town Administrator/Clerk Matt Janecke. "One of the key features for me would be citizens can report problems."

The preliminary mockup of the website, which was shared at the July 25 town board meeting, features more color than the former site, and has far less text on the home page.

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Lisbon OKs purchase of Lied's property

July 26, 2016 12:54 p.m. | Town of Lisbon — The town board agreed on July 25 to purchase the former Lied's Nursery property, 3-1, but not without several concerns raised by board members.

As part of the agreement, the town will pay $1.7 million for the property near Town Linie Road and Highway 74 (Main Street). The town has not voted on what it will do with the land officially, but the board discussed selling the land to a developer, and potentially turning the area into a tax incremental financing district.

One concern was that the electorate at the annual meeting approved the purchase of 65 acres, not the full 71.6 acres that encompasses the site. Land owner Jim Forester wants to retain 6.5 acres. To resolve the problem, the town will purchase the entire site, then transfer 6.5 acres back to Forester.

"This was difficult," said Town Chairman Joe Osterman. "We went back and forth on this entire thing."

Town Administrator/Clerk Matt Janecke noted the potential for Menomonee Falls to purchase the property and annex it if a decision were not made immediately.

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Dousman Derby Days begins this weekend

July 25, 2016 4:50 p.m. | Prepare the frogs! The 61st annual Dousman Derby Days kicks off this weekend.

The festival, known for the state's championship frog jump competition, starts Friday, July 29 and ends on Sunday, July 31 with a parade followed by live music by the UW-Madison marching band.

The event draws hundreds to Dousman each year for the diverse schedule of events that include a baseball tournament, carnival rides and live music by local artists.

Derby Days started years ago when the American Legion was trying to raise money for a music hall, which is now the community center, and has grown into one of the larger festivals in the area.

The event is sponsored by the Dousman American Legion, which uses the funds raised for local scholarships. According to Chuck Brockmeyer, one of the organizers, last year they set a record with $6,500 given away in scholarships.

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Taste of Lake Country joined by Waterfront Art Fair this year

July 25, 2016 4:35 p.m. | Don't let the name fool you. You can get much more than a taste at the North Shore Bank Taste of Lake Country.

Feel free to eat the entire thing. And then go hunt down offerings from other area eateries.

Food from more than a dozen restaurants will be featured at the event on Wisconsin Avenue along Pewaukee's lakefront. The free, two-day Taste runs from 5 to 10:30 p.m. Friday, July 29, and 4 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, July 30.

It's Positively Pewaukee's largest fundraiser of the year, said Positively Pewaukee Executive Director Elaine Kroening.

"The goal is to bring people to Pewaukee to see and enjoy all the wonderful things we have here," Kroening said. "This event is what keeps the doors open at Positively Pewaukee, so it is the most important event of the year for us."

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Improving economy, shrinking labor pool leaves Lake Country restaurants scrambling for workers

July 25, 2016 4:30 p.m. | It's hard to find good help. Just ask restaurant owners in the Pewaukee area.

An improving economy, shrinking labor pool and workers just restless for new opportunities have left many restaurant operators scrambling to fill shifts.

That's the case for Jeanine Knutson at the 5 O'Clock Club.

Knutson, who owns and operates the eatery on Peterson Drive with her husband Richard Knutson and son Jason Knutson, said they've had five employees quit since June.

The employees left for various reasons, Jeanine said. Two were college graduates who left for jobs more advantageous to their careers. Another wanted to pursue a different career path.

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Shortage in volunteer firefighters and EMTs prompts legislative committee

July 25, 2016 2:57 p.m. | The last few years have been tough on area fire departments that depend on volunteer firefighters and emergency medical technicians (EMT's). Departments, statewide, have had a hard time keeping volunteers engaged, covering daytime shifts at the firehouse and paying them enough to spend time away from their families.

A bipartisan legislative committee, chaired by State Senator Steve Nash (R-Whitewater), begins meeting this month to address some of the issues these rural or small town departments are having and the shortage of volunteers.

The committee, which includes area fire chiefs from Palmyra and Watertown, as well as the president of the Milwaukee Professional Fire Fighters Association and the director of the Wisconsin Office of Rural Health.

"We're trying to find ways to assist departments," Nass said.

Societal changes in the last 10 to 20 years have changed the way many departments operate.

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Community helps Big Bend teen get needed service dog

July 25, 2016 2:46 p.m. | Village of Big Bend — Sydney Rohmann is learning that dogs can be so much more than just a best friend.

Dutch arrived on the Rohmann's doorstep July 17. After months of searching and waiting, Sydney, 20, was finally able to snuggle with her service dog.

Sydney has a series of genetic disorders that often leave her tired and in pain. Due to her Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome she often uses a wheelchair to get around and has the tendency to faint because of her postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS).

When Dutch arrived, he came with months of training already under his doggy-belt. His trainer, Jessica Benz from Ultimate Canine, came with him from Indiana to Wisconsin to help Dutch transition from Benz to Sydney.

"He's learning still," Benz said. "He's working to get used to Sydney."

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Get to know your county clerk candidates

July 25, 2016 2:34 p.m. | Waukesha County voters will have a chance to determine their county clerk on August 9. Incumbent Kathleen Novack will face experienced clerk Gina Gresch for the four-year term. With the election quickly approaching, here's what you need to know about the candidates and the position of county clerk.

What does the county clerk do?

The county clerk primarily works on election administration, but is also responsible for legislative support and administrative duties that include distributing marriage licenses and passports as well as budget administration for the county clerk's office.

Get to know your candidates

Kathleen Novack

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Oconomowoc family perseveres through their child's death to host Jackson's Jam at Okauchee Lions Park

July 25, 2016 2:25 p.m. | After the heart-shattering loss of their young son, Jackson, an Oconomowoc family is building a legacy in his memory to help others.

Amy Reese said the family's nonprofit organization, JR Hearts, has created an event that will do just that.

Jackson's Jam is planned for 1 p.m. Aug. 6 at Okauchee Lions Park. Plans call for it to become an annual fundraising event hosted by the organization, with proceeds providing financial assistance to families of children facing medical issues.

"Our goal is to raise a minimum of $10,000," Reese said. "This is our initial fundraising event. Hopefully, we far exceed that.

"We're hoping to have at least 400 people attend. It's going to be a very fun day, lots of kids activities and lots of music throughout the day and great food."

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Lake Country police advise safety when playing Pokemon Go

July 25, 2016 2:16 p.m. | Nationwide, Pokemon Go players have been robbed and assaulted, and others have crashed their cars while playing the game, but so far the app hasn't led to any big problems in Lake Country, local police said.

"We haven't had any accidents, no one walking into traffic or anything like that," Pewaukee police detective Craig Drummy said.

Police in Lake Country said that although no citations have been issued to players, they are seeing players in parks after hours or on private property.

"They're in areas that they're not supposed to be like outside of normal park hours," Drummy said. "Our parks close in the village here at 10 p.m., so if they're not in a public place or if they're on the park's property after 10, then we just ask them to leave."

Pokemon Go is a GPS-based smartphone app. Players must walk around to locate and catch different characters, and locations such as libraries or restaurants can be "Pokestops," where players can find in-game items. Players can use their Pokemon to battle at "gyms," which can be found at physical locations.

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Elderly woman woman moves into 'miracle home' in Mukwonago

July 25, 2016 1:57 p.m. | Barbara Saladin had to brace herself on the door as she walked into her newly remodeled home.

"I'm just overwhelmed. This is gorgeous, just beautiful," Saladin said. "He would have been so happy."

"He" is her husband Joe, who died of cancer last fall. It was Joe's dream for Barb to live in a beautiful home with no repairs to worry about. That wish has come true.

In an effort spurred by the Mukwonago Home Depot, volunteers are giving Barb, 79, the house that her husband always wanted her to have.

The relationship between the Saladins and the local Home Depot store began in 2015 when Joe needed to repair a tractor. The store sent tool technician Rich Springsteen to the Saladin house on Lake Street. He and Joe, both veterans, became fast friends.

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Hamilton High School 60s, 70s Reunion Picnic to be held

July 25, 2016 1:28 p.m. | Village of Sussex — Hamilton High School graduates of the 60s and 70s are invited to the third annual Hamilton High School Reunion Picnic on Saturday, August 13 from 1 — 7 p.m. at Sussex Village Park. All proceeds from the event will go to the Hamilton Education Foundation.

Event founder and 1973 graduate, Mike Paradies said one of the main goals of the event is to get as many people together as possible. He said one of the issues with other school reunions is that they only gather people of the same graduating class.

"We're trying to get people reacquainted with friends they haven't seen in a long time," Paradies said. "100% of the money raised goes to benefiting the students in the school system right now."

More than 375 people attended the event the last two years. Paradies is expecting 400-450 attendees this year. Although the event is geared toward the 60s and 70s graduating classes, Paradies said the event is open to the entire community.

The Hamilton High School will also be hosting an open house for alums from 10 a.m. — 12 p.m. National Honor Society students will give guided tours of the facility.

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Repairs force lane closure on westbound Capitol Drive near Springdale Road

July 25, 2016 11:37 a.m. | Lane repair work on Highway 190 (Capitol Drive) near Springdale Road could impact afternoon rush hour traffic Monday, July 25.

Crews are replacing the pavement in the left lane of westbound Capitol Drive just to the east of Springdale Road, according to a news release from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Work started in the morning and is expected to wrap up by 3:30 p.m. Monday. One westbound lane will be closed during the work.

Motorists are asked to reduce speeds and pay attention in the work zone.

Hamilton School Board still accepting applications to fill vacant Lannon seat

July 25, 2016 11:01 a.m. | Village of Sussex - The Hamilton School Board will continue to accept applications from Lannon residents to fill James Long's seat until Aug. 1.

Long served as the Lannon representative to the school board since 1990, and retired July 19.

"It has been a source of personal pride working with teachers, administrators, community members and fellow school board members to make significant progress over the years on behalf of children," Long wrote in a letter to the board.

The applicant appointed to Long's position must live in Lannon and be able to serve until April. Lannon citizens interested in applying for the position should contact the superintendent's office at 262-246-1973, ext. 1108.

At a June special meeting, the school board accepted a timeline outlining the process to fill the vacancy. The board will hold a special meeting Aug. 3 to interview and consider applicants and will inform the applicants of the board's decision Aug. 4. The new board member is expected to be sworn in at an Aug. 15 meeting.

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