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MHS graduation moves to Miller Park

Dec. 18, 2012 12:12 a.m. | Crossing Elmbrook Church off as an option for a venue after using the facility for graduation was deemed unconstitutional earlier this year resulted in months of searching for Mukwonago High School.

Following several guiding criteria to whittle down a list of 10 facilities as options, lead a district graduation committee to propose Miller Park as the site of the 2013 MHS graduation ceremony at Monday’s school board meeting. Since Miller Park is not available on June 9, the original date planned for MHS graduation, the ceremony was moved up to Sunday, June 2, 2013 at 3 p.m.

Read the complete story in Wendesday's Muwonago Chief.

Library's restructuring plans shelved after Mukwonago village board signs off on resolution

Nov. 30, 2015 6:32 p.m. | Village of Mukwonago — The plan to restructure the Mukwonago Community Library has been officially been halted.

One week after the library board passed a joint resolution to delay the reorganization plans, the village board followed suit and signed off on the agreement between itself and the Mukwonago Community Library Board at a Nov. 30 special village board meeting.

The village board also withdrew its original "no confidence" motion it previously directed at the library's director and her reorganization plan.

This joint resolution, drafted by Village Administrator John Weidl, required the library to "delay a decision on reorganization until such time that it has conducted a strategic plan and operational and staffing analysis with Bridges Library System, or similarity qualified organization."

In turn, the village has agreed to "provide appropriate funding to enable the library to keep all current staff employed through Dec. 31, 2016."

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Eagle Lions Club looking to fill holiday boxes for troops once again

Nov. 30, 2015 9:49 a.m. | The Eagle Lions Club will be organizing its annual Troop Box program on Pearl Harbor Remembrance weekend Dec. 4 and 5 at the American Legion Hall in Eagle.

Members will collect items from the community, requested by troops, to include in holiday season packages. Items can be dropped off at the Eagle American Legion Hall (junction of Highway 59 and 67) from 5-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, and 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, Dec. 5.

Last year the Eagle Lions Club shipped more than 18 boxes overseas. The club hopes to ship the same amount this year.

"Money raised and community donations will be used to allow Lions to send holiday care packages to our troops serving in Afghanistan. Lion members thank everyone who will be contributing to this important work," said Brian Derenne of the Eagle Lions Club. "You are truly helping Lions make a difference in our community."

The Eagle Lions Club has 20 members and meets on the first and third Monday of each month at 7 p.m. at the American Legion Hall in Eagle. Lions clubs are a group of men and women who identify needs within the community and work together to fulfill those needs.

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Weekend market offers a taste of the Old World

Nov. 27, 2015 3:00 p.m. |  What is more festive than a German Christmas market, also known as also known as Christkindlmarkt?

In Germany and Austria, you’ll find these markets all over. And in our neck of the woods, you’ll find one in downtown Oconomowoc this weekend.

The markets began in the last Middle Ages and marked the beginning of the Advent season.  They were usually held in the town square and surrounding areas and featured food and beverages plus items to mark the season sold in open-air stalls.

You’ll get a taste of this Old World tradition at Oconomowoc’s German Christmas Market, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. The market features more than 30 outdoor vendor huts, indoor retail vendors, huge fire pit for gatherings, heated tents with music and German food plus indoor bier garten serving German beer, fresh gluhwein and other food and drinks. There will also be a heated Santa for photos and gingerbread decorating for kids.

For more information visit

Black Friday campers, er, shoppers get early start in Delafield

Nov. 27, 2015 2:23 p.m. | City of Delafield — So exactly what compels someone — or in this case nine people — to pitch tents in front of an electronics store and camp out for eight days in anticipation of Black Friday?

For Mike Franke of Waterford, yes, it's about scoring great deals on the biggest shopping day of the year. But it's also about camaraderie and rekindled friendships.

Franke, 54, who works full time at the state Department of Motor Vehicles and three nights a week for Waterford Fire and Rescue, has been doing the Black Friday campout at the Delafield Best Buy for seven years.

It's where he met the eight other people he now camps out with every year in a pre-Black Friday ritual.

Franke said the group met in a Black Friday line seven years ago and decided to work together as a team. They've been doing it ever since.

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Literacy Council of Greater Waukesha lends a hand in learning the language

Nov. 27, 2015 12:48 p.m. | The importance of being able to read, write and speak a language hit home in a big way for Donna Steuer when she and her husband lived for a time in Germany.

It's one of the reasons the retired registered nurse is now volunteering as a tutor for the Literacy Council of Greater Waukesha, a nonprofit organization that provides one-on-one tutoring and mentoring services to those who need help with reading, writing, spelling, speaking, math, and learning the English language.

"The way I felt at the time, that's always stayed with me," the 60-year-old Steuer said of her time spent in Germany. "How it felt to not understand when people speak to you, not be able to read, and just have people make assumptions about you when you can't speak and aren't fluent in the language."

Now Steuer helps those who are in the same boat in America. Through the Literacy Council, she volunteers her time to tutor two individuals, a Burmese student who needs help in learning basic English, and a woman from the Republic of Congo who's studying to become a medical assistant.

"The Literacy Council paired me with her originally because of my medical background and she was struggling with medical terminology, which is almost another language in itself sometimes," Steuer said. "Now we are working on studying for her licensing exam."

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Survive Alive House in Hartland to be renamed after former longtime chief Allen Wilde

Nov. 27, 2015 11:43 a.m. | Village of Hartland — Village residents should make room in their probably packed holiday schedules for one more local celebration.

The Hartland Fire Department at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7 will dedicate the Survive Alive House — a fire safety training facility — to former long-time fire chief Allen "Augie" Wilde, who served with the department for 52 years (36 years as chief) before retiring at the end of 2014.

In a previous interview with Lake Country Publication, Wilde said the house, which was built in 1993, was his greatest accomplishment. He recruited the volunteers and businesses that contributed the labor and materials to build the three-bedroom, two-story frame wooden house behind the village fire station on Lawn Street.

It is equipped to serve as a training center for children, and includes a machine that can generate smoke and spread it throughout the structure. Area fire departments use it to train kids about how to prevent, detect, escape and survive house fires. More than 1,500 children visit the house annually, according to department statistics.

Hartland Fire Chief Dave Dean, who was appointed to take on Wilde's role following his retirement, said the house will be renamed in Wilde's honor.

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Bring donation for food pantry to Christmas Parade

Nov. 27, 2015 7:00 a.m. |  It's an interactive Christmas parade in Oconomowoc!  Remember to bring donations of non-perishable food items to benefit the Oconomowoc Food Pantry and also your letter to Santa.

Be sure to include your return address on the letter to get a response from Jolly Old St. Nick.

The event will be held at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 5, and will follow the city's traditional parade course with lineup on Oakwood Avenue. The route will travel south to Wisconsin Avenue, proceed west on Wisconsin Avenue, then left on Main Street and end at Roosevelt Park.

Oconomowoc's German Christmas Market is this weekend

Nov. 26, 2015 7:00 a.m. | Visit  Oconomowoc's German Christmas Market  this weekend. The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 27, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 28 and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 29.

The after-Thanksgiving event has become a new tradition for the city, and this marks the fourth year the popular European custom has been held.

More than 30 vendors, live music and food and beverage offerings will be available throughout the three-day event that is held on the Village Green. Heated retail and entertainment tents will help warm the 15,000 people organizers expect may visit the market

Police at Colburn's Car Wash in Hartland

Nov. 25, 2015 7:12 a.m. |  Five police cars were seen in the driveway at Colburn's Car Wash on Hartbrook Drive in Hartalnd at 6:45 a.m. Wednesday morning.

The glass entrance door was smashed and glass was all over the driveway. It could not be learned whether it was a robbery attempt or an act of vandalism. The store was not open for business.

Police were taking pictures of the scene.

Christmas tree fundraiser this weekend

Nov. 25, 2015 7:00 a.m. |

Visit Zacariah's Acres this weekend from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

Decorate your home with a beautiful, freshly cut fir or pine tree from Tomahawk, WI. Choose and cut your own tree: A limited selection of cut your own pine trees are available from Mapleton Lake Nursery, a snowball's throw from Zachariah's Acres. Enjoy  cocoa, crafts, hay wagon rides and more. 

Directions to Zachariah’s Acres Property: N74 W35911 Servants' Way in  Oconomowoc

(This address cannot be found in online map searches, please follow the directions listed.)

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Lake Country food pantries busy heading into holiday season

Nov. 24, 2015 4:15 p.m. | The holiday season is a busy time for many, including those who make sure the shelves of Lake Country's food pantries remain stocked.

Amy Hayes, volunteer coordinator at the Oconomowoc Food Pantry, said the number of people using that pantry has gone down this year — to around 225 to 300 per month — but November and December are the busiest months, and she expects those numbers to rise again.

To the east, in the lower level of Gethsemane United Methodist Church in Pewaukee, is the Pewaukee Food Pantry, where co-coordinator Karen Semrad said they currently serve about 200 families per month.

Clients include families, elderly couples, single mothers and those physically unable to work, Semrad said.

To make the holiday special, Semrad said families who've signed up have received a Thanksgiving food box containing a turkey, potatoes, gravy, apple pie and everything in between to make a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner.

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Man accused of sexually assaulting his now 19-year-old daughter for years

Nov. 24, 2015 3:00 p.m. | Town of Lisbon — For years, a 56-year-old Verona man sexually abused his now-19-year-old daughter, a criminal complaint alleges, and provided her with birth control after the assaults to prevent pregnancy.

The man, who will not be named to protect the identity of the victim, was charged Nov. 19 in Waukesha County Circuit Court with first-degree sexual assault of a child younger than 12 and incest. If convicted, he could face up to 100 years in prison and $100,000 in fines.

According to the complaint, the man sexually abused his daughter over the course of several years, including twice at a relative's home in Lisbon.

The first assault detailed in the complaint occurred in late April 2007 while the man and the victim were staying with some relatives at a home on Kettle Cove Lane. The man reportedly forced the victim to give him oral sex on that occasion, the complaint said.

The second assault described in the complaint occurred last July, more than seven years later. The victim had recently returned from a trip to California, was picked up from the airport by her father and driven to the house on Kettle Cove Lane. On the night of July 13, 2014, the man allegedly asked the victim for a hug while sitting on a bed, pulled the victim down on top of him and took off her clothes then had sex with her.

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Lanes closures likely during impending traffic switch on Highway 67 in Oconomowoc

Nov. 24, 2015 1:27 p.m. | City of Oconomowoc — A traffic switch, likely resulting in lane closures could be coming as soon as next week as construction work progresses along Highway 67/Summit Avenue in Oconomowoc.

The switch has been anticipated for several weeks now and will shift traffic patterns along Highway 67 back to their respective lanes. All the traffic on Highway 67 had previously been switched over to the northbound lanes while work was being done on the southbound lanes. Work on the northbound lanes is expected to be completed next year.

No other lane or road closures have been announced by the state Department of Transportation this week. Some streets adjacent to Highway 67 were closed for a few hours last Friday, Nov. 20 but the portions of Highway 67 near those roads remained open.

The construction project, which began several months ago, is expected to improve pavement conditions and intersections throughout the project site — from Blue Ribbon Drive to Armour Road — as well as the curvature of ramps connected to I-94 along Highway 67. Bike and pedestrian accommodations will also be added along the Highway 67 corridor.

No new information about the project had been announced as of Tuesday, Nov. 24, but additional information on the project can be found on the project website at or by calling WDOT at (262) 548-8759.

Hartland trustees upset over missing tile in construction of $13,000 retaining wall

Nov. 24, 2015 12:31 p.m. | Village of Hartland — Holiday cheer temporarily vanished from Hartland Village Hall Monday night, Nov. 23 when trustees began discussing a recently constructed retaining wall.

A certain architectural element — a drain tile — had been left out of the final product and some board members were not happy about it. Village-approved plans for the construction of the wall had included the tile, but a design engineer later told village staff the tile was unnecessary and thus wasn't included in the project.

Despite some heated exchanges, and calls for the wall to be torn down and rebuilt according the original specifications, the board tabled any action on the item to a later meeting. Some trustees called for a cost reduction on the work, while others insisted the subcontractor that performed the work, Cedarburg Landscaping, be blacklisted and banned from undertaking any more construction projects for the village.

The wall in question is a retaining wall adjacent to a village parking lot across the street from village hall at 210 Cottonwood Ave. The village contracted out the work of rebuilding the wall, which was estimated at about $13,000, according to Director of Public Works Mike Einweck.

The contractor, Stark Pavement Corp., submitted design plans for the wall, which included the tile, to the village. Those plans were approved, but when Stark subcontracted the construction of the wall out to Cedarburg Landscaping, the wall was built without the tile.

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Lower gas prices a welcome sight in Lake Country

Nov. 24, 2015 12:25 p.m. | Gas prices continue to fall, and that's just fine with Lake Country motorists.

Prices at Lake Country stations on Monday, Nov. 23, hovered between $1.91 and $2.02 per gallon, prices not seen since January and a far cry from August, when a spike sent prices well above the $3 mark.

Terry Fox of Richfield, who commutes about 45 miles a day for his job as a parts coordinator for Terex Utilities, said the sub-$2 prices are easy on the pocketbook.

"For people that have to drive a long way to work on an everyday basis it helps out a lot," said Fox, who was filling his pickup truck Monday at Pewaukee Corner Pump on Capitol Drive in Pewaukee. "It's a little extra money in your pocket for food. It just lets the money stretch a bit farther every week."

Prices at Pewaukee Corner Pump were at $1.95 a gallon, which rivals the lowest prices manager Joe McMahon can recall there.

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