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MASD schools closing early, after-school activities cancelled

Dec. 20, 2012 1:23 p.m. | According to the Mukwonago Area School District website, students will be released early today to give buses extra time on the road and to make certain students are home before it gets dark.

Mukwonago Schools are dismissing at the following times: Park View Middle School - 2 p.m., Mukwonago High School - 2:20 p.m. and all elementary Schools at 3:15 p.m.  

Also, all after-school activities for Thursday, Dec. 20 have been cancelled.

Capitol Plaza in Hartland razed to make way for Riveralk Apartments project

10:03 a.m. | Village of Hartland — Capitol Plaza is no more.

The commercial building at 208 E. Capitol Drive (and a residential property along Lawn Street) were razed in recent weeks and piles of rubble now stand in their place. Demolition of the buildings is the among the first steps in readying the site for the incoming Riverwalk Apartments mixed-use development, which has been anticipated for some time.

The Riverwalk project, proposed by developer Joe McCormack and officially approved by the village this summer, comprises two new high-end residential buildings housing a total of 74 apartments, which would be built between East Capitol Drive and Lawn Street.

A third building, combining commercial properties with three second-floor apartments, would be constructed parallel to East Capitol Drive.

Village Administrator Dave Cox said in an email that the razing of the buildings began roughly in mid-November. By early last week, Capitol Plaza had been torn down.

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OHS hosts parent meeting on financial aid for college

8:48 a.m. |  The counselors of Oconomowoc High School   like to invite all parents of seniors to attend  a Financial Aid evening on Monday, Dec. 7. 

The presentation will begin at 7 p.m. in the Oconomowoc Arts Center.  Topics covered will include the FREE APPLICATION FOR FEDERAL STUDENT AID (FAFSA) process, scholarship searches, private loans and time for general questions.  This should help to alleviate some of the stress involved with figuring out how to pay for college.

 If you have any questions regarding this event, please contact the OHS Student services office at (262) 560-3130.   

Holiday train stop, concert in Hartland to cap off night of festivities on Friday, Dec. 4

8:39 a.m. | Village of Hartland — In early December, thousands of people flock to Hartland for what has become an annual tradition: a visit from the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train.

This year marks the eighth anniversary of a Hartland stop on the train's 150-city route. The train is scheduled to roll into the village around 8:50 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4 at the old train station — now Miller Marriott Custom Homes — in the parking lot adjacent to Cottonwood and Pawling avenues. Arrival time may vary slightly, so those interested in seeing the train should arrive about 15 minutes early.

As usual, the hour-long stop will feature a boxcar concert from Canadian recording artist Kira Isabella and, this year, Doc Walker. There is no charge to attend the concert (or see the train), but attendees are encouraged to bring a nonperishable food item or a cash donation that can be given to the Hartland Food Pantry.

The train has been running since 1999 in an effort to raise money, food and awareness for food banks and hunger issues across Canada and the United States. The program has raised close to $11 million for North American food banks.

Lynn Minturn, the executive director of the Hartland Chamber of Commerce, who organized the first holiday train stop in Hartland eight years ago has said that the event "isn't about having a beautifully lit train arriving on a convenient schedule in picture-perfect weather. It's about collecting for the food pantry — about helping others who need the help."

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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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