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'The Hobbit' is selection for student book club

Jan. 16, 2013 1:26 p.m. | The Book Club for 7th and 8th graders will discuss The Hobbit, by J.R. Tolkien at the Oconomowoc Public Library.

The group will meet from 4-5 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 30. Interested parties can register at  at
http://hobbitbookclub.eventbrite.com
 

Register and read the book and then join the group for conversation and tasty snacks. For more information, please contact Betsy Bromlet at   (262) 569-2193 or bbromley@cooney.lib.wi.us

Shortage in volunteer firefighters and EMTs prompts legislative committee

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 teen get needed service dog

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 during the transition.

"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

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 Par

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

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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Woman moves into 'miracle home'

1:57 p.m. | Barbara Saladin could barely contain her excitement. She even 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, even if Joe isn't around to see it.

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

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

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

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.

Two men assisting at Kettle Moraine kickers camp dead after one-car accident in Merton

9:57 a.m. | Town of Merton — Two college football players coaching at a well-known local sports camp died and one man was injured late Saturday, July 23 when the car they were driving struck a tree.

According to the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department, 24-year-old Michael Sadler, a former punter at Michigan State University, and 22-year-old Samuel Foltz, a punter for the University of Nebraska, were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

The third man, 21-year-old Colby Delahoussaye, a place kicker for Louisiana State University who was also in the car, was rushed to Waukesha Memorial Hospital for treatment, the release said.

LSU issued a statement that said Delahoussaye suffered only minor injuries in the crash and was released from the hospital. He was scheduled to return home Monday, July 25.

Sadler and Foltz were on staff at the renowned Kohl's National Invitational Scholarship Camp, the largest kickers camp in the United States, which was being held at Kettle Moraine High School.

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"Pathways to a Healthier You" event planned

7:39 a.m. | Join health professionals on Sunday, Aug. 14 from 1-3:30 p.m. for “Pathways to a Healthier You” Open House and Fall Kick Off.

This free afternoon will feature refreshments, walking tours, class information, and a chance to meet the experts.

 Taking place at the Center for Life Enrichment at  1306 W. Wisconsin Ave., Oconomowoc, the afternoon will acquaint participants to the many health dimensions taking place on the Shorehaven Campus. Featured will be New Day Yoga, Shorehaven’s future Fitness Center and Indoor Pool, Café LaBelle, Silver Sneakers Flex, 4 Rivers Center for Well Being, and HealthReach Rehabilitation Services. For more information, call 262 354-1375 or go to www.shorehavenliving.org.

 

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Two college football players killed in overnight Waukesha County crash

July 24, 2016 11:00 p.m. | Two college football players were killed and one was rushed to a hospital after their vehicle hit a tree around 11:45 p.m. Saturday in the Town of Merton, according to the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department.

The two men killed were Michael R. Sadler, 24, of Grand Rapids, Mich., a former punter for the Michigan State University football team; and Samuel N. Foltz, 22, of Grand Island, Neb., senior punter for the University of Nebraska football team.

Foltz and Sadler were serving as staff at the Kohl's National Invitational Scholarship Camp for high school kickers and punters at Kettle Moraine High School in the Town of Wales.

"Sam and Mike each had amazing careers as student-athletes in the Big Ten Conference, but more importantly they were tremendous men off the field," Jamie Kohl, director of the camp, said in a statement. "We are so grateful for the opportunity we have had to know these men and their families."

The statement also said: "We mourn today with the Foltz and Sadler families. We mourn today with the football programs of Nebraska and Michigan State. We mourn today with all of the people who were better men and women for knowing Sam and Mike. Our thoughts and prayers are with them."

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2016 Waukesha County Fair coverage

July 22, 2016 5:48 p.m. | The Waukesha County Fair, the oldest fair in Wisconsin, is in full swing on the grounds of the Waukesha County Expo Center. 

And our interns McKenna Oxenden and Maddy Heim have been enjoying all aspects the fair brings.

From ranking the tastiest food items at the fair, to being there when the Fairest of the Fair was crowned, to having a good time watching the pig, duck and goat races, a new attraction at the fair. Take a look at our coverage of the fair, which continues through Sunday, July 24.

Our fair food rankings

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Trial date may be coming soon in Oconomowoc murder case involving husband, wife

July 22, 2016 3:40 p.m. | City of Waukesha — Oconomowoc resident and accused murderer Amy Van Wagner could soon have a trial date.

Attorneys for both parties discussed preliminary plans for scheduling in the case — including possible trial dates early next year — during a brief hearing Friday, July 22 in Waukesha County Circuit Court.

Circuit Judge Ralph Ramirez had previously set Friday's hearing as the deadline for filing motions in Van Wagner's case; she stands accused of first-degree intentional homicide in her husband's killing last May.

However, Van Wagner's attorney, John Schiro requested an extension of that deadline because he said he had not yet been able to sift through all the discovery materials — a routine pretrial exchange of information between both parties — sent to him by the district attorney's office.

Prosecuting attorneys Pablo Galaviz and Melissa Zilavy did not object to the extension, and Ramirez granted the request. Van Wagner's next hearing is scheduled for Oct. 24.

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Village Administrator John Weidl recognized as "Young Economic Development Professional of the Year"

July 22, 2016 1:47 p.m. | Village of Mukwonago —John Weidl, Village Administrator and Economic Development Director for the Village of Mukwonago, has been selected by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) as the "Young Economic Development Professional of the Year" for 2016.

This national award recognizes outstanding achievements by young, emerging leaders in the economic development profession. He will be receiving the award this September at the IEDC Annual Conference in Cleveland, Ohio.

"This award demonstrates our commitment to using best practices while achieving positive, impactful results for the stakeholders in the village of Mukwonago and surrounding communities," Weidl said. "Our efforts have created an environment of entrepreneurialism, community investment and an appreciation that the village of Mukwonago is where life, leisure and business thrive."

Weidl cites the $50 million in private investment and over 150 new jobs created by Gearbox Express, Lynch Motor Vehicle Group, ProHealth Care, Kwik Trip, Aldi, and the relocations of L'Bri and GS Global resources as major accomplishments for the village.

"We successfully used Tax Increment Financing, our Business Retention/Expansion program, the Economic Development Committee and place-making efforts to cement our status as a catalyst for growth while increasing our marketability, flexibility, organizational capacity and expertise in economic development initiatives over the last three years," Weidl said.

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