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Two KM administrators leave set to leave district in June

Feb. 05, 2013 10:04 a.m. | Kettle Moraine School District (KMSD) Assistant Superintendent of Instructional Services, Carole Witt Starck announced her retirement effective June 30, 2013. Witt Starck joined the district in 2011 in this role and also serves as KMSD Director of Learning for art educators K-12. 

Kettle Moraine High School Associate Principal, Kehl Arnson tendered his resignation effective June 30, 2013. Arnson will be leaving KMHS to complete a doctoral program and to pursue a future role in district leadership. Arnson serves as president on the Kettle Moraine Education Foundation (KMEF) board and KMSD Director of Learning for 6-12 English educators. 

“We wish Carole and Kehl every success as they go forward and thank them for the contributions made during their service to our students, schools and community,” commented Superintendent Pat Deklotz. 

Former town/city of Pewaukee clerk dead at age 73

1:10 p.m. |  Sandra Salbashian was revered by her friends and former co-workers at the city of Pewaukee.

The former clerk and treasurer of the town — later the city — died Saturday, Dec. 13, at age 73 from uterine cancer.

"She was like a mother hen," recalled City Attorney Stan Riffle. "She was so passionate about everything that was here in the city."

Mayor Scott Klein said Salbashian essentially "ran the city." "She was the staff," Klein said.

Salbashian served Pewaukee for nearly 25 years before retiring in 2002. According to City Clerk and Treasurer Kelly Tarczewski, Salbashian's position was elected but eventually the common council opted to change it to an appointed position. Salbashian was first elected clerk in 1981.

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Gas prices keep tumbling

9:26 a.m. | Gas prices in the Lake Country area continue to spiral downwards as Mike Badani's Hartland Citgo dropped its price to $2.35 per gallon Wednesday morning at 9 a.m. That's the lowest price in the Lake Country area. Last year at this same time gas prices were $3.89 per gallon. Two states, Oklahoma and Louisiana, have prices below $2.00 per gallon. In Louisiana prices were as low as $1.86 per gallon and in Oklahoma prices were as low as 1.88 per gallon.

Cookie drop at OPL benefits food pantry

8:25 a.m. |  Celebrate the holiday season at the Oconomowoc Public Library Cookie Drop, from 5-8 p.m. on  Friday, Dec. 19.

 Plan to drop off at least one to two dozen cookies. Stay awhile to sample, discuss recipes and package cookies. The packaged cookies will be delivered to the Oconomowoc Food Pantry at 9 am on Saturday, Dec. 20.

Romanowski appointed to Kettle Moraine School Board

Dec. 16, 2014 9:43 p.m. | After a tied vote, it took a statement from one of the candidates to sway the vote of board members and break the tie to appoint a new member to the Kettle Moraine School Board of Education on Dec. 16.

Both candidates applying to complete Colin Butler's term on the school board brought similar viewpoints in regards to the value of personalized, innovative learning; supporting teaching staff; importance of communication and community engagement, but it was Jim Arts' candor that turned the tide and placed Jim Romanowski in the school board seat.

With his wife working as a teacher at Kettle Moraine Middle School, Arts directed the favor of the board to Romanowski, who could serve with no conflict of interest, which would result in abstaining in voting on staffing issues. The board voted 5-1 in favor of Romanowski.

Romanowski, of Delafield, a district resident since 1984, brings about 29 years of previous public service experience in the Delafield area to the board as well as the expertise of a civil engineer, and experience in teaching at the secondary level. .

Romanowski will be sworn in at the Jan. 5 school board meeting to complete Butler's term, which expires in April. Romanowski would them have to run for school board on the April ballot to be elected to a seat on the board.

Oconomowoc common council grants conditional use permit to new used car dealership

Dec. 16, 2014 9:23 p.m. | City of Oconomowoc - A new used-car dealership will soon be moving into downtown Oconomowoc.

The common council on Tuesday, Dec. 16, granted a conditional use permit to Milwaukee natives Tony and Donisha Nesbitt for a property at 200 S. Silver Lake Street which the couple would use as a car lot called Right Way Auto.

The permit was approved on a 7-1 vote after some discussion; alderman Mike Miller cast the lone dissenting vote.

City Planner Jason Gallo said the plan commisson on Dec. 10 recommended approval of the permit with some amendments -- such as specifiying the dealership's hours of operation and outlining how to use the allotted number of parking stalls reserved for the business -- which were included in the permit reviewed by council members.

Additionally, alderman Derek Zwart proposed an amendment to the permit that would allow the Nesbitt's to wash and detail the cars on their lot, which was prohibited in the agreement.

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Celebration for fire chief postponed

Dec. 16, 2014 9:09 p.m. |  The open house to honor Hartland Fire Chief Allen “Augie” Wilde has been postponed.

Wilde is unable to attend the celebration due to a personal emergency.
Originally, the celebration was scheduled for Friday, Dec. 19 at the American Legion Hall. According to interim fire chief Dave Dean, the celebration will be rescheduled at a later date, though that information is unknown as of this publication.
Dean said in a release that “the public will be invited to join the Department and others to celebrate Chief Wilde’s long service on the Fire Department and as Chief when a new date is identified. On behalf of Chief Wilde, the Hartland Fire Department and the Village of Hartland, we appreciate the public’s understanding and look forward to a great event in the near future.”
Wilde, who has been with the department for 52 years and 36 of those years as chief, will step down from the head position on Dec. 31.

FYI: What happens to letters to Santa

Dec. 16, 2014 4:37 p.m. | There's no exact number for how many letters to Santa the United States Postal Service receives every year, said Customer Relations Coordinator in Milwaukee Leon Van Vooren.

But he knows it's a lot.

"We believe the number is easily in the millions," he said.

The U.S. Postal Service began receiving letters to Santa more than 100 years ago, Van Vooren said. But what happens to those millions of letters sent in year after year varies by postal station, he said.

Often, many of those letters get answered. Some post offices allow customers to "adopt" a letter and buy the gifts children ask for in their letters. While Milwaukee doesn't participate in the letter adoption program, nearby communities — such as Madison — do, he said.

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Chinese engineer who stole trade secrets from GE Healthcare gets probation

Dec. 16, 2014 3:28 p.m. | A Chinese engineer who stole trade secrets while working at a GE Healthcare subsidiary in Waukesha has been sentenced to two years of probation and ordered to pay $130,000 in restitution.

Jun Xie, 41, had faced up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to theft of trade secrets. After reaching a plea agreement with federal prosecutors, Xie formally entered the plea and was sentenced Friday.

As part of the plea bargain, prosecutors had agreed to recommend the $130,000 restitution, even though GE had estimated that its loss — based on the cost to develop the stolen information — was between $100 million and $200 million.

Federal court records indicate some of the information about Xie's sentencing is under seal, but the judgment in the case, signed by U.S. District Judge J.P. Stadtmueller, suggests Xie will be returning to China.

As a condition of his probation, he is to to report his employment to a probation officer back in Wisconsin every 60 days.

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Local teachers earn national certification

Dec. 16, 2014 11:04 a.m. | Teachers from East Troy, Kettle Moraine and Mukwonago school districts are among the 62 teachers from 39 school districts in the state to achieve certification this year through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, according to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

Amy Vaclav, of East Troy High School; Carolyn Strom, of Dousman Elementary School in the Kettle Moraine School District, and Emily Iverson of Mukwonago High School, joined 4,158 teachers nationwide who earned the National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) credential in 2014.

Statewide, 1,015 teachers in Wisconsin's schools are certified by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

Certification consists of four components — written assessment of content knowledge, reflection on student work samples, video and analysis of teaching practice, and documented impact and accomplishments as a teaching professional. The voluntary process generally takes two to three years to complete.

Hartland plan commission approves building, site plans for Riverwalk Apartments project

Dec. 16, 2014 10:15 a.m. | Village of Hartland - The proposed Riverwalk Apartment project continues to plod along through the village's approval process.

The plan commission on Monday, Dec. 15, conditionally approved site and building plans for the development, and recommended village board approval of a land use plan amendment, a rezonig request and partial vacation of the Oak Street right-of-way, which is located near the proposed construction site.

Village President Dave Lamerand said there are still a number of smaller concerns yet to be resolved, but seemed confident they would be addressed at the next plan commission meeting on Jan. 19.

The Riverwalk Apartment project has been discussed on and off by the board since January and, if approved, would constitute the most signifcant development the village has ever seen.

Site plans for the project have recently undergone some substantial revisions -- often prompted by various commissioner's suggestions -- but the latest renderings have been favorably received by the plan commssion.

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Yearbook project needs help

Dec. 16, 2014 9:41 a.m. |  The Oconomowoc High School, Oconomowoc Public Library and the Oconomowoc Area Historical Society and Museum have teamed up to collect a complete set of high school yearbooks for each of the three organizations.

They  are currently looking for books from 1923 up to and including 1962. We also need the specific years of 1974, 1975, 1987 and 1988. If you have a yearbook to donate, please drop it off at the Oconomowoc Public Library circulation desk during normal business hours or after hours in the book drop. This will be an ongoing project until  they complete the collections. For further information please call Friends of the Library volunteer, Rebecca Eash, at 567-0105.

Village Square talks begin

Dec. 15, 2014 11:17 p.m. |  City of Delafield- The Common Council may have taken the first steps Monday night toward settling ten years of disputes over the size of buildings and the types of businesses that can be developed at the Village Square shopping center near the interchange of Highways 83 and 16.

The council instructed the city planning staff and Alderman Jeff Krickhahn to begin discussions with United Properties, owner of the shopping center, and MSP Real Estate Inc. about possible amendments to an out court settlement agreement reached between the city and the previous developer of the shopping center about 10 years ago.

The agreement defines the types of businesses and the size of buildings that can be developed at the shopping center.

Krickhahn said it is likely that a 124 unit senior living facility proposed on the west side of the shopping center by MSP might be approved if the city and developers can reach compromises on amendments to agreement that are supported by neighbors of the shopping center.

The proposal calls for a 120,000 square foot three story building with a two story wing south of the main structure located on about a 4.5 acre site.

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Warden called to Delafield home after deer falls into, gets stranded in dry pool

Dec. 15, 2014 5:40 p.m. | A doe was in for a surprise last Friday afternoon when she fell into a pool in the backyard of a Delafield home.

According to Joanne Haas of the Department of Natural Resources, Waukesha Warden Rick Reed was called out to the scene after the doe attempted to walk across the emptied pool and fell through the cover. Fawns have used the pool cover as a trampoline of sorts, according to the homeowner. The doe wasn't so lucky.

“It was kind of going crazy underneath there,” Reed said of the doe, who in her frenzy to get out of the pool thrust her head up through the cover above the shallow end.

It was up to Reed and the homeowner to get her out. They began by undoing the straps holding the cover down.

“I think we had five or six off and when I went to shake the ice off, she came charging out — about a foot from the homeowner and me," Reed said.

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Hartland's Heraeus Electro-Nite plant to expand, add 60 new jobs

Dec. 15, 2014 1:25 p.m. | Village of Hartland — The Heraeus Electro-Nite plant will soon be expanding its Hartland plant and adding 60 new jobs as a result.

Heraeus Media Coordinator Jeff Worden said the Hartland facility, 541 S. Industrial Drive, will increase in size because of the impending closure of a Heraeus plant in Pennsylvania. That branch will close March 2, leaving more than 200 people out of work. Another facility in Peru, Indiana, will also be expanding to handle an increased workload, Worden said.

An exact timetable for the expansion has not been announced, Worden said.

According to a company financial statement from May, the manufacturer was struggling to remain solvent in the face of pricing pressures and a declining Chinese steel market.

The Hartland location, which makes sensors for steel and aluminum manufacturing industries, already employs about 140 people.

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Arrowhead boys grind out win over Mukwonago

Dec. 12, 2014 10:55 p.m. | This is not the year for beautiful basketball. With new emphasis on hand-check rules leading to an abundance of additional foul calls, rhythm is hard to find and teams will need to win ugly on a regular basis.

Arrowhead's boys basketball team found the beauty in the new realm Dec. 12, emerging from a halftime deficit to wear down Mukwonago on the road Dec. 12, 55-44. In a game featuring 56 combined free throws and plenty of double-bonus basketball, the Warhawks canned 26 of 35 freebies and moved to 2-0 in Classic 8 Conference play.

"We know what they're going to call," Arrowhead coach Craig Haase said of the new focus on clean perimeter play. "At halftime, we really talked about playing with your feet and your hands, because any touch is getting called, and that's great. I thought our kids responded really well. We know they're calling it that way, and they should. That's what the rules say. We have to work through it, and I thought our kids did a great job of that in the second half."

Mukwonago held a 28-22 lead at the break, anchored by 12 points from senior guard Dane McDermott (16 overall). But the Indians scored just 6 points in the third quarter, and when Trevell Cunningham took a turnover to the hoop for a basket and a foul shot at the 5:31 mark, Arrowhead had a 40-37 lead and would never trail again.

Arrowhead's advantage is it sizable interior, with junior triumvirate Bryce Nze (6-6), Brian Wilman (6-6) and Ben Bredeson (6-5) keeping clean looks at the basket to a minimum. It was Wilman's first game of the season following an injury incurred during the football season, and Nze (19 points) had another strong game as he works back from a foot injury that kept him out for the majority of the offseason.

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