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Superintendents plan Sunday conference regarding school closings

Jan. 03, 2014 2:02 p.m. | Waukesha County superintendents are watching the arctic blast expected to move in over the weekend. Mukwonago Area School District Superintendent Shawn McNulty said Waukesha County superintendents would hold a conference call on Sunday, Jan. 5 at 7:30 p.m. to determine if schools should close on Monday. 

McNulty said county superintendents agree that a sustained wind chill of minus 30 warrants closing schools. With a large majority of students bussed to schools, wind chills that low are too dangerously cold for students to stand outside for busses, McNutly explained. 

McNulty said some superintendents have already sent an email out to parents explaining the situation regarding weather on Monday. He plans to send an email to Mukwonago parents later today. 

Mukwonago High School IT Academy — preparing students for technology careers

Sept. 04, 2015 1:08 p.m. | Mukwonago Area School District — One student, a senior, was overheard saying it's the first time he's been excited about the start of school. As long-sleeved, T-shirt clad upper classmen filled several rows of library chairs on a hot, humid day, they didn't have to be at school on the freshman only day. Yet, they came wearing shirts with the IT Academy logo, to celebrate the grand opening of the Mukwonago High School IT Academy on Sept. 1.

This first day was the fruition of an idea that started about three years ago, when Mukwonago High School (MHS) computer science teachers Jim Ferwerda and Scott Pratt wondered what personalized learning would look like at the high school. Couple that idea with job projections for computer science graduates estimating about 400,000 grads to fill about 1.4 million jobs by 2020.

Effective program

With a definite need in the computer science field and a solid computer science program already in place at MHS, "we thought we were in a good position," Ferwerda explained to the crowd gathered for the unveiling of the academy, to "provide a better, more effective program for students who want to major in computer science and technology."

MHS has three certified computer science teachers, Ferwerda, Pratt, and Sarah Wardecke, something unheard of even in larger districts. The MHS computer science program already offers seven different computer science courses and has shown a continued steady number of students who want to take courses. Jennifer Wolfe came on as the academy coordinator. Business partnership were and continue to be developed.

» Read Full Article

Big Bend annexes Rural Home Cemetery and Edgewood Avenue

Sept. 04, 2015 12:13 p.m. | Village of Big Bend —The Village Board voted unanimously to annex both the Rural Home Cemetery property, and Edgewood Avenue into the village at a Sept. 3 board meeting.

"This annexation is unique," said village of Big Bend Attorney John Schober on the Rural Home Cemetery annexation. He said what made it so unique was the fact that they (Big Bend) owned the property and are bringing it into the village, saying that's only been done a few times.

Schober said that in a case like this, they don't need petitions or publications, the land can simply be brought in by ordinance.

"We own it and have been operating it for two years," said Village President James Soneberg. "It just makes sense to bring it in."

Soneberg mentioned that one reason to bring it in was to make policing easier. He also said that, while negligible, the town of Vernon does charge Big Bend a stormwater management fee which would cease.

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American Red Cross providing aid to Pewaukee families displaced by apartment fire

Sept. 04, 2015 10:41 a.m. |

Village of Pewaukee – One firefighter was injured and more than a dozen people were displaced from their homes following a fire at an apartment complex at 1302 Sunnyridge Road.

Pewaukee Fire Chief Kevin Bierce said the call about the fire at the eight-unit apartment building came in shortly after 1 a.m. Friday, Sept. 4.

Bierce said all the residents were able to get out without injury, but one firefighter sustained a minor injury while fighting the blaze. Bierce said the firefighter was taken to Waukesha Memorial Hospital with an apparent muscle strain. Bierce didn’t have an update on the firefighter’s condition.

Initial estimates put the number of displaced residents at 30, but American Red Cross spokeswoman Barbara Behling said it appears that closer to 15 people lived in the building.

» Read Full Article

Apartment fire displaces about 30 in Pewaukee

Sept. 04, 2015 5:48 a.m. | The American Red Cross is assisting about 30 residents displaced in a fire at an eight-unit apartment building at 1302 Sunnyridge Road in Pewaukee.

Check back to JSOnline for updates to this story.

University Lake School sees increase in new students

Sept. 03, 2015 2:33 p.m. | Delafield — Things looked a bit different at University Lake School on the first day of school.

There were more students.

A total of 59 new students showed up for class on the first day of school this year, the largest opening-day enrollment growth in over a decade, said ULS Marketing Director Jennifer Becker.

Overall, enrollment at the school is up from 250 to 280, an increase of 12 percent.

The news comes as some Lake Country school districts, like Hartland-Lakeside and Merton, are seeing student numbers sag while others, like Hamilton, are experiencing enrollment jumps.

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Work under I-43 on Evergreen Drive in Mukwonago to begin Sept. 8

Sept. 03, 2015 12:13 p.m. | The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is scheduled to start work on a short segment of Evergreen Drive under I-43 in Mukwonago beginning Sept. 8, according to a news release from the DOT.

The $260,000 project will extend about 100 feet north and south of the overpass, according to the release. Evergreen Drive will be closed at those projected points during construction, which is expected to be completed this fall, weather permitting.

The contractor, Musson Brothers, Inc., will be installing new asphaltic pavement, improved drainage systems and implementation of a roadside guardrail.

"Currently there is a lack of permanent pier protection under these I-43 structures," according to the release.

This rail will provide that protection for the I-43 bridges.

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Initial Reaction Podcast: Just how much of a chance do the Wisconsin Badgers have?

Sept. 03, 2015 12:00 p.m. | JP and JR discuss the upcoming Wisconsin-Alabama game and ponder if the Badgers have a chance to shock the college football universe, plus a boatload of reaction to the second week of the football season, including big wins for Catholic Memorial and Franklin.

Mukwonago opposes median closure at Highway 83 and Arrowhead Drive

Sept. 03, 2015 11:48 a.m. | Village of Mukwonago President Fred Winchowky voiced Village Board opposition to the proposal from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to close the Highway 83 median at Arrowhead Drive at a board meeting, Sept. 1.

The DOT has issued a letter to the village informing them they want a traffic signal installed at the intersection of Highway 83 and Wolf Run and for the median opening at Arrowhead drive to be closed.

The village instead recommends the DOT reconsider its position for a two-lane roundabout rather than a traffic signal at the Highway 83 and Wolf Run intersection.

"This option was validated by the Traffic Impact Analysis prepared at the request of the village, which has previously been submitted to the Department of Transportation," it said in the resolution. It continues, saying that doing so would eliminate the need to close the median at Arrowhead Drive.

In a resolution from the village, it states that "the Village Board is concerned that the closure of the median cut at Arrowhead Drive will have significant adverse consequences without evidence of material benefit to the functioning of (Highway 83) and Wolf Run intersection."

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Pewaukee village trustees to explore finance director position

Sept. 03, 2015 11:18 a.m. | Village of Pewaukee — Elected officials are now looking at a different alternative to address the village's vacant clerk-treasurer position.

The proposal, as put forward by Trustee Tom Calder, would involve creating a new position of finance director and having a separate employee handle the duties of clerk and assistant treasurer.

Calder said other municipalities in the area have similar setups. He said the new position could be "paid for easily" from money the village is currently using for its audit process.

"I think a lot of the work that's done in our audit process could be done internally with a finance director," Calder said. "We'll probably end up having to pay more total for the two positions, but I think it would be an overall savings."

Trustees discussed the merits of the idea Tuesday, Sept. 1, and agreed the proposal is worthy of further review.

» Read Full Article

Updated week three rankings of area prep football teams and players

Sept. 03, 2015 10:20 a.m. | Push for the playoffs is a detailed weekly breakdown of the teams and players in the Lake Country and suburban Milwaukee prep football scene.

Oconomowoc road closure planned for next week

Sept. 03, 2015 10:01 a.m. | Returning from the holiday weekend, Oconomowoc motorists should be aware of an upcoming road closure.

CP Rail will be making needed repairs at the railroad crossing on Cross Street starting Tuesday, Sept. 8 - Friday, Sept. 11,. Cross Street will be closed from Summit Avenue to Collins Street.

Wales trash pickup Labor Day schedule change

Sept. 03, 2015 9:13 a.m. | Trash pickup next week will be Thursday, Sept. 10 because of the Labor Day holiday, according to a release from village of Wales Deputy Clerk Pauline Wigderson.

Wigderson also mentioned in the release that the first yard waste pickup for fall would be Wednesday, Oct. 21.

Annual bluegrass festival comes to East Troy

Sept. 02, 2015 4:03 p.m. | The East Troy Area Chamber of Commerce will host its annual two-day bluegrass festival on Saturday, Sept. 12 and Sunday, Sept. 13 on the historic East Troy Square. The festival runs from 10 a.m. — 6:30 p.m. each day.

Weekend wristbands are $5 per person. Children 15 and younger are admitted free. Attendees should bring their own lawn chairs.

In addition to the musical entertainment, other festival highlights include a popular food court with local fare and a marketplace featuring local crafters, artisans and farmers market vendors.

The rain location is East Troy Middle School, 3143 Graydon Ave.

For more information, contact event sponsor, the East Troy Area Chamber of Commerce, at (262) 642-3770 or vanessa@easttroywi.org or visit the website at www.easttroybluegrass.com.

Section of trail now named the 'Mickle Mile'

Sept. 02, 2015 8:48 a.m. | Village of Wales —Dean Mickle walked in to the village hall one day, as was his usual and almost daily custom, to inform village officials about the current condition of the Glacial Drumlin Trail.

"I like to visit with the girls," Mickle said.

This visit was different, however; as he was told that his presence was due at the village hall last month. He was also told to bring his wife. He was not told why.

On the agenda for the board meeting was a presentation of a proclamation for Mickle. It named the section of trail between Highway 83 and the Village Hall the "Mickle Mile" for his help monitoring and maintaining the trail.

Mickle said the name was "kinda cute." He said that the proclamation was a total surprise, though he'd joked with officials about naming a section of the trail.

» Read Full Article

Town board likely to fill Duchow vacancy

Sept. 02, 2015 8:08 a.m. |  Town of Delafield - Town Chairman Larry Krause says its likely that the town board will appoint someone to fill the vacancy created on the board after Supervisor Cindi Duchow resigns.

Duchow is virtually assured of being elected to the state Assembly later this month after she won a four candidate Republican primary contest Tuesday night.

So far, there is no opponent to challenge Duchow in a Sept 29 special election to fill the Assembly vacancy created when Chris Kapenga was elected to the state senate to succeed Paul Farrow who was elected Waukesha County Executive in April.

Krause said he will confer with town attorney Eric Larson to determine what alternatives are available to the to town board after Duchow resigns to assume her new office.

However, Krause believes that according to state law the board will have to appoint someone rather than call a special election since Duchow is likely to resign with only about eight months remaining in her term as town supervisor which expires in April of 2016.

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