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Merton School to explore new early-start option

Jan. 15, 2014 10:21 a.m. | The Merton School District announced in an email to parents Friday, Jan. 10, that it will be exploring the option of an earlier school start time for children who do not rely exclusively on bus transportation.

Superintendent Ron Russ said the school hopes to create a 7:30 a.m. early-start section for each grade level beginning in the 2014-15 school year, but that is contingent on sufficient enrollment in the program. 
If more students apply for the early-start program than seats available, the district will use a lottery system to select students. Students who have siblings already enrolled in the program will be automatically selected if an early-start section exists in the student’s grade level.
Parent Jacqui Budde has one child in sixth grade at Merton, and two children at Arrowhead. She said via email that she likes the new program and applauds the school’s efforts to offer the option. However, she said the current schedule works for her family.
“I don’t think my son will take advantage of the option, however,” she said. “To be honest, he really enjoys the fact that he gets to sleep in much later than his older siblings.”
School Board President Dean Dobbertin said he supports the program.
“I think we are in a situation where we need to let parents have an option and I think this is an option that will help them,” he said.
Russ said that the current start time of 8:50 a.m. is the number one reason parents choose to open enroll their child out of the district, most often going next door to the North Lake School District. 
“Those families tell me it’s early start,” Russ said. “North Lake families are home by 2:30, a huge difference from getting home at 4:30.”
A 7:30 a.m. start time would align Merton’s schedule with Arrowhead High School, Russ said, and a earlier end to the school day would give students more time for extracurricular activities, homework and family. 
The early-start option would only be available to students that have an alternative means of transportation. The district currently leases its busing services from Dousman Transport Company through a joint agreement with Arrowhead and the K-8 feeder districts. That agreement limits when each district can expect busing services, with districts that start later paying less for services than early-starting districts. 
Russ said that about 60 percent of families already transport their kids to school and only 55 percent of students are eligible for bus services. He said that if demand for the program means less students riding the bus, that could mean cost savings for the district.
Russ said an early-start option would not impact curriculum or extracurricular activities. Students would receive the same instruction, regardless of when they first arrive at the school.
“We want to make sure that nothing changes unless parents choose to make a change,” Russ said.
The district has scheduled two forums to discuss the change with community members. The first forum will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 27. The second forum is at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 5.

Toddler found in quarry area

7:30 p.m. |  Wales Genesee emergency crews have found the missing 2-year-old boy at about 7:30 p.m. 

More information will be posted when available.

Emergency crews searching for toddler in Wales area

6:15 p.m. | Flight for Life assisting Wale-Genesee emergency crews in search for  2-year-old,  according to scanner traffic. Search is taking place in area of Morris Road.

More information will be posted as it becomes available.

A play is just the ticket for weekend fun

3:00 p.m. | It’s the last weekend for several plays in the area, all worthwhile viewing.

At Waukesha Civic Theatre, “The Diary of Anne Frank” will be presented several times this weekend. Shows are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday with matinees at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The show is based on the diary of a teenager forced to hide from the Nazis in an attic with seven others for two years during World War II. A top-notch cast, including Madison Penzkover as Anne, gives this important story the attention it deserves.

Tickets are $20-23 and can be purchased by calling (262) 547-0708 or online at www.waukeshacivictheatre.org.

Waukesha Civic Theatre is located at 264 W. Main St., Waukesha

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Student writing contest entries due today

7:05 a.m. | Entries to Lake Country and Mukwonago Publications annual writing contest is 5 p.m. today, Friday, March 27. Students, imagine you're the last person on earth. Write a story about what it would be like and what you would do and feel. Drop off entries for the Lake Country area contest at our Waukesha office, 1741 Dolphin Drive, Suite A. Entries for our Mukwonago area contest should be dropped off at our Mukwonago office, 111 Rochester St., Suite 3. Be sure to include your name, age, home address, phone number, grade and school. (Address and phone number will be used to notify winners and distribute prizes; they will not be published.) Email entries will not be accepted. Entries will be divided into two categories: grades three through five, and six through eight. Cash prizes will be awarded; winners will be published in Lake Country Sunday and Chief Sunday this spring. Good luck!

AHS Lobster Boil orders due Sunday

March 26, 2015 5:32 p.m. |  The 18th annual Arrowhead Lobster Boil order forms are due by Sunday, March 29. The event takes place Friday, April 24.

Proceeds benefit Cafe Arrowhead Special Education Program and the Arrowhead Special Olympics.

WCTC to offer Grown-up Concerns: The Next Chapter

March 26, 2015 4:18 p.m. |  Waukesha County Technical College’s School of Business will be offering Grown-up Concerns: The Next Chapter on Saturday, April 18, as part of the Financial Milestone Series: Creating Focus One Phase at a Time.


Now in its second year, the Financial Milestone Series is dedicated to helping participants meet goals at life’s different stages.


Grown-up Concerns: The Next Chapter will focus on the new age of retirement, which has a much different look compared to previous generations. Participants will learn more about topics such as budgeting for retirement, the sandwich generation, retirement income and Social Security, wills/trusts and travel.

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Celebrate Earth Day with Nature's Classroom

March 26, 2015 3:16 p.m. |  Nature's Classroom Institute will hold an Earth Day Celebration at its new location at W335 S8301 Highway E, Mukwonago, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 18. 

The event, held in collaboration with the Friends of the Mukwonago River, includes rain barrel painting and auction, tree planting, nature hikes, invasive species removal demo, a cookout lunch and children's activities. 

Cost to attend the event is $5. All proceeds from the event will be used to purchase trees to be planted on the new property and help with other ecological restoration expenses. 

More information and purchasing tickets is available online.

Waukesha County offers concealed carry weapon class

March 26, 2015 2:56 p.m. | The Waukesha County Sheriff's Department will offer a concealed carry weapon class in April.

The Firearms Training Unit will offer the class April 29 at 6 p.m. at the department, 515 W Moreland Blvd., Waukesha. The course will be taught by Firearms Instructors and will last 4 1/2 hours. The class will follow the Wisconsin Department of Justice concealed carry weapon (CCW) curriculum.

Topics covered in the CCW course include firearms safety, safe carry considerations, legal implications of carrying a concealed firearm and CCW licensing in Wisconsin, according to a news release.

Attendees who successfully complete the class will meet the training requirement to apply for a Wisconsin CCW permit.

The course costs $50.

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Ottawa's April Plan Commission meeting cancelled

March 26, 2015 1:49 p.m. | The regular April Plan Commission meeting in the town of Ottawa has been canceled.

Dousman resident William Schultheis has withdrawn his request, according to a memo from the town of Ottawa. The plan commission discussed Schultheis' request of a proposed conveyance of land and necessary waivers at previous plan commission meetings this year.

The canceled meeting was scheduled for April 6.

For additional information, contact the Ottawa Town Hall at (262) 965-3228.

Attend OPL's 1950's Noir Movie series

March 26, 2015 10:00 a.m. |  The Oconomowoc Public Library's 1950's Noir Movie series continues Friday, March 27 with the film Niagra.

Screening of the thriller, starring Marilyn Monroe, will be from 3 to 5 p.m.; the event is free and no registration is required. 

East Troy Expo coming March 28

March 25, 2015 4:39 p.m. | The East Troy Expo, hosted by the East Troy Area Chamber of Commerce will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 28 at East Troy Middle School, 3143 Graydon Avenue. 

The Expo will focus on local living, featuring local businesses and organizations, a local artists showcase on the main stage and hands-on help from local technology experts.

The event will also feature a kids’ activity area, entertainment all day, multiple raffles and giveaways.

All attendees 21 or older will be eligible to enter a free raffle for Brewers tickets.

Contributions of non-perishable food items for the East Troy Food Pantry will be welcomed at the door.

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Mukwonago High School listed among top AFS schools

March 25, 2015 4:28 p.m. | Mukwonago Area School District — Mukwonago High School has been selected as a 2015 Top AFS School by AFS-USA, a leading intercultural learning provider. Schools recognized for this award have excelled in promoting global competency and working to prepare students to engage in an increasingly interconnected world.

Each year the organization honors high schools across the nation that are exceptional in incorporating intercultural learning in the curriculum, facilitating the hosting of international students, and introducing the lifelong benefits of study abroad. View the list of 2015 Top AFS Schools at: http://www.afsusa.org/educators/spotlight/top-schools/

"Mukwonago High School has a long and valued collaboration with AFS. In just the last ten years, they have hosted thirty-six students and sent nine of their students abroad to study. We commend the school on its robust after-school foreign language program administrated by the staff and students," said AFS Team Development Specialist Angelique Rogers, during presentation of the award. "We'd like to especially thank Mrs. Maura Frenn for her efforts in facilitating hosting this year and for helping recruit students to study abroad. Thanks to all of the staff in fostering intercultural education and understanding."

The award includes the opportunity for students of Mukwonago High School to compete for $1,000 scholarships to any 2015 AFS study abroad program. Students must address the question "What does it mean to be a global citizen?"

The deadline for submitting a photo, video or illustration accompanied by a 250-word essay is April 1, 2015.

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The OHS Players present '110 Stories'

March 25, 2015 2:50 p.m. |  The OHS Players will present  '110 Stories' by Sarah Tuft on April 30, May - 1 – 2  at 7:30 p.m.  and 4 p.m.  on May 3 at the OAC.

 110 Stories captures the grief and resilience of New York City in the wake of September 11 through the words of those who experienced it directly. These  first-person testimonials  reveal the hope, humor and compassion that emerged from  the  tragedy.

Tickets: Adults $15, Seniors, College Students, High School & Younger $12 
(Reserved Seating)
Service Fees May Apply

Best suited for Middle School students and older

 $2 from every ticket sold will go toward the 2015 OHS Player Fringe Festival trip.

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Horizon addition approved by Plan Commission

March 24, 2015 9:29 p.m. |  Village of Pewaukee - The Plan Commission approved a conditional use grant amendment application from Pewaukee School District to construct the 12,000 square foot addition onto the existing Horizon Elementary School building at Tuesday's meeting.

The addition will begin construction on April 3 and has a completion date of Aug. 15. Read the story in Thursday's Lake Country Reporter.

Oconomowoc common council divided over proposed ordinance banning e-cig use at area schools

March 24, 2015 9:03 p.m. | City of Oconomowoc - City aldermen were split in their opinions of an amended ordinance reportedly designed to prevent area high school students from smoking electronic cigarettes on school grounds.

Some common council members on Tuesday, March 24, were concerned that somewhat vague language in the ordinance may create some enforcement issues.

A vote on the second reading of the ordinance, which received near unanimous support when it was first proposed, ended in a 3-3 tie with aldermen Derek Zwart, Matt Rosek and James Larsen voting against the amendment and aldermen Ken Herro, Charlie Shaw and Mike Miller voting in favor of it; aldermen David Nold and Tom Strey were absent from the meeting.

An ordinance requires three official readings before it can be ratified into law.

Mayor Jim Daley cast the tie-breaking vote against approving the second reading, saying he wanted to be sure that the language in the ordinance was clear.

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