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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.

Kwik Trip plans hit roadblock in Mukwonago

Oct. 21, 2014 10:26 p.m. | Approval of a conditional use permit for Kwik Trip to build on the northern end of the Village of Mukwonago sits stalled by an appeal filed by attorney Dale Thorpe, representing Shell station owners Darwin and Cheryl Greenwald.

Thorpe was hired to do a legal review of the application that was made by Kwik Trip and procedures followed in that process. Concerns over technical issues in regard to the application and the process prompted filing the appeal, Thorpe told the village board on Oct. 21.

Substitute site plans, which varied from plans presented for a public hearing, resulted in procedural flaws since different plans should have called for another public hearing, but none was held, Thorpe explained.

Also, a more restrictive code zoning, as a result of between four and seven feet of the most restrictive zoning (A1) abutting the property for the proposed Kwik Trip, affects the setbacks of the second site plans for the proposed structure.

The village can do what it wants with its coding, but what the board can't do is ignore a code that is very burdensome, is very strict, but it was adopted and put on the books, Thorpe pointed out.

» Read Full Article

Yoga for cancer survivors offered

Oct. 21, 2014 10:37 a.m. | ProHealth-Mukwonago campus will offer Beat Cancer Yoga from 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. on Mondays, from Oct. 27 through Dec. 15 at the ProHealth D. N. Greenwald Center, 240 Maple Avenue.

The course is designed to provide gentle yoga for cancer survivors, their spouses, family members and friends. Participants are guided through yoga practices consisting of breathing techniques, specific yoga postures, and deep relaxation to refresh mind, body and spirit as well as improving joint mobility and muscle flexibility.

Instructor Shelley Carpenter, physical therapist and registered yoga teacher, has more than 20 years of physical therapy experience and has been a registered yoga teacher since 2006.

Cost of the class is $30 for the 8-week session. Class is limited to 16 students.

Visit ProHealthCare.org/classes to register or call (262) 928-2745.

Hartland plan commission talks Capitol Plaza redevelopment possibilities

Oct. 20, 2014 9:48 p.m. | Village of Hartland - Transformation of most of the land at Capitol Plaza, between Lawn Street and E. Capitold Drive, into three, sizable high-end apartment complexes -- called the River Walk apartments -- had plan commissioners and some residents abuzz.

The village plan commission and architectural review board on Monday, Oct. 20, discussed the project with developer Joe McCormick, and the conversation assuaged some previous concerns about the proposal but raised others.

The River Walk apartment project, if approved, would mark one of the most significant real estate developments in the village's history.

Commissioners took no action on the proposed development Monday and instead listened to a progress report from McCormick. The item was listed on the meeting's agenda for review purposes only.

According to a staff memo, the project would involve the construction of two new residential buildings, housing a total of 74 apartments, and the addition of a second floor (for 15 more apartments) to be built atop the existing commercial space on site.

» Read Full Article

Federal agents arrest former foreclosure king Todd Brunner

Oct. 20, 2014 6:05 p.m. | Nearly eight hours after federal agents broke down his front door and arrested Todd Brunner, the onetime local king of foreclosures, a federal judge Monday afternoon ordered him and his son released on bond.

A warrant for the Brunners' arrest on charges of bank fraud and bankruptcy fraud had been issued Friday after a federal prosecutor said they were dodging marshals who last week tried repeatedly to serve them with a summons to appear for arraignment.

Authorities allege that Todd Brunner, 57, and his son, Shawn, 24, hid assets from the bankruptcy court and that Todd Brunner tried to conceal more than $7 million in assets from lenders. Todd Brunner filed for bankruptcy in 2011 after the collapse of his business, which he built by buying, selling and renting out hundreds of foreclosed properties throughout southeastern Wisconsin.

About 6:45 a.m. Monday, more than a dozen heavily armed agents and officers from the U.S. Marshals Service, Waukesha County Sheriff's Department, Pewaukee police and FBI stormed the Brunners' spacious home near Pewaukee Lake, arresting them both.

The marshals broke down the front door of the two-story home after repeatedly banging on the door and shouting "U.S. Marshals. We have a warrant. Open the door or we are going to kick it in."

» Read Full Article

PSD traffic issues discussed tomorrow

Oct. 20, 2014 5:54 p.m. |  The village of Pewaukee will hold a town-hall-style meeting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 21 to dicuss traffic issues at Pewaukee School District.

PSD's school board discussed the issue back in September. Here are the details.

New twist in "Porn in the Morn"

Oct. 20, 2014 4:55 p.m. |  Waukesha - There is a new twist to the Butler Village Police Department's "Porn in the Morn" scandal.

Former Police Lt. Brian Pergande was found guilty of disorderly conduct  this afternoon on charges stemming from the 2013 investigation of the police department by the Waukesha County Sheriff''s Office

However, Pergande's sentencing was delayed until Oct. 27 because the victim of his crime was not available to provide either a written or oral victim's impact statement to the Waukesha County Circuit Court.

She is in jail in Milwaukee serving time for failing to pay child support, according to her attorney.

She was not able to prepare an impact statement because of a scheduling error in the Waukesha County District Attorney's office, according to District Attorney Brad Schimel.

» Read Full Article

Former AHS athlete Sweitzer dies

Oct. 20, 2014 10:49 a.m. | Former Arrowhead High School standout football player and hockey player Colton Sweitzer passed away Friday night at his home.

Cause of his death was unknown. He was 21 years old.

After graduating from Arrowhead, he went to UW-Whitewater and played football there. He later transferred to Carroll University in Waukesha.

His funeral is planned for Friday.

Across Wisconsin, uneven property assessments fly in the face of fairness

Oct. 19, 2014 9:55 a.m. | A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel investigation found inappropriate reductions in property assessments creating an unfair system. In dozens of communities across Wisconsin, 20% or more of taxes are being paid by the wrong people.

Area football teams play Friday night

Oct. 18, 2014 2:40 p.m. | Five Lake Country area football teams will play in the opening round Friday night (Oct. 24) of the WIAA postseason playoffs.

Arrowhead (No. 1 seed) will host Milwaukee Riverside (No. 8) at 7 p.m. in Division 1 and Pewaukee (No. 5) will play at host  Brown Deer (No. 4) at 7 p.m. in Division 3.

Lake Country Lutheran (No. 2) will host Pecatonica/Argyle (No. 7) at Kettle Moraine in a Division 6 game at 7 p.m.

Mukwonago (No. 3) will host Hartford (No. 6) in a Division 1 game on Friday at 7 p.m.

In Division 2, Sussex Hamilton (No. 7) faces off against Waunakee (No. 2) at 7 p.m. Friday.

Arrowhead's Kolbow second at state tennis meet

Oct. 18, 2014 2:25 p.m. | Arrowhead senior Emily Kolbow finished second at the WIAA Division 1 state girls tennis tournament at Nielsen Tennis Stadium in Madison Saturday. She lost in the championship match to defending state champion  Lexi Keberle of West Bend East, 6-0, 6-3.

Kolbow finished third, third and second at the state meet the last three years.

The second-place finish is the highest in school history by a girls player.

Arrowhead's top doubles team of juniors Kali Flesch and Sara Geschke placed fourth in doubles, the highest doubles finish in school history for a girls team.

Chilly weather means it's time for chili

Oct. 17, 2014 3:00 p.m. | When the weather gets chilly, it’s chili season. Nothing tastes better on a cool fall day than a piping hot bowl of tasty chili.

Try the classic Band Aids Chili, prepared by Oconomowoc High School Band Parents Organization as part of Senior Night festivities. Dinner will be served in the Oconomowoc High School Cafeteria from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Friday leading up to the last home football game of the year. Besides chili, a hearty offering that the Band Aids have served since the 1970s, you’ll get add ins and toppings, choice of beverage and cookie. A vegetarian option will also be available. Tickets are $6 in advance for adults and $3 for students/children.

Advanced tickets available at the Books and Company in Whitman Park and the Piggly Wiggly. Limited tickets will be available at the door.

For more information email ohsbandaids @gmail.com or check the  Facebook page at ohsbandaids. 

Vina Mundi, a wine-focused restaurant, is having its Fall Festival and Best Chili Contest from 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday at S42 W31428 Highway 83, Genesee Depot.  Enter your best chili or just taste and pick your favorite.

» Read Full Article

North Lake and Merton Fire Department merger details

Oct. 17, 2014 12:43 p.m. |  The hope is to have the North Lake and Merton Fire Departments merge into one entity called the Merton Community Fire Department by Jan. 1.

A work shop took place last week to hash out the specifics with the town of Merton, village of Merton and fire department representatives.

Read about the details here.

Show your true colors in Mukwonago High School SAVE 5K run

Oct. 17, 2014 11:41 a.m. | Mukwonago High School SAVE (Students Against Violence Everywhere) will hold its annual True Colors 5K run/walk at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 15. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. in the west parking lot.

The run will be held on the new cross country trail at MHS, on the western edge of the high school property. The 0.8 mile course weaves through grassy, wooded terrain. Runners and walkers will complete three and a half laps.

The entry fee is $25 with a T-shirt or $15 without a T-shirt; $20 on the day of the race, with the possibility for a T-shirt purchase, depending on availability. Register early for guaranteed T-shirts to all full-price paid participants.

Register online or send completed registration forms (with checks made payable to MHS Activities), to Sarah Dianich, Mukwonago High School, 605 West School Road, Mukwonago, WI, 53149.

Proceeds benefit the Mukwonago High School SAVE's efforts to prevent bullying and bring the message of acceptance, non-violence.

» Read Full Article

BandAids Chili Supper tonight at OHS

Oct. 17, 2014 9:27 a.m. | It's a perfect night for a chili supper, and an opportunity to help support Oconomowoc High School Band Aids.

The organization is holding its Chili Supper tonight from 4:30 to 7 p.m. in the OHS Cafeteria - follow signs to the Field House entrance. Dinner includes chili, beverage and dessert. Tickets are available at Books and Company and Piggly Wiggly in advance, or at the door.

Adults are $6 in advance, $7 at the door. Students are $3 in advance and at the door.

HHS fall play going on now

Oct. 16, 2014 8:42 p.m. |  The Hamilton High School Drama students are in the midst of their fall play.

This year's performance is based on Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None" novel.

Catch a performance on Friday at 7 p.m., or on Saturday at 2 p.m.

Read a preview about the play here.

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