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Wind, cold close Kettle Moraine schools two days

Jan. 27, 2014 5:46 a.m. |  Due to icy and difficult road conditions caused by severe wind combined with the harsh and frigid temperatures, with the wind chill remaining at -32 degrees throughout the day on Monday and predicted to go to a -50 degrees on Tuesday, Kettle Moraine Schools will be closed both Monday, Jan. 27 and Tuesday, Jan. 28, according to the district website. This includes all evening activities.

The District Office will remain open.

Donated deer hearts present Lake Country School students with learning opportunity

4:18 p.m. | As has been the case for nearly two decades, students in Jill Koszarek's eighth-grade science class at Lake Country School will dissect deer hearts this school year.

Koszarek said it's an experience that provides students with a hands-on learning opportunity — and one they don't soon forget.

"At the end of the year when we are talking to them about their memories of the year, that is one of the things that comes up in science class," Koszarek said.

That lasting impression plays a big part in Koszarek generally not having a problem rounding up enough of the organs each year.

Having done it for 17 years, she said, students and parents know she'll be looking for hearts, and deer season presents an opportune time to get them.

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Oconomowoc man allegedly pushed woman down a flight of stairs during heated argument

2:55 p.m. | Town of Oconomowoc — What was supposed to be a peaceful exchange of property allegedly turned violent suddenly and could result in prison time for one Oconomowoc man.

That man, 25-year-old Alek Dunning, was charged Monday, Nov. 30 in Waukesha County Circuit Court with felony substantial battery and misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

According to the criminal complaint, those charges stem from an argument Dunning had with an acquaintance named Gretchen Bachman on Nov. 28. That day the two were supposed to exchange some personal items that belonged to each other, but when Bachman arrived at Dunning's home to make the exchange, Dunning allegedly got very upset and eventually shoved Bachman down a staircase.

The complaint said that Dunning is living at his grandmother's house on Cottonwood Court and indicates that that's where the altercation took place.

During the incident, Dunning reportedly asked Bachman if "she liked getting slapped around" and, according to the complaint, threatened to grab his rifle if Bachman didn't leave.

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Bail reduction, transfer out of jail denied for Ybdi Islami of Lac La Belle

1:45 p.m. | City of Waukesha — Accused arsonist and fraudster Ybdi Islami won't be moving out of the Waukesha County Jail anytime soon, a Waukesha County Circuit judge ruled recently.

Judge Lloyd Carter denied a motion on Nov. 24 seeking a reduction in Islami's bail and a transfer out of jail and onto remote GPS monitoring that was filed a few days earlier by Islami's attorny, Wendy Patrickus.

In the motion, Patrickus claimed medical staff at the jail were not properly treating several of her client's health issues, including seizures, chronic pain and kidney failure, and argued that Islami's $200,000 cash bond was excessive and could not be paid for by his family.

However, a letter from Elizabeth Frederick, the jail's health services administrator, filed with the court the same day as the hearing, asserted that some of the medical conditions Patrickus cited in her motion could not be verified and indicated that Islami's vital signs, x-rays and weight have remained stable during his incarceration.

Islami has regularly appeared in court either in a wheelchair or with a walker, but Frederick said in her letter that Islami often does not use the walker to move around the jail and uses the wheelchair primarily for convenience when he has to make court appearances, "not because (he) is wheelchair bound."

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Initial Reaction Podcast: Would it be OK to see state-football games played other than in Madison?

12:13 p.m. | The guys take a last look back at state-championship football and agree that the title games could stand to move elsewhere, out of Camp Randall in Madison. Plus, a look at where the bright spots might be in the overall Wisconsin sports malaise and JP gets a little bit of time to talk Iowa football.

Complaint: Bad breakup leads to disorderly conduct charges against Hartland man

11:00 a.m. | City of Pewaukee — Breaking up and sharing a work space can apparently lead to criminal charges.

At least that's what happened in the case of 35-year-old Hartland resident Bradley Peters, who was charged Monday, Nov. 30, in Waukesha County Circuit Court with misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

According to the criminal complaint, Peters got into two arguments with his former girlfriend, Jennifer Walter, while the two were working overlapping shifts at Veloce Indoor Speedway, a go-cart facility in Pewaukee, and once had to be restrained from going after Walter following one of the altercations.

Walter told police in the complaint that she and Peters had dated for about 41/2 months and were hired by Veloce about a month before their breakup and regularly worked together. Walter tried to alter her schedule after their relationship ended to avoid working concurrent shifts with Peters, the complaint said.

Despite Walter's efforts, she and Peters still worked together and got into an argument Nov. 25 and again two days later that ultimately resulted in Peters getting fired for kicking Walter in the back of one of her legs, shouting profanities and disturbing customers, according to the complaint.

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Waukesha County Supervisor Gilbert Yerke not running in spring election

10:48 a.m. | After serving as Waukesha County supervisor for the past four terms, Supervisor Gilbert Yerke will not seek re-election to the 25th district in the spring election.

"It's been an honor and a privilege serving the citizens of the 25th district," Yerke said in a Tuesday morning news release. "I have enjoyed working with various groups of individuals, building relationships and addressing the needs of the community and county."

Yerke was first elected in 2008 and has served the Waukesha County district that includes the village of Mukwonago, along with part of the towns of Mukwonago and Vernon. He is a member of the Waukesha County Board of Executive Committee, currently serving as the chair of the Health and Human Services Committee. Yerke has also served on the Community Development Block Grant board for more than 20 years and Mukwonago Phantom Lakes Management District the past eight years.

In the Mukwonago area, Yerke worked with the Parks Department and local citizens to open a dog exercise area in Mukwonago County Park in 2014.

"I'm proud that Waukesha County continues to be an example of good government that is a leader in the state of Wisconsin," Yerke added. "I want to thank the people who have supported me over the past eight years."

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Capitol Plaza in Hartland razed to make way for Riverwalk Apartments project

10:03 a.m. | Village of Hartland — Capitol Plaza is no more.

The commercial building at 208 E. Capitol Drive and a residential property on Lawn Street were razed in recent weeks, and piles of rubble now stand in their place.

Demolition of the buildings is the among the first steps in readying the site for the incoming Riverwalk Apartments mixed-use development, which has been anticipated for some time.

The Riverwalk project, proposed by developer Joe McCormack and approved by the village this summer, comprises two new high-end residential buildings housing 74 apartments, which will be built between East Capitol Drive and Lawn Street.

A third building, combining commercial properties with three second-floor apartments, will be built parallel to East Capitol Drive.

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OHS hosts parent meeting on financial aid for college

8:48 a.m. |  The counselors of Oconomowoc High School   like to invite all parents of seniors to attend  a Financial Aid evening on Monday, Dec. 7. 

The presentation will begin at 7 p.m. in the Oconomowoc Arts Center.  Topics covered will include the FREE APPLICATION FOR FEDERAL STUDENT AID (FAFSA) process, scholarship searches, private loans and time for general questions.  This should help to alleviate some of the stress involved with figuring out how to pay for college.

 If you have any questions regarding this event, please contact the OHS Student services office at (262) 560-3130.   

Holiday train stop, concert in Hartland to cap off night of festivities on Friday, Dec. 4

8:39 a.m. | Village of Hartland — In early December, thousands of people flock to Hartland for what has become an annual tradition: a visit from the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train.

This year marks the eighth anniversary of a Hartland stop on the train's 150-city route. The train is scheduled to roll into the village at about 8:50 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, at the old train station — now Miller Marriott Custom Homes — in the parking lot adjacent to Cottonwood and Pawling avenues. Arrival time may vary slightly, so those interested in seeing the train should arrive about 15 minutes early.

As usual, the hourlong stop will feature a boxcar concert from Canadian recording artist Kira Isabella and, this year, Doc Walker. There is no charge to attend the concert (or see the train), but attendees are encouraged to bring a nonperishable food item or a cash donation for the Hartland Food Pantry.

The train has been running since 1999 in an effort to raise money, food and awareness for food banks and hunger issues across Canada and the United States. The program has raised close to $11 million for North American food banks.

Lynn Minturn, the executive director of the Hartland Chamber of Commerce who organized the first holiday train stop in Hartland eight years ago, has said that the event "isn't about having a beautifully lit train arriving on a convenient schedule in picture-perfect weather. It's about collecting for the food pantry — about helping others who need the help."

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Library's restructuring plans shelved after Mukwonago village board signs off on resolution

Nov. 30, 2015 6:32 p.m. | Village of Mukwonago — The plan to restructure the Mukwonago Community Library has officially been put on hold.

One week after the library board passed a joint resolution to delay the reorganization plans, the village board followed suit and signed off on the agreement between itself and the Mukwonago Community Library Board at a Nov. 30 special village board meeting.

The village board also withdrew its original "no confidence" motion it previously directed at the library's director and her reorganization plan.

This joint resolution, drafted by Village Administrator John Weidl, required the library to "delay a decision on reorganization until such time that it has conducted a strategic plan and operational and staffing analysis with Bridges Library System, or similarity qualified organization."

In turn, the village has agreed to "provide appropriate funding to enable the library to keep all current staff employed through Dec. 31, 2016."

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Eagle Lions Club looking to fill holiday boxes for troops once again

Nov. 30, 2015 9:49 a.m. | The Eagle Lions Club will be organizing its annual Troop Box program on Pearl Harbor Remembrance weekend Dec. 4 and 5 at the American Legion Hall in Eagle.

Members will collect items from the community, requested by troops, to include in holiday season packages. Items can be dropped off at the Eagle American Legion Hall (junction of Highway 59 and 67) from 5-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, and 9 a.m.-noon Saturday, Dec. 5.

Last year the Eagle Lions Club shipped more than 18 boxes overseas. The club hopes to ship the same amount this year.

"Money raised and community donations will be used to allow Lions to send holiday care packages to our troops serving in Afghanistan. Lion members thank everyone who will be contributing to this important work," said Brian Derenne of the Eagle Lions Club. "You are truly helping Lions make a difference in our community."

The Eagle Lions Club has 20 members and meets on the first and third Monday of each month at 7 p.m. at the American Legion Hall in Eagle. Lions clubs are a group of men and women who identify needs within the community and work together to fulfill those needs.

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Weekend market offers a taste of the Old World

Nov. 27, 2015 3:00 p.m. |  What is more festive than a German Christmas market, also known as also known as Christkindlmarkt?

In Germany and Austria, you’ll find these markets all over. And in our neck of the woods, you’ll find one in downtown Oconomowoc this weekend.

The markets began in the last Middle Ages and marked the beginning of the Advent season.  They were usually held in the town square and surrounding areas and featured food and beverages plus items to mark the season sold in open-air stalls.

You’ll get a taste of this Old World tradition at Oconomowoc’s German Christmas Market, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. The market features more than 30 outdoor vendor huts, indoor retail vendors, huge fire pit for gatherings, heated tents with music and German food plus indoor bier garten serving German beer, fresh gluhwein and other food and drinks. There will also be a heated Santa for photos and gingerbread decorating for kids.

For more information visit

Black Friday campers, er, shoppers get early start in Delafield

Nov. 27, 2015 2:23 p.m. | City of Delafield — So exactly what compels someone — or in this case nine people — to pitch tents in front of an electronics store and camp out for eight days in anticipation of Black Friday?

For Mike Franke of Waterford, yes, it's about scoring great deals on the biggest shopping day of the year. But it's also about camaraderie and rekindled friendships.

Franke, 54, who works full time at the state Department of Motor Vehicles and three nights a week for Waterford Fire and Rescue, has been doing the Black Friday campout at the Delafield Best Buy for seven years.

It's where he met the eight other people he now camps out with every year in a pre-Black Friday ritual.

Franke said the group met in a Black Friday line seven years ago and decided to work together as a team. They've been doing it ever since.

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Literacy Council of Greater Waukesha lends a hand in learning the language

Nov. 27, 2015 12:48 p.m. | This holiday season, our Season of Giving series focuses on the many local organizations that strive to improve the community and the lives of those who live here. Share the stories of the people behind those organizations, and see how you can get involved.

The importance of being able to read, write and speak a language hit home in a big way for Donna Steuer when she and her husband lived for a time in Germany.

It's one of the reasons the retired registered nurse is now volunteering as a tutor for the Literacy Council of Greater Waukesha, a nonprofit organization that provides one-on-one tutoring and mentoring services to those who need help with reading, writing, spelling, speaking, math, and learning the English language.

"The way I felt at the time, that's always stayed with me," the 60-year-old Steuer said of her time spent in Germany. "How it felt to not understand when people speak to you, not be able to read, and just have people make assumptions about you when you can't speak and aren't fluent in the language."

Now Steuer helps those who are in the same boat in America. Through the Literacy Council, she volunteers her time to tutor two individuals, a Burmese student who needs help in learning basic English, and a woman from the Republic of Congo who's studying to become a medical assistant.

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Survive Alive House in Hartland to be renamed after former longtime chief Allen Wilde

Nov. 27, 2015 11:43 a.m. | Village of Hartland — Village residents should make room in their probably packed holiday schedules for one more local celebration.

The Hartland Fire Department at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7 will dedicate the Survive Alive House — a fire safety training facility — to former long-time fire chief Allen "Augie" Wilde, who served with the department for 52 years (36 years as chief) before retiring at the end of 2014.

In a previous interview with Lake Country Publication, Wilde said the house, which was built in 1993, was his greatest accomplishment. He recruited the volunteers and businesses that contributed the labor and materials to build the three-bedroom, two-story frame wooden house behind the village fire station on Lawn Street.

It is equipped to serve as a training center for children, and includes a machine that can generate smoke and spread it throughout the structure. Area fire departments use it to train kids about how to prevent, detect, escape and survive house fires. More than 1,500 children visit the house annually, according to department statistics.

Hartland Fire Chief Dave Dean, who was appointed to take on Wilde's role following his retirement, said the house will be renamed in Wilde's honor.

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