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Village Square apartments rejected in Delafield

Feb. 03, 2014 9:58 p.m. | City of Delafield - A proposal to build 90 high end apartment units in three buildings adjacent to the Village Square shopping center near the Highways 83 and 16 interchange has been rejected by the Common Council in a surprising 4 to 2 vote..

Residents living adjacent to the shopping center on Vettelson Road, including Alderman Jeff Krickhahn, have vehemently opposed the project.

They argued that multi family housing was not compatible with the surrounding commercial and single family residential neighborhoods.

In addition, they said the apartment buildings were too tall and residential housing would violate a compromise agreement reached about ten years ago between the city, developers, and the neighbors.

But key city officials and members of the Plan Commission and Common Council have  supported the project because they believed the apartments would provide an economic stimulus to a shopping center that has struggled since its controversial development nearly 15 years ago.

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Lake Country food pantries busy heading into holiday season

Nov. 24, 2015 4:15 p.m. | The holiday season is a busy time for many, including those who make sure the shelves of Lake Country's food pantries remain stocked.

Amy Hayes, volunteer coordinator at the Oconomowoc Food Pantry, said the number of people using that pantry has gone down this year — to around 225 to 300 per month — but November and December are the busiest months, and she expects those numbers to rise again.

To the east, in the lower level of Gethsemane United Methodist Church in Pewaukee, is the Pewaukee Food Pantry, where co-coordinator Karen Semrad said they currently serve about 200 families per month.

Clients include families, elderly couples, single mothers and those physically unable to work, Semrad said.

To make the holiday special, Semrad said families who've signed up have received a Thanksgiving food box containing a turkey, potatoes, gravy, apple pie and everything in between to make a traditional American Thanksgiving dinner.

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Man accused of sexually assaulting his now 19-year-old daughter for years

Nov. 24, 2015 3:00 p.m. | Town of Lisbon — For years, a 56-year-old Verona man sexually abused his now-19-year-old daughter, a criminal complaint alleges, and provided her with birth control after the assaults to prevent pregnancy.

The man, who will not be named to protect the identity of the victim, was charged Nov. 19 in Waukesha County Circuit Court with first-degree sexual assault of a child younger than 12 and incest. If convicted, he could face up to 100 years in prison and $100,000 in fines.

According to the complaint, the man sexually abused his daughter over the course of several years, including twice at a relative's home in Lisbon.

The first assault detailed in the complaint occurred in late April 2007 while the man and the victim were staying with some relatives at a home on Kettle Cove Lane. The man reportedly forced the victim to give him oral sex on that occasion, the complaint said.

The second assault described in the complaint occurred last July, more than seven years later. The victim had recently returned from a trip to California, was picked up from the airport by her father and driven to the house on Kettle Cove Lane. On the night of July 13, 2014, the man allegedly asked the victim for a hug while sitting on a bed, pulled the victim down on top of him and took off her clothes then had sex with her.

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Lanes closures likely during impending traffic switch on Highway 67 in Oconomowoc

Nov. 24, 2015 1:27 p.m. | City of Oconomowoc — A traffic switch, likely resulting in lane closures could be coming as soon as next week as construction work progresses along Highway 67/Summit Avenue in Oconomowoc.

The switch has been anticipated for several weeks now and will shift traffic patterns along Highway 67 back to their respective lanes. All the traffic on Highway 67 had previously been switched over to the northbound lanes while work was being done on the southbound lanes. Work on the northbound lanes is expected to be completed next year.

No other lane or road closures have been announced by the state Department of Transportation this week. Some streets adjacent to Highway 67 were closed for a few hours last Friday, Nov. 20 but the portions of Highway 67 near those roads remained open.

The construction project, which began several months ago, is expected to improve pavement conditions and intersections throughout the project site — from Blue Ribbon Drive to Armour Road — as well as the curvature of ramps connected to I-94 along Highway 67. Bike and pedestrian accommodations will also be added along the Highway 67 corridor.

No new information about the project had been announced as of Tuesday, Nov. 24, but additional information on the project can be found on the project website at or by calling WDOT at (262) 548-8759.

Hartland trustees upset over missing tile in construction of $13,000 retaining wall

Nov. 24, 2015 12:31 p.m. | Village of Hartland — Holiday cheer temporarily vanished from Hartland Village Hall Monday night, Nov. 23 when trustees began discussing a recently constructed retaining wall.

A certain architectural element — a drain tile — had been left out of the final product and some board members were not happy about it. Village-approved plans for the construction of the wall had included the tile, but a design engineer later told village staff the tile was unnecessary and thus wasn't included in the project.

Despite some heated exchanges, and calls for the wall to be torn down and rebuilt according the original specifications, the board tabled any action on the item to a later meeting. Some trustees called for a cost reduction on the work, while others insisted the subcontractor that performed the work, Cedarburg Landscaping, be blacklisted and banned from undertaking any more construction projects for the village.

The wall in question is a retaining wall adjacent to a village parking lot across the street from village hall at 210 Cottonwood Ave. The village contracted out the work of rebuilding the wall, which was estimated at about $13,000, according to Director of Public Works Mike Einweck.

The contractor, Stark Pavement Corp., submitted design plans for the wall, which included the tile, to the village. Those plans were approved, but when Stark subcontracted the construction of the wall out to Cedarburg Landscaping, the wall was built without the tile.

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Lower gas prices a welcome sight in Lake Country

Nov. 24, 2015 12:25 p.m. | Gas prices continue to fall, and that's just fine with Lake Country motorists.

Prices at Lake Country stations on Monday, Nov. 23, hovered between $1.91 and $2.02 per gallon, prices not seen since January and a far cry from August, when a spike sent prices well above the $3 mark.

Terry Fox of Richfield, who commutes about 45 miles a day for his job as a parts coordinator for Terex Utilities, said the sub-$2 prices are easy on the pocketbook.

"For people that have to drive a long way to work on an everyday basis it helps out a lot," said Fox, who was filling his pickup truck Monday at Pewaukee Corner Pump on Capitol Drive in Pewaukee. "It's a little extra money in your pocket for food. It just lets the money stretch a bit farther every week."

Prices at Pewaukee Corner Pump were at $1.95 a gallon, which rivals the lowest prices manager Joe McMahon can recall there.

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Mukwonago Community Library's reorganization plan halted

Nov. 24, 2015 12:00 p.m. | After plenty of backlash from the community and library employees, the reorganization plan for the Mukwonago Community Library has been put on hold.

The Mukwonago Community Library Board passed a joint resolution with the village board at a Nov. 23 meeting to delay a decision on the controversial restructuring plan.

"I'm happy with the resolution," Library Director Ann Lininger said, adding it was a collaborative effort between the library and the village.

The resolution, drafted by Village Administrator John Weidl, states the library will "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."

"Basically what this is asking for is for everyone to take a step back," Weidl said. "And in turn we'll give you the funding to do so."

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Mukwonago High School DECA wins 16 awards at marketing competition

Nov. 24, 2015 11:05 a.m. | Mukwonago DECA competed at the annual Marketing Education Association Competition held Nov. 14, at UW-Whitewater, bringing home 16 awards.

Twenty Mukwonago DECA members and marketing students competed in marketing related competitive event areas with university students. The UW-Whitewater Marketing Conference was to assist students in a workshop setting to prepare them for advanced marketing competitions.

DECA is a co-curricular marketing organization. It is the International "Association of Marketing Students." Marketing students competed in a written comprehensive marketing cluster exam, presented results in an individual role play, and presented a Team Decision Making Case.

The Mukwonago DECA adviser is Lynett Havelka.

The following students won awards at the conference listed as first, second or third-place finishes.

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OPL Thanksgiving hours

Nov. 24, 2015 9:56 a.m. |  The Oconomowoc Public Library will close at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 25 and be closed all day Nov.26.

 It will reopen at 9 am on Friday, Nov. 27.

Wales Elementary FLL team talks trash — how to reduce trash

Nov. 23, 2015 4:30 p.m. | They might have had a rough time with the robot during the Mukwonago regional FIRST(For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) LEGO League (FLL) Trash Trek competition on Nov. 14, but their project more than made up for that. Winning the Project Award at the FLL regional earned the team a spot at the Sectional FLL challenge on Dec. 12 at Park View Middle School in Mukwonago.

As a first year FLL team, the Wales Elementary fifth graders thought FLL was only about the robot, but as they learned more, the girls discovered the FLL challenge involves a project and CORE values, along with designing and programing a robot to run 12 missions themed around handling trash.

"We all thought it was only the robot would but as we got further along, we kept learning more and more," explained Hannah Heyse, 10. "We had to work on more than what we assumed we would."

"None of us imagined it would be anything like this," said Reegan Carney, 10.

They learned nothing would be "super easy."

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Oconomowoc holiday Shop Local event to kick off Black Friday, Nov. 27

Nov. 23, 2015 1:10 p.m. | City of Oconomowoc — City residents can avoid long lines and hours of waiting at big chain stores this Friday, Nov. 27, and still finish all their Christmas shopping a little early and bolster the local economy to boot.

Shop Local week, a community-wide event sponsored by the Oconomowoc Area Chamber of Commerce, begins Friday and runs through Dec. 5. The event, which usually runs at least twice a year, is designed to encourage residents to visit and invest in local retailers, restaurants and businesses.

"Shopping local is one of the best ways to support our community" said Chamber Director Katie Miller. "Purchases made at locally owned businesses create 20 percent more local economic activity than purchases made at larger retailers."

Statistics have shown that more of the money spent at local shops and businesses stays in the communities where those businesses are located than the money spent at nationwide chains or retail giants — where a substantial portion of Black Friday shopping is done.

"Holiday Shop Local is the chamber's way of reminding Oconomowocians to shop Oconomowoc this holiday season," Miller said.

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Safety tips for winter driving

Nov. 23, 2015 1:01 p.m. | Law enforcement officials are offering motorists the following safe driving tips:

Winterize your vehicle, check the forecast, adjust your route to avoid poor conditions, have cell phone in pocket, not loose, keep gas tank near full, tell others your plans, yield to snowplows and have a survival kit.

If you do get stuck:

Stay with your car, do not try to walk to safety, start car for 10 minutes every hour, keep exhaust pipe clear of snow, tie a bright colored cloth to antenna and turn on the dome light when running the engine.

Arrowhead football shocked by Kimberly's furious rally in Division 1 title game

Nov. 20, 2015 9:59 p.m. | Temperatures weren't necessarily unbearable when the snow started peacefully falling at halftime of the WIAA Division 1 state championship football game Nov. 20 at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison. But for Arrowhead, the first snowfall represented the beginning to a long, cold winter.

Arrowhead saw a three-touchdown lead melt away in the flurries, and Kimberly walked away with a stunning 49-42 shootout victory that will be remembered as no less than legendary. The Papermakers won their 42nd game in a row and left the Warhawks short of their third crown in four years.

Arrowhead's lead was 42-21 with 5:42 left in the third on the last of Johnny Durano's five all-purpose touchdowns, but Kimberly mounted scoring drives that ended with a 17-yard touchdown run from Blair Mulholland and two passing strikes to Jordan Janssen, tying the game at 42 with 2:43 to go. Kimberly held Arrowhead without a first down on the next series and took possession at its own 23 with 1:40 to go.

With snow covering the ground in the game's final moments, Mullholland, who crushed the record for rushing yards in a title game with 341, took a screen pass to the 1-yard line with 14 seconds left on the clock, forced out of bounds just shy of the pylon. He then added the finishing touch, a TD that gave his tea Papermakers a 49-42 lead with 11 seconds on the clock.

"You don't want to show it," Mulholland said when asked if he felt the game was slipping away. "As a leader, people are looking up to me, so I tried to stay as positive as I could on the sideline. That's a good team, so I didn't think it was possible. But we proved we were better in the second half."

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Join in the magic of the seasono

Nov. 20, 2015 3:00 p.m. |  There’s something magical about the holiday season, but when you combine it with a medieval theme it becomes something really special.  

And that’s what the 28th annual Yuletide Faire at Prairie Hill Waldorf School is – something special.

From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, the school will turn into a medieval marketplace featuring handmade crafts by 30 artisans as well as books sales, live music and other acts, strolling minstrels and costumed characters, lunch, desserts and sweets.  You’ll meet the King and Queen of the faire, a troubadour, the Muffin Man, Pickle Man and Pocket Lady. Children’s activities include face painting, puppet shows and storytelling.

Admission is $5 adults, $2 children ages 15 and younger and free for children younger than 2.

Prairie Hill Waldorf School is located at N14 W29143 Silvernail Road, Pewaukee.

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Lake Country Bike Trail reopens following months of construction, closures

Nov. 20, 2015 9:43 a.m. | Area bicyclists shouldn't let the impending cold weather stop them, and the reopening of a popular trail might encourage more riding.

The American Transmission Co. announced Nov. 18 that all segments of the Lake Country Trail are open. Portions of the trail had been intermittently closed since at least last fall while ATC worked to implement the replacement of several miles of transmission lines.

ATC worked with the Waukesha County Department of Parks and Land Use during the project to ensure public and worker safety on the trail. The recently completed work is part of a 58-mile, 138,000-volt transmission line replacement project called the Quad County Electric Reliability Project, which was approved by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin in August 2013.

"We know the trail closing was an inconvenience for trail users, so we appreciate their patience as we worked to maintain the reliability of the electric transmission system," said Mary Carpenter, an ATC public relations representative.

The trail will be free of transmission line construction for the foreseeable future, according to a news release.

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Zion Lutheran School in Hartland to receive accreditation after months of work

Nov. 20, 2015 9:27 a.m. | Village of Hartland — Zion Lutheran School, a small institution by almost any metric, recently took a big step forward, administrators said.

Zion Principal Dave Neujahr announced Tuesday, Nov. 17,that the school will soon become an accredited institution, pending final approval from the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod School Accreditation program.

Neujahr said in a news release that Zion administrators have been working toward accreditation — a certification that ensures a school is following a lengthy and rigorous code of best practices — for about 21/2 years.

An accreditation team visited the school at 1023 E. Capitol Drive earlier this month to inspect the school and verify that Zion personnel, facilities, governance and administration, curriculum, student services and several other criteria were up to WELSSA standards.

According to the release, the accreditation team gave Zion an "exemplary rating" and recommended accreditation. That recommendation will be reviewed by a WELSSA governing board in summer 2016, and that board is expected to officially grant accreditation next September.

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