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Dining, dancing, comedy help Cupid hit the mark this weekend

Feb. 14, 2014 12:00 a.m. | If you’re still up in air about your Valentine’s weekend plans, there are lots of options in Lake Country for young and old.

Children 10 and younger can have a fun time at the Little Sweetheart Dance from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Pabst Farms YMCA, 1750 Valley Road, Oconomowoc. The evening includes dancing and crafts. Kids will make a picture frame with photos taken at the Y. Cost is $5 for members and $10 for community participants. Adults can attend free. Call (262) 567-7251 to register.

Young women in grades 9 to 12 are invited to the Valentine’s Dance from 9:30 to 11:30 p.m.  Saturday at St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy Farrand Hall Gymnasium, 1101 Genesee St., Delafield. The chaperoned event is a social opportunity for young ladies who are interested in attending the Academy’s annual Midwinter Ball. There will be a DJ and snacks available for purchase. Dress is casual. Go to www.sjnma.org for more information.

St. Agnes Parish, 12801 W. Fairmount Ave. in Butler is putting a little humor into the day with a Valentine’s Day Dinner/ComedySportz Show on Friday. The evening starts with a buffet dinner at 6:30 p.m. followed by the comedy show at 8 p.m. Cost is $25. Call (414) 461-9675 for more information.

If an evening of smooth tunes is more your style go see Four Guyz in Dinner Jackets at 6:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Oconomowoc Arts Center, 641 E. Forest St., Oconomowoc. Dinner package tickets are $38 adults and seniors and $28 high school students. Show only tickets are $28 adults and seniors and $18 high school students. Call (262) 560-3172 for more information.

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Hartland-Lakeside, Merton school boards hold initial merger discussion

Oct. 12, 2015 10:33 p.m. | Village of Hartland — Members of the Hartland-Lakeside and Merton Community school boards, along with about 80 parents, teachers, and community members, learned more Monday, Oct. 12 about what would be involved in a potential consolidation of the two districts.

The two boards held a joint meeting at North Shore Middle School, the first time they've had a collective discussion on the topic.

Robert Butler, associate executive director and staff counsel for the Wisconsin Association of School Boards, outlined the process for consolidation, as defined by state statutes.

It's a process that doesn't get a lot of use, Butler said. In the past 10 years in Wisconsin, there have been just five instances of districts merging.

"It's not a very frequent process," he said.

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Woman accused of stealing $21,000, climbing through ceiling to steal drugs pleads guilty

Oct. 12, 2015 8:23 p.m. | City of Waukesha — Dousman resident Stephanie Butler is still waiting for one final bang of the judge's gavel before the books can close on some of her myriad legal troubles.

Butler, 30, pleaded guilty Friday, Oct. 9 in Waukesha County Circuit Court to two counts of misappropriating identification information to obtain money, and to burglary of a room within a building and possession of narcotic drugs — all felonies. She is scheduled to be sentenced for her crimes Nov. 18 by Judge Ralph Ramirez, court records say.

All the charges stem from two separate criminal cases, one of which involved Butler skimming more than $21,000 from Waukesha State Bank customers while she worked there as a teller; and the other in which Butler apparently crawled through the ceiling of an Oconomowoc Kmart to break into the store's pharmacy and steal prescription drugs.

Charges from both cases were filed almost exactly two months apart (the bank theft charges were filed first), but the plea hearings were adjudicated jointly and the date of the sentencing hearing is the same for both cases, according to online court records. All the remaining charges in both cases — there were more than two dozen of them — were dismissed but read into the court record.

Butler could be facing decades in prison and more than $50,000 in fines. And she's still facing charges in one Milwaukee County case.

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North Prairie Fire Chief Brian Taylor announces retirement

Oct. 12, 2015 3:05 p.m. | Village of North Prairie — North Prairie Fire Chief Brian Taylor has announced his plans to retire at the end of the year.

Village Trustee Donna Samuels read a letter from Taylor during an Oct. 8 village board meeting.

"I have placed my life on hold while I have served the department," Taylor said in the letter. "I realize that this is a bad time with all the consolidation talks in process."

Taylor originally had wanted to retire at the end of 2014, but talks of merging the North Prairie and Eagle fire departments put it on hold. Those talks are still ongoing.

The letter made reference to Taylor being in a car accident involving a train in 1989. Both of his legs were broken.

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Oconomowoc's aldermanic primary scheduled for Oct. 13

Oct. 12, 2015 1:33 p.m. | City of Oconomowoc — City residents will soon have another chance to elect a local government official.

Four candidates are running in a primary election Oct. 13, and that list will be thinned to two before a Nov. 10 aldermanic District 4 special election.

All the candidates are vying to fill the aldermanic seat vacated by now interim Mayor Dave Nold, who was appointed to that position in July following former Mayor Jim Daley's resignation from office.

The candidates campaigning for Nold's seat are Robert Morgan, Jayson Mauer, Kevin Ellis and John Gross, all of whom have sought local government seats in the past.

City Clerk Diane Coenen called the four-person primary race unprecedented in Oconomowoc's history.

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Hartland Marsh cleanup effort continues, but future uncertain

Oct. 12, 2015 12:02 p.m. | Village of Hartland — The organizations rallying together to clear out the invasive plant species in the Hartland Marsh are facing an important decision.

Do they conduct controlled burns to exterminate invasive species next spring? Or wait until spring 2017 to burn a larger area?

Money funding the project is tight, said environmental activist and organizer Paul Mozina, and some areas of the Bark River marsh — nearly 200 acres of protected green space that stretch west of Cottonwood Avenue to Highway 83 — have been sufficiently prepared for the next phase of the cleanup effort: prescribed burns.

The burns, controlled brush fires targeted at exterminating invasive species such as buckthorn and garlic mustard, have been tentatively scheduled to begin next spring. But, Mozina said, if they're put off until spring 2017 a larger area of marsh terrain could be cleared and readied for burning, which might be a better deal for the parties involved.

The Waukesha County Land Conservancy, the Ice Age Trail Alliance and the village of Hartland all own swaths of land in the marsh and have a vested interest in preserving and restoring the area.

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Five places to visit in Lake Country this Halloween — if you dare

Oct. 12, 2015 11:00 a.m. | Ghosts, goblins, witches and more creepy characters will inhabit haunted houses and terrorizing spooky trails during Lake Country events that celebrate Halloween. Here are five places to go if you're looking for a scare — if you dare.

Lapham Peak Fright Hike

For 18 years, the Friends of Lapham Peak State Park and the town of Delafield have sponsored the Lapham Peak Fright Hike. Ghosts, goblins, cartoon and movie characters, often portrayed by local high school students, add to the frightful adventures of walking the haunted, moonlit paths of the state park.

There is also live music, a bonfire, ghost story time and concessions during the event, from 6 to 8:45 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 23 and 24.

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"Can You Eat Your Way Clear of Disease?"

Oct. 12, 2015 7:00 a.m. |  NuGensis is hosting a Wellness Cooking Class series and from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. on Tursday, Oct. 22 will offer "Can You Eat Your Way Clear of Disease?"

 Research supports the benefits of specific foods in preventing disease and supporting recovery from chronic illness. Learn easy ways to eat with the intention to prevent, heal, and/or keep your body strong. The class will focus on exploring the health benefits of specific foods and how to incorporate them into your diet. Watch a dynamic cooking demonstration, enjoy a fresh, seasonal meal, and receive recipes to take home.
This class is led by Registered Dietitian Betty Holloway.

Register Here

Everyone's flipping out for pancakes this weekend

Oct. 09, 2015 3:00 p.m. |  If you’re craving pancakes this weekend, crave no longer.

You can have your flap jacks and help out the fire department at the same time.  

The Oconomowoc Volunteer Fire Department is hosting a pancake breakfast fundraiser, 7 a.m.  to noon, Saturday at, 212 Concord Road, Oconomowoc. Free will donations appreciated.  The event also includes fire trucks and displays, raffles, kid’s activities. Proceeds go toward the purchase of new emergency equipment.

Start your Sunday at the Dousman Fire Department  Pancake Breakfast,  8 a.m. to noon  Sunday at the  Dousman Fire Department, 107 S. Main, Dousman.  Besides breakfast, the morning includes Flight for Life at 9 a.m.; room fire demonstration (live fire) at 10 a.m.; car extrication demonstration at 11 a.m.  plus balloon creations (8-10 a.m.), bounce house.  Waukesha County Communications (9-1-1), Waukesha County Sheriff K-9, Waukesha County Mobile Command Unit, ATF vehicle.

If you love to walk or run with your dog, then why not do it for the Humane Animal Welfare Society? Move Your Mutt for HAWS, featuring a 5K or 10K run plus a one-mile walk, starts at 7 a.m. Saturday at Genesee Lake Road Town Park, Genesee Lake Road, Oconomowoc. Choose the 5K and bring your pet or run the 10K without your dog. There is also a one-mile walk. Raise $100 in pledges and race for free. Food and beverages will be available on the grounds as well as vendor booths and adoptable pets from HAWS. Cost is $25 for the one-mile walk, $45 for 5K, 10K.

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Secure entrance, Discovery Lab part of improvements at Swallow School

Oct. 09, 2015 1:47 p.m. | Swallow School District's roots stretch back 171 years, so it's no surprise that the school building has been subjected to numerous additions and renovations over the years.

More took place this summer, as the building's front entrance was improved and secured, an existing computer lab was redesigned into a hands-on Discovery Lab, and work took place to start transforming the library into a learning-friendly Discovery Center.

Secure front entrance

The school's front entrance received a major facelift over the summer, making it secure, more user-friendly and ADA-compliant, said Swallow Superintendent Melissa Thompson.

Thompson said an active shooter drill staged at the school in 2014 helped illustrate the shortcomings of the previous design.

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Pewaukee woman says trip to see Pope Francis in Philadelphia was a 'once in a lifetime' experience

Oct. 09, 2015 1:18 p.m. | Village of Pewaukee — "I was there. That's all that matters."

That's how Pewaukee resident Mary Lynn Mattick describes her trip to Philadelphia to see Pope Francis, even though she didn't personally get to meet the pontiff.

The 65-year-old recently returned from her trip east with a tote full of mementos, photos and pope-related souvenirs in tow.

Mattick said her favorite memory was seeing Pope Francis drive by the front of the Crowne Plaza Philly West on City Avenue, where she stayed during her visit.

"You could see him in the Fiat with the light on in the back seat and they had the whole street barricaded," she said. "It was like the "pope express lane" because they had just that road part open for him."

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Holly Wehrhahn steers ship of UW-Waukesha's Continuing Education Department

Oct. 09, 2015 10:53 a.m. | Education is a big part of young people's lives — from elementary school to high school and college — but it doesn't have to stop there. That's where Holly Wehrhahn comes in. Wehrhahn, 47, of Eagle, is the interim director of Continuing Education at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha, a position she's held for the past two years. From photography to religion to professional development to world travel, chances are there's an opportunity to learn more about it through the school's Continuing Education Department.

During a recent interview with Lake Country Publications, Wehrhahn, a UW-Waukesha alumnus and UW-Oshkosh graduate, talked about her start with UW-Waukesha, some of the many offerings of the school's Continuing Education Department, and about a facility that some think is Waukesha County's best-kept secret.

Here's more from our conversation:

1 Tell me a bit about your background.

In 2008, I started as a part-time employee in Continuing Education (at UW-Waukesha) and immediately loved it. I loved helping our students enrich their lives. Time goes so quickly because no one day is ever the same. I completed my bachelor's degree in 2011 and have been working full-time in continuing education ever since. I've been serving as the interim director now for the past two years and love being able to provide learning opportunities for the community. 

Loaf & Jug Restaurant moving from Brookfield to Pewaukee

Oct. 09, 2015 9:01 a.m. | Village of Pewaukee — A longtime Brookfield restaurant is moving to Pewaukee.

Loaf & Jug Restaurant, which has a 38-year history in Brookfield, will be moving to 690 Westfield Way in the village, on the east side of the Lake Country Market shopping plaza, the former home of Panera Bread.

The village plan commission unanimously approved a conditional use permit on Oct. 8 for the move. The restaurant is currently located in the Sendik's Towne Centre, 18895 W. Capitol Drive.

Loaf & Jug owner Gordon Sloan said he's moving because he's unable to come to terms on a new lease with his current landlord, and the owner of the new space, Paul Kolaga, is a customer of his and is "more than happy" to rent to him.

Plan commission member Tom Reilly also is pleased the eatery is moving west.

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Take a handmade canoe ride

Oct. 09, 2015 7:00 a.m. |  Step back in time to the days of fur traders and Native Americans with a special evening adventure with Historian Dirty Kettle (Herb Heck). The Center for Life Enrichment in Oconomowoc is providing a Native American Teepee and Handmade Canoe Ride on Lac LaBelle from 4:30 - 6 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 20. 

If you are intrigued by Native American culture, this program is for you.  Participate in putting up a teepee and take a ride in a 28' long handmade canoe on Lac LaBelle.  Historian Dirty Kettle will teach Native American history, as well as share a few stories and play a few frontier games.  

Waivers for this event will be required.  Cost: $10 - 20 spots available.  Register by Thursday, Oct. 15. Rain date is 4:30 - 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 27.   To register: send payment to Center for Life Enrichment, 1306 W. Wisconsin Ave., Oconomowoc, WI 53066.   Include names of attendees and  contact phone number.  For more information or to receive the Center for Life Enrichment e-newsletter, call (262) 354-1375 or email jhalliburton@lho.org.

Yes to local police department, chief position tabled in village of Eagle

Oct. 08, 2015 11:48 p.m. | Village of Eagle — With the village of Eagle Police Department receiving heat since the village approved a lucrative retirement package for Police Chief Russ Ehlers, residents have been divided on paying for their own department, vying response times and budget savings in the argument.

Some said to use the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department for a year and the village could have the option to go back to its own department.

Village Trustee Greg Hein and several residents said the issue should go to referendum to let residents decide.

Residents in favor of keeping a local department pointed to short response times as one reason. However, Village President Richard Spurrell called that a "sales pitch," stating response times are situational for either department, depending on where officers are when they receive a call.

The board voted 5-2 on Oct. 8 to keep its local police department, but tabled any action on hiring a police chief until further information could be provided to determine if a full-time chief was necessary.

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Village of Eagle squashes Bielinski senior apartment plan — again

Oct. 08, 2015 11:13 p.m. | Village of Eagle — Hoping for a conceptual nod from the board to push a yearlong project ahead, Nancy Washburn, of Bielinski Homes, left the Oct. 8 village of Eagle board meeting empty-handed.

After apologizing for "making abrupt statements I really shouldn't have made" at the Aug. 13 village board meeting, Washburn came to the board to "continue the discussion," on a project for a 60-unit senior apartment project in the village of Eagle.

Washburn said Bielinski "made serious concessions," trying to create a project that provides apartments with rent set at "reasonable prices."

However, when pushed for final figures on rent prices, Washburn could only provide "goals," since Bielinski hadn't done any work on the project since the August meeting. Washburn said Bielinski was waiting for conceptual approval from the board before hard numbers could be provided.

Village of Eagle President Richard Spurrell was disappointed that no work had been done on the project in two months and there still were no solid price tags on the project.

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