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Mukwonago bounced in state semifinal

March 14, 2014 9:57 p.m. | There would be no upset in the state semifinal this year for upstart Mukwonago, as the MHS boys basketball team never quite found a rhythm against Neenah (26-1) and fell by a 58-41 count at the Kohl Center in Madison on Friday.

One year after taking down Milwaukee King in the semi and reaching the state championship game, the Indians (18-9) came up short in a bid to rematch with Germantown in the Division 1 final Saturday.

Rockets' big man Matt Heldt scored early and often, racking up a game-high 27 points and proving an unsolvable matchup for Mukwonago. When MHS did collapse on the 6-10 junior, the Rockets buried one of their 6 three-pointers.

"They have a tremendous program, and we knew that going in," said Mukwonago coach Jim Haasser. "We watched a lot of film, and in high school, sometimes it's hard to get an accurate gauge of how quick kids are and how fluid they are with the basketball in their hands. Sometimes it's surprising when you hit the floor. Tonight didn't have that feel ... I thought we competed hard, but they shot the ball so well in first half. We weren't able to take advantage of (rebounding) like we try to do on the nightly basis. We tried to change the game with defensive pressure, but we weren't able to get any of that."

Aaron Nixon scored 15 points in his final game at Mukwonago after getting recognized as honorable-mention All State by the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association earlier in the evening. Dominic Cizauskas finished with 6 points and 8 rebounds, landing at 1,031 points for his career, third behind Tom Kukla (1,066) and Derek Hasanoglu (1,054) on the school's all-time leaderboard.

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Youth ambassadors bring China to Kettle Moraine High School

12:00 p.m. | Nine students from Jinan, China came to Kettle Moraine High School prepared to share their Chinese culture with American students from Feb. 1 — 5, but as they finished their week at Kettle Moraine they take back what they learned about high school and family life in Wisconsin.

It might be that American students like sports more than students in China, or common English phrases the Chinese students hadn't heard before, or the differences in schooling and student life between the countries, or the independence high school students have in America.

The students from China in exchange gave presentations on Chinese culture, demonstrated how to write in Chinese, sang Chinese nursery rhymes with a familiar, international melody, gave high school students quizzes in Chinese and enhanced the fluency of KMHS students studying the Chinese language.

"They bring a lot of Chinese things over, but they are also taking a lot back (hopefully) with them," said Principal Juan Wu who accompanied the students.


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Pewaukee police chief favors proposal to stiffen penalties for school shooting threats

11:41 a.m. | A bill being proposed in Madison would stiffen the penalties for those who make school shooting threats, a change that would be welcomed by Pewaukee's police chief.

The measure would make the crime a Class I felony — the same as making a bomb threat at a school — and would carry a penalty of a fine up to $10,000 and a prison term of up to 31/2 years.

Pewaukee Village Police Chief Tim Otto favors the legislation.

"I think this is basically the law evolving from where we were during the time period of the '70s and '80s where bomb threats were prevalent, to now, since the tragedy at Columbine, with school shootings being a more prevalent type of threat to our schools," Otto said.

Otto's department responded to the Pewaukee Schools campus in October after a handwritten threat about a school shooting was found at Pewaukee High School.

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Hamilton School District names next superintendent finalists

10:32 a.m. | From 16, to seven, and now to three, the Hamilton school board has chosen its finalists for the superintendent position currently held by Kathleen Cooke, Ph.D., who is retiring at the end of the school year in June, according to a news release.

Paul Mielke, Ph.D., the principal of Templeton Middle School within the Hamilton School District is one of the candidates up for the position. The second candidate is Dana Monogue, Ph.D., the assistant superintendent for teaching and learning in the Elmbrook School District. The final candidate is Lisa Olson, Ph.D., the district administrator for Hartford Union High School.

The school board is currently getting feedback on each candidate from employee and community representatives and will interview the finalists Feb. 17. In early March they will make their decision.

"We were fortunate to have a strong pool of candidates for the superintendent position," said School Board President Gabe Kolesari in the release. "We are excited about the group of finalists chosen and we believe that they reflect the superintendent profile created with input from staff and the community."

James Rickabaugh, Ph.D., helped the board create a candidate profile to assist in the interviewing and selection process. A survey was conducted — both in-person and online — to get a feel for what everyone from school staff to parents and the community valued in a superintendent candidate.

Arrowhead hires financial adviser, plans community survey on referendum idea

9:40 a.m. | The Arrowhead School Board has hired a financial adviser to help plan a potential referendum and has secured the services of a firm to conduct a survey to see how the community feels about the idea.

The board on Wednesday, Feb. 10, voted to hire Baird to help the district with the financial aspects of planning a potential referendum.

The contract calls for the district to pay Baird up to $30,000, with the fee dependent on the amount of the potential referendum, said Arrowhead Superintendent Laura Myrah. If the district does not go to a referendum, or the referendum doesn't pass, no advisory fees would be owed, she said.

At a special meeting before the school board's regular meeting, Baird representative Brian Brewer shared how potential referendum debt could be structured, for the least amount of tax impact possible, for loans ranging from $5 million to $25 million.

For example, with a $5 million referendum, the impact on the owner of a $200,000 home would be $26 a year. For the owner of a $400,000 home it would be $52 a year. That's using an interest rate of 3.5 percent and assuming a nine-year amortization and zero annual equalized valuation growth.

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Rep. Joel Kleefisch, of Oconomowoc, behind multiple bipartisan bills in legislature

9:00 a.m. | The past week has been a good one for legislation proposed by Rep. Joel Kleefisch (R-Oconomowoc).

Multiple bills endorsed by Kleefisch, and with bipartisan support, are moving through the state legislature — one of them was recently signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker — and are expected to provide additional assistance and resources to adoptive families. The bill that was recently codified, known as Assembly Bill 291, allows hunters to wear fluorescent pink instead of blaze orange during deer hunting season.

Bills that still require a vote from the state Senate are Assembly Bills 39,40,41 and 42, otherwise known as the "Adoption Protection Package," which focuses on crisis prevention, pre-adoptive training requirements for prospective parents, access to post adoptive resources, and implements safeguards for children adopted from other states and countries.

Walker signed the "Blaze Pink" bill into law Feb. 4. Wisconsin is the first state to allow hunters to wear that color.

Adoption protection package

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Founders' Gallery artist reception planned

7:00 a.m. |

The Center for Life Enrichment's Founders' Gallery will host a free open house and artist chat with featured artists Gabriel Paul and Mykul Anjelo Friday, Feb. 19 from 4 to 6 p.m. at 1306 W. Wisconsin Ave., Oconomowoc.

The Founders Gallery is now introducing student art its local gallery space. Nature Hill Intermediate School student and beginning photography artist, Kellen Ducklow, will debut his work with Paul and Anjelo. An artist’s chat presentation is scheduled between 4:30 - 5:15 p.m.; the public is invited to stroll the art gallery hallway, support local art, learn and enjoy.                   

Light refreshments will be served.                                                                                       

The Founders’ Gallery provides a platform for artists to display and sell their work at The Center for Life Enrichment. Artists interested in displaying at the Founders’ Gallery may call (262) 244-6592. RSVP to (262) 354-1375 or e-mail

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Plan a romantic Valentine's weekend with food and music

3:00 a.m. |  Cupid will be taking aim this weekend, a perfect time to get out with your sweetie for a romantic evening.

The Oconomowoc Arts Center will heat up its stage with Hot Tango at 7 p.m.  tonight and tomorrow. Accordion sensation Stas Venglevski, pairs up with Rosa Borisova on cello, Mark Carlstein on piano, and Joe Ketchum on violin offering classical and jazz elements of the traditional tango. A dinner option is Latin inspired including chimichurri as the main dish.

The Oconomowoc Arts Center is located at 641 E. Forest St., Oconomowoc.

Show tickets only are $28 adults, $15 for ages high school and younger. Dinner tickets are $40 adults, $25 high school and younger.

For tickets and information call (262) 560-3172 or visit

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'Boxcar bridge' one of the designs proposed for Pewaukee's pedestrian bridge

Feb. 11, 2016 9:16 p.m. | Village of Pewaukee — A covered bridge, arch bridge and "boxcar" bridge are among the design options for a village pedestrian bridge proposed by Milwaukee School of Engineering students.

The village is looking to construct a pedestrian bridge over the Pewaukee River to connect the H.J. Koepp River Parkway property to the Siepmann property and is enlisting MSOE students to help with the design.

On Thursday, Feb. 11, three teams of students, working on the design as part of their senior civil engineering project, presented their ideas to a village hall filled with students, instructors, residents, village board members and judges scoring the presentations for grading purposes.

Each team presented its top two options.

Covered bridges, a wooden arch bridge and a historic wooden truss bridge were among the proposals.

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Summit man who said he's guilty of shooting, killing his father to be sentenced in April

Feb. 11, 2016 5:01 p.m. | City of Waukesha — Summit resident Shawn Witt admitted in open court Feb. 11 that he fatally shot his father inside their shared home on Jan. 21, 2014 and tried to hide the body.

Witt, 29, entered a no contest plea to second-degree intentional homicide after asserting his guilt during a hearing in Waukesha County Circuit Court before Judge Michael O. Bohren. Witt was accused more than two years ago of first-degree intentional homicide, and a host of additional offenses, after police found James Witt's body beneath a blood-soaked blanket in the basement of their home on Elm Street in the town of Summit.

When asked by Bohren why, in making his plea, he was giving up his right to a trial, Shawn Witt replied, "There's no need (for one). I'm guilty of the offense."

The maximum penalty for second-degree intentional homicide is 60 years in prison.

Assistant District Attorney Leslie Boese said the state agreed to the plea after speaking with Witt's family members "at length" and determining that a trial might be too hard on Witt's grandmother who is also the victim's mother. Witt's case had been scheduled to go to trial later this month.

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Help those who served — donate to American Legion camp

Feb. 11, 2016 3:26 p.m. | Located more than 260 miles north of Mukwonago, on the shores of Big Carr Lake, a cabin at Camp American Legion is sponsored by Mukwonago American Legion Post 375. Each year, members of the Post, Auxiliary, and Sons of American members and their families, volunteer their time and donate supplies to Camp American Legion.

When members from Post 375 head to Camp American Legion on Saturday, April 23, they will take with them donated supplies, prepare the cabin for this year's guests and assist the Camp with other tasks as needed.

Mukwonago Post 375 is collecting supplies for this year's camp.

Camp American Legion is a place where qualified Wisconsin veterans, active duty service members and their families can stay at no cost, according to Mark Herbst, Mukwonago Post 375 Camp American Legion liaison.

Donations for Camp American Legion can be dropped off in the donation bin located inside the foyer at American Legion Post 375, 627 County Road NN, Mukwonago; during bar hours. The bar is open on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 3 p.m. to close; and on Saturdays from 12 p.m. to close.

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Merton Primary, Pewaukee Lake Elementary named Title I Schools of Recognition

Feb. 11, 2016 11:47 a.m. | Merton Primary School and Pewaukee Lake Elementary School are among 169 schools in Wisconsin being recognized for achieving academic success while also having high levels of poverty.

The Wisconsin Title I Schools of Recognition awards highlight schools that have demonstrated success in educating students from low-income families, according to a news release from the Department of Public Instruction.

"These awards recognize the work of students and their parents along with teachers, school administrators, and school staff members to break the link between poverty and low academic achievement," State Superintendent Tony Evers said in a statement. "Their efforts will help us ensure that every student graduates college and career ready."

Merton Primary School and Pewaukee Lake Elementary School both were accorded honors in the "high-achieving" category, which meant they met annual objectives for achievement and graduation, have achievement gaps that are less than 3 points between student groups or show evidence of reducing gaps, and demonstrate high achievement at the school level.

To be eligible for the award, schools must receive federal Title I funding to provide services to large numbers or high percentages of economically disadvantaged children.

Multiple crashes on eastbound Hwy. 16 near Hartland

Feb. 11, 2016 7:56 a.m. | There are multiple crashes on eastbound Highway 16 east of Merton Avenue in Hartland. Emergency personnel are urging motorists to slow down and move over while they tend to the crashes.

What residents in Southeast Wisconsin need to know to prevent the spread of Zika virus

Feb. 11, 2016 12:02 a.m. | Menomonee Falls —It may not be on the minds of most Wisconsinites amid the snow and frigid temperatures, but as the seasons change a major international health concern could have widespread effects right in our backyards.

Following the Feb. 1 declaration by the World Health Organization that has deemed the Zika virus an international public health emergency, local businesses and health care organizations are bracing for what the virus could mean at a local level.

Mild fever, skin rashes, muscle and joint pain and conjunctivitis are among the most common symptoms of the potentially fatal mosquito-borne illness, which has prompted several travel alerts to be issued to areas including the Caribbean as well as Central and South America.

Before the warmer temperatures make their ways back into the area, local pest control professionals are saying there are some things for those making plans for spring break to keep in mind.

While Wil-Kil Pest Control does not have the medical expertise to comment directly on the virus and symptoms, Regional Manager Randy Allen said the company is seeking to generate awareness about mosquito prevention.

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Erin's St. Patrick's Day parade could be canceled if there aren't enough entries

Feb. 10, 2016 1:30 p.m. | The town of Erin has been holding a St. Patrick's Day parade for 35 years. But this year's version could be canceled if there aren't enough entries.

So far only about five participants have committed to the March 17 event, said parade committee chairman Jeff Kraft.

That's similar to numbers the parade had a week before the 2015 event, which left Kraft scrambling to scare up participants.

"I made like 30 calls, and we ended up having enough people to have it, but I don't want to be in that same situation again this year, so I'm trying to let people know there's a problem," Kraft said. "If the parade is still important to people, if they have fun, if they want to keep it going, we need some participation."

Kraft said that means having at least 10 entries by one week before the event.

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Prairie View recognized as a top Title I school for 2015-16

Feb. 10, 2016 12:13 p.m. | Prairie View Elementary School (PVES) is among 169 public schools recognized as Wisconsin Title I Schools of Recognition for the 2015-16 school year, according to a Feb. 10 news release from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

Prairie View received recognition as a High-Achieving and High-Progress School, one of 11 schools in the state to receive the honor.

This is the fourth consecutive year that PVES has been recognized with this award, according to Mukwonago Area School District Superintendent Shawn McNulty.

"It's a powerful statement that demonstrates the hard work and dedication of our teachers and staff at Prairie View. They work extremely hard to meet the needs of all of our students, including those that are struggling in reading and math," McNulty said in an email. "Our students and parents are also a big part of this recognition as they put in countless hours of extra work in math and reading in school and at home to be successful. It's a great example of why they were named a Blue Ribbon School last year. Tracy Stockwell and Prairie View truly embody our district's mission, 'Students, Staff, and Community — Building Better Schools Together'."

PVES Principal Tracy Stockwell also applauded the team effort, which lead to the recognition for the school.

» Read Full Article

Community Watch


» Youth ambassadors bring China to Kettle Moraine High School Updated:  12:00 PM

» Pewaukee police chief favors proposal to stiffen penalties for school shooting threats 11:41 AM

» Hamilton School District names next superintendent finalists 10:32 AM

» Arrowhead hires financial adviser, plans community survey on referendum idea 09:40 AM

» Rep. Joel Kleefisch, of Oconomowoc, behind multiple bipartisan bills in legislature Updated:  09:00 AM

» Founders' Gallery artist reception planned 07:00 AM

» Plan a romantic Valentine's weekend with food and music 03:00 AM

» 'Boxcar bridge' one of the designs proposed for Pewaukee's pedestrian bridge 2/11

» Summit man who said he's guilty of shooting, killing his father to be sentenced in April 2/11

» Help those who served — donate to American Legion camp 2/11

» Merton Primary, Pewaukee Lake Elementary named Title I Schools of Recognition 2/11

» Multiple crashes on eastbound Hwy. 16 near Hartland 2/11

» What residents in Southeast Wisconsin need to know to prevent the spread of Zika virus Updated:  2/11

» Erin's St. Patrick's Day parade could be canceled if there aren't enough entries Updated:  2/10

» Prairie View recognized as a top Title I school for 2015-16 2/10

» Delafield crash victim was a teacher at Kettle Moraine Preschool, active community volunteer 2/10

» Man charged with drunken driving after alleged erratic driving in Oconomowoc 2/10

» OASD Summer School brochures out soon 2/10

» Pewaukee reportedly may part ways with City Administrator Tammy LaBorde 2/9

» Fall prevention presentation at Brookdale Sussex Feb. 11 2/9

» University Lake School to put on "The Wizard of Oz" 2/9

» Hartland village board approves Holt Electric Supply expansion plans 2/9

» OHS Jazz Dance tickets on sale 2/9

» Man accused of sexually assaulting two of his younger sisters at Pewaukee home 2/8

» Sussex woman accused of beating 7-year-old daughter with leather strap 2/8

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2015 Year in Review

Take a look back at 2015 through news and sports coverage from Lake Country Now.




Weekend Happenings

Featured this week:  

Knights of Columbus Fish Fry: 4:30 p.m. Feb. 12, St. Jerome Catholic Church, 995 S. Silver Lake St., Oconomowoc. The buffet style fish fry includes both baked and fried cod with French fries, German and American potato salad, coleslaw, rye bread, grilled cheese sandwiches, four-bean salad, and coffee and milk. Soda, beer and desserts are available for an additional cost. Carryout available: Call 569-3032 from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. $5-$9

“Not Now Darling”: through Feb. 14, Lake Country Playhouse, 221 E. Capitol Drive, Hartland., (262) 367-4697

Hot Tango: 7 p.m. Feb. 12-13, Oconomowoc Arts Center, 641 E. Forest St., Oconomowoc. Accordion sensation Stas Venglevski, pairs up with Rosa Borisova on cello, Mark Carlstein on piano, and Joe Ketchum on violin offering classical and jazz elements of the traditional tango. Dinner option available. $15-$40.


K2 Valentine’s Piano Concert: 3 p.m. Feb. 14, Fox River Congregational Church, N34 W23575 Capitol Drive, Pewaukee. K2 stands for Kostia and Kostia the world-renowned musicians of the same name. Both considered prodigies of their time, the two pianists hail from St. Petersburg, Russia and are playing a free concert in order to help collect food items for the local food pantry in Pewaukee. Traditional Russian teas and cookies will be offered for a nominal fee. 

All weekend happenings