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Cold front freezes interstate traffic

April 15, 2014 8:58 a.m. | A cold front sweeping through the area with blowing snow, on April 14 around 9:30 p.m., caused roads to ice over, impacting Interstate-43 and 94.

I-43 had to be shut down with the assistance of New Berlin and Big Bend police departments, according to Lte. Brian Larson with the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department. Both agencies also assisted in responding to accidents on I-43.  I-43 was shut down from approximately 10:45 p.m. until midnight.

I-94 had to be shut down with the assistance of City of Brookfield Police Department, Town of Brookfield Police Department, and the State Patrol, according to Larson.  I-94 was shut down from approximately 11:30 pm until 1 a.m.  All three agencies assisted in responding to accidents.

The Interstates became solid ice and multiple accidents caused complete lane blockage through various sections of I-43 and I-94.  Both Interstates were reopened when the damaged vehicles could be removed and the roads salted.  No serious injuries were reported.    

Summit man pleads guilty to shooting, killing his father

5:01 p.m. | City of Waukesha — Summit resident Shawn Witt has pleaded guilty to fatally shooting his father inside their shared home on Jan. 21, 2014 and trying to hide the body.

Witt, 29, entered a no contest plea to second-degree intentional homicide Feb. 11 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 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. 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

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

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 three 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

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.

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Delafield crash victim was a teacher at Kettle Moraine Preschool, active community volunteer

Feb. 10, 2016 12:10 p.m. | City of Delafield — Janet Turnock, 70, of Fieldstone Road, has been identified by authorities as the victim of a fatal one-car crash that occurred at about noon on Sunday, Feb. 7, near Milwaukee Street and Garrison Court.

City and state police are investigating the cause of the accident. The driver of the vehicle has not been identified by authorities.

Turnock was a passenger in the car that apparently went out of control on Milwaukee Street and struck a tree located on the north side of the street, west of Garrison Court.

Milwaukee Street is a scenic, tree-lined, residential thoroughfare that extends from near the Interstate 94/Highway 83 shopping complex to the downtown business district.

The speed limit near the site of the accident is 25 miles per hour.

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Man charged with drunken driving after alleged erratic driving in Oconomowoc

Feb. 10, 2016 9:49 a.m. | City of Oconomowoc — Eagle resident Tyler Allen stands accused of drunken driving after two witnesses allegedly told police that Allen had crashed his car into a retaining wall and that it was swerving all over the road.

Allen, 24, was charged Feb. 2 in Waukesha County Circuit Court with his second operating while intoxicated offense and felony bail jumping. He could face up to 6 1/2 years behind bars and $11,000 in fines if convicted.

According to a criminal complaint, two witnesses called police around 12:30 a.m. Jan. 31 to report problems with Allen's driving. One witness said Allen was "driving erratically" in 600 block of East Wisconsin Avenue and had driven over a retaining wall in a fast food restaurant parking lot before getting back on the road.

The second witness, according to the complaint, followed Allen's car after it left the parking lot and reported to police that the vehicle was "all over the roadway."

Police conducted a traffic stop on Allen after his car pulled into gas station on Oconomowoc Parkway, and Allen was informed of the reports concerning his driving, the complaint said.

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OASD Summer School brochures out soon

Feb. 10, 2016 7:00 a.m. | Oconomowoc Area School District Summer School brochures with course descriptions will be available the week of Feb. 22.

Summer School dates are six weeks: June 20 - July 29     There will be no school on Monday, July 4. Online Registration for 2016 Summer School   will open March 7,   at 6 a.m. and remain open until March 18,   at noon;  this will be the only venue through which families can register for Summer School.


Pewaukee reportedly may part ways with City Administrator Tammy LaBorde

Feb. 09, 2016 5:17 p.m. | City of Pewaukee — Administrator Tammy LaBorde has been unreachable all week, leading to questions of whether she has parted ways with the city.

An employee who answered the phone at city hall Tuesday afternoon, Feb. 9, said that LaBorde was not in and was "no longer with the city."

City Attorney Stan Riffle said Wednesday that there will be an item on the agenda for the Monday, Feb. 15 city council meeting to "discuss issues pertaining to the administrator and the administrator's position and there may or may not be action taken as a result of that meeting."

Riffle said the matter will be discussed by the council in closed session and any action, if taken, would be done in open session.

"Really nothing can happen without the common council taking some type of action or not taking action," Riffle said.

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Fall prevention presentation at Brookdale Sussex Feb. 11

Feb. 09, 2016 4:05 p.m. | In an effort to help seniors "stay safe in their homes and prevent falls," Brookdale Sussex is hosting a presentation on fall prevention at 10 a.m., Feb. 11 according to a news release.

Brookdale Sussex, a senior living community at W240 N6351 Maple Avenue, is putting on the presentation with Knueppel Healthcare Services, a local medical supply company.

The release states the presentation will educate those in attendance on inexpensive items that are available to help keep someone from falling — especially in dangerous places like bathrooms.

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

Feb. 09, 2016 3:13 p.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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Youth ambassadors bring China to Kettle Moraine High School

Feb. 09, 2016 2:38 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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University Lake School to put on "The Wizard of Oz"

Feb. 09, 2016 12:50 p.m. | University Lake School will be putting on the timeless classic, "The Wizard of Oz" this month and there will be no shortage of student participation.

More than 90 students from first through 12th grade are involved in the production, according to the school.

Parents are also pitching in by working on the set, helping with costumes, preparing meals and running performance night ticketing duties, said ULS Theatre Director Rhonda Schmidt.

"It fills my heart with joy to see so many different grade levels on this stage together, and many parents getting to know one another over a paint brush and a set challenge," Schmidt said. "We have all come together to tell a magical story which reminds us that there is 'no place like home.'"

For the show, ULS is working with Flying by Foy, which leases equipment and trains actors for flying scenes in live theatrical performances. The company, based in Las Vegas and the United Kingdom, will provide help with the flying monkeys, the wicked witch and her broomstick, and Dorothy in the tornado.

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