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Crews cleaning up in Mukwonago after last night's storms

July 01, 2014 9:52 a.m. |  

Workers clear debris from downed trees and broken branches throughout the Village of Mukwonago on July 1. A live wire across Clarendon Avenue near Horn Feeds closed the street until Wisconsin Electric could remove the wire. 

Dousman Derby Days begins this weekend

4:50 p.m. | Prepare the frogs! The 61st annual Dousman Derby Days kicks off this weekend.

The festival, known for the state's championship frog jump competition, starts Friday, July 29 and ends on Sunday, July 31 with a parade followed by live music by the UW-Madison marching band.

The event draws hundreds to Dousman each year for the diverse schedule of events that include a baseball tournament, carnival rides and live music by local artists.

Derby Days started years ago when the American Legion was trying to raise money for a music hall, which is now the community center, and has grown into one of the larger festivals in the area.

The event is sponsored by the Dousman American Legion, which uses the funds raised for local scholarships. According to Chuck Brockmeyer, one of the organizers, last year they set a record with $6,500 given away in scholarships.

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Taste of Lake Country joined by Waterfront Art Fair this year

4:35 p.m. | Don't let the name fool you. You can get much more than a taste at the North Shore Bank Taste of Lake Country.

Feel free to eat the entire thing. And then go hunt down offerings from other area eateries.

Food from more than a dozen restaurants will be featured at the event on Wisconsin Avenue along Pewaukee's lakefront. The free, two-day Taste runs from 5 to 10:30 p.m. Friday, July 29 and from 4 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, July 30.

It's Positively Pewaukee's largest fundraiser of the year, said Positively Pewaukee Executive Director Elaine Kroening.

"The goal is to bring people to Pewaukee to see and enjoy all the wonderful things we have here," Kroening said. "This event is what keeps the doors open at Positively Pewaukee, so it is the most important event of the year for us."

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Improving economy, shrinking labor pool leaves Lake Country restaurants scrambling for workers

4:30 p.m. | It's hard to find good help. Just ask restaurant owners in the Pewaukee area.

An improving economy, shrinking labor pool and workers just restless for new opportunities have left many restaurant operators scrambling to fill shifts.

That's the case for Jeanine Knutson at the 5 O'Clock Club.

Knutson, who owns and operates the eatery on Peterson Drive with her husband Richard Knutson and son Jason Knutson, said they've had five employees quit since June.

The employees left for various reasons, Jeanine said. Two were college graduates who left for jobs more advantageous to their careers. Another wanted to pursue a different career path.

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Shortage in volunteer firefighters and EMTs prompts legislative committee

2:57 p.m. | The last few years have been tough on area fire departments that depend on volunteer firefighters and emergency medical technicians (EMT's). Departments, statewide, have had a hard time keeping volunteers engaged, covering daytime shifts at the firehouse and paying them enough to spend time away from their families.

A bipartisan legislative committee, chaired by State Senator Steve Nash (R-Whitewater), begins meeting this month to address some of the issues these rural or small town departments are having and the shortage of volunteers.

The committee, which includes area fire chiefs from Palmyra and Watertown, as well as the president of the Milwaukee Professional Fire Fighters Association and the director of the Wisconsin Office of Rural Health.

"We're trying to find ways to assist departments," Nass said.

Societal changes in the last 10 to 20 years have changed the way many departments operate.

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Community helps teen get needed service dog

2:46 p.m. | Village of Big Bend — Sydney Rohmann is learning that dogs can be so much more than just a best friend.

Dutch arrived on the Rohmann's doorstep July 17. After months of searching and waiting, Sydney, 20, was finally able to snuggle with her service dog.

Sydney has a series of genetic disorders that often leave her tired and in pain. Due to her Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome she often uses a wheelchair to get around and has the tendency to faint because of her postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS).

When Dutch arrived, he came with months of training already under his doggy-belt. His trainer, Jessica Benz from Ultimate Canine, came with him from Indiana to Wisconsin to help during the transition.

"He's learning still," Benz said. "He's working to get used to Sydney."

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Get to know your county clerk candidates

2:34 p.m. | Waukesha County voters will have a chance to determine their county clerk on August 9. Incumbent Kathleen Novack will face experienced clerk Gina Gresch for the four-year term. With the election quickly approaching, here's what you need to know about the candidates and the position of county clerk.

What does the county clerk do?

The county clerk primarily works on election administration, but is also responsible for legislative support and administrative duties that include distributing marriage licenses and passports as well as budget administration for the county clerk's office.

Get to know your candidates

Kathleen Novack

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Oconomowoc family perseveres through their child's death to host Jackson's Jam at Okauchee Lions Par

2:25 p.m. | After the heart-shattering loss of their young son, Jackson, an Oconomowoc family is building a legacy in his memory to help others.

Amy Reese said the family's nonprofit organization, JR Hearts, has created an event that will do just that.

Jackson's Jam is planned for 1 p.m. Aug. 6 at Okauchee Lions Park. Plans call for it to become an annual fundraising event hosted by the organization, with proceeds providing financial assistance to families of children facing medical issues.

"Our goal is to raise a minimum of $10,000," Reese said. "This is our initial fundraising event. Hopefully, we far exceed that.

"We're hoping to have at least 400 people attend. It's going to be a very fun day, lots of kids activities and lots of music throughout the day and great food."

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Lake Country police advise safety when playing Pokemon Go

2:16 p.m. | Nationwide, Pokemon Go players have been robbed and assaulted, and others have crashed their cars while playing the game, but so far the app hasn't led to any big problems in Lake Country, local police said.

"We haven't had any accidents, no one walking into traffic or anything like that," Pewaukee police detective Craig Drummy said.

Police in Lake Country said that although no citations have been issued to players, they are seeing players in parks after hours or on private property.

"They're in areas that they're not supposed to be like outside of normal park hours," Drummy said. "Our parks close in the village here at 10 p.m., so if they're not in a public place or if they're on the park's property after 10, then we just ask them to leave."

Pokemon Go is a GPS-based smartphone app. Players must walk around to locate and catch different characters, and locations such as libraries or restaurants can be "Pokestops," where players can find in-game items. Players can use their Pokemon to battle at "gyms," which can be found at physical locations.

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Woman moves into 'miracle home'

1:57 p.m. | Barbara Saladin could barely contain her excitement. She even had to brace herself on the door as she walked into her newly remodeled home.

"I'm just overwhelmed. This is gorgeous, just beautiful," Saladin said. "He would have been so happy."

"He" is her husband Joe, who died of cancer last fall. It was Joe's dream for Barb to live in a beautiful home with no repairs to worry about. That wish has come true, even if Joe isn't around to see it.

In an effort spurred by the Mukwonago Home Depot, volunteers are giving Barb, 79, the house that her husband always wanted her to have.

The relationship between the Saladins and the local Home Depot store began in 2015 when Joe needed to repair a tractor. The store sent tool technician Rich Springsteen to the Saladin house on Lake Street. He and Joe, both veterans, became fast friends.

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Hamilton High School 60s, 70s Reunion Picnic to be held

1:28 p.m. | Village of Sussex — Hamilton High School graduates of the 60s and 70s are invited to the third annual Hamilton High School Reunion Picnic on Saturday, August 13 from 1 — 7 p.m. at Sussex Village Park. All proceeds from the event will go to the Hamilton Education Foundation.

Event founder and 1973 graduate, Mike Paradies said one of the main goals of the event is to get as many people together as possible. He said one of the issues with other school reunions is that they only gather people of the same graduating class.

"We're trying to get people reacquainted with friends they haven't seen in a long time," Paradies said. "100% of the money raised goes to benefiting the students in the school system right now."

More than 375 people attended the event the last two years. Paradies is expecting 400-450 attendees this year. Although the event is geared toward the 60s and 70s graduating classes, Paradies said the event is open to the entire community.

The Hamilton High School will also be hosting an open house for alums from 10 a.m. — 12 p.m. National Honor Society students will give guided tours of the facility.

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Repairs force lane closure on westbound Capitol Drive near Springdale Road

11:37 a.m. | Lane repair work on Highway 190 (Capitol Drive) near Springdale Road could impact afternoon rush hour traffic Monday, July 25.

Crews are replacing the pavement in the left lane of westbound Capitol Drive just to the east of Springdale Road, according to a news release from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Work started in the morning and is expected to wrap up by 3:30 p.m. Monday. One westbound lane will be closed during the work.

Motorists are asked to reduce speeds and pay attention in the work zone.

Hamilton School Board still accepting applications to fill vacant Lannon seat

11:01 a.m. | Village of Sussex - The Hamilton School Board will continue to accept applications from Lannon residents to fill James Long's seat until Aug. 1.

Long served as the Lannon representative to the school board since 1990, and retired July 19.

"It has been a source of personal pride working with teachers, administrators, community members and fellow school board members to make significant progress over the years on behalf of children," Long wrote in a letter to the board.

The applicant appointed to Long's position must live in Lannon and be able to serve until April. Lannon citizens interested in applying for the position should contact the superintendent's office at 262-246-1973, ext. 1108.

At a June special meeting, the school board accepted a timeline outlining the process to fill the vacancy. The board will hold a special meeting Aug. 3 to interview and consider applicants and will inform the applicants of the board's decision Aug. 4. The new board member is expected to be sworn in at an Aug. 15 meeting.

Two men assisting at Kettle Moraine kickers camp dead after one-car accident in Merton

9:57 a.m. | Town of Merton — Two college football players coaching at a well-known local sports camp died and one man was injured late Saturday, July 23 when the car they were driving struck a tree.

According to the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department, 24-year-old Michael Sadler, a former punter at Michigan State University, and 22-year-old Samuel Foltz, a punter for the University of Nebraska, were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.

The third man, 21-year-old Colby Delahoussaye, a place kicker for Louisiana State University who was also in the car, was rushed to Waukesha Memorial Hospital for treatment, the release said.

LSU issued a statement that said Delahoussaye suffered only minor injuries in the crash and was released from the hospital. He was scheduled to return home Monday, July 25.

Sadler and Foltz were on staff at the renowned Kohl's National Invitational Scholarship Camp, the largest kickers camp in the United States, which was being held at Kettle Moraine High School.

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"Pathways to a Healthier You" event planned

7:39 a.m. | Join health professionals on Sunday, Aug. 14 from 1-3:30 p.m. for “Pathways to a Healthier You” Open House and Fall Kick Off.

This free afternoon will feature refreshments, walking tours, class information, and a chance to meet the experts.

 Taking place at the Center for Life Enrichment at  1306 W. Wisconsin Ave., Oconomowoc, the afternoon will acquaint participants to the many health dimensions taking place on the Shorehaven Campus. Featured will be New Day Yoga, Shorehaven’s future Fitness Center and Indoor Pool, Café LaBelle, Silver Sneakers Flex, 4 Rivers Center for Well Being, and HealthReach Rehabilitation Services. For more information, call 262 354-1375 or go to www.shorehavenliving.org.

 

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Two college football players killed in overnight Waukesha County crash

July 24, 2016 11:00 p.m. | Two college football players were killed and one was rushed to a hospital after their vehicle hit a tree around 11:45 p.m. Saturday in the Town of Merton, according to the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department.

The two men killed were Michael R. Sadler, 24, of Grand Rapids, Mich., a former punter for the Michigan State University football team; and Samuel N. Foltz, 22, of Grand Island, Neb., senior punter for the University of Nebraska football team.

Foltz and Sadler were serving as staff at the Kohl's National Invitational Scholarship Camp for high school kickers and punters at Kettle Moraine High School in the Town of Wales.

"Sam and Mike each had amazing careers as student-athletes in the Big Ten Conference, but more importantly they were tremendous men off the field," Jamie Kohl, director of the camp, said in a statement. "We are so grateful for the opportunity we have had to know these men and their families."

The statement also said: "We mourn today with the Foltz and Sadler families. We mourn today with the football programs of Nebraska and Michigan State. We mourn today with all of the people who were better men and women for knowing Sam and Mike. Our thoughts and prayers are with them."

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