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No election challenger for Waukesha County executive

Jan. 04, 2011 5:06 p.m. | Waukesha - Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas, first elected in a 2005 special election, faces no opposition on the spring ballot for his second four-year term.

The county executive and three judgeships are the only countywide offices up for election April 5. The deadline for filing nomination papers for those and local city, village, town and school elections was 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Among the Waukesha County judicial elections, only one has a contest.

Kathleen Stilling of Brookfield, a former private practice attorney and public defender who was appointed last July by Gov. Jim Doyle to a Branch 4 vacancy, faces a challenge in her first election bid from Lloyd Carter, an assistant district attorney.

Running without opposition are Ralph Ramirez and William Domina.

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Incumbent judge faces challenge from young lawyer in Waukesha County

3:13 p.m. | In Waukesha County, a young lawyer hopes to upset a 12-year incumbent Tuesday for a seat on the circuit court.

Paul Bugenhagen Jr., 34, expects character issues will shorten his long odds to unseat Linda Van De Water.

"It's the number one thing people approached me about, her public conduct" Bugenhagen said in an interview.

"Most voters are looking for people to simply follow the law, be good role models, promote personal responsibility and show good character," he said.

In 2011, Van De Water, 52, was charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct in Racine County after authorities said she confronted an ex-boyfriend outside the home of another woman and kicked and jumped on his car. The next day, according to the complaint, Van De Water confronted the couple at a Brookfield restaurant.

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For 2nd time, woman who left gun in church restroom beats charge

2:53 p.m. | For the second time, an Oconomowoc woman has beaten criminal charges filed after she left  her loaded handgun in a Brookfield church last year.

Susan Hitchler, 67, had been attending an adult Bible study group at Elmbrook Church in March when she forgot the weapon in the women's restroom. No one else saw the gun until a janitor discovered it and turned it over to security at Elmbrook Church.

She was charged with negligently handing a weapon, but a judge dismissed the charge in June. In  November, Waukesha County prosecutors re-filed a new complaint charging disorderly conduct.

But in that case, Circuit Judge Lee Dreyfuss Jr. on Tuesday found that the complaint did not meet the legal criteria for disorderly conduct and granted  a defense motion to dismiss.  He noted Hitchler had a license to carry a concealed weapon when she forgot the weapon.

He did find she was negligent, but said her negligence was not criminal, according to court record  notes of the hearing.

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Elmbrook Humane Society seeking help, foster homes

12:33 p.m. | During its busiest time of the year, the Elmbrook Humane Society is looking to residents for help as it continues its mission as a no-kill shelter.

With the weather warming up and dozens newborn and stray animals flooding its kennels, the shelter is appealing to the public for help by considering volunteering as foster homes for animals.

"Spring definitely brings a need for more foster homes as we litters of kittens coming to us during the next several months," Elmbrook Humane Society Executive Director Heather Gehrke said.

Elmbrook currently has 30 foster homes around the area that it regularly uses in helping to house animals in need.

In addition to foster homes, Gehrke also notes that the Elmbrook Humane Society is encouraging adoptions through its Egg Grab promotion, which started Wednesday and runs through April 12.

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High-end men's salon coming to Elm Grove

9:30 a.m. | A Milwaukee couple wants to offer a high-end salon and hair service option for men in the area.

Erich and Dawn Herman will be combining their skills to open up their own franchise of 18|8 Fine Men's Salons at the Autumn Grove plaza on West Bluemound Road.

"Essentially what we're looking at is offering a male-focused, high-end salon and barbershop," Erich Herman said. "This is a place where men can go for a professional grooming experience in a relaxed, sophisticated environment."

18|8 Fine Men's Salons is a company based out of southern California. Erich and Dawn began their venture by evaluating a number of different businesses and concepts.

"This one really resonated with me. The market is steady. The demand for men's grooming services is increasing," Erich Herman said. "If you think about some of the big disruptors in the market over the last several decades, like the Internet, you're never going to get an online haircut or get your haircut overseas. It's fairly recession-proof."

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Milwaukee-area teens aim to continue fight against teen suicide

March 30, 2015 10:28 p.m. | Having put on a concert attended by over 400 guests and donated $5,000 to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), a lot of teenagers might be satisfied with their charitable efforts.

But the trio of Milwaukee-area teens who have teamed up to form and now popularize Think Through Your Life (TTYL) are taking a different approach.

Isabel Pesci of Elm Grove, Taylor Newcomer of Pewaukee, and Elizabeth Korb of Cedarburg met each other through their love of music less than two years ago. Together, the girls put together their passion for music with their concerns of teen suicide to put on last September's concert at the Waukesha County Expo Center.

The concert grossed $38,000 and after expenses TTYL was able to present a check for $5,000 last week to NAMI.

With the check officially donated and their first concert a success, the girls are now setting their sights to the future.

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Student writing contest entries due today

March 27, 2015 7:10 a.m. | Entries to Community Newspapers' student writing contest is 5 p.m. today, Friday, March 27. Students, imagine you're the last person on earth. Write a story about what it would be like and what you would do and feel. Drop off entries at our Waukesha office, 1741 Dolphin Drive, Suite A. Be sure to include your name, age, home address, phone number, grade and school. (Address and phone number will be used to notify winners and distribute prizes; they will not be published.) Email entries will not be accepted. Entries will be divided into two categories: grades three through five, and six through eight. Cash prizes will be awarded; winners will be published in Brookfield-Elm Grove Now and Wauwatosa Now this spring. Good luck!

Brookfield may alter zoning to make city more welcoming to health clubs

March 24, 2015 10:57 p.m. | The city of Brookfield is looking into changing its definition of intensive uses in its zoning code to exclude health clubs and fitness centers.

The topic arose among city staff because of the possibility of Planet Fitness moving into a vacancy at Capitol Plaza.

"The last couple of years their tenant in that space in the short term has been Halloween Express," Brookfield economic development coordinator Tim Casey said. "They've been in touch with us since about 2014 and have indicated to us that they have an opportunity to lease that space to Planet Fitness."

Casey, director of community development Dan Ertl, and other staff decided to consider amending the city's definition of intensive uses in order to make it easier for Planet Fitness and other health clubs and fitness centers to move to Brookfield.

"We've had an awful lot of small fitness centers and health clubs come into the city. Most of them (are) pretty small in terms of square footage and pretty small in terms of the number of users," Casey said.

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Elm Grove establishes committee to explore fiber internet

March 24, 2015 10:07 p.m. | The idea of fiber networks seems to be contagious in the Elmbrook area.

The city of Brookfield and Elmbrook School District are looking to partner together on a dark fiber network and now residents in the village of Elm Grove have approached village officials with the idea of bringing fiber internet to Elm Grove to be used by residents and businesses.

Last week Monday Elm Grove resident Ted Eull presented information to the village's Public Works/Utilities Committee and explained the advantages of fiber internet service vs. coaxial cable. Eull asked the committee to explore the possibility of bringing fiber service to the village.

At Monday's Board of Trustees meeting, the village formally approved the forming of an ad hoc committee to explore the topic.

Elm Grove church irks residents with cell tower proposal

March 24, 2015 7:07 p.m. | A group of residents are fighting a proposal by Elm Grove Lutheran Church to erect a cell tower on the church's property.

Neighbors worry that the 115-foot tower will lead to lower property values in the area and also could be aesthetically unpleasant. Efforts against the erecting of the tower have been led by resident Jan Termuehlen.

"It's everything. I think it's detrimental to the neighborhood in general. Having a 115-foot cell tower poking up above everything else is, I don't think, conducive to the feel of the neighborhood," Termuehlen said.

Termuehlen also cited a belief that some people hold that close proximity to cell towers can be damaging to health, although he admitted that he does not know of proof of such a theory.

"There's the potential for fears of living under a cell tower. Whether it's real or not, if you have a mom with three kids, do you think she would rather live under a cell tower or not under a cell tower?" Temuehlen said.

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Marcus looking into exiting Corners project

March 24, 2015 6:07 p.m. | The Marcus Corp. may be exiting as a stakeholder in The Corners in the near future, after recouping its costs.

During an earnings conference call last week, Marcus chief financial officer Doug Neis touched on the possibility.

"Like any typical agreement, there are provisions that could allow for an exit and we'll see how that plays out," Neis said.

Neis noted that Marcus is uncertain of when that exit might take place.

"It could be within a reasonable timeframe after opening, but it doesn't have to be. There's a potential for it to be as early as the year after it opens, but it also could, under a variety of different conditions, continue for awhile," Neis said. "It really is not determined at this point in time. I can't tell you when it's going to be."

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Wheelchair basketball team heading to Nationals

March 24, 2015 11:47 a.m. | The Milwaukee Heat wheelchair basketball team enjoyed a triumph on home soil last weekend at the Midwest Conference Junior 10' Championship held at Brookfield East High School.

The team topped the Grand Rapids Jr. Pacers 57 - 31 to win the title and will now head to nationals in Louisville, Kentucky as the 4th-seed.

"It was fantastic. It was really rewarding to achieve this next level for our program," Heat head coach Bob Anger said. "It was our first Midwest Conference championship and to be able to do it at home was just great."

A trio of Heat players received tournament honors including Laura Vacek, who was named to the all-tournament team, Mark Krenz, who was named Male Most Valuable Player, and Emily Oberst, who was named Female Most Valuable Player.

Brookfield girl may have been locked in basement by parents

March 24, 2015 11:32 a.m. | A Brookfield couple is being investigated after a fellow parent reported to police that they may have been keeping their 13-year-old daughter locked in the basement.

The complaint went on to allege that the couple, a mother and stepfather, also forced the girl to wear a diaper and that she often attended school covered in feces.

The concerns were originally reported to city of Brookfield police by the anonymous complainant on March 3.

In the weeks since the original report, Brookfield police say that at least part of the disturbing story reported by the call has panned out.

"We've been able to verify some of the information, but we've also been able to discover that some of the information may not be as complete or accurate as originally thought," Brookfield Police Captain Phil Horter said earlier this month.

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Brookfield man charged with knife attack on mother, sister

March 24, 2015 11:17 a.m. | A Brookfield man faces up to 20 years in prison after being arrested and charged on two counts of second degree recklessly endangering safety and domestic abuse.

City of Brookfield police were called to a residence in the 2900 block of Monterey Boulevard on March 16 and were told that 19-year-old Jonathan Novak had threatened his mother and sister with a knife.

Novak had allegedly been having an argument with one of his sisters in the basement when he initially picked up a knife.

According to police reports:

The argument began with Novak arguing with his younger brother. The sister told Novak to stop and Novak attempted to take his sister's phone. Novak then took his sister's school book and said he was going to rip it. As Novak continued to attempt to damage the book, his sister went to the basement and said that she was going to go into his room and destroy something of his. At this point, Novak took out his pocket knife, extended the four-inch blade, put it to his sister's throat and attempted to pull her into his room.

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The Sprint Episode Three: WIAA state basketball tournament retrospective

March 23, 2015 6:00 p.m. | The WIAA state basketball tournament featured a number of local entrants, with two bringing home gold balls and another grabbing silver:

Elm Grove new garbage and recycling service to begin April 1

March 23, 2015 5:57 p.m. | The village of Elm Grove's new contract with John's Disposal for garbage and recycling services will begin on Wednesday, April 1.

Residents will be receiving a new, 32-gallon recycling bin which can now be used for all recyclables due to the county's switch to single-stream recycling.

Garbage collection will remain the same and both services are still up-the-drive.

One change for Elm Grove residents will be that those who currently have their trash and recycling picked up on Tuesdays will now have them collected on Thursdays. Those who have their waste collected on Mondays and Wednesdays will see no change.


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