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Von Maur-anchored project may eventually include bridge across creek

March 24, 2011 7:00 a.m. | A proposed $100 million retail and office project anchored by a Von Maur department store could eventually tie into a bridge that would be built over Poplar Creek, connecting the retail center to other development sites.

That was mentioned during Tuesday night's Town of Brookfield Plan Commission, where the proposed development received conceptual approval.

Developer Marcus Corp. has proposed the 600,000-square-foot project for 19 acres north of I-94 and east of N. Barker Road. The stores, restaurants and offices would replace an empty Menards home improvement store, the former West Point Cinemas and a small strip retail center.

The town's long-range plans for that area include additional redevelopment of parcels east of the project site. A bridge built across Poplar Creek would help connect the Von Maur-anchored development with those other sites, said Gary Lake, town building and zoning administrator.

The Von Maur-anchored projec's design would accommodate the eventual construction of that bridge, Lake said. 

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New Berlin woman charged with embezzling from neurosurgery practice

July 30, 2015 3:48 p.m. | A New Berlin woman has been charged with embezzling more than $200,000 while working for a Brookfield neurosurgery practice from 2012 to 2014.

Debbie A. Benson, 53, faces 13 counts of theft in a business setting, over $10,000, and five counts of unauthorized use of an entity's identifying information.

According to the criminal complaint:

Benson began working as a billing specialist at Wisconsin Neurosurgery in March 2012. In 2014, the business owner, surgeon Kimball Fuiks, hired an auditor and asked her to sit down with Benson and teach her some better financial management because the business wasn't doing well.

The auditor noted resistance from Benson, and then began reviewing books and immediately noticed red flags; clients who had not been billed. After the auditor confronted Benson, she promptly resigned.

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Town commission recommends approval for pair of Poplar Creek requests

July 28, 2015 10:18 p.m. | The town of Brookfield Plan Commission took its turn tackling a pair of requests from Wimmer Communities regarding the developer's proposal for land north of W. Bluemound Road and just west of Poplar Creek.

The project, which shares the name Poplar Creek with its aquatic future neighbor, would bring 136 luxury apartments and a 4,200-square-foot retail building to a currently vacant 7.45 acre parcel.

On Tuesday night, the Plan Commission was asked to consider a rezoning request by Wimmer to change the property from being intended only for business to having a mixed-use development be allowable.

Additionally, the panel was tasked with making a recommendation on the topic of a conditional use permit for Poplar Creek that would allow it some elbow room compared to normal standards in the town.

The commission made recommendations to the town board in favor of both requests by 5-0 and 4-1 votes respectively with commissioner Len Smeltzer casting the dissenting vote for the conditional use permit.

City of Brookfield to host 17th National Night Out

July 28, 2015 11:48 a.m. | Residents will have a chance to meet and bond with their police and fire personnel next Wednesday night.

The city of Brookfield will be hosting its 17th annual National Night Out at the Brookfield Civic Plaza, located just north of City Hall, 2000 N. Calhoun Road, and the city Public Safety Building, 2100 N. Calhoun Road.

"National Night Out is a celebration of crime prevention and safety," city of Brookfield Police Dept. community services officer Denise Carroll said. "It is an opportunity to get crime prevention and safety information out to the community."

The event is Brookfield's branch of a national program launched in 1984 to promote positive relationships between police and their communities.

National Night Out in Brookfield will run from 5 - 9 p.m. Wednesday evening and will include plenty of topical crime prevention information.

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'Milwaukee lion' spotted in Glendale

July 28, 2015 11:45 a.m. | Glendale — After a week on the northwest side of Milwaukee, the much-talked-about 'Milwaukee lion' may have made an appearance in Glendale Sunday night.

The 'lion-like' creature described by more than a dozen eyewitnesses over the last week was most recently spotted on 30th Street and Fairmount Avenue on Saturday night. Milwaukee police officers have been searching the area around Lincoln Creek in search of the big cat.

The lion may be traveling northeast, if a call from Glendale police is accurate.

Glendale police received a report of a lion sighting at 11:26 p.m. Sunday in the 5700 block of Crestwood Boulevard, about a mile north of Lincoln Creek. The caller said he saw a tan muscular animal with a long tail walking in the area, and then it took off running north toward Marne Avenue.

Glendale police responded to the call, but officers were unable to locate the animal.

Blue Sox increase winning streak to seven in a row

July 28, 2015 11:38 a.m. | Brookfield Blue Sox Gold Glove centerfielder Nick Rechlitz struggled in his first three at bats against Sussex in an 8-4 win on July 25 at McCoy Field. He even struggled the first few pitches in his fourth at bat, but not for long.

The Bulldogs trailed, 4-3, in the bottom of the seventh, with JJ Belknapp at third and Matt McCarten on second when Rechlitz came to bat. He grounded out to the mound, flew out to right field and grounded out to second in his first three at bats.

But after battling Lucas Keller, who had entered the game in the sixth inning, Rechlitz ripped a two-strike single to center field to bring home Belknapp and McCarten for a 5-4 lead, with Rechlitz taking second on the throw to the plate. Tim Kahle then singled in Rechlitz for a 6-4 lead going into the final two innings.

"The biggest thing is you have to stay confident, forget your previous at bats and continue to look forward, thinking of the next pitch and putting the ball in play and making solid contact," Rechlitz said. "I was lucky enough to get a pitch up in the zone, got my hands through and get a good barrel on it. It gave us the game today and gave us the lead, and that was good."

Rechlitz added an RBI double in the eighth inning and scored the game's final run for an 8-4 win.

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Both Brookfield Land O' Lakes teams can make playoffs — or not

July 28, 2015 11:03 a.m. | The following tiebreakers are set up for the Western Division playoff scenarios.

The first tiebreaker is head-to-head results (if more than two teams are tied). The second one is the team with the best record against other teams involved in playoffs. The third one is the combined record of teams they lost to (highest percentage gets higher seed). The fourth is the number of runs allowed in regular-season league games, and the last one is the always reliable coin toss.

Here is the breakdown sent in by commissioner Craig Larsen.

1. Pewaukee Muskies (14-3): Have clinched a spot in the playoffs and a first-round bye and can clinch the No. 1 seed by winning at Monches or by West Bend losing one of two games this weekend.

2. West Bend 7 Up (12-4):Have clinched a spot in the playoffs, will be no lower than the third seed, will host a game and can clinch a first-round bye with a win over Oconomowoc or a Hartand or Sussex loss.

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Brookfield Bulldogs split two games over weekend

July 28, 2015 10:58 a.m. | The Brookfield Bulldogs suffered a big 4-3 loss to Sussex (12-5) on Sunday, July 26, at McCoy Field, following a 6-3 road win over Monches (10-7) on Saturday, July 25.

The split left the Bulldogs (9-7) tied with crosstown rival Brookfield Blue Sox (9-7), with each tied for the sixth and final playoff spot. They play each other on Saturday and Sunday at McCoy Field.

"We've gone through some growing pains this season as we've gotten much younger," manager Jason booth said of his Bulldogs. "But this is exactly what we needed. They've all played a ton this season, and it's really going to pay off dividends in 2016 and beyond.

"Parker (Sniatynski-St. Louis Billikens), Elijah (Goodman-UWM), Patrick (O'Brien-Purdue) and Erik (Nelson-St. Louis Billikens) are all extremely talented."

Last-inning loss

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Brookfield man charged after alleged stabbing

July 28, 2015 10:34 a.m. | A Brookfield man faces up to 3 1/2 years in prison after allegedly stabbing an acquaintance eight times early Saturday morning.

19-year-old Aaron Mattes is charged with substantial battery, use of a dangerous weapon after a criminal complaint indicated that he attacked a man in the 20500 block of Chadwick Lane in the city of Brookfield as part an ongonig feud between the two.

The victim's girlfriend told police that she witnessed the assault after dropping the victim off at his house around 12:45 a.m. Saturday. After her boyfriend exited the vehicle, Mattes tackled him and the two began to fight.

At 1:07 a.m., police were called and advised that a stabbing victim had been brought into Elmbrook Memorial Hospital.

The victim had a total of eight cuts or stab wounds on his body including two on his head, two on his shoulder and four on his thigh, all requiring stitches.

Brookfield Land O'Lakes game brings back good memories

July 28, 2015 10:08 a.m. | It brought back a lot of memories sitting on the sidelines Saturday at McCoy Field watching the Brookfield Blue Sox defeat the Sussex Cardinals, 8-4, for their sixth straight victory.

I was one of the youngest managers in Land O'Lakes history back when I was 19 years old. After graduating from Brookfield Central in 1967, I played for the Brookfield Lakers, which is now the Brookfield Bulldogs. I use the words "played for" loosely.

I had a lifetime batting average of .200, getting two hits in 10 at bats, both off a pitcher named Kent Larson, who pitched for Muskego, which was then part of the Eastern Division.

In fact, when you only have two career hits, you remember them well. They were opposite field singles over the shortstop's head. No, I didn't take the outside pitch the other way, I just swung late.

For years, my teammates kidded me, saying "I owned Kent Larson."

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Gumina industrial development site prep nears completion

July 28, 2015 1:28 a.m. | More than half a year after receiving final approval from the city of Brookfield for a tax incremental financing district that made the development possible, developers say that a 26-acre industrial development on Gumina Road is nearly finished.

The development, which will bring over 350,000 square-feet of much-needed modern industrial space to the city has since had plenty of work done in addition to finally getting an official name.

"Throughout the approval process we never had a name for the development. Now we've decided that the name of our project is the Gumina Commerce Center," Todd Rizzo, principal at Rizzo Development, said.

Rizzo says that site preparation for the project is approximately 3/4 finished and that a building could break ground as soon as this fall, although that is not likely.

Elmbrook Education Foundation releases early details of annual Ladies' Night

July 27, 2015 3:43 p.m. | The Elmbrook Education Foundation will host its 12th annual Ladies' Night fundraiser on Monday, Nov. 30.

The night event will be held at the Westmoor Country Club, 400 S. Moorland Road.

Ladies' Night will offer a silent auction, raffle, "swag" bags, wine pulls and other activities.

Funds raised will go toward the foundation's $50,000 commitment to the Elmbrook School District's "Elementary Classroom Libraries to Support Literacy Instruction" program. The initiative is to equip every elementary learning space with a variety of multimedia materials that supports student literacy, including traditional textbooks and e-books.

For more information, visit

Capitol water tower getting a makeover

July 27, 2015 3:23 p.m. | Curious commuters along Capitol Drive need not wonder if big change is coming to the water tower near Capitol and Calhoun Road.

The tower is simply being re-painted. As such, City of Brookfield Director of Public Works Tom Grisa notes that some equipment must be moved in order to perform the maintenance.

"The cell companies have to get their equipment off of the tower and put it on some temporary poles," Grisa said.

Brookfield East baseball team places five players on all-GMC team

July 27, 2015 12:53 p.m. | Brookfield East finished with an 8-22 overall record and a 5-13 record in the Greater Metro Conference, finishing eighth of 10 teams and qualifying for the league postseason tournament.

The Spartans did manage to finish with five all-conference players on various levels with junior infielder Travis Styer and sophomore outfielder Sam Gauger leading the way with second-team honors.

Honorable mention went to senior Dan Magyar (outfield), senior Dan McGuire (infield) and junior TC Swittel (Utility).

The Spartans gave six team awards to five players.

Gauger earned two team awards — the Gold Glove and the Most Improved.

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Car and motorcycle show returns to Elm Grove

July 22, 2015 12:55 p.m. | Classic cars and motorcycles will again grace a stretch of Watertown Plank Road in the Village of Elm Grove this summer.

The third annual Cruisin' the Grove event will be held on Sunday, Aug. 2 starting at 10 a.m.

There is no fee to participate in the show although a donation is encouraged. All donations will go to benefit the Milwaukee Heat youth wheelchair basketball team.

For more information go to or call 262-789-2500.

The Suburban 16 Power Rankings: Watt, Niebrugge, and others on the next level

July 22, 2015 11:30 a.m. | (Editor's note: After a late addition putting Anthony Pettis in the top 15, the "Suburban 15" was expanded to the "Suburban 16")

The meteoric rise just continues.

Pewaukee graduate J.J. Watt, once a scholarship tight end at Central Michigan and then a walk-on at the University of Wisconsin, was voted the No. 1 player in the National Football League by the league's players in a poll conducted by the NFL Network.

Higher than Aaron Rodgers (No. 2) and Tom Brady (No. 3). Higher than anyone could have imagined even when he became the 11th overall selection in the 2011 NFL Draft. Even with his second career NFL Defensive Player of the Year Award last year, it's still staggering to think that when the players in the NFL consider who the league's best player is, they turn to Watt.

Sure, all rankings have to be taken with a grain of salt, but especially with the accomplishments of Watt and Jordan Niebrugge, a Homestead graduate who shot an amateur-record round of 67 at the British Open and then tied for sixth in the tourney, there have been some exciting accomplishments racked up by local products. Considering athletes who competed in high school in the Now Newspapers or Lake Country Publications coverage area (and remain active), here's my Suburban 16, where I attempt to rank players based on exposure, impact and post-prep accomplishments.

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