- selected communitywatch item -

Brookfield spa employee accused of stealing $60K in products

Nov. 22, 2011 10:37 a.m. | Brookfield police are investigating a report that a former employee of New Skin Wellness in Brookfield took more than $60,000 in products from the company over the course of a year, according to a Brookfield police report.

Also in the report:

A representative of Anew Skin and Wellness, 19265 W. Capitol Drive, reported that a former employee had taken a large amount of products from the business.

The estimated value of the products taken has varied, but most recently was estimated at $60,000.

The matter remains under investigation.

Brookfield's Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts names Lynn Sprangers new president and CEO

June 27, 2016 10:17 a.m. | For years, the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts has provided Brookfield and the surrounding region with music, art, entertainment and community.

Starting in August, the center will turn over its reins to a new leader.

The Wilson Center has announced that it has selected Lynn Sprangers as its new president and CEO. Sprangers will join the center officially Aug. 1.

Sprangers' hiring is the culmination of a four-month search after executive director Jonathan Winkle left for a new job in New Mexico in January.

Wilson Center board chair Jan Wade complimented Sprangers as having all of the skills and experiences to help guide the organization into the future.

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Long-tenured sports writer Sky Skibosh heads into retirement, sort of

June 26, 2016 10:56 p.m. | After 14 years, I am stepping down from my position as sports reporter/writer/columnist and tweet guy for Brookfield, Wauwatosa and New Berlin as of June 30.

I have been thinking about this since the end of the winter season. The main reason is my wife, Kathy, turned 65 (hopefully she won't read this) in July and is eligible for Medicare. I've been eligible for two years (I know, I look like I just turned 40).

The second reason is my kids and their spouses have given Kathy and me two new grandsons — Ayden in November and Lewis in February — to go along with Angeline, a 16-year-old Waukesha Northstar junior, and Aria, a perky 3-year old. We need more flexibility to go see them, especially Ayden, who lives in La Cresenta, California.

Favorite teams

I have been blessed with many great teams, too many to remember, since I can't remember what happened two days ago. But I want to bring up five in particular, all state champs in all three of my papers.

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Brookfield Central student charged for bomb scare

June 24, 2016 6:00 p.m. | City of Brookfield — The morning of May 6 brought police to Brookfield Central High School after a note was discovered in the girls' bathroom that made a bomb threat.

Nearly two months later, the individual responsible for the false threat has been charged. The student was initially identified that day, but charges were not filed until Wednesday.

18-year-old Hannah L. Cobleigh of West Allis faces up to three years and six months for the bomb scare, a class I felony.

According to a criminal complaint, Cobleigh herself informed school staff about the note that she said she had found in the girls' bathroom at approximately 8 a.m.

The note read "On today, Friday May 6th, 2016: Brookfield Central High School will be bombed. You will not know when this is coming."

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Elmbrook names Sobocinski as new assistant superintendent for business services

June 24, 2016 12:17 p.m. | Elmbrook schools have a new leader at the helm of business services in the district.

The Elmbrook board of education named Kristin Sobocinski as the district's new assistant superintendent for business services at its meeting Tuesday.

Sobocinski comes to Elmbrook after having served as the director of business services at the Grafton School District.

Prior to that, Sobocinski worked as a marketing manager in a number of companies around the country. She earned her MBA at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and her Business Manager Certification at UW-Whitewater.

Sobocinski will replace Erik Kass, who is leaving the district after three years.

New Starbucks to anchor retail building at Sendik's Towne Centre in Brookfield

June 23, 2016 12:10 p.m. | City of Brookfield —There's nothing like grabbing your first cup of coffee in the morning.

For commuters and residents who go past the area of W. Capitol Drive and N. Brookfield Road may have a new way of obtaining that delicacy.

Brookfield Station LLC is proposing the construction of an 8,700-square-foot, one-story retail and office building on an outlying lot of the Sendik's Towne Centre, 19115 W. Capitol Drive. The building would be located between the currently existing Jake's Burgers and BMO Harris Bank.

Tuesday evening at Brookfield City Hall saw a public hearing on the topic as well as approvals by both the plan commission and common council via a special joint meeting.

Officials approved changes that will allow for additional signage on the building that would normally exceed the city's sign code. In addition, the city approved broadening the permissible uses on the site to include all food uses aside from a fast food restaurant.

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OwnersEdge gives Green Bay business owner an alternative to selling

June 22, 2016 4:33 p.m. | For five days, Steve Elias didn't even open the unsolicited acquisition offer.

Although he wanted to sell his three Green Bay businesses, Elias worried about how a new owner — particularly one looking to consolidate within the industry — might treat his 70 employees. So instead of responding to the sender, Elias remembered a presentation he had heard several years earlier and picked up the phone.

Six months later, Elias is still running his companies, but they've been sold to OwnersEdge Inc., a Brookfield-based employee stock ownership plan holding company that is looking to invest in and build companies in the Midwest.

The presentation Elias remembered was made by Lisa Reardon, president, chief executive officer and chairwoman of OwnersEdge. Reardon had talked about business owners' succession planning, and about how her company sought diversification through acquisitions of companies with leaders such as Elias who want to continue running their businesses.

"Quite honestly, nothing's really changed for me," said Elias, president of Baycom Inc., a provider of wireless voice, mobile data and video equipment to public safety and commercial clients.

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Trainer allegedly sexually assaulted client at town of Brookfield fitness center

June 22, 2016 3:00 p.m. | A 52-year-old Pewaukee man could face more than 10 years in prison if he is convicted of the two counts of sexual assault he was charged with this week.

Joseph A. Richmond was charged with one count of third-degree sexual assault and one count of fourth-degree sexual assault after a woman accused him of inappropriately touching her on two occasions after workout sessions at the fitness center, where he works as a personal trainer.

The woman told police that she was a regular at G-Form Fitness, 19700 W. Bluemound Road, town of Brookfield. A friend had recommended Richmond as a trainer.

The woman subsequently signed a contract for 10 physical therapy sessions with Richmond.

The first session took place June 6 at G-Form. After the workout, according to a criminal complaint, Richmond allegedly offered the woman a discounted massage and stretching session.

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Brookfield aldermen OK Artisan apartments, public funding

June 22, 2016 10:25 a.m. | City of Brookfield — One of the few empty lots in the heart of the Bluemound Road Corridor will soon be filled.

Wimmer Communities is on track to start work on The Artisan, a 99-unit apartment project, on an empty lot of Fountain Square on Main Street southeast of the current eastern terminus of Wisconsin Avenue.

On a split vote, 8-6, the common council on Tuesday, approved zoning requests and the allocation of tax incremental financing (TIF) funds from TIF No. 3 to make the project possible.

Funding fiasco

The most controversial portion of the approval process was predictable, with a half-dozen aldermen voting against providing public funding to assist in the development of The Artisan.

» Read Full Article

Brookfield council reaffirms committee's denial of TIF referendum referral

June 22, 2016 12:12 a.m. | City of Brookfield — By the logic of a dozen members of the city's common council, residents will have the power to make their opinions known on tax incremental financing (TIF) districts — but not via referendums.

Twelve aldermen on Tuesday voted against a legislative referral made by aldermen Christopher Blackburn and Jerry Mellone last fall that would require all TIF requests with project costs of over $1 million to be decided by referendum vote.

A number of those officials pointed to the process of a democratic republic as empowering residents to make their voices heard if they have a problem with TIFs.

"The residents do have a say. They have a say every two years when half of this council is up for re-election," Alderman Jeff McCarthy said. "If our residents don't like the way we voted, they have an opportunity to vote us out."

The topic represented the final step of a conversation that has spanned months since Jerry Mellone and Blackburn introduced the idea last September in response to the city accelerating its use of TIFs in recent years.

» Read Full Article

Judge orders mental evaluation of Brookfield man charged with shooting neighbors

June 21, 2016 6:05 p.m. | Nearly eight months after gunfire ripped through a peaceful Sunday afternoon in southeastern Brookfield, residents affected by the shooting packed the benches in Waukesha County Circuit Court Branch 8 for a hearing on June 15.

Where the case will go next remains to be seen, however, as proceedings will wait until after a mental health evaluation of Hubert Smith ordered by the judge at the hearing.

Smith, 77, is charged with three counts of first-degree attempted intentional homicide.

During the afternoon of Oct. 25, 2015, Smith allegedly opened fire on three of his neighbors in the 1200 block of Edwards Street in Brookfield.

According to witnesses in a criminal complaint, the altercation may have stemmed from ongoing arguments between Smith and his neighbors.

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Brookfield East baseball has 6-0 week

June 21, 2016 4:39 p.m. | The Brookfield East baseball team has turned its season around.

After losing six of seven entering the week, the Spartans has won six straight, including collecting four Greater Metro Conference victories.

East is now 10-7 overall and in fifth place in the Greater Metro at 7-5, one game behind fourth-place Sussex Hamilton and three games back of conference leader Oak Creek.

Menomonee Falls

The Spartans led the Indians, 3-2, on June 13 at home, when Falls scored four runs in the fifth to take a 6-3 lead. East countered with two runs in the bottom of the inning to cut the line to 6-5, only to see the Indians add a run in the sixth for a 7-5 lead.

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Brookfield Fire Department plans $1 million in renovations to one of its stations

June 21, 2016 2:43 p.m. | City of Brookfield — Being a firefighter isn't easy. The long hours, the health risks and of course the general job description make for difficult circumstances.

Fire Chief Charlie Myers is hoping to make his firefighters' lives at least a little easier in the months to come with a million dollars worth of renovations to Station 1, 2100 N. Calhoun Road — and city officials seem willing to do their part to make sure that happens.

Last week, the city board of public works unanimously approved Myers' plan for renovations at the station. Myers will include the project in his budget proposal later this year.

"(The station is) 25 years old, and what was designed back then and what the standards are now have changed over the years," Myers said.

Among the issues needing to be updated: The building lacks required smoke and carbon monoxide detection.

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Improvements delayed at Pilgrim-Burleigh in Brookfield

June 21, 2016 10:25 a.m. | City of Brookfield — Commuters who go through the intersection of Pilgrim and Burleigh roads will have to wait another year for their trips to get a little easier, as budget concerns have delayed improvements there.

"We did bid the work out, and it came in over the budget we had available this year, so we decided to delay it for a year," said county highway engineering division manager Gary Evans. "Simply put, we didn't have the funding for the project this year."

The changes planned for the intersection are designed to make the area both safer and more convenient.

The improvements will include leveling the area to improve visibility for drivers and installing and widening turn lanes.

"There are some significant delays at the intersection because of the lane alignments," Evans said.

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Brookfield East girls have another successful track and field season

June 20, 2016 1:42 p.m. | Once again Lisa Foss and her Brookfield East Spartans girls track and field team had a wonderful season.

East's girls finished first at the Greater Metro outdoor and relays and finished second at indoor. They won the WIAA Regional and placed third at the WIAA Sectional. They were a WIAA State team runnerup for Division 1.

But it wasn't easy.

"It was a tight finish to get there," she said. "We knew that going into the mile relay Arrowhead could only take second or less, and Waukesha West (the No. 1 seed going into finals) had to take fourth or less. We knew that it would be a challenge for these things to happen, but were hopeful.

"During the final 200 meters of the race, the stars aligned, and we were able to hold that second place spot by half a point. That half a point that was earned earlier in the meet by high jumper Eleni Tongas, who tied for fifth in high jump. It was an exciting finish."

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Brookfield East uses five-run first inning to beat Lancers

June 20, 2016 12:58 p.m. | For Brookfield East seniors T.C. Swittel and Jake Smith, beating crosstown rival Brookfield Central, 6-3, on June 16 at Central was not just another Greater Metro Conference victory.

It was much bigger than that. The Spartans won a 4-3 decision at home in the first meeting May 24 and now have a sweep of the series.

"It's big for the senior class," Swittel said. "We haven't beaten them once ever since we've been playing as freshmen. It's great to sweep them. Beat them at our place and then beat them here."

Swittel had a big day at the plate, with two singles and a triple, but he was low-key about what he did with his bat.

"I think the bounces went my way, a couple of bloop hits, an infield hit and the last one was a solid hit," he said. "My swing felt really good tonight. I think our team played really well."

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