Judge drops complaint against woman who left gun in Brookfield church

June 23, 2014 11:31 a.m. | A Waukesha County judge has dismissed charges against an Oconomowoc woman who left her handgun in a church restroom.

Susan Hitchler, 66, was charged in April with negligent handling of a weapon, a misdemeanor. The complaint indicated that on March 19 she had left her handgun in a stall of the women's restroom at Elmbrook Church. A church employee found the gun within a few minutes and turned it over to security.

At a hearing late last week, Circuit Judge Lloyd V. Carter ruled on a defense motion to dismiss the case based on a lack of evidence that a crime had been committed. The motion had been argued in May.

"The bottom line, in my view, was the state must show a crime was probably committed," said Hitchler's attorney, Tom Grieve of Brookfield. "An element of the charged crime is that the defendant's conduct must have directly endangered the safety of another."

Grieve said that while initial rumors suggested there were children around, the weapon was seen only by someone doing janitorial service at Elmbrook. At the time, the church was playing host to a women's Bible study group, and that same bathroom was accessible to girls in first through fifth grades who also were in the church. But the complaint does not indicate any girls entered the bathroom before the loaded Ruger .380-caliber pistol was discovered.

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Milwaukee suburbs Fourth of July 2014 celebrations

June 20, 2014 9:30 a.m. |  


  • Parade: 9 a.m. July 4, the annual parade begins at Standish Place entrance to Bayside Middle School.

City of Brookfield

  • Parade: 10 a.m. July 4. Starting at Gebhardt Rd. to Calhoun Rd. onto North Ave. The parade will be followed by an ice cream social at the Civic Plaza, 2000 North Calhoun Rd.
  • Family Fest: 6 to 9 p.m. July 4, family fun with live entertainment, inflatables and food for all to enjoy at Mitchell Park, 19900 River Rd.
  • Fireworks: 9:15 p.m. July 4 at Mitchell Park.

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Lancers' Sommerfeld no-hits Spartans, 4-0

June 19, 2014 8:12 p.m. | Brookfield Central's Luke Sommerfeld threw a no-hitter against crosstown Brookfield East tonight at East and came away with a 4-0 victory.

Central (17-1) broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning when Elijah Goodman was safe on an error, pinch-runner Matt Liewen stole second, went to third on a ground out and scored on a clutch 2-out single by Aaron Hammond.

Riley Richarz singled to left to lead-off the fifth inning and stole second, went to third on a ground out and scored on Goodman's sacrifice fly.

Leading 2-0, Central added single runs in the sixth and seventh inning to put the game away.

Hammond singled and stole second with one out in the sixth. After a flyout to center, Matt Hodges had a big 2-out single to score Hammond for a 3-0 lead.

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Social media photos of the June 18 storms around Southeast Wisconsin

June 18, 2014 3:53 p.m. | Severe weather, from rain to hail to flooding, arrived in southeastern Wisconsin on Tuesday morning.

Residents shared their views of the storms on social media, and we compiled some of the best photos for you.

View them in the June 18 storms around Southeast Wisconsin Storify story.

World War II military medals taken in home burglary in Brookfield

June 11, 2014 8:12 a.m. | Four to six World War II military medals were taken from a City of Brookfield home in a burglary June 8.

According to the Brookfield police report:

A home in the 12700 block of Cardinal Crest Drive was broken into between 9:40 a.m. and 1:58 p.m. June 8.

Forced entry was detected via a broken latch on the back door, and a screen was removed from a window on the back porch.

Two upstairs bedrooms were rummaged through and three rings, about 20 silver dollars, and four to six World War II military medals were taken.

Germantown nips Lancers, 1-0, off to state tournament

June 05, 2014 9:37 p.m. | Two seniors stepped up for Germantown and sparked the Warhawks to a 1-0 win over Brookfield Central to earn the WIAA Sectional Championship on Thursday night at Germantown.

Senior shortstop Erika Berry had three of the Warhawks' five hits off Central's hard-luck loser Crystal Sicard and senior pitcher Kim Soderberg stopped the Lancers on three hits to send the Warhawks softball team to state for the third year in a row.

"That's a  first in school history for the softball team," Germantown co-coach Kurt Raguse said. "We've never done that before."

The difference in the game was a home run by Berry in the third inning as Sicard walked two and struck out nine batters.

Soderberg, who recovered from a broken bone on the bottom of her right ring finger four weeks ago, was outstanding pitching to contact, changing speeds and moving the ball around.

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Ruby Farm site pitched for stores, offices, housing

June 05, 2014 9:51 a.m. | Brookfield's 66-acre Ruby Farm site, north of I-94 and west of Calhoun Road, would be developed into office buildings, stores, restaurants, housing and other commercial buildings under a new proposal.

Developer Mark Irgens has filed plans with city officials that call for developing the site over five to 10 years, creating projects that would amount to around $150 million in new property value, said Dan Ertl, Brookfield community development director.

Those plans will need city approval, and the proposal is tentatively scheduled to undergo initial review at the July 7 Plan Commission meeting, Ertl said Thursday.

Irgens also is in negotiations with city officials about obtaining financing assistance for the project, Ertl said. He declined further comment, since those negotiations are not yet final.

Any city funds would be repaid through the new property taxes generated by the development. That would involve creating a tax incremental financing district, which would require Common Council approval.

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