Judge allows school districts' lawsuit over soured investments to continue

Jan. 28, 2010 3:24 p.m. | Five Wisconsin school districts' legal claims can go forward against banks that district officials say misled them to invest millions of dollars of borrowed money in risky investments, a judge decided Thursday.

In an oral ruling, Milwaukee County Circuit Judge William W. Brash III denied motions to dismiss the districts' lawsuit against Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. Inc. and Royal Bank of Canada Capital Markets, RBC Europe and RBC Holdings.

In ruling for the districts, Brash employed a minimal standard that considered only whether they could show a violation of the law if everything they claimed were proved true.

The districts will have a tougher time backing up their claims as the lawsuit proceeds, said Brian Cahill, an attorney for Stifel, Nicolaus.

"Now, the next step comes, which is much more expensive for everybody involved," he said.

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Brookfield, Waukesha hockey teams host Hockey for Hunger Saturday at The Ponds

Jan. 28, 2010 11:45 a.m. | The Brookfield Stars and the Waukesha Wings high school hockey teams are hosting a food drive to benefit the Waukesha Food Pantry this Saturday.

The two teams play at The Ponds in Brookfield on Saturday, with the varsity at 7 p.m. and the JV game at 9 p.m. Admission for the game is $3.00 for students and seniors and $4.00 for adults. Admission to the game is not required to make a donation.

Players will be collecting donations beginning at 6:30 p.m. Brookfield Hockey T-shirts will also be available to purchase for $2.00 with all the proceeds going to the Waukesha Food Pantry. Cash donations are also welcome and will be accepted until 10 p.m.



» Read Full Article

Stimulus money to fund drug prosecutor in Waukesha County

Jan. 27, 2010 2:48 p.m. | Waukesha - Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel will add a second prosecutor dedicated strictly to drug cases for the next three years, thanks to $218,595 in federal stimulus funding.

The County Board voted Tuesday to accept the funds, which will be paid through the county to the state because district attorneys and their assistants are state employees.

Schimel told the Criminal Justice Collaborating Council Wednesday that the added prosecutor would reduce the time it takes to see drug cases through court. Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies have cooperated in cracking down on heroin rings stretching from Chicago to Milwaukee and Waukesha counties. In 2008, 27 people were arrested and charged in cases tied to 11 overdoses.

"My office has been the narrow end of the funnel," Schimel said.

Delays in prosecutions make it harder to get information from criminals in exchange for plea deals, he said. Though final numbers weren't available for last year, he said, the number of deaths tied to opiates was about as high in 2009 as it was in 2008, when 31 Waukesha County deaths were reported.

State seeks to block Waukesha man's release under sexual predator law

Jan. 26, 2010 3:32 p.m. | Waukesha - A 43-year-old Waukesha man convicted of sexually assaulting a teenage boy remains a threat even after spending about seven years in prison and should not be released to the community, the Wisconsin Department of Justice says.

Hector Munoz is scheduled to be released from prison on Feb. 2, but the justice department filed a petition Tuesday in Waukesha County Circuit Court under the state's sexual predator law to block his release.

The state attorney general's office is seeking to have Munoz deemed a sexually violent person and is asking that he remain locked up indefinitely in a state secure mental health institution.

The sexual predator law allows for the worst sex offenders to be held for treatment after prison if it is determined during a civil trial that they are more likely to re-offend than not.

In its petition, the state contends Munoz suffers from a mental condition that predisposes him to engage in acts of sexual violence and it is likely that he will engage in future acts of sexual violence.

» Read Full Article

Greater Milwaukee Foundation grants total $900,000 in Waukesha County

Jan. 26, 2010 2:06 p.m. | Waukesha - The Greater Milwaukee Foundation has awarded grants for Waukesha County non-profit agencies totaling $900,000, including $20,000 to help finance a temporary daytime drop-in shelter in Waukesha for the homeless.

Hope Center, formerly Cooperating Congregations of Waukesha County, opened the daytime shelter to offer a destination for homeless men who are served at a night-time shelter at St. Matthias Episcopal Church, run by Hebron House of Hospitality.

Most of the Foundation's grants - $632,320 - came from funds earmarked for specific purposes by donors.

Other grants awarded competitively included $25,000 to redesign and expand the Family Service of Waukesha County's Center for Prevention of Family Violence, a treatment program for batterers. Another $20,000 went to Prevention and Protection of Abused Children and its program called Parenting Children with Pervasive Developmental Disorders, which provides advocacy, support and training for parents of children with autism and similar disorders.

Waukesha police announce promotions

Jan. 26, 2010 12:04 p.m. | Waukesha - Mark Stigler, a captain who's been with the Waukesha Police Department since 1982, has been promoted to deputy chief. He replaces Wayne Dussault, who retired late last November.

Stigler's successor as captain, one of three in the department, is Dennis Angle, formerly a lieutenant.

The Police and Fire Commission unanimously approved the recommendations of Police Chief Russell Jack, a former captain who was sworn in as the city's new police chief in October. Stigler had unsuccessfully sought the police chief's job, as well, but did not make the list of five finalists.

Waukesha County foundation awards $1.1 million in grants

Jan. 25, 2010 4:28 p.m. | Waukesha - The Waukesha County Community Foundation awarded grants totaling $1.1 million to organizations providing services primarily in Waukesha County, though some are given to charities in Milwaukee and neighboring counties at the donors' direction, the organization announced Monday.

Dave Schultz, president of the fund, said grants are determined through a competitive application process or through the wishes of large donors who establish permanent endowments. About 250 organizations benefitted from the grants, he said.

Another $1.2 million was distributed to the Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha, which finished a fund raising campaign for facility expansion. The Community Foundation managed and invested the funds, as it does for some other organizations, Schultz said.

Since making its first grants in 2000, the Waukesha County Community Foundation has made grants totaling over $7 million, according to Schultz.

Kanavas announces he won't seek re-election

Jan. 25, 2010 4:26 p.m. | Madison — State Sen. Ted Kanavas (R-Brookfield) won't seek re-election in November.

"You've got to kind of rotate crops in these jobs," Kanavas, 48, said Monday.

Kanavas, a HarrisData salesman, said he will concentrate on his private-sector job for now but did not rule out a future run for office. Kanavas considered running for governor this year but decided against it.

Kanavas said he helped focus the state on job creation during his time in office and was proudest of a tax credit for angel investors that he shepherded through the Legislature.

A former member of the Elmbrook School Board, Kanavas was first elected in a 2001 special election after Gov. Scott McCallum appointed Sen. Margaret Farrow as lieutenant governor.

Waukesha group seeks volunteers to package 500,000 Haiti meals

Jan. 25, 2010 4:16 p.m. | Waukesha - The Waukesha branch of Kids Against Hunger, an organization that assembles packages of nutritionally balanced dried food that can serve six people each, is hoping to rally volunteers in Waukesha County this Thursday, Friday and Saturday to prepare 500,000 meals for earthquake victims in Haiti.

Children, families, senior citizens - anyone able to sit or stand for 90 minutes and fill bags on an assembly line - can register for shifts by calling (262) 251-9870.

Participants must register for a spot, and each participant should bring $25 in cash or check to cover the cost of food that will be packaged.

The effort will run from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The operation will be set up at Westwood Business Center, W229-N1420 Westwood Dr., City of Pewaukee, north of I-94 off Highway F, next door to American TV & Appliance.

The Kids Against Hunger works with the non-profit Feeding Children International to provide nutritional meals to places around the country and world. Donations are tax deductible. For more information, call (262) 253-2188.

Waukesha tapping stimulus dollars for bus cameras

Jan. 20, 2010 9:50 a.m. | Waukesha - All Waukesha Metro Transit system buses will be equipped with security cameras in about two months, thanks to federal stimulus funds.

Robert Johnson, transit manager, said eight buses have had six cameras installed beginning in 2004. Some also have microphones. They have proved useful in the case of accidents, for example, Johnson said, but he added that there has not been a serious crime on a bus that has prompted the need for recovered camera images.

With the allocation of $1,277,951 in funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Waukesha Transit Commission Board has authorized spending $72,389 to equip the remaining 20 buses with cameras, Johnson said. They have been ordered and are being installed.

Other stimulus funds have been used for a new roof and parking lot repaving at the Waukesha transit garage on Badger Drive. Bids have come in under budget on the roof, paving and cameras, Johnson said, so the Transit Board asked for and got Common Council approval Tuesday to spend the surplus on other things - $67,000 on replacing an automatic vehicle location system and radio network controller and replacing a staff car for $32,000.

The city transit commission also administers county transit funds, and $200,000 in federal stimulus funds is being spent to buy eight vans for a van pool that can help get workers to jobs where regular transit routes do not exist.

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Waukesha program for disabled receives Packers grant

Jan. 19, 2010 11:58 a.m. | Waukesha - A Waukesha-based program that encourages people with disabilities to acquire skills through community involvement has been named a 2009 recipient of the Green Pay Packers Community Quarterback Award.

Adaptive Community Approach Program (ACAP) members and staff will be given the award and a $1,000 grant at Lambeau Field's Legends Club on Thursday evening.

ACAP enables its members to become contributing and valued members of their communities through such efforts as Graffiti Effacers, which cleans up graffiti; socializing animals at local human societies; volunteering at Retzer Nature Center; offering dramatic performances at Waukesha Civic Theatre as the ACAP Players; assisting at senior housing centers with activities and grocery shopping. The nonprofit agency was started in 1982 and gets its funding primarily from Waukesha County's Health and Human Services Department.

The Quarterback Award has been given annually by the Green Bay Packers and NFL Charities since 2000 to a group of organizations showing leadership, dedication and commitment to improving communities through volunteerism.

Waukesha Symphony names new executive director

Jan. 18, 2010 5:02 p.m. | Waukesha - Andrea Rindo has been appointed executive director of the Waukesha Symphony Orchestra, the symphony announced Monday.

Rindo, who has a bachelor of science in music business and a minor in economics from Carroll University, previously was the orchestra's office and database manager. However, she has been essentially serving as acting director since last May, when the former executive director, Cindy Karas, resigned after less than a year, said WSO President Mary Korkor.

The Waukesha Symphony Orchestra is in its 62nd season and presents six classical programs in venues throughout Waukesha County each year. The next concert is 3 p.m. Feb. 28 at St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Waukesha.

Waukesha Salvation Army exceeds fund-raising goal

Jan. 18, 2010 3:44 p.m. | Waukesha - The Salvation Army in Waukesha surpassed its Christmas campaign goal by nearly 6%, directors Ron and Carol Lemirand announced Monday.

A total of $502,000 was raised - $334,312 of it through the red kettle bell ringing volunteers and the rest from contributions mailed directly to the Salvation Army.

The goal was $475,000, slightly more than the $465,000 raised during the Christmas 2008 season.

A record number of people were involved in ringing bells at kettle stands - about 1,557 volunteers, said Carol Lemirand.

The campaign's success means that Salvation Army services will not be cut and perhaps will be expanded, from its meal program to utility assistance to homeless shelter stays.

» Read Full Article

Waukesha to close 2 elementary schools

Jan. 14, 2010 11:26 a.m. | The two smallest of the Waukesha School District's 17 elementary schools will close at the end of the school year, although with the possibility of reopening in the future as charter schools or for some other purpose.

The Waukesha School Board voted Wednesday to end Pleasant Hill and Saratoga elementary schools' status as neighborhood schools in the 2010-'11 school year. The vote to close Pleasant Hill was unanimous, while the Saratoga vote split the board 6-3, with board members Barbara Brzenk, Patricia Madden and Kurt O'Bryan voting against the move.

Class size cited

The decision was a "horrible" one for the board to make, but necessary for the district to become more efficient and provide greater opportunities for teacher collaboration and control class sizes, School Board member William Baumgart said.

"We don't like to have to do that, but the reality is that we had to do it," he said.

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Waukesha County schedules 2 more swine flu clinics

Jan. 12, 2010 5:44 p.m. | Waukesha - In addition to this Thursday's previously announced swine flu clinic, Waukesha County's Public Health Division will hold additional clinics for the general public on Jan. 21 and Jan. 28.

All the clinics are from 2 to 6 p.m., or until the vaccine runs out, at the Waukesha County Expo Center, 1000 Northview Road.

The H1N1 vaccine will be provided free in both the intranasal and injectable forms. Early clinics were targeted to certain groups who were at high risk of illness from the H1N1 flu, but these clinics are now open to the general public.

Information about the clinics and medical forms that must be completed are available in advance at the county's Web site - www.waukeshacounty.gov/pandemicflu. Information is also available by calling 211.

Waukesha sets Jan. 28 meeting on bid for Lake Michigan water

Jan. 12, 2010 4:56 p.m. | Waukesha - City officials later this month will unveil a draft application to pump Lake Michigan water to Waukesha for its residents and businesses, Water Utility General Manager Dan Duchniak said Tuesday.

Switching Waukesha's supply from groundwater wells to the lake - if approved by the governors of Wisconsin and the other seven Great Lakes states - would cost an estimated $78 million in construction costs, officials said. The price includes building a pipeline to discharge the city's treated wastewater to Underwood Creek in Wauwatosa so the water would flow back to Lake Michigan, as required by a Great Lakes protection compact.

The city's draft application will be discussed Jan. 28 at a special joint meeting of the Common Council and Water Utility Commission, Duchniak said. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Common Council Chambers at City Hall, 201 Delafield St.

The utility will respond to questions from members of the council and commission at the meeting before opening the discussion to the public, Duchniak said.

Mayor Larry Nelson said the public will have several weeks to study the application and to comment on it before he asks the council to approve the request.

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Waukesha group seeks housing for people with disabilities

Jan. 11, 2010 4:58 p.m. | Waukesha - Hebron House of Hospitality is proposing to build a 10-unit, federally subsidized apartment building at 620 Summit Ave. that would serve people with physical, mental or other disabilities.

The Waukesha Plan Commission is scheduled to make a recommendation on rezoning the parcel at its 6:30 p.m. meeting Wednesday. A public hearing before the Common Council, which has the final say, would follow at a later meeting.

The site currently is zoned for up to four apartments but has a vacant home converted to a duplex, a shed and a trailer house on a cement slab. City Planner Michael Hoeft said the property near Horeb Park is surrounded by single family homes.

Bernie Juno, executive director of Hebron House and a leading advocate of affordable housing and emergency shelter for the homeless and others in need in Waukesha County, said the project would cost about $1.3 million. A grant application with the U.S. Department of Housing and Development is pending, Juno said.

As proposed, 10 one-bedroom apartments would be on the upper level of the two-story building, Juno said. The lower level would include community space, a reception area, lounge and an exercise and therapy room. A manager would live in one of the apartments.

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Domina named Waukesha County Circuit Court judge

Jan. 11, 2010 4:18 p.m. | Waukesha - William Domina, a former assistant corporation counsel in Waukesha County who moved to Milwaukee County to become that county's chief legal counsel in 2003, has been appointed a Waukesha County circuit judge by Gov. Jim Doyle.

He will fill the vacancy created with the December retirement of Judge Robert Mawdsley, Doyle's office announced Monday. Domina will start in February after he moves back to the county. His term will end July 31, 2011, requiring him to stand for election in April 2011.

Domina ran unsuccessfully for Waukesha County judge in 1996 and again in 1999 and was a finalist for the Waukesha-based District 2 Court of Appeals in 2008. Previously, he'd been elected four times to the Waukesha School Board.

As Waukesha County's senior assistant corporation counsel, he was perhaps best known for his work in the "cocaine mom" case, in which he forced a pregnant, cocaine-abusing Waukesha mother into treatment when she was eight months pregnant and continuing to abuse drugs.

Domina's actions, although upheld by trial and appeals judges, were ruled illegal by a 4-3 vote of the state Supreme Court, which said state child protection laws did not extend to fetuses.

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Waukesha ends weekly pickup of recyclables

Jan. 11, 2010 1:56 p.m. | Waukesha - Waukesha residents will get their recyclables collected every other week beginning next Monday, as a cost-savings measure.

The move could backfire, however, if residents instead throw their recyclables into the trash during the off-weeks because the city would have to pay more for disposing of them in a landfill.

Pick-ups will still occur on the same day as residents' regular garbage collection - just not as often.

Anyone who needs an extra blue bin for holding recyclables can get one during regular business hours at the city hall annex, 130 Delafield St., or on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the city's recycling drop-off center, 750 Sentry Drive.

Occasional excess recyclables can also be put out in a cardboard box marked "recycle."

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Two Waukesha schools (and 18 others) qualify for state competition

Jan. 11, 2010 12:50 p.m. | Waukesha South High School will join perennial favorite Waukesha West High School in sending a team to the state Academic Decathlon competition in Madison this year.

The two teams are among 20 statewide, including six total from Waukesha County, whose performances at regional competitions held throughout the state on Friday earned them spots in the March battle of wits.

Other high schools in the Milwaukee area that had teams make it through regionals are New Berlin Eisenhower, Menomonee Falls, Pewaukee and Brookfield Academy.

Waukesha West, which has won the state Academic Decathlon competition for the last eight years, received the highest score among the teams competing in the regional meets, according to state Academic Decathlon coordinator Molly Ritchie.

Waukesha South hasn't competed in Academic Decathlon since the 1999-2000 season, according to Ritchie. This is the first time a team from the school has qualified for the state competition, she said.

Women and Girls Fund reaches goal in Waukesha County

Jan. 11, 2010 12:22 p.m. | Waukesha - It took some years - a little more than five, to be exact - but the Women and Girls Fund of Waukesha County reached its $1 million goal for an endowment fund that will keep awarding grants to worthy programs benefiting women and girls.

The fund and goal was established in 2004 as part of the Waukesha County Community Foundation after the YWCA in Waukesha closed its doors. Since 2005, the Women and Girls Fund has awarded 64 grants to 36 countywide non-profit organizations offering education, arts, cultural or health and human service programs targeted to females. Requests for new grants are due with the Waukesha County Community Foundation by Feb. 1.

Kay Lettenberger, chair of the fund's board of trustees, said, "We had a choice in this economic downturn. We could push to make our goal, or conclude that it was impossible in this year of cutbacks."

The goal was met before the end of 2009.

Waukesha County schedules another swine flu clinic

Jan. 06, 2010 10:04 a.m. | Waukesha - In addition to Thursday's previously announced swine flu vaccination clinic for the general public, another clinic has been scheduled for a week later, on Jan. 14, Waukesha County officials announced this week.

Both clinics will be held at the Waukesha County Expo Center, 1000 Northview Road, from 2 to 6 p.m. or until the vaccine runs out.

While the H1N1 vaccine is particularly recommended for people at risk from the flu - such as pregnant women, emergency medical service and health workers, and those with chronic health problems - the general public can also receive the free shots.

Medical forms needed for the shots can be filled out in advance by printing them from the www.waukeshacounty.gov/pandemicflu Web site.

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Waukesha County Fair


The 2016 Waukesha County Fair saw rain, scorching temps and tropical humidity throughout its five-day run. Check out our stories, photos and video from the fair, including coverage of the new pig, duck and goat races, the 50th annual Fairest of the Fair contest, as well as a ranking of the top food items.

Best Summer Ever


We've made it easy for you to get out and go this summer. From hitting the trails for a bike ride or walk, to where to find beer gardens in the area, to the best places to swim in Waukesha County to the best summer drinks and summer reads, check out our 2016 summer guide.