Overnight road work to force closure of parts of I-94

Jan. 29, 2014 2:20 p.m. | Crews will flatten out bumps on I-94 at the Springdale, Brookfield and Moorland roads overpasses Wednesday night, causing rolling closures of the highway starting at 10 p.m.

The bumps worsened after the recent extreme cold weather, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation said in a release. Work will start at the westbound lanes of I-94 at Moorland Road, and all locations will be completed by 4 a.m.

Delays are expected in the area, and the State Patrol will be assisting with the closures.

Attorney General Van Hollen endorses Brad Schimel as his successor

Jan. 29, 2014 1:11 p.m. | Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen Wednesday endorsed Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel as his successor, signalling that Van Hollen doesn't expect a competitive GOP primary for the office.

In a statement, Van Hollen praised Schimel’s two decades of experience as a prosecutor. Van Hollen, a Republican like Schimel, created an open race for attorney general in October by announcing he would not seek a third term.  

“Brad Schimel embodies what it means to be Wisconsin’s ‘Top Cop,’” Van Hollen said in the statement.  “Brad’s a law enforcement professional who will reject the partisan wrangling of Madison to do what’s in the best interest of public safety and protecting Wisconsin families.”

Democrats have a three-way primary for the office, with Jefferson County District Attorney Susan Happ, Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne and state Rep. Jon Richards of Milwaukee all committed to a run so far.

Waukesha Mayor Jeff Scrima to skip Barack Obama visit to GE plant

Jan. 28, 2014 4:45 p.m. | Waukesha Mayor Jeff Scrima describes both President Barack Obama and Gov. Scott Walker as political extremists in explaining why he plans to skip Obama's visit to a GE plant in Waukesha on Thursday.

The first-term mayor is comfortable in calling out Obama and Walker as extremists not for advocating extreme measures, as a dictionary might define the term, but for refusing to compromise, Scrima said Tuesday.

"Both Governor Walker and President Obama have failed to come to the center and compromise on issues," he said. "Madison and Washington, D.C., are more polarized than they've ever been. At the local level, that does not help us."

Scrima describes himself as a nonpartisan local official in offering another reason for his planned absence Thursday.

"I've never been a member of a political party," he said. "The office of a local mayor ought to be nonpartisan for all people in the community."

» Read Full Article

Man's marriage to late spouse certified -- again

Jan. 28, 2014 8:15 a.m. | A Waukesha man who had his 1995 marriage to a woman who died in 2012 certified as legal last year is officially a widower again.

George Poniewaz thought he was married for years, then learned he wasn't, then got his perceived marriage certified after his wife had died, only to have a judge later suspend his certification when he learned in the Journal Sentinel that it could bear on a fraud charge against Poniewaz in another county.

The former truck driver for the city of Waukesha had to go before a different Milwaukee County judge this month, and prove all over again that he in fact got married to Jill Poniewaz in 1995.

Poniewaz's strange legal odyssey started after his wife died and he tried to get bereavement pay from his employer, the city of Waukesha. Officials said he wasn't entitled to the pay because he had said he was divorced. When he tried to prove he wasn't, his marriage license was proven to be a forgery, and he was charged with fraudulently obtaining years of benefits for his spouse.

So Poniewaz went to court in Milwaukee County to get a delayed certificate of marriage. Circuit Judge Kevin Martens heard from Poniewaz and other witnesses to a 1995 marriage ceremony and granted the certificate. But at the time, Martens didn't know about the pending criminal charges and was a little upset no one brought it up.

» Read Full Article

President Barack Obama coming to Waukesha business on Thursday

Jan. 27, 2014 11:47 a.m. | Two days after delivering his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama will be in Waukesha. 

Obama will speak on the economy at 10 a.m. at General Electric's Waukesha Gas Engines facility, 1101 W. St. Paul Ave.

Waukesha Mayor Jeff Scrima was invited to the event by White House staff but has declined to attend.

"Although I’ve assisted our local businesses in adding a record number of over 700 new family-supporting jobs to Waukesha during the last four years, because the position of mayor ought to be non-partisan, I will be passing on this visit from Washington," Scrima said. 

Along with his stop in Waukesha, Obama will visit a few other cities across the country in the days after his State of the Union address.

Update: Waukesha School District closed Monday and Tuesday due to cold

Jan. 27, 2014 10:25 a.m. | While the Waukesha School District said on Sunday that schools could be open on Monday, it decided early Monday morning that its schools would be closed today.

The district also announced that its schools are closed Tuesday due to the dangerously-cold temperatures and wind chills. 

The district will have to make up both days at a later date this school year. It already has to make up one of the days that were canceled earlier this month due to the cold. 

A wind chill advisory is in effect until 9 p.m. Monday, according to the National Weather Service. A wind chill warning then goes into effect until noon Tuesday in Waukesha.

The cold weather has also forced the Waukesha Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department to cancel all day and evening classes/activities on Monday.

Waukesha School District will keep its schools open on Monday

Jan. 26, 2014 10:55 p.m. | While some school districts have canceled classes due to the extreme cold, schools in the Waukesha School District could be open on Monday.

According to a post on the district's website, the district will only close schools unless a wind chill warning is forecast for the Monday morning student travel times.

The post states that as of 5 p.m. Sunday, the National Weather Service is forecasting a wind chill advisory for Monday.

As of late Sunday evening, the NWS' website says the wind chill advisory will be in effect from midnight Sunday to 9 p.m. Monday.

But the post does say that the district "will continue to watch weather forecasts throughout (Sunday) evening up until 4:30 a.m. (Monday)."

» Read Full Article

Waukesha County schools could cancel classes due to the cold once again

Jan. 24, 2014 2:36 p.m. | With extreme wind chills heading to southeastern Wisconsin once again early next week, superintendents will evaluate whether it's too cold for school.

Waukesha Superintendent Todd Gray said Friday that superintendents across Waukesha County will hold a conference call late Sunday afternoon to decide if they will close their schools on Monday.

Gray said they'll discuss their options at that time but they might not have a decision until very early Monday morning. 

"Right now Monday's forecast at 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. would not necessarily cause us to close," Gray said. "That could change over the weekend."

Gray said a wind chill warning of minus 35 would close the schools but depending on conditions the districts may even consider closing with slightly less wind chills if there are strong wind gusts.

» Read Full Article

Culver's on Highway 164 in Waukesha will open Jan. 30

Jan. 24, 2014 12:42 p.m. | The new Culver's restaurant at 1650 E. Main St. on Waukesha's northeast side will open on Jan. 30.

With the opening, the Culver's at 1720 Highway 164 that is sandwiched between car dealerships will close on Sunday.

The new Culver's is the first of many small outlots that will be located on the Woodman's Food Market property.

Construction on the 4,035-square-foot Culver's began in early fall.

Woodman's opened last summer and Culver's got approved shortly after.

» Read Full Article

Tobacco Outlet Plus in Waukesha burglarized early Friday morning

Jan. 24, 2014 11:59 a.m. | Tobacco Outlet Plus in Waukesha was burglarized early Friday morning, Capt. Ron Oremus said. 

Oremus said two men broke into the store, located at 433 W. Sunset Drive, at 12:10 a.m. and video image shows them stealing boxes of cigarettes.

According to the police log, both had roller-type suitcases they came in with.

The store was closed at the time and the alarm company contacted police after the two men smashed through the front door.   

Oremus said the individuals were out in less than a couple minutes.

» Read Full Article

Four Waukesha JanBoree ice sculptures smashed

Jan. 23, 2014 11:35 a.m. | Four ice sculptures were smashed in downtown Waukesha just after midnight Jan. 19.

According to the Waukesha police report:

The ice sculptures were at 294 W. Main St., on the corner of Maple Avenue and West Main Street, 730 N. Grand Ave. and 317 N. Grand Ave. 

The sculptures were part of the ice sculpting contest from the Waukesha JanBoree earlier in the day.

Sunroom fire in Waukesha

Jan. 22, 2014 7:49 a.m. | Firefighters are on the scene of a fire in a sunroom at a home in the 2000 block of Stonehaven Court, Waukesha.

Fire breaks out inside Waukesha industrial building

Jan. 14, 2014 10:25 a.m. | An internal malfunction at a Waukesha industrial building caused a fire Monday night at the Reintjcs facility, 305 Travis Lane.

The Fire Department was called to the scene after an employee saw flames coming from an oil bath operation just after 8:45 p.m.

The department found "a working fire with heavy smoke conditions" when it arrived, according to a news release from Battalion Chief Joe Hoffman. The plant was evacuated and all personnel were accounted for, he said.

"Fire crews made an aggressive attack on the fire to knock down the main body of (the) fire while limiting damage to the myriad of operations and processes in the facility," Hoffman said.

Crews from three fire stations quickly brought the fire under control to limit damage to a small area of the facility, Hoffman said.

» Read Full Article

Waukesha County Inspector Severson announces bid for Sheriff

Jan. 13, 2014 4:02 p.m. | Waukesha - Waukesha County Sheriff's Department second-in-command, Eric Severson, declared his candidacy for Sheriff Monday afternoon.

"I am excited to announce that I am a Republican candidate for the office of Sheriff of Waukesha County. Serving in Waukesha County law enforcement for the past 27 years has been an honor and responsibility that I have taken very seriously," he said in a campaign announcement sent Monday afternoon.

The announcement also listed endorsements from current Sheriff, Dan Trawicki, who announced last week he will not seek reelection in 2015. He also listed endorsements from several area police chiefs and Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel.

"With nearly three decades of law enforcement service, I feel I have prepared myself for this next challenge. I am committed to continue my dedication to the citizens of Waukesha County and look forward to serving as the next Sheriff," Severson wrote.

His announcement comes a few days after Brian Dorow, Dean of Waukesha County Technical College's Department of Criminal Justice, said he's considering running for the position. Dorow has not made an official announcement yet.

» Read Full Article

Waukesha man sentenced to four years prison for delivering narcotics

Jan. 10, 2014 10:17 a.m. | Abrian E. Kane, accused last May of providing the heroin that killed 40-year-old Theresa Wamser, was sentenced last week to four years prison and two years extended supervision.

Kane was initially charged on May 30 in Waukesha County Circuit Court with reckless homicide by delivery of drugs, but pleaded no contest in November to the lesser offense of delivering narcotics. Kane, who was being held on a $20,000 cash bond, has already served 180 days of his sentence.

 According to the criminal complaint, officers from the Waukesha City Police Department were dispatched to an apartment at 1710 Elder St. on the morning of April 26, 2012 after receiving reports of a possible overdose. Wamser was found by police dead on the bathroom floor with a pillow under her head, the complaint states.

A 41-year-old roommate told police in the complaint that Kane had come over the night before and was playing cribbage with Wamser. He said that Kane had allegedly given a small amount of heroin to Wamser before leaving. He later found Wamser “nodded out” next to a syringe in the bathroom, he said in the complaint.

Kane denied providing heroin to Wamser, saying that Wamser might have stolen some off of the table when he went to use the bathroom, the complaint states.

» Read Full Article

Waukesha County Board considers limiting funds to museum

Jan. 09, 2014 11:36 a.m. | Before it approved giving the Waukesha County Museum $150,000 in its 2014 budget, many supervisors had their concerns about continuing to help fund it.

Now, on the heels of the museum announcing serious financial woes, the Waukesha County Board will consider an ordinance that limits the disbursement of funds to no more than 8.3 percent of the $150,000 appropriation each month of the fiscal year until the executive committee approves full funding. 

It would only give an approval after it receives reports of support from the Waukesha County Department of Administration.

The ordinance request was made by Supervisor Peter Wolff, who represents the Town of Delafield.   

"The county board did not have the correct financial data when we approved the museum's funding during the 2014 budget review," Wolff said. "As stewards of the taxpayer money, the county board needs more information about the museum's financial viability before we can release all the funds."

» Read Full Article

Brian Dorow interested in Waukesha County Sheriff position

Jan. 08, 2014 4:12 p.m. | Shortly after longtime Waukesha County Sheriff Dan Trawicki announced plans not to seek re-election next year, two names have surfaced as candidates interested in the position.

Brian Dorow, associate dean at Waukesha County Technical College's Department for Criminal Justice, is interested in the position according to sources. Dorow was a supervisor in the City of Waukesha Police Department.

Sources have also indicated Waukesha County Sheriff Inspector Eric Severson is interested in serving as the county's next sheriff.

Trawicki has served as sheriff for 34 years and said it was just a good time to step down.

Waukesha County Sheriff Dan Trawicki won't seek re-election

Jan. 08, 2014 2:45 p.m. | Waukesha County Sheriff Dan Trawicki announced today that he does not plan toSherriff Dan Trawicki seek re-election in 2015.

Trawicki told TMJ4 reporter Charles Benson that there's no reason why he's stepping down, but it was just a good time.

Trawicki will complete his third four-year term this year. He swiftly defeated Republican challengers in the last election and a Democratic challenger never emerged.

Trawicki started as a cadet with the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department in 1979 and worked his way through the ranks where he spent the last 12 years as sheriff.

He will retire after serving 34 years. His term ends on Dec. 31, 2014.

Waukesha Common Council approves giving $16,000 to Hebron House's overflow shelter

Jan. 07, 2014 9:27 p.m. | Without any public assistance, it's been a financial struggle each year for the Hebron House of Hospitality's men's overflow shelter.

It was once again this year.

As a result, leaders from the Waukesha-based homeless shelter came to the city at Tuesday's Common Council meeting asking for additional financial support.

While there were concerns from many aldermen as to what role city tax dollars should play in funding for a non-profit organization, the Common Council approved allocating $16,000 for the Hebron House after a 10-5 vote. 

Aldermen Eric Payne, Joan Francoeur, Peter Bartels, Steve Johnson and Joe Pieper voted against giving money to the overflow shelter. 

» Read Full Article

Waukesha Common Council approves hiring marketing firm for downtown rebranding

Jan. 07, 2014 9:08 p.m. | After a long discussion Tuesday night, the Common Council approved a contract to hire a marketing firm in the effort to rebrand downtown Waukesha.

With a cost of $15,000, the Milwaukee-based Savage Solutions will now consult with downtown stakeholders to hear what they want as a new logo to be the image of downtown.

The city's staff and some of the council members felt a new, fresh brand was the right step in helping revitalize downtown Waukesha.

Not all of the aldermen were on board with the rebranding effort, however.

Eric and Cory Payne, Daniel Manion and Kathleen Cummings voted against funding for the consultant.

» Read Full Article

Good Harvest proposes larger Waukesha market

Jan. 07, 2014 7:00 a.m. | Waukesha organic grocer Good Harvest Market wants to move to a new, larger building that would also provide space for a yoga studio, massage therapist and other services.

Good Harvest is proposing a two-story building, with around 25,000 square feet for  5 acres on Meadow Lane, about one-quarter mile west of its current location, 1850 Meadow Lane, said Joseph Nolan, co-owner.

Good Harvest, which opened in 2005, is in the final year of its lease and needs more space, Nolan said. The supermarket would use around 18,000 square feet in the new building, compared with 12,000 square feet it's now leasing, he said.

That additional space would allow Good Harvest to roughly double the size of its in-store cafe, which now has around 30 seats, Nolan said. The building would give the cafe its own entrance so it could open earlier than the grocery for breakfast, he said.

The new store also would have space to provide more bulk sales, which make organic items less expensive to buy, said Nolan, who owns Good Harvest with his wife, Jody.

» Read Full Article

Schools stay closed in Waukesha on Tuesday due to continued arctic blast

Jan. 06, 2014 1:26 p.m. | Students in the Waukesha School District will have another day off.

Superintendent Todd Gray announced early Monday afternoon that because of the arctic blast that has swept over southeastern Wisconsin the district is closing its schools on Tuesday for the second straight day.

Gray and superintendents in Waukesha County made the decision to cancel school on Monday during a Friday afternoon conference call. 

And with temperatures and wind chills expected to be below zero once again for Tuesday, officials made the decision to cancel school once again.

According to the National Weather Service, Tuesday's high temperature is expected to be minus 1 degree and wind chills between minus 30 and 40.

» Read Full Article

Garbage, recycling pickup in Waukesha canceled Monday due to cold

Jan. 06, 2014 10:26 a.m. | The frigid weather has impacted more than just the school district in Waukesha. 

According to the town and city websites, all garbage and recycling pickup has been canceled for Monday due to the dangerously cold temperatures in the area. 

As a result, pickup will be delayed one day all week.

On Friday, with below freezing temperatures expected, the Waukesha School District canceled school for Monday.

According to the National Weather Service, the temperature late Monday morning at the Waukesha County Airport is 17 degrees below zero with a wind chill of 45 degrees below zero.   

» Read Full Article

Waukesha Easter Seals closed today

Jan. 06, 2014 8:47 a.m. | Due to the extreme cold, Easter Seals Southeast Wisconsin is closed Monday. According to the organization's Facebook page, it will reopen Tuesday.

The Waukesha Noon Rotary Club meeting is also cancelled.

Golden Guernsey still owes workers $1.6 million year after closing

Jan. 05, 2014 11:52 a.m. | Golden Guernsey Dairy employees are still owed $1.6 million in pay and benefits, state officials say, a year after the milk bottling company closed suddenly and left more than 100 people out of work.

The Waukesha plant shut down Jan. 5, 2013, ending an 83-year legacy in the Milwaukee area and disrupting the lives of employees, including some who had worked there for nearly 40 years.

Some of the employees are owed more than $25,000, state records show, including vacation pay, a pension match and other compensation.

Not everyone has found jobs equal to what they had a year ago.

"I know of some people who are making half of what they made. It's been tough, especially if they have a family to support," said Barry Towe, who worked nearly 36 years at the plant.

» Read Full Article

Roundy's will close early Monday due to cold

Jan. 04, 2014 9:40 a.m. | Roundy's Vice President of Investor Relations and Corporate Communications James J. Hyland issues a new release Friday afternoon announcing all Pick 'n Save, Copps and Metro Market stores will close at 8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 6 "for the safety of our staff and customers," due to the extreme cold.

The stores will reopen at 6 a.m. Tuesday.

Waukesha School District cancels classes on Monday due to frigid temperatures

Jan. 03, 2014 5:05 p.m. | In advance of the dangerously frigid temperatures, the Waukesha School District is closing its schools on Monday. 

The school district made the announcement late Friday afternoon. 

The forecast for Monday calls for the high temperature to be around 13 degrees below zero, according to the National Weather Service with wind chills expected to be as low as 30 to 45 below zero. 

In addition to the Waukesha School District, all Waukesha County public schools are closing on Monday.

Superintendents across Waukesha County held a conference call Friday afternoon where they determined schools would close on Monday.

» Read Full Article
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Community Watch

» Overnight road work to force closure of parts of I-94 1/29

» Attorney General Van Hollen endorses Brad Schimel as his successor 1/29

» Waukesha Mayor Jeff Scrima to skip Barack Obama visit to GE plant 1/28

» Man's marriage to late spouse certified -- again 1/28

» President Barack Obama coming to Waukesha business on Thursday 1/27

» Update: Waukesha School District closed Monday and Tuesday due to cold 1/27

» Waukesha School District will keep its schools open on Monday 1/26

» Waukesha County schools could cancel classes due to the cold once again 1/24

» Culver's on Highway 164 in Waukesha will open Jan. 30 1/24

» Tobacco Outlet Plus in Waukesha burglarized early Friday morning 1/24

» Four Waukesha JanBoree ice sculptures smashed Updated:  1/23

» Sunroom fire in Waukesha 1/22

» Fire breaks out inside Waukesha industrial building 1/14

» Waukesha County Inspector Severson announces bid for Sheriff 1/13

» Waukesha man sentenced to four years prison for delivering narcotics 1/10

» Waukesha County Board considers limiting funds to museum 1/9

» Brian Dorow interested in Waukesha County Sheriff position 1/8

» Waukesha County Sheriff Dan Trawicki won't seek re-election 1/8

» Waukesha Common Council approves giving $16,000 to Hebron House's overflow shelter 1/7

» Waukesha Common Council approves hiring marketing firm for downtown rebranding 1/7

» Good Harvest proposes larger Waukesha market 1/7

» Schools stay closed in Waukesha on Tuesday due to continued arctic blast 1/6

» Garbage, recycling pickup in Waukesha canceled Monday due to cold 1/6

» Waukesha Easter Seals closed today 1/6

» Golden Guernsey still owes workers $1.6 million year after closing 1/5

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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.