Town of Waukesha to hold closed meeting on water talks

July 30, 2012 6:16 p.m. | Waukesha - The Waukesha Town Board will meet behind closed doors with Waukesha city officials Tuesday on a potential memorandum of understanding outlining terms of service should the town join the city's future water service area.

The future water service area is one key component of the city's application for Lake Michigan water, now under review by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. In seeking a future water supply, the city's application outlines who eventually would get that water. Parts of the Towns of Genesee and Delafield and a small part of the City of Pewaukee have agreed to inclusion with the city, but the Waukesha Town Board has been weighing a decision for more than a year.

Waukesha is under court order to reduce high radium from its water supply that now exceeds federal standards by 2018. In order to get Lake Michigan water under the Great Lakes protection compact, the city needs a willing supplier and approval of every state bordering the Great Lakes.

Dan Duchniak, Waukesha Water Utility general manager, said he's hopeful that information the city will share with the Town Board on Tuesday about its negotiations with a likely Lake Michigan water supplier will help the town make a decision.

The DNR has said the Town Board has 30 days after the Waukesha Common Council reaches agreement with a supplier to join the service area. The city is in talks with Oak Creek and Racine, but Milwaukee has refused to negotiate if the existing service area is expanded to neighboring communities. The Waukesha council could take up an agreement with a supplier as soon as Aug. 21.

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Swimming water quality? There's an app for that

July 27, 2012 11:28 a.m. | An app released by Milwaukee Riverkeeper makes it easy to find a safe beach for swimming.

The Swim Guide uses water quality monitoring data from government authorities. Green marks indicate acceptable water quality, while red marks show where it is unsafe. It also enables users to get directions, view photos and report pollution immediately to Milwaukee Riverkeeper.

Milwaukee Riverkeeper wants to protect beachgoers from getting sick, and raise public awareness about pollution threatening our rights to swimmable waters.

The technology was developed by Lake Ontario Waterkeeper and is now managed by Milwaukee Riverkeeper and other member groups of the Waterkeeper Alliance, a network of 200 water protection groups worldwide.

The app can be downloaded at

Waukesha County to pay $256,300 to fix Nickolaus error

July 25, 2012 4:34 p.m. | The Waukesha County Board has appropriated more than a quarter-million dollars to fix an election computer programming mistake by outgoing County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus.

Supervisors voted, 22-2, on Tuesday to spend $256,300 in the wake of a breakdown in the system for reporting results in the April 3 election.

Despite Nickolaus' promise to post timely results online, the public didn't learn the results of contested local races for hours. Reporters and election reporting service representatives had to tabulate vote totals themselves from long paper tapes hanging on the walls of a meeting room.

At County Executive Dan Vrakas' direction, the county hired a consulting firm to investigate what happened, at a cost of $15,000.

SysLogic Inc. of Brookfield found that Nickolaus had ordered an upgrade in the election software and, after that upgrade, she was the only person trained to program the computers. Then, sometime after final testing of the computers, but before the election, she changed something in the programming, the consultant's report said.

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Milwaukee aldermen reject Waukesha water compromise

July 24, 2012 5:18 p.m. | Milwaukee Ald. Jim Bohl failed Tuesday to persuade even one other Common Council member to support his compromise plan for negotiating a Lake Michigan water deal with the City of Waukesha.

On a 13-1 vote, with one member absent, the council rejected Bohl's proposal to negotiate two water sales agreements with Waukesha as a way to break an impasse. Bohl had suggested forging one deal for distributing lake water to Waukesha's existing service area and a second deal for distributing water in the future to a larger regional service area.

At Tuesday's council meeting, Bohl said Waukesha could reach a deal to buy water from Oak Creek without ever starting talks with Milwaukee.

"We are, unfortunately, in a game of chicken at this point," Bohl said.

Apart from not being at the table to cut a deal favorable to Milwaukee, there could be other long-term consequences, he said. If Oak Creek sells water to Waukesha, Milwaukee might lose some of its long-term municipal customers in southern Milwaukee County to Oak Creek, according to Bohl. He did not specify which communities might decide to buy water from Oak Creek instead of Milwaukee.

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Waukesha man charged in death of woman pushing vehicle

July 23, 2012 9:44 p.m. | A Waukesha man was charged Monday with homicide by negligent operation of a motor vehicle in the hit-and-run death of a woman in a vehicle that had run out of fuel.

Edgar Montano, 28, was also charged with hit-and-run and hit-and-run involving death, according to state court records.

Jean Feagles, 48, was killed when her stalled vehicle was struck about 3:30 a.m. Saturday on Highway 59/Les Paul Parkway at E. Broadway, according to Waukesha police.

Feagles' 16-year-old daughter, who was injured, was treated at a hospital and released, police said.

Milwaukee alderman pitches plan for Waukesha water talks

July 23, 2012 4:44 p.m. | Milwaukee Ald. Jim Bohl said he will ask the Common Council on Tuesday to approve negotiating two Lake Michigan water sales agreements with the City of Waukesha as one way to break an impasse in talks between the two communities.

Compromise is possible if both cities agree to forge one deal for distributing lake water to Waukesha's current service area and a second deal for distributing water in the future to a larger regional service area, Bohl said Monday.

Waukesha Water Utility General Manager Dan Duchniak has said he is willing to discuss terms of extending water service to portions of four municipalities in a future service area designated by the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission.

A July 6 resolution adopted by Milwaukee's Common Council approved negotiations for distributing water only to Waukesha's existing service area. This area includes the city and 112 or so residences and businesses in the Town of Waukesha that have been connected in recent years without annexation after problems with private wells.

Waukesha is obligated by state law to distribute water to the commission's designated future service area, according to Duchniak. A map of the full area - extending into the City of Pewaukee and Towns of Delafield, Genesee and Waukesha - is included in Waukesha's Great Lakes water diversion application.

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Waukesha hospital undergoing $18.3 million renovation

July 23, 2012 12:18 p.m. | ProHealth Care announced a three-year renovation project at Waukesha Memorial Hospital, beginning with a new central concourse and later including many of the hospital's clinical areas.

The health system said it has committed $18.3 million to the project so far and will commit more money as work progresses.

The new concourse will entail reconstruction of the east entry, second-floor lobby and adjacent areas. Construction began in the past month.

"The bidding we've gotten for phase one is very, very competitive," said John Robertstad, president of ProHealth's hospital division, overseeing Waukesha Memorial and Oconomowoc Memorial hospitals.

The phase will include a 300-seat dining area that wraps around a courtyard and that consolidates two existing dining areas. It also will include a specialty pharmacy, a larger gift shop, a community meeting room and a family resource center.

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Waukesha man held in fatal hit-and-run crash

July 22, 2012 4:26 p.m. | A Waukesha man has been arrested for driving drunk and killing a woman in a stalled vehicle early Saturday, according to the Waukesha Police Department.

The driver, Edgar Montano, 28, struck a car that had run out of gas near the intersection of Highway 59 and E. Broadway, police said. A female victim was ejected from the stalled vehicle and later died at Waukesha Memorial Hospital. Another victim was treated at the hospital and released. Police have not identified the victims.

Waukesha police Lt. Kevin Kober said Montano fled from the scene and was found a short time later and arrested Saturday night.

Waukesha police said they would seek charges of homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle, homicide by negligent operation of a motor vehicle and hit and run, causing death.

State baseball photo gallery updated

July 20, 2012 9:39 p.m. | MyCommunityNOW has just updated its photo gallery of today's WIAA state summer baseball finals in Mequon with images from the championship game between Oak Creek and Germantown.

Oak Creek rallied from four runs down to win, 5-4.

Germantown defeated Waukesha West, 3-2, in the first semifinal. Oak Creek downed Sheboygan Falls, 10-0, in the second game.

Go to photo gallery.

Armed robbery at Waukesha pharmacy

July 19, 2012 10:31 a.m. | Waukesha police are seeking a man who robbed a Waukesha pharmacy at gunpoint Monday.

The man robbed Moreland Pharmacy, 827 W. Moreland Blvd., at about 12:43 p.m., according to police. He demanded and received drugs.

According to a news release from the Police Department, the suspect was armed with a handgun and appears to be in his 40s, 5 feet 11 inches tall with a large build, dark hair, and a goatee or fu manchu-style moustache. He was wearing an orange, long-sleeve button-down shirt, camouflage baseball cap and jeans.

The man fled on foot. If you have any information about the robbery or can identify the suspect, contact Detective Edward Bergin of the Waukesha Police Department at (262) 524-3816 or (262) 424-5937 or


Berghoefer pitches West into sectional

July 14, 2012 9:15 a.m. | A complete game effort from Brandon Berghoefer propelled No. 2 seed and Classic 8 co-Champion Waukesha West into the sectional semifinal against Milwaukee Pius in West's 10-5 win over Catholic Memorial on Friday night.

Allowing five runs on seven hits while striking out three, Berghoefer survived a shaky third inning to post the win and ensure West would be represented in their own sectional Monday. Pius defeated Mukwonago, 6-2, to keep its own hopes alive in the post season.

Waukesha West got a run in the first and two in the second to take an early 3-0 lead. Eric Solberg reached on a base hit to lead off the bottom of the first and scored on Brandon Kranz’s RBI double. In the second, Jake Goodwin walked,  Solberg again singled with two outs to put two on, and Zack Hastings followed with a two-run double.

After cruising through the first two innings, Berghoefer was nicked for 5 runs on 6 hits in the top of the third. Two hits followed by RBI singles from Matt West and Charlie Walsh got Catholic Memorial on the board. With two out and two on, a two run double from Ted Rindahl gave the Crusaders a 4-3 lead. Sergio Rodriguez then singled in a run, but Rindahl was caught in a rundown between second and third to end the inning with Memorial leading, 5-3.

West responded quickly in its half of the inning. Sending 10 hitters to the plate,
the Wolverines plated five runs to retake the lead, 8-5. The runs came on four hits, two sacrifices, two walks and a Memorial error. Lucas Bourassa had an RBI double, Jake Goodman an RBI single, Eric Solberg a sac fly and Brandon Kranz an RBI fielder’s choice.

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After jury denies petition, registered sex offender being released in City of Waukesha

July 13, 2012 6:04 p.m. | A registered sex offender will enter the community on Monday and reside at 1356 E. Moreland Blvd. Apt. 1B in the City of Waukesha.

According to a news release from the Waukesha Police Department, Reginald A. Rigsby, 35, has a history of masturbating in public while looking at or talking to adult females.  

The release says in the past, he has tried to grab women while masturbating and has hid in public areas designated for women, such as bathrooms, changing rooms and saunas. 

He will be a life registrant with the sex offender registry and will be submitting to face-to-face registration with law enforcement.

In 1998, Rigsby was convicted of burglary that was sexually motivated. He was sentenced to eight years in prison.

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Pedestrian killed by train in Waukesha

July 13, 2012 12:50 p.m. | Waukesha - A pedestrian was struck and killed by a train a S. West Ave at Progress Ave. about 11:40 a.m. Friday, Waukesha police said.

Police said the fatality may be a suicide, but the incident remains under investigation.

No other information about the pedestrian was immediately available.

The train was blocking traffic S. West Ave at Progress Ave as well as W. Sunset Drive as of about 12:45 p.m., police said.

The roads likely would be blocked for about another hour, police said.

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Waukesha School Board backs Internet upgrades

July 12, 2012 3:36 p.m. | When Waukesha School District students and teachers return to school in the fall they'll experience faster Internet speeds and more wireless access thanks to a network upgrade costing up to $2.8 million the school board approved this week.

"As we encourage, or in some cases require, more and more use of technology in our classrooms we need a reliable and efficient data system that is up and running 100% of the time," Superintendent Todd Gray said in an email.

Gray added that when the technology fails it negatively impacts instructional time for students.

To prevent those technological failures, the district will refresh its technology infrastructure, the district's Chief Information Officer Steve Schlomann said.

Ordinarily, the district would have to make these upgrades over a three-year period, according to Schlomann. However, thanks to a 0% financing deal with Cisco Capital Finance, the district will be able to get the equipment upgrade now and pay for it over a three-year lease. Schlomann said the cost will be between $2.5 million and $2.8 million and the district will own the equipment at the end of the lease.

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PSC approves 27% Waukesha water rate increase

July 11, 2012 5:12 p.m. | Waukesha - The state Public Service Commission has approved an average 27% rate increase for the Waukesha Water Utility effective immediately.

Single-family homeowners will find 21% rate increases on their next quarterly bills, said Nancy Quirk, the utility's technical services manager. The rate boost will cost those families using about 15,000 gallons a quarter an extra $16 a quarter, or $64 a year.

Duplex and other apartment residents will be given rate increases of between 28% and 31%, according to the decision approved this week by PSC Water Division Administrator John L. Schulze Jr.

The 27% rate increase is an average of all residential and business customers.

A portion of the rate increase will pay for costs related to the city's search for a new water supply. PSC staff agreed that this rate boost will cover about $3.32 million in expenses accumulated from 2009 through the end of this year.

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GAB required Nickolaus' program change to voting machines

July 11, 2012 5:10 p.m. | Waukesha - Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus' last-minute programming change to voting machines before the April 3 election - a change that may have triggered the computer error that stymied election night results reporting - was required by the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, newly released emails show.

However, a legally required public test of the equipment once that change was made to ensure it worked properly was not performed, according to the records.

A consultant hired at County Executive Dan Vrakas' insistence to identify problems and fixes in the clerk's office after a string of election-reporting problems said Nickolaus acknowledged she made a programming change after the machines were initially tested. However, the report says she didn't specify what the change was.

She has not responded to repeated requests for comment or explanation.

As a result of the consultant's findings, the County Board will be asked to spend $256,300 to fix problems and eliminate risks of future mistakes. The vast majority of it will cover fees for Command Central LLC, the software vendor, to program equipment for the May and June recall elections and next month's primary. Only $4,000 is being sought to train other staff on election system programming - a job Nickolaus kept to herself. The consultant, SysLogic Inc., initially was hired to perform the study for $15,000.

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Nickolaus changed software before April election breakdown

July 10, 2012 6:44 p.m. | Sometime after final testing of Waukesha County's election software - but before the April election - County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus mysteriously changed something in her office's computer programming, according to a consulting firm's report released Tuesday.

Only Nickolaus knows what she did. The consultants can't figure it out, and she's not talking.

But whatever she did, it caused a breakdown in reporting election results that will cost county taxpayers $256,300 to fix, the report says.

And that's not the only money that Waukesha County will have to spend to get its election systems operating properly, County Executive Dan Vrakas said Tuesday.

Aging hardware is out of compliance with federal standards and nearing the end of its useful life, the report says. That equipment was supposed to be replaced in 2009, but Nickolaus killed the project because county purchasing officials wouldn't let her award a no-bid contract, said Norm Cummings, county director of administration.

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Two injured in Waukesha shooting

July 10, 2012 8:44 a.m. | Waukesha - A man and a woman were injured in a shooting early Tuesday morning and a suspect was later taken into custody, Waukesha police said.

Police were called to a residence in the 1600 block of S. West Ave. on a report that two people had been shot. A 45-year-old Pewaukee man and a 42-year-old Waukesha woman were treated at Waukesha Memorial Hospital for nonlife threatening wounds, Capt. Ron Oremus said.

The suspect, a man, was located at an apartment in the 1800 block of S. West Ave.

Waukesha police officers and the Waukesha Sheriff's Department responded along with two armored rescue vehicles as a precaution, Oremus said.

According to Waukesha police dispatch records, police telephoned the suspect, a 42-year-old Waukesha man, and he came out of the apartment about 4:35 a.m.

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Investigating, fixing Nickolaus election errors to cost $256,300

July 09, 2012 4:46 p.m. | A consultant's report traces problems in reporting Waukesha County election results directly to mistakes by outgoing County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus - mistakes that will cost county taxpayers more than a quarter of a million dollars to fix.

Nickolaus had promised to post timely results online and update them periodically for the April 3 election. But the public didn't learn the results of contested local races for hours, while reporters and election reporting service representatives were forced to tabulate the vote totals themselves from long paper tapes hanging on the walls of a meeting room.

The embattled county clerk already was under scrutiny because of her role in the 2011 state Supreme Court race, when she left the entire city of Brookfield out of countywide vote totals. When those 14,000 votes were added in, two days after the election, Justice David Prosser had won by 7,000 votes, instead of narrowly losing to Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg, as the original count showed. But the uncertainty over the Waukesha County vote led to a statewide recount that confirmed Prosser's victory.

Nickolaus, a Republican, agreed to withdraw from directly overseeing this year's gubernatorial recall election after County Executive Dan Vrakas, a former GOP legislator, threatened to call for her resignation if she didn't hand off her election duties. She also announced she would not seek re-election in No vember.

After the April election, Vrakas told the county Department of Administration to hire a consultant "to get to the bottom of what the problems were," said Norm Cummings, director of administration. The full report from SysLogic Inc., a Brookfield consulting firm, was not immediately available Monday, but some of its findings are briefly summarized in a funding measure being considered by the County Board.

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High school summer baseball playoffs begin this week for Waukesha teams

July 09, 2012 3:50 p.m. | After battling their opponents, the dry conditions and the oppressive heat, the high school summer baseball teams now begin their battle for a state championship this week.

With a new format and a new location for the state tournament, each of the four sectionals boasts 14 teams. And all four of the Waukesha-area baseball teams reside in the same one.

Three of the teams begin their run at a state title on Tuesday evening as the WIAA summer baseball postseason gets underway across the area.

Of the Waukesha-area teams, Waukesha West, seeded second, appears to have the best chance to emerge from the sectional and play in the one-day, four-team state tournament series July 20 at the new Kapco Park in Mequon on the shores of Lake Michigan and the Concordia University campus.

The state tournament was previously held at Bukolt Park in Stevens Point and featured eight teams over two days.

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Montecito Ristorante owners' outdoor wedding will close traffic on Broadway Street in downtown Waukesha

July 06, 2012 4:54 p.m. | Downtown Waukesha is home to many events these days, including the weekly Friday Night Live music series that closes the streets to traffic during the summer.

You can now add an outdoor wedding to the list.

New downtown business owners Dale Palkowski and Jennifer Clark, who own Montecito Ristorante Lounge, will tie the knot outside their restaurant on Wednesday.

Montecito Ristorante Lounge is located at 257 W. Broadway St.

Since the two have decided to have their wedding in the street, Clark said she has gotten a street closure permit to close the street to traffic from the Rotunda to the 5 Points from 2 to 8 p.m.

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Missing girl found safe in Waukesha

July 05, 2012 10:40 p.m. | A 17-year-old Town of Genesee girl reported missing Tuesday was found safe Thursday evening in Waukesha, authorities said.

The girl, Sarah Ford, was found at an address on West Newhall Ave. by officers of the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department and Waukesha Police Department.

Family members were concerned that she would not be able to take care of herself because of cognitive disabilities, authorities said.

The Sheriff and Police Departments have yet to determine Ford's whereabouts over the last three days.

Fireworks halted in Oak Creek, Waukesha

July 04, 2012 10:28 p.m. | While some fireworks displays were canceled Wednesday night because of hot and dry conditions, a couple of communities were forced to stop their fireworks in the middle of the shows because of grass fires.

In Oak Creek, fireworks were stopped when a grass fire erupted in the 1200 block of E. Ryan Road.

And in Waukesha, the display was halted shortly before 10 p.m. because of fires from falling embers and sparks that landed on the grounds of Crites Field, said a police dispatcher.

No injuries were reported.

Teen girl reported missing in Waukesha

July 04, 2012 12:50 p.m. | The Waukesha County Sheriff's Department is asking the public for help in locating a 17-year-old missing Town of Genesee teen.

The girl, Sarah Ford, was last seen Tuesday afternoon in the City of Waukesha.

Family members are concerned that she may not be able to care for herself because of cognitive disabilities, deputies said.

She's described as 5 feet 8 inches tall, with brown hair and brown or hazel eyes. She was wearing a blue sweat shirt and pink sweatpants. She may now be wearing a red T-shirt with blue and pink hearts and red sweatpants.

The family is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to her whereabouts.

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Dry conditions force Merrill Hills Country Club in Waukesha to cancel fireworks show

July 03, 2012 2:59 p.m. | Like usual, the Fourth of July festivities at Merrill Hills Country Club in Waukesha is packed with activities throughout the day for its members.

But the nightcap this year will be quiet as the fireworks show has been canceled.

The Club announced Tuesday afternoon that due to the drought conditions throughout the state, the Waukesha Fire Department determined that Merrill Hills cannot safely launch off fireworks on Wednesday.

Merrill Hills is located at W270 S3425 Merrill Hills Road.

The City of Waukesha is still planning on holding its fireworks show at approximately 9:30 p.m. at the Waukesha County Expo Center.

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Community Watch

» Town of Waukesha to hold closed meeting on water talks 7/30

» Swimming water quality? There's an app for that 7/27

» Waukesha County to pay $256,300 to fix Nickolaus error 7/25

» Milwaukee aldermen reject Waukesha water compromise Updated:  7/24

» Waukesha man charged in death of woman pushing vehicle 7/23

» Milwaukee alderman pitches plan for Waukesha water talks 7/23

» Waukesha hospital undergoing $18.3 million renovation 7/23

» Waukesha man held in fatal hit-and-run crash 7/22

» State baseball photo gallery updated 7/20

» Armed robbery at Waukesha pharmacy 7/19

» Berghoefer pitches West into sectional 7/14

» After jury denies petition, registered sex offender being released in City of Waukesha 7/13

» Pedestrian killed by train in Waukesha 7/13

» Waukesha School Board backs Internet upgrades 7/12

» PSC approves 27% Waukesha water rate increase 7/11

» GAB required Nickolaus' program change to voting machines 7/11

» Nickolaus changed software before April election breakdown 7/10

» Two injured in Waukesha shooting Updated:  7/10

» Investigating, fixing Nickolaus election errors to cost $256,300 7/9

» High school summer baseball playoffs begin this week for Waukesha teams 7/9

» Montecito Ristorante owners' outdoor wedding will close traffic on Broadway Street in downtown Waukesha 7/6

» Missing girl found safe in Waukesha 7/5

» Fireworks halted in Oak Creek, Waukesha 7/4

» Teen girl reported missing in Waukesha 7/4

» Dry conditions force Merrill Hills Country Club in Waukesha to cancel fireworks show 7/3

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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.