Waukesha to launch Big Read with collection for troops

Sept. 28, 2009 4:28 p.m. | Waukesha — will launch its Big Read - featuring Earnest Hemingway's "A Farewell to Arms" - Saturday by encouraging donations to the military through Project Military Comfort.

The Waukesha Farmer's Market, which is open from 7 a.m. to noon that day along the Fox River downtown, will provide the kickoff. There'll be an 11 a.m. military fly-over, a Color Guard, and a collection of donations that will be sent to troops in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait.

People will have a chance to donate items that will be packaged for troops, to write a note of encouragement and thanks or take in other activities. Items being collected are snacks such as jerky, granola bars and nuts, baby wipes, resealable Baggies, lip balm, bug repellent, sun block, deodorant, toothbrushes and toothpaste, phone cars (AT&T preferred) and money for shipping. Checks should be made out to Operation Homefront-Wisconsin.

Copies of the Hemingway book will also be packaged for the troops.

The Big Read is a citywide initiative spearheaded by the Waukesha Public Library through the National Endowment for the Arts aimed at encouraging the love of books. Events, including book discussions, film and theater events, run through Nov. 15.

Photos from marching band competition now online

Sept. 27, 2009 8:59 p.m. | Thousands of people spent a great fall day at the Waukesha West High School stadium to watch and listen to some of the best high school marching bands in the state.

Photographer Bob Bailie was on hand to capture the excitement of the Fox River Marching Band Invitational and he put together this photo gallery from the event.

Waukesha narrows police chief search

Sept. 25, 2009 12:42 p.m. | Waukesha - The Police and Fire Commission has narrowed the choice for Waukesha's next police chief to four, including one from inside the department and one from the Milwaukee Police Department.

Commission Chairman Dan Owens identified the finalists as Russell Jack, Waukesha police captain who commands the patrol division; Milwaukee Police Captain David Zibolski, in charge of the Neighborhood Task Force; Gary Bolt, deputy police chief in Naperville, Ill., in charge of the patrol division; and William A. Biang, retired Waukegan, Ill., police chief and currently a special investigator for the Lake County State's Attorneys Office.

The commission plans a second interview with the remaining candidates next week. Owens said he did not know if the commission would be ready to make its selection then or will narrow the field further.

The next chief will succeed Leslie Sharrock, who retired in August.

Waukesha approves winter shelter for homeless men

Sept. 23, 2009 9:36 p.m. | Waukesha — A nighttime shelter for homeless men can again operate at a downtown Waukesha church hall this winter, the city Plan Commission decided Wednesday.

A majority in the standing-room only crowd of about 100 literally stood in support of the 5-1 decision, rising to their feet as their spokesmen told the commission that Waukesha was showing compassion by its action.

"No one thinks this is a permanent solution, but we're in an emergency situation," said the Rev. David Simmons, rector of St. Matthias Episcopal Church, which will again house the shelter. "The jobless and homeless statistics are staggering."

St. Matthias, at N. Main St. and East Ave., requested the conditional use permit along with Hebron House of Hospitality, which operates three other longer-term shelters.

An overnight shelter opened at the church last winter because existing shelters were routinely crowded. A particularly long spell of frigid weather and the growing impact of the recession - unabated still - added to the need. Salvation Army in Waukesha is the only other drop-in shelter for men operated in suburban Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington counties.

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Man to stand trial after woman stabbed 36 times

Sept. 23, 2009 5:50 p.m. | Waukesha — Samantha L. Peterson died after being stabbed and cut 36 times by David Wapp, who snapped when she told him to get out of her car during an argument outside his aunt's home on Sept. 5, according to court testimony Wednesday.

Waukesha County Medical Examiner Lynda Biedrzycki said Peterson's carotid artery on the left side of her neck and a mammary artery on the left side of her chest were cut and her lungs were punctured. Biedrzycki testified during Wapp's preliminary hearing that Peterson died as a result of blood loss and respiratory impairment caused by "multiple sharp force injuries."

Wapp, 29, of the Town of Mukwonago, is charged with first-degree intentional homicide in Peterson's death, and Waukesha County Court Commissioner Laura Florian Lau ordered him to stand trial after hearing testimony on Wednesday.

Peterson, 21, was visiting Wapp at the home of Wapp's aunt, according to the criminal complaint. They had left the home and gone to her car to talk.

Peterson, of Waukesha, was found dead about 11 p.m. Sept. 5 in a car parked at the intersection of West Ave. and Wood St. in Waukesha after someone called 911, police said.

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Waukesha ponders hefty boost in ambulance fees

Sept. 23, 2009 2:32 p.m. | Waukesha - In a trade-off likely echoed increasingly through the halls of government as next year's budgets are taking shape, the Waukesha Fire Department faced a choice: Come up with additional money or cut services.

So it has a plan to raise nearly $220,000 in additional annual revenue by boosting emergency ambulance fees to its residents and visitors - some by more than 50% - and by starting a new medical transport service beyond the city limits.

The city's Finance Committee recommended approval of the ambulance fee increases on Monday - even boosting some for non-residents higher than initially requested. Common Council approval will be sought Oct. 6.

Under current ambulance fees, a city resident is charged $375, $500 or $650, depending on the level of services needed. Non-residents are charged $510, $590 or $770. Both pay $8 per mile for trips, as well.

Effective as soon as possible upon Common Council approval, those fees would increase by $100 for residents and from $80 to $110 for non-residents. Mileage would jump to $12 per mile.

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Waukesha narrows police chief search

Sept. 22, 2009 10:26 a.m. | Waukesha - Nine remaining candidates, including three current captains in the Waukesha Police Department, will be interviewed over the next three days as the city's Police and Fire Commission searches for the next Waukesha police chief.

A list of more than 50 applicants has been whittled down to the three internal candidates and six from outside the department. The three current Waukesha police captains who are seeking the chief's job are Chris Connolly, who's in charge of the administrative division; Russell Jack, who heads the patrol division; and Mark Stigler, who oversees the criminal division.

Chief Lester Sharrock retired in August after 12 years on the job. Wayne Dussault, the former deputy chief who is serving as interim chief, is not seeking the position.

Waukesha officials to discuss need for Lake Michigan water

Sept. 21, 2009 3:48 p.m. | The Waukesha Common Council and Water Utility Commission will hold a joint meeting at 7 p.m. Oct. 12 at City Hall to discuss the central issues in the city's proposed use of Lake Michigan water, Water Utility General Manager Dan Duchniak said. Read more in Nature's State.

Fire damages Waukesha house

Sept. 19, 2009 4:42 p.m. | Waukesha — A fire about 9:30 a.m. Saturday damaged a house at 429 Lemira Ave.

The fire started in the kitchen and spread to the attic of the house, the Waukesha Fire Department said.

The residents were not home at the time of the fire. A dog was found unharmed, but two cats remain unaccounted for, the fire department said.

The cause of the fire and the amount of damage it caused to the house have not been determined yet, the fire department said.

3 Waukesha teens accused of burning KKK, swastika symbols

Sept. 19, 2009 11:11 a.m. | Three 17-year-old Waukesha males who were arrested in connection with burning a swastika and "KKK" on a basketball court in the 900 block of Scott Ave. on Aug. 22 in Waukesha have been charged. Today's TMJ 4 has more on the story.

Waukesha woman guilty in methadone overdose deaths

Sept. 17, 2009 2:18 p.m. | Waukesha — A 34-year-old Waukesha woman was convicted Thursday of two counts of first-degree reckless homicide in connection with providing methadone on separate occasions to two people who overdosed and died.

Nina E. Pudil was found guilty by Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge J. Mac Davis after she entered Alford no contest pleas to the charges.

In an Alford plea, a defendant does not acknowledge guilt but concedes there is sufficient evidence for conviction.

In April, Pudil was charged in connection with the death of Donald G. Arnold, 40, who was found dead March 31, 2007, at the Airport Lodge in the City of Pewaukee, where he lived, according to a criminal complaint.

Pudil was accused of giving Arnold liquid methadone and was with him the night before he died, the complaint states.

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Charges filed in stabbing death of Waukesha woman

Sept. 16, 2009 5:04 p.m. | Waukesha — A 29-year-old Town of Mukwonago man was charged Wednesday with first-degree intentional homicide in connection with the stabbing death of a Waukesha woman on Sept. 5.

David A. Wapp is accused of killing Samantha L. Peterson, 21, after quarreling with her in her car outside his aunt's home, according Assistant District Attorney Kevin M. Osborne and a criminal complaint filed in Waukesha County Circuit Court.

According to the complaint, he left the Oldsmobile Alero after stabbing her, but returned and found that she was still breathing and then stabbed her and cut her neck until she was dead. He then moved her body from the driver's seat into the back seat and covered it with bed sheet, the complaint says.

Peterson, who was stabbed multiple times, was found dead about 11 p.m. Sept. 5 in a car parked at the intersection of West Ave. and Wood St. in Waukesha after someone called 911, police said.

Wapp, who recently had been released from prison, was arrested at a hotel in the 10000 block of W. Appleton Ave. in Milwaukee about 6 a.m. Sept. 6 at gunpoint as he tried to escape through a window.

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Waukesha woman gets 10 years of prison in heroin overdose death

Sept. 14, 2009 5:18 p.m. | Waukesha - A Waukesha woman convicted of first-degree reckless homicide after a federal, state and local investigation into heroin overdoses was sentenced Monday to 10 years in prison and five years extended supervision.

Candice J. Haid, 22, was convicted based on her no contest plea in July to the charge stemming from the heroin overdose death of David Knuth, 25, of Pewaukee, on July 3, 2008.

Waukesha County Judge Linda Van De Water also ordered Haid to pay about $22,000 in restitution to the victim's family and to an insurance company.

Twenty-seven people from Milwaukee, Chicago and Waukesha County were arrested in July 2008 after a yearlong investigation dubbed Operation Lake Effect. According to federal court documents at the time of the arrests, the heroin ring contributed to 11 overdoses, five of them fatal.

Armed robbery suspect arrested with monitoring bracelet on

Sept. 14, 2009 12:10 p.m. | Waukesha — A 21-year-old Waukesha man - just 17 days out of prison and still wearing a Department of Corrections monitoring bracelet - has been arrested for last week's robbery at gunpoint of the Citgo gas station at 304 N. Grand Ave.

Waukesha police arrested him Friday as he walked down a city street a day after Thursday's mid-day robbery. The man, on parole after serving two years for stealing a car, is in the Waukesha County Jail. Police are seeking armed robbery charges from the district attorney's office.

3 more counties under quarantine to slow bug's spread

Sept. 10, 2009 1:58 p.m. | The state of Wisconsin has issued an ash tree product quarantine for Milwaukee, Waukesha and Racine counties in an effort to slow the spread of the tree-killing emerald ash borer.

The quarantine, which prohibits ash exports from the affected counties, goes into effect this Monday.

Materials such as live trees, ash logs and timber, and all species of hardwood are included in the quarantine, though there is an exemption for firewood dealers who receive state certification.

The invasive beetle has been found in seven Wisconsin counties, and as of Monday, state or federal quarantines will exist in 11 state counties.

The quarantine is the result of an emergency rule issued by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

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Waukesha chooses site for STEM charter school

Sept. 10, 2009 12:29 p.m. | Randall Elementary School will be the site of a new Waukesha School District charter school that focuses on science, technology, engineering and mathematics starting in the 2010-'11 school year. Read more in School Zone.

Fire destroys vacant Waukesha house

Sept. 10, 2009 10:14 a.m. | Waukesha — A vacant two-story house at 3609 Madison St. was destroyed in a fire reported about 12:50 a.m. Thursday, the Waukesha Fire Department said.

When firefighters arrived, the roof of the house was on fire and collapsing, the fire department said in a news release.

The cause of the fire has not been determined.

No one was injured.

Police identify victim in Waukesha homicide

Sept. 08, 2009 2:32 p.m. | Waukesha — The 21-year-old woman who was found dead in a car on Saturday night had been stabbed a number of times, Waukesha police said.

Police on Tuesday identified the victim as Samantha L. Peterson of Waukesha. Friends and neighbors on Sunday had told news reporters that Peterson was the homicide victim.

Authorities believe Peterson was killed by a 29-year-old man with whom Peterson had a prior relationship, according to police Capt. Mark Stigler.

The suspect was arrested at a hotel in the 10000 block of W. Appleton Ave. in Milwaukee about 6 a.m. Sunday, Stigler said in a news release.

He tried to escape through a back window at the hotel, but was taken into custody by Milwaukee Police at gun point, Stigler said.

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Early morning fire damages Waukesha home

Sept. 08, 2009 9:52 a.m. | Waukesha — A fire early Tuesday extensively damaged a house and garage at 3211 MaryAnn Drive, but no one was injured, the Waukesha Fire Department said.

The fire was reported at 3:37 a.m.

No dollar estimate on the amount of damage caused by the fire was available yet, battalion chief Joseph K. Vitale said in a news release.

The cause of the fire has not been determined.

Bulldog Invitational cross-country photos now online

Sept. 07, 2009 7:11 a.m. | We've just posted a photo gallery from the West Allis Central Bulldog Invitational, held at McCarty Park in West Allis on Sept. 4.

Some of the best boys and girls runners in the area competed at the Bulldog and the gallery features athletes from Brookfield Central, Franklin, Germantown, Greendale, Homestead, New Berlin Eisenhower, Shorewood, Waukesha West and West Allis Central.

View NOW photojournalist Peter Zuzga's photo gallery.

Tucker, defense spark Spartans

Sept. 05, 2009 11:44 a.m. | For the second straight week, Brookfield East grabbed momentum back from the opposition late in the game and came away with a 27-7 victory at Waukesha North Friday night.

In the season opener, East saw Waukesha South score twice in the last four minutes to send the game into overtime, but then rallied to win, 24-21, on Colin DeVoe's field goal.

This week the Spartans saw the Northstars tie the game at 7-7 with 9 minutes, 35 seconds left to play when Chris Aho tossed a 30-yard touchdown pass to Steve Peterson.

But senior running back Donavin Tucker returned the kickoff 52 yards to the North 38-yard line, and the Spartans quickly bounced back with an eight-play, 62-yard drive.

Quarterback Skyler Holden ended the drive when he rolled right away from a North rush and found Aaron Dillon, who had worked his way open in the right corner of the end zone for the score and a 14-7 lead with 6:31 left to play.

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East's Tucker, defense sparks 27-7 win over Waukesha North

Sept. 04, 2009 10:17 p.m. | Senior running back Donavin Tucker scored two long touchdowns and sparked Brookfield East to a 27-7 victory at Waukesha North tonight.

Tucker scored from 32 yards out with 9:56 left in the first quarter and Colin DeVoe's point after gave the Spartans a 7-0 lead. Senior lineback Tyler Lecher, who shared the game ball with Tucker, then led a defense that shut down the Northstars until 9:35 left in the game.

Chris Aho tossed a 30-yard touchdown pass to Steve Peterson, who also kicked the PAT to tie the game at 7-7.

But the Spartans quickly bounced back with an 8 play, 62-yard drive which ended when Skyler Holden rolled right away from a North rush and found Aaron Dillon in the right corner of the endzone for the score and a 14-7 lead with 6:31 left to play.

East then forced the Northstars to punt and Tedrick Boone ran 15 yards to start the drive and Tucker broke free on the fifth and last play of the drive and raced 62 yards for the score and a 21-7 advantage.

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Carroll, UWM forge engineering degree partnership

Sept. 03, 2009 4:12 p.m. | Waukesha — Another pathway to an engineering diploma opened Thursday as leaders from Carroll University and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee signed an agreement that will allow students to work toward such a degree at the Waukesha campus.

"We are now able to say to the local businesses in the city of Waukesha and Waukesha County that you now have an engineering program in your backyard," Carroll University President Douglas Hastad said at a signing ceremony on the Carroll campus.

Waukesha County business leaders have tried for years to expand the higher educational offerings available in the state's third largest county, most recently with an unsuccessful attempt to merge UW-Waukesha and UWM.

The Carroll-UWM initiative also addresses a more widespread push to increase the number of opportunities for Wisconsin students to become engineers, something considered critical to American industry's continued competitiveness in the global economy.

Just this year, UWM added more than 20 faculty members to its College of Engineering and Applied Science, UWM Chancellor Carlos Santiago said.

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Waukesha teens accused of burning swastika, 'KKK' symbols on basketball court

Sept. 01, 2009 4:10 p.m. | Waukesha — Three 17-year-old males have been arrested in connection with burning a swastika and "KKK" on a basketball court in the 900 block of Scott Ave. on Aug. 22.

Waukesha police have asked the Waukesha County District attorney's office to file a charge of arson with a hate crime enhancer against the three teens.

On the date of the incident, officers were called to the Scott Ave. area by neighbors who had detained one of the suspects. The neighbors told officers they saw the suspect pouring gasoline around the area, according to Waukesha police Lt. Dennis Angle.

A police investigation determined that the three suspects poured radio controlled car fuel into the shapes of a swastika and KKK on the basketball court and lighted the fuel, Angle said in a news release.

Police said it appears to be an isolated incident.

Man in Waukesha fire fell asleep after drinking

Sept. 01, 2009 1:52 p.m. | Waukesha - Waukesha firefighters called to a Waukesha apartment building Monday afternoon found a 44-year-old Waukesha man sitting in a chair with both his lap and the chair he was sitting in on fire.

City Fire Marshal Brian Charlesworth said the man had been drinking and either fell asleep or passed out with a cigarette in his hand.

He suffered second- and third-degree burns on his lap and legs and was taken by helicopter to St. Mary's Burn Center in Milwaukee.

Firefighters called to the scene saw smoke coming from the second-story apartment of the multi-family structure at 519 Glenwood Drive about 1:20 p.m. A neighbor told the first firefighters on the scene that he had knocked on the apartment door and had thought everyone was out.

Firefighters forced their way in and found a small fire in the man's lap and on the chair around him. He woke up "somewhat confused" as they were extinguishing the fire, Charlesworth said. The fire started on the man and spread slightly to the chair. Careless use of smoking materials was determined as the cause, he said..

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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.