From Miss St. Francis to Mrs. Claus, relive the year in pictures

Dec. 27, 2011 9:43 a.m. | We have just posted our collection of News Photos of the Year and Sports Photos of the Year as selected by NOW staff photojournalists C.T. Kruger and Peter Zuzga.

Browse the galleries to see images from some of the most newsworthy events of the past 12 months. You will also find some of the quieter, but no less photogenic events captured by our award-winning staff.

We also invite you to visit the links below to take a look back at the five most popular NOW photo galleries of 2011:

2011 Track and Field State Meet

Miss St. Francis pageant

» Read Full Article

Former prosecutor gets Waukesha County court appointment

Dec. 23, 2011 4:26 p.m. | Jennifer Dorow was appointed Friday to serve as a judge in Waukesha County Circuit Court by Gov. Scott Walker.

Dorow is a former assistant district attorney in Waukesha now in private practice with Huppertz & Dorow, S.C. She will replace Mark Gundrum, whom Walker recently appointed to the state Court of Appeals.

Dorow is the 16th judge appointed this year by Walker.

Dorow is a graduate of Marquette University and Regent University School of Law. She has been licensed to practice law in Wisconsin since 1996.

Armed robbery in Waukesha

Dec. 23, 2011 10:50 a.m. | Two men stopped a clerk in the parking lot displaying a handgun as she was leaving Discfunktion, 910 W. Sunset Drive around 8 p.m. on Dec. 22 according to a police report.

According to police, one of the suspects ordered her back into the store and had her empty cash from the register into a black bag. The other suspect remained in the parking lot. An undetermined amount of money was taken. No one was injured in the incident.

Police said both suspects are black males and the one displaying the gun had a nylon stocking over his face. Both appeared to be 20-25 years of age.

Call police at (262) 524-3831 if you have information.

Man sought after Waukesha standoff turns himself in

Dec. 22, 2011 1:00 p.m. | Waukesha - A man Waukesha police were searching for after a standoff outside his Waukesha residence on Tuesday turned himself in to a Waukesha County sheriff's deputy on Thursday morning, police said.

Anthony C. Gonzales, 52, is being held on a felony warrant, Waukesha police said.

A five-hour standoff outside his home ended Tuesday evening after police learned that Gonzales, who had been suspected of holing himself up in the residence, had actually fled before officers arrived.

Waukesha police had responded to a residence near S. East and Laflin avenues at 2:53 p.m. Tuesday after a woman reported that Gonzales, her boyfriend, had recently been released from prison and could be suicidal. The woman left the home before police arrived. Officers evacuated residents in two other apartments in the three-unit residence.

Police said Gonzales has a history of assaults.

Men's Shopping Day set for downtown Thursday

Dec. 21, 2011 10:36 a.m. | For many men, Christmas is one of the few occasions for which they shop. Downtown Waukesha shops will be geared to the male shopper Thursday with specials and special helpers.

The centerpiece of the day is a special lunch at Magellan/M2, 370 W. Main St., which is offering a slice of pizza, salad and soft drink for $10 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Magellan’s will also have gift basket raffle tickets for sale with proceeds benefitting United Way of Waukesha County.
Among the gift ideas that can be found in downtown Waukesha are antiques, aromatherapy gift sets, books, chocolate, flowers, horse-themed items and watches. Many restaurants, coffee shops and other businesses also offer gift certificates. Other gift ideas include a gift certificates for performances at Waukesha Civic Theatre or the Wisconsin Philharmonic, based in Waukesha.
For more information, visit

Standoff in Waukesha ends; suspect not found

Dec. 20, 2011 9:26 p.m. | A five-hour standoff outside a Waukesha home ended Tuesday evening when police learned the man suspected of holing himself up had actually fled before officers arrived.

Now Waukesha police are searching for Anthony C. Gonzales, 52, who has a felony warrant through the state Department of Corrections. Police are advising caution if anyone comes in contact with Gonzales because he has a history of assaults.

Waukesha police responded to a home near S. East and Laflin avenues at 2:53 p.m. after a woman reported that Gonzales, her boyfriend, had recently been released from prison and could be suicidal. The woman left the home before police arrived. Officers evacuated residents in two other apartments in the three-unit residence.

The Waukesha Police Department's tactical unit along with the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department's police dog and Bear Cat regional armored vehicle were sent to the scene because of the possibility Gonzales had armed himself and was barricaded inside the home.

Carroll University officials sent emails and text messages telling anyone inside the Bergstrom Complex of residence halls to stay inside while police responded to the domestic incident.

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Mayor will give out 12 keys to the city tonight

Dec. 20, 2011 11:56 a.m. | At tonight’s Common Council meeting, Mayor Jeff Scrima will honor those who have demonstrated Waukesha’s family values by handing out 12 keys to the city.

They are Waukesha Public Library Director Jane Ameel, Business Improvement Board President Norm Bruce, Philanthropists Andrea and Tony Bryant, ProHealth Care CEO Susan Edwards and ProHealth Care, Almont Gallery Owner Lynn Gaffey, Carroll University President Doug Hastad and Carroll University, Hebron House Executive Director Bernie Juno, Fire Chief Allen LaConte, Artist Jeff Seymour, The Taylor and People’s Park family, Waukesha State Bank President Ty Taylor and Waukesha State Bank and La Casa de Esperanza President Anselmo Villarreal and La Casa.

For a bio and overview of the award winners, pick up a copy of the Waukesha NOW on Thursday.

The meeting takes place at 7:30 p.m. at the City Hall Council Chambers. It will also be televised on TV25.

Do you know any of the people who are nominated? If so, what are your thoughts of the mayor’s selections. Or do you have others in mind who have been instrumental in the city or have left their mark on the 2011 year?

» Read Full Article

Becca Richter wins Big Star U.S. Tour regional singing competition

Dec. 20, 2011 11:00 a.m. | The year just keeps getting better and better for Becca Richter.

She already represented Waukesha in the 2012 Distinguished Young Women of Wisconsin competition during the summer, put out her first CD, is in the process of a second one and just continued to wow judges and crowds at various venues all year with her soothing singing voice and her superb guitar skills.

And the 17-year-old singer/songwriter was at it again last week.

The Waukesha North High School senior won the “Big Star U.S. Tour” competition – a regional singing contest held at The Majestic Theater in Madison.

The competition featured singers/songwriters from around the state who performed two of their original songs.

» Read Full Article

Taylor's People Park reopens in Waukesha

Dec. 19, 2011 10:10 p.m. | A bigger Taylor’s Peoples Park reopened today in downtown Waukesha, after having been closed since a fire Feb. 8, said co-owner Jim Taylor.

The popular bar and restaurant at 337 W. Main St. was rebuilt and expanded to the second floor and into a neighboring building at 811-813 Clinton St. It also now has a rooftop patio for the warm months.

Its trademark collage of dolls and figurines behind the bar was rebuilt as well.

Peoples Park is open daily from 10:30 a.m. to 2 a.m., with the kitchen serving until 11 p.m.

Report: Associated branches in Waukesha, Brookfield, Greendale to close

Dec. 17, 2011 8:06 p.m. | Associated Bank branches in Waukesha, Brookfield and Greendale are among the locations that will close as part of a consolidation announced Friday, the according to a report Saturday in the Wisconsin State Journal.

Associated, the largest bank based in Wisconsin, said Friday it was closing 21 branches in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois, but officials did not disclose with branches were closing.

An employee with the Green Bay-based bank provided the State Journal with a list of the branches that are slated to close, including two in Madison. A company spokeswoman on Saturday would not confirm the list.

Thoughts on Division III's national championship game between UW-Whitewater, Mount Union

Dec. 16, 2011 12:48 p.m. | The Super Bowl of Division III football is tonight.

And no polls done by coaches or writers or nothing a computer did put the two teams in it.

That's right, for the seventh consecutive year, UW-Whitewater and Mount Union earned the right to square off against each other for Division III's top honor. The game, labeled as the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl, is at 6 p.m. on ESPN 2.

Yes, that's right. It's been seven years. The last time the Stagg Bowl featured two teams other than UW-Whitewater and Mount Union was 2004. In 2004, Facebook was just starting, a tweet was only a sound a bird made, Brett Favre was beloved by everyone, Aaron Rodgers and Ryan Braun were still sitting in classrooms taking college exams and this year's freshman classes at UW-Whitewater and Mount Union were barely in middle school.

Back to this year's game: If UW-Whitewater can win and up its winning streak to 45 straight games, it will claim its third straight national championship and fourth in five years.

» Read Full Article

Downtown Waukesha apartment project OK'd

Dec. 15, 2011 3:10 p.m. | Waukesha - The Plan Commission has given final approval to Kendal Lofts, a 42-apartment downtown project planned for the site of the vacant former O'Brien Photography building and an adjacent small business on W. Main St.

The project, which recently was awarded a variance so it could be built 25 feet from the Fox River, as opposed to the 75-foot minimum setback, would have three stories of one- and two-bedroom units with inside parking on the ground level.

The Plan Commission voted 5-1 Wednesday to approve the conditional use permit, required because the project offers no retail business on the ground level as is otherwise required. Ald. Joan Francouer voted against it.

In other business, the Plan Commission held over until next Wednesday a request of MSP Development Co. to rezone 9.5 acres on Meadow Lane near Willowood Drive on the city's northwest side.

The firm proposes to build a 34-unit memory care facility and a 94-unit apartment complex on the property.

» Read Full Article

Longtime Waukesha library director to retire

Dec. 15, 2011 3:10 p.m. | Waukesha - Waukesha Public Library Director Jane Ameel, who's held the post for the past 27 years, has announced she'll retire effective May 1.

Her library career spans 38 years.

During her tenure in Waukesha, she has overseen three expansion and renovation projects, the formation of the CAFÉ - or Catalog Access for Everyone - consortium of local libraries, development of the library's public art program and introduction of the Waukesha Reads program, where the community focuses on a single book through a month's worth of book-related activities.

This year, the Wisconsin Library Association recognized Waukesha's library as the 2011 Wisconsin Library of the Year.

Longtime library director announces her retirement after 27 years in Waukesha

Dec. 15, 2011 11:05 a.m. | Jane Ameel has spent the better part of four decades using her quiet voice inside a library.   

But next year she will step down as the director of the Waukesha Public Library, as Ameel announced her retirement effective May 1, 2012.

Ameel has worked in libraries for 38 years, including 27 years as Waukesha’s director.

She has been at the helm of three expansions and renovation projects in Waukesha, the formation of the CAFÉ (Catalog Access for Everyone) consortium of local libraries, the development of the library’s public art program and the introduction of Waukesha Reads and numerous other community collaborations.

Under her direction, the Waukesha Public Library was named the 2011 Wisconsin Library of the Year by the Wisconsin Library Association.

» Read Full Article

Von Maur-anchored project may not begin construction until 2013

Dec. 15, 2011 10:45 a.m. | When I last wrote about The Corners, a proposed Town of Brookfield retail and office development anchored by a Von Maur department store, the expectation was that construction would begin in spring 2012, with the project opening in the fall of 2013.

But that timetable could be delayed by a year, Marcus Corp. Chief Executive Officer Greg Marcus said Thursday.

Marcus is developing The Corners, a $100 million project planned for 19 acres between W. Blue Mound Road and I-94, east of N. Barker Road. That site is now occupied by a small strip retail center and former theater owned by Marcus, and a former Menards store.

Davenport, Iowa-based Von Maur's planned 140,000-square-foot store will make up roughly one-third of The Corners, which will have about 460,000 square feet of retail and office space.

The response from other potential tenants remains strong, Greg Marcus said during today's conference call with analysts to discuss the company's quarterly financial results.

» Read Full Article

Woman hit by vehicle after crossing street illegally

Dec. 15, 2011 10:19 a.m. | A 62-year-old woman was struck by a vehicle Wednesday when illegally crossing East Avenue toward Broadway Avenue.

She was transported by the Waukesha Fire Department to Waukesha Memorial Hospital where she was being treated for non-life threatening injuries.

A press release from the Waukesha Police Department said the victim crossed from the area of the Hope Center (502 N. East Ave) - a place that provides relief to the homeless - in a diagonal fashion and headed toward Broadway.

The pedestrian was initially missed by one southbound vehicle, but a northbound vehicle then struck her.

The release said the victim and operator both appeared to be sober and the case was still under investigation.

» Read Full Article

What was your top story from Waukesha in 2011?

Dec. 13, 2011 11:38 a.m. | Whew!! That’s about all I can say after the year it has been in the City of Waukesha.

The 2011 year was a time of change within City Hall highlighted by its city administrator stepping down during the summer.

It marked a time of change within the Waukesha School District highlighted by the 130 retirements at the end of the school year.

It was a year where the city debated, debated and debated late into the night on an executive budget that saw its fair share of twists and turns. It was also a year in which the city’s water source continued to be on the minds of many.

But beneath the politics and the government news, it was a year in which the youth in this city excelled in the classroom and in extra-cirriculars.

» Read Full Article

Friday Night Hoops: North boys look to stay hot, South seeks first win in matchup between city rivals

Dec. 09, 2011 11:17 a.m. | One team looks to stay perfect, while the other looks for its first win.

The Waukesha North (5-0 overall, 1-0 Classic 8) and Waukesha South (0-3, 0-1) boys basketball teams – two squads heading in opposite directions to begin the 2011-12 season – square off tonight.

The one thing that could be on South’s side is that the game between the city rivals takes place at its home gym.

But it’s still early in the season and the Blackshirts’ fortunes could turn around.

One reason is because they are already battled-tested and have faced some stiff competition, as its three losses have been against teams who have started the year a combined 12-2 (Oconomowoc, Port Washington, Catholic Memorial).

» Read Full Article

On tap for Waukesha: Holiday events highlight upcoming weekend

Dec. 09, 2011 10:18 a.m. | If you’re not yet in the holiday spirit, there are plenty of opportunities this weekend in Waukesha.

For the second straight Saturday, the Breakfast with Santa event at Martha Merrell’s Books will take place.

The breakfast, which will be catered by Rochester Deli, is from 8 to 10 a.m. and kids can have photos with Santa from 1 to 3 p.m. at the store, which is located at 231 W. Main St. in downtown Waukesha.

During the day, children can also decorate a Christmas cookie, make a placemat for Santa and listen to a Christmas story. Cost is $16 and reservations are required. If still interested, contact Norm Bruce at (262) 547-1060.

If you are a late riser, you can enjoy a “Brunch with Santa” from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Generations At 5 Points, 294 W. Main St. in downtown Waukesha.

» Read Full Article

Ex-union accountant to enter plea in embezzlement case

Dec. 08, 2011 1:38 p.m. | Waukesha - A Waukesha woman charged with the theft of about $400,000 from a Wisconsin Operating Engineers fund is expected to enter a no contest plea next week and resolve the case without going to trial.

Sandra E. Jungbluth, 38, was an accountant for Carday Associates, which administers funds for the Operating Engineers and other labor groups.

She is accused of writing checks from the Operating Engineers account to herself and a now-former boyfriend, stamping those checks with the name of Mary Jane De Battista, a Carday vice president and manager of the company's Milwaukee-area offices, and cashing the checks.

De Battista and another Carday executive met with a Waukesha County sheriff's investigator on Feb. 4 and told the investigator they discovered that eight $2,500 checks had been cashed by Jungbluth without permission between Nov. 29, 2010, and Jan. 26, 2011, according to a criminal complaint filed against Jungbluth.

Jungbluth was arrested that day, the complaint states.

» Read Full Article

Waukesha community clinic breaks ground Thursday

Dec. 07, 2011 5:00 p.m. | Waukesha - The new Waukesha Community Health Center, rising out of a partnership between the Sixteenth Street Community Health Center in Milwaukee and its federal grant and the Waukesha-based ProHealth Care and its Waukesha Memorial Hospital Foundation, will break ground on new quarters Thursday.

Medical services there are scheduled to start sometime next summer.

The clinic will be located next to the Waukesha Transit Center, in the former North Street Market at Barstow and North Sts. that has remained largely vacant since it was partially built in 2005.

The hospital foundation is contributing $2.3 million for site acquisition and initial operations. A $2.6 million federal grant made available to the Sixteenth Street Community Health Center through the Affordable Care Act is paying for completion of the unfinished interior and to join two separate buildings into a 15,000-square foot facility with 30 exam rooms.

Initially 12 people - three medial providers, nursing staff and workers to assist with insurance enrollment and to coordinate referrals - will staff the clinic. Eventually, the staff will grow to 40, including up to a dozen medical providers, spokeswoman Ellyn McKenzie said.

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Waukesha man charged with breaking into squad car

Dec. 07, 2011 2:54 p.m. | Waukesha - Daniel J. Heideman, 27, readily admits that he "does stupid things when he drinks."

Case in point: When he got drunk in August and needed a place to stay overnight, he broke into a community room in a Waukesha apartment complex and slept on a couch, according to a criminal complaint filed this week. Before that, he broke into a squad car of a Wisconsin State Patrol trooper in the Loft Apartments underground parking garage at 1408 Rockridge Road and stole a file from the back seat marked "confession."

The next morning, on Aug. 8, the state trooper alerted Waukesha police that someone had smashed the rear window of his squad car, bent the windshield wiper and removed some files, the complaint states.

When the officer arrived, Heideman was standing outside the complex, staring into space with bloodshot eyes and slurred speech. The officer subsequently located the trooper's file in an oven in the room next to the community room in the apartment complex.

According to the complaint, the complex has surveillance video, but Heideman had ripped the camera off the ceiling and pushed it up into the drop ceiling.

» Read Full Article

Discussion of an executive seach firm for city administrator is on agenda tonight

Dec. 07, 2011 11:52 a.m. | It still will be some time before Waukesha has a new city administrator.

But the city is now beginning to take steps to hire one.

It begins today when the Human Resources Committee meets at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the City Hall Council Chambers to discuss the hiring of a new city administrator.

Community Development Director Steve Crandell has been serving as the interim city administrator since Lori Luther left to become Peoria County’s (Ill.) administrator during the summer.

With the 2012 budget finally finished, discussion and an adoption process for evaluation of an executive search firm will take place at tonight’s meeting.

» Read Full Article

Santa Run to close downtown streets at 11 a.m. Saturday

Dec. 07, 2011 11:10 a.m. |

The third annual Santa Run for Charity takes place at 11 a.m. Saturday. The proceeds of the run go to benefit the Salvation Army.
The 5k run/walk through downtown Waukesha, Frame Park and around the Fox River. Thursday is the last day to register online at Registration is also available starting at 10 a.m. Saturday.
The event will assemble at the parking lot at 337 W. Main St. and in six parking stalls at 351 W. Main St. Starting at 11 a.m., the race will proceed south on Clinton Street, east on South Street, north on Gaspar Street, west on West Main Street, south on North West Avenue, east on Wisconsin Avenue, north on North East Avenue, north on Buckley Street to Frame Park, then through Frame Park to Moreland Boulevard, then west along the Moreland Boulevard bridge sidewalk, then south through Frame Park to Barstow Street, then west on Riverfront Plaza, then south on Clinton Street and back to the beginning. The race events will end at 3:30 p.m.
This year’s race will be timed and include men’s and women’s divisions of 40 and above and 40 and below with prizes for first, second and third place.
Participants are encouraged to dress-up as something related to Christmas. The top five costumes will get recognized and there is also a best animal costume.
Last year’s race attracted about 200 runners.
For more information call (262) 549-6154.

Waukesha to allow apartments close to Fox River

Dec. 06, 2011 11:56 a.m. | Waukesha - A proposed 42-unit residential building on W. Main St. in downtown Waukesha can be built 25 feet from the Fox River rather than the minimum requirement of 75 feet under a variance granted Monday by the Board of Zoning Appeals.

The Kendal Lofts, which could be sold as condos eventually, would be built at the site of the vacant former O'Brien Photography building and an adjacent smaller sign shop. The existing structures are about 20 feet from the river.

Developer Ken Miller of The Kendal Group Ltd., which has built and manages hundreds of units primarily in the Milwaukee area, intends to build a three-story building of one- and two-bedroom units with inside parking on the ground level.

The Plan Commission in September gave preliminary approval to a conditional use permit for the project, needed because the business zoning district requires some retail use in combination with residential use, and no retail is proposed. The commission asked Miller to come back with a variance and plans for additional parking before it gives final approval.

In response to earlier concerns, Miller reduced the building from four residential stories to three and designed a flat rather than pitched roof.

Lottery player strikes green and gold jackpot

Dec. 01, 2011 5:06 p.m. | Waukesha - Here's hoping that Eric Hill of Waukesha is a big Packers fan and likes to hit the road.

The Wisconsin Lottery announced Thursday that Hill has won the top prize in the Packers Raffle game that will give him four game tickets, airfare, two hotel rooms, transportation between hotel and stadium and four tailgate party passes to every Packers road game next season.

Hill also won a complete trip for two to any Packers away playoff game - excluding the Super Bowl - or four game tickets but none of the extras to any Lambeau Field playoff game the Packers are in next season.

Attempts to reach Hill were unsuccessful Thursday.

The state lottery estimates the winnings are worth nearly $70,000.

» Read Full Article

Thompson announcing at firm receiving stimulus money

Dec. 01, 2011 11:57 a.m. | Former Gov. Tommy Thompson hasn't been afraid to attack others for backing President Barack Obama's controversial stimulus package.

"Does that sound like a conservative?" Thompson shouted at a Capitol rally last year in which he was criticizing then-Sen. Russ Feingold. "Then he said, 'Oh, but I vote against earmarks.' Well, he voted, ladies and gentlemen, for the stimulus package that had 8,000 earmarks in it!"

So isn't it odd that Thompson is officially launching his bid for the U.S. Senate today at a company that directly benefited from the Recovery Act?

Federal records show Weldall Manufacturing in Waukesha was awarded $300,000 in stimulus dollars in October 2010 under an energy project overseen by the state Department of Administration. Here are the project specifics:

"This program continued to fund projects in the manufacturing sector that conserve existing energy resources, ensure efficient use of available energy and develop new energy sources while protecting the quality of the environment."

» Read Full Article
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Community Watch

» From Miss St. Francis to Mrs. Claus, relive the year in pictures 12/27

» Former prosecutor gets Waukesha County court appointment 12/23

» Armed robbery in Waukesha 12/23

» Man sought after Waukesha standoff turns himself in 12/22

» Men's Shopping Day set for downtown Thursday 12/21

» Standoff in Waukesha ends; suspect not found Updated:  12/20

» Mayor will give out 12 keys to the city tonight 12/20

» Becca Richter wins Big Star U.S. Tour regional singing competition 12/20

» Taylor's People Park reopens in Waukesha 12/19

» Report: Associated branches in Waukesha, Brookfield, Greendale to close 12/17

» Thoughts on Division III's national championship game between UW-Whitewater, Mount Union 12/16

» Downtown Waukesha apartment project OK'd 12/15

» Longtime Waukesha library director to retire 12/15

» Longtime library director announces her retirement after 27 years in Waukesha 12/15

» Von Maur-anchored project may not begin construction until 2013 12/15

» Woman hit by vehicle after crossing street illegally 12/15

» What was your top story from Waukesha in 2011? 12/13

» Friday Night Hoops: North boys look to stay hot, South seeks first win in matchup between city rivals 12/9

» On tap for Waukesha: Holiday events highlight upcoming weekend 12/9

» Ex-union accountant to enter plea in embezzlement case 12/8

» Waukesha community clinic breaks ground Thursday 12/7

» Waukesha man charged with breaking into squad car 12/7

» Discussion of an executive seach firm for city administrator is on agenda tonight 12/7

» Santa Run to close downtown streets at 11 a.m. Saturday 12/7

» Waukesha to allow apartments close to Fox River 12/6

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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.