West girls beat Dominican, 38-36

Nov. 29, 2013 3:48 p.m. | New Berlin West's girls basketball team defeated Whitefish Bay Dominican, 38-36, at the Brookfield Central Thanksgiving Shootout on Friday.

Allazia Blockton scored 25 points to lead all scorers, but the Vikings used a balanced attack to hang on and give coach Jef Radtke his first win back as a head coach.

Sarah Meleski had nine points, Claire Radtke and Rachel Novotny each had eight to lead West.

Trailing 10-8 after one quarter, the Vikings outscored the Knights, 12-2, in the second quarter as Meleski scored seven points on three baskets and a free throw to lead 20-12 at halftime.

Claire Radtke had two key steals in the final minute and Novotny had two big baskets in the final quarter.

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Fiddleheads Coffee opening a cafe at Bayshore

Nov. 28, 2013 9:49 a.m. | Fiddleheads Coffee Roasters will open its fourth cafe sometime in December, at Bayshore Town Center in Glendale.

The cafe will fill the space left vacant by Caribou Coffee at the shopping center’s southern end, near W. Silver Spring and N. Bayshore drives, said Fiddleheads spokeswoman Lauren Stagakis.

Besides coffee and espresso drinks and the roaster’s own scones, muffins and other baked goods, Fiddleheads’ breakfast and lunch menu will be served. Breakfast is served all day, such as the sausage and egg sandwich ($5.25), on Fiddleheads’ own bread. Lunch sandwiches are $7.95, or $8.45 for a half sandwich and soup. 

The menu includes vegetarian and dairy-free items, and the cafe will have wraps and salads for customers to grab and go. 

The exact date it will open is to be determined, but the hours are set: 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday and 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

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NSFD board passes funding formula

Nov. 27, 2013 12:27 p.m. | The matter was all but settled Monday afternoon when River Hills Village President Bob Brunner, called first in a roll call vote, gave his assent for a funding formula proposal he had pledged to veto up until last week.

Following his "yes," the rest of the North Shore Fire Department board quickly and without further discussion passed the proposal unanimously.

Now approved by the NSFD board, the formula proposal will need to be ratified by the village boards or common council in each of the seven NSFD member communities. Glendale Mayor Jerome Tepper requested that each board vote on the proposal by the end of the year, so that in the unlikely event the formula is turned down somewhere, Glendale could still issue its two-year withdrawal notice, effective 2016, by the end of the year.

Also on the NSFD board agenda was the potential expulsion of River Hills, a subject which was retired after Brunner voted "yes" on the funding formula.

"There's no need to go into that discussion," Brown Deer Village President Carl Krueger said, adding later, "I'm very happy that NSFD is going to stay together as a cohesive unit."

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River Hills passes levy, tax rate increases

Nov. 25, 2013 9:01 p.m. | River Hills — For the first time in five years, River Hills residents will see an increase in the village tax levy, and as a result, an increase in the tax rate.

In each of the last four years, the Village Board has kept the village tax levy flat at about $2.9 million. The levy approved by the Village Board last week breaks the $3 million mark, and is about $81,000, or $2.7 percent, more than the 2013 levy. The increase amounts to a 13 cent increase to the tax rate for a total of $6.23 per $1,000 of assessed property value. Overall spending is budgeted to increase by about $142,000, or 4 percent, a majority of which will go toward increased debt payments.

For the average River Hills resident with a $738,400 home, that means a village bill of $4,600 for 2014 — about $128 more than last year, when the average home value was estimated at about $733,000.

About half of the $80,000 levy increase will go toward an increase in village costs for police and fire dispatch services provided by Bayside, Village Manager Chris Lear said. The other half will be used for an increase in property insurance.

Guiding the board's decision to increase the levy was the desire to curb the village's debt load. When reviewing a preliminary budget in October, the board decided to use the levy increase to eliminate planned borrowing for capital projects and a projected budget deficit. The 2014 budget increases debt payments by about $100,000, to a total of about $600,000, to increase the rate at which the village pays down its outstanding debt.

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River Hills on board with NSFD funding formula

Nov. 21, 2013 10:27 a.m. | River Hills — Village President Bob Brunner will give his approval next week when the North Shore Fire Department votes on a proposed funding formula.

After spending nearly an hour in closed session talks Wednesday evening, the River Hills Village Board gave a 6-1 recommendation that Brunner votes in favor of the formula next week. Brunner, who has repeatedly criticized the proposal, was the lone "no" vote.

Trustees declined to comment on the nature of their closed-door deliberations.

The meeting was the second time in the last week that the River Hills board discussed the formula proposal, which Brunner had previously said he would veto at the NSFD board level. Talks among NSFD board members became heated in the last month after Brunner announced his intention to veto the formula, prompting Glendale Mayor Jerome Tepper to say he would advise Glendale to withdraw from the fire department.

Over the weekend, Brown Deer Village President Carl Krueger invoked a provision of the NSFD agreement which allows six communities to expel the seventh on a unanimous vote. The NSFD board Tuesday morning opted to hold over the formula and expulsion deliberations until next week, a move which gave the River Hills board one more chance to sway Brunner.

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Glendale passes flat levy, reduced budget

Nov. 20, 2013 11:01 a.m. | Glendale — The city will tax the same amount as last year and spend less, but a decrease in property values means an increase in the tax rate.

The Common Council last week approved a $12.2 million levy and $18.7 million city budget. The levy remains flat in 2014 while overall city spending decreases by about $215,000, or 1 percent, compared to 2013.

Though the city's equalized value — the fair market value of city properties as estimated by the state — increased, the city's assessed value decreased by about $8 million. The spike in value of commercial properties within the city's tax incremental financing districts paired with the drop in assessed values citywide means a 21 cent, or 2.8 percent, increase in the tax rate to $7.54 per $1,000 of assessed value, City Administrator Richard Maslowski said.

For the average Glendale homeowner with a $170,000 home, that means a city tax bill of $1,281, about $35 more than last year.

In a memo to the Common Council, Maslowski writes that the continued struggle is in accounting for inflation in basic operating costs like electricity, gas, and natural gas while having flat revenue due to state-mandated levy limits.

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Bayside keeps tax levy flat for fourth consecutive year

Nov. 19, 2013 9:33 p.m. | Bayside — Bayside has held the line on its tax levy for the fourth consecutive year. The tax rate on the other hand is rising slightly.

After a brief overview of the 2014 budget, the Bayside Village Board on Tuesday approved a $4.4 million tax levy that supports a $9.3 million budget. With decreasing property values, the tax rate is increasing 5 cents — $7.71 per $1,000 in assessed value in 2013 to $7.76 in 2014.

In 2012, the tax rate was $7.07, according to 2014 budget documents.

The average Bayside home will see an increase of $15.60 on the village portion of their tax bill. For a $300,000 home, that totals $2,328.

The tax levy is only $7 less than the last two years and identical to the 2011 budget, said Village Manager Andy Pederson.

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Sewer rates to increase in Whitefish Bay's 2014 budget

Nov. 19, 2013 9:09 p.m. | Whitefish Bay — Sewer rates will increase by 16 percent next year in Whitefish Bay under the 2014 budget adopted by the village.

After conducting a public hearing on Monday, the Village Board adopted resolutions approving the main components of the 2014 budget, including its four utility funds. The board also approved a separate resolution for the sewer utility rate increase.

Beginning Jan. 1, the rate will rise from $2.65 per 100 cubic feet to $3.07 per 100 cubic feet, an increase expected to generate more than $400,000 in additional revenue for metered local usage in 2014, compared with what is projected for 2013.

Village Manager Patrick DeGrave said the rate increase, which was initially proposed at 33 percent for 2014, will be split between 2014 and 2015 in an effort to ease the burden on users. The increase, along with the transfer of about $227,000 from the village's 2014 capital fund, will help offset increased debt service payments of more than $500,000, which will fund projects along Larkin Street and Hollywood, Hampton and Bartlett avenues, in addition to design and construction inspection services.

Since 2011, the village's debt service costs have increased by 108 percent for its sewer utility and 45 percent for its water utility, as presented during a recent budget review session. With a continued focus on infrastructure improvements, the 2014 budget includes a total of about $11.6 million in capital projects to be financed through a combination of borrowing and special assessments for water, sewer and stormwater utility improvements, as stated in the letter of transmittal for the proposed budget.

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Shorewood taxes to increase slightly

Nov. 19, 2013 8:37 p.m. | Shorewood — Average village homeowners can expect to pay about $16 more in taxes for village services in 2014 than they did for 2013.

On Monday the Village Board approved a 2014 tax levy of about $10.6 million, a 0.97 percent increase over the 2013 levy. The increase is the first of five annual increases of about 1 percent planned by the village board; the total 5 percent increase is the amount allowed under state levy limit laws.

According to Village Manager Chris Swartz's budget presentation, the levy has increased at an average of about 2 percent over the last 10 years, in part due to a decrease in interest on village investments and declining state aid.

"Those things continued to be squeezed," Swartz said. "You have to cut expenditures, as we've done, and increase property taxes (as a result)."

For 2014 the village tax rate comes to $7.17 per $1,000 of assessed home value, a 5 cent increase over last year. For a Shorewood homeowner with a $300,000 home, that means a 2014 village tax bill of $2,152, or $15.65 more than the 2013 tax rate.

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NSFD board delays formula, expulsion decisions as River Hills meeting looms

Nov. 19, 2013 10:40 a.m. | Waiting for the results of a second round of discussion at the River Hills Village Board on Wednesday, the North Shore Fire Department Board of Directors early Tuesday decided to delay its decision on a proposed funding formula.

The decision will be made when the NSFD board meets at 4 p.m. Nov. 25 at the NSFD headquarters in Brown Deer.

Consideration of both the formula and a possible expulsion of River Hills was on the agenda Tuesday. By delaying the two matters, the NSFD board bought time for the River Hills Village Board to weigh in and potentially call a vote on the formula at its upcoming Wednesday meeting.

River Hills Village Manager Chris Lear said several trustees have contacted him to have a formula discussion and potential vote included on the board agenda Wednesday.

"We want to see what the outcome of that is before we cast this thing in stone," said Bayside Village President Sam Dickman, who made the motion to hold over deliberations until next week.

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River Hills could face expulsion from North Shore Fire Department

Nov. 18, 2013 3:15 p.m. | River Hills could find itself forced out of the North Shore Fire Department, depending on the outcome of an NSFD Board of Directors meeting Tuesday.

The main topic of conversation will be a proposed funding formula, which River Hills Village President Bob Brunner has threatened to veto. Glendale Mayor Jerome Tepper has said that he will advise Glendale to leave the fire department if the proposal is defeated.

Meeting with the River Hills Village Board on Friday, Brunner said he was committed to the veto, despite whatever feedback the River Hills board may have had. He declined to comment Monday what his position was relative to the veto.

The fire services agreement binding the seven NSFD member communities contains a provision which allows representatives from six communities to expel the remaining community on a unanimous vote. The provision has existed in the NSFD arrangement since the department's inception in 1995 but has not been invoked or included on an agenda before now.

Over the weekend, Brown Deer Village President Carl Krueger requested that an item relating to a possible expulsion be added to the NSFD board's agenda.

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Two charged in Glendale murder

Nov. 18, 2013 1:40 p.m. | Glendale — Robert Christophel, 28, of Milwaukee, and Nicholas Retzlaff, 25, of Bayside, were charged Friday with first-degree intentional homicide in the murder of 65-year-old Glendale resident Peter Holzberger.

The two also are charged with burglary, and Retzlaff is charged with attempting to flee from an officer, leading a high-speed chase through the streets of Milwaukee.

The charges were filed in Milwaukee County Circuit Court.

The men face life sentences if they are convicted on the homicide charge.

Holzberger was a former member of the Glendale Environmental Council and a transparency advocate who threw his hat in the ring three times for Glendale's 3rd Aldermanic District in the 1990s and early 2000s. In each of his three attempts, Holzberger lost out to longtime incumbent William Huegel.

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WIAA State Boys Volleyball Tournament photo gallery now online

Nov. 17, 2013 12:32 p.m. | We've just updated our 2013 WIAA State Boys Volleyball Tournament photo gallery with more images from this weekend's state finals at Wisconsin Lutheran College.

Marquette defeated Germantown, 21-25, 25-20, 23-25, 25-22, 15-12, to win the state title.

Marquette earned its spot in the finals with victories over Westosha Central and Brookfield East.

Germantown reached the finals with victories over Middleton and Catholic Memorial. The Warhawks rallied from two-set deficits in both contests.

2013 WIAA State Boys Volleyball Tournament photo gallery

Two arrested in connection with Glendale murder

Nov. 14, 2013 12:02 p.m. | Glendale — Glendale police have arrested two Milwaukee men in connection with the murder of Peter M. Holzberger, 65, who lived at 6374 North Port Washington Road, according to a GPD news release.

Holzberger was reported missing by a friend late last week, prompting a missing person investigation by Glendale police, who found Holzberger dead in his home.

The investigation produced the two suspects, a 25-year-old and 28-year-old man, both city of Milwaukee residents. Police say Holzberger knew the men.

Glendale police plan to file murder charges against both suspects with the District Attorney's Office tomorrow.

Holzberger was a graduate of Riverside High School in Milwaukee and later the Milwaukee Area Technical College, according to archived local election coverage from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

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Pair arrested after report of woman injuring her leg at Sybaris Pool Suites

Nov. 13, 2013 1:52 p.m. | A  21-year-old Milwaukee woman was arrested on a Greenfield warrant and a 25-year-old Milwaukee man for a parole violation after police and rescue responded to a report of a woman injuring her leg getting out of a hot tub at Sybaris Pool Suites, 10240 N. Cedarburg Road, at 1:42 a.m. Nov. 7.

According to the Mequon police report:

Another woman left the suite just as police arrived. While the injured woman was being treated, police asked the man about the strong odor of marijuana evident in the suite. He said the two women smoked the drug. He was arrested for violating his parole not to be around people who break the law.

After the woman was medically cleared she was taken into custody on the warrant.

This is the second recent report of police activity at the Sybaris, where a night of partying resulted in a trashed room Nov. 4.

Fox Point still not in step with footbridge costs

Nov. 13, 2013 12:18 p.m. | Fox Point — Citing a recently revealed cost estimate for replacing the Bridge Lane Ravine footbridge, the Village Board has decided not to immediately seek a new estimate and will take up the issue again next month.

For the first time Tuesday, village trustees saw a cost estimate from Ayres Associates, the engineering firm which has drawn up plans for the potential new bridge. Village President Michael West said the estimate, dated February 2013, was kept under wraps until he could review it.

At about $980,000, the estimate is among the lowest of the 17 estimates given to the village since 2010, which span a variety of construction techniques and bridge styles.

However, West noted, the estimate has its pros and cons. It's the first based on the actual design from Ayres, which the village would use if it ever decides to go forward with the reconstruction. But as West pointed out, Ayres' role as engineering firm, which differ from a construction company, leaves room to question the estimate.

"It was prepared by our consultant using the design they've created, so that's important," West said. "The negative is that it's prepared by an engineering consultant as opposed to someone who actually builds things."

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Congregation Shalom denied statue lighting

Nov. 13, 2013 11:54 a.m. | Fox Point — Congregation Shalom will not be allowed to light the two metal statues fronting Santa Monica Boulevard.

A motion to allow lighting on the two approximately 25-foot tall statues failed on a 3-3 tie at the Village Board on Tuesday. Trustees Bill Warner, Douglas H. Frazer and Village President Michael West voted for the lighting, while trustees F.R. Dengel, Beverly Bell and Eric Fonstad voted against it.

The Plan Commission had previously recommended approval of the lighting on a 4-2 vote.

The crux of the discussion Tuesday was a particular point of the village lighting ordinance that says that any new lighting must comply with the residential nature of the village.

"We're a residential community," Fonstad said. "If we approve lighting these sculptures, what do we do when somebody else wants to light something in their yard?"

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Fox Point weighs in on NSFD funding formula

Nov. 13, 2013 11:43 a.m. | Fox Point — Village President Michael West on Tuesday was given the informal support of the Village Board on his intent to approve a proposed fire department funding formula.

West, along with representatives from the other six North Shore Fire Department member communities, meet next Tuesday at Shorewood Village Hall to vote on the proposal. In the meantime, River Hills, whose President Bob Brunner has been the one NSFD board member to openly oppose the proposal, meets Friday to deliberate and may call a vote.

The proposed formula, which determines the share of the total NSFD budget each community pays, would take effect in 2016 and replace a three-year formula set by the NSFD board in 2012. With the help of third-party mediator Public Policy Forum, officials and administrators from the member communities arrived at the new formula after 10 months of consideration.

And though policy forum President Rob Henken has said the resulting formula proposal gained consensus among city and village administrators, the same cannot be said of elected officials. In mid-October River Hills' Brunner called the proposal a "bailout" for Glendale and threatened to veto the new formula if a vote is called at the coming meeting. In response, Glendale Mayor Jerome Tepper said he would advise Glendale to separate from NSFD in 2016 if the proposed formula is defeated.

Last week Whitefish Bay Village President Julie Siegel called a vote on the matter at the Bay board, receiving a unanimous backing of her plan to approve the proposal.

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Mequon's tax rate flat, but Council using reserves to balance budget

Nov. 13, 2013 11:37 a.m. | Mequon — Mequon residents will not see any increase in the city's tax rate in 2014, marking the fifth consecutive year it has been kept at the same level.

Following a public hearing, the Common Council on Tuesday approved an ordinance adopting the budget, as recommended by the Appropriations Committee, which sets expenditures at about $18.6 million, a 1.2 percent increase from 2013.

The budget sets the tax rate at $3.04 per $1,000 of assessed value, which remains unchanged since 2010. The total tax levy of about $19.6 million represents a slight increase of 0.14 percent from the 2013 tax levy.

District 7 Alderman Andrew Nerbun praised city staff for their efforts to hold the line on taxes, but also cautioned against the continued practice of utilizing fund balance in order to do so.

Nerbun commented that while internal transfers of excess reserve funds can work well as a short-term measure to balance the budget, the city should make an effort to wean itself off of the practice in the near future, to avoid bringing its reserve funds below the city's recommended level of 10 percent of the entire general fund and forcing the city to turn elsewhere to bridge the gap.

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Thiensville passes flat levy, budget

Nov. 13, 2013 10:55 a.m. | Thiensville — The village will tax slightly less and budget the same amount in 2014 as it did in the current year.

The Village Board on Monday unanimously approved an essentially flat budget and tax levy. A slight decrease in the village's levy means the 2014 village tax rate will fall 1 cent to $7.41 per $1,000 of assessed property value, Village Administrator Dianne Robertson said.

For the average resident with a $241,200 home, that means a village tax bill of $1,787.29, or about $2 less than last year.

The village's overall property value is down slightly, Robertson said, owing to the two Main Street properties bought earlier this year by the village becoming tax exempt as a result.

If the sale of the properties to Thiensville doctor Gary Lewis, who will develop the land into a multiuse medical facility, takes place before the end of the year, the land will again become taxable and could slightly reduce the tax rate, Robertson said.

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Steffen students learn about the price of freedom

Nov. 12, 2013 9:47 p.m. | Mequon — There's no better way to teach students about the price of freedom and the importance of veterans than to show them.

Steffen Middle School students had a powerful lesson during a Veterans Day program last week when they watched the documentary "Honor Flight," which follows World War II veterans on their journey to see the Washington, D.C., memorial. World War II veteran Joe Demler was one of those veterans. The Port Washington resident discusses the traumatic events of his past as a prisoner of war in the film. He then spoke in greater detail about those events with Steffen students last week.

Demler was captured by the Germans during the Battle of the Bulge. He was held captive in a Nazi prison camp for months. When he was finally freed, he weighed 70 pounds and had mere days left to live. An iconic photo showing Demler in the prison camp ran in an issue of Life magazine on April 16, 1945. That image of Demler has been called "the human skeleton."

"I had about three days left (to live)," he said of the day he was liberated. "When I was discharged, the doctor said, 'son, you can go home, you were born again.'"

Fast forward 60 years later and Demler's past has become a source of inspiration.

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Art sale to benefit historical society

Nov. 12, 2013 3:17 p.m. | Thiensville — An upcoming art sale Friday and Saturday will both celebrate deceased Thiensville artist Earle Raine and raise money for the Mequon-Thiensville Historical Society.

The Mequon-Thiensville Historical Society is a recent recipient of a matching grant from the Wisconsin State Historical Society, President Bob Blazich said, and auction company owner Tarq Durante will donate 50 percent of the sale proceeds to help the historical society raise funds for the grant.

On Friday, the nearly 100 available works of Earle Raine will be 50 percent off, or best offer, at Cedarburg Auction and Estate Sales, 227 North Main Street. On Saturday the works will be marked down further, an auctioneer said.

According to an MTHS statement, Raine was a nationally acclaimed artist who graduated from the former Layton School of Art in Milwaukee in the 1930s. He was a longtime Thiensville resident and died in 2005 at the age of 94.

Sale prices range from $10 to more than $700. Works include World War II paintings from Raine's time in France, artwork for Collier's magazine covers and cartoons, as well as sketches and paintings of people, area buildings and landscapes.

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Shorewood residents want tax hikes capped by CPI, favor consolidations

Nov. 12, 2013 2:53 p.m. | Shorewood — A majority of residents support maintaining village services so long as resulting tax increases are kept at or below the rate of inflation, and support consolidating a number of village departments with neighboring municipalities, according to results of the 2013 village survey.

The survey was the third village-wide questionnaire conducted in partnership with nearby University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the last 10 years. Of the three, the 2013 survey had the highest response rate, with nearly 1,600 residents participating for a 23.6 percent response rate by household.

"It was the first time we did it online," Special Projects Coordinator Peter Cahill said of the survey. "We weren't sure how well it was going to go over, but I think it did go over really well."

Working within constraints

Consolidations of services like police or public works have been perennial topics of conversation in the North Shore in recent years, and though no one has yet called a vote on the subject or solidified a proposal, interest has increased as state-mandated levy limits have squeezed municipal budgets.

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Two-floor suite trashed after apparent wild night at the Sybaris

Nov. 12, 2013 9:42 a.m. | Criminal damage to property was reported after management at the Sybaris Pool Suites discovered a two-floor, $349 per-night suite was trashed the morning of Nov 4.

According to the Mequon police report:

A 42-year-old Milwaukee man, known to the motel after having stayed there before, rented the two-floor suite with both a pool and a hot tub putting down a $100 deposit at 6 p.m. Nov. 3.

Police were called in the morning after management found the damage which included broken liquor bottles in the pool, a queen-sized mattress in an empty hot tub, wet carpets, marijuana ash scattered about, vomit in a bathroom sink, dents in a mural behind the hot tub, and floors littered with cups, towels and clothing.

Loss to the motel, 10240 N. Cedarburg Road, consisted of $1,200 rental revenue and at least $500 damage to the suite.

View snow photos from social media users

Nov. 11, 2013 1:50 p.m. | Whether you think it's coming too early or are embracing it whole-heartedly, snow is here in the Milwaukee area.

And people around the area were sharing their thoughts - and photos - on Twitter, Instagram and more.

Take a look at some of the photos and videos that were shared in the MyCommunityNOW Storify story of the first snowfall of 2013.

Arrowhead surges to top spot in suburban football poll

Nov. 11, 2013 11:53 a.m. | Arrowhead has moved back to the top spot in the MyCommunityNOW/Lake Country Publications suburban football poll on the strength of a 36-3 victory over Germantown in Friday's Level 3 contest.

Former No. 1 Homestead lost to Kimberly, 37-7. Undefeated Greendale, a 41-27 winner over Plymouth in Level 3, is second in the poll.

Visit Push for the Playoffs for the rest of the poll, Coaches Confidential, You Make the Call and more.

Read social media story of Division 2 Level 3 football playoffs games

Nov. 09, 2013 8:37 a.m. | Homestead looked to continue its hopes for its second consecutive title while Waukesha West sought to advance in the WIAA Division 2 football playoffs Friday.

As always, fans and reporters were on Twitter and other social networks. Read the MyCommunityNOW Storify social media story of the games.

Kimberly football team smashes Homestead in playoff stunner, 37-7

Nov. 08, 2013 10:32 p.m. | Kimberly football coach Steve Jones admitted that his team played with a chip on its shoulder Friday night at Homestead.

The Papermakers had an 11-0 record, a 50 points-per-game average and a physical, quick, efficient team that has not been seriously challenged all season, and yet all it could do was earn a second seed in its WIAA Division 2 playoff bracket behind the defending state champion Highlanders.

That chip landed like a boulder on Homestead's head Friday night, as the Papermakers made the two-hour trip down from Kimberly a profitable one, dominating the Highlanders from the get-go in a 37-7 Division 2, Level 3 playoff victory.

"Not taking anything away from Homestead; they're an excellent team and a deserving number one seed," said Jones, "but it was just unfortunate that we were placed in the same (eight-team) bracket."

"I think this started with our seniors. We have experienced senior-dominated offensive and defensive lines and we wanted to establish control at the point of attack right away, and I think we did a successful job of that."

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New agreement could speed police responses

Nov. 07, 2013 1:06 p.m. | A proposed mutual aid agreement would allow police dispatchers at the consolidated Bayside Communications Center to send the nearest officer to emergency scenes, regardless of which community employs the officer.

The agreement was approved by the Whitefish Bay Village Board on Monday, and will need to be approved in Bayside, Brown Deer, Fox Point, Glendale, River Hills and Shorewood before taking effect.

In emergency situations, the Bayside dispatchers, who are always tracking the location of each department's squad cars, have the authority to send police officers across jurisdictional lines in order to reduce response times. The concept of the agreement was born last year out of the potential for the consolidated dispatch center to quicken emergency responses, Whitefish Bay Village Manager Patrick DeGrave said, and after a lot of wordsmithing by municipal attorneys is ready for approval.

'They're going to help'

"It's the closest car, regardless of the patch on their shoulder, DeGrave said. "...It's really to service the communities the best we can, which is to get the nearest person with training there as quick as we can."

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Young runners raise money to honor peer, fund hospital

Nov. 07, 2013 1:06 p.m. | Mequon — Like many of us who have sweated it out on the treadmill or track, Karen Rader and Amy Bongard have a love-hate relationship with running.

But, as they'll tell you, they focus on the love.

Rader was visiting friends in California a few years back when she ran in a 5K sponsored by nonprofit Girls on the Run. The nonprofit, founded in 1996, organizes elementary and middle school-age girls into groups with the goal of helping each girl embrace her individual strengths.

Her interest piqued by her experience in California, Rader sought out Bongard — who was, at the time, her eldest daughter's first-grade teacher at Donges Bay Elementary — and the pair started their own Girls on the Run chapter in Mequon last year.

Gain strength throughout

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Shorewood to hold vision meeting Saturday

Nov. 06, 2013 2:44 p.m. | Shorewood  Elected officials want input from residents on the long-term vision for the village.

On Nov. 9 from 9 a.m. to noon in the Shorewood Intermediate School commons area, village staff and members of the Village Board will be on hand to discuss Shorewood's 2025 Vision Plan.

According to Special Projects Manager Peter Cahill, the vision plan "helps put together a picture of what we want the community to look like in 2025 and how we can get there."

Nicolet expels student for bomb scare

Nov. 06, 2013 1:07 p.m. | Glendale — The student believed to have written the note which precipitated a bomb scare and evacuation of Nicolet High School on Oct. 16 has been expelled from the district.

At the second of two closed-door hearings in the last week, the School Board on Tuesday expelled the student, whose identity wasn't released by the district.

On Oct. 16 a "vague" note, perceived to be threatening, was found and prompted a schoolwide lockdown. A bomb squad sweep of the building turned up two suspicious packages. Nicolet's roughly 1,100 students were evacuated, after which classes and district activities were canceled for the day.

The two packages found by the bomb squad were later determined to be non-threatening.

The student expelled this week was later arrested and referred to juvenile authorities on a federal bomb threat charge, Glendale Police said.

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Survey says: River Hills residents split on shared police, DPW

Nov. 06, 2013 12:29 p.m. | River Hills — Recently released results of the 2013 River Hills village survey show residents are split on whether the village should consolidate its police and public works with area departments.

The idea is a perennial topic of conversation throughout the North Shore, and though no one has gone so far as to call a vote on the matter or solidify a proposal, general interest has increased in recent years as state-mandated levy limits have squeezed municipal budgets.

The survey was distributed over the summer and had a 33 percent response rate. Among more general questions about the level of service in River Hills — residents overwhelming rated service as excellent or good — the theme of the survey was: how to do more with less?

"The trustees were looking for input from the residents on how to fund the services of the village with the budget dollars we have," Village Manager Chris Lear said. "The board would like to maintain our low tax rate, and how to do that is difficult."

When asked how to deal with budget constraints, a majority of respondents said the village should hold the line on property taxes, consider staff cuts, or hold the line even if that means making staff cuts. On the flip side, about 46 percent of respondents said the village should maintain services, presumably with increased taxes over time as a result.

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Brown Deer village tax rate increases in light of continued property value decline

Nov. 05, 2013 8:51 p.m. | Brown Deer — The average village homeowner can expect to pay about $15 more in village taxes than last year, according to a 2014 budget and levy passed by the Village Board on Monday.

On average, village taxes account for about a quarter of a resident's property tax bill, which includes levies from other taxing authorities like the school district, Milwaukee County, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, and Milwaukee Area Technical College.

The total village budget is set to increase by about $87,000, or less than 1 percent, compared to last year. Similarly, the overall village levy increases by about $24,000, or 0.3 percent, the amount allowed by state law as a result of new construction in the village.

The levy increase, paired with a projected decline in overall village property values, is expected to cause a tax rate increase of 11 cents over last year to $8.58 per $1,000 of assessed value. For the average Brown Deer homeowner with a house valued at $136,654, that means a village tax bill of $1,138.38 — about $15 more than last year.

As Village Manager Michael Hall pointed out in his presentation to the board, 2013 marks the fifth consecutive year overall property values have decreased throughout the village. Property values were rising steadily year after year before the overall decline began in 2008, reflecting the nationwide boom and bust pattern of the housing bubble and so-called Great Recession.

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Bay board backs NSFD funding formula

Nov. 05, 2013 5:51 p.m. | Whitefish Bay — Village President Julie Siegel will have the weight of the Village Board behind her when she votes in favor of a proposed funding formula at a North Shore Fire Department Board meeting later this month.

The board voted unanimously Monday to approve the new formula, which the NSFD board will potentially vote on at its upcoming Nov. 19 meeting. If approved there, the formula will then need to be ratified by each of NSFD's seven member communities.

The proposed formula, which determines the share of the total NSFD budget each community pays, would take effect in 2016 and replace a three-year formula set by the NSFD board in 2012. With the help of third-party mediator Rob Henken of nonpartisan think-tank Public Policy Forum, officials and administrators from the member communities arrived at the new formula after 10 months of consideration.

And though Henken has said the resulting formula proposal gained consensus among city and village administrators, the same cannot be said of elected officials. In mid-October River Hills Village President Bob Brunner called the proposal a "bailout" for Glendale and threatened to veto the new formula if a vote is called at the coming meeting. In response, Glendale Mayor Jerome Tepper said he would advise Glendale to separate from NSFD in 2016 if the proposed formula is defeated.

Siegel said the support of the Whitefish Bay Village Board will be "key" when she attends the NSFD board meeting later this month and potentially votes on the matter.

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Boys state soccer photo gallery updated

Nov. 02, 2013 4:09 p.m. | We've just updated the MyCommunityNOW WIAA boys state soccer photo gallery with images from today's Division 4 title game between University School and The Prairie School. USM won, 1-0.

The state soccer photo gallery also features images from Muskego's 1-0 victory over Arrowhead in the Division 1 semifinals; Cedarburg's 2-1 win over Whitefish Bay in the Division 2 semifinals; Notre Dame's 1-0 victory over Pewaukee in the Division 3 semifinals; and University School's 1-0 victory over Sturgeon Bay in the Division 4 semifinals.

Go to 2013 WIAA boys soccer state photo gallery.

Read social media story of Division 2 Level 2 football playoffs games

Nov. 02, 2013 7:54 a.m. | Homestead, Hamilton, Waukesha West, Whitefish Bay and South Milwaukee were all area teams that took on second-round opponents in the WIAA Division 2 football playoffs Friday.


As always, fans and reporters were on Twitter and other social networks. Read the MyCommunityNOW Storify social media story of the games.

Read social media story of Division 3 Level 2 football playoffs games

Nov. 02, 2013 7:39 a.m. | Greendale faced Brown Deer while Catholic Memorial and Pewaukee faced off in Level 2 of the WIAA Division 3 football playoffs Friday.

As always, fans and reporters were on Twitter and other social networks. Read the MyCommunityNOW Storify social media story of the games.

Homestead rallies, beats Chargers, 28-20

Nov. 01, 2013 10:51 p.m. | Homestead scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns to rally and defeat Sussex Hamilton, 28-20, Friday night in a Level 2 football game at Homestead.

Top-seeded Homestead trailed the fourth-seeded Chargers, 20-14, going into the final quarter, but then showed what championship teams are made of.  
First junior quarterback Nick Allen led the Highlanders on a 19-play, 75-yard drive, which ended when senior running back Eric Wade scored on a 3-yard run. Luke Neusen, who was 4-for-4 on extra points then converted to give Homestead a slim, 21-20 lead.
But then perhaps the turning point of the game switched the momentum to Homestead.
Hamilton junior quarterback Mike Barnes rolled right and then turned back and tossed a pass to senior Alec McShane, who dropped the ball with no defensive player near him. The Chargers then turned the ball over to Homestead after one more play and Allen took over once again.
With first and 10 on their own 31, Allen led the Highlanders on a 9-play, 69-yard drive. The last 33 yards came on a beautiful run down the left sideline by Allen, who was uncontested after faking two handoffs that had the Chargers defense going in the opposite direction.
“I had two fake handoffs and I turned around and our running backs just led me down the field,” Allen said. “It was a good play call by coach Keel and it was a success.”
Leusen’s extra point was good, Homestead led, 28-20, with 5:07 left to play and the defense stopped Hamilton the rest of the way.
Homestead opened the scoring when Allen had tossed a 25-yard touchdown to sophomore wide receiver Jack Popp with 9:07 left in the first quarter. Hamilton came back when Barnes took them on an 8-play, 72 yard drive, with senior running back Drew Patterson scoring on a 3-yard run to tie the game at 7-7 with 8:10 on the clock in the first
Homestead went 80 yards on seven plays, with Allen going around left end for a 4-yard score with 5:31 left in the half for a 14-7 lead.
After each team exchanged turnovers – a fumble exchange by Sussex and an interception by the Chargers Brett Buehler off a wobbly end-around option pass – the Chargers got back on the board with 2:03 left in the half.
Barnes uncorked a beautiful 25-yard pass over the middle to Alec McShane, who beat his defender in the endzone. The extra point was unsuccessful and Homestead led, 14-13, at intermission.
The Chargers started the second half and went 67 yards on 12 plays, scoring on a option pass when Dan Lunowa took a handoff from Barnes, rolled right and found Jacob Glendenning all alone in the end zone for a 20-14 lead.
“We knew it was going to go back and forth in the second half and I knew we were going to march down and we capitalized on one of our more interesting plays,” Hamilton coach John Damato said. “I’m quite pleased. Homestead is such a good football team, well-coached, we just couldn’t stop it there at the end.”
“They started the second half with a great drive,” Homestead coach Dave Keel said of the Chargers. “They just really did a nice job. Our defense was just busting our chops and playing our hearts out, but Sussex just made a couple plays. That ‘34’ is a beast. (Drew) Patterson is an awfully good football player. But I can’t say enough for our defense really came through.”

Keel then praised the Chargers.
“They are so well-coached, they don’t have to use gimmicks,” he said. “We got a break when that one kid dropped that screen pass. We were prepared for what they did. But they are just so well- coached.”
Wade finished with 104 yards, Allen rushed for 87 and Patterson 76.
Homestead will now play Kimberly, which beat Cedarburg, 43-14, on Friday.

Cedarburg set pieces oust Whitefish Bay in state soccer, 2-1

Nov. 01, 2013 3:28 p.m. | Whitefish Bay dominated the run of play, had many more shots on goal, corner kicks and free kicks than Cedarburg did in the WIAA State Division 2 soccer semifinal Friday afternoon at Uihlein Soccer Park.

But the Blue Dukes North Shore rivals converted on two set pieces, one off a corner kick and another off a free kick and that was enough to oust Bay from its first state tournament berth in 10 years by a 2-1 count.

"It's been a focus for us the last month of the season," said Bulldog coach Patrick Sorensen of the set pieces. "We came up huge with them today. We had to be able to defend them well and we had to be aggressive and convert our opportunities when we had the chance (offensively)."

The victory propelled the Bulldogs (15-4-2) into the WIAA State Division 2 final on Saturday against Oregon, which defeated Marshfield in the second D2 semifinal. It also avenged a 2-0 win Bay earned over Cedarburg earlier this fall en route to the Blue Dukes' North Shore Conference championship.

Bay (17-6) was denied its first finals' opportunity since that last state berth in 2003 when it lost the D2 final to Appleton Xavier, 4-2.

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Two deaths in one day taxes North Shore Fire Department

Nov. 01, 2013 11:35 a.m. | Two people died in the North Shore on Wednesday, a contractor who was trapped in a Fox Point garage collapse in the morning and an elderly Shorewood woman who perished in a duplex fire the same evening.

Meanwhile, in Fox Point, a driver involved in a rollover crash narrowly escaped a passing train.

It was a tough day for a number of North Shore Fire Department's paramedics and firefighters, who pulled one body from the collapsed garage in the morning and another from the duplex fire in the evening.

"It was an emotionally trying day for that group of guys," NSFD Lt. Dan Tyk said. "It's not common to have two traumatic deaths like that in the North Shore on the same day."

Garage collapse

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Range Line Inn in Mequon has new owners

Nov. 01, 2013 7:05 a.m. | Range Line Inn in Mequon, housed in a building dating to around 1840, has added another chapter to its history: Longtime owner Patrick Strong has sold the restaurant to his brother and sister-in-law, Jack Strong and Kristy Knudsen.

“It’s still in the family,” Knudsen said. It's the second time for a sale between the brothers: Patrick had bought the business, at  2635 W. Mequon Road, from Jack in 1985, Knudsen said.

The sale was final Oct. 15.

Knudsen said longtime guests can expect continuity, as executive chef David Doering is staying on and a number of the recipes used over the years were Jack Strong’s.

But, she added, specials are planned, and some classic dishes will be lightened, using less fat and salt. And the wine selection by the glass and bottle will be broadened.

» Read Full Article

Community Watch

» West girls beat Dominican, 38-36 11/29

» Fiddleheads Coffee opening a cafe at Bayshore 11/28

» NSFD board passes funding formula 11/27

» River Hills passes levy, tax rate increases 11/25

» River Hills on board with NSFD funding formula 11/21

» Glendale passes flat levy, reduced budget 11/20

» Bayside keeps tax levy flat for fourth consecutive year 11/19

» Sewer rates to increase in Whitefish Bay's 2014 budget 11/19

» Shorewood taxes to increase slightly 11/19

» NSFD board delays formula, expulsion decisions as River Hills meeting looms 11/19

» River Hills could face expulsion from North Shore Fire Department 11/18

» Two charged in Glendale murder 11/18

» WIAA State Boys Volleyball Tournament photo gallery now online 11/17

» Two arrested in connection with Glendale murder 11/14

» Pair arrested after report of woman injuring her leg at Sybaris Pool Suites 11/13

» Fox Point still not in step with footbridge costs 11/13

» Congregation Shalom denied statue lighting 11/13

» Fox Point weighs in on NSFD funding formula 11/13

» Mequon's tax rate flat, but Council using reserves to balance budget 11/13

» Thiensville passes flat levy, budget 11/13

» Steffen students learn about the price of freedom 11/12

» Art sale to benefit historical society 11/12

» Shorewood residents want tax hikes capped by CPI, favor consolidations 11/12

» Two-floor suite trashed after apparent wild night at the Sybaris 11/12

» View snow photos from social media users 11/11

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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.





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