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Funeral services set for Dick Bolender

Dec. 12, 2011 6:22 p.m. | Funeral services for Oak Creek Mayor Dick Bolender, who died Saturday at age 68, will be Wednesday.

Visitation will be from noon to 5:45 p.m. at St. Stephen Catholic Church, 1441 W. Oakwood Road, Oak Creek, with a funeral Mass to follow at 6 p.m.

Bolender died unexpectedly at home Saturday, and the cause of death is not known. No autopsy will be performed, said his daughter, Lisa Reid.

The Oak Creek Police Department will honor the mayor with a 21-gun salute; Bolender's son, Michael, is a captain on the force.

Bolender served the city for 10 years, first as an alderman and then as a three-term mayor. He had just last Tuesday announced he would not seek a fourth term.

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Whitnall hires new varsity football coach

April 10, 2014 9:45 a.m. | Whitnall High School has hired former Cumberland High School football coach Jared McGranahan to lead the Falcons football program.

McGranahan's team went 5-5 last year and qualified for the WIAA Division 5 playoffs. Cumberland is located in the northwest part of the state, roughly 85 miles northeast of Minneapolis. It was his only season at Cumberland.

“Thanks to our great student-athletes and our first-class football facilities, we had a lot of interest in our head football coaching position, and we are confident we found a great coach in Coach McGranahan,” Whitnall athletics and activities director Scott Bruening said in a school release.

McGranahan replaces Jeff Wallack, who resigned in February after two seasons. Wallack's teams went 7-11 overall and reached the WIAA playoffs once.

McGranahan has also served as running backs and safeties coach at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville for four years and was an assistant football coach at Cuba City in 2009, an assistant boys basketball coach at Darlington for one season and a youth football coach in Darlington from 2006-08. McGranahan himself graduated from Darlington in 2003.

Man calls police, is arrested after punching officer in head

April 10, 2014 8:59 a.m. | A man who called police to report his condo association president threatened to beat him was arrested for battery to a police officer after he punched an officer in the head April 2.

According to the Oak Creek police report:

The man called police to report his condo association president threatened to beat him up because his dog was running loose at the Oak Leaf Condo Association, 410 W. Aspen Drive.

The man was arrested for battery to a police officer and disorderly conduct (state charges) after he punched an officer in the head about 5:50 p.m. April 2.

The man continued to resist and police had to deploy a Taser to subdue him. The man, who had two valid warrants for resisting/obstructing an officer and disorderly conduct through the Oak Creek Police Department, was taken into custody after he was medically cleared.

Sikhs in Washington to honor Officer Brian Murphy

April 09, 2014 2:10 p.m. | Oak Creek — Officer Brian Murphy will be awarded a Sewa (service) Award in Washington for being the first officer on the scene during the 2012 shootings at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin.

The Guru Gobind Singh Foundation, a Sikh organization based in Washington, will present the award on Sunday, April 13, or Vaisakhi Day.

"It's well deserved. The Sikh community has been fantastic to not only [Murphy] but our entire police department. (Murphy) is well-deserved for any award for the actions he took on that day," said Oak Creek Police Chief John Edwards.

"We, as an organization, decided to honor Brian Murphy with a Sewa (service) Award. This is given annually to someone recognizing their spirit of sewa and contributions toward the Sikh community. We are highly grateful to him for his sacrifice and exemplary service," said Inder Paul Singh, chairman of Guru Gobind Singh Foundation, in an article online.

Murphy was struck with 12 bullets during the attack during which six Sikh worshippers were killed and three others were wounded. Murphy is now retired.

The Rock baseball stadium proposal strikes out, for now, in Franklin

April 09, 2014 1:10 p.m. | Franklin — The Rock Sports Complex's proposed professional baseball stadium will not be paid by the taxpayers, the project's task force has decided.

The Rock Professional Baseball Stadium Development Proposal Franklin Task Force held a meeting last week to discuss the complex's proposal for a public-private partnership to fund a $10.5 million baseball stadium.

The proposal that calls for a $10.5 million from the city excludes $4 million Mike Zimmerman, owner of the Rock and Zimmerman Ventures, would pay for team acquisition fees and team operating costs.

Not a hit in first at-bat

Following a public comment portion of the meeting that touched on issues related to the stadium proposal, the task force went into closed session Wednesday, April 2, before unanimously approving a motion to reject The Rock's proposal.

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Oak Creek-Franklin School District weighs teacher merit pay

April 09, 2014 12:40 p.m. | Oak Creek — A new teacher compensation structure based on performance and instructional effectiveness will roll out in the 2014-15 school year once the Oak Creek-Franklin School Board finalizes salary ranges in future board meetings.

The compensation structure will categorize teachers into four tiers. Each tier reflects a pay range based on that teacher's instructional effectiveness, professionalism, leadership and other descriptors.

The goal was to increase initial educators' starting salary, while shrinking the compensation gap between starting and veteran teachers, with a salary maximum at $80,000. The compensation structure only applies to salary.

"This will give people an opportunity to see that what they do in the classroom will make a difference rather than seniority," said School Board Vice President Paul Mason.

The Board agreed with the new evaluation concept and compensation structure March 24.

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Cash donations for funeral taken from Oak Creek home

April 09, 2014 8:19 a.m. | An Oak Creek resident reported that cards containing cash donations from his mother's funeral were stolen from his home sometime from March 21 to 23.

According to the Oak Creek police report:

The resident reported on April 1 that cards from his mother's funeral were stolen from his home in the 10300 block of South Oriole Lane sometime between March 21 and March 23.

Some of the cards contained cash donations, and they were stolen out of a bag that was in his bedroom. The resident also reported that a black Apple iPod 4G and a black Apple iPhone 4, valued at $400, were also stolen from the home sometime before March 28.

The resident gave police the name of a possible suspect, and police were trying to find him at the time of the report.

Man injured, arrested after police standoff in Cudahy

April 04, 2014 7:12 p.m. | A suicidal 34-year-old Cudahy man was hospitalized Friday after being injured in a standoff with police at his home.

Both the man and a police officer fired shots during the incident in the 5500 block of S. Disch Ave., however Cudahy Police Chief Thomas D. Poellot said he could not say if the man was shot by the officer or describe the nature of his injury, which the chief described as non-life-threatening.

People in surrounding homes were evacuated during the incident, which began shortly before noon.

According to a news release from Cudahy police:

An out-of-state caller reported to Cudahy police that the man was making suicidal statements and displaying a firearm during a video phone call on FaceTime.

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Plan to use taxpayer money for minor league ballpark in Franklin appears dead

April 02, 2014 7:58 p.m. | Franklin - A proposal for Franklin taxpayers to borrow $10.5 million to build a minor league baseball park is apparently dead.

But a different city proposal to help finance the stadium at The Rock sports complex might be forthcoming.

A city task force voted 4-0 Wednesday night to reject the funding plan from Mike Zimmerman, who owns The Rock.

That vote came after task force members met in closed session for over two hours. State law allows governments to meet in closed session to discuss real estate negotiations.

The recommendation, which task force members approved without discussion, also called for city staff to work on a revised funding proposal.

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Man carrying knives upset restaurant wouldn't serve him alcohol

March 31, 2014 8:51 a.m. | Oak Creek police were called when a restaurant manager reported an intoxicated man who was carrying two knives came into the restaurant and became upset because they wouldn't serve him alcohol March 22.

According to the Oak Creek police report:

A manager at Buffalo Wild Wings, 8261 S. Howell Ave., reported an intoxicated man, who possibly had a gun holstered under his shirt, and was carrying two knives came into the restaurant and became upset because they wouldn't serve him alcohol at 10:30 p.m. March 22.

The manager said he called police because he was concerned about an intoxicated person carrying weapons.

Police found the man riding a bicycle on Howell Avenue, and found he had two knives in his possession, but they weren't concealed. He was given a ride home and advised about the complaint.

Man tells police that escort tried to leave before hour was up

March 28, 2014 12:09 p.m. | A man claimed an escort was rushing him after he paid for one hour with her and she wanted to leave before that when police responded to a 911 call March 23.

According to the Oak Creek police report:

Police responded to a 911 call from a room at Value Inn, 9420 S. 20th St., at 12:45 a.m. March 23. During questioning, a man admitted to contacting a woman on a website for prostitutes, and stated he was upset because she was rushing him after he paid $200 for one hour with her and she wanted to leave before the hour was up.

The woman was cited for prostitution (escort license required) and the man was cited for disorderly conduct.

Oak Creek resident finds hand grenades in attic

March 26, 2014 10:37 a.m. | An Oak Creek resident found four hand grenades while cleaning out her attic March 18.

According to the Oak Creek police report:

The woman was cleaning out her attic at 6:10 p.m. March 18 when she found the hand grenades. She told police her deceased husband had stashed the grenades up there without her knowledge.

Police responded to the home and found a rifle-fired grenade, a hand grenade, a trip-wire flare and a smoke grenade. All were live military ordnance that appeared to have been kept in the house by the resident's deceased husband, who had been in military service.

The items were recovered and destroyed by the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit.

Maple Sugar Weekend opens Saturday at Wehr Nature Center

March 25, 2014 5:48 p.m. | As the weather warms, maple syrup making season gets under way.

Real maple syrup starts with freshly tapped sap: the lifeblood of trees. It flows like water from sugar maple trees in spring, when there are cold nights and warm days. Sugar maples are the sweetest maple tree and have been Wisconsin's state tree since 1949.

Those interested in learning the full process of syrup making are invited to Sugar Maple Weekend at Wehr Nature Center.

Attendees will learn how to identify sugar maple trees and will be shown how to tap the tree. There also will be games, activities for kids and a lesson on how tapping was done in pioneer days. The whole loop takes about an hour and a half to complete and finishes with a taste of real maple syrup on a pancake.

Single video player for Community NOW sites

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Oak Creek Franklin School District approves new teacher compensation structure

March 25, 2014 3:46 p.m. | A new teacher compensation structure based on performance and instructional effectiveness was approved by Oak Creek Franklin School Board members Monday in response to the state's new teacher evaluation program.

Instructors' professionalism, leadership and instructional effectiveness will be assessed in the new structure and will categorize them into four tier groups. Initial educators comprise tier one; professional or master educators will be identified as tier two, three or four, depending on how consistently instructors demonstrate professionalism, leadership and instructional effectiveness.

The pay range for each tier will reflect the increased level of effectiveness, according to the School Board meeting minutes. Tier four is the maximum pay range.

The School Board is now tasked to work out details of the compensation structure, including pay range minimum and maximums, while staying competitive to other districts.

St. Francis High School to reopen Wednesday after bomb threat

March 25, 2014 2:32 p.m. | St. Francis High School was closed Tuesday because of a bomb threat, but authorities have determined the building is safe to resume classes Wednesday.

A message containing the bomb threat was discovered at the high school on Tuesday, prompting district administrators and St. Francis police to investigate, according to a district news release. The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office assisted with a sweep of the building and grounds.

All after-school activities, including high school parent-teacher conferences, scheduled for Tuesday have been canceled. The parent-teacher conferences have been rescheduled for 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. April 2.

The "Sophomore-Junior Think College Night" has been rescheduled for 6 p.m. April 2. Information about rescheduling classes for the missed day will be released later, the release stated.

Individuals who make threats to students, staff or school facilities will face "considerable disciplinary action up to and including expulsion and criminal charges," officials said in the release.

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Oak Creek celebrates girls state basketball championship

March 24, 2014 9:13 a.m. | It was a first in many ways for the Oak Creek girls basketball team.

The Knights celebrated their first state title in girls basketball with a 73-52 victory over Superior on Saturday, shooting a blistering 67 percent for the game (25 of 37) and turning a close game midway through the first half into a no-doubter.

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