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Oak Creek police called after customers vie for spot at gas station pump

Dec. 12, 2012 3:08 p.m. | Two customers refused to move for the other for a spot at a gas station pump in Oak Creek.

According to the Oak Creek police report:

An employee called police after two customers, a 69-year-old Franklin man and an 18-year-old Oak Creek man, pulled up to a gas pump at the same time and neither one would move for the other to access the gas pump at Speedway, 8667 S. Howell Ave., shortly before 1 p.m. Dec. 8.

No one became disorderly but the two were upset with one another and neither one was willing to switch pumps.

The Franklin man switched pumps after a passenger in the Oak Creek man's car prepaid $20 on the pump, and no further police assistance was needed.

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Jack Redmond & Frank Disco Gratke vie for chance at state senate seat

8:45 p.m. | Oak Creek/Franklin —Two Democratic candidates will vie for the chance to unseat Jessie Rodriguez (R-Franklin), who is the current State Assembly representative from the 21st District, during the primary election Tuesday, August 9.

John (Jack) Redmond, 63, of Oak Creek and Frank Disco Gratke, 62, of South Milwaukee will both be on the ballot in August.

Gratke has lived in the 21st District for 34 years, and is a retired researcher, but says he is a "full-time citizen advocate." In 2015, he ran for the South Milwaukee School Board and in 2014 ran for an alderman seat in South Milwaukee. He says he has also been involved with "numerous committees," such as a Y-2K committee and citizen advisory environmental committee, both in South Milwaukee.

Redmond works as a business agent for UPS and has lived in the district for 25 years. He said this is his first time running for office, but noted that he has volunteered for PBS, Food for Families, and Teamsters.

Here are the top three things to know about both of the candidates. (Some responses have been edited for length.)

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Franklin school specialist is 'Making IT Happen' with technology

8:43 p.m. | Franklin — District Technology Integration Specialist Chad Kafka was recognized by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) at its national convention as an outstanding leader and educator for "Making IT Happen."

Kafka was one of two Wisconsin educators who received the "Making IT Happen" award, which "honors outstanding educators and leaders who demonstrate extraordinary commitment, leadership, courage and persistence in improving digital learning opportunities for students," according to the ISTE's website.

"The thing I'm happy about is that the award not only recognizes my work, but also Franklin as a leader to bring technology into schools," Kafka said.

Aiding career readiness

LuAnn Zielinski, Franklin's district technology supervisor, said that Kafka works in a variety of ways to integrate technology into Franklin schools.

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Bridge connects offerings at Abendschein Park

5:09 p.m. | Connecting two popular features at Abendschein Park on Drexel Avenue, a footbridge was installed July 26.

The new 80-foot bridge can be found at the southeast corner of the park, 1321 E. Drexel Avenue. It connects the disc golf course to the skate park portion of the park, according to the city's Facebook page.

In addition to those offerings, a baseball diamond and playground are also offered on-site. The park is open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

New pickleball courts to be painted at Ken Windl, Pleasant View Parks

3:13 p.m. | Franklin —Two new pickleball courts will be painted in the next few weeks at Ken Windl and Pleasant View Parks as popularity for the sport continues to grow in Franklin.

An extra bench will also be installed at each location, and the parks commission is looking into putting a storage cabinet at the parks to store equipment that has been donated, according to Superintendent of Public Works Jerry Schaefer.

The pickleball courts will be painted on existing tennis courts at each park. Each park already has two courts painted on one of its tennis courts, one on each side of the net, and the new courts will also be painted the same way, though in a less bright color as the other courts.

Paul Jahnke, Program Coordinator for the Franklin Community Education and Recreation Department, describes pickleball as "life-size table tennis."

"Pickleball is a racket sport played on a badminton-sized court with a tennis-height net. Game play is most similar to tennis. The racket is slightly larger than a table tennis racket and the ball is a very hard whiffle ball," Jahnke described.

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Walks catch up to Oak Creek baseball team in state loss to Marquette

1:48 p.m. | For most of the WIAA state semifinal contest with Greater Metro rival Marquette on July 22 at Kapco Park, Oak Creek baseball coach Scott Holler would look at the basepaths and see Hilltopper runners poised to do dangerous things over and over again.

But then he would see that the Knights were ahead in the hits column for most of the game as well as on the scoreboard.

However, he knew his pitchers were giving Marquette too many opportunities with walks, and eventually, as Holler feared, it caught up with the Knights in the sixth.

At that point, the Hilltoppers took advantage of four walks and punctuated them with three hits to score six times. That outburst erased a 3-2 deficit en route to a stunning 8-3 win over the Knights.

"It was a good game for 51/2 innings," Holler said ruefully afterward as the Knights' bid for a fifth WIAA state title came up short and their 19-game winning streak came to an end.

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Hales Corners Night Out to "promote and preserve prosperous community"

1:12 p.m. | Hales Corners —Hales Corners police, fire department, businesses, and other community members will celebrate National Night Out in Hales Corners Park, 5765 S New Berlin Rd., 5-9 p.m. Tuesday, August 2 with food, music, and other activities.

The night will feature a Fun Run presented by Instep, inflatable bounce houses and slide, a Speleo Cave maze, and various vehicles and boats on display, including police squad cars.

Local businesses at the event will have prize drawings, children's activities, and games. Two local martial arts academies will also be presenting demonstrations.

The Hales Corners VFW will provide food for purchase including hot dogs, burgers, snacks, and soda. Hales Corners Lions will provide root beer floats for purchase.

"The purpose of Hales Corners Night Out is to bring our local residents, businesses, civic organizations and civil servants together for an evening of fun and fellowship," said Jessica Klima. "We encourage everyone to come out on August 2nd to help promote and preserve our fun, safe and prosperous community."

Oak Creek prepares for National Night Out

12:39 p.m. | Oak Creek —National Night Out is fast approaching on Aug. 2 with the location changed due to construction.

This year, the event will take place at the American Legion Post 434, 9327 S. Shepard Avenue, instead of the High School Freshman Campus due to construction on the building. The event will last from 6 to 9 p.m.

More event details will be posted throughout the week on the city of Oak Creek's Facebook page.

According to the official National Night Out website, the event is "an annual community-building campaign that promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make our neighborhoods safer, better places to live." The event takes place across the nation on the same night — the first Tuesday of August — for most, with a few places holding it on the first Tuesday of October.

Franklin Library to host Pokemon Go Night on August 11

11:28 a.m. | Franklin —The Franklin Public Library invites Pokemon Go players from the community to catch some Pokemon and join in other game-related activities at their Pokemon Go Meetup 5-8 p.m. Thursday August 11.

Players at the event can actively seek out Pokemon in the area, or hang out in the PokeBreakroom, which will be located 20 feet from a lured PokeStop inside the library's Create Space. In the breakroom, there will be snacks, crafts, video and board games, and the 3D printer will be running all night printing Bulbasaur planters and Onyx sculptures as prizes for activities.

Those who want to honor their Pokemon Go Team can also receive free emblem badges inside the PokéBreakroom, which they can wear around the event to easily identify other members of their Team.

In addition, a Pokémon scavenger hunt for children and teens ages 8 to 15 will start at 5:30 p.m., followed by a scavenger hunt for adults ages 16 and up at 7 p.m. Completed and correct forms will be entered into a prize drawing.

The library, 9151 W Loomis Rd, will also be setting up lures from 5:30 — 7:30 p.m. at nearby Pokestops to attract more Pokemon to the area.

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Amber Frymark wins Hottest Kitchen Entreprenuer Challenge

8:47 a.m. | Hales Corners —Amber Frymark took home the top prize at the Hottest Kitchen Entreprenuer Challenge July 20 for her start-up business Chowventions and her product Zwitchel syrup.

The entrepreneur challenge selects three start-up and three early-stage business finalists to compete at an event where their products are sampled by judges, business "VIPs," and eventgoers. The finalists also give a presentation on their product and business concept to the audience and answer questions from the judges.

Though nervous, Frymark said the day went better than she expected, and she feels "very very humbled" by winning the grand prize.

"It felt like being crowned Ms. America for the food world," she described, adding that she was not expecting to win. "I had great competitors. Everyone belonged in that competition."

Throughout the competition, Frymark received a lot of positive feedback on her product, as well, receiving compliments that it was "tasty" and that people "loved the flavor."

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Lawmaker Grobschmidt knew how to reach across the aisle

July 25, 2016 6:57 p.m. | Richard Grobschmidt, a former Wisconsin state Assembly member and senator who was known for his understated and collaborative style, died Sunday after a battle with cancer. He was 68.

In his 18 years in the Assembly and Senate, Grobschmidt spearheaded legislation requiring all school buses in the state to have mechanical safety arms and establishing a school-to-work apprenticeship program.

The apprenticeship legislation came from his lifelong passion for education, which led him to his first job as a high school social studies teacher and his final job as assistant superintendent of public instruction.

Grobschmidt, a Democrat, also worked on legislation for family medical leave, insurance coverage for infertility treatment and parental consent for minors seeking abortions.

He believed in the power of compromise, said his daughter, Tamara Grobschmidt.

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Oak Creek Public Library to host Hogwarts Reunion

July 25, 2016 10:45 a.m. | The Oak Creek Public Library will transform into an after-hours magical world of literary proportions on July 29 as it hosts a Hogwarts Reunion party, timed to coincide with the July 31 release of J.K. Rowling's new book Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Because the book has been marketed toward an adult audience, Library Director Jill Lininger explained that the event itself is marketed to adults 21 and older, where they can enjoy drinks and a home-brewing seminar. Lininger said 150 people bought tickets and plan to be in attendance at the now sold-out event.

The party will be modeled after many of the events libraries and bookstores held in the late 1990s and 2000s when Rowling was turning out previous books in the popular series. Lininger said many of the people set to attend this event will be people who attended those parties when they were younger.

Similar to those earlier events, partygoers can expect a convention-style scene at the library, with games, crafts, snacks and drinks themed around Harry Potter.

In addition to those staples, the party will also include a presentation on snakes from the Racine Zoo, crystal reading, tarot and tea leaf reading and home-brewing and cooking seminars.

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Live coverage: 2016 WIAA State Summer Baseball Tournament

July 22, 2016 6:00 p.m. | UPDATE: Menomonee Falls and Marquette won their semifinal games and are playing in the state title game.

A WIAA state summer baseball title is up for grabs at Kapco Park today.

The field has been whittled to four teams: Marquette, Oak Creek, New Holstein and Menomonee Falls. 

Marquette (26-6) and Oak Creek (31-2) square off in the first semifinal game, set for 9:05 a.m.

New Holstein (20-10) and Menomonee Falls (23-10) will battle in the other semifinal approximately 30 minutes after the opener is complete. 

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Big inning leads Marquette past Oak Creek in state semifinal

July 22, 2016 12:55 p.m. | A six-run sixth inning propelled Marquette to an 8-3 victory over Oak Creek in a WIAA state semifinal Friday, July 22 at Kapco Park.

Oak Creek issued four walks and made two errors in the sixth inning, as Marquette turned a 3-2 deficit into a commanding lead.

"We just didn't execute pitches when we needed to," Oak Creek coach Scott Holler said. "They are too good of a hitting team to give freebies to. They made it hurt. With their team speed and hitters up and down the lineup, they create all kinds of problems. That was the difference in the game."

The Knights scored three runs in the third to take a 3-0 lead. A balk plated Oak Creek's first run, and D.J. Ellifson added an RBI triple and Alex Binelas an RBI single.

Marquette scored single runs in the third and in the fourth against Ellifson to pull to within 3-2. The Hilltoppers scored their second run without the benefit of a hit after a pair of walks, a double steal and a wild pitch.

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Sue Haislmaier's watercolor paintings on display at botanical gardens

July 22, 2016 10:40 a.m. | Hales Corners —The Garden House at Boerner Botanical Gardens, 9400 Boerner Drive, will have watercolor paintings by Wisconsin artist Sue Haislmaier on display from July 23—Aug. 14.

Haislmaier's work will be available to view 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week.

According to a news release, Haislmaier is inspired by the outdoors throughout the four seasons. Her love of nature can be seen in her close up views of native plants and waterscapes.

Admission to the Botanical Gardens, which includes admission to the Garden House, is $5.50 for adults age 18 and up. Admission is $4.50 for students of any age with IDs, Milwaukee County seniors age 60 and up with IDs, and people with disabilities, and $3.50 for youths age 6-17.

Free admission is offered to Milwaukee County residents with ID and proof of residency on the first Tuesday of the month during the summer.

Franklin community shows support for local police officers

July 21, 2016 5:38 p.m. | Franklin —Members of the Franklin community have been showing their support in droves for the Franklin Police Department in light of the recent events around the US.

The weeks of July 11 and 18, the department received lots of cards, drawings from children, a fruit basket, cookies, a cake, a box of chips, and a bouquet of flowers on the front steps of the building, all thanking the police officers for what they do.

Since sometimes officers can be more used to criticism, explained Chief Rick Oliva, he wants to make sure residents know how much this means to the police officers in Franklin.

"We don't expect anything since it's our job," Chief Oliva explained. "But it's good to see what we do is supported in the community."

Chief Oliva posted a public thank you on the department's Facebook page Wednesday, July 20.

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